Essex farmers, ag federation split over wind power

Mark Balkwill

CBC Windsor News
Farmers in Essex County don’t seem to have the same concerns about wind farms as their colleagues in other parts of the province. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture wants the province to suspend its plans to expand wind energy. But Mark Balkwill, president of the Essex County Federation of Agriculture, said with hundreds of turbines already running locally, a moratorium would make little difference. “We’re kind of sitting neutral on this position. [We’re] not really sure why the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has taken the position it has,” Balkwill said. “We’re a member-driven organization, so if the members are saying, ‘These issues are concerning us,’ then they’re going to take it upon themselves to look at it.” Read article

Wind turbines are blowing communities apart, farm group says

by John Spears, Toronto Star
Ontario should suspend awarding further contracts for large wind turbines, the province’s biggest farm organization says. “It’s tearing rural communities apart, so farmers can’t do what they do best, which is grow food,” OFA president Mark Wales said in an interview. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) issued a new position statement Friday calling for a pause to resolve questions about wind energy. Read article

Ontario Federation of Agriculture Statement on Wind Energy

( – August 29) Agriculture provides many of the opportunities available to generate alternative sources of energy. Harnessing energy through wind turbines is one of the options for producing green energy that will contribute to a secure, reliable source for future generations. The ongoing development of off-shore wind turbines in Ontario has been a contentious issue, raising questions about the technology’s merits and concerns. Continue reading

OFA caught in “power” struggle

Ontario Farmer

Less than two months ago, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) was in a big campaign to force government to increase the number of contracts paying farmers 80 cents to produce solar electricity which sells for about 10 percent of that amount.

Ironically, as if that campaign had never happened, the OFA just issued a commentary lamenting the price of electricity paid by farmers, but can’t seem to see the connection.

The OFA doesn’t appear to understand it can’t have things both ways – if the OFA wants farmers to benefit from being able to sell over-priced electricity, they can’t complain about price when it comes time to buy. ~Stephen Thompson, Clinton