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OAAS welcomes new Agriculture Minister as part of the Provincial Cabinet shuffle

VINCE BRENNAN, Manager, Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies

STIRLING: The Ontario government announced a shuffle in its cabinet, on Friday, June 18th, resulting in several critical ministerial positions changing hands. A notable change impacting the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) and its member agricultural societies is the departure of Hon. Ernie Hardeman as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Hon. Lisa Thompson will take over leading the agriculture, food, and rural portfolio in Ontario.

As we look forward to working with Hon. Lisa Thompson, as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the OAAS and its membership would like to acknowledge and recognize the very significant contributions of Hon. Ernie Hardeman, as a strong supporter of the OAAS and our agricultural societies and rural communities. Minister Hardeman was a true advocate for agriculture and rural Ontario and understood the importance of Ontario agricultural societies to their local communities and the entire province.

“We regularly engaged with Minister Hardeman over the past few years, and appreciated his passion for agricultural societies and his desire to see our industry survive, thrive and continue to contribute to their communities,” said Vince Brennan, OAAS Manager. “We are especially appreciative for his support of our agricultural societies during the pandemic,” said Beth Howell-Vervaecke, OAAS President. “We wish him the best in his future endeavours and have appreciated our time working together.”

The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies looks forward to working with Minister Thompson, to continue the valued partnership between OMAFRA and the OAAS. “She has a significant understanding of agricultural societies and their key role in agriculture education and food awareness, as well as the multiple benefits agricultural societies bring to their communities,” stated Brennan.

The OAAS is the umbrella organization for over 210 Ontario agricultural societies with over 35,000 members across the province. The OAAS provides support, training, and resources for our member agricultural societies, to assist them in supporting and delivering agriculture education, food awareness, heritage, tourism, and cultural programs and experiences in their communities.

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