MAGNETAWAN – The Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) could soon be no more – the name that is.
Magnetawan councillor Barry Mutton digs into hot roast beef during the annual meeting of the Muskoka-East Nipissing-Parry Sound Cattlemen's Association.
During the annual meeting of the Muskoka-East Nipissing-Parry Sound Cattlemen’s Association, held in Magnetawan Jan. 19, OCA Executive Director Dave Stewart brought forward a proposed name change, which the membership will vote on during the Association’s annual general meeting.
Upon receiving two-thirds of the vote, the newly branded Cattle Farmers of Ontario will be part of a large marketing campaign promoting Ontario beef.
“It’s been an ongoing discussion,” said Stewart of the proposed name change. “It was defeated (at the AGM) five years ago.”
According to Stewart the current name doesn’t draw as many website hits when people search “Ontario beef,” and is considered by some to be sexist as it refers to cattlemen, which seemingly excludes women. He also said the name would align itself with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
Some local farmers weren’t sold on the idea.
“When people hear ‘farmer,’ they think you’re just a dumb farmer,” said Magnetawan councillor and beef producer Barry Mutton. “They think if you can’t do anything else, you can just be a farmer.”
It was suggested the word “farmer” be replaced with “producer” in order to sound more professional.
Stewart said research using focus groups has proven the former is more effective.
“Farmer is the most trusted word based on the research,” he said. “Producers sounds too industrial.”
Stewart said regardless of the outcome of the name change debate, the organization will be investing in a revamp of its website, as well as a marketing campaign – they just need to make a decision on which name to use.
The Association AGM is being held in Toronto on Feb. 20 and 21. For more information, visit the OCA website at www.cattle.guelph.on.ca.