Sean McGivern, a 31 year-old mixed farmer from Desboro in Grey County, is the new Regional Coordinator for the National Farmers Union (NFU) in Ontario. McGivern, along with Colleen Ross of Iroquois and Ann Slater of Lakeside, were elected to the NFU National Board during the NFU’s regional meeting in Stratford on March 20.
McGivern, who previously served as NFU Local President for the Grey County Local, is a young farmer who operates a thousand-acre certified organic farm. He has a 50-head cow-calf operation and a 25-sow farrow-to-finish operation, in addition to raising sheep, hens, turkeys and ducks. Along with his crops and livestock, he also has an on-farm store, a flour mill, and a cereal-manufacturing business called Grass Roots Organics.
McGivern says he is looking forward to working with the rapidly-growing NFU membership throughout Ontario, and across Canada. “It’s important to bring new ideas and new perspectives into the discussion on farm issues,” he said. “It’s especially critical to ensure that the voice of young farmers is heard. We are at risk of losing a whole generation of farmers and we need to put policies in place that will turn that around.”
Delegates to the NFU Ontario Regional Meeting in Stratford paid tribute to Grant Robertson, who stepped down from the NFU National Board at that meeting.
Colleen Ross previously served several terms as National Women’s President of the NFU. Colleen also currently serves on the Management Team of the People’s Food Policy Project as well as being a Steering Committee Member of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
Ann Slater has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the NFU Perth/Oxford Local. Ann has also has been President of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and is a board member of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada.
The NFU Ontario Regional Meeting heard two major panel presentations: one on the financial crisis confronting pork producers, and the other on alternative energy and the effects of wind power turbines on farms and rural communities.
Source : National Farmers Union