A Hoot and A Half from Home – March Conference

March Conference 2020 JFAO

March Conference looked different this year for the Junior Farmer Association of Ontario (JFAO) as they switched to a virtual format with the theme of “A Hoot and A Half from Home”. With workshops, speakers and the banquet being held using Zoom, the focused remained on networking with members from across the province, sharing ideas with other clubs, learning about a variety of topics and of course, fun.

March Conference is designed to bring members from throughout the province to gather for a great weekend of leadership, networking and to recognize those who have shown outstanding community betterment. JFAO had two socials including a line dancing night and one where they learned how to make balloon animals.

The Saturday was full of activity with the keynote speaker starting the day off talking about how to recognize volunteer burnout and strategies to ensure that members of the various clubs feel supported in their roles. Following this was a club roundtable where members were split into breakout rooms to discuss topics like club socials, successful fundraising projects and new member recruitment ideas. In another session, JFAO members learned about local food and direct farm sales during COVID-19 from representatives from OFA and OMAFRA. The afternoon concluded with an exciting cooking workshop where members tuned in from their kitchens to follow along and make delicious bread in a bag and hot chocolate bombs. Their annual awards banquet was held in the evening where members brought their own supper to eat in breakout rooms while socializing.

Awards were presented for different milestones, our new board of directors was inducted with a candlelight ceremony and we enjoyed entertainment from comedian Jeff Estrela. The club of the year award was presented to North Simcoe Junior Farmers.  The Agriculture club of the year went to Huron Perth Junior Farmers.  The Rose Awards were given to an outstanding Novice JF member; Arin Douglas from Wellington JF, an outstanding JF member; a pair of ladies from Huron Perth, Lauren Bos & Jolande Oudshoorn, and an outstanding retiring member, Quintina Cuddihy.  Our communication awards were also presented during the banquet.  The winner of Best Social Media Post was Stormont – Glengarry.  Winner of multiple categories including: News Article Competition, Best New Member Recruitment, Best Community Betterment Club Photo, Best Century Farm Sign Photo, Best New Fundraising Idea was Huron Perth.  Winner of the Best Pandemic Club Social was Renfrew.

Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to the year ahead. March Conference marks the end of one Junior Farmer year and starts off the next year. With this, our 2020 President Elizabeth Bruce, from Oxford County, passed off the Presidential duties to the 78th President Kylie O’Neil of Middlesex County.

OYFF Virtual Program for 2020

OYFF group photo

Ontario Young Farmers Forum moves to a virtual program for 2020

[Guleph, Ontario] – The Junior Farmer’s Association of Ontario (JFAO) is excited to announce the session topics for the 2020 Ontario Young Farmers Forum (OYFF). The annual event will be held as a virtual event in 2020 and will consist of four sessions held during the month of November.

“Our committee has put together a well-rounded schedule that will offer something for everyone,” said Elizabeth Bruce, president of JFAO. “The individual sessions have been structured to provide attendees the opportunity to learn about an important industry topic, hear from an innovative Canadian farmer, and network with other attendees.”

The virtual program for the Ontario Young Farmers Forum will consist of a four-part speaker series during the month of November. A number of topics will be covered in these sessions and the final session with include a panel of young farmers from across Canada. Program dates are listed below:

  • Session 1 – Walk the Talk: Exploring Mental Health In Agriculture – Monday, November 2nd at 7:00 pm
  • Session 2 – 4R’s: More Sustainable Than You Think! – Tuesday, November 10th at 7:00 pm
  • Session 3 – Planning for Farm Succession – Wednesday, November 18th at 7:00 pm
  • Session 4 – The Canadian Young Farmer Panel – Thursday, November 26th at 7:00 pm

Each session of the OYFF program will also put a spotlight on a different Canadian farm. Here are the Canadian farmers who will be profiled throughout the program.

  • Session 1 – Sarah Judd, Meadow Lynn Market Garden & CSA
  • Session 2 – Greg Stamp, Stamp Seeds
  • Session 3 – Lori Smith and Martin Littkemann, Ontario Water Buffalo Company
  • Session 4 – The Canadian Young Farmer Panel: The Young Farmer Survival Guide

2020 will mark the 22nd year of OYFF and JFAO is excited to present an engaging and accessible program for all attendees. The virtual program will provide the opportunity for young people working in agriculture to learn, connect, and network with other members of the agriculture industry from across Ontario. Learn more and register for the program here.

Making a Difference in Oxford

Making a Difference in Oxford

“Run by Youth for Youth”

Oxford Junior Farmers, a group of 39 members (including the Executive Team) who are 15 – 29 years old, has been a not-for-profit organization in Oxford County for 106 years.  Each year, the organization raises funds through the Embro Truck and Tractor Pull and other fundraisers, which they distribute to a variety of local groups and organizations.  Their commitment to improving lives in Oxford County has recently been demonstrated through a donation of $2,400.00 to the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.

A dance held as a part of the Provincial Winter Games was the source of the revenue donated to the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.  

The provincial Junior Farmers Association has chosen the Alzheimer Society as their provincial charity for 2019, with all clubs aligning.  “The Alzheimer Society does great work advocating for and assisting people with dementia in our region.  This makes the organization a worthy cause for us to assist, but it is even more meaningful since we have members of the club who have loved ones that experience dementia and have used the great services that the Alzheimer Society provides” said Karen De Bruyn President of the Oxford Junior Farmers.

Some of the other organizations and groups who have benefited from Oxford Junior Farmer’s fundraising and community focused efforts are: hospitals in Oxford County; minor sports; food banks; United Way; Operation Sharing; Agscape; 4H and Fair Boards.

Shelley Green, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Oxford is thrilled with the Oxford Junior Farmers donation.  “We are absolutely thrilled, inspired by and appreciative of the hard work of the youth members of this organization. Youth caring for people affected by dementia is so heartwarming and something I think all residents of Oxford County can be proud of.”

Professional Director Rural Leadership Program

Professional Director Rural Leadership Program

The Professional Director Education and Certification Program for Rural Leadership

This program has been designed specifically for rural leaders. It takes the essentials of what all board members and executives must know about governance – the 80% of governance that is common to any organization and any sector – and then adds to it specific information for the rural leader.

The key benefits for the directors participating in the program are that by its end they will have:

  • The skills and competence required to fulfill their roles as board members;
  • An excellent knowledge of the function of corporate governance and how it operates within their business, sector and organizational structure;
  • A good knowledge of business finance and the tools and know-how to use financial information appropriately at the board level; and
  • A good understanding of their own personal strengths and weaknesses and be able to continually develop themselves to meet their future needs.

Press Release

The Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario, located in Guelph, Ontario, working in collaboration with Governance Solutions Inc. of Halton Hills, Ontario – and with government support through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership – is thrilled to launch the first, online board governance certificate program created specifically for rural leaders, directors and prospective directors working on corporate or not for profit boards.
“Canada’s youth play a critical role in the continued growth and prosperity of the agriculture sector,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister. “Our Government is proud to support projects such as this certificate program that provide young farmers with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed as effective leaders.”
“Our government is committed to removing barriers for our agri-food sector so it can grow and be more competitive in the global marketplace,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, we’re pleased to support industry efforts like this, which are developing the agriculture sector leaders of today and tomorrow.”
The Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario, located in Guelph, Ontario, working in collaboration with Governance Solutions Inc. of Halton Hills, Ontario is thrilled to launch the first, on line board governance certificate program created specifically for rural leaders, directors and prospective directors working on corporate or not for profit boards.
This comprehensive, 8 level program known as the Professional Director Education and Certification Program for Rural Leaders©, earns successful participants their PRO.DIR.RL designation. This certificate program provides comprehensive governance training and serves to build capacity and strengthen the quality and effectiveness of current and prospective rural leaders and
directors. With an emphasis on governance essentials, it moves beyond the basics of governance structure to address the behavioural and cultural aspects of boardroom dynamics.
This certification program has been developed with support provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five year, federal-provincial-territorial initiative as well as corporate support from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Shawn LaPalm Insurance Agency with the support of The Co-operators Advisor Community Fund.
Delivered completely online, this multi-level program can be accessed 24/7 and is taken at the student’s own convenience and pace. Visit www.professionaldirector.com/ruralleadership and use the code JFAO when registering. Governance Solutions Inc. has been trusted for over 28 years by organizations around the globe to provide superior governance solutions.
The Junior Farmers Association of Ontario has been a not for profit association building young leaders across rural Ontario since 1944.

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