January 2021

As we head into 2021, we will be highlighting AAC board members from across the Ontario agriculture and agri-food sector and AAC successes from the past 25 years.

The AAC staff continue to work from home and our newly elected board of directors will be meeting virtually throughout the year, as we focus on looking to the future for AAC. This month AAC staff are wrapping up claim payments for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada funded Emergency Processing Fund for Nunavut, Manitoba and Ontario. We want to thank all of our applicants for submitting their final claim materials, as we know they are busy with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on their food processing operations.

This month we are featuring AAC Vice Chair, Ed Scharringa. Ed has been an AAC board member for the past four years, bringing his expertise in floriculture, specialty crops and greenhouse production to the board table. For the past 25 years, AAC has been delivering funding programs for applicants across the sector. We are featuring one of those applicants, Grain Farms of Ontario (GFO), who continually invest in important research projects to grow and improve the Ontario grain and oilseed industry.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us.

Chris Hiemstra, AAC Chair
Terry Thompson, AAC Executive Director
Ed Scharringa, Vice-Chair

Ed has been a director on the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) board since 2016. Ed represents General Farm Organizations, which includes Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO), Ontario Federation of Agriculture and l'Union des cultivateurs franco-ontariens.  
Ed is currently the CFFO President and he previously served on the Board of Directors for Farm & Food Care Ontario. Ed has worked in the agriculture and agri-food sector for over 40 years, running businesses in vegetable and flower wholesale, farm market retail and the restaurant industry. Ed and his wife Elaine were previously based in the Greater Hamilton area, where they were growers of specialty crops, producing greenhouse and outdoor cut flowers for Canadian and US markets. 

This past year, Ed and Elaine transitioned to a small farm in Caledonia. Ed is an acting advisor for two farm businesses, owned by his children, and he enjoys spending time with his 21 grandchildren, some of which have taken on their own roles on the farm.

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

  1. What have you enjoyed most about being a part of the AAC board? 
  2. You have been involved in a variety of agricultural organizations, what do you think are the most important leadership traits for being an effective board member? 
  3. As we begin a new year, what excites you about the opportunities for the flower industry in 2021?
  4. What are some of your favourite winter outdoor activities with your family?

Programs delivered by Adaptation Council helped advance grains and oilseed research 
Yields of five leading Ontario grains and oilseeds crops have been on the rise the last 20 years. The reasons behind the increases are varied, but they all lead back to a common source: research.

A driving force behind that research have been farmers themselves, funding projects through Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) and its three legacy organizations, Ontario Corn Producers Association, Ontario Soybean Growers and Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board.

That grower investment has also often been complemented by funding through grant programs delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC), which is marking its 25th anniversary in December 2020.

“One of our big goals is help farmers be more innovative, sustainable and have profitable production systems,” says GFO’s CEO Crosby Devitt. “A big part of that is finding ways to improve how grain is grown through new techniques, how we adapt to changes in the field, diseases and pests - they’re all directly related to farmer’s ability to produce a crop.” 

Click here to read more.