January 2020
Greetings, we hope you enjoy reading our January News and Updates!
Chris Hiemstra, Chair

Chris Hiemstra has served on the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) board since 2014, as the Other Industries/Commodities representative, and most recently he was elected to serve as the 2019-20 board chair.
Chris is a third-generation beekeeper, with a commercial bee operation focused on honey, pollen, pollination and the sale of honeybees to other beekeepers. In 2000, Chris and his wife Christy bought his parent’s honeybee business. Over the years, they have restored corn cribs, pig houses, even a local train station to create a unique agri-tourism destination in Aylmer, Ontario. Clovermead adventure farm welcomes over 50,000 visitors each summer and there are activities for the whole family, including Ontario's largest glass bee display hive. Their Honey Shop has six varietal honeys on tap.
Over the years they have achieved a number of awards such as the Premier’s Award, the Ontario Farm Marketer award, Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmer, and Ch amber of Commerce Business of the year, demonstrating they are they best place to Bee for family agri-adventures.
Chris brings a wide-range of experience as AAC's new chair, from his previous involvement with both school and church boards and co-chair of the Ontario Outstanding Young Farmers Program, to his current role as director of the North American Direct Farmer's Marketing Association.

We have asked a few questions to learn more about Chris, click here to read his responses:

  1. What are you most looking forward to as chair of the 2019-20 AAC board?
  2. How does your experience serving on boards translate to everyday operations? 
  3. As the operator of a family run business, what advice do you have for young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business or take the reins from a family member?
  4. What is the most fulfilling benefit as the owner/operator of Clovermead?
  5. What excites you the most about the future of the agriculture and agri-food industry in Ontario?
Flowers Canada (Ontario)

Flowers Canada (Ontario) (FCO) is a not-for-profit provincial trade and professional association serving the Ontario floriculture sector. 

FCO was one of the founding members of the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) in 1995. FCO currently serves over 180 members, including greenhouse growers, distributors, and importers/exporters of cut flowers, potted plants, bedding plants, cut greens, specialty suppliers and services to the industry. FCO assists members with solutions relating to trade and plant health, pesticide management, human resources, research and innovation, environment, marketing and risk management.

FCO’s mandate is to enhance the profitability and competitiveness of Ontario’s floriculture industry by helping members in addressing common issues, challenges and opportunities, thereby retaining and enhancing Ontario’s pre-eminent position in the floriculture industry in North America.

Using leading-edge technology, Ontario greenhouse growers produce hundreds of varieties of floriculture products for consumers throughout North America. Heat loss is a significant problem for greenhouse growers during the winter months. Plants transpire during photosynthesis, causing humidity build-up in the greenhouse, so vents are opened to bring in cold, dry air, resulting in heat loss. This has led FCO to initiate a research project to evaluate different dehumidification technology solutions to reduce greenhouse energy consumption. Through this research, four different technologies are being tested, at three different facilities, for their potential to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

This project received funding from Ontario through the Greenhouse Renewable Energy Technologies (GRET) research and development initiative, a program administered by AAC.

 Click here to read more about the GRET project.