December 12, 2008 (GUELPH, ON) – The three organizations representing Ontario corn, soybean, and wheat producers will immediately begin the transition to Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) following a news release from the Vice Chair of Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission earlier today.
The announcement completes a four-year process driven by resolutions from members of Ontario Corn Producers’
Association (OCPA), Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG) and Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board (OWPMB).
Resolutions were in support of forming one organization to represent the needs of Ontario corn, soybean and wheat producers. A producer vote involving all 29,000 members of the three organizations was held in Sept 2008.
“This announcement marks the end of a very long process,” says Dave Whaley, Chair of OWPMB. “Our directors and staff have been very patient over the past four years and they are our main priority.”
The first order of business for the GFO transition plan involves mobilizing a human resources consulting firm to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
“There are a lot of puzzle pieces to fit together now, including staff roles and responsibilities and introducing a new board of directors,” says Leo Guilbeault, Chair of OSG. “We did as much preparation as we could in anticipation of a ‘yes vote’ so our team is ready to hit the ground running.”
Under the current transition plan OCPA, OSG, and OWPMB are expected to dissolve upon completion of the legislative process. A transitional board and CEO will be in place later in 2009. Elections for 150 delegate positions and 15 directors will take place on an annual basis beginning Jan 2010.
“Our members have given clear direction to the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission on how they want to be
represented, and we’re committed to ensuring we provide value to them through Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO),” says Dale Mountjoy, President of OCPA. “We appreciate the strong support the Minister has given to this proposal. We now look forward to working with OFPMC through the rest of the process.”
Producers looking for more information can attend district annual meetings throughout the month of January. A complete listing of the meetings will be available at www.grainfarmersontario.com
Dale Mountjoy, President, Ontario Corn Producers’ Association (OCPA) – 905-261-1776
Leo Guilbeault, Chair, Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG) – 519-796-2289
Dave Whaley, Chair, Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board (OWPMB) – 519-322-8065