Skip to content

Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine is the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario and a source of information for our province’s grain farmers. 

Future of Grain


Celebrating 100 years of service to grain producers and industry
The Canadian Grain Commission is celebrating its achievements after 100 years of service to Canada’s grain producers and the industry. 


“We are proud to be a part of an industry that has helped shape and continues to shape Canada,” says Elwin Hermanson, Chief Commissioner. “We have guaranteed producers the right to fair treatment since 1912, and we’ve kept pace with the needs of a changing industry over the last 100 years.” 

Grain is one of Canada’s main export commodities and has been instrumental in Canada’s economic development. Since April 1, 1912, the Canadian Grain Commission has worked with Canada’s grain producers and industry to ensure that Canada’s grain is a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets. •

Ontario outstanding young farmer 2012 named
“Very good beef.” Three simple words can sum up the goals of the 2012 Ontario Outstanding Young Farmers, Cory and Heidi Van Groningen of Hillview Farm and VG Meats ( in South Western Ontario. They produce very good beef, all while involving and spending time with their family, conserving the environment, providing the best possible care to their animals and giving back to their community and industry.

The Van Groningens received the top honour at the provincial awards ceremony held in Niagara Falls on March 27. Winners of the award are chosen based on career progress,  environmental and safety practices, crop and livestock production history, financial and management practices and contributions to society.

For information on all of the finalists, visit the OOYF website at
The judges, Mark Murphy (OOYF winner in 1986), Bill Demerling (retired from UCO), and Ann Gordon (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) chose the Van Groningens in part due to their commitment to product quality, customer service and interest in the betterment of the entire Ontario beef industry.

Nominated by Jack McCoubrey, the Van Groningens raise 400 beef cows and replacements on 475 acres in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties. Between themselves, Cory’s parents and three of Cory’s brothers, the operation consists of two different farm locations, an abattoir and two retail stores.

Interaction with their consumers is key to their success. Says Heidi, “Our consumer focus leads us to strive for consistency while maximizing quality. Consumers are a great source of encouragement for us and when they keep letting us know that the last steak they bought “was the best one they’d ever had” it lets us know that we are heading in the right direction.”

Co-chairs of the event, Chris and Christy Hiemstra of Clovermead Apiaries in Aylmer noted that “Spending time with such imaginative and successful young farmers reminds us all that farming is a rewarding occupation and we need to be positive and celebrate our accomplishments. The Ontario event also really showcases the diversity of agriculture in Ontario. 

To be eligible for the Outstanding Young Farmer award, farmers must be between 19 and 39 years of age, derive at least two thirds of their annual income from farming and demonstrate progress in their agriculture careers. Nominations for the 2013 award will open in September and are due December 1, 2013.

For more information, visit •

Trade negotiations with Japan positive for Ontario’s soybean growers
Grain Farmers of Ontario is encouraged by the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations launched between Canada and Japan.

Japan is a critical market for Ontario’s soybean growers as it is estimated that Canada holds a 38 percent share of Japan’s food grade market for soybeans. All negotiations that strengthen our relationship with the Japanese will result in market opportunities for Ontario grain farmers’ highest value export – food grade soybeans.

“The Canadian Soybean Council (CSC) just returned from a trade mission that included stops in Japan to promote our high quality food grade soybeans,” says Henry Van Ankum, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Having a formal agreement between our countries will reinforce the positive working relationships we have cultivated over the last few years the CSC has been working with the Japanese.”

Soybean exports to Japan return over $200 million annually to the Canadian economy. A free trade agreement has the potential to increase exports to Japan which is good news for Ontario’s growers of the high quality, traceable, safe and quality assured soybeans Japanese buyers demand.

This increase in demand for Ontario’s higher value crops will result in job creation and the growth of our economy.

“If the higher than expected turnout to our seminars across Japan on the recent mission is any indication of the interest in Canadian soybeans by Japanese buyers, we have a bright trading future ahead,” says Van Ankum.

“These free trade negotiations will strengthen our Canadian brand and go a long way to creating more interest in our grains and oilseeds.”


In this issue: