Canadian Poultry Magazine

Chicken Day triumphs at Queen’s Park

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

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Ontario's chicken farmers garner bipartisan support for growth, innovation, and sustainability in agri-food supply.

Premier Doug Ford with some fellow elected officials and members of the chicken farming sector.

Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) recently organized Chicken Day at Queen’s Park, an annual event fostering dialogue between chicken farmers and Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to discuss various aspects of the chicken industry.

During the event, chicken farmers held 24 meetings with Ministers and MPPs, addressing topics such as the economic impact of the Ontario chicken industry, the advantages of supply management, the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program, the newly established Poultry Research Centre, expanding rural broadband access, and sustainability in chicken farming. The engagement allowed chicken farmers to interact with more than 60 Ministers and MPPs throughout Chicken Day.

Murray Opsteen, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, expressed appreciation for the elected officials’ cooperation in supporting Ontario chicken farmers and ensuring continued access to safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken. Opsteen highlighted bipartisan support for supply management and the Ontario chicken farming sector, expressing optimism about ongoing collaboration with MPPs across political affiliations.


Opsteen stated, “Thank you to the elected officials that met with the CFO team to discuss how we can work together to support Ontario chicken farmers and ensure that Ontarians continue to have access to safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken.” He added, “We were pleased to hear strong support for supply management and the Ontario chicken farming sector from members of all parties and look forward to continuing to work with MPPs of all political stripes to advance the interests of Ontario’s chicken farming families.”

Before Chicken Day officially commenced, chicken farmers engaged in meaningful discussions with Minister Thompson, covering topics such as Avian Influenza, the Grow Ontario Strategy, establishing an Animal Care FPT recognition protocol, and the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks initiative. Minister Thompson received acknowledgment for being a steadfast advocate for Ontario chicken farmers.

Chicken farmers expressed gratitude for the opportunity to meet with Premier Ford to discuss the economic impact of the Ontario chicken industry, succession planning on farms, and the positive contributions of chicken farmers to local communities. Premier Ford was thanked for his consistent support of the Ontario chicken industry and its 1,300 family-run farms in 330 communities across the province.

During question period in the Ontario Legislature, chicken farmers were recognized for their commitment to providing safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken to Ontarians. In the evening, CFO hosted the annual Chicken Wing Reception at Queen’s Park, breaking attendance records, with representatives from all parties expressing support for Ontario’s family-run chicken farms.

Denise Hockaday, CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, commented on the successful day, stating, “Chicken Farmers of Ontario had an excellent day at Queen’s Park, and we are thrilled with all parties committing to continue to support CFO’s 1,300 family-run farms and renewing commitments to work with CFO to support the growth, innovation, and sustainability of the Ontario agriculture and agri-food supply chain.” Hockaday emphasized the significance of chicken as the top protein choice for Canadians, assuring consumers that safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken remains readily available through the responsible supply management system.

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