The Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture (TBFA) was established in 1988 as the local chapter of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, (OFA) Canada’s largest voluntary farm organization.
With over 100 members, we represent primary producers in agriculture and associated businesses. Our mandate is:
- to promote agriculture to both rural and urban citizens
- to educate the general public about the agriculture industry
- to assist agricultural businesses
- to lobby the government regarding agricultural issues
- to increase public awareness about agriculture in Thunder Bay and beyond.
Some of the ways the TBFA reaches out to the public include farm drive tours, booths at local events and public speaking engagements. Visit our Event Calendar for more information!
Visible part of the rural community
The TBFA prides itself in being a visible part of the rural community, and you can often find our board members at agricultural events in and around Thunder Bay. There are fun events like the Slate River Plowing Match, The Murillo or Hymers Fall Fairs, and the Thunder Bay Soil and Crop Annual Spring Farm Conference.
The Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture is a proud supporter of farm, food, and agricultural education. We are members of the Ontario Farm Animal Council, a non-profit agricultural, educational organization dedicated to bridging the gap between farmers and consumers. And we support the Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc., a registered charity dedicated to providing high-quality food related learning materials to Ontario educators. We are involved in the Thunder Bay Veterinarian Committee as well.
Our local federation also strives to ensure that agriculture remains a vital part of the Thunder Bay economy and geography. We do this through discussions with politicians at all levels of government, and lobbying for the needs and rights of farmers and rural citizens alike.
Prior to 1988 there were a few local farms that were members of OFA, but there was no local association, and no representation to the broader OFA organization.
In early 1988, Gerry Carey, an OFA Field Rep, worked with Walter Drazecky, Pieter VanBallegooie and Don Belluz to organize a local committee by getting together individuals that were active in their community and involved in agriculture. The first Board meeting of the Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture was held at Walter Drazecky’s with Don Belluz, Pieter VanBallegooie, Peter Aalbers, Emil Meier, Emil Matyazovsky, Brenda Burke, and Tanya Petryna in attendance.
These people went on to form the first Board of Directors of our organization.
Our first Regional Directors to the OFA Board were Pieter VanBallegooie and Don Belluz.