Agriculture takes many forms in South Marysburgh and the County as a whole.
I believe that agriculture is a key component of our economy and way of life which must be promoted and preserved.
The more mainstream cash crops beef, sheep and dairy have been supplemented with grape growing, wine making, beer making, cider making, distilling, market gardening, bees and their honey, cheese making, and I am sure there are more.
Municipal Council has a role in supporting this diversity. I fully support this role.
Maintaining the rural and historic character of Prince Edward County is a stated top priority for the municipality. As part of that goal, The County is committed to promoting and supporting traditional agriculture, value-added agriculture and agri-tourism. Some examples already underway to support local farmers include:
• Exemption of development charges on traditional farm structures
• Promotion and marketing of agri-tourism and value-added agricultural products
• Active workforce development and matching for farm labour through the Prince Edward County Job Fair and other initiatives
• Participation in regional agri-asset inventory with Ontario East Economic Development Commission
Earlier in 2018, Council set up an agriculture ad hoc advisory committee which, among other goals was tasked to recommend to Council a grant program to include eligibility requirement, application process, funding thresholds and anticipated benefits. The effective goal is to provide financial assistance per eligible farmer, (not to exceed 20% of their annual municipal farm tax bill).
The grant program was approved by Council in April and will be funded for the next 3 years.