A new executive in the new year
The 2018 executive for the Dundas Federation of Agriculture was elected on Mon., March 12, at the annual general meeting held at the Nelson LaPrade Centre in Chesterville. Front row from left are Vice-President Ryan DeVries, President Marty Derks, OFA District Director Jackie Kelly-Pemberton; middle row from left: Jake Sample, Warren Schneckenburger, Jim Shaw and DFA-PAC representative Bernie Vander Zweep; back row from left, Dave Kerr, Albert Harbers, Tom MacGregor, Jon Roosendaal and past president Steven Byvelds.     Sawyer Helmer photo

Kalynn sawyer Helmer
Record Staff
CHESTERVILLE – The new executive for the Dundas Federation of Agriculture was elected during the annual general meeting held at the Nelson LaPrade Centre in Chesterville on Mon., March 12.

Stepping down after his one-year term was President Steven Byvelds, who thanked Jackie Kelly-Pemberton for her advice throughout the year, the local board members and those who attend the regular meetings. He also thanked previous secretary/treasurer Mary Dillabough who finished her position at the end of 2017. The DFA is still looking for a replacement and interested parties should contact the executive.

The 2018 executive includes: President Marty Derks; Vice-President Ryan DeVries; Directors: Jon Roosendaal, Jim Shaw, Tom MacGregor, Dave Kerr, Steven Byvelds (also past president), Albert Harber, Jake Sample and Warren Schneckenburger; OFA director Jackie Kelly-Pemberton; OFA member services representative Ruth Vogel; and DFA-PAC representative Bernie Vander Zweep.

The association gained 13 new members last year and hopes to continue building their membership across Dundas County. At the end of the meeting, Ronda Boutz from the South Nation Conservation Authority was welcomed as the guest speaker. Boutz outlined the work SNC has done over the past 15 months with funds from an Agriculture and Agri-Food grant.

The funds were allocated to a forecasting program across the Nation watershed and SNC was able to upgrade 11 monitoring stations to collect real-time data including temperature, rain and snow equivalency, ground water and soil moisture. These upgrades mean data can be collected instantaneously from anywhere and rendered to produce a 14-day outlook.

The funding will end as of March 31, but Boutz explained that SNC has plans in place to apply for more funding to continue their work. The hope is that the program can become a public resource, especially for producers to be able to make accurate timing and cropping decisions, and to distribute more probes into the watershed for region specific results. As of right now there are only six probes in play. SNC is open to hearing input from residents and producers as to what would work best in the program moving forward.

The meeting was also attended by local mayoral candidate Tony Fraser who aimed to ensure DFA members of his and the local government’s commitment to working with producers. On that note, Steven Byvelds encouraged all who attended to get out and speak with their candidates for the municipal and provincial elections and promote the inclusion of agriculture in Ontario’s future.