Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 12, 2006 16:35 ET

AAFC: Farm Families Reminded to Apply for Options Before October 31st

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 12, 2006) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, issued a reminder today that farm families have until October 31st to sign up for the Canadian Farm Families Options program (Options).

Response to the program has been positive. As of October 8th, the administration has received almost 5000 applications. Cheques totalling over $30 million have been sent to producers and the average payment is $10,580.

"This New Government is committed to keeping rural communities strong," said Minister Strahl. "The Options program is providing income support as well as business assessment and skills development assistance to low-income farm families who are most in need."

The Canadian Farm Families Options Program:

- provides immediate short-term income support to low income farm families. Eligible applicants receive a payment based on their 2005 income tax return, that brings them up to a maximum income of $25,000 for families and $15,000 for individuals if they have a commercial farm.

- helps low income farm families explore options to raise their on or off-farm income for the future. Applicants must commit to use business assessment or skills development programs.

Applicants must be actively farming in 2006. Application forms are available on the Options program Website (www.agr.gc.ca/options). Applicants may download or print a PDF version of the Form and Guide, or call 1-866-367-8506 to receive a form by mail. The form and guide will be mailed within 24 hours of receiving the request.

The online form used to request an Options Form and Guide is currently unavailable due to technical difficulties. Online request forms sent prior to September 15 have not been received.

Options is a pilot program, with a federal commitment of $550 million.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-759-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    Producers can call toll free:
    1-866-367-8506