Meet the AAC Membership
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, proudly representing 38,000 farm family members across the province.
OFA was one of the founding members of the AAC in 1995 and has been a member for over 20 years. As a dynamic, producer-led organization based in Guelph, Ontario, OFA works to represent and champion the diverse interests of Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities. OFA’s work includes government relations, farm policy development, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is a leading agricultural advocate for Ontario farmers, their farm businesses and their communities.
OFA is part of a collaboration of seven provincial agricultural organizations who are providing leadership into the development of the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan (CO-LEAP). The group, known as Environmental Collaboration Ontario (Eco-Ag), has been approved for funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for a project to support CO-LEAP implementation. In addition to OFA, the Eco-Ag members include Ontario Pork, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers, Ontario Sheep Farmers and Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Click here to read more about the project.
We have asked a few questions to learn more about OFA:
1. What is the greatest benefit to your organization from being an AAC member?
OFA believes there is great value in having the AAC Board make decisions for relevant projects. AAC has played a key role in ensuring public funding of agricultural projects is targeted to projects of the most relevance to the Agricultural Industry. The AAC staff have also played a valuable role in helping applicants apply and meet program requirements.
2. For the CO-LEAP project, there are seven groups working together, why is this cross-industry collaboration beneficial for this project?
ECO-Ag is a collaboration of provincial agriculture organizations, including OFA, that recognize the need to provide innovative and transformational leadership to enhance environmental outcomes and support a good business, a healthy environment – clean water and healthy soils, and strong communities. This collaboration demonstrates clearly that agriculture is working together with a unified goal of improving stewardship through sound policy, awareness and education, while communicating the environmental successes of the farming community specifically, and Ontario in general.
3. How does OFA encourage leadership within the local federations and on the provincial board?
In recent years, OFA’s Proud to Lead “Involve” Fund has offered seed funding to local federations organizing events and outreach, with the purpose of reaching previously unengaged members. These events have ranged from agricultural awards and BBQs that celebrate our dynamic sector to educational farm tours that increase agriculture awareness for elected officials and the public. Not only do the activities bring out members for the experience, allowing introductory conversations with existing directors, they also promote newer directors’ roles in developing these new programs. By growing these opportunities at the local level, members can become more involved and directors can grow their confidence and commitment to leadership throughout the organization. The Proud to Lead initiative is jointly funded by OFA and Farm Credit Canada.
4. OFA’s Annual General Meeting is upcoming on November 18 & 19, what are some of the key topics for this year’s event?
The theme of OFA’s 2019 Annual General Meeting is Farming 2020: Adapt & Grow. The theme reflects the flexibility and adaptability agriculture embraces every day as we drive the economic engine for Ontario. To elaborate on the theme as it relates to weather events, OFA is pleased to welcome David Phillips, Senior Climatologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada as our keynote speaker for the event. OFA will be offering interactive workshop sessions on the topics of mental health, on-farm security, municipal politics and transitioning the family farm
Click here to learn more about the AAC membership.