ONTARIO — Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) members from across the province met this week to discuss the agri-food sector’s potential for growth, vote for leadership of the organization and address related challenges facing the industry.
More than 350 agricultural representatives met in Hamilton at the OFA annual general meeting (AGM) November 19 to 20. Keith Currie, OFA’s 31st president, was acclaimed for his third one-year term. Voting delegates re-elected Peggy Brekveld and Mark Reusser to the vice president positions. Drew Spoelstra was elected by the board as the fourth executive member. Joining the OFA board this year is Hugh Simpson, elected at the AGM as Director-at-Large and Melissa Schneider, representing Zone 4 – Elgin and Oxford counties. Two long-time directors retired from OFA’s board this year, Mark Wales and Peter Lambrick. OFA’s Board of Directors is made up of 18 positions representing regions across Ontario.
“We’re proud to be a grassroots organization, and OFA’s annual meeting is the best demonstration of our strength in numbers, dedication to the industry and commitment to making the agri-food sector as successful and prosperous as it can be,” says Keith Currie, OFA president. “We’re poised for growth and positive change within our organization and within our industry. We have a clear direction from delegates at the AGM to improve infrastructure across rural Ontario, advocate for agriculture and rural communities with government, and deliver positive results for members across the province.”
This year’s conference theme, Prosperity Grows Here, led the discussions, speakers and workshop topics for the event. Conference attendees also voted on resolutions to address business and industry concerns, heard from Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Premier Ford via recorded video and Andrea Horwath, leader of the NDP party and official opposition.
As OFA pushes for continuous improvements within our rural communities, the event’s keynote speaker Doug Griffiths gave an honest and engaging presentation entitled “13 Ways to Kill Your Community” – providing an interesting approach on what not to do as a reminder of how to actually improve our communities from within.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.