Winter 2017

Page 1

Federation Of Ontario




Newsletter January 2017, Volume 16, No.1

INSIDE THIS ISSUE President’s Comments

CFFO Policy Notes

Featured Farm

CFFO 2016 Convention

January 2017, Volume 16, No. 1

CFFO Newsletter


The harvest season is complete and across the province many farmers have been blessed with a bountiful crop, while others have had severe losses. In spite of this, we praise God for being our provider in all circumstances.

Clarence Nywening CFFO President

Recently, I have been involved in several discussions with the Sustainable Farm and Food initiative.

These initial conversations are to begin looking at how

sustainability will take shape on our farms. As these discussions continue it has become evident to those of us involved that in order to increase and maintain farm sustainability, communication chains need to be opened up between farmers and processors. In October I had the privilege of participating in a three-day seminar celebrating the Great Lakes. During those three days we were updated on how we as a society are doing in regards to the way we are treating the Great Lakes. Areas of discussion included everything from the habitats around the Great Lakes to the species and nutrients in the Great Lakes. Each area of interest was placed on a three-tiered scale, and it was very encouraging to note that over the past three years all areas have either been unchanged or improved while none have deteriorated. High on the political agenda is the concern of phosphorous run-off into Lake Erie. In order to better prevent nutrient run-off, Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal, has informed farmers that he hopes to utilize the Nutrient Management Program along with the 4R Program to reduce the spreading of nutrients during high-risk seasons. This discussion will be taking place over the next year. More information on the Minister’s plans to reduce phosphorous run-off were discussed in his mandate released in late September. This mandate can be accessed online at by searching ‘September 2016 mandate letter for agriculture.’ Also in the mandate letter are the government’s concerns regarding the carbon and greenhouse gas emissions coming from farms and farming industries. The CFFO hopes to work closely with Minister Jeff Leal over the next year to help shape any rules or regulations that may be released in regards to these aspects of farming. It has been a privilege to visit all of the districts in Ontario over the past year, and I look forward to visiting them again in the coming year. On behalf of the board and staff of CFFO, we wish you God’s blessing during this Christmas season and a joyous New Year.

Page 2

CFFO Newsletter

January 2017, Volume 16, No. 1

Suzanne Armstrong

Director of Research, Manager of Board and Committee Services

Phosphorus in Lake Erie

POLICY NOTES CFFO has made a number of policy submissions this summer and fall. Ontario farmers are working to improve environmental stewardship in order to address Lake Erie algal blooms through nutrient management planning, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program, and the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI). Application of nutrients in the non-growing season is a significant concern. It has risks for the environment, and reduces the benefits farmers receive from the nutrients applied. Collaborative extension services would benefit farmers in order to help them find solutions appropriate for their farm, as well as significant cost share to increase their manure storage.

Coordinated Four Plan Review

Protecting our productive farmland for the long-term within the Greater-Golden Horseshoe region will require ongoing efforts to direct and control development. The proposed Agriculture Support Network consisting of a farmland base and key farm and food infrastructure looks to keep a thriving agriculture industry. Supporting agriculture will also require protecting and accommodating normal farm practices, animal agriculture, and farm related uses alongside other land uses in the region. Farmers should be appropriately compensated for the value of the environmental goods and services they are providing to the greater public through their land stewardship.

Wetland Conservation Strategy

The CFFO recognizes the value of wetlands and as significant landowners, farmers will be important potential partners in wetland conservation efforts. Wetland policy needs to clearly protect the agricultural functions of drainage areas and retention ponds. Furthermore, preventing a net loss of wetlands must not do so at the expense of dependable productive farmland.

Red Tape Challenge Food Processing Industry

The CFFO supports current marketing regulations for supply management and marketing boards in Ontario. CFFO argued for greater protections on our limited farmland through land use planning policy. While meat regulations are effective for food safety and animal welfare, more flexibility would allow for different sized abattoirs. The CFFO sees benefit in mobile abattoir units in remote areas and regions where a mobile abattoir would best serve the needs of the locale. The CFFO also responded to Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Food Processing, Conservation Authority Act Review, Invasive Species Act and the Ontario Soil Health Strategy. You can find the full submissions on the CFFO website:

Page 3

January 2017, Volume 16, No. 1

CFFO Newsletter

2017 Executive Board from left to right: Bethanee Jensen, Peter Peeters, Clarence Nywening, Ed Scharringa, Richard Blyleven, John Kikkert. Two executives were not present John Bos and Henry Stevens

CFFO Annual Convention 2016 Suzanne Armstrong

Director of Research, Manager of Board and Committee Services The CFFO hosted its Annual Convention and Banquet on Tuesday November 29, focusing on “Emerging Opportunities for Ontario Agriculture.” This year our speakers for the day focused on innovation in small and medium sized farm businesses. Our Keynote Speaker was Dean

in Dunnville, on Haldimand clay

called Eby Manor, and Thorsten

soil. Our Vice-President Richard

Arnold, General Manager for

Blyleven, who is one of Glenney’s

Eat Local Grey Bruce. All have

neighbours, reminded the audience

combined innovative farming

that the average corn yield for

techniques with local marketing to

the county is only 127 bushels

fulfill emerging or niche markets with

per acre, while Glenney has been

local consumers.

able to achieve yields as high as 301 bushels per acre. Glenney described plowing as equivalently devastating to crop farming as a barn fire is to a livestock operation. He strongly advocated letting the worms and soil organisms do the plowing, and minimizing traffic by running all equipment in the same tracks in the field. By combining his no-till with intercropping rows of corn and soy beans, he has been able to achieve these award winning

Keynote Speaker Dean Glenney

Glenney, who shared his innovative “Fencerow Farming” methods. Glenney farms his family farm

yields. Our afternoon Panel Speakers included Jeffrey Linton, who runs Linton Pasture Pork, Jim Eby who runs a Guernsey breed micro-dairy

Page 4

Jeffrey Linton, having improved his animal husbandry skills abroad, returned home and started his pasture pork business. His methods of raising pigs outside grazing on cover crops and the undercover growth of wooded areas have many health benefits for the pigs and environmental benefits too. Linton was pleased to discover that this method also resulted in rich tasting meat with good colour and marbling. Jim Eby, on the other hand, knew the distinct characteristics of milk from the Guernesy cow breed, including the naturally golden colour

CFFO Newsletter

January 2017, Volume 16, No. 1

Conevntion Speakers from left to right:Thornsten Arnold, Jim Eby, Dean Glenny and Jeffry Linton.

Emerging opportunities for ontario agriculture and creamy taste, and the higher

same foods year round, to seasonal

and Vice-Presidents Richard

milk fat content which makes for

fresh local produce.

Blyleven and John Kikkert were all

better tasting skimmed and whole milk. However, in marketing his milk he made some decisions to appeal

All four speakers raised the issue of “sustainable� farming, but recognized that this term gets used and co-opted in many different ways. Arnold challenged the farmers present to think about the

Afternoon Speaker: Jim Eby

to his consumer, including selling

acclaimed for another year on our CFFO Executive Board. Director Peter Peeters from East Central was re-elected for another two-year term, and John Bos from Wentworth-Brant was newly elected onto the Board.

sustainability of their family farm

Changes to the CFFO By-Laws and

businesses in terms of the capital

the FBR fee increase were other

involved. Significant farm business

important items on the agenda.

capital assets can be prohibitive

These changes were adopted by

to the next generation taking over

the delegates assembled.

the business, and thus makes them unsustainable.

Starting in 2017, CFFO will hold an Annual Meeting for Federation

the milk in glass bottles, and going

All four speakers fielded many

business in the first half of the

GMO free.

questions from interested audience

year, likely this coming April.

members, and provided excellent

We encourage all District Board

food for thought about the

members to plan to attend. Pending

opportunities for different types of

government approval, FBR fees will

innovation on small and medium

increase to $225 (+HST) in 2018,

sized farms.

with stepped increase upto $255

Although Thorsten Arnold had significant local support through early memberships for the Eat Local Grey Bruce food cooperative, he still finds challenges in working to adjust consumer behaviour from the

Our president, Clarence Nywening,

(+HST) by 2022.

grocery store expectations of the

Page Page55

January 2017, Volume 17, No. 1

Paul Bootsma

Field Services Manager

CFFO Newsletter


District Meetings

The Oxford district held their annual fall banquet and annual meeting on Friday November 11 in the Mt. Elgin Community Centre. President Wim Duizer welcomed everyone. Ed Scharringa from the CFFO Executive Board gave greetings as well as MPP Ernie Hardeman. After dinner, the membership approved the 2016 financial papers and the district board elections were held. Matt McIntosh and Stephanie Vickers from Farm & Food Care gave a presentation about how to respond to some of the animal welfare issues that the media has put forward. They led a good discussion with the members to help them understand correct responses and how to properly relate their stories to the public and media. The East Central district hosted an information evening on November 14 in Bethany, ON. Wendall Joyce, Regional Manager for Agricorp, explained the functions of several government assistance programs including Crop Insurance. Peter Doris, Environmental Specialist for OMAFRA, outlined the work on the soil survey and asked for more participation from local farmers. The Elgin district will be hosting their annual banquet and district meeting on Dec. 3, 2016.

2016 Leadership Summit

The CFFO Leadership Summit was held on the Monday evening prior to the Convention in the St. George Banquet Hall in Waterloo with the theme of “Creating Clarity.” Attendance was excellent with 19 of 21 districts was represented at the event. The CFFO staff and Executive Board discussed topics, including changing by-laws and topics to assist district boards to function in a consistent manner. The purpose of the Summit is to bring the Leadership team of the Federation together to build a solid working relationship. This is also an opportunity to share ideas on how the districts can be effective and active in their areas.

2017 Policy Tour

The 2017 Policy Tour is ready to begin this winter. This will be the third edition of the Policy Tour which is meant to give our members an opportunity to give input on a number of issues that affect agriculture around the province. Staff and Executive Board are excited to meet with many of our members over the next several months at the district’s annual meetings. This is also an opportunity for members to discuss local issues within their areas and possibly give advice on how to resolve situations as well.

Page 8

CFFO Newsletter

Featured Farm

January 2017, Volume 16, No. 1

John and his wife Helen Ysselstein

Clearview Poultry Farms Owned and Operated by the van den Hurk Family 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.

Ted van den Hurk speaks in a clear

had a heart for missions and so he

English and domestic science,as well

confident voice as he sits at his

knew he would have to follow her

as village training. This work allowed

dining table. As one listens to Ted talk

somewhere over the globe if they were

them to be very involved in the day-

about life, family, faith and farming,

to be partners in life. He saw this as a

to-day life of the villagers they were

it becomes evident that concern for others is a value that overrules personal and financial success. With his adult son Alex sitting next to him, Ted clearly has a desire to see the business of farming continue with the next generation. Ted and Laurie van den Hurk have lived a fascinating life and are obviously not finished yet as long as the good Lord allows them to remain on this earth. Having always been interested in farming since youth, Ted acknowledged that his wife Laurie

“There is more to life than farming. Money is not always the goal.�

working with and allowed them to use their skills of compassion and encouragement. These skills are still displayed today as they continue their efforts in their communities here in Canada. Their three children, Ricker, Alex and

calling that he wished to follow. This led to 12 years of service in Tanzania as support personnel for missionaries already working there.

Amy, all born here in Canada, spent a big part of their youth with Mom and Dad in Tanzania. Over the course of 12 years the van den Hurks did three, three-year terms of mission work in

While in Tanzania, Ted taught

Tanzania with 18 months in Canada

agriculture, farm economics and

between each period. The children

mechanics, while Laurie taught

did their early years of schooling in this

Page 9

CFFO Newsletter

Featured Farmer Continued.. African country. Spending those early childhood years in a foreign country gave them a richer understanding of the value of things other than worldly goods. Alex commented that he saw happiness in the children who had very few “things” to use as toys.

January 2017, Volume 16, No. 1

and served 8 years on the CFFO

post secondary education and when

Executive Board including three

Ricker and Alex expressed interest

years as Vice-President. Ted has

in farming, Ted and Laurie began the

been a church choir leader since he

process of succession planning. This

was 18 years old. Now he also does

resulted in selling the growth to the

confirmation classes with kids, and is

boys while they retained the shares,

the financial secretary for the Knights

thus allowing the boys to slowly gain

of Columbus, a Catholic men’s group.

more farm wealth and take on more responsibility. After a few years Ricker

Laurie is part of the Catholic Women’s

and his wife Angela changed course

League, and has worked with the

and sold the farm they had in order to

Catholic Diaconate in the Archdiocese

purchase a horse farm. They currently

of Toronto.

board horses and offer riding lessons on the farm. Amy is an educational

Laurie is also the Regional Facilitator

assistant and still lives at home with

for Catholic Family Services of Simcoe

her parents.

County. Laurie is currently beginning her own local ministry program. Ted and Laurie Van den Hurk

As the van den Hurks’ three children grew older and matured, a number of reasons led Ted and Laurie to decide it was time to return home to Canada and continue to raise their family here. Within a year of returning Ted purchased a poultry farm from his brother who was ready to retire from full-time farming, and so, the van den Hurks were once again living close to the homes where they grew up themselves.

She was part of the development of the report called, “Fruit of the Earth and Work of Human Hands,” the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario’s statement and reflection paper on agriculture. Ted and another CFFO member Gerald Poechman were also involved with this work. The Social Affairs Committee of their church authorized them to do this update of the original 1989 Bishop’s Pastoral Letter.

Laurie are living on property connected to the home farm and still assist Alex and his wife Stacy with operating and managing the farm. They look forward to enjoying many more years in the countryside and watching their children and grandchildren enjoy living in rural Ontario. The CFFO thanks them for their work with the Federation.

Clearview Poultry Farms owns chicken quota as well as 200 acres

Over the next few years both Ted

of land. Since Ted was not interested

and Laurie became involved with

in owning and operating field

their church and community. Ted also

equipment he has rented the land out

became active within the Christian

to a neighbouring farmer who then

Farmers Federation of Ontario,

also handles the manure from the

both locally and provincially. He is

poultry. This has been a long-term

currently the president of the Simcoe

arrangement that has worked out well

County Christian Farmers Association

for both parties.

Page 10

So, after all these years Ted and

All three of their children have had

view of the Van den Hurk’s Barn

CFFO Newsletter

CFFO Annual Convention 2016 Thank you to our Sponsors ALPINE Beef Farmers of Ontario Bostech Mechanical Ltd. Conestogo Agri-Systems Inc. Country Guide Farm Credit Canada Fawcett Tractor Supply Ltd. FBC

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. Grain Farmers of Ontario Grand Valley Fortifiers Limited Grober Nutrition Harkness Equipment Ltd. Jay-Lor Fabricating Inc. John Ernewein Ltd. Kenpal Farm Products Inc.

Marquardt Farm Drainage Ltd. Meester Insurance Centre Nieuwland Feed & Supply Ltd. Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement RBC Royal Bank Agriculture 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 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