board meeting

Ontario dairy industry invests in future leaders

The future of any industry relies on the shoulders of the next generation. That’s why Ontario’s dairy industry is coming together to develop a training program focusing on business, governance and leadership. CanWest DHI, in collaboration with industry partners, EastGen, Holstein Canada and Dairy Farmers of Ontario, recently stepped up to invest in Ontario dairy farmers.

Ontario’s dairy sector is stronger than ever – innovations are driving productivity, new technology is creating efficiencies and improvements, and leadership is recognized as an essential attribute. Through the new leadership program, nearly 80 participants have participated in a series of sessions with the results exceeding all expectations.

With funding through the Agricultural Adaptation Council, the dairy industry partners conducted sessions over three years that were designed to provide future industry leaders with a comprehensive understanding of a board of director position. Board of directors lead many agricultural organizations and companies, so participants focused on the requirements and expectations of such a position, including finance, human resources, governance and marketing. The leadership training went one step further by providing training content specific to the unique aspects of the dairy industry and supply management.

The investment is seeing early pay offs as six  program participants have already being appointed or elected to  CanWest DHI and EastGen board of director positions. Early successes are also being realized with the program being duplicated by industry counterparts in Western Canada.

Today’s agricultural leadership roles are more important than ever, but with fewer dairy farmers in the industry, leadership development is vital to succession. CanWest DHI, along with fellow dairy industry partners, took the initiative to invest in the next generation of dairy leaders and the future is looking bright.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.