BURLINGTON, ON – March 10, 2021 –
CFO was joined by the Hon. Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister Responsible for Children and Women’s Issues, and the Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services for a virtual meeting to showcase and celebrate women chicken farmers across the province.
Twenty-five farmer-members took part in the interactive virtual meeting as part of CFO’s Women in Leadership initiative.
CFO’s Women in Leadership initiative encourages the business, professional and personal growth of farmer-members, and aims to amplify farmer-members’ voices within CFO and the industry.
“Agriculture, like politics, is a field where women have traditionally been underrepresented. I was proud to join Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s farmer-members today to learn from their experiences and hear directly from them on the challenges they overcome every day,” said the Hon. Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues. “Inspiring to see these women shatter the glass ceiling as they pave the way, encouraging more women to get involved in agriculture.”
The event was held as part of CFO’s celebration of International Women’s Day and in recognition of women farmer-members that help ensure families, individuals, and food banks can count on a continuous supply of Premium Ontario Chicken.
“I appreciate how the Chicken Farmers of Ontario are celebrating women who are leading by example and making a difference in recognition of International Women’s Day,” said the Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Never before has it been more important to identify how women are involved in the business of agriculture and food production. Women readily embrace innovation and opportunities to prove Ontario is the agri-food jurisdiction of choice when it comes to engaging with chicken farmers.”
CFO farmer-members had an opportunity to provide feedback and share their perspectives on challenges the experience, and Minister Dunlop and Minister Thompson shared how the Ontario Government is tackling issues and supporting women throughout the province.
“We were honoured that Minister Dunlop and Minister Thompson could join us and share their insights as leaders and advocates for women, for rural communities, and for all of Ontario,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “Their message was educational and inspiring, and their unique experiences and perspectives were helpful in supporting our farmer-members as we continue to encourage further involvement in leadership opportunities.”
CFO’s Women in Leadership initiative provides opportunities for networking, collaboration and knowledge-sharing to help further share a culture where all farmer-members feel empowered, supported and equipped to succeed.
“The Women in Leadership initiative is just one of the ways that we encourage more voices from our farmer-members with a wide range of different viewpoints and backgrounds, to ultimately better represent the communities in which CFO serves," said Rob Dougans, President & CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “We appreciate the Ministers taking the time to meet directly with farmer-members and we look forward to continuing to work with farmer-members, stakeholders, and governments to continue to grow and advance a sustainable chicken industry.”