Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) marked the official kick-off of its Women in Leadership Initiative, with the Board sponsoring a group of female chicken farmers to attend the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference. As part of the sponsorship, CFO also hosted a preliminary networking and engagement workshop.

“Today’s workshop will help the industry gain a better understanding of the potential barriers that may have historically limited the involvement of women in industry governance roles,” said Henry Zantingh, Chair of CFO. “The feedback and information collected will help the Board to further develop its diversity and inclusion strategies and to ensure they meet the governance needs and requirements of the Ontario chicken farming community in the future.”

“We are extremely pleased at the positive response to the Board’s diversity outreach,” said Rob Dougans, President and CEO of CFO. “To date we have had more than 30 farmer-members indicate that they would like to become more involved in the CFO Women in Leadership Initiative, and we were fortunate that many of them were able to join us at the Board’s kick-off event here at the Women in Agriculture Conference. Their continued involvement and invaluable feedback will be important in helping us continue to steer this important work going forward.”

“I am so pleased to see that CFO is championing this important initiative. Women play a very active role on the farm, and it’s important that is recognized and reflected throughout our industry. Thinking about the future and passing the family business onto the next generation, chicken farming needs to be represented by everyone in the community—and today’s workshop was a positive step in the right direction,” said Carolyn Cornelissen, District 3, Ontario chicken farmer.

The CFO Board recognizes the importance of having gender diverse representation at all levels of corporate governance. Focused on the future, and continually committed to new and robust solutions towards achieving excellence and driving our industry forward, the Board is encouraging motivated women farmer-members who are interested in participating in the CFO Women in Leadership governance process to reach out and get involved.

For more information on the CFO Women in Leadership Initiative, please visit