Huron County producer will be inducted into the Ont. Agricultural Hall of Fame
John Maaskant, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) nominee, is one of five agricultural leaders who will be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame this year.
The CFO nominated Maaskant “in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to Ontario’s chicken industry and his many years of service with CFO,” a CFO release
Maaskant worked with several ag organizations. He chaired CFO from 1992 to 1995, the Ontario Farm Animal Council from 2003 to 2011, and Farm & Food Care Ontario from 2012 to 2016.
Maaskant also worked as CFO’s board director for Huron County for more than 25 years. Prior to that, he served as a CFO district committee representative in the region for 15 years.
Maaskant “played an important role” in dealing with the aftermath of free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
He also helped lead the sector after the development of the World Trade Organization, which “posed the most significant challenge to Canada’s broiler industry since the interprovincial challenges of the 1960s,” the release said. Maaskant was “instrumental in navigating the subsequent uncertainty.”
In 1994, Maaskant, CFO’s current chair Ed Benjamins, and others participated in a sector-wide fact-finding mission. The mission led to the creation of a tarification system which remains a key component of the country’s supply management system.
Working alongside Maaskant for over two decades has been a distinct pleasure, Benjamins said.
Maaskant “has served in almost every capacity on CFO’s board—in some cases, twice—and his tireless work has undoubtedly improved the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of chicken farmer-families,” Benjamins said in the release. “As a farmer, John exemplifies some of the best our industry has to offer."
“John is a lifelong champion of supply management and, through his passion and leadership, the industry has been able to secure critical buy-in across sectors and rally government and consumer support for supply management,” added Rob Dougans, CFO president and CEO, in the release.
The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on June 9 at Country Heritage Park in Milton, an Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association release