Source: Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association
Niagara Falls ON, January 10, 2012 – Former provincial agriculture minister Steve Peters has been recognized for his contributions to the Ontario horticulture sector. Peters was named the recipient of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) Award of Merit, which was presented at the organization’s annual banquet last night.
“Steve is a very deserving winner of this award,” says Art Smith, CEO of the OFVGA. “During his time as Minister of Agriculture, he was very proactive in helping to advance our sector in numerous ways, including research and innovation.
Peters was first elected as Member of Provincial Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London in 1999, following three terms as mayor of the city of St. Thomas. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Food in 2003, and moved to the Labour portfolio as minister in 2005. Peters served as Ontario’s Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, and decided not to seek re-election last year.
During his tenure with the agriculture ministry, Peters was instrumental in the creation of a $17.5 million research and development fund for horticulture under the CORD IV program. He also launched the now popular spring-time Taste of Ontario event held annually at Queen’s Park to showcase Ontario-produced foods, and throughout his time in government, was a strong voice for agriculture.
“Steve was a tireless advocate for Ontario agriculture during his time in politics and we appreciated his ongoing efforts to promote our industry,” says Smith. “He was a real champion of food, farming and farmers and we wish him well as he moves to new endeavours.”
The OFVGA Award of Merit is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the fruit and vegetable industry. The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association is the voice of Ontario’s 7,500 fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse producers on issues affecting the horticulture sector. Visit www.ofvga.org.
For more information: Art Smith, CEO, 519-831-8770 (cell) or 519-763-6160, ext 115.