Ontario cow-calf producer Dan Darling is the new president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
Darling, who was the organization’s vice-president for the past two years, succeeds Dave Solverson, who ranches near Camrose. Darling and new vice-president David Haywood-Farmer were elected by acclamation at the CCA’s annual general meeting earlier this month.
Solverson steps into his new role as past president just as the repeal of U.S. mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL) rules take effect. Battling COOL was a seven-year effort for the CCA, and one that racked up nearly $4 million in legal fees. Solverson was also active in negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the successful implementation of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
Darling intends to keep up the focus on trade, with top trade priorities including achieving a bilateral trade agreement with Japan; access for beef from animals over 30 months of age with Mexico; and resolution of the long-standing technical barriers that have prevented the European Union from approving Canada’s main packing plants to export to the EU.
As traceability is important to expanding trade, he would like to see movement towards having the industry-supported Cattle Implementation Plan accepted as the business plan that best reflects the realities of cattle production.
“The CCA is well respected and has earned its reputation as an organization of influence because of the good work it does,” said Darling, who is past president of Beef Farmers of Ontario.
He and his brother Van also background calves on 1,500 acres in Northumberland County, part of Ontario’s apple-growing region.
Haywood-Farmer’s family has been ranching in Savona, B.C. for almost 100 years. A third-generation rancher, he is a former president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association.