Farm safety on the roads and agriculture education for the public are two things that farmers in our community take very seriously and are passionate about. This year, with the help of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s (OFA) Revive Fund, three local federations are launching three different projects over the summer months.
The Revive Fund is an initiative that OFA started in 2021, due to a surplus in funds. Local federations can apply for funding to create something better for their community, whether it’s regarding farmer mental wellness, promoting local food, member outreach, or community infrastructure.
The Stormont Federation of Agriculture will be working with a design company to create agriculture education/crop awareness signs that will be put on the side of fields where different crops are grown. On these road signs will be the type of crop and a list of different end uses for
consumers. The intention of this project is to highlight local food production and to educate the public on what else is done with these crops.
The Russell Federation of Agriculture is focusing on road safety this year, by creating bilingual stickers which will warn motorists that the farm equipment on which it is placed, could turn left. Members will be able to put the sticker on the back of a farm implement and thus be more visible to the public.
The goal of the project is to raise awareness for the public that they need to be careful when following big farm equipment. Many accidents have happened when motorists pass farmers on the road when it’s not safe. Members of Russell County will be able to get one free 18-inch by
18-inch, reflective sticker by request and at the Annual General Meeting later this year.
The Glengarry Federation of Agriculture is a project similar to the ones in Stormont and Russell – creating road safety signs and ‘Pass when safe’ reflective stickers, in order to promote safety and raise awareness on the roads. Similar to the Russell Federation of Agriculture, Glengarry County members will be able to request a sticker to put on their farm implements. The road signs will be placed in strategic locations to remind the public that during certain times of year, agricultural equipment will be on public roadways and it is important to be careful and share the road.
All in all, hopefully these projects will create awareness for road safety during the busy times of year for the farmers and help the public learn a little more about agriculture and how it benefits everyone.
Sonia Dignard is the Bilingual Member Service Representative for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OGA) for Glengarry, Stormont, Preescott and Russell.