Grain Farmers of Ontario conference

Members of the media are invited to join more than 300 grain and oilseed farmers at Grain Farmers of Ontario’s March Conference on March 9, 2010 at the London Convention Centre in London, Ontario.

Highlights include:

  • Keynote speakers Minister Mitchell, Diane Francis and Jay Ingram

  • Research Exhibit Area

  • Exhibitors' Hall, with more than 40 booths

To reserve your media kit (including complimentary lunch ticket) please contact Claire Cowan or Erin Fletcher by Friday, March 5, 2010.

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.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario board elects first executive

GUELPH, ON (February 19, 2010) – The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is pleased to announce the executive has been elected from the 2010 Board of Directors.

Don Kenny, the elected representative from District 13 – Prince Edward, Lennox-Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, Leeds, Grenville, Renfrew and Ottawa – will be GFO’s first elected Chair.  Don farms 1,300 acres in the Ottawa-Carleton area of the province. 

The Vice Chair, from District 10 – Grey, Bruce, Wellington – is Henry Van Ankum, a cash crop farmer in Alma with 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat.  Mark Huston from District 2 in Kent will be the 2nd Vice Chair for 2010.  Mark has an 1,100 acre family farm in Thamesville, as well as 1,100 finishing pigs.  The Executive Member on our first GFO elected board will be Kevin Marriott from District 3 in Lambton.  Kevin farms 1,100 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in Petrolia.

“The new Grain Farmers of Ontario executive and full board are looking forward to a productive year that will include strategic planning and policy development along with the establishment of each one of our committees,” says GFO’s new Chair, Don Kenny.

The 2010 Elected Grain Farmers of Ontario Board of Directors:

District 1 – Essex

Leo Guilbeault

District 2 – Kent

Mark Huston

District 3 – Lambton

Kevin Marriott

District 4 – Middlesex

Joe Thomson

District 5 – Elgin, Norfolk

Jeff Davis

District 6 – Haldimand, Brant, Hamilton, Niagara

Kim Turnbull

District 7 – Waterloo, Oxford

Fred Wagner

District 8 – Huron

Larry Lynn

District 9 – Perth

Mark Brock

District 10 – Grey, Bruce, Wellington

Henry Van Ankum

District 11 – Dufferin, Simcoe, Halton, Peel, York

John Morrison

District 12 – Durham, Northumberland, Kawartha, Peterborough, Hastings

Joe Hickson

District 13 – Prince Edward, Lennox Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, Leeds, Grenville, Renfrew, Ottawa

Don Kenny

District 14 – Prescott, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry

Arden Schneckenburger

District 15 – Northern Ontario

Kevin Runnalls

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.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario: officially Ontario’s new marketing board

Guelph, OntarioOntario’s corn, soybean and wheat farmers will have a strong and unified voice in the province beginning January 1, 2010 with the inauguration of Grain Farmers of Ontario.

An interim board of directors will be appointed by the province to oversee the GFO’s operations until the completion of regional elections in early February.  The elected board of directors for Grain Farmers of Ontario will be in place by early March 2010 and will focus initially on policy development and business planning.

“GFO will ensure our members have a strong voice on provincial and national issues as well as offering programs and services that add value to their businesses,” says Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario.  

GFO will build upon the strength of our farmer members and our heritage organizations to take a leadership role in marketing, market development and advocacy.  The new organization will work with farmers to get the most out of their high quality crops through innovative research and policy development.

For GFO to be successful right out of the gate, it is important for all members to shape and direct the organization by participating in the upcoming January meetings and elections.  There will be an opportunity for dialogue with executive staff and to elect the political leaders of GFO at these meetings to ensure the organization is built from the ground up.  Check the website at www.gfo.ca or the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine for regional meeting dates.

This merger of Ontario’s corn, soybean and wheat organizations will position GFO as the largest provincial commodity board representing 28,000 farmers and five million acres of farmland that generate $2.2 billion in farm gate receipts, over $9 billion in economic output and 40,000 jobs.

The soy house lands in Acton

November 18, 2009 (Acton, ON) – What do household insulation, mattress foam and kitchen cabinets all have in common?  Soybeans! Yes Soybeans. The Soy House, the feature exhibit at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair enabled visitors to experience how soy can be used as an environmentally-friendly, sustainable replacement to petroleum oil in many household products. The house demonstrates the emerging soy market in Ontario and showcases the complete soybean value chain, from agricultural roots to people’s homes. By partnering with Quality Homes and Habitat for Humanity Halton, the first-ever Soy House has landed in Acton for a Habitat partner family to call home.

The commercial uses of soy are made possible by separating soybeans into two distinct and equally useful parts.  When crushed, 80 percent of the bean becomes high protein soy meal, which is used for human and animal consumption, while the remaining 20 percent becomes soy oil, which can be used as bio-fuels and as a sustainable replacement to petroleum oil. “The use of soy as a renewable alternative to petrochemicals enables the development of a wide array of greener, eco-friendly products for consumers,” said Dale Petrie, Director of Strategic Development and Innovation, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

A deserving Habitat family will benefit from living in the Soy House, which will have lower energy costs and features soy-based structural components, thereby reducing harmful off-gases, in everything from No-VOC paints and varnishes, adhesives, household insulation, kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures. “The partnership with Habitat for Humanity Halton was a natural fit as we showcase the benefits of using soy. Ontario soybean farmers and our partners are committed to volunteering with Habitat to complete the house, ensuring the partner family is able to move in as early as possible” continues Petrie.

“Ontario soybean farmers’ unique partnership with Habitat for Humanity Halton and Quality Homes has helped provide another family in the Halton region with a safe, decent, affordable place to live,” says Lynn Fergusson, Interim Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Halton. “This unique partnership is proof of what can be done when passion, dedication and resources are pooled together, to truly make a difference in the community.”

“Quality Homes is proud to have partnered with Ontario’s soybean farmers to bring The Soy House to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and to Habitat for Humanity Halton,” says Howard Sher, Executive Vice-President, Quality Homes. “As custom home builders, we are always looking for new and innovative products and suppliers. The project has certainly introduced us to a range of environmentally-friendly, soy-based companies.”

Over the coming weeks all partners with join the selected family in completing the remaining work in order turn over the keys to their new home.

Successful risk management program needs vote of confidence from provincial and federal governments

GUELPH – Ontario Grains & Oilseeds appreciates the leadership shown by Ontario’s McGuinty government in 2007 when the pilot Risk Management Program (RMP) was launched. But with the three-year pilot period about to expire this year, it is time for the provincial government to continue its leadership role in protecting the viability of the family farm and make RMP permanent. It is also time for the federal government to come to the table in support of provincial business risk management programs.

RMP is a price support program for grain and oilseed producers to offset losses caused by low commodity prices created by global subsidies, and volatility in world markets and currency rates. Payments are triggered when prices for grains and oilseeds fall below a specific support level based on a cost-of-production formula.

RMP is currently a partnership between the province and producers and similar to an insurance program, with both partners contributing to the program.  “After eight years of depressed world prices prior to 2007, RMP has fulfilled its mandate of providing an element of long-term stability and the ability to plan for the future,” says Leo Guilbeault, Chair of Ontario Grains & Oilseeds.

The RMP pre-harvest payments are scheduled to be mailed beginning November 23 for the 2009 forward-contract period.  Producers will receive a payment on corn this year of $0.144 per bushel at the 100 per cent coverage level (adjusted for the 40 per cent provincial contribution from $0.36).  Producers are currently working to bring the federal government on board as partners in RMP at the federal rate of 60 per cent.

RMP is a critical pillar in supporting a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds Ontario cities and keeps our rural communities thriving. 

Ontario’s grains and oilseeds producers strongly encourage the province to make the program permanent and for the federal government to come to the table as partners, as we do not want to go back to a system where we stumble from crisis to crisis with emergency aid announcements that cost the government more in the end,” Mr. Guilbeault said.

Ontario Grains & Oilseeds represents over 25,000 farm families growing soybeans, wheat, corn, canola and edible beans from Ottawa to Windsor.  Our labour and innovation brings in nearly $3 Billion a year in food and biofuel products, the backbone of rural communities throughout Ontario.  The spin-off industries bring in over $10 Billion per year.  There has even been some speculation that Agriculture could once again become the number one industry in Ontario with the downsizing of the auto sector.

For more information on the RMP, please visit Agricorp’s webpage: http://www.agricorp.com/en-ca/programs/rmp/#market_prices

Grain Farmers of Ontario public outreach at the Royal

Toronto, Ontario – Grain Farmers of Ontario have a significant presence at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, from November 6 to 15.  Feature exhibits include the Soy House and a booth dedicated to education about Ontario Wheat.  Both exhibits will be located in Hall B of the Direct Energy Center, Exhibition Place. 

The Soy House, one of this year’s major attractions at the Royal, is constructed as much as possible from and designed with soy-based products.  It is being presented by Ontario’s soybean farmers, in partnership with Quality Engineered Homes of Kenilworth and Habitat for Humanity Halton.  The house will draw attention to opportunities that exist for Ontario’s Identity Preserved (IP) soybean capabilities to extend to renewable products made from specialty trait soybeans.  After the conclusion of the Royal, the Soy House will be placed on a Habitat for Humanity foundation in Acton, Ontario, with the goal of having a Habitat family in the home by Christmas.  

Adjacent to the Soy House, in the Journey to Your Good Health area, Soyfoods Canada will be promoting soy as a great-tasting, healthy ingredient in quick and easy ‘on the go’ family meals.  Isoflavone-rich soy foods and beverages will be sampled, and knowledgeable nutrition professionals will answer questions about soy’s role in a balanced diet.      

Ontario Wheat will be featured through a partnership with the Canadian International Grains Institute.  In the wheat booth, visitors will be encouraged to mill their own flour from both soft and hard Ontario wheat, and then see and feel the differences in the resulting flour samples and their end uses.  The display will also feature information about the process of making cookies, pasta, bread and pizza dough from Ontario wheat.

Weetabix Canada has partnered up with Ontario Wheat, to send a very important message to Ontario’s consumers that the signature biscuit cereal, Wholegrain Weetabix, is made with 100% grown, sourced and manufactured Ontario wheat.  The booth will highlight local messaging to consumers who already love Weetabix cereal as well as bring awareness to new consumers, looking for a great local cereal to add to their grocery baskets.

Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is the province’s newest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers.  The crops they grow cover 5 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 well over 40,000 jobs. 

Key Grain Farmers of Ontario activity areas are:   

  • research & innovation;

  • wheat marketing & market development;

  • production information; and

  • public outreach, policy development & advocacy.  

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca