May 2021

As the warm weather has finally arrived and #Plant21 is in full swing, we hope your spring is off to a fruitful and productive start!

May has been an exciting month for our AAC team. Over the past couple of months, the AAC board and staff have been developing our strategic plan for the next three years. We are excited to share the results from this planning process with our members at the AAC summer meeting in June.

Last week we hosted our first Lunch ‘n Learn, which was open to AAC member organizations. The virtual event featured Laura Williams, from Williams HR Law LLP, who spoke on "Navigating the Complexities of the Pandemic’s Impact on the Workplace". Thank you to our AAC members, who were able to join us for this relevant and valuable learning session. If your organization is interested in learning more about the new workplace realities, we have included a link below to a workplace law webinar, taking place tomorrow Thursday, May 27. During this free event, Laura and her team will share their insights gained through assisting organizations during the COVID-19 era. We know there will be practical takeaways for any organization taking part in this event.

This month in our Meet the AAC Board, we are featuring Ray Duc. Ray has been an active director on the AAC board since 2015. Our AAC in the News includes links to media coverage from the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative, Emergency Processing Fund and Ontario Regional Priorities Partnership Program. 

If you have any questions, please reach out.


Chris Hiemstra, AAC Chair
Terry Thompson, AAC Executive Director
Ray Duc, Director

Ray Duc is a grape and tender fruit grower from Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ray farms with his son on their third-generation family farm.

Ray has been a valued member of the AAC board since 2015. He is also currently on the board of directors for the Greenbelt Foundation. Ray brings a wealth of board experience to his role of horticulture representative on the AAC board, as he was the former Chair for both the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association and Grape Growers of Ontario. He has also been actively involved with other agricultural organizations, including Farm & Food Care Ontario, Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service and CANAG.

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

  • What have you enjoyed most about being a part of the AAC board over the past five years?
  • How does your experience serving on boards translate to everyday operations?
  • AAC is in its 25th year of operation, over the past 25 years, what advancements in farm practices have most excited you as a producer?
  • As we begin to cross over into warmer summer months, what activities are most looking forward to?