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Association Business & President Report

2023 President Report

Steve Sickle, Brant County, Georgian Central Region

As I reflect on a year of being president of this fine OSCIA organization a lot of things come to mind of what has gone on this past year.  First, I would like to thank the Board of Directors for their support and dedication to the organization.  Some of the meetings this year were held frequently and happened when we were in tractor seats or should have been in a tractor seat, but you stayed involved and engaged.  You all had input and made excellent choices when you still had decisions to make at home in your own operations.

OSCIA had a busy year administering programs and because of diversifying our income streams and focusing in on reducing operating costs we were able to use black ink for our financials.  Implementing a new staff organisation structure has helped address the ongoing business needs of the business as we continue to grow and access new funding programs to deliver. Thanks to field staff and office staff for enduring and adapting to the change and to those who took on new roles in the organisation.  A big thank you to everyone for their long hours and being flexible in taking on new and changing responsibilities. All staff are important to the Board, and we appreciate your ongoing commitment.

It has been a balancing act locally and provincially how to conduct events and meeting effectively.  Whether events get done in person, virtually or both and what will give the best outcome, is something we all struggle with.  Two big compaction days took place this past year in Norfolk and Quinte with great attendance and as we know farmers are last minute to sign up for these events which make it tough to plan for.  How can we all collaborate from the grassroots to the provincial office to make more effective events going forward is something to figure out in the coming years. Also, many great live and virtual events happened at the local level with great take home messages I’m sure are ready to implement on farmer’s operations.

Thanks to Andrew Graham for stepping back into an Interim ED position and putting his retirement plans with his family on hold for six months.  It made the lives of the directors much easier, and we appreciate Andy’s sacrifice very much.  The board did a ton of leg work narrowing down the search process for Andy’s replacement which ended in October with the directors choosing our new Executive director Ashley Honsberger to take over.  I’m excited to see where Ashley’s new ideas and different leadership style takes this organization. 

As I took on the President’s position I wanted to see an event take place along with the AGM to show on farm value to attendees.  We as directors chose spraying as the topic for an in-depth day of learning coupled with the AGM, and I am happy to say the day is sold out. This event brings great value for the membership because it’s a collaboration of a large working group focused on improving farmer’s operations by sharing the best knowledge.  I am looking forward to future topics and of how to grow this type of event in the future.

It has been a busy year as president but also have made friendships that will last a lifetime.  It has been an honour to serve the province in this position and look forward to another year on the board as past president.  OSCIA has a strong board of directors and is in great hands for years to come.  Thanks, and all the best in 2024 for OSCIA and the memberships farming operations at home.