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BFO Statement: Beef Farmers Welcome Minister Rob Flack as Ontario’s New Minister of Farming, Agriculture and Agribusiness

June 7, 2024

June 7, 2024 (Guelph, Ont.) – The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) extends a warm welcome to Minister Rob Flack who has transitioned from his role as Associate Minister of Housing to the Minister of Farming, Agriculture and Agribusiness, as announced by Premier Ford late yesterday afternoon. With a previous career in agribusiness, and a beef farmer himself, Minister Flack has a strong understanding of farm and rural issues, and is well positioned to address the needs of Ontario’s 19,000 beef farmers.

“Appreciating Minister Flack’s background and experience in our sector, we look forward to hitting the ground running, especially at a time when our industry is facing mounting pressures due to the ongoing labour negotiations at eastern Canada’s largest processing facility in Guelph,” says Craig McLaughlin, BFO President. “We are anxious to meet with the Minister as soon as possible to share our thoughts on short-term measures that could help ease the on-farm consequences of the labour dispute, if it persists. Aside from the current situation, we welcome time to meet with Minister Flack to talk about the value of Ontario’s Risk Management Program to livestock farmers and their families, and ways our Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program could better respond to producer and market needs.”

On behalf of BFO’s Board of Directors and the 19,000 beef farmers we represent, BFO would like to thank Minister Lisa Thompson for her leadership, empathy and work as Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. During her time as Minister, Thompson helped Ontario’s agri-food sector navigate the lasting impacts of the pandemic on domestic and global food supplies. Early into her appointment, she provided much-needed assistance to beef farmers in northwestern Ontario who were severely impacted by drought conditions and reduced feed supplies. More recently, she has been a strong advocate for Ontario beef with important domestic and international trade partners. She was also instrumental in helping to build veterinary capacity in underserved areas of the province by initiating the modernization of the Veterinarians Act and implementing the Veterinary Incentive Program.

“Minister Thompson has been an ally for Ontario’s food and agriculture sectors long before her career in politics began. We have valued her affinity for farmers and rural communities, and we wish her all the best as she continues in her new role as Minister of Rural Affairs,” shares McLaughlin. “Over the past three years, we had a good rapport with Minister Thompson as we worked together on a number of issues, most notably our efforts to address drought conditions in northwestern Ontario, improvements made to Ontario’s Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program, modernization of the Veterinarians Act, and promotion of Ontario Beef domestically and in key export markets.”

BFO would like to congratulate all new and returning cabinet ministers on their distinguished appointments.

The Beef Farmers of Ontario represents 19,000 beef farmers in Ontario by advocating in the areas of sustainability, animal health and care, environment, food safety, and domestic and export market development. BFO’s vision is help foster a sustainable and profitable beef industry, and have Ontario beef recognized as an outstanding product by our consumers.


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