2010 Annual General Meeting Results in Two New Leaders and Two New Faces

GUELPH, ON, March 2 /CNW/ - Over 500 beef farmers and industry representatives from across Ontario congregated in Toronto last week for the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA) Annual General Meeting, themed "Progress Starts with Partnership". Guest speakers at the meeting included: Peter Chapman of GPS Business Solutions, (Connecting with Consumers) and Al Mussel of the George Morris Centre (Cost of Production). Other presentations included a report from the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, an update from the Ontario Farm Animal Council and a report on environmental issues.

Again this year, the AGM included a special panel discussion: "The Power of Partnerships". Panelists included: Lambton County producers, Murray Shaw and Ralph Eyre; Steve Loshaw of the Rainy River Regional Abattoir; and Barb Smith of the Foodland Ontario program. The focus this year was on how various sectors of the value chain leverage partnerships in order to stay profitable.

Elected as President of OCA for 2010 is Curtis Royal of Simcoe County. Royal operates a feedlot near Creemore, ON. Royal has, for the past two years, served as OCA Vice-President and is well-used to speaking on behalf of producers.

"There is a tough job ahead of the beef industry in this province, because there are many factors affecting our profitability," says Royal. "The sooner we figure out that working together is the only way forward, the better. Government wants to hear solid, well-thought out requests coming to them through OCA and we intend to do that, so that progress is not jeopardized. I thank Ontario's producers for putting their faith in me over the next 12 months and also thank Gord Hardy for his service over the past two years."

Another new leader, Dan Darling, was elected as the 2010 OCA Vice-President. Dan and his family live and farm in Castleton, in Northumberland County. Darling has served on a number of OCA Committees and he also brings a wealth of lobbying knowledge to the position.

Re-elected to the Board was Paul Sharpe of Wellington County, representing feedlot producers. Also re-elected was Bob Gordanier, of Dufferin County this time representing the cow/calf sector rather than serving "At-Large" as he did with his first term. He replaces Kim Sytsma who had completed the maximum three consecutive terms. Tom Wilson of Corunna in Lambton County was elected as Director from the South, replacing Gord Hardy who stepped down this year. John Lunn of Peterborough County was elected as Director-at-Large. John farms in Norwood, ON.

Continuing to serve out their terms are cow/calf producers Rick Hobbs from the Ottawa District and Dan Darling of Northumberland County. As well, Feedlot Directors Curtis Royal of Simcoe and Doug Kaufman of Oxford continue to sit on the Board. Matt Bowman of Temiskaming continues to serve as Director from the North and Gerald Rollins continues as Director from the East. Finally, rounding out the 2010 OCA Board are Director-at-Large, John Gillespie of Waterloo County and Bill Herron of Grey County, representing the Backgrounder sector.

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The Ontario Cattlemen's Association represents the interests of 19,000 Ontario beef producers. Following a 2003 restructuring of the organization, OCA's Board of Directors consists of 12 elected officials - three from the cow/calf sector, three from the feedlot sector, one from the backgrounder sector; three representing geographic regions of Ontario and two elected on an At-Large basis. Directors are elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis. Each year, voting delegates to the AGM elect three members to the Board.

The complete 2010 OCA annual report can be viewed on the OCA Web site at www.cattle.guelph.on.ca after March 3rd.

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SOURCE Ontario Cattlemen's Association

For further information: For further information: Lianne Appleby, OCA Communications Manager: (519) 824-0334; Dave Stewart, OCA Executive Director: (519) 824-0334

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