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In This Issue

  • Farm and Food Care Board of Directors elects executive
  • Virtual Conference and Speakers' Program review
  • Winter Speakers' Series
  • LIVE Food & Farm Field Trips
  • Breakfast from the Farm
  • Meet a Gold member - Burnbrae Farms
Farm & Food Care Ontario Board of Directors elects 2021-2022 executive

The election of Farm & Food Care Ontario’s 2021-2022 executive took place at the April 26 board meeting. Remaining at the helm of the organization is chair Bonnie den Haan, nominated to the board by Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

Also continuing in their roles are Crispin Colvin, nominated by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, as first vice chair, and second vice chair Janelle Caldwell, nominated by Egg Farmers of Ontario. John Taylor, nominated by the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, has been newly elected as treasurer. 
Four new directors to FFCO

Farm & Food Care held its annual business meeting for voting delegates virtually on April 8. Four new directors were elected to the board in the board’s Livestock, Crop/Hort and At Large categories.

Joining the slate of officers are (Left to Right) Quintin McEwen, Ontario Sheep Farmers; Holly McGill, Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd.; Jennifer Mitchell, Mushrooms Canada and John Taylor, Ontario Mutual Insurance Association.
Returning members of the Board of Directors include:
  • Richard Blyleven, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
  • Josh Boersen, Grain Farmers of Ontario
  • Janelle Caldwell, Egg Farmers of Ontario
  • Crispin Colvin, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
  • Bonnie den Haan, Dairy Farmers of Ontario
  • Jordan Fois, Chicken Farmers of Ontario
  • Brian Gilroy, Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association
  • Joe Hickson, Ontario Seed Growers’ Association
  • Jason Leblond, Beef Farmers of Ontario (Ex Officio)

Steven Vanderzanden from Turkey Farmers of Ontario and Gordon Stock from the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association serve as chairs of FFCO’s two member advisory councils and also sit as ex officio members of the board. 
Thank you to retiring directors

At its April 8 annual business meeting, appreciation was given to the board's four retiring directors, (Left to Right) Chris Cossitt, Ontario Pork; Jim Gowland, Ontario Bean Growers; Heather Hargrave, Trouw Nutrition Canada Inc; and past chair Christine Schoonderwoerd, Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd.
Chris Cossitt, nominated by Ontario Pork, joined the board in 2017, served as second vice president and sat on the organization’s governance committee.

Jim Gowland, nominated by Ontario Bean Growers, joined the board in 2015 and served several years as treasurer and this year as head of the nominating committee.

Heather Hargrave, nominated by Trouw Nutrition, joined the board in 2019 and has served on the governance committee. 

Christine Schoonderwoerd, nominated by Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd., joined the board in 2015, served as chair from 2018 to 2020 and has sat on all FFCO committees including governance, hr, strategic planning and the Membership/Sponsorship/Marketing committee. She has recently completed a final year as the organization’s past chair.
Virtual Conference and Speakers' Program
FCCO's first-ever virtual Conference and Speakers' Program was held on April 6. Mairlyn Smith and David Coletto were the event's two keynote speakers.
Other highlights included the announcement of the 2021 Food & Farming Champion Award recipients and a look back at FFCO's outreach, animal care and environment work in 2020.
Thank you to our event partners:
FFCO's 2020 Annual Report
Year in Review Video
Food & Farming Champion Award

FFCO presented two Food & Farming Champion Awards at the annual conference. This year’s recipients include sheep farmer and social media advocate Sandi Brock and Ontario Federation of Agriculture Western Region Member Services Manager Paul Nairn. Both Brock and Nairn are Perth County residents.
Sandi Brock Paul Nairn
The Champion Award has been presented annually, since 1999, in recognition of an individual or group’s significant commitment to public outreach and support for Ontario’s farming community. The decision was made by an independent panel of judges who reviewed all of the 2021 nominations and determined the need for two awards to be presented in 2021.
Winter Speakers' Series

On April 22, Farm & Food Care offices in ON, SK and PEI, in partnership with Canadian Food Focus, were pleased to host the final session in a series of three webinars. Scott McDeivitte from Gordon Food Services shared his perspective on how Canada's food system is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. 106 food influencers and ag industry professionals registered for the event. Farm & Food Care intends to offer a second Speakers' Series this fall. For a recording of the presentation, visit www.FarmFoodCareON.org/speakersseries/

We appreciate the support of Canola Eat Well and the Agri-Competitiveness Program (under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership) for making these sessions possible.
LIVE Food & Farm Field Trips

FFCO & AgScape hosted a LIVE Food & Farm Field Trip on April 27 (previously “Farm to Facebook”) with dairy farmer Cassi Brunsveld. Over 990 teachers registered to attend the event with their classes and the video has 7,300+ views to date.

FFCO and AgScape will continue to offer field trips throughout 2021. Upcoming events in May and June include:

May 25 - Rosa Flora cut flower greenhouse
June 1 - Frankhaven dairy goat farm
June 22 - wine grape vineyard with Niagara College

Registration for these events will open soon.
Breakfast from the Farm

Since 2014, farm families have generously opened their gates to FFCO and tens of thousands of Ontarians for Breakfast on the Farm. These events, like many other FFCO initiatives and resources, help to meaningfully connect people with where their food comes from. In 2020, FFCO made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel Breakfast on the Farm.

Although in-person events are still not possible, FFCO, in partnership with fair association members, is pleased to offer a new Breakfast from the Farm experience. In this drive-thru style event, visitors will enjoy socially distanced displays of farm equipment and livestock and receive breakfast in a bag - filled with all of the ingredients a family would need for a home-cooked all-Ontario breakfast. Bags will also include resources like The Real Dirt on Farming and items from event partners.

Three Breakfast from the Farm events are scheduled for 2021. The first event will take on June 13 to mark Local Food Week in Ontario (with a contingency date in the event of an extended lockdown). The event will be held at the Carp Fair in partnership with the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers. Registration will open early next week.

FFCO looks forward to once again hosting these events in collaboration with Ontario farm families in the future.
Meet a Gold member -
Burnbrae Farms

Burnbrae Farms, a 6th generation Canadian family business, has been proud to be Gold members of Farm & Food Care since its inception in 2012. Our commitment goes back to the launch of the original website, we were sponsors of the egg and laying hen category and we now sponsor videos on FarmFood360. 

True highlights are the farm tours that we have hosted in partnership with FFCO to share our farming and family story. We look forward to hosting more tours once we put the pandemic behind us. Never has it been more important to share our farming stories, especially as consumers continue to express curiosity about where their food comes from and how farm animals are handled. Our Burnbrae colleagues have served on both the FFCO Environmental and Animal Care Councils.
Transparency is important to FFCO, Burnbrae Farms, and the Hudson family and we are very proud to participate in their messaging including the amazing publication, The Real Dirt on Farming. With the advent of social media, there are many sources of both information and misinformation available to consumers, and the agricultural community plays a key role in ongoing education and awareness. We look forward to our continued partnership and participation in the evolving communication landscape in which FFCO will play an integral role.
Sue Hudson, Burnbae Farms