JFAO provides opportunities for young people age 15-29 of all backgrounds, but especially those in rural Ontario, to take on the challenge of exploring their individual talents and potential to develop personally while being involved in bettering their communities, networking, and having fun. JFAO’s mission is “To Build Future Rural Leaders, Through Self-Help and Community Betterment.”
Self-directed programs and opportunities provided by JFAO and its more than 20 affiliated clubs help to develop in members a sense of social and environmental responsibility, the ability to provide effective leadership, and an awareness of good citizenship within the community and world around them.
Members across the province have the opportunity to participate in exchanges with several countries and one province,
as well as provincial sport, cultural, and skills competitions.
Leadership Camp, Communications Workshops, March Conference, Director’s Training and the Ontario Young Farmers Forums round out JFAO’s personal development opportunities, not including the many locally organized inter-club challenges and events. JFAO also works with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, 4-H Ontario and its own alumni to further increase the opportunities for youth in Ontario.
Each year JF members collectively donate upwards of $80,000 to charitable projects across the province, along with countless hours of volunteer service. A provincial charity is designated each year, a list of which can be found here on our website. JFAO also operates the Ontario Century Farm recognition program, which began as a centennial project in 1967.
The first JF clubs formed in 1914 in Durham, York, Peel, and Middlesex.
JFAO is a charitable organization established in 1944 with the support of the rural extension branch of the Ontario government, with a membership of approximately 10,000 at its peak. Today JFAO is funded solely with the support of members, donors and sponsors. JFAO’s annual fundraising golf tournament takes place every August at Guelph Lakes.
Details and registration for our annual golf tournament can be found under provincial events here on our website.
Erich Weber, President (email@example.com)
My name is Erich Weber and I am pleased to have been elected as this organization’s 75th President. I have served 5 years on the executive as the Executive Director of Finance. I have been a member of the University of Guelph Junior Farmers and JFAO since 2010. In 2012, I graduated from an Agricultural Business Co-op program from the University of Guelph and in 2017received my CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation. I am very excited to be in this new role and continuing to make a difference in this great organization.
Matt Smith, Past President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My name is Matt Smith and I am looking forward to serving as the 74th Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario (JFAO) Past President. I have been a proud and active member of Wentworth Junior Farmers since it re-formed in 2006. I have recently served as the President of Wentworth-Niagara Junior Farmer club. In addition, I have also served as the Vice President and Treasurer of Wentworth, as well I have spent several terms as a Provincial Director. Over the years, I have participated in almost all provincial events, and more recently had the opportunity to help organize Sing Swing in 2016. I am excited to work with the executive over the next year, and to all the good times that will ensue.
Sarah Teefy, Executive Director of Community and International Programs (email@example.com)
My name is Sarah Teefy, and I am the Executive Director of Community and International Programs. I started my Junior Farmer experience at the age of 16, in which I was introduced to the great community projects and initiatives that are run each year within local clubs. As I continued my journey through this organization, I learned of the expansive opportunities that are available to our members, including professional networking, travelling, and leadership roles (just to name a few!). This year will be my second year as part of our executive team, and I look forward to a year of excitement for our members, as some set off on adventures around the world, and others will be opening their homes and communities to people from around the world. This part of the Junior Farmers’ brings an incredible learning experience and an opportunity of a lifetime for so many of our members.
MacKenzie Mahon, Executive Director of Finance (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My name is MacKenzie Mahon and I am the Executive Director of Finance for JFAO. I have been a member of Middlesex Junior Farmers since 2013 and been a part of the University of Guelph club for 3 years as well. I come from a cash crop and beef farm, but I am currently in my third year studying Food and Agriculture Business at the University of Guelph. I am very excited to take on this role this year and I cannot wait for another busy year in this organization.
Christina Straathof, Executive Director of Marketing (email@example.com)
My name is Christina Straathof. I am a Renfrew County native, although currently a member and Vice-President of the Waterloo County Junior Farmers. I work in the agricultural industry for Emerson Dairy Nutrition, an independent dairy nutrition company. Prior to returning to the province of Ontario, I pursued my education in Nova Scotia and Alberta, then worked on a dairy farm in Malaysia for a year. I am excited to be taking a larger role at the provincial level as JFAO’s 2018 Executive Director of Marketing in this coming year.
Nicholas Weber, Executive Director of Fund Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My name is Nicholas Weber and I have been involved with Junior Farmers for more than 5 years now, both at the local and board levels. Currently I split my time between full time farming on our family owned beef and sheep farm and as a parts counter sales rep at a local agricultural dealership. I look forward to developing a relationship with our Partners this year and working on expanding the member benefits through new connections.
Crystal Blake, Executive Director of Agricultural Programs (email@example.com)
My name is Crystal Blake. I am passionate about this amazing organization. I am a college graduate working in the agricultural industry for Jones Feed Mills Ltd. I obtained my alma mater from the University of Guelph (Ridgetown College) and furthered my studies at Olds College in Alberta earning my Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness. In addition, to my full-time job, I also milk cows on a part time basis. I grew up on my family’s purebred Galloway cow-calf beef farm showing our cattle in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and in the United States. I have an extensive background in the agriculture industry with contacts in all fields which I feel will be an asset in this role. I am also Perth County’s current President, and excited to be moving on from JFAO’s 2017 Executive Director of Marketing and into the role of 2018 Executive Director of Agricultural Programs. I’ve also served as the 2016 Social Media Rep for JFAO, and plan to use my skills to promote OYFF through all social media outlets this year.
Alex Mitchell, Executive Director of Membership (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My name is Alex Mitchell and I am a seven-year veteran of Junior Farmers. I began with Renfrew Junior Farmers in 2011, and have been a part of Niagara JF, Carleton JF, and Wentworth-Niagara JF as I have bounced around the province. I served as Executive Director of Membership in 2013-14, and as Executive Director of Marketing in 2015-16. In the real world, I work as a Curator at a local museum, a part-time supply teacher, and as a grant-writer and youth programs leader with the YMCA, all while I was working to finish my Master of Education thesis. For me my greatest JFAO achievement was winning the 2016 Sing Swing Spelling Bee.
Logan Emiry, 4-H Rep
My name is Logan Emiry and I am excited to represent JFAO as our 2018 Representative to 4-H! I am a second-year agriculture science student at the University of Guelph and a member of the U of G Junior Farmers. Looking to continue to grow as a Junior Farmer I am excited to be taking on this new position. As a 9 year 4-H Member I have represented 4-H Ontario in many positions, including a role as 4-H Ambassador and as a representative to 4-H Canada’s Youth Advisory Committee. In the coming year I look forward to working as a liaison between 4-H Ontario and JFAO. As an organization it is a great way to continue growing rural leaders, and I hope to encourage many senior 4-H members to join Junior Farmers around the province. I’m looking forward to a great year ahead!
Jason O’Neil, OFA Rep
My name is Jason O’Neil, and I am a 10-year member of the Middlesex Junior Farmers and JFAO. I am a full-time farmer in Middlesex County focusing mainly on growing horse hay for the export market, and dairy farming. I also grew up with a mixture of corn, soybean and wheat crops with a mixture of conventional and organic acres. I look forward to being the 2018 OFA rep for Junior Farmers. As I am the Second Vice President for the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture, I am aware of the important work the OFA does for agriculture in Ontario. I aim to strengthen the relationship between our two organizations, especially with our joint event, the Ontario Young Farmers Forum which we host every November. I would like to encourage everyone to attend OYFF this year. I aim to make Junior Farmer members more aware of the benefits of an OFA membership. I will always make myself available if anybody has a concern which I might be able help them with this year. Let’s make 2018 a great year together.
Sydney Carson, Social Media Rep
My name is Sydney Carson, and I am so excited to be the 2018 Social Media Representative, along with being the Provincial Director for the Stormont – Glengarry Junior Farmers. I am originally from the small town of Listowel, ON, where I grew up on a dairy farm, but now I currently reside in North Glengarry. I am a graduate of the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus with a diploma in Agriculture, and now work for Dundas Agri Systems. I joined Junior Farmers in 2017 and I am so excited to learn more about this organization and spread the word throughout social media! Follow along on any of the available social media accounts: Junior Farmers on Facebook (Junior Farmers Association of Ontario), Instagram (juniorfarmers), and Twitter (@JuniorFarmers). #ProudJFer
To build rural leaders through personal growth, travel, experiences, and community betterment.
For over 65 years, JFAO has played an important role in the development of leaders – most visibly in the rural and agricultural sector. JFAO alumni know the value of the training they received in JF and support our continued efforts to help shape the next generation of leaders. Our alumni also fondly recall the fun and lifelong friendships that began during their time as members. The real beauty of Junior Farmers is that the skill development is disguised in so much fun!
Junior Farmers has developed as a result of many people’s efforts over the last 90+ years. JFAO, which serves as the means through which our mission and principles may be developed and maintained throughout Ontario, provides co-ordination and leadership to clubs and opportunities to network through a variety of inter-club competitions, activities, and exchanges. JFAO gives future leaders a voice in related organizations…
In 1943, there were 3834 members in 56 local Clubs and 27 County Associations. Within the first 5 years of the formation of the Provincial Association, membership soared to nearly 10,000. In 1974 there were 7045 members in 125 local Clubs and 47 County Associations. Through the 1980s and 1990s a number of factors (including the absolute loss of public funding and staff support) led to a steady decline in membership. The unfaltering dedication of some key members…