Are you passionate about ecological farming and farmer training? Farmer-led research and knowledge sharing?
Do you support ending racism in agriculture?
Do you have skills, experience, or perspective to support the governance of a charitable organization?
The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) is seeking volunteers to serve on its Board of Directors, which helps oversee and guide the organization in its mission to support farmers to build resilient ecological farms and grow a strong knowledge-sharing community. We envision an Ontario where thriving ecological farms are the foundation of our food system, and where agriculture protects our resources, increases biodiversity, mitigates climate change, and cultivates resilient, diverse, equitable communities.
Established in 1979 by farmers for farmers, EFAO is a membership organization that focuses on farmer-led education, research and community building. EFAO brings farmers together so they can learn from each other and improve the health of their soils, crops, livestock and the environment, while running profitable farm businesses.
Since 2020, we have been working hard to ensure that our programs, activities, and governance support racial equity and reflect the diversity of the members and communities we aim to serve. We recognize and apologize that we have been late to this work. We are committed to ensuring that the organization works toward the goal of real representation for equity-deserving groups.
We are currently prioritizing applicants from BIPOC individuals, northern Ontario, and others from groups who have been underrepresented in the organization and systemically marginalized within the ecological farming movement at large.
In addition, we would welcome applicants with experience or expertise in the following areas:
- Urban agriculture
- Conventional field crops (especially small grains)
- Farmer-led research
- Seed saving
- New and beginning farmers
- Organizational change management
As EFAO works to broaden its reach and impact, we are always grateful to have board members who are interested in helping the organization connect to new networks and resources.
While this is an unpaid volunteer position, we are committed to removing barriers to participation, which may include reimbursement for expenses arising from attending board meetings and other board work.
Position Description: EFAO Board Member
Responsibilities of the Board
- Hires and evaluates the performance of the Executive Director
- Ensures that a long range strategic plan is in place and offers support in designing and carrying out this plan
- Ensures strong fiduciary oversight and financial management
- Supports fundraising and resource development
- Approves and ensures that by-laws are being followed
- Ensures that the Annual General Meeting is carried out each year
- Ensures that Board meetings occur at least every four months
- Assists with promotion of EFAO
- Assesses its own performance as the governing body of the organization
Responsibilities of Individual Board Members
- Know the organization’s mission, policies, programs and needs
- Serve as advocate and ambassador for the organization and engage in identifying and securing the financial resources and partnerships necessary for the organization to advance its mission
- Prepare for, attend, and participate in Board meetings
- Read and understand the organization’s financial statements
- Serve a full term, or in the case that this is not possible, advise the Chair of the Board immediately
- Uphold the organization’s bylaws, policies, and board resolutions
- Disclose potential conflicts of interest
- Maintain confidentiality about all internal matters of the organization
- The Board meets 5-to-7 times a year for approximately 2 hours by video conference on the first Monday evening of the month.
- The Board usually meets for one expense-paid in-person retreat annually.
- Attendance at the annual conference and other EFAO events is optional but encouraged.
- Depending on additional committee involvement, board members may spend an additional 2-to-8 hours per month on EFAO business.
Criteria and Requirements
- According to our bylaws, Board members must be registered EFAO members within 30 days of the AGM (April 2022)
- Non-farmers welcome, but knowledge of agriculture is desirable
- Experience working or volunteering in a non-profit or charitable environment would be an asset
- According to Corporations Canada, Board Directors must be >18 years old and not be in bankrupt status
- Access to computer and internet for video-conference meetings
- There are a variety of ways that board members can support fundraising initiatives but personal financial contributions to the organization are never expected
- We will be reaching out to applicants regarding the status of their application and to schedule get-to-know-you conversations in January 2022.
- A slate of recommended nominees will be presented to the EFAO membership for election to the Board in March/April 2022 for positions beginning April 2022.
How to apply
Thank you for your interest in the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario!