Producers encouraged to show passion and vote
By Grain Farmers of Ontario
Growers from three organizations in Ontario are being asked to come out to a series of regional meetings on a proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ulimate goal of uniting under one banner as the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
August 25, 2008The three organizations representing nearly 29,000 Ontario corn, soybean and wheat producers will be reaching out to producers in September to encourage them to vote on how they think they should be best represented. The expression of opinion vote – being conducted by the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (OFPMC) – will help the Commission determine whether Ontario Corn Producers’ Association (OCPA), Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG) and Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board (OWPMB) will merge to form one organization, called Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO).“Producers directed us through the resolution process to look at forming one organization, and we have spent four years doing just that,” says Dale Mountjoy, President of OCPA. “We have developed a proposal for how Grain Farmers of Ontario might better represent producers, and now our members need to decide if that’s the case.”The movement to form one organization began four years ago when the three boards signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form one organization. The MoU was re-signed by the current chairs of each organization in April 2008.“There’s been a lot of passion expressed on both sides of the issue,” says Dave Whaley, Chair of OWPMB. “We hope our members will take that passion to the polls and we’ll see some meaningful feedback for or against the proposed new organization.”In addition to the ballots and information packages being mailed in the first week of September, the Working Group has a number of ways for producers to get more information. They’ll be hosting seven information sessions across the province, occupying a booth at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, and answering emails and phone calls to answer questions about the proposal. The groups have also launched a website, www.grainfarmersontario.ca containing information that is in addition to the information being mailed out by OFPMC. “Some producers have already made up their mind what way they plan to vote, but for those who feel they need more information or answers to specific questions, we’ve made every effort to make it available to them,” says Leo Guilbeault, Chair of OSG. “The important thing is that they feel engaged and knowledgeable enough to cast a vote.”Voting closes September 30.For more information about the proposed Grain Farmers of Ontario producers may use any of the following:· Website: www.grainfarmersontario.ca· Phone voicemail: 519-767-4134· Seven Producer Information Sessions:o September 11th, Countryview Golf Club, Hwy #40, Between Chatham and Wallaceburg, 7pmo September 15th Seaforth Community Centre, Seaforth, 7pm o September 16th London Four Points Sheraton, 1150 Wellington Rd., London, 7pmo September 17th Holiday Inn, 601 Scottsdale Drive, Guelph, 7pmo September 18th Scugog Community Centre, 181 Perry Street, Port Perry, 7pmo September 22th Holiday Inn, 99 Glen Miller Rd (Hwy 401), Trenton, 7pmo September 24th Canadian Legion Branch 434, 167 Queen Street, Chesterville, 7pm