Premier Ford has announced a cabinet shuffle in the Ontario Government. The Hon. Lisa Thompson, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Huron-Bruce, will become the Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. This ministerial cabinet position, previously held by the Hon. Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford County, is an integral relationship to the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) Board of Directors and Ontario’s over 1,300 family-run chicken farms across the province.

“We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Minister Thompson as the new Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “With her extensive experience working with Ontario’s farming communities, the CFO Board of Directors looks forward to meeting the new Minister and collaborating to advance mutual priorities and support for supply management.”

“As a long-time advocate for Ontario agriculture, we look forward to building on our strong relationship with Minister Thompson and working together for the betterment of Ontario’s chicken farm families,” said Adrian Rehorst, 2nd Vice-Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario and Board Director in District 1, Bruce County.

The Honourable Lisa Thompson is a former Minister of Education and most recently served as Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Ontario’s Registrar General.  She lives near Teeswater on a farm that has been in her family for 120 years and is an alumnus of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. Before entering politics, Minister Thompson served as the General Manager of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative.

The CFO Board of Directors would also like to thank the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, and the Ontario government, for the commitment to supply management, livestock agriculture, and the Ontario chicken sector.
“Over the last three years, CFO farm families have come to know Minister Hardeman as a strong advocate for our industry and for local communities. On behalf of the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program, we thank him for his unwavering support of the program, and we appreciate his work and partnership in helping provide fresh, healthy, locally-grown chicken to Ontario food banks,” said Murray Opsteen, 1st Vice-Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario and Co-Chair of the CFO Cares Working Group.

“We thank Minister Hardman for his support for the reduction of red tape in our sector, his advocacy for the sustainability of the supply managed system, and his leadership in enhancing protection of animals, farmers, and farm business across the province,” stated Benjamins. “Ontario’s chicken farm families, and the CFO Board of Directors, thank the Minister for his dedication, collaboration, and leadership – particularly through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”