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Newsletter January 2016, Volume 14, No.1

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Past President’s Comments

Policy Issues

Convention Speakers

New CFFO Leadership

CFFO Newsletter

January 2016, Volume 14, No. 1

PAST PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS Sustainability is a catch phrase frequently being used by the popular media. It has taken on a life of its own. It means that for a business to be sustainable it must be profitable, be environmentally responsible and also be socially accountable; “Profit” “Planet” and “People.” Many large businesses are insisting that their complete supply


chain be sustainable. For farmers this new emphasis on sustainable practices will have an impact on many of our operating procedures and activities. The pressure being placed on farmers is coming from the marketplace not government initiatives. If our farmers expect to continue to have a market for their products, then we will have to demonstrate that our businesses are striving to be sustainable. Consumer organizations have discovered that their sustainability interests can best be realised by pressuring retailers who in turn put pressures on their supply chain. Over the last two decades farmers have improved their environmental footprint primarily through voluntary actions. The huge success of the “Environmental Farm Plan” is a shining example of how the farm community is working to enhance the environment. Social responsibility comes in many forms. Farmers have continued to demonstrate the care they provide for the animals on their farms. They continue to demonstrate their willingness to improve animal care and comfort when new practices are introduced. Farmers provide habitat for many non-farm species ranging from migratory birds, native wild animals, pollinators and much smaller living organisms. To meet sustainable targets the farmers of Ontario will simply have to document what we are contributing to society and share our experiences with our urban cousins. For me the most positive outcome of the push for sustainability is the realization that every step in the supply chain from farmer to retailer must be profitable. This is the first time that the consumer and retailer have understood that farmers must also be profitable. For decades retailers have pitted one farmer against another farmer in a race to the lowest cost with no regard for the livelihood of farm families. They often left it to governments to salvage depressed farming communities. The introduction of Marketing Boards and Supply Management was an effort by farmers to gain some bargaining power and provide sustainability for their respective commodities. The CFFO is working with a wide range of other farm groups to develop a sustainability initiative based on the Environmental Farm Plan. This initiative, by working with all partners in the full supply chain, should meet the expectations of major retailers and their customers. We want to secure a long-term sustainable path for Ontario agriculture.

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CFFO Newsletter

January 2016, Volume 14, No. 1


This fall the CFFO hosted Stewardship & Policy meetings in Arnprior, Peterborough, and Woodstock. We discussed the Conservation Authorities Act, and the government’s proposed Strategic Plan for Ontario Wetlands 2015-2030.

SUZANNE ARMSTRONG CFFO Director of Research/ Manager of Board and Committee Services

Wetland issues were further discussed at Provincial Council. It was exciting to discover in the course of conversation that many CFFO farmers around the table where involved in water issues, be it with a conservation authority, or other local water-related groups. Many also actively work to conserve or improve wetlands on their farms. The CFFO values diverse conservation authorities across the province, able to meet the needs of each local watershed and population. We also stress that a good working relationship between farmers and conservation authorities is beneficial to all Ontarians. The voice of farmers in conservation authorities’ decision-making process is vital. Working cooperatively with individual farmers and encouraging voluntary stewardship wherever possible builds a stronger relationship between local conservation authorities and resident farmers. Farmer landowners will be important potential partners in wetland conservation initiatives within Ontario. The CFFO sees incentives as a good way to increase wetland stewardship on private land. While protecting wetlands is an important goal, policies also need to respect the needs of agriculture, especially around drainage areas and retention ponds. The CFFO also argues that any move to a “no net loss policy” for wetlands must not do so at the expense of another of our precious natural resources, dependable productive farmland. The Ontario government proposed a 10-year exemption for agriculture regarding Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations for bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks. The CFFO supports this exemption which should encourage voluntary grassland stewardship by farmers across the province. Policy discussions will continue this winter as we bring the 2016 Policy Tour to district meetings across the province. The focus of this year’s discussions will centre on soil-related themes. Come out to discuss the increasing interest in cover crops, improving nutrient stewardship, and why policy makers are taking much greater interest in organic matter in soils. We always want to hear the diverse local issues from our widely dispersed districts as well. Dates for the local meetings will be posted on the CFFO website. We hope you will plan to come out and bring some friends. We look forward to seeing you there.

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January 2016, Volume 14, No. 1

CFFO Newsletter

Emerging Opportunities for Ontario Agriculture Tuesday Dec 1, 2015 Annual convention & Banquet

CFFO 2015 Convention speakers By Suzanne Armstrong DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH MANAGER OF BOARD AND COMMITTEE Services

consumer demands for responsible sourcing. This pressure from consumers has moved retailers and manufacturers to respond with various initiatives that demonstrate

Emerging Opportunities for

responsible practices, and

Ontario Agriculture was the focus

responsible sourcing throughout

of the CFFO Annual Convention

the supply chain. This is now

this December 1st. Our line-up

reaching farmers. She emphasized

of speakers brought insight into

the three aspects of profit, people,

changes and trends in the industry and advice on how farmers can rise to meet new opportunities. Farm businesses and farm policy makers have many challenges ahead, as well as many new ways of promoting the interests of farmers and of agriculture as a whole. Our first speaker for the day was

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Cher Mereweather

and planet in her definition of food chain sustainability, all reliant on

Cher Mereweather, who is Executive

the fourth pillar, “crop and animal

Director of Provision Coalition.

health and welfare.� There is an

From her perspective working

increasing need to build trust with

on sustainability issues with food

consumers by demonstrating

processors and manufacturing,

transparency and sustainability

Mereweather offered convention

in how food is produced and

guests insight into changes in

processed. Mereweather outlined

CFFO Newsletter

January 2016, Volume 14, No. 1

the top seven things that help build

improvements in diet, especially

tough questions on farm practices.

trust in the food system. These

including more meat. There may

Educating interested consumers

included sharing information that

also be more opportunities for

is an important step to making

is complete and accurate, publicly

Canadian farmers in global trade,

eaters more aware of where their

available, easy to understand,

as Canada expects to continue to

food comes from, debunking myths

and demonstrates integrity by

be a net exporter of agricultural

that circulate about how food is

including both positive and negative

goods in the long-term. He added

produced, and promoting all the

information. She also discussed

that, this being the case, Canadian

care that farmers put into producing

the benefits of the Sustainable

farmers have a responsibility to farm

food here in Ontario.

Farm and Food Plan initiative,

efficiently in order to ensure this

demonstrating how collaboration

growing global demand for food is

between different sectors of the


For our banquet in the evening we invited Bruno Wiskel, a popular speaker who also farms just

supply chain is possible and

outside of Edmonton Alberta.

beneficial for all involved.

Wiskel entertained and educated the audience with a blend of humour and inspirational ideas for innovative ways to market farm products. Wiskel also reminded the audience of the importance of balancing the physical (including profit), the intellectual and the spiritual demands of farming. Wiskel builds resilience on his farm by “doing different things, and doing things differently.� Not only has he

Lyndon Carlson

Andrew Campbell

managed to grow grapes on his zone two farm, he also found a way

After lunch we heard from Lyndon

In the afternoon we heard from

to market the leaves. Most of all he

Carlson, Executive Vice-President

Andrew Campbell, who runs his own

shared his passion for the joy of

and Chief Marketing Officer at

communications company, Fresh Air

farming with the audience.

FCC, who spoke on consumer

Media. He is working to get more

trends and new opportunities in

farmers engaged in social media

agriculture. Carlson discussed new

as a means to get their story out

opportunities for export, especially

to consumers. Social media is an

from the growing affluence of many

exciting new tool that creates many

in India and China. Population

opportunities to make the broader

growth itself accounts for about

public more aware of innovations

half of the expected growth in

in agriculture, and of how food is

demand for food globally. The

actually produced. Campbell had

other 50% comes from increasing

some valuable suggestions for

affluence, which usually leads to

farmers on how they can address

We thank all our speakers for sharing their insights and experiences with us at our Annual Convention and Banquet.

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January 2016, Volume 14, No. 1

CFFO Newsletter




The 2015 CFFO Leadership Summit was held on Monday evening November 30th at the St. Jacobs Courtyard Marriot. Thank you to all the district board members and spouses who attended and participated in the seminar to build the CFFO leadership team. The program for the evening began with a dinner and fellowship with other district board members. Following this, Joe Shuker from Strive gave a presentation outlining the importance of smart and healthy teams and the value of good communication in order to understand each other. He also took us through some exercises to enable board members in working together to be effective teams and leaders. Each District Board is a team that plays a role as part of the Federation. Questions and dialogue throughout the presentation showed a good connection between the speaker and the audience. Each district board member received a folder with material included to assist boards in their work. Included in the folders were workbooks and handbooks to assist the districts in planning the year ahead. Contact information was also given to encourage the boards to contact each other for ideas and assistance. Once again the Leadership Summit was successful and we enjoyed time together for fellowship and team building. Committed active districts keep the organization strong.

Canadian Outdoor FARM SHOW This past September the CFFO hosted a booth at the Canadian Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock. Over the course of the three days of wonderful weather the booth was busy as show guests stopped by to chat or inquire about the efforts of the Federation. It was good to make acquaintances with members from across the province and to meet nonmembers who just chatted for awhile. The attendance was very good for all three days. Coffee was served at the booth and there was a draw for a Canadian Tire gift card. The CFFO also gave out 15 vouchers each day for a free lunch at the Lions Club tent. Non-CFFO members were also given information about the CFFO with the hope that they will consider membership with the Federation.

DISTRICT AGMs Before we know it will be 2016 and time for district annual meetings. In 2015 we introduced the CFFO Policy Tour which involved discussing predetermined topics during the district annual meetings. This proved to be very successful as members and guests were given the opportunity to discuss local issues and concerns and then give input on policy issues. The CFFO staff is preparing for the 2016 Policy Tour with new discussion topics and will be working with the district boards to organize the dates and locations for the district annual meetings. We are looking forward to good attendance and discussions again with members and guests. See you around the province.

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CFFO Newsletter

January 2016, Volume 14, No. 1




From left to right: John Kikkert, Bethanee Jensen, Peter Peeters, Clarence Nywening, Richard Blyleven, Henry Stevens, Ed Scarringa and Simon de Boer.

By Franchesca Weeks Communications Manager

lot of political leaders and we thank

forget who number one is and what

him for that. We thank you for your

the CFFO started for, that we are the

On Dec. 1, 2015 the Christian Farmers

four years of leadership.” Looking

stewards of our farms and businesses

ahead, Nywening continued, “I hope

and to never forget our focus,” said

and pray that I can be as good of a


leader for you and that with God’s

The CFFO welcomes John Kikkert

help I can bring Him glory in the work

back onto the Executive Board as he

that was put before us.” Nywening

previously served as President for

has previously served as Director and

the CFFO from 2003-2009. John and

as Vice-President on the Executive

his wife Sue are chicken and turkey


producers from Smithville, Ontario.

Joining him on the leadership team

“It’s rewarding to lead the Christian

are John Kikkert from Niagara and

Farmers Federation of Ontario in doing

Richard Blyleven from Haldimand-

their work,” said Kikkert.

Norfolk as Vice-Presidents for the

Ed Scarringa from Wentworth-Brant,

CFFO. Richard Blyleven operates

Bethanee Jensen from Huron and

an egg and crop farm with his wife

Henry Stevens from Wellington were

Janet in Cayuga. He has been on the

elected as Directors, joining Simon

Executive Board for four years and is

de Boer from Grey-Bruce and Peter

also the chairman of the Haldimand

Peeters from East Central who are

Agriculture Advisory Committee. “I will

currently still serving their two-year

keep the CFFO strong and never ever

term as Directors.

Federation of Ontario (CFFO) held their Annual General Meeting at St. George Banquet Hall in Waterloo where elections for President, VicePresidents and Directors took place. The CFFO saw a change in leadership as Clarence Nywening was elected as the new CFFO President. Nywening is a broiler-breeder operator and cash cropper from the Thamesville area. In his acceptance speech Nywening thanked his predecessor Lorne Small who served as the CFFO President for the past four years by saying, “I have a big job ahead of me and big shoes to fill. Lorne has been a very good representative for us in the political realms and he knows a

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The CFFO and Chrysler Canada have

Enotify connects buyers and sellers

Havelock Metal specializes in steel

partnered up to bring our members the

in Ontario. It’s as easy as checking

roofing, siding, trims and accessories.

CFFO Fleet Account Number (FAN)

your email and works for you 24/7.

They make it their business to provide

program. This helps our members save

CFFO members are eligible to

customers with unparalleled advice,

thousands of dollars on the purchase of

recieve 33% off regular priced items

service and price. Havelock Metal is

new Chrysler Dodge & Jeep vehicles.

and have access to a farmer’s 24/7

pleased to offer CFFO members a 7%

Visit your nearest Chrysler dealer with


discount when purchasing materials.

your CFFO membership card and this


Please contact Jennifer Lawson

FAN code: G5303.

Call: 226-766-1205

Email: Call: 1-888-556-7623



RBC has teamed up with the CFFO

Country Guide and the CFFO have

to offer our members an exclusive

teamed up to deliver a special

package of personal and business


banking products, plus services that

farm magazine in Canada focused

provide more financial solutions,

on the business side of farming. Get

advice, tools and resources for your

your free subscription today!

farm business. Ask about the RBC


Group Advantage Program at your

local RBC branch or contact

Call: 1-800-665-1362

Betsy Alpas Email: Call: 226-971-0170 Peggy O’neill Email:

MARK’S WORK WEARHOUSE CFFO members are eligible to recieve exclusive discounts when they present their Imagewear discount card. The discount card provides our members with 10% savings on regular priced items at any Mark’s Work Wearhouse location. Look for your Mark’s card with this issue of our newsletter.



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



T: 519-837-1620

Toll-Free: 1-855-800-0306

CFFO Newsletter

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS Allied Associates LLP, Chartered Accountants Blackburn Radio Bostech Mechanical Ltd. Bramhill Seeds Ltd. Chalmers Fuels Conestogo Agri-Systems Inc. Country Guide Dairy Farmers of Ontario David M. den Boer, Chartered Accountant Farm Credit Canada Fawcett Tractor Supply Ltd. FBC, Canada’s Farm & Small Business Tax Specialist Floradale Feed Mill Limited Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. Grand Valley Fortifiers Limited Harkness Equipment Ltd. Jay-Lor Fabricating, Inc.

John Ernewein Ltd. Kenpal Farm Products Inc. Lely Canada Inc. Marquardt Farm Drainage Ltd. Meester Insurance Centre Minor Bros. Farm Supply Ltd. Nachurs Alpine Solutions Inc. National Bank of Canada New-Life Mills Nieuwland Feed & Supply Ltd. Norwell Dairy Systems Ltd. Ontario Farmer Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association RBC Royal Bank Agriculture Silver-Tech Systems Inc. Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd.

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: Facebook: Twitter: @CFFOnt Web Site:

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

Winter Newsletter 2016  
Winter Newsletter 2016