Human Resources
Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) are pleased to announce that Keith Robbins has been hired to lead the organization as its new general manager. Keith took over the role on Sept. 17, 2019, following the resignation of Cathy Lennon. A seasoned leader within the hog and poultry sectors, Keith brings more than 27 years of experience in management, communications, and marketing to the processing vegetable sector.
Published in News
FarmFolk CityFolk has appointed David Catzel as the B.C. Seeds Program Director. Former director, Chris Thoreau is returning to UBC in September to complete his Master’s Degree.
Published in News
Strong agricultural organizations are supported by active membership at the grassroots level. To attract new members and keep its existing ones engaged, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has put a focus on leadership and skills development training for its 52 local and 11 regional associations.
Published in Profiles
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) was pleased to see the recent announcement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which detailed new pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers in the agri-food industry.
Published in Associations
Canada is committed to attracting the best talent from around the world to fill skill shortages, drive local economies, and create and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit all Canadians.
Published in Federal
“Employee retention is very important at this point in time in the horticulture sector,” notes Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). “There’s a significant labour shortage. It’s very difficult to attract new people to the industry, so in addition to a tough time with recruitment, we should do our best to keep workers already in the industry satisfied. Investing that time and energy is so important.”
Published in Other
With the strong demand for Canadian food products around the world, agriculture is poised for growth. However, workforce challenges affect the sector’s ability to meet production goals, as well as their contribution to the national economy.
Published in Research
Today, Martin Burwash laughs at the irony and wishes now he was a little more serious in his studies after seeing the role Spanish has played in his career as a life-long farmer.
Published in Research
Some employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers are experiencing significant delays due to an increase in demand this year for migrant workers in Canada.

The federal government says the volume of applications is up almost 25 per cent over last year -- a development it says is partly because of Canada's low unemployment rates.

Employers who want to hire migrant workers in the "low-skill stream" are now waiting more than 100 days to find out if their labour market impact assessments (LMIA) will be approved. These assessments are necessary to prove the employer needs to hire temporary workers and that there are no Canadian workers available for the jobs.

Processing times for the "high-wage stream" are 85 days.

"Unemployment is at a historic low, reaching levels that have not been seen since 1976. While this economic success is good for business, it is also creating challenges for employers who are struggling to find enough workers to meet demand," said Veronique Simard, a spokeswoman for Labour Minister Patty Hajdu.

"The temporary-foreign-worker program continues to experience an increased volume of labour market impact assessment applications across Canada. Recognizing the urgency of the labour shortage in Quebec and the rest of Canada, our government is taking steps to improve service delivery for the TFW program." | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in News
The agriculture and agri-food sector is a major contributor to Canada's economy, employing approximately 2.3 million people in 2017. Reliable access to labour is vital for the sector to ensure it can continue to create high-quality jobs and meet the growing demand for top-quality products for Canadians and consumers around the world.
Published in News
Did you know that the cost of replacing a single worker can be as much as 150 per cent of their annual salary? Do you know what your turnover costs are?
Published in Research
The field fruit and vegetable industry is a significant agricultural employer with substantial labour challenges. Over the next decade, those challenges will intensify as a shrinking pool of domestic workers and an increased reliance on foreign workers will make the industry even more vulnerable to labour policy changes and lost sales due to labour shortages.
Published in Research
In these times of higher minimum wage and other input costs, it’s critical to make sure labour efficiency is as high as possible.
Published in Research
For the first time, the University of California has hired a Cooperative Extension specialist dedicated to organic agriculture.
Published in News
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) announced that its board of directors has appointed Ian Potter as chief executive officer effective April 1, 2019. Potter will also join the Vineland board of directors at that time.
Published in News
The agency responsible for safeguarding Canada’s food supply has new leadership.
Published in Federal
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) held elections during its 2019 AGM for the positions of president, first vice-president and second vice-president. The new executive team will be focused on the key CFA priorities of the Producing Prosperity campaign, ensuring the pillars of economics, food security and the environment are at the forefront of Canadian agriculture.
Published in News
Ontario is open for business: the government is acting to bring jobs and investment back to our province by lightening the burden on business and making sure that hard work is rewarded.
Published in Provinces
Doug Alexander, director of engineering with Ippolito Fruit and Produce, will serve another year as chair of the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI).

He is joined on the AMI executive committee by vice chair Laurie Nicol, recently retired as executive director of the Ontario Independent Meat Processors, and secretary/treasurer Jean-Marc Beneteau, a southwestern Ontario grains and oilseed grower. They were re-elected to their positions at the organization’s annual meeting in Guelph.

“I look forward to leading this dynamic group for another year as we continue to build awareness around the importance of business management in both agricultural and food businesses in Ontario,” says Alexander. “There is tremendous benefit that farmers and processors can realize in their operations through business management and planning, and AMI is here to help facilitate and encourage those activities in the Ontario food and agriculture industry.”

Also serving as AMI board directors for another year are Peter Henderson, managing director of Toronto-based consultancy Ideovation; Jim Gracie, president of Wheatley-based Presteve Foods; Ed Verkley, chair of the Poultry Industry Council; Sara Mann, an associate professor in strategic human resource management and organizational behaviour at the University of Guelph; Andrea Gal, managing editor of Better Farming, Better Pork and Farms.com, and Chris Hiemstra, an agri-tourism operator and beekeeper who is also vice chair of the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

The annual meeting included highlights of AMI accomplishments over the past year. The organization ran three cohorts of its flagship Advanced Farm Management Program, three farm tax and business seminars for farm advisors, a food entrepreneurs conference in eastern Ontario, a Transition Smart workshop in Wellington County and a pilot of its new Building Your Food Business Program.

In partnership with the Ontario Apple Growers, AMI delivered Ontario Apple Academy 2.0, and together with Farm & Food Care Ontario, ran two business planning workshops in Eastern Ontario. The organization was also a principal supporter of the Agricultural Excellence Conference last fall.

New resources released in the past year included a New Entrant to Farming business planning resource, a Selling Beyond the Farm Gate training program, and a white paper on barriers to scaling up for small and medium enterprises in food and beverage processing called The Food Entrepreneur’s Journey.

“We work hard to deliver programming and resources for various audiences, from beginning farmers to new food entrepreneurs to established farm and food businesses,” says AMI executive director Ashley Honsberger. “Research has shown that business management activities can help every business be stronger and more profitable, and AMI is proud to play a leading role in facilitating that potential.”
Published in Profiles
The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) is pleased to welcome Gabrielle Ferguson as the new leadership programs director.

In this new position, Ferguson will be directly responsible for managing ROI’s long-running Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, and continuing to develop the organization’s other leadership program offerings. Ferguson will also be instrumental in maintaining and creating sponsor relationships for current and future programs.

Ferguson comes to ROI with over 25 years’ experience in both industry and government, having worked with organizations such as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Cargill, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Guelph.

She is also a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (Class 15). Ferguson lives on a cash-crop farm in Lambton County and is passionate about promoting a greater understanding between agriculture and the public.

Chief Executive Officer Norm Ragetlie is delighted that Ferguson has joined the team and says, “Gabe’s arrival will give us a chance to take a fresh look at our leadership programming offerings. Gabe brings a wealth of ag sector relationships to this job which we will build upon to ensure the needs of the sector are being met.”

Ferguson is expected to begin her position with the organization in September.

“I’m excited to support leadership development in the ag sector and rural communities,” Ferguson says. “I’m looking forward to this new role and engaging with industry stakeholders to explore existing and new opportunities for leadership programming.”

The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders and facilitating collaboration on issues and opportunities facing rural and northern Ontario. More information is available at www.ruralontarioinstitute.ca/.
Published in Companies
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