Join us in giving a warm welcome to the newest addition to the OFT team, Rachel!
I’m Rachel Hopf, and I am the new Fund Development Manager here at Ontario Farmland Trust. I have been involved in the charitable sector since graduating from the University of Guelph in 2004, in both employment and volunteer capacities. My career has spanned across roles in administration, fund development, event coordination, marketing, community engagement, and even IT support! My past employment includes organizations supporting individuals living with dementia, compassionate care at end-of-life, children and youth who are victims or witnesses to crime and abuse, and affordable housing as a core need to improve life outcomes. I have also volunteered in a number of settings, most recently organizing volunteers within a folk music festival setting.
While I have not been directly involved in traditional farming experiences, I have always felt a great admiration for the rolling countryside of Southern Ontario. Growing up in rural areas, many childhood memories were formed wandering in the woods by a creek, fishing, camping, and a brief jaunt in a 4H club. Any chance to visit a neighbour’s barn, especially if there were animals inside to pet, has always piqued my curiosity. I have always had cats living with me, except for that first year in residence at university. I grew up learning how to grow a vegetable garden, how to tell different kinds of berries apart, and how to cook healthy, affordable meals. I have kept a garden in my backyard for the past 13 years, and I am a member of two hiking clubs. I am attempting, with modest success in this digital world, to pass these ways of living on to my son. So, when I heard about Ontario Farmland Trust’s mission and this new opportunity, I immediately felt drawn to it.
My goal in this role is to support, through fundraising and communication efforts, the education of the public regarding the finite resource of farmland and what that means for the environment and future generations. I intend to move people to want to make a difference, through positivity, creativity, and collaboration. I can’t wait to get to work!