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NFU in Canada: 50 Years Old in 2019 Dianne Dowling


he National Farmers Union (NFU) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, and NFU Local 316 (Kingston, Frontenac, LennoxAddington) is in on the party. At its annual general meeting on January 10, Local 316 will be saluting past accomplishments, present activities, and future plans for the organization. All are welcome to attend the event to be held at the Inverary United Church hall. We will begin with a supper, followed by the program and a short annual meeting agenda. For more information, contact me at dowling@kos.net or 613-546-0869. The National Farmers Union operates at the local, provincial, national, and international levels, advocating for policies that support small and mediumsized family farms. Several of our Kingston area members have been involved in important national NFU campaigns — banning bovine growth hormone in Canada, fighting the introduction of genetically modified alfalfa and terminator seed, raising awareness about seed regulations, preserving orderly marketing boards, and advocating for agroecology, food sovereignty, and social justice. Members will speak briefly about these national and international issues at the AGM. As well, we will be celebrating Local 316 activities that helped build the regional farm and food economy, through projects

such as the NFU Feast of Fields, Food Down the Road, and the NFU New Farm Project. In 2016, Local 316 held its first Fall Feast, organized to raise money to support young and new farmers in attending farming conferences, workshops, and other educational experiences. For three years, the feast has sold out ahead of time, and because of the outstanding community support for the cause, we have raised several thousand dollars for the young and new farmers fund. The Local has helped sponsor leadership gatherings, including the Youth Convergence planned by NFU Ontario for March 2019. As well, in keeping with support for young and new farmers, this fall the Local initiated a 4-H scholarship of $400, to be awarded each year to a 4-H member attending a college or university; the scholarship will go to a member who has demonstrated leadership and has exemplified the 4-H motto, “Learn to do by doing.” For more information about the 4-H scholarship and the bursaries for young and new farmers, contact Local 316 president Ian Stutt at ianstutt@gmail. com or 613-483-0005. Dianne is an organic dairy and beef farmer on Howe Island, and is active in local food and farm organizations, including Local 316 of the National Farmers Union, the Food Policy Council for KFL&A, and the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative.

Go Carbon Neutral Denice Wilkins


eat, lights, power, action! It takes energy to hold events like weddings, concerts, AGMs, and club meetings and this results in carbon emissions that cause climate change. Quinte Field Naturalists (QFN), a local environmental group, wanted to take responsibility for the amount of carbon their monthly meetings were spewing into the atmosphere. They found two companies, Bullfrog Power (bullfrogpower.com) and Less Emissions Inc (less.ca), that could help them do just that. “Bullfrogpowering” an event is a proactive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this way, green energy from clean, renewable sources – such as low-impact hydro and wind – is put into the grid equivalent to the amount of energy the event will use. The small premium it costs also supports community-based renewable power projects across Canada. To Bullfrogpower your event, visit their website and check out “Events” under “Products & Solutions.” Less Emissions is a reactive way to reduce your carbon footprint. Using this approach, the amount of carbon dioxide that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of your event is “offset” by supporting a project that reduces carbon dioxide emissions elsewhere in the world. One of these “gold-standard certified” projects is a chlorine dispenser program that provides safe drinking water to people in rural Uganda. Using chlorine tablets to purify their water instead of boiling it

over a wood fire reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps prevent deforestation. Projects like this are not highly profitable businesses, so without this kind of alternative funding, they would not exist. The David Suzuki Foundation has ranked Less Emissions the highest quality offset provider in Canada and it is also endorsed by leading environmental groups like World Wildlife Fund. By offsetting the carbon emissions generated by an event, you join the ranks of the Juno Awards in making this responsible green decision! The cost of offsetting the carbon emissions from QFN meetings came to a whopping $8.48 annually. To offset your event, determine the time frame and the square footage of the space beginning used, and give Sandra Piroteala at Bullfrog a call (416-360-3464 x221) and she will calculate the tons of carbon emissions produced and the cost of offsets. Flying to warmer climes this winter? You can personally reduce your carbon footprint through Less Emissions by choosing to offset your air travel. It’s not expensive. Offsetting a round-trip flight from Toronto to Orlando would only cost about $16 to $21 per person. Using Bullfrog Power or Less Emission offsets are small expenses that make a big difference in combating climate change! Denice is a Quinte Field Naturalists board member.

Thank You I would like to thank the


constituents of Stone Mills for their renewed vote of confidence. Special thanks to my team: Tammy, Jackie, Sheila, Betty-Anne, Grant, Kathleen, Rosemary, Yvonne, Deb, Jan, George, and my family for their energy and support. Sincerely, Wenda Lalande

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December 2018 / January 2019 • The SCOOP


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The SCOOP // December 2018 / January 2019