By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
On Friday, interim Ontario PC Leader Jim Wilson announced the Critic portfolios for the Ontario PC Caucus which included a change for agriculture. Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford, who has long served as the party’s agriculture critic has been moved to Municipal Affairs and Housing. The agriculture critic portfolio has been given to long time MPP for Haldiman-Norfolk, Toby Barrett, who will be addressing agriculture issues over the next four years.
Barrett says he is looking forward to serving in the role as agriculture critic. “I am very pleased with the appointment,” he said in an interview with Farms.com. “My background is farm-based,” adding that his family farm(s), where he grew up, are all still in the family. Both sides of his family continue to farm today. On his mother’s side, the 400-acre farm is located near Port Dover, ON., and has been in the Barrett family since 1796, a total of seven generations. “I am in a wonderful agriculture area,” he said.
Quick facts about the PC agriculture critic:
- Barrett was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1995 provincial election
- He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and a Master of Science degree from the Ontario Agriculture College
- He taught agriculture in the school system (high school)
- He grew up on a family farm (mixed operation) – cash crop, beef cattle, dairy, sheep, and poultry
- He is the past president of the Norfolk Farm Safety Association and the Norfolk Federation of Agriculture