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Federation Of Ontario




Newsletter May 2016, Volume 14, No.2

Photograph of our featured farmer John Ysselstein’s herd

INSIDE THIS ISSUE President’s Comments

Policy Notes

Featured Farm

CFFO In Action

October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

CFFO Newsletter

PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS As another season draws to a close and the time of harvest begins, it is good to take some time to reflect on all that has been accomplished over the summer months. We at Christian Farmers are thankful and encouraged by the progress that we have seen in the dialogues we have begun with our governing bodies.

Clarence Nywening CFFO President

Though there is still much to be done, we are especially pleased with the progress made in our current discussions on Cap and Trade, Pollinator Health, and Strategic Emergency Management Framework. Over the summer the government brought forth a proposed amendment to regulation 440 under the Farm Products Marketing Act. This amendment would transform the Ontario vegetable market into a free market system and take away the negotiating powers of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. In response to this proposed amendment CFFO made contact with our government indicating our concerns. We are thankful to Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal, who in response to our and other farm organizations’ concern has requested that the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission refrain from implementing any changes until all discussions and concerns can be properly addressed. Over the summer CFFO also wrote a response to the proposed Bill C-246 the “Modernizing Animal Protection Act.” Though we as Christians recognize our responsibility to be stewards of creation and to take care of the animals under our care, we implore those in government to remember that these animals still are property and should not be afforded the same rights as persons or rights similar to persons under the law. Our Executive Board has also been busy reviewing the current by-laws we hold at Christian Farmers. It has come to our attention that some of our by-laws do not meet with the upcoming regulations for non-profit organizations. As a result we will be changing these by-laws to stay compliant with regulations. All changes will be presented for approval at our Annual Meeting in November. Over the next few months we encourage our members to get involved. The government offered the public a chance to comment in their Red Tape Challenge. This challenge opened up 171 different agricultural regulations along with all their sub-regulations for comment and discussion. This process ended as of September 30th, but CFFO discussed this as part of our fall series of Stewardship and Policy meetings. I wish everyone a safe and prosperous harvest season. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Convention this November.

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CFFO Newsletter

October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

POLICY NOTES Suzanne Armstrong Director of Research Manager of Board and Committee Services


CFFO has made a number of policy submissions this spring including some outside of formal government consultations. GM Alfalfa – In 2012-2013 the CFFO discussed the implications of bringing genetically modified (GM) alfalfa into Ontario. The resolution from Provincial Council and Executive Board was that the CFFO opposed the introduction of GM alfalfa. This spring, GM alfalfa was made available for sale in Ontario for the first time. To reemphasize our concerns about this product, the CFFO wrote a letter to the federal and provincial agriculture ministers.

animal protection act

Bill C-246 Modernizing Animal Protections Act – This federal private member’s bill from Toronto MP, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has raised concerns among farmers. In response, the CFFO has written a letter to all Ontario MPs, as well as the federal agriculture minister, letting them know that we oppose the bill. Our primary concern is that the proposed changes to the criminal code dealing with offences against animals may imply animals share the same or similar rights to those of persons. The proposed restrictions on methods of putting down animals are also of concern.

Act to Prohibit harmful electrical current

Bill 161 An Act to Prohibit Harmful Electrical Ground Current – CFFO wrote in support of Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls’ private member’s bill. This would require electricity providers to address the negative impacts of any uncontrolled current caused by their generation and transmission system and require the province to create a long-term strategy on this issue. Uncontrolled electrical current can harm or even kill farm animals and can be detrimental to humans as well.

Next Policy Framework (GF3?)

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting on Next Policy Framework – The CFFO responded to a government consultation in preparation for the Calgary summer meeting of the Canadian agriculture ministers. The consultation focused on the Next Policy Framework (NPF), which will replace the current Growing Forward 2 (GF2). Among CFFO’s concerns are that the NPF should address issues of social license and stewardship of soil and water. CFFO is also concerned that diversified farms are not disadvantaged within the BRM programs.

Regulation 440

Regulation 440 Proposed Changes-The Farm Products Marketing Commission (FPMC) proposed changes to remove negotiating power from the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) marketing board, indicating plans to move to a free market system. CFFO expressed support for the work of OPVG and for the value of marketing boards to protect farmers’ interests. You can find the full submissions on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmer.org

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October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

CFFO Newsletter

Farmland for the future Suzanne Armstrong Director of Research Manager of Board and Committee Services

The CFFO Water Stewardship Task Team toured Sheridan Nurseries’ Georgetown campus in June to see their innovative water irrigation system and retention pond. Bart

pasture, mean that producers can be

from three key factors: changing

reliable sources for their customers,

climate and precipitation, farmers’

and resilient in dry conditions.

tile drainage, and development.

At Sheridan excess water from irrigation is collected via an elaborate drainage




about 30% of the water used. This

The hard surfaces from houses and roads, for example, have increased the rate storm water moves into the river.

feeds into a settling pond where

The reservoir ensures that Sheridan

water slowly makes its through a

can irrigate for at least two and a half

designed wetland, further cleaning

weeks should the river level be too

the water before it is pumped 4 m

low to take water. Sheridan measures

project with us.

up into the large reservoir next to

the river levels every day. At the time

Retention ponds have many benefits,

the wetland (as seen in the photo).

of the tour in June, the Credit River

Sheridan is constantly working to

was about 48% lower than it was

improve the efficiency of their water

at the same time the previous year.

use and recapture methods, and on

Their permit to take water requires

improving the quality of the water

that they must stop taking water at

they recover.

a critically low level. They have had





and Pieter Joubert, Vice President of Nursery Operations shared their knowledge and enthusiasm for the

including the peace of mind knowing that there is enough water in a dry year, and greater recovery and reuse of water in an irrigation system. If predictions are correct, we may get far more instances of significant rain in a large storm event, followed by a dry period. Well managed ponds and irrigation, be that for nursery plants as here, or for crops or

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Sheridan’s only source of water is the Credit River. Permits to take water are now based on the last 7 years’ flow, not the last 20 years as in the past. This is because the flow of the river has changed a lot, primarily

seven low-flow days in the past 10 years, hitting the critically low level in 2012. Days like those are a reminder that the investment in the retention pond




Sheridan for water uncertainty now and in the future.

CFFO Newsletter

October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

CFFO IN ACTION Franchesca Weeks Communications Manager The CFFO organized our 2016 free barbeques for farmers under 40 to celebrate the work of today’s farmers. We want to recognize young farmers, show our appreciation and let them know that we admire their hard work on the farm. This is the second

Kent- Essex district at the home

was another way for them to voice

of the CFFO’s President Clarence

their opinions and connect with

Nywening. The second barbeque

staff on issues such as lack of local

was held at the home of Roger and

processing, onerous regulations, or

Julie Wikkerink on July 25 in Oxford.

the challenges of starting a new farm

The third event was at Rounds Ranch,


home of Ken and Geraldine Rounds, on July 27 in Simcoe County. All three events were a huge success.

We want to thank our sponsors FCC,





Alpine, FBC, Jaylor, Grand Valley

year we have travelled across the

We entertained the kids with carnival

Fortifiers, Grain Farmers of Ontario

province inviting every young farmer



and Meester Insurance on their

in the area to come for an evening of

castles, a photo booth and a cotton

amazing support. Without them we

fun and fellowship.

candy machine. We also had amazing

wouldn’t have been able to give back

door prizes that were donated by our

to the young farmers in these three



districts. Overall these were amazing

dollar gift cards, T-shirts, camping

events of fellowship, great food and

chairs, picnic backpacks and more.

entertainment. We look forward to

At each location we had a food bin

planning similar events for 2017

where farmers were able to donate

celebrating farmers of today.

At the same time we show our appreciation for what they do for a living.

A speaker from FCC at

each event talks about “Getting in on the Food Conversation” and how important it is to speak up for agriculture and be “AgProud.” Each event is held at one of our members’ farms. Our first event was hosted on July 14 in the Chatham-




non-perishable goods to the local food bank. The




younger farmers have their own issues and concerns. This event

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October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

CFFO Newsletter


Field Services Manager

District Picnics

The summer of 2016 has been busy with activity for our districts including young farmer events and 11 district picnics. This is good for the federation and our members. When our districts are active there is opportunity for growth for the federation. Be sure to look for district notices in your mailboxes or emails to keep up with what is happening locally in your area. On August 4 & 6 CFFO staff hosted picnics for the Perth district which is a district in need of a leadership team. One was held at the Atwood Lions Pavilion and the other at the St. Mary’s Wildwood Conservation Area. In Atwood children’s entertainment was provided including a bouncy castle and face painting. At the Wildwood event, members were able to enjoy the activities

Starting from left: JOE, Randy Cramer District President, Clarence Nywening CFFO President and Paul Bootsma CFFO Field Services Manager Thunder bay Summer Picnic

offered by the conservation area. This past August the Thunder Bay and Rainy River districts also hosted summer picnics to offer their members a time to socialize as families. CFFO president Clarence Nywening and field Services Manager Paul Bootsma and their wives also attended these two picnics. The TB picnic was hosted at Randy and Tammy Cramer’s home with Candy Mountain as a backdrop on Thursday August 18, a cool but pleasant summer evening. On Saturday August 20 at the Kaemingh Farm members of the Rainy River district met for a bbq and some fellowship. Lunch was prepared by president Arnold Kaemingh and his wife Cindy. A few of the veteran members joined by a number of young families enjoyed a few hours together. Just an enjoyable afternoon during haying

Starting from left: Jan Van Rozen, Clarence Nywening CFFO President and Peter Boon Rainy River Summer Picnic

season. In September, after the writing of this article the Quinte, Friday September 9 and Haldimond-Norfolk, September 10, districts will also host a district picnic. Both events will include a tour of a new dairy barn with robotic milkers.

Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Natasha Lugtigheid (Chatham Kent Essex) and Brent Sikma (East Central) who are working on Associate Diplomas in Agriculture from the University of Guelph - Ridgetown, and to Michelle Vyn (Chatham Kent Essex) who is at Dordt College studying AgriBusiness.

2016 Leadership Summit

The planning for the 2016 CFFO leadership summit is well underway for this coming November. The St. George Banquet Hall will be the venue for the meeting this year. This gives us a more spacious environment for the evening, hopefully more enjoyable. Looking forward to seeing all the districts represented there this year.

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CFFO Newsletter

October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

From left to right: John and his wife Helen Ysselstein

Featured Farm - Ysselstein Family, Oxford Paul Bootsma

Field Services Manager

The CFFO would like to show our appreciation to our members and build community by including the story of a featured farm in every issue.

Just off one of the main rural highways

other 2 sons are into farming, one

and follows through with top service.

in Oxford County, a farm with gentle

in cattle the other just beginning in

He often revisits his customers up to

rolling hills is operated by someone


4 times to work on nutrition, health,

with an intense amount of energy.

John Ysselstein has changed courses

breeding, and cropping. When you

John Ysselstein admits that it

a number of times as interests or

begin with a top product and give

sometimes gets him into tight spots.

opportunities came along. Over the

the best service, people will forget

At the early age of 17, John was

years he has operated his dairy farm,

about the price. He has travelled with

operating his own dairy farm which

taken over his father’s farm, sold his

government trade missions a number

he had purchased with his Dad. While

farm, sold his milk quota only to buy

of times to promote agricultural trade

enrolled at Fanshawe College, he

quota back again, but his biggest

between Canada and other nations.

milked a herd of 45-50 dairy cows. No

business has been selling young

The milk from John’s 200 head dairy

time for other things.

stock to other farmers, especially

herd mostly goes to his son Shep’s

John and Helen Ysselstein married in

Dutch immigrants in Ontario.

cheese making business through Dairy

1980, quietly John will tell you he has

This business has taken him around

Farmers of Ontario. The milking of the

a great wife, and were blessed with 5

the world. John has sold cattle into

herd is done by a Mexican family in a

ambitious boys. Over the years they

Russia, Taiwan, and also in the

milking parlour which is housed in the

have all become their own person.

province of Quebec. His success has

original bank barn on the farm. Four

Two sons have become doctors, one

been that he first begins with a top

years ago Shep started the Gunn’s Hill

is a grandmaster cheese maker; the

quality product and then provides

Artesian Cheese store on a property

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CFFO Newsletter

Featured Farmer Continued..

One of the Ysselstein’s herd

just past the farm. Shep studied cheese making in Switzerland and the US and has won two Canadian Cheese making competitions already.

out of his control.

Currently the station has specially

Helen, a teacher in one of the local

designed trailers that store and

Christian schools, has travelled

transfer the compressed natural gas.

with John on occasion. During trips

Another part of this project is to have

to Russia Helen became involved

an anaerobic digester built on the

in establishing a Christian school

Ysselstein’s beef operation which will

in Russia. Although she did not

produce renewable natural gas. The

discuss this to great detail, it gives an

plan is to put a pipeline in to deliver

indication of her concern for others

the gas to the transfer station.

and reflects the compassion that

One thing that John has stressed a

characterizes her.

few times during our conversation

John’s latest project is promoting the

together is that there are a number

use of natural gas for freightliners.

of government programs for farmers

Using natural gas to power truck

to use that would provide money for

engines is cheaper and better for the

projects or improvements on farms.

environment, a reduction of 30-50% in

Some of these programs have ended

carbon emissions. With government

simply because not enough people

grants and programs John is involved

took advantage of them and applied for the funds available. His point is

He liked farming just not milking cows.

well taken and organizations such as

John is also very aware of the need to

the CFFO need to make our members

maintain soil health for the crops he

aware of the availability of such

grows and therefore some of his land

government programs.

is rented to a worm supply company.

Over the years John and Helen have

This company picks worms from the

hosted many barbecues and picnics

land 2-3 times a year for selling as

on their farm, including Oxford

bait worms. John explains that when

Christian farmers’ association picnics.

worms are picked the remaining

Many church groups or local groups

worms become busy with reproducing

for special needs kids have enjoyed

and as they go through their normal life practices they dig tunnels and are the best soil aerators available. This is a good form of soil stewardship. One picturesque area of the farm has a steep slope and is bordered by a forested area. The sloped land if cropped would create a lot of soil erosion and is therefore dedicated to his herd of beef cattle, a cow/calf herd. This beef is sold locally although in the past John exported this product to Eastern Europe but that market has dried up due to a number of reasons

October 2016, Volume 15, No. 3

this picturesque farm. Laneway through the Ysselstein farm

Thanks John for the tour.

with the building of a transfer station close to the farm, which should soon be busy with fueling trucks, not specifically from the 401 traffic since there are few refill locations across Ontario, but more for local truck traffic. Many of the municipal vehicles are already running on natural gas. The company is called Rural Green Energy and includes a number of partners.

view of the Ysselstein farm




Contact the CFFO ofямБce for futher details or inform a GMC dealer that you are a CFFO member and are eligible for the Competitive Assistance Program (CAP). Your CFFO membership card is required.




T: 519-837-1620

Toll-Free: 1-855-800-0306

CFFO Newsletter

Save the Date

Annual Convention & Banquet

Emerging Opportunities for Ontario Agriculture

Pasture Pork

Innovative Marketing

Fence Row

NOV 29 2016

St George Banquet Hall, 655 King St. N Waterloo

RETURN UNDELIVERABLE ITEMS TO CHRISTIAN FARMERS FEDERATION OF ONTARIO 642 WOOLWICH ST. GUELPH ON N1H 3Y2 T: 519-837-1620 Toll Free: (1) 855-800-0306 Fax: 519-824-1835 Email: cffomail@christianfarmers.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/cffont Twitter: @CFFOnt Web Site: www.christianfarmers.org

The CFFO Newsletter is published three times per year by the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario for its members and friends. Editor: Suzanne Armstrong; Production Manager: Franchesca Weeks

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