Progress, Programs and Partnerships Headline 27th AGM

The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) hosted it’s 27th Annual General Meeting on December 1st at the GrandWay Events Centre in Elora.

The first live, in-person AGM in two years, the AAC members and general stakeholders in attendance were given an overview of the AAC’s accomplishments this past year and a look ahead at what promises to be an exciting year to come.

Two new programs highlighted the morning session—

A video address by Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs shared information on the release of the Ontario government’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which includes AAC’s administration of the $9.8 million Supply Chain Stability and Adaptability Program on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

A new partnership with the AAC and Farm and Food Care Ontario was also announced. The AAC will provide matching funding for its membership to develop FarmFood 360 virtual video experiences to promote their role in the agriculture and food continuum. The program will run for two years and approve three projects per year selected from eligible applications. This program is made possible through an allocation of AAC’s Strategic Initiative Fund. This special programming opportunity will help AAC’s membership creatively share their unique stories with new audiences, helping build trust and transparency in Ontario’s food supply.

“We recognize the importance of resiliency in the supply chain." said Board Chair, Doug Alexander. "AAC has 27 years of experience delivering programs to enhance the Ontario agriculture and food industry. Our knowledge and connections, detailed processes, and commitment to superior client service are key in delivering transformative funding initiatives on behalf of our partners. Our board is excited about these new programs and the year ahead”

The 2022-2023 board was elected at the AGM and includes:

  • Chair: Doug Alexander, Agri-business/Retail/Food Processor
  • Vice Chair: Peggy Brekveld, General Farm Interest
  • Treasurer: Dennis Fischer, Livestock
  • Secretary: Sara Wood, Youth-at-Large
  • Scott Buchan, Supply Management
  • Keith Black, Grains/Seeds/Oilseeds/Specialty Crops
  • Maaike Campbell, Livestock
  • Norman Charbonneau, Horticulture
  • Randal Goodfellow, Other Industries/Commodity Groups
  • Mark Hamel, Supply Management
  • Ashley Knapton, Youth-at-Large
  • Ruth Knight, Other Organizations
  • Jamie Payton, Grains/Seeds/Oilseeds/Specialty Crops
  • Ed Scharringa, General Farm Interest

  • Brian St. Louis, Agri-business/Retail/Food Processor
  • Mark Wales, Horticulture

Retiring Director, Chris Hiemstra was thanked for his eight years of dedicated service to the AAC. His valuable input around the board table, including two years as AAC Chair 2020-2021, will be missed.

After the business meeting concluded, a speakers panel was convened to explore labour issues facing the agriculture and food sector. Moderated by Crystal MacKay of Loft 32, the speakers covered labour challenges and opportunities viewed by primary agriculture, food processing, economic planning, skills development and training. The expert panel included:

  • Stefan Larrass , Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Association
  • Chris Conway, Food and Beverage Ontario
  • Martin Bohl from the City of Brampton
  • Lindsay Engel, Sheridan College

Attendees were engaged by asking questions and participating in interactive roundtable discussions to generate new ideas on how to better collaborate and tackle labour issues in their own sectors. These discussions and possible solutions, identified from the diverse membership and stakeholders in attendance, will be captured and shared with the AAC network.

To learn more about AAC, please visit