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Updated: January 16, 2020
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DFO's 2020 board executive and officers elected

January 16, 2020


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Today, Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) Board held a special meeting to elect the Board Executive for 2020.

  • Murray Sherk, Board Member Region 8, was re-elected as Chair;
  • Nick Thurler, Board Member Region 2 was elected as Vice-Chair;
  • Mark Hamel, Board Member Region 11, was elected as 2nd Vice-Chair;
  • Arlene Minott was re-appointed as Secretary to the Board;
  • Rey Moisan was re-appointed as Treasurer to the Board.

As confirmed by DFO’s Board on November 12, 2019, new Board Members Adam Petherick (Region 4) began his four-year term and Vicky Morrison (Region 9) continued the remainder of the four-year term from 2017, effective today.

The DFO Board, executive management team and staff congratulate outgoing Board Directors Sid Atkinson (Region 4) and Paul Vis (Region 9) on their retirement, and thank them for their many contributions during their time on the Board.

The following comments were offered to agricultural media:

“Coming out of a successful Dairy Farmers of Ontario annual general meeting this week, the Board held its annual executive board election,” said DFO Board Chair Murray Sherk. “I am pleased to confirm that Nick Thurler has been voted Vice Chair and Mark Hamel has been voted 2nd Vice Chair.
“Nick is a seasoned and well-respected dairy farmer, and since joining the Board last year, Mark has proven himself a thoughtful and credible leader. Both Nick and Mark are well aware of the issues facing our industry, and have been integral in helping us transition into a more strategic organization.
“I look forward to working closely with both of them in their capacities on DFO’s Board Executive.”

DFO's 2018-19 annual report available

January 15, 2020

DFO's annual report is an annual overview of the operations of DFO including milk quality, transportation, advertising programs and complete financial statements. 


View the 2018-19 annual report on DFO's new consumer site



“Building strong relationships with partners and seizing collaborative opportunities will be key ingredients to our collective success. It is an industry effort that keeps the dairy engine running.”

Cheryl Smith, CEO.




DFO’s holiday office hours / Heures d’ouverture pendant les fêtes

December 23, 2019

DFO’s holiday office hours

Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) head office will be closed between Dec. 24, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020. Producers requiring DFO services over the holiday period should contact their local field services representative. DFO will be maintaining key services for dairy farmers, transporters and processors during the holiday period. Staff will be available or on-call as needed.



Heures d’ouverture pendant les fêtes

Le siège social de Dairy Farmers of Ontario sera fermé du 24 décembre 2019 au 1er janvier 2020. Les producteurs ayant besoin des services des DFO au cours de la période des Fêtes doivent communiquer avec leur représentant des services sur le site. Les DFO continueront d’offrir ses services principaux aux producteurs laitiers, aux transporteurs et aux industries de transformation lors de la période des Fêtes.


CUSMA Update: Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement signed by U.S. and Canada

December 12, 2019

On Dec. 10, 2019, the United States and Canada signed the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). The U.S. Congress must now ratify the agreement, after which Canada will move forward with ratification. Mexico ratified on June 20, 2019.

The earliest a CUSMA implementation bill could be adopted is mid-February 2020. However, due to the structure of the agreement, with Canada being the last country to finalize its legislation, the most optimistic scenario would see CUSMA coming into force on April 1, 2020. This could change, however, should there be any procedural or political delays in either country and we will keep you updated on timing as this process unfolds.

CUSMA will have three main impacts on the Canadian dairy sector:

  1. The United States is given market access through tariff-rate quotas on dairy;
  2. Milk classes 6 and 7 are eliminated;
  3. The setting of global export thresholds for the following three products: milk protein concentrate, infant formula and skim milk powder, above which export charges will be added on any additional exports at the global level.

Dairy Farmers of Ontario awaits ratification of the agreement to know how and when CUSMA will come into force, and the more specific impact it will have on the sector.

Dairy Famers of Can­ada (DFC) statement, Dec. 11, 2019:

“The signing of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is a sad chapter in Canada’s dairy industry and for Canadian exporters. The access to our country’s dairy market given to the U.S. represents a significant loss, the equivalent of the combined dairy production of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Market access is only the tip of the iceberg. Concessions include an oversight clause that gives the U.S. the ability to intervene in the administration of our domestic system. The concessions also give the U.S. the ability to impose the equivalent of a cap on global dairy exports which will limit Canada’s ability to export dairy products. Would the U.S. ever accept such terms?”

—Pierre Lampron, President, Dairy Farmers of Canada




Click here for the PDF version of this article.


Afrim Pristine announced as Ontario Cheese Ambassador

December 12, 2019

Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) is proud to announce Afrim Pristine as the inaugural Ontario Cheese Ambassador. Through this new role, Afrim will partner with DFO to share, celebrate and promote the coming of age of Ontario cheese.

“I could not be prouder of this new role and help elevate awareness of the high-quality cheeses made right here in Ontario,” says Afrim Pristine, Ontario Cheese Ambassador. “The cheeses we have in this province are some of the world’s best, not only because the milk used to craft them comes from hardworking Ontario dairy farming farmers but because of their world-class taste and craftsmanship.” 

Afrim Pristine comes from a cheese-loving family, who has owned and operated Toronto’s Cheese Boutique since 1970. Afrim travelled across Europe, spending time in Italy, Spain, Switzerland and England to study and learn about various cheeses. He then continued to build on his family’s legacy by becoming the world’s youngest—and Canada’s only—Maitre Fromager, making him the perfect selection for this role. 

“DFO is thrilled to have Afrim Pristine join as the first Ontario Cheese Ambassador,” says Kate Longmire, Director, Marketing Consumer Programs, Dairy Farmers of Ontario. “With Afrim’s expertise and this newly established partnership, we will work together to help raise awareness of high-quality and diverse cheeses made in Ontario.” 

DFO is dedicated to supporting local food and businesses across Ontario communities. The new portfolio of Ontario Cheese Ambassador is further demonstration of that commitment. 


Media contact


View this article on DFO's consumer website.

Ontario government proposes trespass bill to protect farmers, animals and food supply

December 9, 2019

On Dec. 2, 2019, the government of Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) proposed legislation entitled Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2019.

Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) welcomes the proposed bill for its anticipated benefits to the Ontario dairy industry, DFO's partners and others in the agriculture industry. If the bill is passed, it will better protect farmers, their animals, livestock transporters and Ontario consumers.

“To Dairy Farmers of Ontario, this is an important step by Minister Hardeman and OMAFRA to protect the integrity of our food system,” says Murray Sherk, DFO’s board chair. “Dairy farmers want Canadians to have confidence in our high-quality, locally produced foods, including milk produced in Ontario. We appreciate the proposed bill as a response to our concerns about increased on-farm trespassing and the associated health and safety risks.”

The proposed bill reduces the likelihood of trespassing on farms and processing facilities by creating greater deterrents for trespassers and establishing and enforcing farmer’s rights and animal protection zones. Explicit prior consent would be required to access animal areas on farms. Stricter enforcement on trespassing would help reduce the risks of exposing farm animals to stress and disease and improve existing biosecurity measures to reduce contaminants introduced into the food supply.

In recent months, the Ontario government received hundreds of letters about trespassing on farms and agri-food premises and obstruction of livestock transport trucks, and more than 30 Ontario municipalities have passed or supported council resolutions that call on the government to strengthen protections for these targeted operations. The Alberta government passed similar trespass legislation on Nov. 28, 2019.

Ontario Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman and OMAFRA officials consulted with DFO, commodity groups, stakeholders and those impacted by interference to livestock operations to gather direct feedback on what the legislation should look like.

DFO is actively engaged in bringing this important piece of legislation to life and will provide updates as the legislative process evolves.


The proposed trespass legislation would provide the following measures:

  • aim to prevent risk of exposing farm animals to stress and disease and introducing contaminants into the food supply;
  • protect livestock in transport on motor vehicles;
  • allow the courts to increase the cost of trespassing with higher fines;
  • offer farmers compensation for any farm and livestock damages or theft, and protection from any trespassers’ lawsuits; 
  • require explicit prior consent to access an animal protection zone on a farm or food processing facility, and consent would be invalid if it was obtained under duress or false pretenses;
  • provide exemptions to allow access for law enforcement and persons appointed under provincial animal protection.


To read the full proposed bill, Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2019click here.

To read the full news release by OMAFRA, click here.




About Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Dairy Farmers of Ontario is the marketing board for the largest sector of Ontario agriculture and is proudly owned and operated by Ontario’s dairy farming families.






Click here for the PDF version of this article.

DFO's CEO Cheryl Smith receives a 2019 Golden Pencil Award

December 9, 2019

Congratulations to Cheryl Smith, DFO's chief executive officer (CEO), on being a recipient of the Golden Pencil Award on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ont., nominated by Lactalis.

This award was established in 1957 to recognize the efforts of both buyer and seller in developing and improving the Canadian food industry. This is one of the highest honours in the food industry. DFO is very proud of Cheryl and privileged to celebrate this incredible accomplishment of hers.

See more information on the Golden Pencil Award here. 


Pictured from left to right:

  • Arlene Minott, general counsel and corporate secretary;
  • Shikha Jain, chief strategy and administrative officer;
  • Rey Moisan, chief financial officer;
  • Cheryl Smith, CEO;
  • Murray Sherk, board chair;
  • Alan Grebinksi, director of business development.

Not pictured are Patrice Dubé, chief economics and policy development officer, and Sean Bredt, chief marketing and business development officer.

SickKids CP24 TV segment with Kael Morrison for Milk and Cookies program

November 29, 2019

Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) would like to announce recent media coverage of its SickKids partnership.


CP24 TV segment

On Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, on CP24 on TV, Lisa Charendoff, SickKids Foundation's associate director of community stakeholder relations, spoke about DFO's campaign key messages surrounding the Milk and Cookies campaign this season and the $500,000 donation, as well as dairy farmers' commitment and care for their communities.

Kael Morrison, the 12-year-old son of the Morrison dairy farming family in Frankville, Ont., had his live TV debut speaking about his experience at SickKids. 

CP24 Breakfast shared photos from the segment on Twitter and Instagram.


Watch the video of the full CP24 TV segment here. 



Media coverage

DFO has seen the following media coverage so far from the partnership announcement:




Click here to view the previous announcement for more information on the SickKids partnership and Milk and Cookies program as well as media contacts. 

DFO and partners will donate $500,000 to SickKids

November 18, 2019

A portion of all milk and OREO cookies purchased will benefit SickKids and other Ontario hospitals

TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2019 /CNW/ - This holiday season, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) and program partners are donating a minimum of $500,000 to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and other Ontario children's hospitals to help bring the magic of the holidays to all children, no matter where they are celebrating. From now through Dec. 28, a portion of the proceeds of all milk and OREO Cookies purchased at select retailers will benefit children's hospitals across the province, thanks to DFO, Mondelez Canada, the home of OREO cookies, Sobeys, Walmart Canada, Agropur, Longo's and Lactalis Canada.

"The ritual of putting out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve is a time-honoured ritual that shows kids' belief in Santa. We want all families to be able to embrace the magic in this tradition wherever they may be celebrating," says Sean Bredt, Dairy Farmers of Ontario's chief marketing and business development officer. "Dairy Farmers of Ontario is deeply committed to supporting communities where families have worked and lived for generations, which is why the organization is giving back to local children's hospitals across Ontario and helping all small hearts believe big this holiday season." 

The donation from all milk and OREO cookie purchases will support SickKids in Toronto, Ont., as well as children's hospitals in Ottawa, Hamilton and London.

"Every year, hundreds of children across Ontario spend the holidays in the hospital. Donations help fund activities and comfort items that make that time in the hospital feel just a bit more like home," says Lori Davison, vice-president, brand strategy and communications, SickKids Foundation. "SickKids truly appreciates the generous support from Dairy Farmers of Ontario and its partners in helping us support kids and families, including the development of a new state-of-the art facility that will greatly improve our ability to address their needs."

In addition to purchasing milk and cookies from Sobeys, Walmart and Longo's, families across Ontario can support the campaign by engaging with DFO on Instagram using the hashtag #SmallHeartsBelieveBig and tagging @OntarioDairy to share what they think Santa's perfect milk glass would include. For every idea shared on Instagram, DFO will donate $1 to SickKids up to a maximum of $20,000.




About Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO)

DFO is the marketing group for the largest sector of Ontario agriculture and is proudly owned and operated by Ontario's dairy farming families.

For more information, contact Mackenzie Biddie at:

Visit DFO's website:
Engage with DFO on Twitter: @OntarioDairy
Like DFO on Facebook: @OntarioDairy
Follow DFO on Instagram: @OntarioDairy


About SickKids Foundation

Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids – one of the world's foremost pediatric health-care institutions. Thanks to the generosity of the community, and as a result of a record-breaking year in fundraising, SickKids Foundation generated an unprecedented $159 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.

For more information, contact Taylor Huff at:
Visit the SickKids Website:
Engage with SickKids on Twitter: @sickkids
Like SickKids on Facebook: @sickkidsfoundation
Follow SickKids on Instagram: @sickkidsVS


View article posted on Cision

Board Member Elections Regions 4 & 9

November 12, 2019

Region 4

The ballot count for the 2019 Election for Board Member in Region 4 was held on Nov. 12, 2019, in accordance with the procedures detailed in Ontario Regulation 760, as amended, made under the Milk Act.

The candidate receiving the largest number of eligible votes in the election in Region 4 was Adam Petherick.

DFO’s Board, at a meeting held via conference call on Nov. 12, 2019, declared Adam Petherick elected to serve as Board Member for Region 4, for a four-year term commencing immediately following the adjournment of DFO’s annual general meeting of dairy producers, on Jan. 16, 2020.

Region 9

The ballot count for the 2019 By-Election for Board Member in Region 9 was held on Nov. 12, 2019, in accordance with the procedures detailed in Ontario Regulation 760, as amended, made under the Milk Act.

The candidate receiving the largest number of eligible votes in the by-election in Region 9 was Vicky Morrison.

DFO’s Board, at a meeting held via conference call on Nov. 12, 2019, declared Vicky Morrison elected to serve as Board Member for Region 9, for the remainder of the four-year term, commencing immediately following the adjournment of DFO’s annual general meeting of dairy producers, on Jan. 12, 2017.

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