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About

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.

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Grain Farmers of Ontario Strategic Plan (2021)

2022 Annual Report

Origins

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

Ontario regulation made under the FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING ACT; GRAIN (GRAIN CORN, SOYBEANS AND WHEAT) — PLAN.

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.
  2. 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

A producer is eligible to be elected as a delegate if they are a member of the group of producers for the district and have paid licence fees to Grain Farmers of Ontario for grain sold by the producer in the two years prior to the year of election.

Job Specifications – Provincial Meetings

  • Delegates will be asked to attend provincial meetings to represent the interests and concerns of their district. These meetings include: AGM, March Classic, Semi-Annual Meeting of Delegates, and Delegate Policy Day
  • If a Delegate is unable to attend a provincial meeting, they must inform their District Director so that an alternate delegate may attend on their behalf.
  • Add value to the discussions on industry issues. Convey the opinions of farmer-members from your district.
  • Vote on resolutions representing the views of your membership.

Job Specifications – Local Meetings

  • Represent the membership of your district.
  • Actively listen to farmer-members concerns.
  • Encourage dialogue and healthy debate on Grain Farmers of Ontario issues.
  • Accurately reflect the views of famer-members in your district.
  • Communicate information from committees and provincial meetings.
  • Participate in ongoing district grain committee activities.
  • Draft and approve resolutions to be presented at provincial meetings.
  • Vote for director during January District Grain Committee Meeting.

Job Specifications – Other Duties

  • Participate in Grain Farmers of Ontario sponsored professional development activities.
  • Voluntary participation on Board Committees (Communications, Farmer Wellness, Government Relations, Market Development, Research & Innovation)
  • Represent Grain Farmers of Ontario on other industry organizations as required.
  • Act as a liaison to external contacts such as industry, MPs, MPPs, government agencies, and the general public.
  • Provide feedback and information to farmer-members on district and board decisions and policies.
  • Be open, approachable, non-judgmental, and honest in your dealings with farmer-members.

Skills

  • Engaged in the production of any one of barley, corn, oats, soybeans, 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

Compensation

  • Grain Farmers of Ontario will pay Delegates a per meeting fee and mileage to attend local district meetings, in accordance with the financial policy for Delegate compensation.
  • For provincial meetings, Delegates will be paid a per meeting fee, and, when applicable, hotel accommodation and mileage in accordance with Grain Farmers of Ontario’s financial policies (to be updated yearly).

Vacancies

  • If a Delegate position becomes vacant, that position may be filled by an Alternate Delegate through a vote by the remaining Delegates.
  • The Delegates in the district may declare a Delegate position vacant and then reach out to producers within the district to request names be submitted for the role.  Upon confirmation of those willing to stand for a Delegate, a vote will be conducted by the remaining Delegates to fill the role, which must be done by February 15 each year per the Regulations. 

Role of an alternate

A producer is eligible to be elected as an alternate delegate if they are a member of the group of producers for the district and have paid license fees to Grain Farmers of Ontario for grain sold by the producer in the two years prior to the year of election.

Job Specifications – Provincial Meetings

  • If for some reason a Delegate is unable to attend the AGM, March Classic, Semi-Annual Meeting of Delegates, or Delegate Policy Day, an Alternate Delegate may go in his/her place and participate in voting.
  • A letter from the district must accompany the Alternate Delegate confirming the replacement.
  • One Alternate Delegate per every four Delegates to a maximum of four Alternates per District.

Job Specifications – Local Meetings

  • Alternate Delegates can fully participate in local meetings in the same manner as Delegates, including moving/seconding a motion, voting on local business, and bringing forward resolutions.   

Skills

  • Engaged in the production of any one of barley, corn, oats, soybeans, 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

Compensation

  • Grain Farmers of Ontario will pay Alternate Delegates a per meeting fee and mileage to attend local district meetings, in accordance with the policy for Delegate compensation.
  • At provincial meetings, Alternate Delegates will be compensated when replacing a Delegate. A per meeting fee, hotel accommodation, and mileage will be paid in accordance with the policy for Delegate compensation.

Vacancies

  • If a Delegate position becomes vacant during the year, that position may be filled by an Alternate Delegate through a vote by the Delegates.
  • If the position of Alternate Delegate is not filled via nomination and election during the January Meeting, the position can be filled by a confirmation vote of an eligible producer conducted by delegates from the district at any point during the year. 

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.
  • 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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