The federal government has agreed to give $1.3 million dollars to educate the public about agriculture’s contributions. As a farmer, I suppose that I should be thanking the government for this generous gift but I’m somewhat confused. Having been very actively involved with the Grand River Agricultural Society (formerly the Woolwich Agricultural Society), I am well aware of their objectives – especially the ones that involve educating others about agriculture. And I would think that the agricultural societies should be able to assist in this area – especially the ones that have lots of slot machine revenue, no property taxes (a benefit to agricultural societies) and no income taxes (another benefit to agricultural societies). I know the financial information from Grand River Agricultural Society and know that Western Fair is also governed by an agricultural society. Between the two societies they have revenue from nearly 1000 – yes, I said 1000 slot machines.
Agricultural society’s mandates are to educate about agriculture. Maybe it’s time to see that agricultural societies did a better job of fulfilling their mandate and earned the privileges that go with the responsibilities. Agriculture members should be insisting on it.