Ontario Farmland Trust and the Power of Your Will

November is “Make a Will” month in Ontario. This is an excellent time to reflect on our legacies and the kind of impact we wish to leave behind for our family, friends and communities. This month, we at the Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT) invite you to consider leaving a gift in your will for future generations, by helping protect the land that sustains us.

Why Protecting Farmland Matters

In 2021, Ontario boasted 11.7 million acres of farmland with a high concentration of class 1 soils. However, this figure is decreasing at an alarming rate of 319 acres every day. This not only jeopardizes local food production but also imperils the resiliency of future generations. Farmland is the literal foundation of our food-producing landscapes. When we protect these lands, we are safeguarding a vital resource for our children and their children after them. Consider all the benefits that farmland provides for us… The crops grown on these lands feed us. The soils sequester carbon and absorb water. The greenspaces offer us places to connect with nature.

Do we want our generation’s legacy to be one where we have let future generations’ ability to be resilient and thrive be undermined? Or do we want to see a future where our decisions today have led to a balanced approach to land use? Do we envision a future with affordable farmland allowing for robust food production so that our communities have access to healthy, local food?

Your Legacy Can Make a Difference

Making a will is about leaving instructions for the world you leave behind. Consider setting aside a cash gift that will support OFT in conserving more lands and educating the public on the value of farmland. 

For farmers and farmland owners, this could be the incredible gift of bequeathing your land to OFT. You can ensure that the hard work, care, and effort that you gave to your land will continue to be valued by future generations. Donating your land to OFT ensures the land remains protected long term. This will also enable OFT to further strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector by offering affordable farmland access to aspiring new and young farmers right in your community. This proactive approach ensures the long-term resiliency of local food production for many years to come.

By choosing to leave a gift to OFT in your will, you are not only preserving the tangible – the soil, the crops, the scenic beauty – but also the intangible. The endless hours contributed to caretaking this precious space, the memories of a sunset over a field, the joy of tasting fresh, delicious Ontario fruit and vegetables, or the simple peace that comes from a walk in the countryside, are all retained for future generations.

Let’s Build Tomorrow, Today

During the month of November, as we reflect on the legacies we wish to leave behind, let us remember that we have the opportunity to make an impact for future generations. Our legacy offers us a chance to leave a lasting mark, to say, “I was here, and I chose to make a difference.”

If leaving a lasting impact resonates with you, consider including the Ontario Farmland Trust in your will. Together, let’s ensure that our children, and their children, live in an Ontario that’s green, bountiful, and hopeful. For more information on how you can make a legacy gift to OFT, please visit our Leave a Legacy webpage or reach out to us at info@ontariofarmlandtrust.ca. Your legacy can secure a sustainable future. Let’s make it count.