Farm & Food Care Ontario’s 30th anniversary was celebrated at its April 11th annual general meeting at Country Heritage Park. Appropriately, one of its Champion Awards was bestowed to an early bird who turned on the lights for the meeting – the CEO of Country Heritage Park, Jamie Reaume.
He was honoured for his two decades of experience as an agricultural advocate, both in the field and at the policy level. He is a veteran policy influencer, unafraid to forge new paths towards industry goals. His achievements stem from several posts, first as editor of The Grower from 2002-2008, then as founder and former executive director of the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association.
As a staunch believer in the productivity of the marsh – just an hour’s drive north of Toronto -- he dubbed the area as Ontario’s Salad Bowl. Under his leadership, the group was awarded the Premier’s Innovation Regional Award and released the award-winning documentary The Marsh Mucker’s Tale.
He is a former chair of the Ontario Food Terminal, the stock exchange for fresh fruits and vegetables and the produce distribution centre for Toronto.
Currently, Reaume is the CEO at Country Heritage Park in Milton, Ontario where he has revitalized the 80-acre park into a farming and food education and appreciation centre. More than 12,000 students, grades one to 10, participate in programs that include food literacy, history, outdoor education, sustainability, environmental awareness and the arts. The park now features community gardens, bees, livestock and a community kitchen.
Reaume is now collaborating on a project that provides land for new farmers and interest groups to farm economically and sustainably in the Greater Toronto Area.