Transcript: Farm Aid | Mar 22, 2001

(music plays)
The opening sequence shows a wooden table with a small lit candle as several words fly by: Nutrition, medicine, prevention, treatment, health.
Fast clips show different sets of hands performing activities on the table such as pulling petals from a daisy, drawing a big red heart, tuning a violin, flipping through the pages of a book, cooking, and pouring a glass of red wine.
In animation, the title appears inside the shape of a house: “More to life.”

Maureen Taylor sits in a studio with printed brown walls and a small chart in the background, which reads “More to life.” She’s in her late thirties, with wavy brown hair in a bob. She’s wearing a blue shirt and a colourful scarf.

She says
WELCOME TO “MORE
TO LIFE.”
I'M MAUREEN TAYLOR.
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
THREATENS TO PUT EUROPEAN
FARMERS OUT OF BUSINESS,
CANADIAN GRAIN FARMERS SAY
THEIR LIVELIHOOD IS ALSO
THREATENED, NOT BY DISEASE BUT BY
LOW FOOD PRICES AND INADEQUATE
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT.
THEY TOOK TO THE STREETS LAST
WEEK TO PROTEST FOR THE MORE
THAN 500 MILLION DOLLARS THE
GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY
COMMITTED.
TODAY WE LOOK AT THE HEALTH OF
THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY AND
IF SUBSIDIES WILL EVER PAY
ENOUGH FOR FARMERS TO LIVE ON.
BILL MAY IS THE PRESIDENT OF
THE FEDERAL FEDERATION OF
AGRICULTURE.
YOU CAN CALL IN WITH YOUR OWN
COMMENTS ON FARMING AND FARM
AID.

A caption appears on screen showing two phone numbers.

Maureen continues
GIVE US A CALL IN TORONTO AT:
416-484-2727.
CALL LONG DISTANCE TO 1-888-411-1234.
AND YOU CAN e-mail YOUR
QUESTIONS TO
moretolife@tvo.org.
GEORGE AND BILL, NICE TO HAVE
YOU HERE.
THANKS FOR COMING.
GEORGE, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
WHY FARMERS GET SUBSIDIES IN
THE FIRST PLACE.

George appears on screen. He’s in his fifties, clean-shaven, and balding with grey hair on the temples. He wears glasses, a dark grey suit, white shirt and a striped colourful tie. The caption changes to ¨George Brinkman. Agricultural Economist.¨

He says FIRST OF ALL, FARMERS
PARTICIPATE IN VERY MUCH A
GLOBAL MARKETPLACE.
WE'RE COMPETING WITH COUNTRIES
AROUND THE WORLD.
ONE OF THE ISSUES IS IF OTHER
COUNTRIES PROVIDE SUBSIDIES TO
THEIR FARMERS AND THIS HURTS
OUR FARMERS, WE ARE HURT BY
ACTIVITIES OF OTHER FARMERS,
AND THIS MAY BE A REASON FOR
SUPPORT IN TERMS OF DOMESTIC
POLICY.
ANOTHER REASON IS A QUESTION
OF WHETHER OR NOT THE
AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY HAS
RECEIVED SOME OF THE SAME
BENEFITS IN TERMS OF OVERALL
GROWTH IN THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
IN THE LAST 30 YEARS AS HAS A
LOT OF THE NONFARM SECTORS.

Maureen says WHAT DO YOU MEAN
BY THAT?

George says
IF YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
OF WHAT'S HAPPENED TO NET FARM
INCOME, IN 1993, THE NET
INCOME WAS 3 BILLION DOLLARS.
IN 1999 IT WAS STILL 3
BILLION DOLLARS.
IN BETWEEN, THE LEVEL OF
INVESTMENT THAT'S OCCURRED HAS
GONE UP FROM ABOUT 20 BILLION
TO 175 BILLION DOLLARS.

Maureen says DESPITE THE FACT
WE'RE PUTTING IN MORE FOR
FARMERS, FARMERS ARE NOT
MAKING ANY MORE.

George says THAT IS TRUE.
THE 3 BILLION IN 1999 ALSO
WAS ACHIEVED WITH SUBSTANTIAL
ASSISTANCE FROM GOVERNMENT.

Maureen says LET ME ASK YOU,
BILL, SET THE PICTURE FOR US
HERE IN ONTARIO.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR THE
AVERAGE ONTARIO FARMER?

The caption changes to “Bill Mailloux. Ontario Federation of Agriculture.” He’s in his forties. He has short black hair neatly combed and wears a light grey suit, white shirt and a cartoon-patterned tie.

Bill says CURRENTLY THE LOBBY HAS
BEEN FOR THE GRAINS AND OIL
SEED SECTOR.
THERE ARE PLENTY OF -- WE'RE
OBVIOUSLY DIVERSIFIED IN
AGRICULTURE WHICH IS GOOD FOR
THE PROVINCE.
RIG NOW THE GRAIN SEED FARMERS
ARE SUFFERING FROM LOW
COMMODITY PRICES.
A LOT OF THE PRICE STRUCTURE
IS BASED ON WHAT'S HAPPENING
IN THE U.S.
THE U.S. IS A BIG PLAYER IN
THE GAME.
WE ARE COMPETING AGAINST WORLD
PRICES WITH OUR REGIONAL INPUT
COSTS.
IN THE U.S., THEY'VE AGREED TO
HELP OUT THEIR FARMERS INVEST
IN THEIR PRIMARY PRODUCERS OF
GRAIN AND OIL SEEDS.
IT'S AFFECTED THE MARKETS IN
ONTARIO AND CANADA AS A WHOLE.
WE NEED SOME GOVERNMENT
SUPPORT.
WE'VE MADE TRADE AGREEMENTS IN
THE PAST.
EVERYBODY IS LIVING UP TO
THOSE IN OTHER COUNTRIES, AND
THEY'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING
OUTSIDE OF THOSE AGREEMENTS,
BUT THEY'RE ALLOWED TO INVEST
IN THEIR AGRICULTURAL
COMMUNITIES.
WE ARE NOT DOING IT TO THE
SAME LEVEL IN CANADA.
IT'S AFFECTED OUR MARKETS THAT
WE'RE RECEIVING LOW PRICES
WITHOUT THE SAME LEVEL OF
SUPPORT.

Maureen says AGAIN, I WILL
SIMPLIFY ALL OF THIS.
WHEN WE SAY OTHER COUNTRIES
ARE SUBSIDIZING, IT AFFECTS
OUR MARKETS, WE ARE TALKING
EXPORTS OF CANADIAN FOOD, IS
THAT RIGHT?

George says
THAT'S PRIMARILY THE CASE.
CANADA IS A NET EXPORTER OF
GRAINS AND OIL SEEDS.
WE COMPETE IN A GLOBAL
MARKETPLACE.
WE COMPETE VERY MUCH IN THE
NORTH AMERICAN MARKETPLACE.
WE ALSO NOW COMPETE VERY MUCH
WITH SOUTH AMERICA.
BRAZIL CAN PRODUCE SOYBEANS
AT 6 DOLLARS A BUSHEL WHICH IS BELOW
THE COST OF BOTH U.S. AND
CANADIAN PRODUCERS.
WE HAVE NEW PLAYERS ON THE
BLOCK, AND THAT'S ALSO
CREATING ADDITIONAL PRESSURES.
FOR THE MOST PART, ISSUES WITH
GRAIN AND OILSEED PRODUCERS
INVOLVE EXPORT MARKETS.
THEY INVOLVE COMPETITION
AROUND THE WORLD.
THEY ALSO INVOLVE DIFFERENT
LEVELS OF SUPPORT AND
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES FOR THAT
PRODUCTION.

Maureen says SO WE'VE GOT
GOVERNMENTS IN THE U.S. AND
EUROPE MOSTLY SUBSIDIZING
THEIR FARMERS MAY MORE THAN WE
SUBSIDIZE OURS, RIGHT?
THAT'S THE PROBLEM FOR YOU.
WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE?
WOULD YOU RATHER WE NEGOTIATE
WITH THOSE COUNTRIES TO GET RID
OF THEIR COUNTRIES TO MAKE THE
PLAYING FIELD LEVEL FOR
EVERYBODY OR SEE THE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, THE
PROVINCES RAISE SUBSIDIES HERE
SO WE'RE ON THE SAME LEVEL AS
THEM?

Bill says THAT'S A VERY GOOD
QUESTION.
THIS IS ONE REASON I BELIEVE
THIS LOBBY IS NECESSARY AND
VERY IMPORTANT.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
AGRICULTURE HAS ASKED IN
CANADA IS TO LEVEL THE PLAYING
FIELDS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.
IF WE'RE GOING TO COMPETE IN
THE EXPORT MARKET AND THAT'S
WHAT THEY ASKED US TO DO.
THAT LEVEL PLAYING FIELD ISN'T
THERE.
GEORGE WOULD AGREE, IT'S NOT
GOING TO BE THERE FOR QUITE A
WHILE AS WE JUST ENTER THE
NEXT ROUND OF WTO TALKS.
UNTIL THEN, ARE WE GOING TO
INVEST IN AGRICULTURE PRIMARY
PRODUCERS IN THIS COUNTRY OR
LET THEM GO BY THE WAYSIDE?
THEY HAD BEEN RESPONSIBLE AND
ASKED FOR THE LEVEL PLAYING
FIELD IN THE PAST.

Maureen says OKAY.
HOW DO WE GET TO THE LEVEL
PLAYING FIELD, GEORGE?

George says THERE ARE TWO WAYS.
ONE IS YOU TRY TO NEGOTIATE
THROUGH TRADE NEGOTIATIONS
LEVELS OF SUPPORT.
WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THAT
NEGOTIATION IS THERE HAVE BEEN
AGREED-TO REDUCTIONS IN
SUBSIDIES IN LIMITS BASED ON
PREVIOUS RECORDS, BASED ON THE
LEVEL THAT USED TO BE IN PLACE
IN THE '86, '88 PERIOD AND
COUNTRIES AGREED TO REDUCE
DOMESTIC SUBSIDIES.
THEY TURNED AROUND AND RAISED
THEM BACK UP TO WHAT THEY FELT
WERE THE ALLOWABLE LIMITS.
CANADA REDUCED SUBSIDIES, AND
THOSE SUBSIDIES LEVELS WERE
LOWER THAN THE LEVELS THAT
WERE GENERATED IN THE U.S.
SO THE U.S. HAS TURNED AROUND
AND HAS ACTUALLY PROVIDED
INCREASING LEVELS OF SUPPORT
FOR THEIR FARMERS RATHER THAN
DECREASING SUPPORT.
AT THE SAME TIME, IT DOESN'T
LOOK VERY LIKELY THAT IN
FUTURE NEGOTIATION FOR THE
U.S. FARM BILL AS THIS NEW ONE
IS, THERE WILL BE VERY MUCH
REDUCTION IN DOMESTIC SUPPORT
IF TIMES ARE TOUGH.

Maureen says HELP ME OUT WITH
THAT.
THEY ELECTED GEORGE BUSH.
DOESN'T SEEM LIKE A GUY THAT
WANTS TO GIVE GOVERNMENT
HANDOUTS EASILY.
YET DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN,
THIS HAS CONTINUED IN THE
UNITED STATES FOR A LONG, LONG
TIME.
HELP ME UNDERSTAND WHY THAT
IS.

George says I THINK IT'S PART OF THE
POLITICAL LOBBY AND PART OF
THE CULTURE.
IN A SENSE, BRINKMAN'S LAW IS
POLITICIANS CAN'T HELP BUT
HELP FARMERS WHEN THEY'RE IN
TROUBLE.
IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES THAT'S
USUALLY THE CASE.
WE MIGHT ARGUE WE HAVE ENOUGH
HELP IN CANADA.
WE CERTAINLY HAVE HAD ENOUGH
HELP.
WE SHOULDN'T ARGUE THAT WE
HAVEN'T HAD ENOUGH HELP AND
GOVERNMENTS HAVEN'T BEEN THERE
TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE.

Bill says I SUGGEST MAYBE THEIR
GOVERNMENT REALIZED THAT AN
INVESTMENT BENEFITS THE
COUNTRY IN THE WHOLE IN THE
LONG RUN.
WE HAVE EXPORTED OVER 5
BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF FOOD PRODUCTS
HERE IN ONTARIO ALONE.
THE GOAL IS TO MOVE THAT UP TO
ABOUT 7 BILLION DOLLARS IN THE NEXT
FEW YEARS, THREE OR FOUR YEARS,
AS A MATTER OF FACT.
AT THE SAME TIME WE'VE
EMPLOYED ALMOST 700,000 PEOPLE
IN THE AGRIFOOD INDUSTRY IN
ONTARIO.
I LOOK AT IT AS AN INVESTMENT.
WE DIDN'T GET TO BE THE NUMBER
ONE COUNTRY TO LIVE IN IN THE
WORLD BY NOT INVESTING IN
THESE TYPES OF THINGS.
I DON'T AGREE IT'S TOTALLY
SUBSIDIZING THE POOR FARMER.
IT'S AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR
STRUCTURE, IN CANADA.

Maureen says WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT FARM AID THIS AFTERNOON.
WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE
IN FARMING COMMUNITIES.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TODAY TO FARM
IN ONTARIO?
AND OF COURSE YOU'RE ALL
TAXPAYERS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS
CONTINUING ESCALATION AND PUSH
FOR MORE SUBSIDIES SO OUR
FARMERS CAN COMPETE?
THAT'S AN IMPORTANT ISSUE
BECAUSE THEY CAN'T RIGHT NOW.
CALL US AT:
JANE IS IN PETERBOROUGH.
HI, JANE.

Janes says HELLO.

Maureen says HI.

Jane continues IT'S A VERY COMPLEX
ISSUE BUT I UNDERSTAND COSTS
HAVE GONE UP A LOT.
IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IT'S
ALMOST A NATIONAL SECURITY
ISSUE, BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT
TO DEPEND ON OTHERS FOR FOOD
PRODUCTION.
IF YOU LOOK AT OPEC, FOR
EXAMPLE, THEY HOLD US AT
RANSOM FOR OUR OIL SUPPLIES.
CAN YOU IMAGINE IF WE RAN OUT
OF FOOD, IT WOULD BE A
DISASTER.

Maureen says YOU'RE SAYING IT'S
IMPORTANT TO HAVE A DOMESTIC
FOOD SOURCE.
YOU WORRY IF WE DON'T GIVE OUR
FARMERS AID THEY WILL STOP
FARMING AND WE WILL IMPART ALL
OUR FOOD?

Jane says PEOPLE ARE THINKING
THERE WILL BE NO FOOD.
THEY CAN'T MAKE MONEY.


Maureen says IT DOESN'T MEAN
THE LAND ISN'T FARMED ANYMORE.
SOMEBODY ELSE STEPS IN AND
PICKS IT UP.

George says
USUALLY THAT IS THE CASE.
IF YOU'RE OUT IN WESTERN
CANADA, WHAT HAPPENS IS THE
ADJUSTMENT PROCESS IS IF
SOMEBODY DOES GO BANKRUPT
USUALLY WHAT HAPPENS IS LAND
BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR SOMEBODY
ELSE.
THE PRICE IS CHEAPER.
IT ENABLES A NEW FARMER OR
PERSON TO EXPAND AT A LOWER
COST THAN WHAT IT WAS BEFORE
AND BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE.
THAT'S THE NATURAL MARKETPLACE
ADJUSTMENT THAT OCCURS.
IF YOU LOOK OUT IN WESTERN
CANADA, WE'RE STILL FARMING
THE LAND WE HAVE BEEN FARMING
ALL THESE YEARS, AND WE HAVE
BEEN THROUGH LOTS OF CRISES
OUT THERE.
THE NUMBER OF ACRES HASN'T
CHANGED MUCH.
IN ONTARIO, THERE ARE SOME
DIFFERENCES.
IN ONTARIO THE MAIN COMPETITOR
THE FARMERS HAVE FOR THEIR
LAND IS HOUSING.
IT IS VERY POSSIBLE THAT WE
WOULD LOSE SOME OF THE ACREAGE
THAT WE HAVE AND SOME OF OUR
SPECIALTY CROPS, PARTICULARLY
SOME OF OUR BEST HORTY
CULTURAL AREAS ARE MORE
DESIRABLE FOR HOUSING THAN
THEY ARE OUT IN WESTERN CANADA,
OUT IN THE PRAIRIES.
YOU COULD SEE SOME DECLINE.
BUT OVERALL, IT'S AN IMPORTANT
ISSUE IN THE GRAIN AND OIL
SEED SECTOR.
THIS ISN'T REALLY AN ISSUE FOR
NATIONAL SECURITY FOR GRAINS
AND OIL SEEDS.
WE EXPORT SUCH A LARGE PORTION
OF IT.
AND WE WOULD IN ESSENCE BE
EXPORTING LESS.
WE HAVE TO GO A LONG WAYS
BEFORE WE RUN OUT OF WHEAT IN
CANADA.

Bill says I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT.
YOU LIKE TO BASE IT ON -- WE
TALK ABOUT SUPPLY AND DEMAND.
THERE ARE SOME COMMODITIES
THAT ARE -- THEIR STOCK-TO-USE
RATIO IS THE LOWEST IN 20
YEARS AND SO IS THE PRICE.

Maureen says WHAT'S THAT MEAN?

Bill continues
THE AMOUNT OF DAYS YOU HAVE
IN SUPPLY OF SOME OF THE
COMMODITIES.
I DON'T BELIEVE SUPPLY AND
DEMAND IS ALWAYS THE DRIVER
RIGHT NOW.
I BELIEVE IT IS THE FACT THAT
OTHER COUNTRIES HAVEN'T
INVESTED IN PRIMARY PRODUCTION
AND IT'S AFFECTED OUR GRAINS
AND OILSEED MARKETS HERE.

Maureen says A LOT OF LAND
WOULD HAVE TO BE TAKEN OUT OF
PRODUCTION OUT WEST BEFORE WE
WORRIED ABOUT GRAIN AND OIL
SEEDS NOT BEING PRODUCED
DOMESTICALLY.

Bill says WHY WOULD WE SUGGEST WE
STOP DOING THAT?
WHY SHOULD WE STOP PRODUCTION?
WE'RE LOOKING AT COMPETING,
HAVING ONE FARMER LEAVE AND
ANOTHER ONE TAKE THAT OVER
DOESN'T MAKE US MORE
COMPETITIVE.
IT MAKES US DO A HECK OF A LOT
MORE FOR STILL NOT A PROFIT.
I'M SUGGESTING THAT TAKING
LAND OUT OF PRODUCTION MIGHT
BE THE RIGHT THING FOR CERTAIN
LANDS IF WE WANT TO PRESERVE
THEM FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF
THINGS.
GOOD GOD, WE'RE NOT GOING TO
STOP PRODUCING FOOD, ARE WE?

Maureen says I LIKE THAT YOU
BROUGHT UP THE DANGER IN
ONTARIO IS GREAT FARMLAND WILL
BE TAKEN OVER TO EXTEND
SUBDIVISIONS.
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN URBAN AREAS
APPRECIATE WE LIKE TO DRIVE
OUT OF THE CITY AND SEE THE
FIELDS IN THE SPRING AND IN
THE FALL AND THE COMBINES
GOING THROUGH.
AND I WONDER IF WE DON'T HAVE
AN INTEREST IN SEEING FARMING
CONTINUED JUST FOR THE
PLEASURE WE DERIVE SEEING LAND
PUT TO THAT USE AND KEEPING
THE CITY AT BAY.

Bill says CERTAINLY IN OTHER
COUNTRIES THEY HAVE SUPPORTED
FARMERS FOR THAT REASON ALONE.
THEY LINE THE SCENERY FOR
PEOPLE TO VIEW, AND THEY PAY
THEM IN A DIFFERENT WAY TO
KEEP THAT SCENERY.

Maureen says COULD WE GO TO A
SYSTEM LIKE THAT, GEORGE?

George says
WE HAVE HAD QUESTIONS
RAISED LIKE THAT.
IF YOU'RE IN SWITZERLAND AND
THE TOURIST WANTS TO COME TO
THE SWISS ALPS AND SEE THE
13-COW HERDS AND THE SWISS
FARMERS, THAT'S QUITE A
TOURIST ATTRACTION.
THE DILEMMA IS THERE AREN'T
MANY CANADIANS THAT WANT TO
SPEND THEIR VACATIONS IN
SASKATCHEWAN LOOKING AT GRAIN
FIELDS.
FOR THEM IT IS NOT AS VIABLE
AN OPTION.
BUT FOR THEM -- AT THE SAME
TIME YOU HAVE TO RECOGNIZE
THAT IS AN IMPORTANT
CONTRIBUTION OF THE FARMER,
KEEPING OPEN SPACE, WHICH IS
IMPORTANT, KEEPING GREEN BELTS,
KEEPING AREAS LIKE THAT.
THAT IS A SOCIETAL
CONTRIBUTION THAT OFTEN TIMES
DOESN'T GET RECOGNIZED.

Maureen says LET'S GO TO TED IN
CAMPBELLFORD.
HELLO, TED.

Ted says HELLO.

Maureen says WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Ted continues I DON'T THINK
FARLER -- LIKE WHEN THE
CONSUMER GOES AND BUYS A LOAF
OF BREAD OR THE AVERAGE IS
1.33 DOLLARS, THE FARMER'S SHARE OF
THAT IS ONLY FIVE CENTS.
A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN IT WAS A
LOAF OF BREAD WAS AVERAGING 73
CENTS, THE FARMER'S SHARE WAS
SEVEN CENTS.
THE FARMER'S LOSING OUT AND
THE PRICE TO THE CONSUMER IS
GOING UP.

Maureen says ARE YOU A FARMER,
TED?

Ted says YEAH.
BUT I'VE CUT BACK A LOT
BECAUSE OF THE STUFF.
I'M DOING GRAIN RIGHT NOW.
HAY AND GRAIN.

Maureen says ARE YOU MAKING A
DECENT LIVING AT IT?

Ted says I HAVE TO WORK
OUTSIDE THE FARM TOO.

Maureen says WOULD YOU EVER
ENCOURAGE A CHILD OF YOURS TO
TAKE OVER THE FARM AFTER YOU?

Ted says IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH
TO BUY ALL THE STUFF THAT
NEEDS TO GO INTO FARMING -- I
SHOULDN'T SAY YOU MIGHT AS
WELL PUT IT INTO A GIC, BUT
YOU PROBABLY WOULD BE BETTER
OFF BECAUSE THE HOURS AND THE
UNCERTAINTY YOU HAVE TO PUT
INTO IT.

Maureen says DID YOU SORT OF
TAKE OVER FROM YOUR FATHER
THIS FARM?

Ted confirms YEAH.

Maureen says IT'S BEEN IN THE
FAMILY A WHILE?

Ted says YEAH, A LONG TIME.

Maureen says I CAN HEAR THE
DESPAIR IN HIS VOICE.
WHAT'S THE STATUS OF THE
FAMILY FARM IN ONTARIO, BILL?

Bill says
THERE'S A GOOD POINT HE'S
MAKING.
HE'S GONE OFF THE FARM TO
PROVIDE INCOME TO THE FAMILY.
MANY, MANY PEOPLE HAVE HAD
MORE THAN ONE JOB, NO DOUBT
ABOUT THAT.
IT IS A SAD STATE WHEN THE
AMOUNT OF THE INCOME ALWAYS
INCREASES BECAUSE OF AFTER- --
OFF-FARM INCOME.
70 PERCENT OF FARM INCOME IS FROM
OFF-FARM JOBS.
DO WE HAVE TO KEEP GOING THAT
WAY JUST TO PRODUCE FOOD HERE?
THAT'S A REAL SOCIAL QUESTION.

Maureen says TED SEEMS TO BE
SAYING IF WE PAID FOR OUR FOOD,
THE COSTS -- THAT IT ACTUALLY
COSTS HIM TO PRODUCE IT, IF WE
PAID THE PROPER AMOUNT, MAYBE
HE WOULD STAY ON THE FARM.
DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE
CHEAP FOOD POLICY?

The caption changes to “Today’s topic: Farm subsides.”


George says
THERE'S A SORT OF A YES AND
NO ANSWER TO THAT.
DOMESTICALLY IN CANADA WE
MIGHT SAY, LOOK, LET'S
INCREASE THE PRICE OF OUR
FOOD.
WE DID THAT IN PRICE
MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS FOR MILK
AND POULTRY PRODUCTS.
THOSE FARMERS HAVE GENERALLY
HAD -- I WOULDN'T SAY
NECESSARILY HIGHER LEVEL OF
INCOME BUT THE INCOMES DON'T
GO UP AND DOWN NEARLY AS MUCH.
IT'S A MUCH MORE STABLE
INCOME.
WE CAN DO THAT IN TERMS OF
WHEAT PRODUCTION, AND WE CAN
CHARGE MORE FOR CANADIANS TO
BUY BREAD.
MOST OF OUR MARKET FOR WHEAT
ISN'T IN CANADA.
MOST OF THAT MARKET IS OUTSIDE
OF THE COUNTRY.
AND IF WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO
EXPORT TO OTHER COUNTRIES, WE
ALSO HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE SAME
TRADING RULES SAYING THEY CAN
EXPORT TO US IF THE PRICE IS
RIGHT.
WE GET INTO DIFFICULTIES HERE
WHERE WE ARE SAYING WE WANT TO
PRESERVE OUR WORLD MARKETS FOR
GRAINS AND OILSEEDS WHERE OUR
GREATEST PROBLEMS ARE.
BUT TO DO THAT, WE HAVE TO
PLAY BY THE SAME RULES AT HOME
LIKE WE WANT OTHER
COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD TO
PLAY BY.

Maureen says WE ALMOST HAVE TO
HAVE BUY CANADIAN FOOD
PROMOTION.

Bill says WE'RE SAYING WE WANT TRADE
RULES.
WE WANT TO ADHERE TO THEM.
THAT'S NOT A QUESTION.
AND I THINK GEORGE IS
SUGGESTING WE HAVE INCREASED
THE PRICE OF FOOD WITH SUPPLY
MANAGEMENT.
SUPPLY MANAGEMENT IS A SUCCESS
STORY HERE IN CANADA.
THAT'S WITH DAIRY AND THE
FEATHER INDUSTRY WITH SUPPLY
MANAGEMENT.
WE HAVE NOT INCREASED THE
PRICE OF FOOD IN THOSE SUPPLY
MANAGEMENT COMMODITIES.

Maureen says TALKING EGGS AND
CHICKEN?

Bill continues
MYSELF I'M IN TURKEY AND
CASH CROPS.
I HAVE A GOOD VIEW OF BOTH
INDUSTRIES HERE.
I WOULD SUGGEST WE DIDN'T
INCREASE THE FOOD BILL TO THE
CONSUMER BECAUSE OF SUPPLY
MANAGEMENT.
WE DID ALLOW THE FARMER TO
HAVE HIS SHARE OF THE WORK
PAID FOR.

Maureen says SOMEBODY MUST HAVE
LOST.

Bill continues
I DON'T THINK IT'S A LOSS
AT ALL.
IT'S A BENEFIT TO CANADA.

George says IT'S A VERY INTERESTING
POINT.
IF YOU GO DOWN TO BUFFALO
RIGHT NOW -- I HAVE DONE THIS
BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER WENT TO
SCHOOL DOWN THERE -- AND YOU
GO IN THE GROCERY STORE AND
LOOK AT THE PRICE OF DAIRY
PRODUCTS, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU
WOULD BE VERY SURPRISED BY THE
TIME YOU ADJUST FOR THE
EXCHANGE RATE, YOU FIND THE
DAIRY PRODUCTS YOU BUY IN
BUFFALO COST MORE THAN THEY DO
IN CANADA.

Maureen says WHY IS THAT?

George continues
THE BEST I CAN TELL YOU IS
IT'S PROBABLY DUE TO HIGHER
MARKETING MARGINS IN THAT
SYSTEM THAN WE HAVE IN THE
UNITED STATES.

Maureen says I'M SORRY, I DON'T
KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY HIGHER
MARKETING MARGINS.

George continues
THE RETAILER CHARGES MORE
TO SELL IT.
THE MANUFACTURER CHARMS MORE
TO PROCESS IT.
IF YOU LOOK -- WE HEAR A LOT
ABOUT THE HIGH PRICE OF DAIRY
PRODUCTS, AND IT'S A GOOD
POINT.
IF YOU GO ACROSS TO BUFFALO,
YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED.

Maureen says MIKE IS IN
CHATHAM.

Mike says GOOD AFTERNOON.
CAN YOU HEAR ME?

Maureen says YEAH.

Mike continues GOOD.
SO FAR YOUR GUESTS HAVE BEEN
TALKING ABOUT GRAINS AND OIL
SEEDS.
MY QUESTION IS WHAT ABOUT THE
OTHER PARTS OF AGRICULTURE,
THOSE PARTS WHERE A FARMER
RAISES ONIONS OR POTATOES OR
PEACHES?
ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME
KIND OF DIFFERENCES HERE?
WHEN YOU'RE TALKING THESE
OTHER CROPS, THERE'S A GREAT
DEAL OF STEPS BETWEEN THE CORN
THAT IS RAISED FOR FEED BEFORE
IT ENDS UP GETTING IN AND
AFFECTING YOU.
THERE'S A WHOLE LOT LESS
BETWEEN THE PERSON THAT GROWS
PEACHES AND WHEN YOU END UP
BUYING THEM IN THE STORE.
ARE THE SAME DIFFERENCES --
ARE WE LOOKING AT THE SAME
DIFFERENCES IN THIS AREA OF
AGRICULTURE?
AND MY QUESTION IN
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO, WE HAVE
THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF
SQUARE FEET NOW UNDER GLASS
GROWING CUCUMBERS AND TOMATOES
THROUGH THE WINTER WHICH ARE
THE BEST YOU CAN GET ANYWHERE.
WHY IS THAT CUCUMBER RAISED
HERE OR IN ESSEX OR IN SOUTH
KENT THAT'S SHIPPED TO OHIO,
WHY DOES THAT CUCUMBER COST
ALMOST HALF AS MUCH AS IT
COSTS FOR ME TO BUY HERE?

Bill says I'M NOT SURE I HAVE AN
ANSWER TO THAT.
I'M NOT SURE OF THE QUESTION
HERE ON THE DIFFERENCES.
I UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE
HORTICULTURE INDUSTRY THEY
HAVE PROBLEMS OCCUR AS WELL,
WEATHER PROBLEMS.
AND THEY ARE UNDER SOME OF THE
SAFETY NET PROGRAMS IN ONTARIO
AS WELL.

Maureen says THE PEACHES GROWN
AND THE APPLES GROWN OUT THERE,
THEY GET CROP INSURANCE FOR
SURE.

Bill says SOME DO.
SOME DON'T.
THERE ARE OTHER PROGRAMS AS
WELL THAT THEY PARTICIPATE IN
THAT HELP WITH THAT.

Maureen says WHERE IS THE
MARKET FOR OUR FRESH PRODUCE?
USUALLY LOCAL.
ISN'T MOST OF IT SOLD RIGHT
HERE?

Bill responds YEAH.
THERE'S LOCAL MARKETS.
A FAIR BIT OF THAT IS EXPORTED
AS WELL.
THEY MOVE A FAIR BIT OF
PRODUCT.
I'M NOT SURE OF THE NUMBERS.

George says
WE ARE SELLING RIGHT NOW
QUITE A BIT OF PRODUCT FROM
GREENHOUSES INTO THE U.S.
IT'S RAISING QUESTIONS OP
THEIR PART.
THEY ARE CLAIMING WE MAY HAVE
CHEAPER GAS PRICES THAN THEY.
THERE IS NO GAS SUBSIDY IN THE
HORTICULTURAL INDUSTRY.
MOST OF THE HORTICULTURAL
PRODUCTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A
PROGRAM WE CALL NET INCOME
STABILIZATION ACCOUNT.

Maureen says NISA!

George continues YES.
BUT THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT THEY
LEAVE IS LOWER THAN IN THE
GRAIN AND OILSEED SECTOR.
THE HORTICULTURE INDUSTRY IS
ONE OF THE MOST FREE-WORKING
INDUSTRIES THAT WE HAVE.
WHILE I DON'T HAVE ANY
EVIDENCE TO DISPUTE THIS
QUESTION, I WOULD REALLY LIKE
TO GO DOWN IN OHIO AND SEE IF
THAT CUCUMBER IS HALF THE
PRICE.
IT MIGHT BE U.S. DOLLARS
VERSUS CANADIAN DOLLARS.
ADJUSTING FOR THE RATE, IT
WON'T BE HALF THE PRICE AT
ALL.

Bill says
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT FUEL
PRICES, GEORGE, I ARGUE THAT
THAT INDUSTRY IS VERY MUCH
AFFECTING THE CURRENT FUEL
PRICES.
I LIVE PRETTY CLOSE TO THE
LEAMINGTON AREA WHICH IS A
HUGE GREENHOUSE INDUSTRY
THERE.
THE EXPANSION PLANNED WAS PUT
ON HOLD BECAUSE OF GAS PRICES.
I KNOW THEY ARE MEETING WITH
MPPs AND MPs TO FIND SOLUTIONS
BECAUSE THEIR COST OF
PRODUCTION HAS GONE THROUGH
THE ROOF.

George says
GAS COSTS REPRESENTED ABOUT
25 PERCENT COST OF THE GREENHOUSE.
NOW IT'S 50 PERCENT.
IT'S SKYROCKETED, AND IT'S PUT
A REAL DIFFICULT POSITION ON
THESE PRODUCERS AS WELL.

Maureen says YOU SAY THERE IS
NO SUBSIDY FOR FUEL.
DO FARMERS GET TO WRITE OFF
SOME OF THE FAXES OR -- TAXES
OR THINGS LIKE THE FUEL.

Bill says FUEL BECOMES AN EXPENSE.

Maureen says THERE ARE THOSE
KINDS OF WRITE-OFFS.

Bill says IT'S NO DIFFERENT THAN
SOMEBODY WITH A BUSINESS WITH
BUSINESS EXPENSES.

Maureen says MIKE, THANK YOU.
MARION IS IN CAMPBELLFORD.

Marion says I WAS GOING TO MAKE
A SUGGESTION.
FIRST OFF THOUGH I WOULD LIKE
TO SAY SHOULD FARMERS TURN TO
ALTERNATIVES IF POSSIBLE, MORE
VIABLE ONES THAN THEY'RE
ALREADY GROWING?
AND WHAT WOULD YOUR GUESTS
THINK ABOUT A SPECIAL TAX THAT
WOULD GO ONLY TO FARMERS THAT
NEED HELP?
OR IS THAT A SCARY PROPOSITION?
I WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY AN
EXTRA 50 DOLLARS A YEAR TO THIS END.
AFTER ALL WE ALL NEED TO EAT.
I PREFER TO EAT HOME-GROWN
FOOD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Maureen says YOU'RE SAYING
TARGET THE SUBSIDY TO FARMER
HOST ACTUALLY NEED THE HELP.
I DID HEAR RECENTLY, BILL,
THAT A LOT OF THE SUBSIDY ENDS
UP HELPING THE BIG CORPORATE
TYPE OF FARM MORE THAN THE
INDIVIDUAL SORT OF FAMILY FARM
HERE IN CANADA.

Bill says
I DON'T DISTINGUISH WHETHER
YOU'RE A LARGE CORPORATE OR
SMALL PRODUCER.
WE DON'T VIEW THAT AS AN ISSUE
IN ALL OF THIS.
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE ALL FOOD
PRODUCERS.
ONE MAY BE LARGER SCALED THAN
OTHERS BUT WE ALL LIVE UNDER
THE SAME RULES MORE OR LESS.
IN ON TRAR -- ONTARIO WE HAVE
AN ENVIRONMENTAL FARM PLAN YOU
PARTICIPATE IN.

Maureen says DON'T YOU THINK
THE PUBLIC CARES, TO MAKE THAT
DISTINGUISHMENT BETWEEN THE
TWO AND CARE ABOUT THE GUY
LIKE TED WHO CALLED BEFORE
WHO'S TRYING TO HANG ON TO THE
FAMILY FARM?

Bill says IS IT 500 ACRES?
IS IT A HUNDRED ACRES?
I FARM IN PARTNERSHIP, WE FARM
900 ACRES AND RAISE TURKEYS
BESIDES.
I DON'T THINK THAT'S AN ISSUE
HERE.
BUT BECAUSE -- I DON'T THINK
THE SCALE -- TO A CERTAIN
POINT MAY HAVE SOME THINGS TO
DO WITH ECONOMICS.
BUT OVERALL BIG OR SMALL, WE
DO BUSINESS IN A CERTAIN
MANNER UNDER RULES HERE IN
ONTARIO AND CANADA.

Maureen says WHAT ABOUT HER
POINT THAT THE HELP SHOULD BE
TARGETED TO THOSE WHO NEED IT
MOST?

Bill says WE DECIDED IN CANADA WE
WON'T TAX FOOD.
WE HAVE AS PART OF THE ONTARIO
FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE
LOBBIED TO GET TAXES OFF OF
SOME OF OUR INPUT COSTS
BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT FOOD,
IF IT'S NOT GOING TO BE TAXED
WHY TAX SOME OF THESE INPUTS.
BUT I THINK THE REAL ISSUE
HERE IS DO WE HAVE THE
POLITICAL WILL TO SUPPORT
FARMERS.
YOU CAN BASE IT ON -- IF YOU
BASED IT ON A TAX, IT DOESN'T
MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.
BUT IT'S THE POLITICAL WILL TO
SUPPORT PRIMARY PRODUCERS
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
YOU CAN RUN THE NUMBERS
SHOWING OUR FOOD INDUSTRY IS
WORTH “X” NUMBER OF DOLLARS.
THAT'S EASY TO DO WITHOUT A
TAX.

Maureen says MARION IS SAYING
SHE'S WILLING TO PAY AN EXTRA
50 DOLLARS IN TAX A YEAR TO SUPPORT
THE FARMER.
SHE'D BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH
WE'RE ALREADY PAYING.
I MENTIONED THE EXTRA 500
MILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S EXTRA MONEY THE
GOVERNMENT IS PAYING.
WHAT'S THE SUBSIDY AMOUNT TO?

George says
THIS COMING YEAR IT'S ABOUT
2.64 BILLION DOLLARS IN TERMS OF
ASSISTANCE, AND THAT'S BECAUSE
WE'VE HAD A VERY DIFFICULT
TIME, AND WE'VE TRIED TO
INCREASE THE LEVEL WITH THE
LAST COMMITMENT BY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT OF 500 MILLION DOLLARS.
THERE'S ALSO THE HOPE
CERTAINLY AND SORT OF THE
TRADITIONAL COMMITMENT BY
PROVINCES TO PROVIDE ANOTHER
333, AND THAT'S NECESSARY BY
THE PROVINCE TO PROVIDE
SUPPORT TO THE WHOLE INDUSTRY
AND BRING IT UP TO THAT LEVEL.
I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE ONE
COMMENT ABOUT FAMILY FARMS.
WE HAVE OFTEN HEARD THE
STATEMENT SAYING WE'RE RUNNING
A CORPORATE AGRICULTURE NOW IN
CANADA.
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM
THE TRUTH.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS,
ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF THE FARMS IN
CANADA ARE CORPORATIONS.
BUT 90 PERCENT OF THOSE CORPORATIONS
ARE FAMILIES.
SO WE HAVE ABOUT 1 PERCENT OF THE
FARMS THAT ARE CORPORATIONS,
MAYBE 2 PERCENT.
THEY USE 5 PERCENT OF THE ASSETS.
WE ARE A COUNTRY OF FAMILY
FARMERS.
WE MAY BE LARGER FAMILY
FARMERS THAN WE USED TO BE AND
THE IMAGE OF A FAMILY FARMING
400 ACRES AND 6 COWS AND 3
PIGS DOESN'T HOLD ANYMORE.
IT'S A GENTLEMAN LIKE HERE IN
PARTNERSHIP FARMING A LARGE
CORPORATION.
HE MAKES THE DECISIONS.
HE BEARS THE RISKS AND HE GETS
THE REWARDS.
THIS IS NOT A CORPORATION
PLAYING EMPLOYEES AND EARNING
DIVIDENDS.
THIS IS AN INDIVIDUAL FAMILY
MEMBER INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE
WITH HIS OWN HEART AND SOLE IN
THERE AND TAKING ALL OF THOSE
RISKS.

Maureen says BILL, HOW DID YOU
GET TO 900 ACRES?
DID YOU BUY OUT NEIGHBOURS TO
GET THERE TO GET THERE?

Bill says I'M IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MY
COUSIN.
WE AMALGAMATED A COUPLE
FAMILIES TOGETHER.
WE ARE A CORPORATION.
YES, WE'VE OVER TIME BOUGHT
SOME FARMS.
THERE WERE SOME SMALLER
FARMERS THAT ALWAYS HAD
AFTER-FARM JOBS.
THE SON DECIDED THE OFF-FARM
JOB WAS A HECK OF A LOT BETTER
THAN WHAT HE WAS DOING.
THOSE CAME FOR SALE.

Maureen says THEY ARE FAMILY
FARMS BUT THERE ARE FEWER OF
THEM.
WOULD YOU AGREE?

Bill says YES.

Maureen says DO WE SUBSIDIZE
OTHER FAMILY BUSINESSES IN
CANADA PUTTING THEIR HEART AND
SOUL INTO IT BUT NOT DOING SO
WELL.
THE FAMILY SHOE STORE, THE
FAMILY-RUN RESTAURANT?

Bill continues
I SUGGEST WE INVEST A LOT
IN OTHER BUSINESSES.
YOU LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE GOING
TO DO WITH THE WATERFRONT IN
TORONTO.
THERE WAS FEDERAL MONEY IN
THERE TO HELP GLAMOUR THE
PLACE TO HOPEFULLY HOST THE
OLYMPICS I BELIEVE IS WHAT IT
WAS.
WE SPEND MONEY TO BEAUTIFY A
TOWN TO ATTRACT PEOPLE THERE,
AND THERE'S BUSINESSES THAT
ARE THERE.
I SUGGEST WE GAME THE NUMBER
ONE PLACE TO LIVE BECAUSE WE
INVESTED IN --

Maureen says FAIR COMPARISON,
GEORGE?

George says
I WOULD SAY PROBABLY THERE
ARE SOME SUPPORTS, BUT BY AND
LARGE, IF YOU ARE A SHOE STORE
OPERATOR AND YOU GET INTO A
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY, YOU'RE
ON YOUR OWN.
BUT YOU HAVE TO LOOK FROM
AGRICULTURE RELATIVE TO SOME
OF THE OTHER SECTORS.
A FARMER IS A SELF-EMPLOYED
BUSINESSMAN.
HE DOESN'T HAVE UNEMPLOYMENT
INSURANCE.
IF HE DOESN'T HAVE THAT
BUSINESS GOING FOR IT, HE
DOESN'T HAVE A GOVERNMENT
SAFETY NET OF A DIFFERENT TYPE
TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE HIM WITH
SOME ASSURANCE.

Maureen says NEITHER DO LAWYERS.

Bill says AGRICULTURE IS NOT
SOMETHING YOU CAN BE IN
BUSINESS ONE YEAR AND NEXT
YEAR GET OUT FOR A YEAR AND
GET BACK IN AGAIN.
IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN IN
AGRICULTURE.
I DON'T SUGGEST THAT IT
SHOULD.

Maureen says IT'S A SPECIAL
CASE -- AGRICULTURE IS A
SPECIAL CASE.

Bill continues OH, I THINK SO.
WE TALK ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF
SUPPORT.
I THINK THE FEDERAL LEVEL OF
SUPPORT FOR SAFETY NETS IS
1.6 MILLION DOLLARS INCLUDING THE NEW
500 MILLION DOLLARS.
THE WHOLE SUPPORT TO
AGRICULTURE IS ABOUT 6 PERCENT OF OUR
GROSS RECEIPTS.
IT SOUNDS LIKE A HUGE NUMBER,
BUT REALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT
THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF
AGRICULTURE CANADA, WE'RE
TALKING 6 PERCENT OF THAT IS SAFETY
NET MONEY.

Maureen says I THOUGHT I HAD
BEEN READING UPWARD OF 60 PERCENT OF
A FARMER'S INCOME COME FROM
GOVERNMENT'S SUBSIDIES.

George says IF YOU MEASURE IT AS A
MEASURE TO GROSS RECEIPTS IT'S
IN THE 6 PERCENT.
THE DILEMMA IS A LOT OF THE
PROGRAMS WE HAVE RIGHT NOW,
NISA IS, IN FACT, AN INCOME
SUPPLEMENT.
IT'S NOT DESIGNED TO REPRESENT
ADDITIONAL MARKET RECEIPTS.
IN FACT IT'S CALLED NET INCOME
STABILIZATION ACCOUNT.
SO IF YOU TREAT IT AS AN
INCOME SUPPLEMENT, THEN IT'S A
VERY LARGE COMPONENT.
BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO REALIZE
WHY IT'S A LARGE COMPONENT IS
THAT FARMERS HAVE GOT 140
BILLION DOLLARS OF EQUITY OUT THERE
GENERATING MAYBE 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS
IN THE MARKETPLACE WHICH ISN'T
VERY MUCH AND WOULD NOT BE THE
SAME LEVEL THAT ANY OTHER
INDUSTRY COULD SURVIVE ON.

Maureen says OKAY.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT FARM AID
THIS AFTERNOON.
AND WE'D LIKE YOUR THOUGHTS ON
IT.
SO IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO US
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE
FARLER OR SOMEBODY WHO BUYS
THE FOOD IN THE GROCERY STORE
OR TAXPAYER, GIVE US A CALL.
MY GUESTS A LITTLE MAILLOU, A
FARMER AND GEORGE BRINKMAN A
PROFESSOR WITH THE DEPARTMENT
OF CULTURAL ECONOMICS AND
BUSINESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
GUELPH.
NEAL FLETCHER IN LONDON
WRITES: WHY DOESN'T THE
FARMING COMMUNITY HOLD A
LOTTERY TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE?
MANY PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD
HIGHER PRICES FOR ANYTHING
THESE DAYS.
MAYBE A LOTTERY COULD HELP
EVEN BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE A LOT
OF EXTRA MONEY FOR LOTTERIES
THAN BREAD OR MILK IN OUR
SOCIETY.
OUR NEXT CALLER IS PHIL IN
OTTAWA.
YOU THERE, PHIL?

Phil says I'LL RIGHT HERE.

Maureen says GO AHEAD.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Phil says I WANTED TO PROPOSE
MAYBE WE CAN MOVE TO GENERAL
REDUCTION SUBSIDIES BY
CHANGING OUR STYLE OF FARMING.
I NOTE IN THE SHOPS THESE DAYS
THAT ORGANIC FOODS ARE GOING
AT TWO, THREE, FOUR TIMES THE
PRICE OF OTHER PRODUCE.
MY BUDDIES THAT I HAVE KNOWN
FOR A LONG TIME ARE PRODUCE
MANAGERS TELL ME THAT THE
SHOPS ARE ACTUALLY ABLE TO
COMMAND THESE PRICES BECAUSE
PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING ORGANIC
FOOD.
JUST A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES, I
SAW THIS WEEK ORGANIC KEY WE
ADMITTEDLY IMPORTED A DOLLAR A
PIECE.
I SAW BABY TURNIPS ABOUT THE
SIZE OF TENNIS BALLS GOING FOR
50 CENTS APIECE.
HAVING BEEN RAISED ON A FARM,
I HAVE A FAIR IDEA HOW MANY
BUSHELS OF APPLES YOU CAN GET
FROM A TREE, HOW MANY POE TATE
HE TOES YOU CAN PULL OUT FROM
A ROW AND SO FORTH.
WHEN I SEE THESE KINDS OF
PRICES, I'M SURE THAT FARMERS
WILL SWITCH OVER TO ORGANIC --
AND I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO
THE PROS AND CONS OF THE
QUALITY OF THE FOOD -- BUT
THERE'S SUCH A DEMAND OUT
THERE I WOULD THINK THEY COULD
DO VERY WELL THESE DAYS.
I'D LIKE TO ADD THAT I NOTED
THE SURI RIVER ON PRINCE
EDWARD ISLAND WAS CLOSED THIS
SUMMER WITH SEVERAL THOUSANDS
FISH FLOATS DOWNSTREAM
BELLY-UP.
WORD ON THE HEALTH-CONSCIENCE
STREET IS DON'T BUY PEI
POTATOES.
I SEE CHICKEN AND BEEF THAT
ARE ORGANICALLY RAISED ARE
COMMANDING DOUBLE TO FOUR
TIMES AS MUCH.
THE PRICE OF STRAIGHT-UP BEEF
AT LOBLAWS.
EVERYBODY WANTS TO BUY ORGANIC
EGGS AND SO FORTH.

Maureen says LET ME ASK YOU,
PHIL.
NOT EVERYBODY.
DON'T YOU THINK THAT'S
PROHIBITIVE FOR SOME FAMILIES
TO AFFORD PRODUCE AND MEAT AT
THAT PRICE?

Phil says WELL, I HAVE A
FEELING THAT THAT HAS A LOT TO
DO WITH EDUCATION.
I HAVE WORKED IN THAT FIELD.
I HAVE WORKED IN HEALTH
SCIENCES FOR THE LAST 40
YEARS.
WHEN I SEE THAT THEY'RE STILL
TOTING THE OLD CANADA FOOD
GUIDE BEING TAUGHT IN THE
CLASSES HERE IN ONTARIO, IT'S
AN EMBARRASSMENT.
I THINK THAT GOES BACK 50
YEARS.
PEOPLE HAVE LOTS OF MONEY FOR
BEER, PIZZA, BINGO, LOTTERIES,
WHATEVER.
THEY WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY
HIGHER PRICES.

Maureen says LET'S LOOK AT IT
FROM THE FARMERS' POINT OF
VIEW.
WHAT DO FARMERS WHO DO OR
DON'T DO ORGANIC FARMING?

Bill says
I DON'T DISAGREE THERE ARE
NICHE MARKETS AND PEOPLE CAN
CAPITALIZE ON ORGANIC GROWING
AND WE WILL AVOID THE QUALITY
ISSUE.
THERE'S PROS AND CONS TO ALL
OF THAT.
I DON'T KNOW THOUGH THAT
CONSUMERS ALWAYS GO IN AND
WANT TO PAY MORE FOR THAT
APPLE BECAUSE IT'S ORGANICALLY
GROWN.
I THINK -- AND JORM MAY KNOW
MORE OF THIS THAN I DO.
I THINK THE CONSUMER
LOOKING -- LOOKS AT THE BOTTOM
LINE MOST TIMES.
THERE MAY BE OPPORTUNITIES FOR
CERTAIN SECTORS OF
AGRICULTURE.
WE ARE VERY DIVERSE IN ONTARIO
AND IN CANADA.
THAT MAY WORK IN SOME SECTORS.
OTHER SECTORS WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT TODAY DON'T HAVE THE
ABILITY TO DO THAT.
BUT THERE MAY BE OPPORTUNITY.
I THINK FARMERS HAVE SHOWN
THAT WHERE THERE'S OPPORTUNITY
HISTORICALLY, WE HAVE GONE AND
CAPITALIZED ON THOSE
OPPORTUNITIES.

Maureen says WHAT DOES THE
RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
GUELPH TELL YOU ABOUT THE
SUSTAINABILITY OF FARMERS
FARMING ORGANICALLY?

George says
FIRST OF ALL IT IS A NICHE
MARKET.
THAT MARKET HAS BEEN GROWING
AND IT'S SEEN QUITE RAPID
GROWTH.
IT'S STILL NOT THE MAINSTREAM
MARKET.
IF ALL THE FARMERS THAT ARE
FARMING THOSE PRODUCTS
SWITCHED OVER TO ORGANIC, THEY
WOULD FLOOD THAT MARKET SO
FAST THE PRICE WOULD COLLAPSE.
ONE THING THAT ORGANIC FARMERS
HAVE AS THEIR INTEREST IS NOT
MANY OTHER FARMERS ARE ORGANIC
FARMERS BECAUSE IT KEEPS THE
SUPPLY DOWN AND THE PREMIUM
UP.
THERE'S NO WAY IN THE WORLD WE
WILL CONVERT THE GRAINS AND
OILSEED PRODUCERS INTO
ORGANIC PRODUCE.

Maureen says WHY NOT?

George continues
WE JUST DON'T HAVE THE LAND
AND WE DON'T HAVE DEMAND.
WE HAVE SO MANY ACRES OUT
THERE IN GRAINS AND OIL SEEDS
WE COULDN'T DO IT.
WE COULD GROW ORGANIC GRAINS,
ORGANIC OIL SEEDS.
THERE IS A MARKET FOR THOSE,
BUT IT IS MUCH MORE LIMITED
THAN THE BROAD MARKET THAT
MOST OF THE PRODUCT GOES INTO.
AND THE DILEMMA THERE IS YOU
CAN FLOOD THAT MARKET VERY
EASILY.
YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL.
YOU MAY GET AS A SPOT MARKET
AND NICHE MARKET, YOU COULD
GET A GOOD PRICE SOMETIMES.
THERE ARE ALSO TIMES THE
MARKET GETS FLOODED OUT.

Maureen says DIDN'T WE SEE THIS
WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEED
WHERE THERE WASN'T A MARKET TO
EUROPE FOR THAT SEED BECAUSE
EUROPE DOESN'T WANT G.M. FOOD
OVER THERE SO THEY WENT TO
NON-GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEED.

George says
THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED
FOOD IS A VERY LARGE AND
COMPLICATED ISSUE.
BASICALLY THE EVIDENCE WE HAVE
SEEN IS THOSE PRODUCTS DO NOT
CREATE HEALTH ISSUES FOR
HUMANS.
THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO
MAKE AN ISSUE OF IT FROM THE
STANDPOINT OF HYSTERIA.

Maureen says I DON'T WANT TO
GET INTO G.M. FOODS.
FARMERS ARE BUSINESSMEN.
THEY WILL FARM WHAT THEY THINK
THERE'S A MARKET FOR.
BILL, IF THEY THOUGHT THEY
COULD FARM ORGANICALLY AND
MAKE MORE MONEY AT IT THEY
WOULD.

Bill says AND THEY DO.
IF YOU FLOOD THE MARKET WITH
THAT PRODUCT IT WILL FALL IN
PRICE AS WELL.
YOU CAN'T PUT ALL YOU WANT IN
THE STORE AND KEEP THAT LEVEL
OF PRICE.
YOU MAKE A VERY GOOD POINT
WITH THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED.
THE CONSUMER WILL DECIDE WHAT
WE'RE GOING TO --

Maureen says AS LONG AS IT'S
LABELLED.

Bill continues ANOTHER BIG ISSUE.
OUR CUSTOMERS WILL TELL US
WHAT THEY WANT AT THE END OF
THE DAY WHETHER IT'S EUROPE OR
THE GUY DOWN THE ROAD.
FARMERS, I THINK, HAVE DONE A
VERY GOOD JOB AT PRODUCING A
VARIETY OF QUALITY, A VARIETY
OF PRODUCTS TO KEEP THAT
CHOICE.

Maureen says ALL RIGHT.
THANK YOU, PHIL.
MICHAEL IS IN GUELPH.
HI, MICHAEL.

Michael says GOOD AFTERNOON.
I'M GETTING THE RIGHT VOICE TO
YOU?

Maureen says OH, YES.

Michael says ONE, I DISAGREE
WITH ONE OF YOUR SPEAKERS,
NAMELY THAT THE PRICES WERE
HIGHER IN BUFFALO THAN IF YOU
CONVERTED TO CANADIAN DOLLARS.
I HAVE FRIENDS WHO GO ACROSS
THE BORDER TO THE SUPERMARKETS,
AND QUITE OFTEN THEY COME BACK
AND THEY HAVE BOUGHT FOUR
LITRES OF REGULAR 2 PERCENT MILK FOR
2 CANADIAN DOLLARS CONVERTED.
NOW YOU CANNOT BUY FOR EVEN 3
CANADIAN DOLLARS IN A SUPERMARKET.
YOU'RE TALKING BETWEEN 3 AND
4 DOLLARS AND PLUS.
NUMBER TWO, TO GET AT THE ROOT
OF THE COSTS YOU IDENTIFIED,
FOR INSTANCE FUEL AND NATURAL
GAS.
SURELY IF THERE WERE ENOUGH
GUTS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, WE
WOULD NOT HAVE TO HAVE THIS
PROBLEM BECAUSE THEY COULD
CONTROL THE INTERNAL OF THIS
COUNTRY THE COSTS OF NATURAL
GAS AND FUEL TO A LEVEL WHICH
IS ACCEPTABLE NO MATTER WHAT
THE EXPORT PRICE IS.
THAT'S THE SAME WITH OPEC.
INTERNALLY IN THEIR OWN
COUNTRIES THEY HAVE A
DIFFERENT PRICE THAN WHAT THEY
ACTUALLY EXPORT IT FOR.

Maureen says OKAY.
AND THREE?

Michael continues THE OTHER THING IS
WE TALK ABOUT ONTARIO, BUT I
THINK WE SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER
MANITOBA AND SASKATCHEWAN
BECAUSE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
IN FARMING OUT THERE AS
COMPARED TO ONTARIO.
ONTARIO IS REALLY A SMALL
FAMILY FARM OPERATION.
HOWEVER ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
I KNOW AND I HAVE PERSONALLY
VISITED ENOUGH OF THEM, I DO
NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE UP
TO THE STANDARDS OF
CLEANLINESS AND HYGIENE I
WOULD LIKE TO BUY THEIR FARMS
AS-IS.

Maureen says ARE YOU TALKING
LIVESTOCK HERE?

Michael continues
I'M TALKING ABOUT
THE WAY THEY KEEP THEIR FARM,
THE HOUSE, THE BARNS, THE
FIELDS, THE FENCES AND SO ON.
MAYBE THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT.
THE LAST THING IS IF YOU
REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING,
THERE IS TWO THINGS.
ONE VERTICAL INTEGRATION
BECAUSE THERE ARE COOPERATIVES
A NUMBER OF FARMERS LONG TO.
ANOTHER THING IS IF THERE'S
ENOUGH POLITICAL SENSITIVITY,
THERE IS A WAY OF ACTUALLY
INCREASING MANITOBA,
SASKATCHEWAN AND ONTARIO'S
REVENUES FROM A TRANSMISSION
FEE -- AND I PROPOSED IT TO
BOTH MANITOBA AND TO
SASKATCHEWAN BUT I HAVE NOT
HEARD ANYTHING BACK SO FAR.

Maureen says OKAY.
BOY, A LOT OF THAT AND THE
RELEVANCE OF THAT IS BEYOND
ME.
GEORGE, I WILL THROW IT TO YOU
AND YOU CAN PICK UP ON SOME
THINGS.

George says
I MADE A COMMENT ABOUT
DAIRY PRODUCTS.
YOU CAN GET MILK CHEAPER IN
THE U.S. CHEAPER A LOT OF
PLACES.
OFTEN TIMES THAT'S A PRICE
SPECIAL.
I LOOKED AT BREYERS ICE CREAM,
IT WAS 4.50 DOLLARS A HALF GALLON.
I CAN BUY IT IN THE SAME TWO
LITRE PACK BUT FOR 4.50
CANADIAN DOLLARS THE VERY SAME DAY.
YES, MILK MAY BE THE ONE ITEM
ON THE DAIRY COUNTER YOU WILL
FIND DIFFERENT.
IF YOU TAKE THAT BASKET OF
DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ADD THIS,
THAT AND THE OTHER THING AND
PUT THEM TOGETHER AND ADD IT
ALL UP, WE HAVE EVIDENCE HERE
FROM THE DAIRY FARMERS OF
ONTARIO.
THERE'S LOTS OF SURVEYS THAT
HAVE BEEN DONE.
IT JUST ISN'T SO.
YES, YOU CAN FIND SPECIALS IN
THERE THAT ARE DIFFERENT.
I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN BY
A TRANSMISSION FEE, I'M SORRY.

Maureen says THAT'S OKAY.
I WOULD RATHER NOT GET INTO IT
IN THE LAST BIT OF THE SHOW.
I THINK IT WILL BE TOO
COMPLICATED FOR US.
LET'S GO BACK TO DAIRY
PRODUCTS.
WE HAVE MARKETING BOARDS IN
CANADA FOR WHEAT AND DAIRY
PRODUCTS.
AMERICANS ARGUE THAT'S UNFAIR.
WE'RE PROTECTING OUR PRICES BY
HAVING THOSE MARKETING BOARDS.
BILL, I DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS
YOUR AREA.
BUT WHAT WOULD YOUR RESPONSE
BE TO THAT?

Bill says
I THINK WE HAVE PROTECTED
THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE IN
CANADA.
I DON'T SEE ANY PROBLEM WITH
THAT TO SUGGEST THAT WE'RE NOT
COMPETITIVE IS NOT TRUE.
AS GEORGE POINTS OUT, IF A
STORE RUNS IT AS A LOSS LITRE
THERE'S NOT MUCH I CAN DO
ABOUT THAT AFTER THE FARM
GATE.
MANY PRODUCTS DO.
I THINK YOU HAVE -- INDUSTRY
ALWAYS DOES COMPARISONS OF
WHAT THE PRODUCT COSTS IN THE
STATES COMPARED TO WHAT WE'RE
DOING.
THE NUMBERS ARE THERE.
TO TALK ABOUT FUEL PRICES AND
I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT'S IMPORTANT TOO, SUCCESS
STORIES HERE IN ONTARIO ARE
THE FUEL ETHANOL INDUSTRY.
WE'RE TRYING TO BUILD
ALTERNATIVE FUELS.
BIODIESEL WILL BE PRODUCED
FROM SOY BEANS.
THERE'S ALL KINDS OF THOSE
OPPORTUNITIES.
AND TO DO THAT, WE DO NEED
PRIMARY PRODUCTION IN ONTARIO.
I THINK THE SUGGESTION THAT
FARMS IN SOME OF THE WESTERN
PROVINCES MAY NOT LOOK THE
SAME AS IN ONTARIO, I THINK IT
GOES BACK TO THE ARGUMENT THAT
HERE IN ONTARIO -- ONTARIO WE
ARE DIVERSE IN BUSINESS AND
THERE ARE SOME THAT SUPPORT
THE PAINTED BARNS.
IT'S NOT A GUY THAT'S FARMING
THAT BUILT THAT BRAND NEW POLE
BARN OUT THERE.
HE'S WORKING IN TOWN AND HE
BOUGHT A FARM.
SOMEBODY ELSE'S -- SOMEBODY HE
IS IS FARMING THE LAND.
WE GET VIEWED HAVING THE NICE
BARN AND NICE CARS.
THE GUY THAT OWNS THE FARM MAY
NOT BE FARMING IT.
SOME OF THE WESTERN PROVINCES
CERTAINLY DON'T HAVE THAT SAME
OPPORTUNITY.
THERE ARE CONCERNS THERE.

Maureen says GO TO CORY IN
ELDORADO.
HI, CORY.

Cory says HELLO?

Maureen says GO AHEAD.

Cory continues MY SON RECENTLY
BOUGHT A SHEEP FARM FOR SOME
FINANCING THROUGH THE FARM
CREDITS.
AND HE WAS CONSIDERED A HIGH
RISK, AND THEY ASKED FOR 1.5 PERCENT.
THE ONLY EXTRA THEY COULD GIVE
HIM IS NO PRINCIPAL TO BE PAID
FOR THE FIRST YEAR.
MY QUESTION IS, LIKE, IS THERE
ANY HELP OUT THERE FOR
START-UP FARMERS?
WE COULDN'T FIND IT.

Maureen says WHO SHOULD TAKE
THIS ONE?
BILL?

Bill says THERE ARE FARM START
PROGRAMS IN THE PAST THAT HAVE
BEEN PUT TO THE WAYSIDE.
I THINK FARM CREDIT PORTION
HAS DONE A GOOD JOB OF
PROVIDING MONEY TO AGRICULTURE
TO INVEST.
NO, WE DON'T ALWAYS LIKE THE
INTEREST RATES.
BUT IT IS A COMPETITIVE
BUSINESS IN THAT ASPECT.

Maureen says YOU'VE TALKED A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS, GEORGE,
WITH YOUR STUDENTS I'M SURE,
WHO ARE LEARNING TO BE
FARMERS.
ARE THEY -- ARE ANY OF THEM
SORT OF STARTING UP FRESH,
DON'T HAVE ANY KIND OF FAMILY
INTEREST, NOTHING TO BE PASSED
DOWN?
IT MUST BE VERY DIFFICULT.

George says
THE MAJORITY ARE STARTING
IN THE FAMILY OPERATION, THE
VAST MAJORITY, IN FACT.
WE SEE SOME OPERATORS
PRIMARILY IMMIGRANTS THAT HAVE
SOLD FARMS IN EUROPE AND THEN
COME AND BUY A FARM AS A
START-UP.
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT RIGHT NOW
TO START IN AGRICULTURE AT A
VERY LARGE SCALE.
BUT THE SAME TIME, YOU KNOW,
WE'D LIKE TO HAVE FARMERS.
WE'D LIKE FARMERS TO BE ABLE
TO ENTER INTO AGRICULTURE.
THE FARM CREDIT CORPORATION
AND OTHERS WILL TAKE A GOOD
HARD LOOK AT THIS.
THEY DON'T WANT FARMERS COMING
INTO AN OPERATION THAT ISN'T
GOING TO MAKE A DECENT INCOME.
THEY DON'T WANT THAT.
NOBODY DOES.
THERE ARE TIMES WHEN A PERSON
MIGHT GET TURNED DOWN BECAUSE
THEIR BUSINESS PLAN DOESN'T
LOOK LIKE IT WILL BE
PROFITABLE.
AND THAT MAY BE DISAPPOINTING,
BUT IT MAY SAVE AN AWFUL LOT
OF GRIEF OVER TIME.
AND SO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO
IS MAKE SURE THE PEOPLE COMING
INTO AGRICULTURE ARE VERY
VIABLE.
THEY HAVE THE COMMUNITY TO
CREATE THE OPPORTUNITIES BY
THEMSELVES AND SO THAT WE
DON'T HAVE PEOPLE FAILING.
I MEAN, THAT'S NOT THE
OBJECTIVE OF THE PEOPLE
SUPPORTING AGRICULTURE.

Bill says I AGREE WITH THAT, AND I
WOULD LIKE TO BUILD ON THAT A
LITTLE BIT.
I THINK IF WE HAVE LONG-TERM
COMMITMENTS FROM GOVERNMENT
AND IN OUR PROGRAMS SO THAT
SOMEBODY CAN LOOK DOWN THE
ROAD AND SAY, HEY, THERE'S
SOME LONG-TERM INVESTMENT
HAPPENING HERE IN CANADA, I
THINK I CAN DO THIS.
THERE'S GOING TO BE SUPPORT,
NOT IF I'M NOT EFFICIENT.
THAT'S NOT DEBATABLE IN THIS
AT ALL THAT INEFFICIENT
FARMERS WILL KEEP GOING EVEN
WITH THE PROGRAMS WE HAVE.
BUT THE SHORT-TERM POLITICAL
WILL IS A PROBLEM.
IF IT'S MORE LONG TERM -- IF
YOU LOOK DOWN THE ROAD AND SAY
IF I'M GOOD, I CAN MAKE IT.
IF I RUN INTO PROBLEMS SUCH AS
THE TRADE PROBLEMS THAT WE
HAVE OR WEATHER, THERE ARE
PROGRAMS THERE THAT WILL BUMP
ME UP A LITTLE BIT.
IT'S NOT A SAVIOUR BUT YOU CAN
LOOK DOWN THE ROAD A LITTLE
BIT.
AND I THINK THAT ALONE WOULD
HELP PEOPLE START INTO THE
BUSINESS.

Maureen says AT THE SAME TIME
SOME PEOPLE FIND IT ALARMING
IT WILL GO ON AT NAUSEAM.
THE IDEA OF SUBSIDIES NOT JUST
IN CANADA.
AN E-MAIL: CAN'T WE SPUR THE
FREE MARKETERS, THE AMERICANS
TO CREATING A LEVEL PLAYING
FIELD BY REFUSING TO TRADE
WITH NATIONS THAT SUPPORT
SUBSIDIES?
DRAW THE LINE IN THE FARM.

George says
WE'RE BOTH LAUGHING HERE
BECAUSE THE AMERICANS ARE
SPEAKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF
THEIR MOUTH.

Maureen says HE SAYS AS ONCE AN
AMERICAN.

George continues
YES, AND I CAN SAY THAT,
OKAY?
BECAUSE I'VE LIVED THERE AND I
GREW UP THERE.
WHAT HAPPENS IS ON THE TRADE
NEGOTIATION THEY ARGUE WE WANT
TO HAVE FREE TRADE.
BUT THEN DOMESTICALLY THEY
TURN AROUND AND SAY NO, WE
WANT TO SUPPORT.
WE WANT TO PENALIZE YOU IF YOU
HAVE ANY KIND OF POLICIES, BUT
IT'S OKAY FOR US.
AND SO YOU LOOK AT THE
DUTIES -- WHEN WE HAVE A
COUNTERVAIL DUTY IN THE
UNITED STATES IT'S BASED ON
THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT WE HAVE
NOT ON THE DIFFERENCE OF THE
LEVEL OF SUPPORT BETWEEN THE
U.S. AND CANADA.
IF BOTH HAVE THE SAME LEVEL OF
SUPPORT, THAT'S A LEVEL
PLAYING FIELD.
IN THE U.S., IF YOU ARE
PARTICIPATING AT THE SAME
LEVEL THEY ARE, THEY WANT --

Maureen says WE COULDN'T AFFORD
TO STOP TRADING WITH THEM
UNLESS THEY PLAY FAIR, BILL?

Bill says I WOULD SUGGEST THEY ARE A
BIG BUYER OF OUR PRODUCTS.
AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO KNOCK
THAT DOWN AND SAY PLAY WITH US
OR ELSE.
THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

Maureen says WHAT IF WE WENT AT
IT THE SAME WAY WE'RE DOING.
WHAT IF WE BUMPED SUBSIDIES
TO OUR FARMERS AND DO THAT FOR
A COUPLE YEARS.
THEY'D LOSE SOME OF THEIR
MARKETS.
WOULD THAT HELP, GEORGE?

George says
WELL, IT WOULD HELP OUR
FARMERS, BUT IT ISN'T LIKELY
LIKE IT'S GOING TO MAKE MUCH
DIFFERENCE IN THE MARKETS.
IN THIS KIND -- IT'S KIND OF
IRONIC.
IF I LOOK AT CANADIAN
AGRICULTURE, WE HAVE LESS
SUBSIDY THAN THE U.S.
I HAVE GONE AROUND AND ASKED
DIFFERENT FARMERS HAVE WE CUT
BACK IN THE NUMBER OF ACRES WE
HAVE PLANTED?
WE HAVEN'T CUT BACK IN THE
ACRES.
WE MIGHT HAVE A RECONSTRUCTION
IN THE AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER WE
PUT ON THERE -- A REDUCTION OF
THE AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER WE
PUT ON THERE.
OVERALL WE'RE PLANTING ABOUT
THE SAME AMOUNT OF ACRES.
THERE'S SOME DIFFERENCES IN
THE COMMODITIES.
THE OVERALL VOLUME ON THE
MARKETPLACE ISN'T THERE.
WHAT WE'RE REALLY TALKING
ABOUT IS DIFFERENT LEVELS OF
INCOME FOR THE FARMERS IN TWO
AREAS.

Maureen says I THINK ROCK WANTS
TO ADDRESS THIS POINT.
HE'S IN OTTAWA.

Rock says HOW ARE YOU?

Maureen says FINE THANKS.

Rock continues
YOU ANSWERED A LOT
OF THE POINTS I WANT TO
MAKE.
ALSO THE PROBLEM IS IT'S A
WORLD PROBLEM.
THERE IS AN OVERPRODUCTION OF
GRAIN.
IF YOU HAVE TO SUBSIDIZE TO
SELL YOUR PRODUCT, IT'
RIDICULOUS TO PRODUCE THE
PRODUCT.
WE HAVEN'T LEARNED LIKE THE
OIL INDUSTRY HAS LEARNED THAT
LIMITING PRODUCTION WILL
INCREASE PRICE.
EVERYBODY WILL BE MAKING
MONEY.
IN THE DAIRY PRODUCERS,
POULTRY PRODUCERS REALIZED
HERE'S WHAT I NEED TO MAKE
MONEY, TO HAVE A DECENT
LIVING.
WE'RE PUTTING ALL FARMERS INTO
ONE GROUP.
MAYBE THERE'S THE OIL SEED,
THE GRAIN FARMERS SHOULD BE IN
A DIFFERENT GROUP BECAUSE
WE'RE -- THEY'RE PRODUCING
SOMETHING THAT'S OVERLY
SUPPLIES OIL SUPPLIES AROUND
THE WORLD.
MAYBE WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT
SITUATION BEFORE WE GIVE THEM
MONEY.
LOOK WHEN WE GAVE MONEY TO THE
PORK INDUSTRY, THEY WENT OUT
AND BUILT BARNS TO PRODUCE
MORE PIGS TO BE MORE IN DEBT.

Maureen says IT'S CYCLICAL.
NOW IT'S GRAIN AND OIL SEEDS.
PORK FARMERS WERE IN TROUBLE
BEFORE.

Bill says
I SUGGEST ALL THAT PORK GOT
EATEN.
THAT WASN'T AN OVER-SUPPLY OF
PORK.
IT WAS A PLACE TO SLAUGHTER
THOSE HOGS WAS A BIT OF A
PROBLEM.

Maureen says WHAT ABOUT THE
POINT IT'S TOO MUCH GRAIN.

Bill continues ARE WE OVER SUPPLIED?
THE STOCK TO USE RATIOS ARE IN
20 LOWS IN SOME COMMODITIES
YET THE PRICE ISN'T WHERE IT
SHOULD BE IF YOU BELIEVE IN
SUPPLY AND DEMAND ON THIS.
THAT'S WHERE I GO BACK TO WHAT
THE U.S. AND EUROPE ARE DOING
FOR GRAIN AND OILSEED FARMERS
AFFECTS OUR MARKETS.
YEAH, SUPPLY AND DEMAND WORKS
WELL.
IT WORKED WELL IN THE DAIRY
INDUSTRY AND FEATHER INDUSTRY
HERE.
I DON'T DISPUTE THAT FACT.
I DO SAY IT'S NOT ALWAYS
SUPPLY AND DEMAND THAT PLAYS
THE ROLE HERE.

Maureen says WE CAN'T JUST LOOK
AT HOW MUCH GRAINS AND OIL
SEEDS WE'RE PRODUCING IN
CANADA.
AS HE SAYS IT'S A GLOBAL
THING.
IS THERE TOO MUCH OF THIS IN
THE WORLD?

George says
IF CANADA CUTS BACK ON
THEIR PRODUCTION OF GRAINS AND
OIL SEEDS, BRAZIL'S GOING TO
STEP IN THERE AND FILL THAT
MARKET.
OR THE U.S. WILL TAKE CARE OF
IT.
SO IT'S UNLIKE THE SUPPLY
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS WE HAVE IN
THIS COUNTRY WHERE WE HAVE
CONTROL OVER THIS MARKET.
WE DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER
THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET.
AND FOR US TO UNILATERALLY CUT
BACK DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.
WE'RE CAUGHT BETWEEN A ROCK
AND A HARD PLACE, AND WE'RE ON
A TREADMILL TO BE ABLE TO STAY
COMPETITIVE.
IT WOULD TAKE A UNIFORM
AGREEMENT AMONG ALL GRAIN
PRODUCERS TO CUT BACK TO BE
ABLE TO MAKE THAT WORK.
IT'S NOT LIKELY TO HAPPEN.

Maureen says I'M CAUGHT BETWEEN
THAT CLOCK THING GOING ON
HERE.
WE'RE OUT OF TIME.
THANK YOU BOTH FOR DOING THIS
TODAY.

A slate pops up that reads “Ontario Federation of Agriculture. www.ofa.on.ca.”

Maureen concludes
GEORGE BRINKMAN A PROFESSOR OF
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND
BUSINESS AT UNIVERSITY OF
GUELPH.
BILL MAILLOUX IS PRESIDENT OF
THE ONTARIO FEDERATION OF
AGRICULTURE.
AND FARMERS MAY NOT BE THE
ONLY ONES WHO HAVE TO TIGHTEN
THEIR BELTS.
OUR ECONOMY IS SLOWING DOWN.
SOME PEOPLE THINK WE'RE
HEADING INTO A RECESSION.
HOW SHOULD WE PREPARE?
WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT TOMORROW
ON “MORE TO LIFE” AT 1:00.

Watch: Farm Aid