November 2022
Warm Fall greetings from the team at AAC!
This is the season where many of us are rewarded for a year of hard work, and we sincerely hope that most of our partners have been able to celebrate a successful harvest. The team at AAC has been extremely busy processing final claims for the Livestock Veterinary Innovation Initiative. We are also working closely with applicants from the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative, Ontario Regional Priorities Partnership Program, and Ontario Agri-Careers Support Initiative to ensure the successful wrap-up of their projects before the end of the year.
Our recent virtual AAC Membership Lunch 'n Learn on the topic of the Ontario Non-Profit Corporations Act was a success. It was great to have our member organizations join us as we learned about ways to structure our governance policies and procedures to comply with the Act. The AAC is keen to coordinate these virtual sessions with knowledgeable presenters as a valuable service for our membership. Information on future events and topics will soon be shared with our members.
We are very excited to be hosting our 27th AAC AGM at the GrandWay Events Centre in Elora on December 1st. After two years of virtual events, it will be energizing to meet and network with our members and industry stakeholders in person. Our team is busy planning for an engaging panel discussion on labour issues facing the agriculture and food sector. Expert panelists will cover various elements of what many consider the biggest challenge to our food chain. We hope to see many of you at the GrandWay to gain new insights and add your voice to this timely discussion.
Both the AAC and our sister organization Canlead, continue to flourish. We have added new staff in financial leadership and programs to help the AAC tackle new opportunities to deliver exceptional programming and assist Canlead with its mandate to support the growth and development of agriculture and food organizations. Adding capacity to our team allows both organizations to move forward with a broadened skill set and greater confidence.
We are also pleased to announce that we have moved to a shared office space with the Rural Ontario Institute. We hope this move will not only allow two organizations to be more efficient but may even facilitate new conversations between our organizations and areas of common interest.
We look forward to engaging with our members and industry partners in the coming months. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to any member of the AAC team. We’re here to help.
Melanie DiReto, AAC Executive Director 
The latest installment of AAC's Membership Lunch 'n Learn Series was held on October 12th. Victoria Prince, a partner with the Canadian legal firm Borden, Ladner Gervais provided an overview of the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) which came into force a year ago.

The virtual session covered what changes are in store with the new Act, steps organizations (including Public Benefit Corporations and those established under the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act) need to take to be in compliance, timelines and resources available to make the ONCA transition. The event was well attended by board and staff members of AAC's membership, providing an excellent platform to learn and discuss this timely topic.

The AAC's Lunch 'n Learn series explores key issues and interests on our diverse organizational network and is an extra benefit of AAC membership. For more information on AAC membership and future Lunch 'n Learn events please contact Peter Katona, Communications and Industry Relations Manager at
Kaley Rodman, Program Coordinator

Kaley joined the AAC team in August. As a program coordinator, she has been working closely with applicants to manage projects from the application stage through to claims and reporting.

Kaley graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a thesis-based master’s degree. Upon graduation, Kaley worked as a Beef Research Technician at U of G research centres in Northern and Southern Ontario.

Kaley has a passion for agriculture and food and enjoys helping those that work in it with the overall goal of advancing and strengthening the industry. Kaley likes to spend her spare time on the family beef farm in Bruce County, with her husband, two daughters and dog, Barley.
Sarah Nichols, Finance Manager

Sarah joined the AAC team in September as Finance Manager. In her senior role, she provides leadership for all financial areas including project claims administration and federal/provincial financial reporting.

Sarah has achieved accounting designations (CPA,CMA) and has over 15 years' experience working in a variety of finance roles in the private sector, government, and non-profit organizations, most recently with the University of Waterloo.

An avid traveler, Sarah has a keen sense of adventure having visited over 35 countries with more on her "bucket list". Sarah lives in Waterloo Region with her husband and two children.

This past September, the AAC moved to a new shared office location in Marden, Ontario on the north end of Guelph. The beautiful heritage building at 7382 Wellington County Road 30 is also home to the Rural Ontario Institute.

The AAC has formally adopted a hybrid work environment for staff which will enable greater efficiencies. The shared space with ROI will also lead to new collaboration between organizations that share common interests.