Canadian Poultry Magazine

CFO leaders collaborate with government officials at Grow Ontario Food Summit

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

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Board uses event to engage with government, strengthen partnerships.

Lisa Thompson. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of Ontario, met with chicken industry leaders at the event.

In a collaborative effort to strengthen Ontario’s agriculture sector, the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) leadership team, consisting of Chair Murray Opsteen, 1st vice-chair Andrea Veldhuizen, and CEO Denise Hockaday, recently participated in the annual Grow Ontario Food Summit alongside government officials and industry stakeholders.

Hosted by Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and Parliamentary Assistant Anthony Leardi, OMAFRA, the summit provided a platform for fruitful discussions on advancing the interests of Ontario chicken farmers and the broader agriculture supply chain.

Opsteen, representing CFO, expressed gratitude to Thompson and OMAFRA for organizing the event, emphasizing its importance in fostering dialogue between agricultural leaders and policymakers. “On behalf of the 1,300 family-run farms across Ontario, we thank Minister Thompson and OMAFRA for hosting a fantastic event where productive conversations were had between leaders and policy-makers in the agriculture and agri-food supply chain,” Opsteen said.


CFO utilized the summit as an opportunity to outline its priorities for the future, focusing on initiatives aimed at enhancing research, innovation, and sustainability within the Ontario agriculture and agri-food industry. Opsteen affirmed CFO’s commitment to collaborating with Minister Thompson and OMAFRA to advance these goals further.

Furthermore, the Grow Ontario Food Summit served as a platform to reflect on and celebrate the recently announced Ontario budget. CFO praised the Ontario government’s commitment to bolstering the Grow Ontario Strategy and expressed appreciation for its investment in the Ontario Poultry Research Centre.

The collaboration between Chicken Farmers of Ontario and government officials underscores a concerted effort to drive growth, innovation, and resilience within Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector. As stakeholders continue to work together, the future looks promising for Ontario’s chicken farmers and the broader agricultural community.

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