Catching up with Ontario’s ag minister

Lisa Thompson has been the provincial ag minister for simply over six months

By Diego Flammini
Employees Author

A bit of over six months have handed since Ontario received a brand new ag minister.

Lisa Thompson, the MPP for Huron-Bruce, changed Ernie Hardeman as Ontario’s minister of agriculture, meals and rural affairs on June 18, 2021, as a part of a cupboard shuffle.

Throughout this brief time as ag minister, Thompson is impressed by how Ontario producers navigate challenges and proceed to be taught.

“I at all times knew farmers did wonderful work,” she informed “However their willingness to deal with issues that come up as we handle the COVID pandemic and embrace the significance of latest expertise and work with authorities and assist new analysis is one thing I’ve actually come to understand.”

Whereas Thompson is impressed by Ontario farmers, she’s not stunned by their onerous work.

She grew up on a farm and lives on a farm which has been in her husband Dennis’s household for greater than 120 years. Earlier than politics she was the final supervisor of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative and is a graduate of the Superior Agricultural Management Program.

Working onerous is a part of being a farmer. Having the ability to characterize their pursuits within the legislature is an honour, she stated.

“My satisfaction in our commodity organizations has grown within the final six months,” she stated. “Our farmers are very astute and have nice enterprise sense. That offers me nice confidence to know I’ve high quality partnerships to work with.”

Like many industries, agriculture has its challenges.

For Thompson, educating customers about how their meals is produced is prime of thoughts.

“We’ve to ensure customers in Ontario know what it means to be farming in 2022 and past,” she stated. “We additionally have to be making certain they worth the significance of rising and producing and processing good high quality meals. We’ve to maintain robust two-way communication going and encourage that consciousness.”

Analysis and good stewardship are additionally essential matters for the ag sector.

Not solely to point out customers, but additionally to point out the federal authorities Ontario farmers are on the leading edge of recent farming practices.

“We’ve to point out we’re main by instance relating to greatest practices,” she stated. “This consists of every little thing from the 4 Rs to precision agriculture and telling our story loud and proud.”

One problem for Thompson and all Ontario politicians this 12 months is the upcoming provincial election.

Her aim, apart from re-election, is to make sure Ontario’s ag sector is able to thrive, regardless of the result of the election.

“It’s my precedence to make sure all of the wonderful and good issues that we’ve launched in assist of Ontario farmers and the general meals provide chain develop robust roots,” she stated. “That method, when the writ will get dropped, I’ve left the business in fine condition.”

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