The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) has announced that Gabrielle Ferguson will take the helm of its leadership program offerings, including its flagship Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP).
As leadership programs director, Ferguson will be directly responsible for managing the long-running agriculture and food industry executive development program. She will also work to maintain and create sponsor relationships for current and future programs for the non-profit organization, which is committed to developing leaders and facilitating collaboration on issues and opportunities facing rural and northern Ontario.
Ferguson replaces Rob Black who was appointed in February to represent Ontario in the Senate of Canada. Black, ROI’s former CEO, also handled the organizations program leadership responsibilities.
Ferguson comes to ROI with more than 25 years of experience in both industry and government, having worked with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Cargill, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Guelph. She is also an AALP graduate (Class 15) and lives on a grain farm in Lambton County.
Ferguson is expected to begin her position with the organization in September. “I’m looking forward to this new role and engaging with industry stakeholders to explore existing and new opportunities for leadership programming,” she says.
ROI’s current CEO, Norm Ragetlie, says Ferguson’s appointment will give the organization an opportunity to take a fresh look at its leadership programming offerings. “(She) brings a wealth of ag sector relationships to this job which we will build upon to ensure the needs of the sector are being met.”