2022 President Report
Warren Schneckenburger, Dundas County, Eastern Valley Region
Welcome Delegates and Members to the OSCIA 2023 Annual General Meeting. As I reflect on the past year as President, I can’t help but smile on all our accomplishments. I’m very proud to have had such a strong and vocal board whose passion for the organization has made the challenges faced this year significantly less daunting. To say we were busy as a board and executive is an understatement, but I think the results speak for themselves. As the veil of Covid-19 was lifted, I’m overjoyed to see so many well attended in-person meetings throughout the grassroots over the year. I know in Eastern Ontario we were all very pleased to be back in-person for seed shows, conferences, and summer events. Face-to-face learning is something we have all cherished and the pandemic brought that to our attention. That being said, the addition of a virtual option to the slate of in-person events has offered flexibility for you to “travel” across the province to access more events than you’d ever have been able to before. Education and the benefit of being an OSCIA member have never been higher.
Throughout the year I’ve worked hard with the board and staff to continue the financial measures we’ve put in place to return the organization to balanced books. This task has weighed very heavily on my mind the last few years, and with the aid of staff and Directors I believe our organization has become much more streamlined and efficient than ever before. Later in this AGM, you’ll see presentations on specific examples, and the results in our books as they’re presented. We worked hard to return the association to black ink and I’m proud of what we accomplished. With the work our staff has done to introduce and successfully attract sponsorship through our “Supporting Partners” initiative, we’ve been able to return many of the benefits to our grassroots membership that were enjoyed in the past.
As I mentioned before, Covid-19 isn’t in the forefront of our minds as in years past, and the MSTS was really allowed to spread its wings and fly. I’ve been involved with this project since its inception and seeing it in action has been fantastic. What an absolutely amazing piece of technology available to the membership to enhance in-person field days. I was able to attend several events where the high-definition screen was used to display information that everyone, regardless of how far away, could see easily. This was a huge investment into membership benefits, and I’m excited to see what ideas for its use the future will bring. Please keep in mind there are TWO trailers, a soil health lab is also available and unfortunately has been under utilized thus far. Let’s keep the momentum of our return to normal rolling into the 2023 year!
A major task that was placed on the executive shoulders this year was the hiring of a new Executive Director. We as a board took this extremely seriously and invested in our future by hiring Litherland & Co, a hiring consultant specialized in the Ag hiring industry to guide us through the process. I can confidentially say now at the end of the 16-month process, that we made an excellent decision and the candidates we attracted were top notch. A really challenging decision was made and I think Harry Stoddart is exactly the type of leader to take OSCIA into the future. I know the hiring committee learned a great deal in the process and I look forward to watching our organization grow under new leadership. Welcome aboard Harry.
This AGM is the culmination of an unforgettable year as OSCIA President. I’ve met so many amazing people throughout my time representing the Eastern Valley at the provincial level, fellow directors, staff, and association partners alike. For sure many lifelong friends, many of which will take this organization forward in a positive way. I’m certain of that. Thank you for your support in me this past year, and I look forward to my last year on the board as Past President.