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Eastern Canadian Farmers Face Critical Livestock Feed Shortage – OFA, HayEast 2012 ask Canadians to help, Scotiabank facilitating donations (2012)

           

GUELPH, ON [September 18, 2012] – The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and its partner HayEast 2012 today issued an urgent plea for Canadians and Canadian businesses to provide donations to support the transportation of hay from Western to Eastern Canada livestock farmers. The funds raised will provide relief for Ontario livestock farmers facing a critical feed shortage as a result of summer drought conditions. Scotiabank is supporting the effort by establishing an account and accepting donations at any Scotiabank branch across Canada.

For Ontario livestock farmers, the situation is urgent because drought has led to a critical feed shortage for livestock. This summer, fields in many areas produced no crops worth harvesting. Pastures for grazing livestock dried up early in the season, and stored grain and forage supplies will not last through the winter.

“We’re really encouraged by the generosity our western neighbours are showing in helping to get feed to our livestock farmers in Ontario,” says Mark Wales, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “We’ve already had some businesses and individuals approach us to ask if they can donate money since they don’t have hay, and this Scotiabank partnership offer makes that possible.”

Individuals or businesses may make a donation at any Scotiabank location across Canada, or cheques can be made payable to “HayEast 2012.”

The OFA joined HayEast 2012 organizers in launching the program at a Canadian Federation of Agriculture Roundtable at the federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers’ meetings in Whitehorse on September 12. Farm organizations are pressing government to provide funds through the federal AgriRecovery program to assist with hay transportation from the Prairies.

In the coming weeks OFA will be working with program organizers to assess the need for forage in Eastern Canada. Organizers are working on setting up a website and toll free phone number to coordinate donations from farmers with hay to spare, and those in need of support. Ontario farmers in need of forage must apply to the program for consideration. Farmers in need can email forage@ofa.on.ca to be contacted about the application process once the program is finalized, or they can visit www.ofa.on.ca for a link to the program’s website once it is available.

For more information contact:

Mark Wales
President
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-773-6706

 Neil Currie
General Manager
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883

Deborah Clark
Corporate Media Communications
Scotiabank
416-933-0646
d.clark@scotiabank.com



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