Farmers Forum staff
TORONTO — The Dairy Farmers of Ontario conferred its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award on Glen McNeil of Heather Holme Holsteins in Goderich, during the organization’s inaugural recognition dinner Jan. 18. The organization also retroactively celebrated five member producers who received Gold Quality Certificates a year ago for top-quality milk shipped in 2021.
“Glen McNeil’s contributions to the dairy industry as a producer, mentor and advocate have been immense,” DFO Chair Murray Sherk said at the event held in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. “He is kind and generous in giving back to dairy producers and his community, and the sector has benefitted from his commitment to quality, advocacy and goodwill. His is truly a lifetime of achievement, with much more to come, and DFO’s Board is proud to present this award to acknowledge that.”
The Gold Quality Certificates recipients included:
- Citilimits Farms Inc. in St. Agatha — Jordan Dietrich and Nicole Dietrich
- Zethill Farms Ltd. in Hanover — Russell Zettler
- Ontowa Farms Inc. in Elmira — Martin Family, Ralph Martin and Judy Martin
- Elliottdale Holsteins Ltd. in Thorndale — Andrew Elliott and Nicole Elliott
- Slits Dairy Farms Ltd. in Brunner — Pedro Slits and Jolanda Slits
“Ontario dairy producers meet some of the most stringent milk quality requirements in the world and these Quality Award recipients have demonstrated the passion and commitment it takes to be the best of the best,” Sherk said.
Juanita Echeverry-Munera, Ph.D candidate in the Trouw Nutrition Ruminant Research Centre at the University of Guelph, received the 2023 DFO Doctoral Scholarship of $100,000 to explore methods of raising dairy-beef calves for improved productivity, sustainability and economic return on Canadian farms.
DFO also released its 2021-22 annual report at the event.
“We set an ambitious growth target and put all our efforts toward meeting it. In the face of high inflation, rising interest rates and increasing costs to produce the food Canadians need, we were able to move the needle for Ontario producers,” said Cheryl Smith, DFO’s Chief Executive Officer. “Dairy is the largest agricultural sector in Ontario, contributing almost $8 billion to the provincial gross domestic product and supporting 100,000 full-time jobs and, as an organization, we remain committed to delivering for Ontario producers.”