FROM THE CHAIR
What is Grain Farmers of Ontario doing to open up new markets for Canadian grains and oilseeds?
There are a number of initiatives at Grain Farmers of Ontario that specifically focus on growing and developing existing markets and opening doors for Ontario grain in new markets. After the shift in thinking that came during the lockdowns and travel restrictions, I am very happy to say that we will be and have been much more active on trade missions and other market access activities. In August of this year, we attended and presented at the International Oilseed Producers Dialogue, where we learned about the issues impacting oilseed growers from every corner of the world and were able to share numbers and learn from each other. In September we participated in trade missions centred around Central and Latin America, which are incredibly important developing markets for Ontario grain.
With harvest in full swing, I want to wish everyone a safe and bountiful fall. Work safe and please contact me or the office with any concerns that may arise. •
2022 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Grain Farmers of Ontario held its Annual General Meeting on September 13 at the Craigowan Golf Club in Woodstock. The financial statements for the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year (June – May) were presented by the auditors, RLB LLP, at the meeting. The financial statements are included immediately following this newsletter for the easy reference of all farmer-members. The financial statements can also be found in the 2022 Annual Report, available online at www.gfo.ca/about. •
Ontario voters will go to the polls on Monday, October 24, 2022, to elect their municipal leaders and school board trustees. Municipal elections are held every four years in Ontario.
Grain Farmers of Ontario encourages our farmer-members to engage with local candidates to ensure that agricultural issues are top-of-mind when new municipal governments are formed. As municipalities deal with more localized matters, each community will have differing priorities, and candidates will have varying levels of understanding of the importance of agriculture to their local economy. By taking some time to talk to candidates about the issues that are important to you as an Ontario grain farmer, you can help bring awareness to the important local agricultural issues in your community.
Grain Farmers of Ontario has a number of resources that you can share with municipal candidates to help them learn about grain farming and its importance to Ontario’s economy:
• Ontario Grain Farming 101 is a 10-video series that introduces viewers to the various aspects of the Ontario grain and oilseed industry. Find it at www.gfo.ca/ research/farming101.
• www.GrainforGood.ca tells Ontario’s sustainability story.
• www.GoodinEveryGrain.ca has a wealth of information about how grains are grown, what they are used for, and how they impact our everyday life.
Specific information on when, where, and how to vote will vary depending upon your local municipality, and information can be found by visiting your municipality’s website or contacting their office. General information about municipal elections, including information on how to register to vote, updating your personal information, and identification requirements to vote, can be found at www.ontario.ca/page/municipal-elections. •
WOMEN’S GRAIN SYMPOSIUM
Join us November 28 – 29 for the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s annual Women’s Grain Symposium. The event will be held in person at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre.
The agenda will feature a varied program, including guest speakers, leadership training, and networking opportunities for women who are farmer-members or work in the grain and oilseed industry. Registration is free.
GRAIN DISCOVERY ZONE
As the 2022 fair and festival season comes to a close, the Grain Discovery Zone is wrapping up another year of travelling across the province to help consumers learn about grains and grain farming. The Grain Discovery Zone visited more than 20 events in 2022, crisscrossing the province from Leamington in the southwest to Vankleek Hill in eastern Ontario. •
Farmers have a demanding career with a unique set of stressors that, if not managed, can negatively impact their mental health and farm businesses.
Fortunately, in Ontario and across Canada, many organizations focused on mental health in agriculture provide resources and support for our farm communities.
One of those organizations is the National Farmer Mental Health Alliance. This group is a team of experienced psychotherapists and life coaches with lived agriculture experience. They understand the challenges of farming and the importance of having access to mental health services and support tailored to farmers, farm families, and veterinarians.
Their services include:
• Psychotherapy – They will connect you with a therapist that is a farmer or part of a farm family.
• Workshops – They offer psychoeducational workshops on topics designed to help improve the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of farmers and farm families.
• Training – They advocate for ‘Agriculture Informed Therapy’ by creating a certified, comprehensive training for therapists.
• AGg Organizations – have multipronged service packages for agriculture organizations to better meet the mental health needs of their members.
Visit www.nfmha.ca to learn more and access these resources. •
ANNUAL DISTRICT MEETINGS
Grain Farmers of Ontario is beginning to plan for the 2023 January District Grain Committee Meetings. Be sure to check our website, www.gfo.ca, for updates on the date and location of your district’s meeting. Details will also be published in the GrainTALK Newsletter in upcoming issues of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine as they are finalized.
The Annual District Meetings are called to elect voting delegates and directors for the coming year. Updates on the organization and grain industry issues are also provided at these meetings. All barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers are welcome and encouraged to attend. •
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO CO-OP EXPERIENCE
Ryan Gill completed a co-op placement in the Grain Farmers of Ontario Market Development department as a market development assistant in the summer of 2022. Gill is entering his fourth year of the Food and Agriculture Business Co-op program at the University of Guelph.
Gill’s previous co-op placement was at London Agricultural Commodities as a junior grain trader. That placement furthered his interest in grain markets, utilization and trade, which led to him applying for a co-op placement with the Grain Farmers of Ontario Market Development team. During his four-month co-op term, Gill engaged with a range of industry stakeholders and attended numerous events.
“From car parts to crayons and more, Ontario grain producers can truly be proud of the impact they have on society, in addition to feeding our growing world! I am very appreciative to receive the opportunity to work alongside the great staff at Grain Farmers of Ontario and further my passion for agriculture over these past several months,” says Gill.
In addition to his university studies, Gill started a sheep farm with his twin brother, where they have fifty ewes on an accelerated lambing program and care for a broiler chicken operation. •
by Philip Shaw
Ontario grain prices have increased since the lows of July. In the United States, the August United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report still pegged corn at 176.4 bushels per acre, and soybeans at a very healthy 51.5 bushels per acre. Late summer weather has called into question the corn estimates as hot and dry weather have impacted parts of the U.S. corn belt. With strong demand still apparent and drought in key growing areas of the world, the grain futures market has responded accordingly.
In Ontario, the Canadian dollar fluttering in the 77 cent U.S. level has helped maintain cash grain prices. The varied nature of drought across the province has produced a patchwork of yield potential, higher in the east, possibly lower in the southwest. •