Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Commentary
By Paul Bootsma, CFFO Field Service Manager
For the past five years, the CFFO has hosted a Leadership Summit prior to the Federation’s Annual Meeting and Convention. The Leadership Summit is specifically for the leaders of the Federation. District board members meet with the CFFO Executive Board and staff and discuss various leadership skills and items to help the Federation function well and to improve leadership throughout the provincial districts. The evening consists of a dinner and presentation and plenty of opportunity for conversations between members of different districts.
During the 2016 Summit the Executive and staff presented the district leaders with changes to the Federations bylaws. The Federation is preparing to fit under the provincial Not-for-Profit Corporations Act which will change the way Federation meetings function. Those bylaws were passed the following day at the CFFO Convention. Because of these changes the next Leadership Summit in 2017 will involve considerably more members of the Federation’s leadership team.
Leadership is an important part of any organization and regularly updating and training leaders is a positive activity that all organizations should participate in. Good leadership spreads across an organization and filters to the grassroots that help build the federation. The CFFO is a grassroots based organization and therefore it is important that we have leaders that inspire the grassroots’ members across the province.
Part of good leadership is good communication between the different sectors of an organization and therefore part of the Leadership Summit was assisting our leaders in having similar forms of communication. Ensuring that all important information is recorded and made available for everyone involved helps build trust and a positive attitude for good activity within our districts and in relation to the Federation office.
During the course of the Leadership Summit program, there was ample time for leaders of various areas of the province to share ideas with each other. Prior to the dinner and following the evening program, members dialogued with each other about events in their respective locales. Our members are encouraged to talk with others about the CFFO when meeting with neighbours and friends. Personal testimonies are often the most effective means to inform people with something new to be considered.
During the winter months of 2017 our districts will hold their annual meetings and the CFFO policy tour will travel the province dealing with local and provincial issues. This is where our leadership team gets busy. Our district boards will run the meetings and CFFO staff will participate by listening to our members and encouraging members to contribute to provincial issues. This local leadership allows all our members of the federation an opportunity to contribute to the development of our policy.
Check the CFFO web site and click on events to see dates for meetings in your area.