The district convention on March 28 was a well-attended affair, with farmers from across the Island gathering at Milton Community Hall. The agenda was full. The highlight was the keynote presentation by NFU President Jan Slomp (see the CBC coverage here, and the Charlottetown Guardian article here). Minister Allan MacIsaac spoke briefly and answered questions. The documentary made by Don Kossick, and featuring many local NFU members – Islanders and the Land – was screened (see the video on youtube here).
Doug Campbell (District President), Edith Ling (Women’s President) and Byron Petrie (Youth President) were re-elected.
The following resolutions were passed:
- WHEREAS it is becoming increasingly difficult for family farmers in general and young or beginning farmers in particular to obtain land for farming purposes, THEREFORE BE RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union request that the P.E.I. Government introduce a voluntary land banking program, similar to the former Land Development Corporation (LDC) program, through which farms would be purchased from farmers wishing to retire and this land would then be made available for lease or purchase by other family farmers.
- BE IT RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union request the P. E. I. Government to prohibit absentee ownership and corporate control of P. E. I. farmland.
- WHEREAS in the past, land that was leased was counted as part of the total aggregate land holdings of both the person who was leasing the land and also the person from whom the land was being leased, and WHEREAS this “double counting” of leased land was discontinued several years ago, and WHEREAS this is a way for large operations to control additional land for production, and WHEREAS this practice of not “double counting” leased land is scheduled to continue until December 31, 2020, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union request the Government of P. E. I. to re-establish the double counting of leased farmland by December 31, 2020.
- WHEREAS forest land is not included in the land holding limits for arable land, and WHEREAS deforestation is taking place at an alarming rate in this Province, and WHEREAS forests are essential for windbreaks, erosion control, and replenishing the water table and are useful for a habitat for wildlife and for the sequestering of carbon, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union request the Government of P. E. I. to put into place a program to stop this unnecessary clear-cutting of our forests.