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Celebrating more than food with Ag Week


October 6, 2010
By Dave Harrison

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Celebrating more than food with Ag Week
Agriculture Week is being held this week in Ontario. It
encourages Ontarians to reflect on the impact of agriculture for the
province – not just as a source for food, but also as an important
industry that provides reliable economic stimulus for Ontario.

Oct. 6, 2010 – Agriculture Week is being held this week in Ontario. It encourages Ontarians to reflect on the impact of agriculture for the province – not just as a source for food, but also as an important industry that provides reliable economic stimulus for Ontario.

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"In the week before Thanksgiving, we naturally think about the bounty of food that Ontario farms provide," says Bette Jean Crews, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. "But farming does much more than provide safe and nutritious local food – it also generates a tremendous economic contribution to our province and impacts the provincial GDP more than many Ontarians may realize."
 
Last week, Ontario farm organizations released results from a study titled The Economic Contribution of the Farm Sector and Economic Impact of a Reduction in Farm Income to determine how the farm sector influences the provincial economy. The study revealed that farm outputs contributed $22 billion in gross economic stimulus to Ontario in 2009 with a net value of $10.7 billion and sustaining 164,000 jobs. This economic contribution also includes $3.4 billion paid in taxes to help support our healthcare system, schools and infrastructure.
 
A key finding from the study, however, points to the impact of a predicted decrease in farm income in Ontario this year. Based on the study results, the decline in farm income will cost Ontario $3 billion in GDP and a half-billion dollars in long term tax revenues for the province, demonstrating the key role of the farming sector on the overall provincial economy.
 
"In addition to providing Ontarians with nutritious local foods, Ontario's farm families provide significant contributions to the Ontario economy," says Crews. "And to us, that makes Agriculture Week worth celebrating."
 
Visit www.ofa.on.ca for more information about the OFA's Economic Impact study.


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