Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic sets new standard

Conference brings together industry, politicians and farmer members.

GUELPH, ON (April 1, 2011) – The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) March Classic in London saw record attendance and world-class speakers setting a new standard for future conferences.

Over 500 farmers and industry partners attended the one day conference at the London Convention Centre. The day opened with an address from the Honourable Carol Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, followed by Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario PC party. Attendees then enjoyed speeches from keynote speakers Peter Mansbridge, The National and Kevin O’Leary, Dragon’s Den.

“The attendance and energy at the conference this year reflects the positive direction of grain farming in Ontario”, says Barry Senft, CEO of GFO. “The conference was a great success and set the bar high for the 2012 March Classic.”

An exhibit hall overflowed into the hallway with many industry representatives available for discussions during breaks and lunch. Also during lunch, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) held a press conference launching their “Powered by Biodiesel” bumper sticker campaign.

The afternoon sessions launched into industry perspectives from Warburtons (the third largest bread manufacturer in the United Kingdom), CRFA, and Spirits Canada (the national trade association of Canadian manufacturers and marketers of distilled spirits, including whisky) triggering a provocative question and answer session with the panel of speakers. The day closed with industry insights from Cal Whewell, Risk Management Consultant at FC Stone.

Throughout the day GFO collected donations for the Red Cross to support the relief efforts in Japan. Participants generously donated $1100.

The closing dinner banquet was sold out and the crowd was entertained by Brent Butt, Corner Gas. GFO was honoured to host the presentation of the T.R. Hilliard Award for distinguished agriculture extension during the banquet. The deserving recipient was Horst Bohner, Soybean Specialist with OMAFRA. GFO thanks Horst for his ongoing contributions to agriculture and congratulates him on this award. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

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 $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.