As with most small business owners across Canada, farmers take on significant financial risk to do what they love – growing safe, healthy grains for Canadians and the world. With 97% of farms in Canada still family run, this means that entire families have their livelihoods tied up in their farms.

While it is the goal of grain and oilseed farmers is to succeed independent of government assistance – strong Business Risk Management (BRM) programs provide a reliable safety net that helps create an environment where farmers have the confidence to make investments to ensure their future success. These programs help farmers manage risk on their operations from severe weather, pests, and poor market conditions. GGC is working with its’ member groups, other provincial and national organizations and government to develop programs that that will be more reliable, more predictable and more bankable and will meet the needs of grain farmers and the agriculture industry as a whole.

Currently, four BRM programs serve farmers, funded under the federal /provincial /territorial Growing Forward 2 Policy Framework, soon to be the Canadian Agricultural Partnership:

  1. AgriInvest
  2. AgriStability
  3. AgriInsurance
  4. AgriRecovery

These programs help grain farmers with varying degrees of success. Although there are some concerns with each program, AgriStability tops the list with only about 30% of farmers still participating. It is clear that producers have lost confidence in this program and have voted to leave.

As a member of the AgGrowth Coalition, GGC has advocated for a full review of BRM programs and we were pleased to see the government’s commitment to a year-long announced as part of the FPT Ag Ministers meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland in July 2017. However, this announcement coincided with changes to programs that redistributed funds between AgriInvest and AgriStability which were unexpected and seemingly developed with little to no industry consultation.  We look forward to working with the government in the coming year to develop programs that support a strong and viable agriculture industry for the future.

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Farmer Feature

“As a farmer, I take significant risk every time I plant a crop. This risk is even greater for new farmers. Having reliable, government-backed business risk management programs that encourage diversification, are predictable and have realistic margins would go a long way to providing me with security and ensuring the future of our industry.”

–Dennis Thiessen, grain farmer, Steinbach, MB

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