long term – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 03:59:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://indicerural.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png long term – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ 32 32 Ettrick Valley: final touches for £1.9m rural development https://indicerural.com/ettrick-valley-final-touches-for-1-9m-rural-development/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 11:34:31 +0000 https://indicerural.com/ettrick-valley-final-touches-for-1-9m-rural-development/ A £1.9M rural development is set to breathe new life into rural Ettrick Valley.

Work began in Kirkhope, just outside Ettrickbridge, last spring to convert a Victorian corn mill, farmhouse and paddock into family homes and commercial workshops.

And the final touches are being completed before the tenants move in this summer.

The Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company (EYCDC) project to create five rental homes and seven workspaces will not only bring much needed jobs to the valley, but will also increase the number of people attending the local primary school.

Andy Wright, who is one of the directors of the EYCDC, said: “It’s great to see this foundation coming back to life.

“As a community development company, we wanted to bring economic and social regeneration to the valleys, and we identified a real need for affordable housing as well as light industrial units to encourage people to stay and work here.

“We hope that the five homes will attract young families, which will bring additional children to both the nursery and the primary school in the village.

“We are delighted to see how this has progressed over the past year and we are excited to welcome our first tenants in the months ahead.”

Rental application forms for the two- and three-bedroom eco-friendly family homes will be available next month.

And the community development company has already engaged with potential small businesses, including a weaver and a costume rental business, interested in neighboring units.

Since the project was first mooted in 2018, the EYCDC has received financial support from South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Government and Scottish and Southern Energy.

The two-hectare site was purchased from Buccleuch Estates in June 2020, with workers arriving on site the following March.

While the project will have long-term benefits for the region, the construction phase has already resulted in the creation of 11 jobs.

And almost all materials and accessories were sourced locally.

Vicky Davidson, EYCDC Project Manager, added: “We felt it was important to support local businesses during the construction works.

“This is truly a community project that will have a positive impact on the valleys for many years to come.

All properties have been converted or newly built to the highest environmental standards.

And the planned landscaping will help blend the new buildings and Victorian buildings into the picturesque surroundings.

The South of Scotland Enterprise was Kirkhope Steading’s largest funder with around £850,000 in investment.

The president of the economic and community development agency, Professor Russel Griggs, gave an overview of the project last week.

He said: “We are delighted to support any project that can help a rural community become more sustainable – not just economically, but in all aspects that make a community run better.

“This transformational development in Kirkhope Steading will provide much needed affordable housing and workspaces in the Ettrick Valley.

“This will help attract more people of working age to the area, which will provide many benefits, including support for the local primary school.

“We are particularly pleased to support the sustainability element of this project, adding resilience to this rural area and supporting SOSE’s aim to see South Scotland leading the way in the journey to Net Zero. .”

The development was not without hitches, as undetected problems with one of the roofs emerged during the initial conversion work.

The recent rise in material costs has also caused some rebalancing in the books.

But the Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund have both stepped in with additional funding to prevent the EYCDC from having to increase its borrowing.

The local authority has donated an additional £120,000 from its Second Homes Council tax revenue to the Kirkhope project.

Council leader Mark Rowley said: “The Second Homes Council tax fund is designed to help housing projects like this in Ettrickbridge and increase the opportunity for affordable housing delivery in the area.

“This development will make a big difference for a small community, with new affordable family homes and commercial units that will breathe new life into this part of the valley.”

Application forms for family homes will be available on the Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company website from next month.

Further details on hiring any of the workspaces are available by contacting info@ettrickandyarrow.org.uk

New Zealand trade deal ‘will hurt farming communities’ https://indicerural.com/new-zealand-trade-deal-will-hurt-farming-communities/ Sat, 05 Mar 2022 14:07:43 +0000 https://indicerural.com/new-zealand-trade-deal-will-hurt-farming-communities/

TRADE UNIONS and politicians have warned that the New Zealand-UK trade deal will hurt rural communities.

The UK Government’s International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said the deal would “cut red tape” between the two countries and UK trade would “skyrocket” as a result.

But Mid and West Wales Ms Jane Dodds warned this week: ‘The UK government has brokered a trade deal which will actively harm Welsh farming communities and deliver virtually no tangible benefit to our local economies.

“Instead of delivering ‘Global Britain’ this government is selling Welsh farmers down the river.”

The NFU Cymru and the Farmers Union of Wales also opposed the deal.

Speaking after the announcement, NFU Cymru chairman Aled Jones said: ‘I see very little in this deal benefiting Welsh farmers and there are significant downside risks to the red meat and produce sectors. dairy products, both of which characterize traditional Welsh family farming.

“This latest deal with New Zealand closely mirrors the UK/Australia deal, confirming the precedent we feared we might have set, leading to full tariff liberalization across a range of sectors over the next few years.

“These agreements offer significant benefits to farmers on the other side of the world, who will in due course have full access to our extremely valuable market. exporting to the world, without the serious or long-term investment that is needed to enable us to increase our exports.We call on the UK government to convene the recently announced Food and Drink Export Council and ensure that the agri-food attachés who we were promised last year to be in post as a matter of urgency.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Farmers are extremely unhappy that the UK government is pursuing trade deals which, according to their own figures, will harm our food and farming sectors and undermine our food security.

“We don’t need to look any further than what is happening in Ukraine and with regard to gas and fuel supplies to see how quickly things can change on the world stage, but the trade policy of the British government is recklessly undermining our food security by shifting dependency to countries that are tens of thousands of miles away.

AEM addresses supply chain, COVID-19 and energy crises https://indicerural.com/aem-addresses-supply-chain-covid-19-and-energy-crises/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 18:57:18 +0000 https://indicerural.com/aem-addresses-supply-chain-covid-19-and-energy-crises/

Following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) discussed the state of the industry and its top policy priorities ahead of the mid-election -mandate in 2022.

AEM is the North America-based international trade group that represents more than 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers of off-road equipment in the agriculture and construction industries.

“As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and work towards a new normal, we must ensure lawmakers continue to prioritize policies that will help our industry fully recover from the effects of the pandemic that will last. long time. 2022 and beyond,” says Megan Tanel, President of AEM. “This includes working with the Biden administration to ensure that the implementation of the bipartisan Federal Infrastructure Act recognizes the important role that equipment manufacturers can and will have in the process.”

WEA Policy Challenges

Joe Biden points behind a podium

Photo credit: Angelia Weiss, Getty Images contributor


The bipartisan federal infrastructure bill was signed into law in November and earmarks more than $1 trillion for transportation, broadband, utilities, roads and railroads. Tanel says more than 30 policy recommendations from AEM “Rebuilding with Purpose” Report were part of the bill, and many more could be adopted as part of the implementation process.

“One thing the past two years has made clear to all of us is the critical importance of our food supply and the rural communities that have overwhelmingly supported investment in those communities,” said Robert Crain, senior vice president and director. general of AGCO North America. . “It is imperative to ensure a strong food supply and to keep our economy and equipment manufacturers strong. Many of our industries depend on a strong agricultural economy.

One of the best ways to support these economies is to provide economic certainty and a safety net for farmers, such as the federal crop insurance program and the creation of markets for biofuels, according to AEM. WEA urges Congress and the Biden administration to support free and fair trade practices that allow farmers to sell their produce in new markets.

The trade group is also calling for greater federal investment in preparing skilled workers and sustainable jobs for its represented sectors. AEM strongly supports Biden’s initiative to expand the Pell Grant and attract more students to technical and community colleges. It also supports the creation of a modernized apprenticeship system to streamline interstate exchange and US Department of Labor-approved programs.

Finally, AEM called for the reauthorization and expansion of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to help workers overcome challenges such as child care, transportation costs and acquiring new skills and qualifications for better jobs.

War in Ukraine and energy

While AEM is unsure of the impact of the war in Ukraine on its represented manufacturing industries, Tanel called on the Biden administration to provide bipartisan solutions to potential crises facing the United States.

In the wake of rising energy costs due to dependence on Russian oil supplies and a stalled Build Back Better bill, Crain says he is possible that an energy package will come out of Congress. This could lead to less dependence on foreign energy and more emphasis on biofuels and energy produced in North America.

“A clean and healthy environment is essential to current and long-term economic prosperity,” says Tanel. “We support policies that build on America’s strengths, technology and energy diversity. We definitely encourage investment and innovation in our country’s energy sector, preserving the quality of the environment for this generation and generations to come.

COVID-19 recovery and supply chain

A red tractor pulling a red seeder plants row crops at Felt Family Farms in Iowa

Photo Credit: Iowa Corn

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for AEM’s relationship with lawmakers, with the need for policies reinforcing the essentiality of the 2.8 million people in the industry and providing relief to manufacturers. equipment during the global supply chain crisis.

Crain says AEM is optimistic about the COVID retreat and supply chain improvements, citing AEM’s latest farm equipment report which showed modest gains after strong growth in 2021.

“While there are developing issues that could impact our industry, we are optimistic that the retreat from COVID-19 will mean a greater return to normal – at last – on our farms, in our factories and in our communities. our homes,” says Crain.

by Purdue Agricultural economy barometer for March shows growing feelings about future conditions, even in the face of higher production costs. Additionally, the Institute of Supply Management manufacturing report in february found moderate to strong growth in the six largest manufacturing industries.

“We will no doubt still face challenges in the months ahead, but we are cautiously optimistic that 2022 will see improvements in most areas,” Crain says. “Most of our member companies are also forecasting sales growth and even increased margins in 2022.”

James Maroney: Lawmaker is still captured by farming fantasy https://indicerural.com/james-maroney-lawmaker-is-still-captured-by-farming-fantasy/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 19:10:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/james-maroney-lawmaker-is-still-captured-by-farming-fantasy/

This commentary is from Leicester resident James H. Maroney Jr.

The Legislative Assembly is considering a bill to strengthen the Right to Farm Act, the intention of which was to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits brought by neighbors who object to noise and /or pollution generated during the vital work of the farm – that is, producing our food.

But Vermont agriculture does not produce “our food”. It produces barely 1% of the country’s milk supply and a tiny fraction of the national meat, vegetable, fruit and fiber supply.

The genesis of the law on the right to agriculture dates back to the middle of the 20andmentality of the last century that saw agriculture as conservation. Installed in this mindset, the legislature enacted dozens of laws designed to keep farmers on their land by exempting them from sales and property taxes, labor laws, and nuisance liability.

It looks good! Except that farmers used the savings to pay for new capacity, sending more milk to already saturated markets and more poison into the already polluted lake and atmosphere. These laws have never been reviewed, so they are still in effect.

The undeniable result is a severely polluted lake, an existentially polluted atmosphere and a dwindling dairy industry from 11,200 farms in 1945 to just 650 today, an attrition of 94%. Clearly, allocating taxpayers’ money to programs designed solely in their face to “save agriculture and protect the lake” hasn’t succeeded either.

Yet the legislature is still captured by fantasy. The approximately $35 million in Bill 64 allocated to reducing the 45% contribution to lake pollution from “agriculture” is spent on projects such as planting trees, collecting old tires, cover cropping, wetland restoration – all great ideas. But they have nothing to do – in fact, they divert our attention – from preventing conventional farmers from importing toxic petroleum-based substances and applying them to their fields.

In January 2022, the Task Force to Revitalize Vermont Dairy released its report. The report does not mention the Global Warming Solutions Act, intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 26% by 2025, 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. These goals are not only mandatory, they are backed by the empowerment of ordinary citizens to sue the state if it fails to comply with them.

The Legislature secretly admits that it has been trying unsuccessfully for 60 years to reduce pollution of the lakes by conventional dairy products; he surely knows that the 2015 TMDL tasked conventional dairy with reducing his contribution by 66%, and he probably knows that in seven years, dairy only reached 11%. (Vermont spent $254 million from 2015 to 2021 to achieve a 38-ton phosphorus reduction in Lake Champlain. Not nothing, but just 16% of its 200-ton goal.)

The Governor’s Report on the Future of Agriculture in Vermont (February 2022), released a few weeks ago, is full of words such as robust, vibrant, strong, vital, dynamic, resilient, sustainable, high quality, innovative , profitable, and my favorite: Vermont agriculture is shifting to “climate-smart” practices to establish an “ever more symbiotic relationship with the environment.”

The ostensible purpose of this report was to exalt Vermont agriculture and lay out a plan for its future. But this report is not a plan; this is part of a misinformation campaign. The Vermont Agriculture Futures Report calls dairy “the backbone of our rural economy,” but in what economic skeleton can an operating loss of $1 to $6 on every quintal of milk produced be interpreted as its backbone? Why doesn’t the Legislative Assembly recognize the dismal results of its farm and lake pollution policies?

There is only one mention of pollution, dishonestly listed as one of many “long-term threats to the state’s natural and working lands” – that is, not some something Vermont agriculture contributes to, but something Vermont agriculture works hard to protect us from.

There is only one mention of organic in a case study to illustrate how “logistical and infrastructural barriers prevented farmers from increasing sales in the North East”.

Notably, there is no mention of the Global Warming Solutions Act, nor of fossil fuels, nor of conventional agriculture’s substantial reliance on products made from them. Even more surprisingly, this report is signed not only by the Secretary of Agriculture, but also by the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.

Why doesn’t the Legislature ask the Secretary of Agriculture to explain why he thinks the taxpayers are paying him and his staff to gaslight them?

]]> EU ambassadors visit rural development projects in central province https://indicerural.com/eu-ambassadors-visit-rural-development-projects-in-central-province/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 13:30:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/eu-ambassadors-visit-rural-development-projects-in-central-province/ *
EU ambassadors visit rural development projects in central province

Thu, March 3, 2022, 7:00 p.m. SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

03 March, Colombo: Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) and EU Member States residing in Sri Lanka traveled this week to Nuwara Eliya district in Central Province for a two-day visit in EU-funded rural development projects.

During their visit, the EU ambassadors visited and handed over a number of infrastructure in the region, such as a new business service center in Nuwara Eliya, a renovated water supply system in a tea plantation in Ragala and a seed potato production unit in Kandapola.

All these activities have been developed and financed within the framework of the EU program “Support for integrated rural development in the most vulnerable districts of the provinces of Uva and Center”.

This programme, launched in 2017, was the first major European initiative in the region with approximately LKR 6 billion (€30 million) in grants awarded to four districts of Nuwara Eliya, Matale, Badulla and Monaragala located in the provinces of ‘Uva and the Center.

Over the past five years, the EU has partnered with both the Sri Lankan government, the private sector and civil society organizations to improve the situation of small businesses, provide infrastructure for best practices in health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and to strengthen economic service delivery by local authorities, community organizations and the private sector in the two provinces.

EU Ambassadors have been informed that over 600 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been supported, of which over 200 are owned by women. Initiatives promoting SME development have had an impressive impact on income and job creation, market development, technology development and business skills development, ensuring private sector growth and sustainability. The program has helped to reduce barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing finance and other services. Thanks to these efforts, more than 1,500 jobs have been created, increasing the participation of women in the labor market.

During the visit, the group was informed that the EU had helped to provide clean water to more than 35,000 people and to renovate water supply systems and latrines in more than 70 schools and 30 towns. This has enabled more than 4,000 children to have access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities in their schools.

EU Ambassador Denis Chaibi said: “Promoting local economic development and social inclusion has been at the heart of our support for years. Since 2014, the EU and its Member States have provided more than €210 million (approximately Rs 48 billion) to improve the quality of life of Sri Lankans, including in the provinces of Uva and Central, which have among the poorest regions of the country. This visit took place in a European team spirit; my fellow European Ambassadors and I are pleased with our long-term assistance to bring about positive change in people’s lives.

As part of the two-day visit, EU ambassadors also participated in the opening of the “Tea Kahata” photography exhibition, organized by the Center for Policy Alternatives, initially supported under the funded project by the EU ‘Strengthening the Reconciliation Process in Sri Lanka’ and implemented by GIZ. The exhibition, featuring more than 100 photographs of the daily life of the Tamil communities in the interior of the country, used art as vehicle to promote dialogue and explore themes such as identity and inequality.

Photo caption: EU and Member State Ambassadors at the opening of the Business Service Center in Nuwara Eliya

Proposed new rules for carbon farming of exotic forests in the future https://indicerural.com/proposed-new-rules-for-carbon-farming-of-exotic-forests-in-the-future/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 01:42:52 +0000 https://indicerural.com/proposed-new-rules-for-carbon-farming-of-exotic-forests-in-the-future/

Forestry Minister Stuart Nash and Climate Change Minister James Shaw have released a public discussion paper that seeks input on ideas for better managing afforestation.

“Climate change is a challenge that we cannot postpone. The government wants to encourage reforestation to help meet our climate change goals, offset carbon emissions and also help farmers, landowners and investors diversify their sources of income,” Nash says.

He says that under current rules, from 2023 a new permanent forest category of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) would allow exotic and native forests to be registered in the ETS and earn New Zealand Units (NZU).

“We are now proposing to exclude alien species from the permanent forest category.

“We want to encourage the right tree, in the right place, for the right reason. We intend to balance the need for reforestation with the broader needs of local communities, regional economies and the environment.

“The increase in exotic forest plantations is being spurred by rising carbon prices as landowners and investors seek higher returns. The price of NZU has more than doubled over the past year, rising from around $35 at the end of 2020 to over $80 in February 2022.

“Permanent exotic forests like radiata pine pose potential environmental and ecological risks. These include pests, fires, damaged habitats for native species, threats to biodiversity, and a relatively short lifespan compared to well-managed native mixed forests,” says Nash.

He adds that later in 2022 the government will consult on proposals that could give the local council more powers to decide under the Resource Management Act (RMA) where exotic forests are planted in their areas.

According to Climate Change Minister James Shaw, planting more trees can help New Zealand meet its climate goals, but it is important to ensure that all types of afforestation are well managed as part of the climate change framework. ETS and the planning process.

“Aotearoa was once covered in native forests, home to native birds, insects and other wildlife. Today, much of that ancient forest is gone, but what remains is still a vital carbon sink,” says Shaw.

“In its advice to government, the Climate Change Commission said we needed to increase the planting of native and exotic trees to meet our emissions targets. But they also warned that we must reduce our overall reliance on forest offsets and better manage the impacts of afforestation.

“For example, a proliferation of permanent exotic forests could lead to lower carbon prices in the long term and potentially limit investments in low-carbon technologies. At the same time, an increase in native forestry will require additional management efforts to eliminate pests that feed on native trees.

This consultation is an opportunity for anyone interested in the future of forestry to express themselves. We particularly want to hear from Maori landowners. Iwi-Maori have significant interests in permanent forestry and we want to ensure that they are not unfairly affected.

“Decisions we make now will be felt in decades to come, so it’s really important that we get it right,” says Shaw.

ACT rural spokesman Mark Cameron said the discussion paper was a welcome and late opening to the concerns of rural New Zealand.

“For too long rural New Zealand has not been listened to, in fact we have been treated with contempt by the urban political left. We’ve been saying for years that carbon farming is destroying communities and creating environmental problems for years to come,” Cameron says.

“The paper examines whether planting even more pines should be rewarded by the ETS. Environmental policy that subsidizes environmental damage is bad news. The ACT argues that environmental policy is meant to prevent damage to the environment, not subsidize it.

“It’s a welcome development that the government is listening to rural New Zealanders about a long-standing concern,” Cameron said.

What’s the news today? | Thursday, February 24, 2022 https://indicerural.com/whats-the-news-today-thursday-february-24-2022/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 22:52:39 +0000 https://indicerural.com/whats-the-news-today-thursday-february-24-2022/

Today’s roundup features the latest news from Russia and Ukraine, crop management news and recent developments in the spread of avian flu. Catch up here.

Russia and Ukraine

As President Biden and NATO allies respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Kremlin sanctions, the people of Ukraine are trying to stay calm.

Inside the war lines, things change from minute to minute. Iurii Mykhailov, best-selling Farming correspondent in Kyiv, Ukraine, shares his thoughts on Kyiv’s environment and what locals experience, as well as its planting season, markets, and more.

Ukraine’s military has suspended commercial shipping in its ports after Russian forces invaded the country, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff has said, fueling fears of a supply disruption to major grain and oilseed exporters.

Ukraine is a major exporter of maize (maize), much of which goes to China and the European Union. It also competes with Russia to supply wheat to major buyers such as Egypt and Turkey.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea threatens to disrupt exports of commodities such as grains and oilseeds from both countries, while the prospect of heightened sanctions against Russia could disrupt the supply of energy and metals.

Read this article for more details on Russia’s top commodity exports.

Russia’s overnight attack on Ukraine will have a moderate, if any, effect on U.S. food prices, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.

“We have a huge (domestic) production capacity,” Vilsack told reporters at the annual USDA Outlook Forum.


U.S. farmers will cut corn plantings by 1.5% and slightly increase soybean acreage this spring in the face of high input costs, the USDA forecast on Thursday.

High yields would bring the largest corn and soybean crops ever to America and lower average prices for the season for the two most widely planted American crops.

Managing Editor Chelsea Dinterman talks about the partnership between CIBO Technologies, a science-based technology company, and Bushel, a company that provides software-based technology solutions for the agricultural industry, which will bring visibility to sustainable practices throughout of the supply chain.

CIBO Carbon Bridge will provide financial incentives for the practice to farmers who switch to regenerative agriculture.

Andrea Basche, an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, presented results from field experiments and how changing your perspective on cover crops can increase their benefits. .

She says treating cover crops like cash crops improves efficiency in nutrient cycling, water storage and infiltration, and weed suppression. The benefits of these can amplify the overall impact of cover crops and potentially increase cash crop yields.

Inari, the SEEDesign company, and InterGrain, one of Australia’s leading cereal breeding companies, today announced a strategic collaboration to improve the yield potential of wheat, thereby improving the long-term viability of the crop. in the face of an increasingly variable climate.

Although the announcement is for wheat in Australia, there could be an impact on wheat varieties around the world.

Livestock and meat packing

Editor Madelyn Ostendorf writes that Michigan has reported its first case of bird flu in a non-commercial, non-poultry flock in Kalamazoo County.

The USDA has quarantined the premises and the birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of disease.

The USDA announced that it is making $215 million available to meat producers and packers in grants and other forms of support to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen supply chain and create opportunities in rural areas.

“For too long, ranchers and processors have seen the value and the opportunities they worked so hard to create moving away from the rural communities where they live and operate,” said the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsak.

Convoy divides rural community used as staging ground for illegal siege of Ottawa https://indicerural.com/convoy-divides-rural-community-used-as-staging-ground-for-illegal-siege-of-ottawa/ Thu, 17 Feb 2022 19:13:28 +0000 https://indicerural.com/convoy-divides-rural-community-used-as-staging-ground-for-illegal-siege-of-ottawa/

The Township of Russell, a community 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa, proudly calls itself the “Third Best Place to Live in Canada” – a great honor considering its population is just 16,500. .

But some residents feel the once tight-knit community is permanently divided by the convoy of far-right extremists that have occupied Ottawa for three weeks.

Rachel, a resident of Russell Township, says the convoy showed her a side of some of her neighbors that she finds unsettling.

“We were a very tight-knit community,” Rachel said. PressProgress. “It really brought up this idea of ​​’we’re a lot more different than we thought’.”

“I kind of look at my neighbors with a different point of view, like ‘which side are you on? ‘” Rachel said. “A lot of friends I have here were really excited about this convoy and some were quiet.”

“You can sort of tell based on who suddenly became a patriot and flew a Canadian flag.”

Another reason for more flags appearing on the back of vans in the area is the presence of a convoy base camp just outside the town of Embrun.

The base camp is located on agricultural land at the intersection of Saint-Guillame and Route 200, just five kilometers south of Highway 417 which connects Ottawa and Montreal.

Embrun base camp location (Google Maps)

Neighbors said PressProgress the farm is owned by Michel Dignard, a man described as apolitical, “mild-mannered” and “always friendly” – at least, that is before the pandemic.

The Dignard farm has a mural on one of its silos which “illustrates the unity of all peoples”. It was funded with support from the Government of Canada through a program that partners with Beau’s Brewery and Fromagerie St-Albert to bring art to rural Canada.

In 2019, the Minister of Heritage at the time, Mélanie Joly visited the Dignard farm for a photo shoot highlighting the Liberal government’s priorities for Francophones in Eastern Ontario.

Ask by PressProgress if Michel Dignard is the owner of the field of the farm which serves as a base camp for the convoy, the Dignard farm immediately deleted its Facebook page. Dignard did not respond to additional emails seeking comment.


The camp at the farm, like the convoy logistics camp at the Ottawa baseball stadium, consists of a series of tents, trailers, RVs and portable potties. The front door is marked with oil drums and is guarded by black vans with Canadian flags.

Over the weekend, around 50 vehicles were spotted parked at the farm during the day. Videos posted on social media suggest the number of vehicles camping on the farm could increase to double that number overnight.

Photos posted by convoy participants show base camp tents well stocked with food and kept warm by patio heaters.


The Ontario Provincial Police confirmed PressProgress they know the base camp and have been in contact with the organizers.

“We have regular contact with the main organizers or the people who are there, continually giving them messages of safe operation and that sort of thing,” the OPP sergeant said. Tyler Copeland said PressProgress.

“They’re not causing us any problems at this point,” Copeland said. “There were a few isolated incidents, people in the area may have thrown comments at them as they drove by, but it was uneventful.”

Unlike the vehicles occupying downtown Ottawa, Copeland said the OPP is limited in what they can do given that the camp is located on “private property” – “this owner is allowed to do, within reasonable limits, what he wishes”.

Embrun Base Camp (PressProgress)

Local officials are monitored when interrogated at the base camp.

The Township of Russell Public Safety Department referred all questions to the Township’s Communications Department, which in turn ignored several requests for comment from PressProgress at base camp and set their phone number to voicemail.

Pierre Leroux, Mayor of the Township of Russell, said PressProgress the Ontario Provincial Police are monitoring the base camp and will take ‘appropriate action’ if there are threats to the ‘safety of our citizens’ – although he says he is not aware of any specific security threats linked to the base camp.

However, other matches obtained by PressProgress shows the mayor telling a resident that the OPP had informed local authorities that they were taking a “measured” approach to base camp.

“I know we’d just like them to go away, but coming in aggressively would actually be counterproductive in this situation,” Leroux wrote. “Based on OPP expertise, we are proceeding in measured steps.”

Some members of the Russell Township council openly promoted the convoy’s occupation of Ottawa.

Councilor Cindy Saucier said PressProgress she is “pro-choice on vaccines” and pointed out that her posts in support of the convoy, which include sharing videos made by one of the convoy leader’s spouses, were published on her “personal FB page not my community”.

“I had to delete people and the police recommended that I file a complaint, which I did not do, so I prefer to leave it at that,” Councilor Saucier said. “The world has become very divided.”

Councilor Saucier did not respond to questions regarding her position on the base camp outside of Embrun.

A resident of Russell said that many people in the area are concerned about the presence of the base camp, but they tend to keep quiet, probably because it is out of sight and no one wants to “shake the boat “.

“No one talks about it openly,” said Jacqueline PressProgress. “People don’t openly say how they feel.”

“It feels a bit Canadian, or that part of Canada. Very conservative.

417 release at Vars (PressProgress)

The disconnect between what people say out loud and what they keep to themselves is a recurring theme in Russell Township.

Marie, administrator of a local Facebook group, says she was recently forced to shut down discussions about politics and “covid talk” because things got “very divisive” in the community, as many are emboldened to share extreme opinions that they held before. themselves.

“It’s too volatile,” said Marie PressProgress. “People are attacking each other. I don’t want to give him a platform.

“It’s like being stuck in an episode of the Twilight Zone,” the former military medic explained. “Conspiracies are crazy and if you talked to me without me witnessing it, I’d think you were making it up.”

According to Citizen of Ottawaa recent leak of financial data from GiveSendGo shows that donors in rural areas around Ottawa have been among the convoy’s biggest supporters.

@atMatthewBest (Twitter)

There may be several reasons for this, especially since the area has been a focal point for militants associated with the convoy.

Lawn signs from “No More Lockdowns,” a group founded by Ontario MPP and convoy leader Randy Hillier, are common in the area. Another convoy leader, Daniel Bulford, also lives in the area. Bulford is a former RCMP officer and leads a group called “Mounties for Freedom”.

Another factor, according to locals, is that a conspiratorial newspaper mysteriously started appearing in their mailboxes shortly after the pandemic began.

“Druthers” describes itself as “honest news”. The newspaper is partnered with an anti-vaxxer group called Vaccine Choice Canada and it regularly publishes conspiratorial content relating to vaccines and COVID-19 and features figures associated with the convoy.


More than a dozen Russell Township residents have independently confirmed PressProgress that they and their neighbors received from Druthers in their mailboxes.

“It’s been coming steadily for two years now,” Rachel said. PressProgress.

“For a long time I thought it was just me,” Rachel recalls. “Then I was talking about it in December, there was a community event here… We were all up and I was talking about this thing I got and this person was like, ‘Oh no, we all get that’.”

Rachel said the conspiracy newspaper was even distributed at local food markets.

“In Embrun, I went to this place of natural restoration,” recalls Rachel. “Coming out, they were like, ‘have a copy of this great publication’ and it was Druthers.”

“Some of my neighbors received it and they were quite upset,” Marie recalls, adding that she doesn’t know how it ends up in her mailbox.

The cover story of the most recent edition of Druthers falsely claims that COVID-19 vaccines can harm children. The edition also includes an editorial written by Bulford’s Mounties for Freedom group.

Others say they like Druthers because they feel their local newspaper and big corporate media protect them from alternative information.

Meg, who lives in Russell, said PressProgress she has “no worries” about Druthers because he provides “facts” that don’t appear in the “mainstream” media – although Meg doesn’t specify which “facts” she was referring to.

This week, following the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act, Druthers released a statement saying his bank accounts have been frozen.

“With our bank account frozen, our funds are no longer accessible,” Druthers wrote. “That leaves us in a bit of a pickle.”


While the emergency in Ottawa may eventually deescalate in the short term, residents of Russell Township say its long-term impact on their community is what they “fear the most”.

I think it’s going to do a lot of irreparable damage to people’s relationships with each other,” Marie said.

“I think our democracy is seriously threatened.”

Editor’s note: Out of concern for the safety of those involved in this story, PressProgress has agreed to use a pseudonym for the person named “Rachel”. PressProgress has independently verified their identity.

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Rural development a priority in the new bill presented by the DTs https://indicerural.com/rural-development-a-priority-in-the-new-bill-presented-by-the-dts/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 12:45:30 +0000 https://indicerural.com/rural-development-a-priority-in-the-new-bill-presented-by-the-dts/

The Rural Independent Group have announced the introduction of their Planning and Development Bill 2022. The Bill aims to hold the government accountable for all actions taken under the Ireland 2040 project, the group said.

Ensuring that rural areas are not forgotten when it comes to delivering key infrastructure projects and essential public services to their areas is a major concern, the group said.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the bill at Leinster House today (Tuesday February 15), the leader of the group, MP Mattie McGrath, said:

“The Ireland 2040 project will dictate where people live, work and have access to all public services over the next 20 years.”

This new bill would give Dáil Éireann the ability to contribute much more to rural and regional development in Ireland, according to the group.

Deputy McGrath and independent Laois-Offaly TD Carol Nolan said urgent state intervention is needed to bring jobs, wealth and long-term well-being to regional areas and rural Ireland.

“These communities have been disproportionately affected by successive governments since the financial crash,” said MP Nolan.

Deputy McGrath further said the opportunities for remote work due to the Covid-19 pandemic “must not be diminished”.

He added that the strict planning restrictions on rural housing must also be reviewed.

Project Ireland 2040

The Dáil has been “completely sidelined” on the Ireland 2040 project, including withholding people’s input into strategic policy and capital spending plans, according to MP McGrath.

The group believes it is essential that the Dáil and the public can contribute and review progress under the plan, which includes a €165 billion National Development Plan (NDP) and the National Planning Framework ( MFN).

“After all, the NDP’s $165 billion in funding is provided by taxpayers and it seems odd that the government is refusing legitimate donor contributions,” according to MP McGrath.

The leader of the group said they urged the government to stand with rural communities and provide an opportunity to rebalance development with increased investment in small towns, regional towns and cities.

“We believe that a democratic review of the new NDP element of the Ireland 2040 project is essential and, particularly after the pandemic, to ensure that Ireland’s future economic prospects are balanced,” added MP Nolan.

A grower ventures into farming through the backyards of the big city https://indicerural.com/a-grower-ventures-into-farming-through-the-backyards-of-the-big-city/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 17:43:56 +0000 https://indicerural.com/a-grower-ventures-into-farming-through-the-backyards-of-the-big-city/ Reading time: 4 minutes

Reclaim Organics is a farm with an unusual trajectory – it has moved many times and existed both in town and in the countryside.

Owner Ryan Mason grew up on a broiler chicken and grain farm near Pigeon Lake, but farming wasn’t his career focus when he headed off to college.

“I had no intention of going back to farming,” he said.

But his studies in community and global development rekindled his interest in agriculture, and he started talking to classmate Cathryn Sprague, who had the same ambition to grow food.

“She and I started the farm while we were doing our masters (degree) to kind of pilot why we wanted to make it a way of life,” Mason said. “We both had an interest in food production. We were trying to find accessible ways to do this in the environment we were in (Edmonton), so we focused on the SPIN model, which stands for Small Plot INtensive.

As the name suggests, this model (which started in Canada decades ago) aims to generate a good income by growing high-value crops on small plots of land, usually in backyard plots.

“Most farmers don’t look at a piece of land and think about what they can get out of a square foot. It’s about how much they can squeeze out of an acre,” he said.

In 2014, Mason and Sprague found about 10 back (and front) yards to farm along with three vacant lots, and operated what was then called Reclaim Urban Farm for four seasons in Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue neighborhood.

Having a farm with multiple urban locations had its advantages.

“If you have hail, you were never picked up because you were scattered,” Mason said. “You had a little microclimate wherever you were – the sun changed depending on where you were. Then you had different wind patterns where the buildings were taller or shorter.

The operation began by growing green leafy seedlings, which were profitable as they could get three or four crops per season, as well as scallions, baby carrots and beets, as well as herbs such as cilantro. and dill. The duo sold their vegetables at the downtown Edmonton Farmers’ Market and a few restaurants. During those years, the farm moved four or five times and continued to expand, including into Mason’s basement, where he grew microgreens.

Staff member Melissa Peter at the Reclaim Organics booth at a farmers market in Edmonton in the pre-COVID era.

Recover organic materials

In 2017, Sprague decided to leave the company and Mason started thinking about returning to Pigeon Lake. Family and lifestyle considerations were the main reasons, but farming in an urban area was also difficult – there was opposition to practices such as composting and circle houses, as well as the need to many permits to operate.

So in 2018, Mason returned to the family farm, a 45-minute drive southwest of town. The microgreens operation (which had by then expanded to a warehouse) was moved to a former chicken coop and grain land was prepared for market gardening.

“One of our main problems was access to water and irrigation,” he said. “We had water that we thought would work (but) it was under capacity. Intensification of irrigation was a problem.

And the bounty of so much land led Mason down the proverbial garden path that first year.

“We went from one acre in the city to six acres here – we quickly realized that was unmanageable for rapid scaling, given the equipment we had,” he said. declared. “The weed management was amazing. The transformation of conventional cereal land in one year into vegetable crops has blown us away in the face of weed pressure. »

But it was forward and up. A canoe solved the water supply problem and the number of acres increased to 12. And with the harvest running from mid-May to the end of October, the payroll also increased (to two full-time employees , two part-time and four more in spring and summer).

Restaurants are the farm’s main source of sales, but since the pandemic began, Reclaim Organics has increased sales at grocery stores and also sells at farmers’ markets and customers can purchase a weekly box of vegetables for the season. The farm produces 25 to 30 varieties of microgreens, around 100 vegetable crops, cut flowers and a few value-added products, such as condiments.

And while Mason is happy on his rural farm, he said he misses the city too.

“In an urban setting, you have people around you all the time, seeing what you’re doing, asking you questions, so it’s really about changing the landscape around you,” he said. “I really miss the idea of ​​growing food in the community.”

And the SPIN model — intensively growing high-value crops on small plots — is a path others can follow, he said.

“In urban farming, you can find small plots of land and grow food and sell it,” Mason said.

But it is a model that can also be transplanted.

“When people consider starting a farm outside of town, they think of buying the land, which can be a huge economic barrier to starting a farm.”

But there is also the possibility of making an agreement with a farmer on a long-term lease for an acre or two.

“You can take the urban model and bring it to rural areas,” he said.