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Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP speaks with local farmers


Essex Riding Conservative candidate, Chris Lewis, and Conservative MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Bev Shipley, spoke to area farmers about varying issues last Friday. They are pictured speaking with Kingsville farmer Henry Denotter about corn.

by Sylene Argent

On Friday, Bev Shipley, Conservative MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, and Chris Lewis, Conservative federal candidate for the Essex Riding, hosted roundtable discussions with farmers of the cash crop, greenhouse, and dairy industries at Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

  The meeting was about allowing Shipley, who is also a lifetime farmer, to keep in contact with people on the ground. Both the Essex and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Ridings have agriculture as a key industry, he said of the reason for the visit.

  Shipley said he has a pretty good handle on the issues surrounding agriculture in his Riding, and learned in the Essex Riding, there are similar issues around not only in agriculture, but in small business, too.

   “As we get ready to form government in 2019, we want to develop policy and platform around what the people are saying,” Shipley said.

  Shipley has hosted similar events in other ridings as well to find out what is happening on the ground. “Sometimes, what we are finding, the methods the government, or someone else, comes back with, is not exactly what is happening on the ground,” he said.

  Part of the discussion with the dairy farmers surrounded the USMCA negotiations and the share of the market the Canadian industry will forfeit because of it.

  One of the issues the cash croppers relayed to Lewis and Shipley is that there is a fungus called vomitoxin. Certain processors can not use corn that contains the fungus, but it can be used to make ethanal or alcohol at a certain parts per million. It creates the concern of where impacted crops can be used, and where unaffected grains can be found for production of other products that cannot contain the fungus, Shipley said. “It is a significant issue.”

  Lewis said there are a lot of issues, and they were there to listen to those challenges.     

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