8

Action 8: Agriculture

Why are agriculture and agricultural practices important?

  • Agriculture is important to many rural economies. Permitting                                             diversification on-farm, providing more exibility and protecting agricultural                                 uses and normal farm practices can encourage and protect sustainable farms                            and farmers (MMAH, 2014).

  • Agriculture also provides a source of fresh food and employment opportunities and more directly connects consumers with the food that they eat.

  • Agriculture is fundamentally connected to soil, air and water, and proper agricultural practices can contribute positively to each of these attributes.

 

Township of Scugog: Case Study

  • The Township of Scugog has a comprehensive zoning by-law that allows home occupations and home industries.

  • These industries are meant to serve the surrounding farm community and could include: small welding shops, woodworking businesses and bed and breakfasts as well as other home occupations.

  • These home industries are considered small business incubators, which could move into larger employment areas in the future.

Recommendations for rural municipalities:

  • Protect agricultural land, as it has significant environmental, economic and social benefits. Agricultural industry will only survive where the land exists for farming. Many communities are benefiting from near urban agriculture with the local food sector.  

  • Encourage stewardship and healthy environmental practices on agricultural lands, as there is a fundamental connection to water and air quality. Many farmers have benefitted from the Environmental Farm Plan.

  • Support the local farm community through groups such as Agricultural Advisory Committees.

  • Tips from practitioners:

    • Ensure plans and strategies are in place; this allows for initiatives to be implemented when funds become available.

    • Encourage a healthier economy, which will result in a healthier population.

    • Focus on promoting agricultural businesses and food production businesses.