A new director from the district of Rainy River will join the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) Board of Directors after being elected at the organization’s 59th annual general meeting which was hosted virtually this week.
Joining the BFO Board of Directors is Kim Jo Bliss, who will fill a vacant seat as director at-large for a oneyear term. Kim Jo resides near Emo, Ontario where she has a 50-head cow-calf operation and a small sheep flock. In addition to juggling life on the farm and her job with the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Emo, operated by the University of Guelph, Kim Jo is also involved in many community organizations including the local hospital foundation and the Rainy River sales barn and abattoir.
BFO continues to attract strong leaders to its board, which is a tremendous asset as the organization presses on with navigating the impact of the global pandemic and finding workable solutions for the ongoing processing capacity challenges plaguing the beef sector.
Four BFO directors were re-elected by voting delegates for three-year terms. Jack Chaffe of Mitchell, Ontario will represent the feedlot sector, Jason Leblond of Powassan, Ontario will represent the cow-calf sector, Jordan Miller of Kagawong, Ontario will represent northern Ontario and Jason Reid from Thunder Bay will hold the position of director at-large.
Rob Lipsett from Annan, Ontario, who represents the background sector on the BFO Board of Directors, will continue to lead the organization in the year ahead as president, with Jack Chaffe serving as vice president.
“Over the last year, a perfect storm of market and trade disruptions has been putting our beef farms at a tipping point, limiting access to processing space with prices for finished cattle continuing below breakeven prices,” shares Rob Lipsett, BFO President. “In addition to working with our provincial and national partners on solutions to alleviate the challenges within our processing sector, in the year ahead we will continue to press government for better risk management programming for Ontario’s beef farmers.”
The BFO Board of Directors and staff welcomed over 300 attendees during this year’s virtual two-day annual general meeting. Delegates and guests heard from a number of speakers, including keynote speakerDr. David Hughes from Wales who spoke about evolving consumer trends and purchasing habits post-COVID-19. BFO was also pleased to welcome the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Wednesday afternoon to address the delegates. Thursday afternoon, delegates debated and voted on a number of important resolutionswhich will set the course for the organization in the year ahead.
The BFO Board of Directors consists of 12 elected officials: three from the cow-calf sector, three from the feedlot sector, one from the backgrounder sector, one each representing the southern, northern and eastern regions of Ontario, and two at-large. Directors are elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis.
The Beef Farmers of Ontario represents 19,000 beef farmers in Ontario by advocating in the areas of sustainability, animal health and care, environment, food safety, and domestic and export market development. BFO’s vision is help foster a sustainable and profitable beef industry, and have Ontario beef recognized as an outstanding product by our consumers.