Hats off to Geri Kamenz as he rides off into the sunset after two solid years as president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture!
Geri took his final bow in that capacity during the federation annual meeting Nov. 24-25 in Toronto.
We say fare-thee-well... and then we immediately think weíre probably 20-30 years premature. You can bet that Geri isnít riding too far out of the agricultural politics spotlight. That would be too un-Geri-like.
The Ventnor beef, hog, and grains farmer loves this stuff too much. Heís a hard-core political animal with the right intentions of accomplishing as much as he can for Ontario and Canadian agriculture.
Here at The AgriNews, we watched him claw his way to the top of the OFA heap, spending several years in the executive trenches before reaching the pinnacle.
We have to admit we were surprised that, once he reached that exalted summit, he bailed after only two one-year terms. Others with less ambition have held on considerably longer.
He explained that he didnít want to overstay his welcome, to come in a hero only to be run out a bum. He wanted to go out on his own terms, in a positive way, perhaps even leaving the crowd wanting more.
We wonder if perhaps thereís something else for Geri already in the works, a public position with national implications? Did he have to clear the OFA deck to make himself available?
Geri, we have to ask you the same question we asked Shawn Carmichael across the way in AgriGab. Are you running for something else? Let us know if you are.
In the meantime, Geriís primary OFA legacy will be to have helped bring more respect to agriculture. In his own words:
"It used to be we had to fight for and demand recognition and respect from our governments. Now our governments are spending more time coming to us in search of solutions to the problems of society. And agriculture has evolved to the level where it can provide solutions."
Ah, sweet respect! Some people are automatically granted it and everything around them benefits.