Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

John Maaskant to be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame

BURLINGTON, ON – February 21, 2019 – The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association has announced that Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) nominee, John Maaskant, has been selected as one of five leaders in agriculture to be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this year. CFO nominated John Maaskant in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to Ontario’s chicken industry and his many years of service with Chicken Farmers of Ontario.

John Maaskant began his farming career at the age of 16 and has been extensively involved in many agricultural organizations, including serving as: Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario (1992-1995), Chair of the Ontario Farm Animal Council (2003-2011), and Chair of Farm & Food Care Ontario (2012-2016). He served as CFO’s Board Director for District 2 – Huron County – for over 25 years. Prior to sitting on the Board of Directors, John represented his home district of Huron County as a CFO District Committee Representative for 15 years, starting in 1974. 

“I have had the distinct pleasure of working with John for more than two decades to advance and grow Ontario’s chicken industry. He 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,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “As a farmer, John exemplifies some of the best our industry has to offer.”

The 1980s and 1990s were a formative period in Canadian agricultural history in which John played an important role. The striking of free trade agreements such as CUSTA and NAFTA and the creation of the World Trade Organization posed the most significant challenge to Canada’s broiler industry since the interprovincial challenges of the 1960s.

John was instrumental in navigating the subsequent uncertainty.

In 1994, John, along with CFO’s current chair, Ed Benjamins, and others participated in a sector-wide fact-finding mission, which resulted in a tarification system that is a central tenet of Canadian supply management as we know it today. It was later adopted by the federal government for sectors other than the broiler industry and has formed the basis of import protection ever since.

“John helped agriculture in Ontario find its voice. CFO is very pleased to celebrate John Maaskant and his accomplishments as a leader and innovator in the chicken industry,” said Rob Dougans, President and CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, “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.”

CFO looks forward to celebrating this induction into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame with John Maaskant at the upcoming CFO Annual General Meeting on March 4th. The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on June 9, 2019.

CLICK HERE for more information on John Maaskant’s induction to the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.