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Ontario Municipal Board Decision Paves Way for Farmland Loss

Christian Farmers of Ontario Disappointed with OMB Decision

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Loss of farmland due to urban sprawl is a public policy issue that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. One of the Ontario’s general farm organizations, the Christian Farmers of Ontario (CFFO) finds the most recent decision made by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to alter the planned development for the Region of Waterloo a setback for farmland preservation.

As strong advocates for the importance of farmland preservation, CFFO has been active in arguing that the importance of preserving prime farmland outweighs the value of building subdivisions. While the Region of Waterloo has embraced the goals outlined in the Places to Grow Act, which is aimed at encouraging redevelopment and intensification in city development within the Greater Golden Horseshoe area, the OBM has ruled in favour of developers.

The Region of Waterloo wanted to limit new subdivisions to 80 hectors of land, while the OMB ruled in favour of developers who wanted 1000 hectors. Now that the OMB has made its decision the region, landowners and developers will go into negotiations as to where this new development will occur. The CFFO says in this week’s commentary that this decision is only one of three decisions that they fear will serve as a precedent for other cities and developers throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The CFFO finds the decision even more troubling given that the Region of Waterloo was working towards limiting urban sprawl and that their elected council had been working with the public and made efforts to meet the goals presenting the Placed to Grow Act. The CFFO commends the Region of Waterloo for their efforts and says that new policy options are needed to protect farmland as a valuable asset in the long-term.

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Finding her path back to the Swine Industry each time with Dr. Miriam Martin.

Video: Finding her path back to the Swine Industry each time with Dr. Miriam Martin.

Dr. Miriam Martin is Director of Animal Health and Welfare from the North American Meat Institute.

We discuss how she grew up in Swine Production on a small Hog Farm in Missouri. We discuss her enhanced career path, and exciting things in store at her job at NAMI. We discuss her mentor Temple Grandin, and her time at Colorado and Kansas State University and learning about Swine behaviour and pain research. We discuss ASF preparedness, Safeguarding Animal Health and finally if we need to define a leadership strategy or outside box approach to move the Swine Industry forward.

About Our Guest Dr. Miriam S. Martin grew up on a ranch in Meadville, Missouri. Miriam completed he undergraduate degree in animal science at the University of Missouri where she discovered her passion for animal welfare. She earned a Masters in livestock behavior and welfare in Temple Grandin’s group at Colorado State University before enrolling in a Doctoral program at Kansas State University in August 2018. Miriam is the first recipient of the FFAR Fellowship in the history of Kansas State University. Dr. Martin’s doctoral studies focused on investigating pain and analgesic strategies in food animals. These studies resulted in the publication of 8 first author papers and 5 co-author publications. Miriam served as the Midwest ASAS Graduate Director and the CVM GSA Vice President. She is also the recipient of a 2022 ASAS Midwest Young Scholars Award. Dr. Martin successfully defended her Ph.D. on October 2021 and she currently serves as the Director of Animal Health and Welfare for the North American Meat Institute.


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