Board + Staff

Meet our Board
You may recognize some of the faces behind the NFU-O. That’s because they’re Ontario farmers, and farm all across the provincethey might even farm in the same county that you do.

Before they held leadership positions within the NFU-O, they were actively involved in their Local. We welcome any farming member to get involved in the governance of their Local, and we hope to see your face up here over the next few years!

Emery Huszka
NFU-O President
Contact Emery

Tony Straathof
National Board Member
Local 330
Contact Tony

Farming for over 30 years, Tony has almost done it all. From dairy to forestry, he has a wealth of practical farming experience. However, he also knows how important new science and technology is to the changing landscape of agriculture. With advancements in soil science, genetics, robotics, and information technology, he finds that the NFU-O is a great way to learn and share with other farmers, and stay up to date on the latest happenings in agriculture.

Ayla Fenton
Vice President
Local 318
Contact Ayla

Marcelle Paulin
Women’s Advisor
Local 333
Contact Marcelle

Marcelle knows a thing or two about farming in Northern Ontario. Since she and her husband started their farm in 2009, they have been active members of the NFU-O. Farming 50 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, she enjoys the connection to other farmers across the province and Canada that she gets through the NFU-O and the relationships she formed with like-minded producers even at a distance.

Stephanie Laing
Regional Council Member
Local 334
Contact Stephanie

Stephanie farms a mixed market garden and sells both direct to consumer and into wholesale. An active member of the NFU-O for almost 10 years, it was hearing from smaller farmers, advocates for environmental stewardship, and proponents of diversity in rural communities that first got her interested and has kept her coming back all these years.

Don Ciparis
Regional Council Member
Local 306
Contact Don

A cash cropper of 36 years, Don brings a wealth of experience farming in Ontario to his position on the NFU-O board. He is a strong supporter of the NFU-O because he believes the critical eye the NFU-O takes towards farm policy is important for creating a fair and just food system locally and internationally.

Coreen McNally
Regional Council Member
Local 347
Contact Coreen

Coreen is new to the NFU-O, but she’s already found her place on our board. A seasoned livestock farmer, she pasture-raises beef, pork, lamb, and laying hens. Although she’s been farming for many years, she joined the NFU-O last year because she looked beyond her farm gate and saw the need to help build a strong voice for a sustainable future in agriculture.

Aaron Armstrong
Youth Representative
Local 334
Contact Aaron

If you’d like to contact any of our board by phone, please contact the NFU-O provincial office at 1-888-832-9638.

Meet our Staff 

While our team may be small, we’re mighty! Our crew maintains all the daily activities keeps the NFU-O up and running. But that’s not all, folks–we also take on a number of programs and special projects that help to advance the goals and objectives of the NFU-O. Our team certainly knows how to make hay when the sun shines.

Sarah Bakker 
General Manager
Contact Sarah

Sarah has been farming in the Kawartha Lakes region since 2005 and is an active member of local 345. She farms 100 acres with her family and raises pastured chicken and grass fed and finished beef. Sarah brings her background in marketing and fundraising multi-million dollar projects to the NFU-O, which has helped her grow the organization over the past six years. 

Aric McBay
Membership Development and Special Projects Manager
Contact Aric

Aric farms near Kingston, Ontario, and is an experienced community organizer. He was active in the NFU-O’s Food Down the Road Project, the New Farm Project, and the Save Our Prison Farms campaign. Aric works to develop new projects for the NFU-O, to facilitate training workshops, and to strengthen the NFU-O’s connections with allied organizations.

Anna Dipple
Communications and Special Projects Coordinator
Contact Anna

Anna brings her experience managing community gardens and educating students on urban agriculture to her role with the NFU-O. She understands the importance of building shared narratives with those who produce our food and those who eat it, and has creatively designed events that bring the two together. Anna brings her enthusiasm for growing the conversation around local food to all the work she does with the NFU-O.

Sana Ahmed
Communications and Programs Intern
Contact Sana

Sana brings her extensive experience working in the environmental non-profit sector to her role with the NFU-O. With a strong skill-set in public outreach and communications, she is an effective advocate for social and environmental issues and truly understands what makes movements and campaigns a success. Sana is excited to be working with an organization that advocates so strongly for environmentally and socially sustainable farming in Ontario.

Looking for general contact information for the NFU-O? You can find it here