Rural Ontario leader appointed to the Senate

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A leader in Ontario’s agriculture and rural community is one of Canada’s newest Senators.

Rob Black, executive director of the Rural Ontario Institute was named one of two new Senators from Ontario by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Feb. 15.

Why it matters: It has been a long time since someone so connected in Ontario agriculture has been a member of the Senate.

Black, who is also a Wellington County councillor since his election in 2014, has been the head of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) since it was formed in 2010. ROI advocates for and researches rural issues and also administers the long-running Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program.

The ROI announced that Black will help with the transition to a new CEO of the organization.

“We thank Rob for his many years of dedication and passion to the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) preceding the formation of the Rural Ontario Institute and especially for his guidance and stewardship since then,” said Suzanne Trivers, ROI board chair.

He has also held many roles in 4-H over the past 40 years ranging from member, to leader, to the founding executive director of 4-H Ontario. Black has also been the general manager of the Ontario Soybean Growers and worked for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for 15 years.

Black received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University.

The other new Senator from Ontario is Martha Deacon, an educator and director on the Canadian Olympic Committee.

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John Greig

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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