Community Workshops Focus on Continuous Learning for Artisanal Chicken Farmers

BURLINGTON, ON – April 12, 2019 – Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is pleased to once again welcome Artisanal Chicken Farmers to CFO’s annual Community Workshops in April 2019. The workshops are designed as a community building opportunity for Artisanal farmers to meet and share their knowledge and experience with their peers, while also providing valuable technical training on the sustainable growing of safe, healthy, high-quality, locally grown chicken.

First launched in 2016, the Artisanal Chicken Program provides an opportunity for small, independent, locally based farmers to meet consumer needs in their communities. Licenced to grow between 600-3,000 birds per year, Artisanal chicken farmers serve a wide range of consumer markets from farmers’ markets and local restaurants, to specialty butchers and farm-gate sales. To date, the Artisanal Community Program has accepted over 150 farmers and continues to experience year-over-year growth.

“The Artisanal Chicken Farmers are an inspiring group of people who continue to demonstrate their passion for farming through their desire to learn and improve their operations each and every year,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of CFO. “These farmers are incredibly entrepreneurial in finding innovative marketing strategies that resonate. We look forward to growing the program even further in the years to come.”

“The board is committed to meeting Ontario consumer needs and interests,” said Rob Dougans, President and CEO of CFO. “Our Artisanal farmers accomplish this goal at a local level in terms of meeting market, product, and consumer needs for premium Ontario chicken, giving Ontarians more choice in how and where they buy locally grown chicken.” 

To support Artisanal Chicken Farmers in achieving their operational and marketing goals, CFO offers training and education opportunities through the annual Artisanal Community Workshops. For the 2019 event, CFO looks forward to welcoming guest speakers Dr. Scott Gillingham, Canadian Regional Business Manager at Aviagen Inc., and Dr. Mike Petrik, Poultry Veterinarian. Dr. Gillingham will be speaking on early chick performance, spring brooding, and poultry nutrition, and Dr. Mike Petrik, Poultry Veterinarian, will present on implementing best-in-class animal care. Additional workshop content includes discussions on the Animal Care Program and CFO’s new Disease Insurance Platform.

While the Artisanal Community Workshops are open only to current Artisanal farmers, CFO is actively recruiting new Artisanal Chicken farmers who wish to serve their local markets. For more information on the Artisanal Chicken Program, and for information on the application process, visit

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2019 Artisanal Community Workshops.  

Meet the Artisanal Chicken Farmers – CLICK HERE to watch the Artisanal Chicken Program video on CFO’s YouTube Channel.