MISSION & HISTORY.
Professional farm contractors promoting sustainable nutrient application and crop management technology for responsible agricultural production.
It was during the peak of the PED epidemic in the winter of 2014-2015 that the need for the Ontario Professional Agri Contractors Association (OPACA) became clear to what would become its group of founding members.
“At that time, the government had provided some funding for equipment improvements to help contain the outbreak,” explains OPACA founder Sonke Claussen of Claussen Farms Custom Farming in Brucefield, Ont. “However, that funding was only available to farmers and not the contractors who were applying approximately 50 percent of Ontario’s manure and biosolids.”
This made contractors like Claussen realize that they needed to be officially recognized.
“A group of us met to discuss the fact that agricultural contracting had become a serious business in the province and that we needed to unite to represent our interests.”
After two years of conference calls, OPACA became a registered non-profit in 2017 and kicked off with a meeting at Canada's Outdoor Farmshow that September in Woodstock.
With inspiration from similar organizations in Europe and in Western Canada, and even the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario (LICO), OPACA hopes to create win wins in Ontario agriculture through bringing agri-contractors together.
“It has become a business with big commitments by company owners that expose them to financial and liability risks,” he says. “Huge pieces of specialized equipment need to be paid for and generate a return, and the use of new technologies, especially relating to precision farming, will grow.”
Agricultural contracting in Ontario is not going anywhere and a strong association representing the interest of all its members will benefit the entire industry.
A big thank you to our sponsors over the years!