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Grain Farmers of Ontario appoints new CEO

The Grain Farmers of Ontario has announced the appointment of Barry Senft as the organization's new chief executive officer, a position he will assume beginning in July, as the process of merging the three grower group begins.

May 22, 2009  By Grain Farmers of Ontario

May 22, 2009

Guelph, Ontario -Barry Senft has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the new Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO).  Senft will oversee the merger of the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board (OWPMB), the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association (OCPA) and the Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG) into a single organization representing the 28,000 grain farmers in Ontario. 

Senft's first task will be leading the merger of the three organizations, a process underway since last December. Under the current transition plan, OWPMB, OCPA and OSG are expected to merge to form Grain Farmers of Ontario upon completion of the legislative process in the fall.


Senft is a native of Lipton, Saskatchewan, where he was raised on the family farm. He is a successful executive with over 25 years of experience in the private and public agri-business sectors on a regional, national and international basis.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (now Viterra) from 1984 to 1997, serving as Second Vice-President from 1993 to 1997. He has held various executive positions serving boards, including Heartland Livestock Services and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. Barry was Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission from 1997 to 2002.  Since 2002 he has been the Executive Director of the Canadian International Grains Institute.

“We’re very pleased to have such a seasoned and respected executive leading the creation of the Grain Farmers of Ontario,” noted David Whaley, Chair of the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board. Leo Guilbeault, Chair of the Ontario Soybean Growers, added “Barry’s skills in relating to both farmers and senior decision-makers in industry and government will serve the interests of the growers we represent very well.”  Dale Mountjoy, Chair of the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association, stated “We believe that our staff will thrive under Senft’s leadership and benefit greatly from his outstanding people skills.” The three Chairs and their Vice-Chairs formed the Selection Team for the CEO position.

Senft declared, “I am very excited to have been selected for this interesting and challenging role. The formation of GFO is truly a great farmer-led initiative and I look forward to working with Ontario farmers and the industry”.  He will begin his new responsibilities in mid-July.


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