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The election for directors was held at the AGM. We're pleased to see new members, some whom greatly improve the geographical representation of the Board. To make the link with our eastern representatives we "meet" via phone hookup, one which still has a few bugs in it at the moment.
Physical distance and the limits of time make it difficult, if not impossible, for most EFAO members to know their Board of Directors. To help remedy this situation, we have a short introduction to each director's activities and interests. We begin with those having specific positions on the Board.
Tony and his wife Fran bought their farm in 1973. They switched to organic farming practices in 1976, and stopped spraying their apple orchard in 1980. Their 100 acre farm is mostly in hay and pasture, rotated with spring and winter grains. The grains provide feed and seed. Although they have a small tractor and loader, much of their farm work is done with horses.
Tony has been active in the EFAO since 1980. He has served on the board for many years, most recently as Treasurer, and now as President. Other past community involvement includes serving as president of the Huron County Federation of Agriculture, as chair of the Foodland Hydro Committee, and as a school board trustee. Tony also worked off the farm for a period, as Executive Assistant to the Hon. Elmer Buchanan, Ontario Minister of Agriculture and Food.
Ruth Knight and her husband Tom Inglis live in the Belmore area. They recently purchased a 100 acre farm west of town, and are now making plans for their future efforts. They presently raise beef, pigs (red wattle), and chickens. Eventually they hope to sell a wide range of products locally, perhaps within a CSA project.
While Ruth's interests are very diverse, one focus is in building localized, ecological and just food systems, and in the changes such systems would bring. Ruth believes the grassroots approach of EFAO is its great strength, and hopes to increase this by working with members to establish local farmer networks. Ruth sees great value in, and wants to work at, expanding our contacts with other interest groups who can help the EFAO promote ecological farming. Ruth is now the Treasurer of the EFAO.
Chris Hoskins and his wife Sue own and operate a 100 acre mixed farm near Belmore. Livestock consists of a 70 ewe sheep flock. Field crops are a rotation of mixed grain, barley, oats, hay and pasture. Since moving to the farm, Chris has been planting trees to create smaller fields and act as windbreaks.
Chris works for the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority as a Soil and Water Conservation Technician. He is also actively involved in the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency, the Western Ontario Lamb Producers' Association, and the Belmore Community Parks Board. As a new EFAO director, Chris hopes to meet the needs of the members by providing enthusiasm and new ideas, as well as technical expertise to the board. He has just accepted the position of Secretary, and will also be helping organize courses, and the Annual Meeting.
Robert Budd and his wife Beverly live on 80 acres in Goderich Township. While Bob is the gardener for the Huron Community Garden, Bev manages the business side of things. This is a community shared agricultural project which takes up about 4 acres. (See more in a separate article.) Farm income is supplemented by shoeing horses (Bob) and teaching nursery school (Bev). Given much of their land is rolling and light, one of the first steps the Budds took after purchasing their land was to reforest 13 acres under the Permanent Cover Program.
Bob's interests include alternative energies, conservation and permaculture, particularly the potential for silvapasture. Seeing many useful benefits from associations between farmers and field naturalists, he is both a member and the secretary for the Huron Fringe Field Naturalists. Bob has come to increasing value and respect the EFAO, and is pleased to be associated with it. Naturally, Bob plans to help with CSAs.
Haedae Farms is family-owned and -operated by Hubert and Helen Earl, and their sons Darren, Douglas and Daniel. The operation is almost completely ecological in practice and yet quite diverse in nature. Although dairying is primary, the farm also supports a small sheep, hog, and poultry population in which rare breeds are the main focus. All emphasis has now shifted to grass farming and plans have now been finalized to incorporate all the livestock into a total grazing operation. The farm is located in Eastern Ontario, in Leeds County, near Addison - about 15 km north of Brockville.
Hubert will be working with Rita Stoller to help coordinate tours, courses, and local organizational networks in that part of the province.
Shelly Paulocik, husband Gord Chiddicks and their two boys live on 50 acres near Bluevale. Here they operate Woodwinds, a nursery devoted to exceptional varieties of fruit trees. Rescuing old varieties such as the Dempsey and Ritson pears is a major focus. The two acres of nursery is in a transitional phase, as they learn new ways of dealing with weeds and pests. Shelly plans to expand her recent efforts with native trees and shrubs. Over half their land is already in trees, either wetland bush or reforested acres, and more are being considered.
Shelly has belonged to the EFAO since the mid eighties . When she joined the Board last year her efforts were focused on the Newsletter. With Mike Pembry's retirement, she takes over as Editor.
Harold Saunders, his wife Margaret, and their two daughters operate a 50 acre farm near Denfield. When bought in 1972 it was set up for hogs. In 1979 the operation went organic with the purchase of a new SPF herd. Harold and family presently produce pork, chicken, turkey, water fowl, eggs, lamb, beef, honey, vegetables and P.Y.O. strawberries. The majority of this produce is sold from the farmgate. Future plans include nut trees, and setting up a Community Shared Agriculture.
Harold serves as a director with the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture, and is involved with the Heritage Seed and Garden Research Programs. He has been a member of the EFAO since 1986 and recently decided it was time to do his part by becoming a Director. Harold will be helping with tours and CSAs.
Rita Stoller and her husband Walter emigrated from Switzerland in 1979. Though trained as an architect, Rita saw Canada presented the chance to follow through with her childhood dream of farming. The Stollers bought a 200 acre farm in the picturesque area of Seeley's Bay. For ten years they ran their 40 cow dairy operation in a conventional manner. The apprehension they felt about using fertilizer and chemicals finally lead them to take the EFAO Introductory Course offered in Kemptville in 1990. Afterwards they convinced that with the right knowledge and management they could farm organically. Since then they see the yearly improvement in their compost, crops, and ultimately, in the health of their animals.
Rita wants to be involved with the EFAO to get more information, and to provide more information from the eastern part of the province. She hopes to work together with the group to build a stronger future. Rita also wants to add a little life to the newsletter with her cover sketches.
Ted Zettel, his wife Christine, and six children (ages 15 to 3) live near Chepstow, in Bruce County. There they farm 300 acres, and tend a herd of 30 Holsteins. Half their acres are in mixed hay and an intensive pasture system. Other land is sown to oats, barley,and rye for feed; and spelt and wheat for sale.
Ted has been active in the EFAO since 1984, and has served as Public Relations Director since 1986. Given his great performance to date, Ted is with continuing this job, as well as his work with courses, and on-farm consultation. Ted will also be helping to organize local networks and tours.
Copyright © 1993 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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