2021 Convention

At the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites and Conference Centre

See you Feb. 18-20, 2021

Please Contact

Kathryn Lambert,

Convention Administrator

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 519-287-3553

Book your Hotel Rooms starting MAY 1ST 


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Press Releases

Press Releases of the Association of Ontario Agricultural Societies

The 174th Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) Annual Convention was held from February 13th  to 15th  in Richmond Hill.  Over 1100 people attended this event.  Young ambassadors, representing fairs across the province, also gathered to build their leadership skills as well as learning of careers in agriculture.

The OAAS Convention organized a special session on governance to meet a growing demand from their membership. Presenters Cathy Redden, Shawn LaPalm, and Tim Carson (from the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies) spoke on the basics, best practices and the roles and responsibilities as Board Members.

Seminars and panel discussions continued over two days.  Over 40 sessions covered topics such as attracting youth to the Board level, being better at meeting with your local politicians, getting your message out into the community and current regulations such as livestock traceability.  At the same time people could view provincial competition winners in posters, quilts, cookies, tarts, and photography.  Entertainment showcases were held every night as well as a busy auction which saw a John Deere pedal steel tractor donated by Huron Tractor in Exeter sell for $825.  There was a heavy competition to see if it could surpass the winning bid on a New Holland tractor,  which it did.

The opening speaker, Farmer Tim (Tim May), addressed a crowd of over 600 on his journey to agvocacy.  He is a dairy farmer near Guelph who has just under 60 000 followers on Facebook.  He shares stories and pictures of the everyday  activities of his family and their animals on their farm and takes a lot of time answering questions and explaining farming practices to his many followers on his Facebook page.  His humor and pictures illustrate the love farmers have for their animals and how they treat them with respect.  Many of his online followers in the audience waited patiently following his message to get their pictures with him.

left Farmer Tim (Tim May) and right incoming President Brian Slaughter

The Convention closed with the Annual General Meeting.  The Convention Administrator, Kathryn Lambert, and Manager, Vince Brennan, spoke to the delegates about what they have done during the past year.  Outgoing President Doug Yeo from near Bayfield spoke on the things he learned during his year as President.  He stressed that Ag Societies need to dream big, that fairs are thriving throughout Ontario and that the Ag Societies need to tell their stories.  The OAAS presented Helen Scutt, a recently retired OMAFRA specialist, with its highest honour – the Meritorious Award during the meeting.  Helen formerly worked with Agricultural Societies assisting with their  needs and questions about  government regulations and programs and was a yearly presenter at the Convention.  She was extremely well respected by the membership and proof of that was receiving two standing ovations during the presentation.  The closing speaker, Jen Puente from the Wisconsin State Fair, stressed the need to drop being around negativity and remember to do the things that actually make you positive.  At one point some in the crowd proved they could make the situations as positive as she could.  The room was filled with smiles and laughter and the challenge was to do that every day.  The incoming President Brian Slaughter from near Forest announced that the OAAS would be celebrating their  175th Anniversary  next year and invited everyone back.

The OAAS is very grateful to their many sponsors that make it possible for us to continue to provide the many programs and services for our member Agricultural Societies.

The OAAS is the umbrella organization representing over 200 Agricultural Societies in Ontario.  These Agricultural Societies organize and manager fairs in many communities ranging in size from small one day events to large multi-day events. The OAAS provides guidance, education and programs to assist the Agricultural Societies host their fairs and promote agriculture and a rural way of life in Ontario. 



In response to the many questions and concerns from Agricultural Societies on their responsibilities regarding Livestock Traceability Requirements,  Guidelines and forms have been posted on our website - <click here>

These documents are intended to assist your Agricultural Society in negotiating all the numerous websites, documents and information that has been provided regarding Livestock Traceability Requirements.

An email with all the documents was sent on July 19 to all Agricultural Societies, Provincial Directors and District Directors and Secretaries.  We ask you to share them with your Livestock Committees and Board Members.

One of documents was the “Traceability Responsibilities for Owners and Exhibitors showing or displaying their livestock on Fairgrounds”.  We suggest you share this document with your Exhibitors, so they are aware of their responsibilities for Livestock Traceability Requirements as it pertains to exhibiting or displaying livestock at our Fairs.

 Our apologies for the lateness of this document, but it has taken a considerable amount of time to verify the information that we have collected from the various CFIA and other agency sites and documents.   

OAAS has worked with CAFE to create the documents to help answer your questions regarding exactly what our Agricultural Societies’ responsibilities are to remain compliant under  the CFIA Traceability Requirements.

We strongly encourage you to review the information on our  website <click here> to ensure that your Agricultural Society is compliant with the Livestock Traceability Requirements and would not face possible penalties due to violations of the Health of Animals Regulations, Part XV (Livestock identification and traceability)

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Stirling, Ontario, February 26, 2018.  The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) certainly endorses the appointment of Rob Black to the Senate. At the OAAS Annual General Meeting in Toronto on February 17, Vince Brennan, Office Manager, introduced Black to the members as a voice for rural Ontario and a friend of OAAS.

In the last two years Black has assisted the OAAS with its governance changes and with its development of a strategic plan. His knowledge of policy and structure for organizations has been invaluable to the OAAS as it renewed its structure.

Stirling, Ontario, April 5, 2016. As part of the organization’s ongoing operational plan for renewal, the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) has recently hired an Office Manager to support the board, executive and organization members across Ontario.

In announcing Vince Brennan, from Stirling, Ontario as the new hire, Elaine Rennie, President of the OAAS noted that “filling this position is another step in our ‘moving forward’ plan for the OAAS and we are on the right track to be more effective, efficient and relevant for our members in to the future”.  Rennie went on to note that “Vince brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Office Manager position from his various current and past organization roles”.

Stirling, Ontario, February 19, 2017. Russell Agricultural Society representative and past Board Member from District 1, Judy McFaul, was installed as the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) President for a one-year term at the annual Convention in Toronto February 16 to 18, 2017. Over 150 voting Agricultural Societies confirmed McFaul's position and also accepted a newly revised Constitution.

"We are pleased that our membership supports the recommended changes presented to them," said McFaul. "Board Members and Districts have been working towards a new structure, and we appreciate their vision and hard work."

The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) today announced a new information partnership with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. The association represents 300 organizations across the province, including 220 agricultural societies. To support this partnership, the OAAS announced at its annual convention in Toronto today that it has placed the Chatham-Kent Community Brandmark on its new website www.ontarioagsocieties.com under the Members Section – Funding.

Recently, the association discovered the Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Find Funding information database on the Internet. Find Funding Chatham-Kent is a user-friendly, easily searchable database containing links to hundreds of potential funding sources across Canada and beyond, including individual benefactors, private and non-profit foundations, corporate sponsors, and government programs of all kinds. The information database is intended to help local non-profit groups with great ideas for community development to find the funding they need.

February 16, 2013

The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) is pleased to announce a new Bio-security Initiative which will see the development of Bio-security Tips and Guidelines for Ontario agricultural fairs.  It is the hope of the OAAS that by increasing awareness about the importance of bio-security, it can assist its members in protecting both the public and the livestock industries in Ontario.  

The OAAS project partner is an Ontario company - Canadian Agri-Services Incorporated - that specializes in the areas of biosecurity, food safety and traceability. The project team will be hosting at least three focus group meetings and gathering information from agricultural societies across the province to determine the current level of bio-security at fairs, and identify any gaps that may exist. The project will result in the development of communication tools that will provide information on how agricultural societies can enahnce bio-security at the various fairs and exhibitions that occur in every region of the province.  

This project demonstrates the commitment of the OAAS in assisting its members in the celebration of rural Ontario.  The OAAS represents over 220 agricultural societies throughout Ontario.

Mark Beaven, General Manager of the OAAS states, "We want our members to be able to provide educational opportunities to the public about farming through the exhibition of poultry and livestock at the fairs.  At the same time, we want to ensure that we are also doing our part to protect the public, the farm animals and the agricultural industry as a whole."

At the conclusion of the initiative in the fall of 2013, the OAAS will be sharing the results with other provinces and their respective agricultural society associations in hopes that bio-security can be enhanced across the country.


Investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.


For more information contact:
General Manager
Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies
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