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Replacement named for retiring Farm Credit chief

Michael Hoffort to replace Greg Stewart on July 1

(Dave Bedard photo)

The federal government will promote from within to replace the retiring chief executive at its ag lending agency.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on Monday announced Michael Hoffort, executive vice-president and chief risk officer of Farm Credit Canada, will be the lender’s new president and CEO for a five-year term starting July 1, replacing the retiring Greg Stewart.

Hoffort, an ag economist by training with a professional agrologist (P.Ag.) designation, started with FCC in 1988 as an account manager and has been in upper FCC management for the past 10 years, in roles including senior vice-president, portfolio and credit risk; vice-president, Prairie operations; and vice-president, partners and channels.

“I am confident (Hoffort’s) vast experience and knowledge of the Canadian agricultural industry will continue to benefit FCC in his new leadership role,” Ritz said in a release Monday.

Hoffort is credited with delivering FCC’s Enhanced Risk Management program, which is meant to line up FCC’s risk management practices with those of federally-regulated financial institutions in Canada. Regina-based FCC’s portfolio of financing for farms and agribusiness, now sitting at over $26 billion, makes it the top agricultural lender in the country.

The federal government also credited Hoffort for leading “significant portfolio growth across multiple large business lines” and overseeing the “growth and modernization” of FCC’s customer service centre.

Hoffort also volunteers as a board member with the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS).

Stewart, 53, has worked for the agency since 1988, starting as a credit advisor in Manitoba. He was named FCC’s chief operating officer in 2005 and became CEO in 2007.

“Agriculture has been very good to me and has so much to be proud of,” he said in an article last month on the agency’s website. “But with success comes the responsibility to speak up about the positive contribution this industry makes to our economy and our country.”

Stewart, who helped create the Agriculture More Than Ever program, encouraging people working in agriculture to “speak positively” about their industry, said he plans to continue his work on the national boards for Food Banks Canada and Habitat for Humanity. — Network


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