GFO Newsletter for June/July 2014

GET THE LATEST NEWS FROM GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO

Good in Every Grain
Whether in our food, fuel, or furniture, every grain brings a natural and sustainable solution to our everyday lives. From the farmers in the fields to the wholesome food on tables across Ontario—there’s Good in Every Grain.

Over the past six months, Grain Farmers of Ontario has thought long and hard about the message we want to share about our members and our industry with the rest of the province—from Ontario families to the Bay Street bankers. We recognized the strengths of the Farmers Feed Cities campaign to connect these audiences and to encourage people to ask where their food comes from.  We also recognized the evolution of the slogan, which once started as just that, three words on a yellow sign, fixed to our tractors as Ontario`s cash crop farmers took action at Queen`s Park.  Since that period of time, we redefined Farmers Feed Cities as an awareness campaign to reach Ontario consumers through events, media, merchandise, and road tours.

Through this evolution, Farmers Feed Cities became a consumer education brand as much as a badge of pride for Ontario farmers.  While successfully creating awareness about Ontario`s diverse agriculture sector, grains were lost in the conversation, meaning neither consumers, nor the industry recognized the link from the campaign to its sole sponsor—Grain Farmers of Ontario.

We took an opportunity to evaluate the Farmers Feed Cities campaign – to critically explore it, distill our message, and determine Grain Farmers of Ontario’s best strategic platform forward. From this process, we determined that a more focused and strategic investment in our advocacy efforts would better represent our members – the corn, soybean, and wheat farmers across Ontario. As a result, Grain Farmers of Ontario will no longer run the Farmers Feed Cities campaign, redirecting all efforts to a new, grain-focused message.
I’m proud and excited to announce Grain Farmers of Ontario’s new campaign – Good in Every Grain.

This new campaign will focus messaging around four key pillars: Care, Sustainability, Healthfulness, and Every Day Use.

As farmers, Good in Every Grain tells your story. The story of the good values farmers represent, the good work you do for the environment and your communities, and the good crops you grow. As caretakers of the land, you are the foundation that Ontario sits on. We encourage you to proudly display this sticker and window decal to share the message.

For the public, Good in Every Grain speaks to the good quality grain crops they have access to, the good end-uses grain makes possible, the good contribution to Ontario’s economy, and of course the good rural community and farmers the public relies on every day.

With your support, we look forward to spreading the message about the good in every grain and the good in every farm family across the province.  We welcome any questions or comments as we transition our outreach.
— Barry Senft

For more information about Good in Every Grain, and for merchandise, visit www.goodineverygrain.ca. The website will continue to expand as the message gains momentum, so please check back often.

Please contact Meghan Burke at 519-767-2773 for questions or comments.

GRAIN DISCOVERY ZONE
The Grain Discovery Zone?is touring the province again this summer. This trailer exhibit features a new trivia game for the whole family and a corn box with agricultural toys that teach children about grain farming in the province. From now until October, the Grain Discovery Zone will be travelling across Ontario, participating in more than 20 fairs and events. Check the map to see when we’ll be in your area!

About the Exhibit
The Grain Discovery Zone is an interactive trailer exhibit appealing to all ages.

Features:
•    The Corn Box: a sandbox type structure, filled with Ontario grain corn. The Corn Box allows children to play in the corn with farm implement toys. This activity is an introduction to one of Ontario’s largest commodities (corn), farm equipment, and the many processes involved in farming.
•    Trivia Game: iPad and 50” TV screen presenting trivia questions and videos featuring Ontario grain farmers. Test your knowledge of corn, soybeans, and wheat farming while learning about production practices and end-uses.
•    Rest Area: a quiet space to relax and watch farm films. A favourite spot for adults to sit and gain knowledge about the scale of Ontario grain farming, learn about  ongoing crop research projects, and hear stories from Ontario farmers.

Every experience at the Grain Discovery Zone is guided by a Grain Farmers of Ontario staff member. Be sure to bring your farming questions as you explore the exhibit. Also, “like” the Grain Discovery Zone on Facebook to follow every step of the journey through photos and blog posts! •

WE’RE MOVING!
Grain Farmers of Ontario is moving into a new office space.  As of July, our new address will be: 

679 Southgate Drive, Guelph, ON, N1G 4S2.
All phone numbers will remain the same.

Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Board of Directors and senior staff assessed the long-term needs of the organization and a cost-benefit analysis showed that, given the longevity of our organization, it was a better value for us to purchase a building rather than continue to lease office space.  This building was purchased at the end of 2013 and renovations to the interior space have now been completed. This new space meets our current needs and will allow us to grow in the future. Remaining in Guelph allows us to maintain the strong relationships we have developed with other agricultural groups and businesses, the University, and government agencies. •

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS SPONSORSHIP
Grain Farmers of Ontario is proud to announce the renewal of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats sponsorship.

In 2013, the Tiger-Cats played their home games at a temporary facility on the University of Guelph campus. Grain Farmers of Ontario was offered an excellent opportunity to promote corn, soybeans, and wheat through signage, exhibits, and the most popular in-game promotion – the Grain Farmers of Ontario Tailgater of the Game competition. Winners were selected for their use of Ontario grains in their tailgate meal and their team spirit.

This year, the Tiger-Cats are moving into their state-of-the-art new stadium in Hamilton, called Tim Hortons Field. This new facility will not only host the Tiger-Cats, but will also be a venue for large concerts and will be used for 1,500 hours of community activities annually.

Building on the outstanding relationship we have experienced with the Tiger-Cats organization, and taking advantage of the opportunity to be a part of Tim Hortons field in its inaugural year, Grain Farmers of Ontario has renewed this partnership. With exciting new features like LED signage, permanent headwall signage, and the popular Tailgater of the Game promotion, the public outreach returns are equivalent to scoring the winning touchdown at the Grey Cup! •

GRAIN SAFETY DAY
Grain Farmers of Ontario’s District 12 is supporting a Grain Safety Day being held at Lockie Farms Grain Elevator. The free day-long event will feature presentations by Emergency Services Rescue training, Inc. and the Safety and Technical Rescue Association who will provide valuable tips on avoiding grain entrapment and how to deal with a grain bin emergency. Best management practices, design parameters for future facilities, and rescue equipment and skills will be demonstrated.

Date: July 10
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (lunch will be provided)
Location: 12799 Concession Rd. #4, Zephyr, ON
More information is available at: www.lockiefarms.com

BE CONNECTED
Grain Farmers of Ontario is working with Ontario beekeepers to develop a new smartphone app for farmers and beekeepers. Called ‘BeConnected’, the app has been piloted on Apple devices during planting this spring.

The app informs a grain farmer if there are bee hives within five kilometres of their fields. Both grain farmers and beekeepers are able to update where their fields and hives are by dropping a pin on a map. The app also allows them to more easily connect with each other.

‘BeConnected’ is expected to be fully functional by 2015. 

About Ontario Grain Farmer 358 Articles
THE ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER magazine strives to be the number one source of information for our province’s grain farmers. With a balanced mix of production, marketing, technology, research, and general interest articles, we provide farmers with valuable information in an easy-to-read format. As the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Grain Farmer is a magazine that is made by farmers, for farmers. The magazine is an important tool that supports the organization’s vision to drive the Ontario grain industry to become a global leader.