International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP)
Jack Wilkinson, a farmer from Northern Ontario, has been involved with farming at different levels for many years. He is a Past-President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), where he served a six year term. Prior to that, he served as President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, as well as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
The experience that Jack has acquired over the years covers a wide range of topics. Within Canada, he has worked on farm policy, environmental risk management, food safety, and trade, chairing several committees and serving on several federal task forces. Internationally, he has represented and advocated on behalf of farmers at the United Nations, FAO, IFAD and other institutions, and twice participated on panels at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Jack formerly served as Vice-Chair of the Global Form on Agriculture Research (GFAR), the main objective of which was to direct agricultural research topics that will help to alleviate poverty through agricultural research and development and technology transfer He also has a keen interest in development work, helping to integrate the agricultural development activities of numerous aid agencies to approach issues in a coordinated fashion. Much of the work at both IFAP and GFAR involved organizing producers so they could produce and market more affectively.
Within Canada he is a Director of the Co-operators Insurance Company, a multi-line national insurance company, and serves as a director on a regional agriculture and consumer cooperative. He has been inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame for his work in improving the economic situation within rural Canada. In February of 2009, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Guelph for his contribution to Canadian agriculture.
Recently Jack was one of three farmers worldwide who was appointed to the “Year of the Co-op” United Nations committee to give advice to the Under-Secretary of the UN.
With his wife Julie, he continues to operate their Northern Ontario farm, and to speak at national and international events on issues facing agriculture.