DFO honours industry achievements and delivers Annual ReportDFO honours industry achievements and delivers Annual Report

2023 Annual General Meeting and inaugural Recognition Dinner
highlights focus, integrity and accountability in Ontario’s dairy sector

TORONTO, January 19, 2023 – During a celebration earlier this evening at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) Board recognized producer commitment to the production of high-quality milk and industry leadership at its inaugural DFO Recognition Dinner. The organization also delivered its 2021-22 Annual Report.

Five Ontario dairy producers with the best quality scores were recognized for their outstanding commitment to quality, and the first-ever DFO Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Glen McNeil (Heather Holme Holsteins, Goderich, Ont.).

Quality Award Winners received Gold Quality Certificates in January 2022 for milk shipped in 2021:

  • Citilimits Farms Inc., Jordan Dietrich and Nicole Dietrich
  • Zethill Farms Ltd., Russell Zettler
  • Ontowa Farms Inc., Martin Family, Ralph Martin and Judy Martin
  • Elliottdale Holsteins Ltd., Andrew Elliott and Nicole Elliott
  • Slits Dairy Farms Ltd., Pedro Slits and Jolanda Slits

Juanita Echeverry-Munera, Ph.D candidate in the Trouw Nutrition Ruminant Research Centre at the University of Guelph, received the 2023 DFO Doctoral Scholarship of $100,000 to explore methods to raise dairy-beef calves to improve productivity, sustainability and economic return on Canadian farms.

“Ontario dairy producers meet some of the most stringent milk quality requirements in the world and these Quality Award recipients have demonstrated the passion and commitment it takes to be the best of the best,” said Murray Sherk, DFO’s chair. “It’s a true reflection of what we do to support our Canadian dairy system. I commend these producers for their leadership.”

“Glen McNeil’s contributions to the dairy industry as a producer, mentor and advocate have been immense,” said Sherk. “He is kind and generous in giving back to dairy producers and his community, and the sector has benefitted from his commitment to quality, advocacy and goodwill. His is truly a lifetime of achievement, with much more to come, and DFO’s board is proud to present this award to acknowledge that.”

DFO also released its 2021-22 annual report demonstrating a continued focus on supporting a dynamic, profitable and growing dairy sector. You can find the Annual Report on DFO’s website on the Industry Resources page on the top right navigation.

“We set an ambitious growth target and put all our efforts toward meeting it. In the face of high inflation, rising interest rates and increasing costs to produce the food Canadians need, we were able to move the needle for Ontario producers,” said Cheryl Smith, DFO’s chief executive officer. “Dairy is the largest agricultural sector in Ontario, contributing almost $8 billion to the provincial gross domestic product and supporting 100,000 full-time jobs and, as an organization, we remain committed to delivering for Ontario producers.”

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