Election Results from BFO’s 61st Annual General Meeting
On Feb. 24th, Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) celebrated its return to an in-person annual general meeting in Toronto, Ontario after a two-year hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was complemented by this year’s event theme, Reflect, Reset & Reconnect.
At the meeting, two new directors were acclaimed to join the BFO Board of Directors, and Jack Chaffe and Craig McLaughlin were re-elected to lead the association in the year ahead as president and vice president, respectively.
Joining the BFO Board of Directors are Joost van der Heiden from Perth County and Jairus Maus from Bruce County.
Joost will serve as the director on the board representing the background sector, and will replace BFO Past President, Rob Lipsett, who completed the maximum nine years on the board.
Jairus will represent the feedlot sector and will replace David Millsap who completed his term of three years.
Joost resides near Listowel, Ontario where he and his family operate a cow-calf to finish operation with a herd of full blood, purebred and commercial Limousin cattle. They also operate a custom farming operation with a broad range of services. Jairus, and his family, background and finish close to 3,000 head of cattle per year and farm 2,500 acres in Paisley, Ontario. They also operate a 300,000 bushel on-farm storage and elevator facility.
BFO continues to attract strong leaders to its board, which is a tremendous asset as the organization embarks on a refreshed strategic plan this year that will focus on market development and public engagement; producer excellence; sector growth; advocacy and government relations; and operations and governance.
In addition to the new directors, Don Hargrave of Maxwell, Ontario was acclaimed for a second three-year term and will continue to represent the cow-calf sector on the board, and Craig McLaughlin of Foresters Falls, Ontario will continue to represent beef farmers in eastern Ontario in addition to his role as vice president.
“As farmers, there will be as many rewards as challenges in the upcoming year as prices for all classes of cattle could reach new historical highs, but all of our input costs are rising at the same time creating continuing tight margins,” shares Jack Chaffe, BFO President. “This is why the work of BFO, the Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association, the Canadian Cattle Association, the Beef Cattle Research Council and Canada
Beef will be so important this year.”
The BFO Board of Directors and staff welcomed close to 400 attendees during this year’s two-day annual general meeting. Delegates and guests heard from a number of speakers, including keynote speaker Dr. Vaughn Holder from Alltech who spoke about the role of livestock and the future of global food security.
BFO was also pleased to welcome both Senator Rob Black and the Honourable Minister Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Wednesday evening during the annual banquet to address the delegates. Parliamentary Assistants to the Minister of Agriculture, Rob Flack and Trevor Jones, also joined guests for an Ontario Corn Fed Beef dinner.
The BFO Board of Directors consists of 12 elected officials: three from the cow-calf sector, three from the feedlot sector, one from the background 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.