City of Hamilton farmer becomes new Ontario Federation of Agriculture president.
GUELPH ON [November 22, 2023] – Drew Spoelstra, a dairy and crop farmer from Binbrook in the southeast corner of the city of Hamilton, was elected as the new president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) today. Spoelstra has served on the OFA board as the director representing farmers from Halton, Hamilton/Wentworth and Niagara since 2013 and has most recently held the role of Vice President.
“I’m honoured to serve Ontario farmers as the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and I appreciate the trust that my fellow board members have placed in me to lead this organization,” says Spoelstra. “Agriculture, as one of the largest sectors in the provincial economy, plays a key role in issues that matter to all Ontarians, from food security and climate change to housing and healthcare, making it critical that our voice is heard by decision-makers.”
Spoelstra farms with his family, milking cows, growing corn, soybean, wheat and hay, and raising beef cattle and Clydesdale horses. He also has a dealership for Pride Seeds, and is an active volunteer on behalf of agriculture. Spoelstra, a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, serves as Chair of Hamilton’s agriculture and rural affairs sub-committee and is past president of both the Binbrook Agricultural Society and the Hamilton-Wentworth Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
Spoelstra assumes the presidency from outgoing OFA president Peggy Brekveld who led the organization for the past three years. Joining Spoelstra on the OFA executive are Vice Presidents Sara Wood and Paul Vickers, and Executive Member Ethan Wallace.
Sara Wood, a Director-at-Large on the board, is a fourth-generation farmer from Perth County, where she and her family raise broiler chickens and grow crops. Dairy farmer Paul Vickers, who represents Bruce and Grey counties on the OFA board, farms with his wife and son near Meaford. Ethan Wallace, a dairy farmer from near Seaforth, represents farmers in Huron and Perth counties.
New directors joining the OFA board are Brian Crews, who was elected by Zone 12 farmers in Hastings, Lennox & Addington, Northumberland & Prince Edward; Clint Cameron as the representative of Zone 11 farmers in Dundas, Frontenac, Grenville and Leeds; and Andrea McCoy-Naperstkow, who represents Zone 8 farmers in Arnprior, Lanark, Ottawa and Renfrew.
Crews, Cameron and McCoy-Naperstkow replace exiting directors Bruce Buttar, Jackie-Kelly Pemberton and Jennifer Doelman respectively.
Also joining the board as a new Director-at-Large is Angela Cammaert, who was elected at the OFA annual general meeting earlier today. Cammaert, a fifth generation beef and crop farmer from Elgin County, replaces Brekveld and ran successfully for the position against Andy Kuyvenhoven, Julie Danen and William Orford.
“We welcome all new directors to the OFA board and look forward to working with you,” says Spoelstra. “We’d also like to thank the candidates who let their names stand for a director position this year and to all of our members who took the time to vote and participate in the democratic process of electing the leaders of our organization. We appreciate the high level of engagement and interest in the future of the OFA.”
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province and serving as the leading advocate and strongest voice of Ontario’s farmers. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA represents and champions the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more.
for more information visit: https://ofa.on.ca/