Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association

Fresh Facts

Providing knowledge and leadership to grow the farm fresh experience.

Newsletter #303

President’s Message
Seasons come and seasons go. Throughout my lifetime, the seasons have taken on many boundaries. It
took me years after graduating to stop thinking of the
year as Sept to June. That progressed to the tax season -Jan to Dec. then with incorporation -April to March.
Now my season begins at the OFVG conference. I can
have a fresh start to the year incorporating the many
ideas and information presented to guide us in our future
decision making. I find continuous learning not only
keeps life interesting but helps with stress reduction, and
improves my capability to solve problems at hand.
This conference is also an opportunity for us to catch up with old friends, make
new ones and share past experiences and knowledge. Connections are made
and reinforced. Networking helps reduce the isolation I sometimes feel being
on the farm solving the day to day problems. It’s finding out that maybe my
problems aren’t so unique after all.
At our banquet we celebrated excellence, presenting awards for - Farm Market
of the Year, Innovation and Leadership along with recognizing those in the
broader community who champion local Ontario grown food with our Food Ambassador award. Congratulations go out to Whitty’s Farm Market, VG Meats,
Bill and Dianne Parks of Parks Blueberries and Chef Lyn Crawford. Thanks
goes to Cathy for all her hard work in organizing both the banquet and summit.
We have been blessed to have a membership that is sharing, caring and strong.
I feel honoured to be your new president and look forward to connecting with
you over the season at the number of workshops and tours that are being
Currently I’m staying warm in the house, nurturing a newborn lamb that almost
didn’t make it. May your new season coming be full of life and happiness.

Leslie Forsythe
New OFFMA President

March 2015
Volume 31, Number 2

Inside this issue:
Membership News


Talking about


Produce Display




Stratford Tour


Musical Ambience


Webinar Report




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Fresh Facts

Delhaven Orchards Ltd.,
Blenheim, ON
Frozen, pitted sour cherries
available for wholesale and retail
Call 519-676-4475 or
e-mail delhaven@ciaccess.com
Bulk Frozen Berries
Looking for a good supply of frozen Ontario raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Contact
Heather Fraser,
Cardboard Bins
Looking to purchase used/new
cardboard bins. Call Sharon at
519-647-2415 or cell 905-3796769,
Market Manager for Nathan Phillips Square Farmers’ Market.
The market takes place on
Wednesdays from the beginning
of June to the middle of October.
Details are on the OFFMA website or contact the office for further information.
Classifieds are free for members. Send
your information to the OFFMA office
and it will be included in the next newsletter.

Final Goodbye

On February 14th, Vicky
Staite’s happy, bright light
was turned off forever.
Vicky and her husband,
John own Staite’s Honey.
They sold their product
wholesale to many OFFMA members and attended the Metro Hall
Farmers’ Market since 2007.
Vicky had a positive, infectious personality that
will be missed by all who knew her.
Our thoughts and prayers are with John and
their children; Jonathan and Marian.

Consumer E-newsletter
Edana Marketing and Communications
assists OFFMA by producing and distributing e-newsletters to consumers.
The next one is scheduled to go out just
before Easter.
If you have an event, product or activity you would like to promote, let the
OFFMA office know and we will try and
include it in the e-newsletter.

Josmar Acres from Lynden, ON for being
named Farm Family of the Year by the
Hamilton-Wentworth Celebration of Rural
Excellence Organizing Committee.
Great news for the deBlieck Family and
wonderful recognition for all their hard
Saunders Farm from Munster, ON for being awarded the People’s Choice Business
Awards for the Tourism Business of the
Year 2015. Mark and Angela were super
excited to receive this award in recognition of the amazing business they have

Annual Membership Fees are Now Overdue

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their membership fees for 2015.
OFFMA is only as strong as it’s members and the participation of those
members. If you have not sent in your dues, please do so before the end of
the month. You don’t want to miss out on all that is going on.

Newsletter #303

New Members—welcome to the OFFMA Family. The best way to get the most out of your membership is to participate in events and get to know
other members. We all look forward to meeting
you in person SOON!
John Hotchkiss
Riverbend Farms Aylmer, ON
Riverbend Farms grows a great line up of vegetables and fruit, almost everything you are looking
for. They also grow microgreens as well as producing honey, eggs, and flowers.
Kyle Oakley
Goldsmith’s Orchard Market
Thornbury, ON
Goldsmith’s Orchard Market is a farm market specializing in produce they grow themselves. They
also have a popular bakery specializing in pies
made onsite daily and featuring their famous
Thornberry pie. Whether you need fruits or vegetables or flowers or ice cream - they've got it!
Janis-Smith Harris & Mark Harris
Harris Flower Farm St. Thomas, ON
Harris Flower Farm grows seasonal cut flowers
and creates beautiful bouquets for the eco-

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conscious bride or event planner. They grow 20
varieties of sunflowers. They also raise pastured
pigs and sell pork sausages and bacon at Horton
Farmers’ Market.
Phil & Kathy Moddle
Arrowwood Farm Melbourne, ON
Arrowwood Farm features 50 acres of beautiful
woods and scenic gardens which are great for
photography, pick-your-own or ready-picked highbush blueberries, and a timber frame building (The
Harvest Table) which is perfect for special events
such as weddings.
Associate Members
HUB International Ontario Ltd.
Matthew Fleet
Oakville, ON
HUB International prides itself in being the leading
sales and service organization in the insurance.
They are the largest middle-market broker in Canada, the 10th largest broker in North America.
Carl Fletcher
St. Thomas, ON
Carl is a friend of Ontario Farm Fresh and former
OMAFRA Advisor to the OFFMA Board.

Some of our youngest
workshop attendees
during the preconvention workshop
with John Stanley.
From left to right is
Anna Boekestyn with
Ezra (Nokara Farms),
Kelty McKay with Ian
(Willowtree Farm) and
Hollis English with
Meyer (Murphy’s Farm
& Bakery) They
ranged in age from 1
month to 4 months.
The future looks

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Fresh Facts

Talking About Generations
By Jessica Kelly, Direct Market Lead, OMAFRA
John Stanley shared the strategies for
marketing to different generations at
the pre-convention workshop on February 17th. Another important perspective was shared at the North
American Farm Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) convention in
early February by Dr. Alex White of
Virginia Tech– how best to work with
a multi-generational team.
Some highlights from his presentation
From the Silents (1927-1945), who
grew up in a conformist era of selfsacrifice and discipline, to the Baby
Boomer (1946-1964) “me” generation
and the “latch-key” Gen Xers (19651980), it is valuable to consider the
changing environments in which different generations were raised. Millennials (1980-2000), now entering
the workforce or in the early stages of
their careers, were raised during good
economic times with an explosion of
technology and a nurturing, “everyone
gets a star” society.
While avoiding stereotypes, environment can be an interesting place to
start when trying to understand intergenerational dynamics in the workplace. One must also
remember that people
change with time, experience, personal situations, difficult times and
Tips for Mentoring Gen
X & Millennials
Gen Xers tend to appreciate hands-on, independent training, flexible
schedules, feedback,
and a casual, fun work
environment. When
mentoring Gen Xers, tell
them your desired out-

comes or expectations, but not how to
do it. In contrast to Boomers, Gen Xers
tend to be quick to make up their mind
and act upon it.
Millennials tend to appreciate a structured work environment, positive reinforcement, and interactive relationships
(less formal “supervisor-employee” relationships). When mentoring Millennials,
clearly state your expectations for quality and the “best management practices”
for meeting end goals. Millennials may
need extra support to set goals, deadlines, and create to-do lists. Consider
training in groups that engages multiple
senses and include formal or informal
Tips for Working with Silents & Boomers
When working with Silents & Boomers,
remember that they often value tradition
and authority and they are more concerned with results than work environment. They tend to get more conservative as they age, but this is true of all
generations! When communicating
with them, be sure to put your technology away and look them in the eye. Silents & Boomers often appreciate more
formality in a business setting and can
be put off by unfounded opinions, so
make sure you have the facts ready.
Try to keep an open mind about how
others might view a situation. Realize
that generational differences are a good
thing for our businesses and consider
these ideas for getting the most from
each generation…
Boomers: Express appreciation for their
dedication, hard work, and long hours.
Xers: Be clear about the desired results
and the rewards for good performance.
Millennials: Communicate the impact/
contribution that they are making to the
overall team.

Newsletter #303

Four easy-to-follow rules for produce display signs
By Louise Agius, Risk Management Specialist, OMAFRA
Ontario food is nutritious and tastes great! With local food in increasing demand,
how can you help consumers distinguish local from imported?
It’s simple! Comply with retail display sign regulations and your products’ origins
will be clear.
Section 24 of O. Reg. 119/11 applies to produce grown or harvested in Canada
and offered for sale in Ontario. The regulation outlines what is required on your
retail display signage.
First, the province or country of origin is mandatory, written as either:
“Product of”
“Produce of”
“Grown in”
“Province of,” or
“Country of”
Phrases such as “Locally Grown” can be added provided the information is not
misleading to consumers, but they cannot replace the province or country of
Second, your retail display signs should be legible with word size in proportion to
the sign’s dimensions. Third, if produce is sold by weight, include the price/
metric unit. Lastly, for peppers, the words “hot” or “sweet” are required so your
customers know the difference!
Complying with O. Reg. 119/11(24) helps your customers make informed purchase choices. Compliant signage also improves your transparency as a vendor, which in turn strengthens customer trust. The components of O. Reg.
119/11, s. 24 are required by law on all retail signage. So, ensure your signs include all of the above information to avoid any fines.
This spring, watch for new, easy-to-use online retail sign templates to help you
meet these requirements. They will be available at the Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs’ website at www.omafra.gov.on.ca.
More information can be found in the “Advertising and Retail Display Signs for
Produce in Ontario” Infosheet on the Foods of Plant Origin website at

Looking at New Ways to Source Funds for your Farm
Jennifer Stevenson, the Business Finance Lead at OMAFRA did a wonderful job outlining some of the alternate sources of financing that are
available. If you would like a copy of her presentation contact the OFFMA
office. If you would like to get more pointers on a crowd funding campaign you are putting together, you can contact Jennifer directly at

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Fresh Facts

2015 OFFMA Award Winners

This year’s Leadership Award went
to Bill and Diane Parks. The Parks
have been members of OFFMA
since 1987. The have been leaders
and innovators in the blueberry
industry as well as the direct farm
marketing industry. Diane is always
ready to share an experience and
learning that she felt would benefit
other OFFMA members. Bill gave
us a wonderful recap of how their
business started and some of the
challenges and successes they
faced along the way. They have
sold their business to their son
Bruce and he is now running it with
his wife Hope. Bill and Diane were
honoured to be presented the
Bill and Diane Parks graciously accept the Leadership Award
from last years’ recipient, Amy Strom

If you have been anywhere in the Niagara
Region, you will have noticed some of the
things that Whitty Farms has been doing.
Starting with an on-farm market where they
sold their gorgeous tender fruit crop, they
have expanded into a winery and bakery
that is second to none. They have stayed
true to the core values of quality, sustainability and innovation. They have partnered
with many groups to bring unique events to
their farm like the Field to Table dinner and
the annual Hand Made Market. This not
only allows them to give back to the community but also raise awareness of their
own business. The 2015 Outstanding Farm
Market Award could not have found a better
Brian Hugli presents the Outstanding Farm Market Award to Karen and
Doug Whitty

“In all that we do, we strive for harmony, balance and sustainability. Come share and experience our vision of a ‘Full Expression of the Land’ ”.—Whitty Farms

Newsletter #303

VG Meats have been doing creatively
outrageous things since they decided
a few years ago that all four brothers
wanted to be involved with the family
business. They have honed and focused on each of their strengths to
expand and create a sustainable operation. At the banquet they were recognized for their method of raising and
butchering beef cattle to create steaks
that were as smooth as butter. They
have also developed a scale and a
technique to rate each steak they offer
for sale. They guarantee that you will
have a tender steak every time you
buy it from VG Meats. For their efforts
they were awarded the Food Innovation Award which is sponsored by
Foodland Ontario.
Denise Zaborowski from Foodland is surrounded by Chad Van Groningen and
Sherri Griffen from VG Meats

OFFMA also recognized Chef Lynn Crawford
with the Ontario Farm Fresh Ambassador
Award. Chef Lynn has made a life in the world
of food as executive chef at the Four Seasons
Hotel and opening her own restaurant Ruby
Watchco in 2010. If that is not enough, she also
stars in an incredibly popular series Pitchin’ In
on Food Network Canada and has written two
best-selling cookbooks. Through her journey
she passionately talks about freshness and supporting the farmers and growers who make her
recipes possible. For all she has done and continues to do, we thank you, Lynn Crawford.

A gracious THANK YOU to our sponsors
for the evening. Their continued support helps to make these kind of events
Thank you for believing in our industry
and for celebrating the best of the best
with us.

Silent Auction Results

And if all these awards weren’t
exciting enough, we also had a
Silent Auction with some fabulous donations up for bid.
We were able to raise $1144 for
the OFFMA Family Fund with
your generous support. Thank
you to the donors and the winning bidders.

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Fresh Facts

“Such Stuff Dreams Are Made On”: Stratford Tour
By Gary Johnson, OFFMA Membership Coordinator
The 2015 Stratford Bus Tour wasn’t
the typical Foodie Tour of the last couple of years of visiting high end food
markets. It was more of a marketing
tour looking at different kinds of businesses that are in Stratford that benefit from being located in a high profile tourist
destination of the Shakespeare Festival.
We visited The Best Little Pork Shoppe in
Shakespeare which is in a hamlet just east
of Stratford. There we met with owner Bruce
Wettlaufer who bought the business from the
Knechtel’s who still own the farm. Based on
this unique relationship, Bruce has built the
business with the original pork sausage recipe that keeps local people and tourists coming back. He has expanded the business into
other areas such as the bakery and a gift
Our next stop was Rhéo Thompson Candies
where we were warmly greeted by owner
Kristene Steed who is incidentally the sister
of Suzanne Steed of Steed & Company Lavender (OFFMA member).
If you love chocolate, this is your nirvana.
You become intoxicated with the aroma of
chocolate when you first step in the door.
You get the full impact because the production area and the retail area are under the
same roof. Everyone was impressed with
cherry wood showcases, seasonal display
tables, creative packaging, and especially

The displays at Rheo Thompson Candies were colourful, enticing, and
hard to resist. Exactly what you want to have in your own on-farm

impressed with their
passion for what
they do, their commitment to quality
ingredients and local
ingredients where
possible. We were
also treated to some
very tasty chocolate
samples. Kristene
heads up the retail
store and ensuring
every customer enA mascot at Monforte Dairy
joys their Rhéo
where they make sheep milk
Thompson Candies cheese among others.
Lunch was a very special treat as it was
handled by the well-known Stratford Chef
School in a unique hard-to-find but popular
word-of-mouth Bijou Restaurant. All the
words associated with great food, gourmand, culinary, cuisine, apply to the dining
experience we all enjoyed.
Our tour would not have been complete if
we hadn’t visited with Ruth Klahsen and
Monforte Dairy.
Ruth is a real dynamo and entrepreneurial
risk taker of the highest order. She started
and operates one of Ontario’s premier artisanal cheese companies that works with
four milk streams: sheep, goat, cow and
water buffalo resulting in a tremendous
range of extraordinary cheeses. As well as
the dairy, she has opened a restaurant in
downtown Stratford called Monforte which
bills itself as an osteria featuring its wonderful cheeses in its meals. In addition,
Ruth has bought a farm that she calls Monforte Home Farm which offers a secure alternative to owning land as a new farmer.
In partnership with Monforte Dairy, there
are opportunities for five farmers for market
gardens, herbs, flowers, poultry, with longterm opportunities in beekeeping, fruit and
nut trees. It was great to hear from someone who knows what she wants and just
goes out and does it.
We made the last stop of the day the Stratford Antique Warehouse to allow for browsing time. With 22,000 square feet of furniture, depression glass, silver, crocks, china,

Newsletter #303

pressed glass, lamps, primitives, books,
art, hardware, dolls and toys, nostalgia,
memorabilia, tools, jewelry, records and
so on, there was a lot to look at. They
have 120 vendors who rent their space
and pay a commission to the warehouse
on anything sold. If you are looking for
props to display at your farm store, this is
place you have to pay a visit.
Colleen McKay summed up the Stratford
Bus Tour very nicely when she said: “For
me, it seems it is not as important where
the trip is and what stops we make, as it is
just really great to get out with fellow OFFMA members and relight the flame to get
ready for our next season. On our farm,
after finishing the season on Halloween,
you unwind a little, then it’s Christmas,
and we need something to help get us
excited about getting ready for our next
season, and I have found that the January
mini-bus tour does that, so that when the
Fruit and veg convention comes around, I
am fired up and ready to learn! “ Shakespeare couldn’t have said it any better.

The Canadian Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust is accepting applications for
their 2016 program.
Three scholarships of $15,000 each are
available for 2016.
Nuffield Farming Scholarships are awarded to enthusiastic individuals, with a passion for agriculture and a desire to expand
their knowledge, pursue new ideas and to
share their findings with others. Applicants should be in mid-career, be between
the ages of 25 and 45 (recommended only) and must have a minimum of five years
agricultural business or farming experience plus the management ability to step
away from their current duties. The Scholar must travel for a minimum of ten
weeks, with a leg of at least six consecutive weeks.
Applications are due by April 30, 2015
and forms can be downloaded from the
Nuffield Canada website at http://

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Fresh Facts

There’s Nothing Like a Musical Ambience, But is it Free?
Has your on-Farm Market been using
music for your business? You should
know that you should be paying licensing fees to either SOCAN or RE:Sound
or both. They are copyright collectives
that represent different legal rights and
interests. They both operate in accordance with tariffs certified by the Copyright Board of Canada. When a business uses music, it is adding value to
its business through
the use of the work of
music creators and
publishers. The person(s) who composed, wrote, and
published the
song are entitled to
be compensated for
the time, effort, and
money they put into
the creation of that
A licence gives you
the freedom and flexibility to use virtually any music you want for your business or public event - legally, ethically,
and easily. Without SOCAN and
RE:Sound, you would have to get permission and negotiate a royalty with
every songwriter, lyricist, and music
publisher whose work you intend to
play (publicly perform) – a feat that
most of us have neither the time nor
the means to achieve. Instead, they
make this process simple by allowing
users to pay a relatively small fee, often once a year.

By law, permission to publicly perform
music in your business is not automatically granted when you purchase
CD’s, mp3’s, or subscribe to online
music services, etc. – doing this only
allows you to use the music for private
(non-commercial) purposes. Similarly,
when you hire musicians to play music
in your establishment or at a public
event, the fees paid to them are for
their performance,
not to compensate
the authors and publishers of the songs
they perform. Even
when performers play
their own songs, they
are entitled to separate compensation for
those different efforts.
Recently, there’s
been some discussion about the use of
music and the rights
to music in our on-farm markets on the
OFFMA’s Members Only Facebook
Page. Join in and learn the answers to
a lot of questions and share the experiences of your colleagues. If you are
not a part of this Facebook Group,
simply search for Ontario Farm Fresh
Marketing Association (full name) and
ask to join.
For more information, and to understand which tariff applies to your business, go to www.socan.ca and

Resolve to save time and money in 2015 with the UPS® Members Benefit Program for
Ontario Farm Fresh members. With this program, you can ship from the comfort of your office or home – simply process your shipping label online, stick it on your document or package and schedule a pickup from a UPS driver. Automatic Daily Pickup® and UPS On-Call
Pickup® are FREE. Best of all, you can save 30% on outgoing shipments and more.
Visit www.membersbenefitprogram.com/OFFMA or call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377),
M-F, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. to start saving today.

Newsletter #303

OFFMA’s First Webinar
The first week of March saw the launch
of OFFMA’s First Webinar: Setting the
Stage for Your Success in 2015 with
Leslie Groves.
The webinar was about discovering how
simple changes can have a huge impact
on your business. Learning from merchandising expert, Leslie Groves, how to
maximize your sales space to give you
the return you need to build your future.
She took us step by step through topics
such as marketing, merchandising and
of course traffic flow to help us prepare
for your biggest season yet.
Several members watched the webinar
with their staff and then discussed how
they could apply some of the information they gathered to their own businesses.
If you missed out, you can find the webinar on the OFFMA YouTube channel at
v=DlAMMQ36VT0&feature=emupload_owner Pull up a chair and have a
look, share with your staff and watch
where their creativity takes them.

back from the dozen members that
she visited was very positive. OFFMA
will be offering that opportunity again
this year. These are the dates that are
available to book Leslie for a visit:

June 8-11,
August 14-17,
Sept 14-17
We only have a limited number of consultations available, so please contact
the office SOON if you are interested
in working with Leslie. The cost is
$200 for a half day consultation and
follow up report with Leslie. Here is
what some of the member who
worked with her last year said…….
We had a busy season and did implement some changes plus thought of
others. We also kept the store open
until Dec 21 and sold apples as well
as cider, honey and Christmas cookies, fruitcakes and gift baskets. It
went quite well - surpassing our expectations for the first post-harvest

OFFMA also worked with Leslie last year
on a project where she visited on-farm
We quite enjoyed your visit and I was
markets and helped them develop a plan especially pleased that you focused
to create more visually appealing meron the whole farm and not just the
chandising for their market. The feed

Retiring Board Members
At the Annual General Meeting in Niagara Falls, we lost two dedicated Board
Members who had completed their second three term on the Board. They both
joined the OFFMA Board in 2009. Steve Smith has contributed significantly in his
thoughtful, knowledgeable way. His true colour is ‘Green’ and that is reflected in
everything that he does. Colleen Pingle is one of the ‘originals’, she brought lots
of energy and ideas to the table.
The Board is also losing Jesse Lauzon. Since the president finished his term, Jesse was ‘bumped’ off. Jesse has been one of the most dedicated members any organization could ask for. He readily accepted any challenge and spent time discussing issues to find a creative solution. As president, he always had the best
interest of the members at heart and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Direct
Farm Marketing Industry.
Thank you to each of you for your support and commitment. All Board positions
are voluntary so members are providing their time and expertise for free. As an
industry we are all appreciative of your time and energy.

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Fresh Facts

Upcoming Events
March 13-22

Canada Blooms, Direct Energy Centre, for more info go to

March 23 & 24 New Vision Workshop with John Stanley, GTA location details will be on
the OFFMA website shortly. Limited to 15 businesses.
Ontario Farm Fresh
Cathy Bartolic, Executive Director
2002 Vandorf Rd. Aurora, ON L4G 7B9
Phone: 905-841-9278
Fax: 905-726-3369
E-mail: info@ontariofarmfresh.com
2015-16 OFFMA Board of Directors
Leslie Forsythe, President
Forsythe Family Farms
Nicole Judge, Vice President
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Brian Hugli, Past President
Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch
Kristin Ego MacPhail, Ego Nurseries Ltd.
Hollis English, Murphy’s Farm Market &
Cara Epp, Associate Member
Edana Integrated Marketing
Steve Martin, Martin’s Family Fruit Farm
Dana Thatcher, Thatcher Farms
Karen Whitty, Whitty Farms
Jessica Kelly, OMAFRA Advisor


Bus Tour to British Columbia

Stay Tuned for various Farm to Fork and Webinar offerings

Member Marketplace
Ontario Products—farm to farm
The Member Marketplace is up and running. It is a wholesale database
for OFFMA members to list and buy products by other OFFMA members. If you are wholesaling Ontario products, let the OFFMA office
know and we can add your information to the database.
If you are looking for unique products to carry in your on-farm market,
the Member Marketplace is the place to look.
The database is searchable and easy to use. A great place to start your
discovery of quality Ontario products.