Grain Farmers of Ontario have named its 2018 executive, including Markus Haerle as its new board chair. Haerle replaces Mark Brock, who served as chair for the last three years.
The province’s largest commodity organization, Grain Farmers of Ontario represents 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers.
The balance of the 2018 executive committee is made up of vice chairs Brendan Byrne, director for District 1, and Mark Huston, director for District 2. Scott Persall, director for District 5, will hold the position of executive member.
Haerle is a director for District 14 (Prescott, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry), and has served on the board since 2010. He served as vice chair from 2015 to 2018. Haerle is also a member of the Wheat Marketing Committee, and is a representative for Grain Farmers of Ontario with the American Soybean Association. Public outreach is a major focus for Haerle, as his district delegates are responsible for building and running a fair and event trailer to help educate the public about grain farming and agriculture in general. Haerle believes his success as a director can be attributed to the support he receives from his district delegates and the farmer-members they represent.
Haerle and his wife, Roxane, farm more than 1,800 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat near St. Isidore, in eastern Ontario. They also have 20,000 laying hens, and Haerle is a councillor for the Egg Farmers of Ontario. When not in the field, Haerle can be found in the farm shop as he enjoys welding and creating or altering his own farm implements and machinery. Haerle and Roxane are parents to four children.
“Grain farming has a powerful legacy, but is also some of the most progressive agriculture you will find. I look forward to serving as Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario and to advocating on behalf of grain farmers in Ontario, and across Canada,” says Haerle. “It is vital that we continue to showcase the important work being done by grain farmers and to create strong ambassadors for this group.”