Since the moment our children were born, we have been planning and strategizing on how to set our farm up in a way that will allow them to one day farm themselves. This is an incredibly complicated long-term plan, one that is constantly shifting and changing with economic changes, the growth of our farm, and small incremental tax changes.
The small business tax changes that the Federal Government is proposing do not only affect if and how we will thrive as a farm. They do not just affect myself and my husband. These changes could very well mean the end of our family generational farm. These changes mean that it could cost millions of dollars for my children to take over the land and soil we have long cared for. Can you imagine, as a 20 something, having an extra million dollars (or two) on hand to start out your career? Not to invest and grow, but to hand over in taxes. The idea is ludicrous.
After the last Agriculture Census I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the CBC National. We discussed the lack of young farmers, and how it is almost impossible for young people to build a farm without a family farm to start from. With these changes, people new to agriculture will still struggle to farm, and passing a farm onto a new generation will also be extremely difficult.
This concerns all Canadians. I cannot stress enough how it concerns each and every one of you reading this.
Who will grow your children’s food?
With grocery store shelves always full, it is difficult to imagine such a question. I have no doubt that those shelves will always be full. But from where? Will we import everything we eat from China? Should we leave our food security, as a nation, in the hands of other countries?
A farmer is used to sleepless nights. Waiting on a cow to calf, or a rain to come. Worry over paying bills, keeping the family and workers safe, or how to get everything done that needs doing in a day: these are the things that keep sleep elusive. But these days, it isn’t Mother Nature keeping me up at night, it’s our very own government.
Have a peek at my friend and fellow rancher, Tara Davidson’s, blog post here, where she has compiled a list of links to more information, as well as a petition against these changes.
I ask, no, I beg of you to take a moment, have a read, and sign the petition. Tax is something we all have in common, something no one loves, but is necessary for a functioning society. But you know what else is necessary for a functioning society? Healthy, nutritious food. The kind grown on family farms across Canada.