CFA Annual General Meeting Sees New Roster of Executive Officers
OTTAWA, February 27, 2009 -- Farm leaders from across Canada converged in Ottawa to attend the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on February 25-26, 2009. The theme of this year's meeting was "Profitability in a Changing Global Economy".
Changes were ushered in at the CFA AGM as elections for the three Executive Officer positions took place at the meeting, including an election for CFA President - the first contested election position for president since 1985. CFA is pleased to welcome its new President, Laurent Pellerin, the first CFA President from Québec. CFA also welcomes 1st vice-president, Ron Bonnett, and 2nd vice-president, Garnet Etsell.
In attendance were farm leaders from across Canada, both CFA members and non-members. The meeting provided an important opportunity for farmers of all commodities and regions to discuss issues and challenges, propose workable solutions, and build new partnerships that will strengthen the agriculture industry as a whole.
Canadian farm leaders were pleased to have the opportunity to hear from the Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, and bring their questions, concerns and ideas to him directly in the question and answer period that followed.
In discussions and resolutions on international trade CFA delegates reaffirmed their commitment to Canada's balanced approach to global trade negotiations. While discussions were held on key environmental issues and food safety.
Presentations ranged from Iogen Corporation's Maurice Hladik's presentation entitled "Is Canada Biorefinery Ready?" to Dr. Tom Keenan's throught-provoking presentation entitled "How to Use E-Commerce/ Technology Tools", and Dr. Michael Boehlje's presentation "The Changing Farm Economy: Managing in Turbulent Times". A panel discussion entitled Innovative Solutions to Connect Rural and Urban Canadians featured enlightening discusssions by Cathy Leal (Farm Tribute Canada), Katherine Schmidt (Food Banks Canada), and Anita Stewart (Author and Culinary Activist).
Delegates also heard from Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition Party, who expressed his interest in working together with farmers to create policy that bridges the urban and rural divide.
About the Canadian Federation of Agriculture
Founded in 1935 to provide Canada's farmers with a single voice in Ottawa, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country's largest farmers' organization. Its members include provincial general farm organizations, national and inter-provincial commodity organizations, and cooperatives from every province. Through its members, CFA represents over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families.