Do you see continued opportunities for growth in domestic and international trade of Ontario-grown grains and oilseeds?
Absolutely. As chair, I have been fortunate to travel the world as an ambassador for Ontario grains, and the people I meet have overwhelming respect for Ontario farmers and our products. Our grain is truly considered world-class. There are opportunities for us in emerging markets and to deepen our sales to existing markets.
One of the issues I have heard about is logistics and freight costs as barriers we need to overcome, but I am very optimistic about the demand for our grains and overcoming any obstacles.
I recently attended the International Oilseed Producers Dialogue in Argentina, where we were made to feel very welcome and appreciated, and so many countries were eager to talk to us. It was clear to me that farmers around the world share a passion and a love for what we do and that our challenges with the environment, government regulation, and misinformed consumers are shared, too. Maybe by using our collective influence, we’re better off than trying to fight alone. •
2022-2023 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Grain Farmers of Ontario held its Annual General Meeting on September 12 at the Craigowan Golf Club in Woodstock. The financial statements for the 2022 – 2023 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 2023 Annual Report, available online at www.gfo.ca/about. •
WOMEN’S GRAIN SYMPOSIUM
Grain Farmers of Ontario is hosting its annual Women’s Grain Symposium November 27 – 28, 2023, at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre in Guelph.
The Symposium is an opportunity for networking, professional development, and leadership development, and is open to women who are grain farmers, active members of their family grain operation, or working within the grain sector of agriculture business with a direct connection to farmers.
A registration fee of $100 includes all Symposium events, meals, and one night hotel accommodation (Monday, November 27).
More information, including the agenda, speakers, and registration can be found at www.gfo.ca/about/womens-symposium/ or by contacting Rachel Telford, manager of member relations at email@example.com. •
Good in Every Grain, the public outreach campaign of Grain Farmers of Ontario launched STEMterprise, an award-winning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program for Ontario Grade 3 classrooms.
STEMterprise is a unique teaching resource based on Ontario grain farming in coordination with the Ontario elementary school curriculum. The Farming STEMterprise program created by the National Farmers Union United Kingdom (NFU U.K.) brings agriculture into the classroom in a fun and exciting way for students and teachers alike.
This program, offered at no cost to Ontario teachers, will allow students to learn where their food comes from, how food gets from field to fork, and how farmers protect the environment while meeting the increasing demand for food. Students will also develop business, entrepreneurship, and sales skills as they create a classroom bake sale with their granola bar businesses.
Good in Every Grain is excited to launch this program and bring the importance of agriculture back into classrooms, one grain at a time. Ontario Farming STEMterprise materials can be found for download at www.GoodinEveryGrain.ca/ontario-farming-stemterprise/. •
COME SEE US AT FALL EVENTS
Grain Farmers of Ontario’s communications intern, Ainsley Leblanc, has be traveling across the province this summer visiting fairs and festivals with the Grain Discovery Zone trailer.
The 2023 season wraps up at the Brigden Fair October 6 – 9 and at Sheldon Creek Dairy’s ‘Day on the Farm’ on October 28.
The Grains on the Go trailer will be exhibiting at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair November 3 – 12. •
Get the guidance you need to manage your workforce!
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national, non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues facing agricultural businesses across Canada, has developed a toolkit to support agricultural employers. Whether your business is small or large, and whether you have a human resources professional on staff or you manage your staff directly, the AgriHR Toolkit is your foundation for success.
The AgriHR Toolkit is designed to address the unique needs of the agriculture industry. Based on years of research and field testing conducted in Canada and internationally, this toolkit offers everything you need to improve your people-management skills and develop key resources to help you find, retain, and support your employees.
Some of the topics covered in the toolkit include:
- Recruitment, selection, and hiring.
- Compensation and benefits
- Succession planning
- HR policies
- Health and Safety
- Foreign workers
Through the partnership Grain Farmers of Ontario has with CAHRC, all Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members have free access to this valuable resource. If you are interested in gaining access, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the promo code. •
The harvest season comes with a unique set of stressors for Ontario farmers — long hours on the job often mean less sleep and time spent with family, unpredictable weather can cause delays and impact grain quality, and the fluctuating market can cause worry and stress. Grain Farmers of Ontario reminds farmer-members that there are supports to help get you through what can be a difficult season.
If you or your someone in your family needs support, the Agriculture Wellness Ontario (AgWO), an arm of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Farmer Wellness Initiative, hosts a program offering free counselling sessions with a mental health professional trained to understand the unique needs of Ontario farmers. Ontario farmers and members of their households can access this service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-866-267-6255. If in crisis, please call 911.
More information on the Farmer Wellness Initiative and other resources to support your mental wellbeing can be found at www.gfo.ca/mentalwellness. •
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. •
by Philip Shaw
On September 12, the estimated U.S. corn yield at 173.8 bushels/acre pushed domestic production to 15.134 billion bushels. On the soybean side of the ledger, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expecting a domestic soybean yield of 50.1 bushels per acre, putting production at 4.146 billion bushels. This was down 1.6 bushels per acre for corn and down 0.8 bushels per acre for soybeans.
In Ontario, it has been a soggy summer from Windsor to the Quebec border, but as we look toward the finish line, big yield is in the crosshairs. Some private crop tours are predicting a record corn and soybean yield. However, the crop is later than normal, and we need a wide-open fall. The Canadian dollar fluttering at the 0.7380 U.S. level continues to add stimulus to Ontario grain prices. •