Rural Halton: The Plight of the Farmer

Having recently been involved in land offerings in rural Halton, I have become acutely aware of a situation which strikes me as totally unjust for our hard working farmers.  These men and women, particularly those involved in livestock and dairy farming, never get a break.  Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year they tend to their animals.  Actually, that is just part of the work because feeding the animals also involves growing the feed; corn, barley, alfalfa and so on.  They fertilize the land, plant it, harvest it and maintain all the equipment involved in crop production.  And then they store the crops, create the right mix, and feed the animals that in turn produce the milk or the meat.  And what they have to show for all of their hard work is land.  But north Halton is changing.  It is getting busier.  Pockets of urban development are springing up, bringing additional traffic to the area.  The roads are continuously under construction.  And this situation makes it increasingly difficult for farmers to work multiple fields; driving large farm machinery on roads no longer farmer friendly.  And some of the fields that they would have used in the past to grow crops are being bought up by builders and speculators, leaving them without enough land to grow crops.  Surprisingly, there are still farmers who love what they do.  It is just becoming much more difficult to do it in Halton.  So some of these farmers would like to move out of the region to an area more conducive to their farm practices.  But because their land is zoned agricultural, unsuitably so, they can't sell their property for the value that is deserved.  Until the zoning process catches up with the reality, these farmers are literally stuck between a rock and a hard place.  And beleive it or not, that's the best case scenario.  Others are blanketed by escarpment or natural heritage restrictions.  This has diminished the value of the land for these hard workers, such that they may never see fair value for their only asset.  The region of Halton is doing a great job building out slowly and methodically, planning for future needs, but it seems to me that the plight of the farmer has been overlooked.

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Joan Olech

Joan Olech

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Dreams Inc., Brokerage*
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