Agricultural Adaptation Council
A funding model that works: grassroots decision making by the industry for the industry
The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) is driven by a board of directors that represents the organization’s diverse membership and brings a specialized understanding of funding program requirements, farming and agribusiness to the table.
What has made the AAC approach unique from the beginning is industry-led decision making by the member-elected board of directors. It was recognized early on that there was great value in placing the responsibility for decision making on farm and agribusiness leaders, who have daily and hands-on knowledge of many complex issues and opportunities facing the industry.
The AAC’s decision making process, where the board is responsible for making funding decisions, was designed to complement the goals and priorities of agri-food organizations. This is so that the industry as a whole can contribute to the process and effectively distribute funding to projects that will bring long term benefit across as broad a spectrum as possible.
When the AAC was incorporated in the summer of 1995, under the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act, it was a coalition of 47 Ontario agricultural and rural organizations. The board included 13 elected representatives from all sectors of farm and rural organizations and two members representing the farm input sector and value-added/beyond the farm gate.
Today, the AAC has over 60 member organizations and the elected board of directors is made up of 16 members, which include two youth-at-large directors. Directors are actively engaged in the industry, and the board’s diversity – sector, region, age and gender – brings many perspectives together to effectively serve one client: the Ontario agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry.
The key to the success of the AAC has been and continues to be its partnerships with both the federal and provincial governments. The AAC approach to funding allows decisions to be made at the grassroots level for the industry by the industry, which is a model that has proven itself for more than 20 years.