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CFA president makes way for new leader

CFA president makes way for new leader

The head of Canada’s largest farm organization will end his term in February

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Ron Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), will step down from his leadership position in the new year.

He has led the CFA since 2010.

“I want to create some room for new people to step forward and take over the organization,” Bonnett said to Farms.com today.

“I am very please with how things have gone. … Membership is up, and the credibility of the organization is has improved with a great complement of staff. There are some younger people in the organization who are looking to step forward.”

Bonnett and his family have a cow-calf operation in northern Ontario and he looks forward to devoting more time to the farm.

“I will be spending some more time on the farm and addressing some stuff that has been overlooked for too long,” he said.

Although Bonnett has not finalized his plans, he is “still looking at a few other options to stay engaged in agriculture but maybe at a different level.”

He has served in the political circle for over 20 years, an iPolitics article said yesterday.

In this time, he also served as president for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Algoma Federation of Agriculture in northern Ontario – a group that he founded in the 1980s.

Bonnett has also sat on many provincial and federal boards, such as the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Industrial Bioproducts Value Chain Roundtable. He occasionally took part in the Beef Value Roundtable, the article said.

Bonnett helped form the World Farmers’ Organization in 2011.

 He has many fond memories of his time with the CFA.

“The number of people I have met, not only nationally but internationally as well, made me realize what a dynamic industry agriculture really is – not just in Canada but around the world,” Bonnett said to Farms.com.

“All of the people I have met is the biggest thing that I want to remember from my years at CFA.”

Norm Hall, a Saskatchewan farmer and vice-president of CFA, has expressed interest in seeking the organization’s presidency, the iPolitics article said.

And Bonnett offered advice to those individuals interested in taking on the role of president.

“Really work closely with the staff, going forward,” he said.

“The role of the CFA president it to bring together different views from different provinces and commodity (groups) and really find that common ground. … We play a coordinating role as president to ensure everyone gets a change to have his or her voice heard while working towards making a final decision.”

The CFA will hold elections in February at its annual general meeting in Ottawa.

Industry leaders founded the national farm organization in 1935. Now, the CFA represents over 200,000 farmers.  

Canadian Federation of Agriculture photo

 

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