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Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $4.1 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $18 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 75,000 jobs in the province.


Grain Farmers of Ontario Strategic Plan (2021)

2021 Annual Report


Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest farm commodity group. It represents the merged interests of the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association, Ontario Soybean Growers and the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board. The grassroots farmer-driven process toward this merger began in 2004, when all three groups’ members passed resolutions at their respective annual meetings. They wanted one association representing the interests of Ontario farmers growing grain and oilseeds crops.

Since then, the three groups have worked closely with Ontario’s Farm Products Marketing Commission to carefully seek farmers’ input. All along the way farmers have stated their preference for one organization to represent all three crops.

In December 2008, the Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs announced the results of a September 2008, province-wide mail ballot vote among Ontario’s growers of corn, soybeans and wheat, conducted by the Farm Products Marketing Commission. The result was a 72% majority decision to form the new Grain Farmers of Ontario.

In July 2015, Grain Farmers of Ontario officially welcomed barley and oat growers to its membership.

Get Involved

If you are an Ontario grower of barley, corn, oats, soybeans and/or wheat and want to become involved in your organization, there are many ways to do so:

  • Attend the January District Meeting for your area of the province.
  • Farmers in each District elect 8 to 19 Voting Delegates, for a provincial total of 150.
  • These Delegates elect one Director for their District, for a total of 15 on the Grain Farmers of Ontario Board.
  • Each Grain Farmers of Ontario committee is Chaired by a Director.
  • Non-Director Voting Delegates have the opportunity to serve on Grain Farmers of Ontario committees and sub-committees.
  • Sub-committees are issue-driven, and formed as needed. Their composition is designed to get the job done with the best people possible, while keeping a clear and specific focus.
  • Grain Farmers of Ontario committees include: Wheat Trading Advisory (Directors only), Market Development, Research & Innovation, Government Relations, Communications, Finance & Audit, Sub Committees.

Governance and Roles

Farm Products Marketing Act regulations


Definition: “producer” means a sole proprietor, corporation, partnership or joint venture that produces grain in Ontario; (“producteur”).

  1. Composition of local board
    1. The local board shall be composed of 15 board members.
    2. The board members shall be producers elected or appointed to represent the 15 districts established by section 5.
    3. There shall be one board member elected or appointed in accordance with section 9 to represent each district.
    4. A producer is eligible to be a board member for a district only if,
      1. the producer is a member of the group of producers for the district, as determined under section 6; and
      2. at the time of the producer’s election or appointment to the board, the producer is a delegate to the District Grain Committee for the district, having been elected as such under section 7.
  1. District group of producers
    1. A producer is a member of the group of producers for a district if,
      1. in the case of a sole proprietor, the producer resides in the district;
      2. in the case of a corporation or partnership, the producer’s head office is located in the district; and
      3. in the case of a joint venture, the producer indicates by written notice to the District Grain Committee for the district that the producer is a member of the group of producers for the district.
    2. A producer who produces grain in an area not included in any of the districts established by section 5 is a member of the group of producers for,
      1. in the case of a sole proprietor, the district that is nearest to the producer’s residence;
      2. in the case of a corporation or partnership, the district that is nearest to the location of the producer’s head office, and
      3. in the case of a joint venture, the district that the producer selects by written notice to the District Grain Committee for the district.

Grain Farmers of Ontario General Regulations

Role of a delegate

Job Specifications Technical skills:

  • Engaged in the production of any one of barley, corn, oat, soy, or wheat
  • Broad knowledge of the industry
  • Have the interest and time to devote to Grain Farmers of Ontario and the industry

Helpful competencies:

  • Show enthusiasm for Grain Farmers of Ontario in a positive manner
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills/listening skills
  • Public speaking
  • Effective meeting skills

Responsibilities and duties — details: Representing membership:

  • Actively listen to what members are saying.
  • Encourage dialogue and healthy debate on Grain Farmers of Ontario issues.
  • Be open, approachable, non-judgmental, and honest in your dealings with members.
  • Accurately reflect the views of your members.
  • Willing to participate in ongoing district grain committee activities.

Act as a liaison between your membership, the direct meetings and the Grain Farmers of Ontario Board of Directors:

  • Convey membership’s views, concerns, comments, and requests to the provincial board.
  • Provide feedback and information to members on district and board decisions and policies.
  • Inform members on the rationale behind the decisions and policies and their impact on members and the industry.
  • Keep members informed on general issues affecting the industry.
  • Communicate information from committee, industry, district, board, and annual meetings.

Coordinate policy development at the grass roots level:

  • Keep informed and aware of members’ opinions, views, concerns, and wishes.
  • Ensure all views are taken into consideration.
  • Provide leadership in the development of sound Resolutions.
  • Present and where necessary, debate Resolutions at the Annual Meeting.
  • Convey members’ wishes to policy committees and the board when required.

Attend and participate at local district and provincial meetings:

  • Regularly attend the district and provincial meetings.
  • Vote on industry issues representing the views of your membership.
  • Add value to the discussions on industry issues.
  • Cast vote for director after district annual meeting.
  • Participate in Grain Farmers of Ontario sponsored professional development activities.

Act as a liaison to external contacts such as industry, MPs, MPPs, government agencies and the general public:

  • Provide accurate information and interpretation of Board Policy when dealing with external contacts in your capacity as a Delegate of Grain Farmers of Ontario.
  • Act as an information resource to promote the merits of the industry to the general public.

Grain Farmers of Ontario will have a number of committees that will require some delegate participation. These committees will be made up of delegates that have interest or expertise in the subject at hand.

Standing Advisory Committees:

  • Market Development Committee;
  • Research and Innovation Committee;
  • Government Relations Committee;
  • Communications Committee;
  • Wheat Marketing Committee.

On an as-need basis, adhoc committees:

  • Resolution sub-committee — reporting to Communication Committee;
  • Specific commodity issues sub-committees — reporting to Market Development and Research and Innovation Committees.

Participate in representing Grain Farmers of Ontario on other industry organizations as required. Time commitment:

  • Delegates/annual, district, semi-annual, advisory committee. Approximately 5 meetings a year – low, medium, high participation.
  • Delegates participating on a standing advisory committee — approximately an additional 5 days.

Role of an alternate

To allow alternatives to represent delegates at AGM/Semi-Annual meetings.

  1. A District Grain Committee may appoint one alternate per four delegates, up to a maximum of four (4), to represent delegates unable to attend Grain Farmers of Ontario and/or District Grain Committee meetings.
  2. A delegate unable to attend shall give prior notice to the District Grain Committee confirming same.
  3. The District Grain Committee shall appoint an alternate to attend in that delegates place and provide that person with a letter confirming the appointment.
  4. The alternate shall file that letter with Grain Farmers of Ontario at the meeting.
  5. Any interested producer in the district with a broad knowledge of the industry prepared to devote the necessary time to Grain Farmers of Ontario and the industry is eligible.
  6. An ideal candidate is a producer with enthusiasm, leadership, communication, listening, public speaking, and effective meeting skills who is under the age of 35.
  7. A duly appointed alternate has the right to attend and participate in the designated meeting (except voting in board member elections and committees of the board) and is entitled to reimbursement for expenses and per diems in accordance with Grain Farmers of Ontario policy for delegates.

Advisory committees

The following standing advisory committees each of which shall consist of a member of the Board as Chair and two other Board Members and not less than four (4) additional members, the majority of whom shall be delegates appointed by the Board:

  • Market Development Committee — Advising the board on strategic planning and initiatives for increasing production, marketing, and utilization of grains and oil seeds.
  • Wheat Marketing Committee — Advising the board on local board programs.
  • Research and Innovation Committee — Advising the Board on research priorities and the level of resources appropriate for each issue and opportunity; and advising on policy related to new technology.
  • Government Relations Committee — Advising the board on matters related to government policies, including regulatory agencies, and liaison with all levels of government, general farm organizations, and other commodity groups. Assessment and development of business risk management and safety net policies for consideration by the Board.
  • Communications Committee — Advising the Board on general public relations campaigns, grower publications, advertising policy, media relations, press releases, and website presentation and content.
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