For sixty years, the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) has been a tough and credible advocate and unified voice for the province’s 19,000 beef farmers, representing all sectors of the industry. On behalf of its members, BFO advocates in the areas of sustainability, animal health and care, environment, food safety, and domestic and export market development. BFO’s vision is to foster a sustainable and profitable beef industry, and have Ontario beef recognized as an outstanding product by consumers.
BFO is an organization deep-rooted in history. The organization was founded in 1962 as the Ontario Beef Improvement Association (OBIA) and was first established to address the need for a unified voice for Ontario's beef industry. Later, in 1976, with growing concern to become a stronger lobby organization with government, and to align its name with the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA), the organization transformed to become the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA), a name that was sustained for 37 years.
In 2013, the organization transitioned to become the Beef Farmers of Ontario to address the changing industry environment, be more inclusive and to enhance its visibility and strength with valued stakeholders.
BFO's Board of Directors consists of 12 elected officials - three from the cow-calf sector, three from the feedlot sector, one from the backgrounder sector, one each representing the southern, northern and eastern regions of Ontario, and two elected at-large. Directors are elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis. The responsibilities of this body are to set objectives and strategic priorities for the association, monitor BFO finances and represent BFO to industry and government.
BFO's Advisory Councillors act as the communication link between BFO (the provincial association) and the 49 county/district associations across Ontario. Advisory Councillors are elected each year by members of their local association to represent their region of the province. This group attends two to three meetings per year, where BFO provides updates on initiatives, progress on resolutions, and allows for discussion on current industry issues.
There are 49 grassroots local associations in Ontario. Each county/district holds an annual meeting every January to discuss issues of concern, elect delegates to attend the BFO Annual General Meeting, and vote on resolutions. Local associations are encouraged to submit resolutions throughout the year as they provide important direction and support priorities for the association.
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