Farmwork to Feed Canada

Farmwork to Feed Canada is a volunteer effort by Canadian communications, PR and marketing professionals and food industry partners to provide support to Canadian farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Canadian farmers rely on 60,000 temporary foreign workers each year to put food on Canadian plates. Finding enough farm labour this growing season presents a looming crisis for our farm community and all Canadians.

We have three objectives:

  1. Get the word out and bring farmers and workers together
  2. Foster greater public awareness, understanding, and support for agriculture and agribusiness
  3. Educate Canadians about the important role they must play to preserve and protect the security of Canada’s food supply

Farmwork to Feed Canada Team

Leadership Team

Mark Gregory
Managing Partner, Locomotion Communications and Public Relations Ltd.

David Rowney APR, FCPRS
Director, Internal Communications, Pillar To Post

Rick Mauro, APR, FCPRS
Managing Partner, Roderick and Company, Marketing and Public Relations

Andrea Collins, APR, FCPRS
President, ROI Communications

Judy Boswell
President, Muse Marketing Group

Marlene Huntley
Executive Director, Horticulture Nova Scotia

Alysha Kearney
Grad, Mohawk College PR Program

Sandy Manners, APR, FCPRS
Sandy Manners Communications

Advisors

John Kageorge, APR
Communications Strategist, Vital Communications

Martin Waxman, MCM, APR
Martin Waxman Communications

Mark Lavigne, MA, APR, FCPRS
Hunter-Lavigne Strategic Communications

Sheridan McVean, MBA, APR, FCPRS
Associate Faculty, School of Communication and Culture, Royal Roads University

Dustin Manley, APR
Customer Experience, Toronto Transit Commission

Stephen Murdoch
Vice President, Public Relations Enterprise Canada

Fred Sherman
CEO, Hill Solutions Public Affairs and Government Relations

Pamela Simmons APR, CFRE
Coreniche Consulting Inc.

Team Members

Monique Vezina, APR
Retired

Crystal Wood, APR
Senior Communications Officer, University of Alberta

Vince Guglielmi
Grad, Centennial College Bachelor of PR Program

Elyse Vander Ende
Grad, McMaster University Bachelor of Communications and Marketing

Andy Albrough
Art Director, Advertising and Marketing Communications at Mohawk College

Elena Coholan
Grad, Niagara College PR Program

Sarah Munn
Communications Specialist

Jessica Hough
Grad, Niagara College PR Program

Saskia Brussaard
President, Crave Consulting + Communications

Team Members

Ken Lee
Student, Advertising & Marketing

Miguel Gonzalez-Corte
Student, Mohawk College, Advertising & Marketing

Rebecca Lopez
Student, Mohawk College, Advertising & Marketing

Dragana Trkujla
Student, Mohawk College, Advertising & Marketing

Nicole Moll
Communications Assistant, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB)

Dorothy Hearne
Grad, McMaster University, Communications Studies

Stephanie Rochon
Digital Marketing Coordinator, Bunzl Canada

Heather Mah
PR Student, MacEwan University

Daniel Purcell
PR Student, MacEwan University

Claire Kroening
Grad, MacEwan University PR program

Melodie Edwards
Director of Communications, Investment Industry Association of Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Farmwork to Feed Canada?

We are a growing group of concerned Canadian PR, communications, and marketing professionals working as volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis. We aspire to identify, create, and to share compelling stories that inform and educate Canadians and help to preserve and protect Canada’s food supply which is essential to our Nation’s health.

I am looking for employment. Where do I start?

If you are physically fit and available to work, apply for a job on a farm or in an agri-business today. Check-out our Farmwork page with links to job boards and employment resources.

What can I do to help Farmwork to Feed Canada?

If you are a communications professional, retired journalist or a journalist ‘between gigs’ or a recent PR, communications, marketing, or journalism grad looking for real-world experience please get in touch with us.

How is Farmwork to Feed Canada funded?

Our group is completely voluntary. Our members are all working pro bono. We are an unincorporated not-for-profit team.

What is the purpose of Farmwork to Feed Canada?

We seek to collaborate with others to get the word out via digital communications channels. Our focus is evolving farm and agri-food issues, initiatives, activities.

How can you help other stakeholders such as farmers, farm groups, and government who are working on agriculture and agri-food labour and food supply issues?

We aim to amplify and multiply the messaging of key stakeholders. These leaders include Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, major agricultural and agri-food organizations, and agri-food companies. Our team of communicators can help to explain complex issues in language Canadians understand. Experts at social media engagement, our Farmwork to Feed Canada volunteers can extend the reach and impact of stakeholder messages that matter. Finally, as seasoned and talented communicators and former journalists, their goal is to bring stories to life that inspire, inform, and empower Canadians to action.

Why does Farmwork to Feed Canada matter?

The answer is a matter of the head and the heart. As concerned communicators, we are acutely aware of the threat that COVID-19 presents Canada. Farmwork to Feed Canada initiative is one way we can do our part as volunteers bring workers together with farmers and agri-food companies to keep our food supply safe.

Why are you communicating about farm labor issues when planting season has begun?

For some crops like asparagus that harvest from late April until June, this is true. Other crops and sectors such as fruit and vegetable production and viniculture are different. We are focussing on the full 2020 crop season needs of farmers – including greenhouse operators, for planting, tending, and harvesting.

The labour challenges that threaten our food supply are long-standing and won’t be solved in a short early spring campaign. Farmwork to Feed Canada has a broad, long-term vision. Also, we will be getting the message out to Canadians about farmwork leading up to the 2021 crop season to increase the capacity and training of a larger domestic farm labour force.