Today's provincial cabinet shuffle has planted Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson in familiar soil.
Premier Doug Ford's eight-person cabinet shuffle saw the Huron-Bruce MPP replace Ernie Hardeman as Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
"Minister Thompson has a valuable understanding of farm and rural issues and has a direct connection to those communities," said Peggy Brekveld, Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) president.
Thompson comes from a strong agricultural background, having grown up near Wingham and currently living in Bruce County on her husband's 120-year-old family farm.
A graduate of the University of Guelph and a Class 6 alumnus of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program and the George Morris Executive Leadership program, Thompson has always been a champion for the health and prosperity of agriculture and rural communities.
Brekveld said the OFA had worked closely with Thompson over the last year in her previous role as Minister of Government and Consumer Services, addressing the OFA's concerns with the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act and the potential negative impacts to its democratic structure.
"Minister Thompson has a valuable understanding of farm and rural issues and has a direct connection to those communities," said Brekveld. "We look forward to working alongside her to grow the industry and continue to focus on the priorities and opportunities that will stimulate economic growth for all Ontarians."
Keith Currie, Canadian Federation of Ag vice president and OFA past president, offered up his congratulations to Thompson, saying he's worked with her on several roles outside of government over the years.
"She has a long history of involvement in the Ontario Agriculture industry," Currie said. "I look forward to continuing to build that relationship going forward."
Brekveld lauded the Premier's appointment of a person with strong ties to agriculture to OMAFRA; she said the OFA would miss outgoing Minister Hardeman's passion and commitment to agriculture.