Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Commentary
By Paul Bootsma, CFFO Field Service Manager
Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) District Boards gathered this week for the CFFO 2017 Annual Meeting and Leadership Summit, held in Waterloo at the St. George Banquet Hall. As part of its mission is to bring the relevance of Christian principles to agricultural policy to the agricultural industry in Ontario, the CFFO is focusing on building strong local leadership within the organization. Good communication was a focus for the two speakers for the day.
Agriculture is the second largest industry in Ontario and creates one of every eight jobs in the economy. As one of the original general farm organizations through which farmers receive their Farm Business Registration (FBR) number, our Local Districts have a key role to play in bringing the story of agriculture to the broader public.
The March date for the Annual Meeting and Leadership Summit is due to recent changes to CFFO’s bylaws to comply with the Not-for Profit Corporations Act. The new structure allowed the organization to bring its leadership team together for a day of learning and fellowship.
Rev. Kees Vandermey was the morning speaker and addressed the crowd with an encouraging message to enjoy the vocation of farming and to use it as an opportunity to witness for the Creator. He instructed members to ensure that their communication is based on what is true, good and useful and to take time to listen to others. His final encouragement was to have a positive look on life, as there is so much to enjoy.
Following a good Ontario dinner, delegates at the meeting settled down to an afternoon of learning under the energetic guidance of Joe Shuker, who is a consultant from Strive!, an organization in team leadership training. Shuker emphasized the importance of understanding the receiver in order to formulate a meaningful message with the receiver in mind. Knowing and connecting with the intended audience makes for more effective communication.
The CFFO is a grassroots organization and therefore communication is an important element so that information flows properly from the members to staff and Executive Board and back to the members as well. Knowing the correct channels of information flow allows proper responses and ways to give information to others.
The CFFO believes that the future of agriculture in Ontario is bright and has opportunities for many different people. However, for the industry to excel in the global market and economy there needs to be strong leadership from those who are determined to guide the members to success. The Federation spent the day preparing current and future leaders for success today and tomorrow in the food producing industry of Ontario.