New Research Debunks Canadians’ Misconceptions about Agriculture

Majority of farmers adopting new & innovative technologies; almost half plan to expand operations

Regina, October 8, 2014 – Farming in Canada is not what many Canadians think it is, according to Realities of Agriculture in Canada – A sector of innovation and growth, a new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In fact, the majority of farmers – fifty-one per cent – plan to adopt new, innovative technologies over the next three years, and 44 per cent are planning to expand their business.

According to a recent study commissioned by the federal government, Canadians have many misconceptions about the agriculture industry, including that it’s not innovative, is shrinking, it potentially harms the environment, and that family farms are becoming extinct.

“This is not Old MacDonald’s farm. Our new report debunks Canadians’ outdated view of the Agriculture sector,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president of Agri-business.

“Agriculture in Canada is vibrant and innovative. The sector contributes over $100 billion to the economy and supports one-in-eight jobs,” added Mandy D’Autremont, CFIB’s senior policy analyst, Agri-business and co-author of the report.

CFIB’s report outlines four key realities of farming:

Reality #1 – Agriculture is innovative and modern

Reality #2 –The agriculture sector is growing

Reality #3 – Farmers are taking action to protect the environment

Reality #4 – Farms are staying in the family

”This study highlights the ambition and optimism that make agriculture a major driver of the Canadian economy,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Our Government will continue to partner with industry to invest in research and innovation, ensuring Canadian farmers remain competitive in the global market well into the future.”

The report adds the farmers’ voice, but the work doesn’t stop there.

“Beyond promoting the agriculture sector, government policies need to foster agricultural competitiveness. Farmers’ priorities for government action include further reducing red tape and the total tax burden, as well as increased focus on industry research, development and innovation,” concluded Braun-Pollon.

Read the full report here:

CFIB is the business voice for agriculture, representing 7,200 independently owned and operated agri-businesses in the country, the majority of which are primary producers.