Former Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) chair Brenda Lammens has been named the 2017 recipient of the organization’s Industry Award of Merit. The announcement was made at the OFVGA annual banquet on January 10.
For more than 30 years, Lammens and her husband Raymond have operated the family asparagus business, Spearit Farms, in Norfolk County. It was during her tenure as chair of Asparagus Farmers of Ontario that she also became OFVGA chair, the first woman to assume the role after the organization’s restructuring in 2003 and the first person to hold the position for three years.
“Brenda’s passion for the industry is unsurpassed. She has always been committed to making a difference for the growers she represented and that commitment is well rewarded by the widespread respect she has earned from government, industry and the farm community,” says OFVGA Chair Jan VanderHout.
Lammens served on the OFVGA board for seven years as a director, including two years as Vice Chair before becoming Chair in 2007. She was also part of the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario board for many years. More recently, she embraced leadership roles with the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council as Chair, with the Agri-Food Management Institute where she also served as Chair and as a member of the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal and Board of Negotiation.
Lammens also represented horticulture’s interests on many organizations and committees, including the Agricultural Adaptation Council and the South Central Ontario Region (SCOR).
One of her particular passions has always been supporting and mentoring women in agricultural leadership. She is a past winner of the American Agri Women’s Vision Award, and was selected to be on the advisory committee of the Supporting the Advancement of Women in Agriculture initiative by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council.
Lammens holds a Professional Leadership certification from Western University, and is an active volunteer with her church and local Norfolk County initiatives. She and her husband have two daughters and two granddaughters.