We, the co-founders of Islanders for Farmers, want to share with Islanders our continued frustration with the continued lack of access to water for supplemental irrigation for those Island farmers that would choose to responsibly make use of this tool.
It is fundamentally unfair that agriculture continues to be singled out as the only segment of our society that is not allowed to apply for a permit to access groundwater.
This is particularly galling due to the fact that there is no scientific basis for this ... just a lack of political will to tackle the issue.
2020 has been a trying year for all of us. Agriculture has been a bright light in our economy this year, continuing to employ tens of thousands of Islanders and bringing money into the province. As a province, we need to continue finding ways to support agriculture for the benefit of our local economy, as well as producing nutritious, safe food. These farm families are your friends, your neighbours, and customers for your small businesses.
The three of us are all from farm families. We see the frustration on the faces of our family members and farming friends. Some of them have told us that they're not sure how long they can keep farming under the current circumstances. That's chilling to hear. We can't afford to lose energetic, forward-thinking farmers from our industry. Even more, we can't afford to have farmers under the immense mental stress brought on by repeated dry weather without giving them access to mitigation tools like irrigation.
We ask that our leaders lead on this issue by prioritizing science and rural communities over politics. We also ask our fellow Islanders to continue supporting our hard-working farm families, the backbone of our rural economy and communities.
Jessica Reeves, Freetown
Sarah Jane Dixon, North Tryon
Keisha Rose Topic, North Lake
Co-founders of Islanders For Farmers