The Lambton Federation of Agriculture held their first virtual Annual General Meeting on the evening of January 15 2021.

2021 LFA AGM Minutes (Prepared by Brooke Watson)

Date: Friday January 15, 2021
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Eventbrite Zoom Meeting

Zoom Meeting Opened for Members to join – note Eventbrite held off entry until 6:55pm.


Gary Welcomed everyone at 7:15

O Canada Video played

Introduction of Honoured Guests

  • Kevin Marriot Addressed the group discussing how happy he was to be able to attend this meeting.

Lambton County Warden Scholarship

Gary presented the Scholarship to Nathan Wilson

  • Nathan thanked everyone for the award.

2020 COVID-19 Challenges in Agriculture Video

Video was played for the group.

Approval of Agenda

George Dickenson MOTIONED. Darcy Fuller seconded. Motion Passed.

Approval of Minutes from 2020 AGM

Burt McKinley MOTIONED; Dave Ferguson seconded. Motion Passed.

Approval of Reports

To accept the September 30 2020 Financials Mike Belan MOTIONED. seconded Darcy Fuller. Motion Passed.

Financial Statements Presentation by Mitchell Geerts, Accountant for MPW.

  • Mitchell presented the financial statements [included in the AGM booklet that was distributed to members and available on the LFA website] to the members. Mitchell offered the opportunity for the group to ask questions as needed about the presented statements.

A motion was made for the Appointment of Accountant – George Dickenson moved that Mitchell Geerts, Accountant for MPW continue his role for the 2021 year. George Dickenson MOTIONED, Mike Belan seconded. Motion Passed.

Committee Reports


  • Gary Martin presented the PAC report [distributed to members in AGM booklet and available of the LFA website] on behalf of the PAC members: Gary Martin, Darcy Fuller, Lauren Van Ewyk, highlighting what the PAC does, and the role it plays for the LFA.
  • Gary also presented a break down of what events and meetings happened throughout the year.

Lambton Farm Safety Association:

  • George Dickenson presented the report [distributed to members in AGM booklet and available of the LFA website] highlighting what the association was working on during the year.
  • Many of the events the association had planned for the year were no longer feasible with the COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Agnes Dickenson discussed the poster contest the group decided to hold in lieu of the events planned.
  • Approximately 35 participants entered the poster contest.
  • Entries could either be electronically submitted or dropped off for content entry.
  • All participants had their entries displayed on the Facebook page and each participant received a gift bag.

Mike Belan MOTIONED to receive both the PAC Report and the Lambton Farm Safety Association report. Burt McKinlay seconded. Motion Passed.

Elections (Directors, President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President)

George Dickenson MOTIONED for the board to be able to fill vacant board seats throughout the year, if needed. This would help alleviate empty seats. Darcy Fuller seconded. Motion Passed.

George Dickenson NOMINATED Joanne Fuller to be in charge of the election and Andrew Fuller to be the scrutineer. Dave Ferguson seconded. Motion passed.

Joanne reviewed who had served on the 2020 Board and noted the vacant seats. She thanked all 2020 members for their service.

Review of Nominations received

Names brought forward:

  1. Gary Martin – stand for President; Gary acclaimed as President
  2. Darcy Fuller – stand for 1st Vice-President; acclaimed as First Vice-President
  3. Mike Belan – stand for 2nd Vice-President; acclaimed as 2ndVice-President
  4. George Dickenson
  5. Doug Krall
  6. Burt McKinley
  7. Ray Bygrove
  8. Brian Eves
  9. James Grant

Darcy Fuller MOTIONED to support Christina Hyatt as Secretary/Treasurer – Dave Ferguson seconded. Motion Carried.

Nominations from the floor

Joanne Fuller asked for floor nominations three times. No nominations were received from the floor.

Resolutions to the OFA and/or PAC – Open to the floor

Joanne asked for any resolutions from the OFA/PAC. No resolutions were brought forward.
Joanne opened to the floor. No resolutions were brought forward.

New Business

  1. Gary Martin presented for the group the Enbridge Line 5 Resolution letter he drafted with help from Joanne. The document was presented to the group on screen, being read by Gary.
  • George Dickenson MOTIONED that the group read Gary’s pipeline resolution letter, Darcy seconded. Motion Passed.
  • Crispin Colvin and Cathy Lennon will make the OFA board aware of the resolution.
  • The City of Sarnia will be sent a copy of the resolution so they are aware.
  • It was also discussed to send the resolution to the CFA as well as Government of Ontario and Government of Canada.
  • The Vote was then passed to floor – no opposition from present members. Motion passed.
  • Motion will be sent Joanne Fuller for distribution to proper channels within OFA.
  1. Ratification of Constitutional Amendments [distributed to members in AGM booklet and available of the LFA website]
  • Gary Martin discussed the rationale as to why the amendments were necessary.
  • The discussion was around aligning the constitution to be in sync with other organizations setup.
  • Amendments were show on screen, as well as provided to members.
  • Gary asked to have these new amendments accepted by the members.
  • George Dickenson MOTIONED. Dave Ferguson seconded. Motion Carried.
  • The new constitution will be updated and made available to members on the website.
  1. Open to the Floor
  • Emery Huszka discussed the Mental Health initiative that the Grain Farmers of Ontario are participating in.
  • Brendan Byrne the Essex district rep created a video of the importance of mental health.
  • Emery reminded everyone that they can look at the GFO website for upcoming events.
  • If members have questions about accessing mental health services, they can ask the Executives.
  • Emery discussed a resolution that was passed, in highlighted concerns of some over the Grower Pesticide Safety Course.
  • The GFO Board is going to send a letter to general farm organization asking them to contact government to have a review of the Grower Pesticide Safety Course and how it can be improved.

President’s Message

Gary highlighted his report which was included in the AGM booklet for members.

Gary discussed the videos that the LFA created this year [one shown at the beginning of the meting, one will close the meeting].

Gary also discussed the numerous meeting that got cancelled at the beginning of the year, and how they got moved to online.

Gary discussed the changes to the two websites – LFA and Locally Lambton. Any feedback on the sites can be sent to Gary. The radio spots and the videos created this year were also discussed and members can find a list in the AGM booklet.

Gary talked about the letters that had been sent to various government agencies, all of which are listed in the AGM Booklet.

The events that were held this year, some in person before March and those that were virtual are all listed in the AGM Booklet. Members are asked to check them out.

The Lambton Federation of Agriculture’s “This is Agriculture” video was featured in the show line-up at the Starlite Drive-In Theatre in Crediton, Ontario all summer.

Gary wants to remind everyone of the Mental Health resources available on the LFA website.

Gary asked George Dickenson to speak about the plastics initiative.

  • George talked about the plastics initiative that is taking place at his farm, being conducted by the University of Guelph.
  • Their farm will be one of the farms that are testing the new plastics products.
  • George is hoping to reach out to CleanFarms about recycling it.

MSR Report

Joanne Fuller, Lambton-Middlesex Member Service Representative

  • Highlighted the number of members in LFA.
  • She also discussed how OFA was busy with COVID-19, including virtual career fairs, and webinars. Joanne discussed the Feeding your Future initiative – information on the programs and career information and information for Employers were all shared with members. Part of this is letting people know what agriculture jobs are.
  • Always in Season: A Toolkit for Local Food Practitioners was discussed. Success of the 6×16 Food Literacy to cook 6 meals by the time they are 16 – learning how to cook.
  • Letters to local health units and police departments telling them what agriculture is all about.
  • Worked with SLEP including post-pandemic planning committee.
  • Joanne pointed out Better Farming Magazine – your discount card is in there.

OFA Directors Message

Crispin Colvin, Lambton-Middlesex Zone Director

  • Talked about the internet project
  • Highlighted the importance of rural schools
  • PAWS and Trespass Acts both came into effect after much work and commodity collaboration. PAWS Act replaces OSPCA.
  • Lobbied for continued investment in rural infrastructure – roads and bridges
  • Worked with both levels of government, and CFA, on climate change particularly with regard to carbon sequestration and that agriculture should receive credits for work already being done
  • Lot creations issues – needing to make sure we keep agriculture land
  • Mental Health initiatives were supported. Local federations developed initiatives to support their local areas. OFA lobbied to support the need for Agricultural Mental Health awareness and assistance. This was recognized at CFA as well as a Canadian Agriculture issue.
  • Conservation Authorities act is being reviewed and we are part of that, discussing what they should deliver, how and the costing and funding or CA’s. Lobbied successfully to have agriculture represented on CA board.
  • Food safety when pandemic started. The issue of food hoarding. Government needed to know that Ag was a necessary service.
  • Member surveys to gauge the impact of COVID on OFA and what was needed for farms to thrive – mental health support and financial support
  • Working to meet demands of seasonal labour last year. There are still labour shortages this year.
  • OFA sits on OMAFRA’s Jobs Recovery Committee to develop strategies to stimulate Ontario’s Economy
  • Worked with the Province on the Ontario Made logo so consumers could find and support Ontario grown product. This is part of Producing Prosperity campaign as the government is investing in rural Ontario.
  • Freedom of Information issue – wanted all farm businesses and their information. Farmers pushed back and filed appeals. The person looking for information dropped request. Push back was strong.
  • Involved in Canada Food Day supporting Always in Season, aimed at increasing local food sales, enhancing agriculture and agritourism. Local has taken on a whole new meaning, instead of relying on import.
  • Lobbying for reduced Red Tape regulations for abattoirs, looking to streamline inspections system. Looking to find qualified people to do the job.
  • Involved in the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative, looking at ways to reduce runoff and testing water and soil to improve farming practices
  • Clean Fuel Standards issue, OFA is supporting higher green fuel initiatives. The CFS needs to recognize the value of agriculture in environmental stewardship. Producers should be recognized for Best Management Practices and carbon sequestration.
  • Mental health issues – grain farmers have done a great job. “In the Know” session. Grain farmers have information on their website.
  • Canadian Centre for Food Integrity released its report on agriculture and consumer trends. It found that 87% of Canadians trust the food system and trust that we will continue to supply Canada with safe, fresh and affordable food. Despite being only 2% of the population, we are trusted by almost 9 out of 10 Canadians.
  • Great videos done by Lambton to highlight local agriculture.
  • Public Trust will continue to be an important lobby effort throughout the coming year.
  • Shout out to OFA Head Office Staff. New building, but no one can get in and see what has been done.

Guest Speaker: Cathy Lennon, General Manager, OFA

Cathy was able to present her PowerPoint and highlighted her career in agriculture.

She discussed the projects that Joanne and Crispin highlighted in their reviews.

2020 Agriculture in Technology Video

The “world premier” of the video was tonight.

Gary and the Board are working on getting this presented to local politicians and staff.

Closing Remarks

Motion to adjourn: George MOTIONED to adjourn at 9:43pm
Free coffee table book sent to everyone in attendance at the meeting.
Members can email their mailing address to: [email protected]

2021 LFA AGM Booklet

Videos highlighted during the AGM

2020 COVID-19 Challenges in Agriculture Video:

YouTube player

2020 Agriculture in Technology Video:

YouTube player

January 2021 LFA Annual General Meeting
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