2021-2022 will be Bonnie den Haan’s second year as chair
By Diego Flammini
An Ontario dairy farmer is beginning her second year as chair of an industry group.
Bonnie den Haan, who farms with her family in Alliston, Ont. was re-elected as chair of Farm & Food Care Ontario (FCCO) during the organization’s annual conference on April 6.
“I’m thrilled,” she told Farms.com. “It’s such an amazing organization with great staff and a strong board doing great work. I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
The ag industry faces multiple challenges.
With one standing out above the rest, den Haan said.
“I think public trust is the biggest challenge we face as farmers,” she said.
But each individual sector within ag has its own unique obstacles related to public trust.
“In livestock you have animal care, in horticulture you have challenges with seasonal ag workers especially during the pandemic and in grain farming there’s questions about crop protection tools and GMOs,” she said.
Part of FCCO’s work is to help the ag sector communicate the truth about food production to consumers.
Doing so requires multiple approaches because the population has similar questions about farming regardless of age or other characteristics, den Haan said.
“It’s clear that some concerns go across all age groups, demographics and buying ability,” she said. “We need to have different ways of connecting with different segments of the population.”
Some of FCCO’s resources include the virtual tours available on its website and in-person events when those are allowed again.
Consumers should seek out organizations like FCCO if they have questions about agriculture.
The public can be confident the information they receive is accurate, den Haan said.
“FCCO is independent of any commodity,” she said. “It doesn’t own any livestock or grow any crops, so it can speak independently of those industries and I think it gives the organization a lot of credibility that way.”
A full list of FCCO’s board members can be found here.