Farm Facts and Furrows

What is the BUILD Leadership Program?

The BUILD Leadership Program is a training program for beef farmers, designed to develop and improve the leadership skills of existing and potential leaders of the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO), which represents the 19,000 beef farmers in the province. This program not only provides industry participants with the knowledge and confidence to excel as leaders, it supports those farmers who are capable of moving the Ontario beef industry forward, providing stronger leadership capacity for the entire BFO organization. This is the fourth offering of the BUILD Leadership program by the Beef Farmers of Ontario, in partnership with the Rural Ontario Institute—the organization that delivers the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP).

Who should apply? Participants in this unique leadership development program will represent farmers from across the province in various levels of leadership activity and responsibility within the organization, or are those that can see themselves taking on industry leadership roles in the future. The session will be held March 30, March 31, April 1 and April 2. (Monday evening: hotel check-in and welcome session; Tuesday, all day; Wednesday, all day; and Thursday, part day.) Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 998029 Highway #11, New Liskeard, ON P0J 1P0. For more information on the program and how to apply, contact Beef Farmers of Ontario at: 519-824-0334, Toll-free: 1-866-370-2333 or dave@ontariobeef.com or visit the BFO website at www.ontariobeef.com

Tree planting subsidies

Many have seen the advertisements or news articles by Trees Ontario for the provincial 50 million tree program and the tree planting subsidies that are available for qualifying properties. If you haven’t heard of it there is an afforestation subsidy of $1.35 per tree available to large and small private landowners, First Nations, and not for profit groups such as conservation authorities to reforest cleared lands or disused farmland. The minimum size of land is 2.5 acres or 1 ha. There are, however, other aspects of this program which may not be well known but may be of great interest to some landowners on the Manitoulin. For those folks that have MFTIP-Managed Forest Plans with open areas that are excluded from qualifying for the reduced municipal tax rate, the Trees Ontario program could reforest some or all the cleared area such that open areas could be added into an existing Managed Forest Plan area at a very cost efficient rate compared to the long term tax reduction. For those folks that are contemplating placing their forested properties under a Managed Forest Plan but have a cleared area greater than 10 percent of the total as part of the property, the Trees Ontario program could, prior to the Managed Forest Plan coming into effect, increase the area of forested land eligible for MFTIP. As usual with anything that involves planting and growing things, timing is of the essence. While plans for 2015 spring tree planting this year are fairly well firmed up, the opportunity still exists to do work this summer and fall to facilitate tree planting this fall or in anticipation of planting next spring. If you are interested in the Trees Ontario program the sooner you have a chat with a Planting Delivery Agent (PDA) the sooner planning, field visits and budgeting can get started. You should start to see signs posted on various properties on Manitoulin this summer and fall identifying where landowners have taken the plunge and planted a forest for the future. For more information or to register with Trees Ontario you are invited to contact: Trees Ontario, www.forestsontario.ca, T: 416-646-1193; Peter Gagnon, Trees Ontario, Field Advisor 705-779-3796; Laing Bennett R.P.F. (PDA) Algoma-Manitoulin Forestry Services, algoma-manitoulin-forestry@shaw.ca 705-945-8625; Manitoulin Tree Service, Mike Laende or Maria Diebolt, (PDA) manitoulintreeservice@hotmail.com 705-665-8988, 705-662-5761.