Ontario Grain Farmer April/May 2024

16 An update on Grain Farmers of Ontario news and events EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ELECTED At the February Board of Directors meeting, Jeff Harrison, director for District 12 (Durham, Northumberland, Kawartha, Peterborough, Hastings) was elected chair; Julie Maw, director for District 3 (Lambton) and Josh Boersen, director for District 9 (Perth) were elected as vice chairs; and Steve Twynstra, director for District 4 (Middlesex) was elected as executive member. Directors returning to the Board are Brendan Byrne, District 1 (Essex), Gus Ternoey, District 2 (Kent), Scott Persall, District 5 (Elgin, Norfolk), Jeff Barlow, District 6 (Haldimand, Brant, Hamilton, Niagara), Angela Zilke, District 7 (Waterloo, Oxford), Keith Black, District 8 (Huron), Steve Lake, District 10 (Grey, Bruce, Wellington), Leo Blydorp, District 11 (Dufferin, Simcoe, Halton, Peel, York), Lloyd Crowe, District 13 (Prince Edward, Lennox, Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, Leeds, Grenville, Renfrew, Ottawa), Scott Fife, District 14 (Prescott, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry), and Chuck Amyot, District 15 (Northern Ontario). INTERNATIONAL TRADE MISSIONS In February, 2024, Brendan Byrne, Grain Farmers of Ontario director of District 1 (Essex) and CEO Crosby Devitt participated in a trade mission to Mexico, led by Minister Lisa Thompson of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. The delegation included representatives from across the grain value chain, including millers, bakeries, exporters, and farmers. The trade mission built upon relationships that have been stewarded by Cereals Canada. Scott Persall, director of District 5 (Elgin, Norfolk) and Dana Dickerson, manager of market development and sustainability, took part in a Soy Canada trade mission to Thailand and Japan in February 2024. They met with hundreds of customers in both countries alongside Soy Canada and exporters working to further develop business in the region, and received great feedback on the quality of Canadian soy and opportunities to grow Canada’s market share. ONTARIO CORN COMMITTEE — DON TRIALS The Ontario Corn Committee (OCC) has released its OCC Hybrid Performance for DON 2023 report. Hybrid susceptibility is one of the greatest factors influencing DON accumulation in corn (second only to weather), and the greatest factor that can be controlled by agronomic practices (Hooker and Schaafsma, 2005). Ontario growers can reduce DON risks through hybrid selection and management and have asked for DON hybrid testing for many years. For the full report and more visit www.gocrops.com. ONTARIO FARM RESEARCH FORUM Grain Farmers of Ontario hosted an Ontario Grain Farm Research Forum on February 20 and 21, 2024, in London, Ontario. The Forum brought together farmers, agronomists, government, industry, and research partners from across the province to engage in discussions about how to address issues facing Ontario farmers through novel research approaches. Specific topics covered included nutrient management with a focus on nitrogen, precision field management, and systems approaches to crop management. With sessions that focused on on-farm trials, collaborative project design, knowledge transfer best practices, and research case studies, attendees had the opportunity to learn from colleagues, brainstorm ways to advance research initiatives, and discuss ways to work together to build a collaborative approach to agronomic research in Ontario. Grain Farmers of Ontario extends thanks to the Forum partners: University of Guelph with funding from the Office of Research, A Q&A with Jeff Harrison, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. What are some of your priorities as you begin your term as chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario? Chairing the Grain Farmers of Ontario Board of Directors is a huge honour and privilege. My goal is to continue what I’ve done throughout my years as a delegate, District chair, and director — to do whatever I can to help make things better for Ontario farmers. I appreciate that the Board had the confidence in me to lead them through the next year and to do what I can to make the industry stronger for our farmer-members. I think it is important to point out that many of the biggest wins of the Board have often been warding off potential challenges for farmers before they get to the farm gate. Being proactive by meeting with industry stakeholders, the value chain, and the government to advocate for the best outcome for farmer-members is something that we will continue to do. Looking ahead, I want to ensure the organization is well-positioned and prepared for future federal, provincial, and municipal elections. I want Ontario agriculture issues to be front and center at all levels of government, and I want our Board and farmer-members to have the tools and knowledge to be engaged, involved, and empowered to advocate on behalf of the agriculture industry. I look forward to working with the Board, delegates, and Grain Farmers of Ontario staff to advance the grain and oilseed sector over the coming year and into the future. Do you have a question for the chair? Email GrainTALK@gfo.ca. FROM THE CHAIR