The National Farmers’ Union is going to be working hard to win back its members.
For years, Ontario farmers had to become part of one of three farm organizations to receive government programs, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Christian Farmers’ Federation of Ontario or the NFU. But last year, a provincial tribunal ruled the NFU wasn’t an Ontario farm organization – that it was more national in nature.
Julie Pearce, treasurer of NFU Local 328 in Lambton, says when the union wasn’t listed as a choice, its members had to sign up with one of the other two organizations.
But a recent court ruling has reaffirmed the NFU is an Ontario farm organization and in 2014, Pearce says, Lambton farmers who have supported the group will be able to choose members in the NFU.
“We’re hopeful we will get a lot of our members back in 2014,” says Pearce. “In Lambton County we’re fairly vocal on the woodlot issue (Lambton County is revising its woodlot bylaw) and local farmers are seeing the work we are doing there.
“We do plan a more aggressive ad campaign to get them back,” she adds.