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Swierenga honoured as a farm and food ‘champion’

Updated: May 31



A dependable presence in Niagara’s ag community, Farm and Food Care Ontario has honoured Henry Swierenga for his unwavering devotion to promoting the industry that ensures we have food on the table every day.

Swierenga received the organization’s Farm and Food Care Champion award at an event held in Elora last month. Given out each year since 1999, the award honours a group or individual who has shown significant public outreach and support for Ontario’s farming community, a press release said.

“Henry is a true advocate of the agriculture industry and, although retired from the OFA, still volunteers in the organization and implementation of several agriculture-related events and programs,” said Niagara Federation of Agriculture president Chris Mullett Koop in a letter of support.

Swierenga had a long career with the OFA, and continues his support as a volunteer with events such as Breakfast on the Farm, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and Niagara Farm Day. More recently he’s become involved with the organizing committee for the 2025 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, which will take place in Niagara.

The OFA nominated Swierenga for the award, with letters of support also coming in from Mullet Koop, and the OFA’s Joanne Fuller. Bruce Christie, a past chair and board member of FFCO, along with Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson presented Swierenga with the award. It took place at the FFCO’s conference.

In the nomination papers, Swierenga’s energetic and enthusiastic support for the agriculture sector was on full display.

“We are so lucky to have Henry’s passion, knowledge and experience still advocating for Ontario farmers, which makes him a perfect recipient for the champion award.” Fuller said. “Henry’s continued commitment shines through when he volunteers for every Breakfast on the Farm that Farm & Food Care organizes. I know when I am signing up to help that Henry will also be there.”

Thompson called it a “pleasure to recognize a dedicated advocate like” Swierenga.

“Through his ongoing commitment, Henry shines a light on how Ontario’s agriculture and food industry continues to grow, meeting both domestic and global market demand, while promoting the very best of rural communities.”

Farm & Food Care Ontario is a coalition of farmers, agriculture and food partners proactively working together to ensure public trust and confidence in food and farming. For more information visit, www.FarmFoodCareON.org. 

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