Friday, February 3, 2023

Two women break Grain Farmers glass ceiling

Grain farmers have elected not only the first, but also a second, woman to the board of directors of Grain Farmers of Ontario.

They are Julie Maw of Courtright and Agnela Zilke of Embro.

Maw will represent barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers in Lambton county (District 3) and  Zilke  will represent them for Waterloo and Oxford counties (District 7). 

“Our board of directors strives to be strong leaders and having Julie and Angela join us will make us stronger than ever with the new experience and insights they will bring to our leadership,” said Crosby Devitt, chief executive officer at GFO.

“GFO has prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion,” said chair Brendan Byrne. “We have worked to build the reputation of this board and create an open environment that people want to be part of. We will continue to ensure that voices are heard and are welcome at our table. We look forward to working alongside our new board members to continue to advocate on our members’ behalf.”

Maw, has been District 3 treasurer for five years and Zilke has supported her husband while he served for about 30 years as secretary and treasurer for crop associations that later merged into District 7.

In Manitoba, Keystone Agriculture Producers, the province’s general farm organization, has elected its first woman president, Jill Verway.