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This issue is bursting with information. Ted Zettel's article on BST is illuminating, and frightening. The global conference for genetic resources sounds very intriguing. Hopefully, Tony McQuail's coverage of stable funding refunds will clear up any last questions, while his President's message updates you on Board events. Jeff Johnston offers an idea for telemarketing your products. Larry Ross continues his tale of twitch. Plus we have descriptions of upcoming tours and workshops, and reports on past events.

Many submissions have come to me during the last few weeks. While all are interesting, some see print sooner because they are more timely, or because they fit the space. We continue to encourage all our members to send in articles. letters and other submissions. Remember: send them in early (next deadline is June 1), keep them short (only a few paragraphs), and submissions are subject to editing (for length and style).

Efforts to improve the newsletter continue. These will focus on reviewing its objectives, and developing clear guidelines for submissions. As always, we hope we to continue covering a wide range of experiences and points of view. Please keep in mind however, that publishing submissions does not imply that Board of Directors necessarily agree with, or endorse the views and opinions expressed in them.

Shelly Paulocik


** Please note some dates have been changed as shown below.

April 2 Draft Horse Workshop, McQuail Farm, Lucknow

5 Directors' Meeting

7 Dairying Workshop, Kemptville

8 Building Ecological, self-Reliant Food Systems, York University

May 3 Directors' Meeting

28 Arboretum-Agroforestry Tour, Univ. of Guelph

June 18 Janet & Bruce Duncan Tour, Almonte

18 Bob & Bev Budd Tour, Goderich

July 9 Josef & Anton Heinzle Tour, St. Eugene

9 Management & Restoration on Natural Areas,on-farm workshop, Martin & Corrie Pronk, Harriston

10 Tom & Mary Anne Neufeld Tour, Vineland

August 6 Helen & Hubert Earl Tour

For more information: on Workshops contact Ted Zettel (519) 366-9982; on Tours contact Hubert Earl (613) 924-2052, or Harold Saunders (519) 666-0705.


I write this thinking of the warm, sunny days of the past week, and suspect that you too are looking forward to spring. Your Board of Directors has also been looking ahead, and have planned a number of good tours and workshops for this spring and summer. Greatly aiding this task is the new speaker phone, which vastly improves the east-west connection between directors, helping us serve all members better.

At the end of March, the year-long contract for our jointly-shared staff person, Ron Strome, will come to end. This position, equally funded by ourselves and the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, has enabled us to complete many jobs. Among them were creating the display panel, reorganizing our library, updating the library listings (included in this newsletter), and carrying out our membership survey. Ron also took over most of the day-to-day jobs of responding to inquiries, and organizing and publicizing events. The money to hire Ron came from a grant we received to help with organizational and outreach work. As much as we appreciate Ron's work, we unfortunately haven't seen the growth in memberships and income which would allow us to continue this position.

The Board has been reviewing how we finance our activities and where we spend our money, to ensure that we serve our members effectively. Recent decisions made with these concerns in mind, are as follows. Listing items in the Stock Exchange will now cost $5.00. A minimum fee of $75.00 is in effect for the farm advisory service. We are also exploring partnerships with other organizations to help finance these visits. And, we are considering a `once a year' advertising directory that would go out with our newsletter. This would generate some income and provide information on sources and services for our members, without putting advertising in our newsletter. We still consider our farm tours and newsletter to be key activities for EFAO and so will be focusing our efforts on them, and our courses this year.

We have reviewed the results of the membership survey. We'd like to thank everyone who responded, and all who volunteered to help. We will be contacting you during the coming year. And, if we are slow in contacting you, don't be shy about getting in touch with one of the directors and asking how you can get involved in our current projects.

With the board working so well together, it promised to be a good year for the EFAO. Share some of that promise by bring some friends and neighbours on a farm tour, or by inviting them to join the EFAO. Together we can do good things for our farms, communities and the environment.

Tony McQuail

Copyright 1994 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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