Newsmakers June 2016

Long-time executive vice-president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), Anne Fowlie, is leaving the Ottawa-based organization after almost 18 years of service. In her farewell announcement, she said, “It has been a privilege and a wonderful opportunity and much has been accomplished, including establishment of the Dispute Resolution Corporation, AAFC Pest Management Centre and CanadaGAP.” While she leaves on June 30, Fowlie pledges to continue working in the agricultural sector. On another CHC staff change, André Bourbonniere, has left the council. He was manager, policy development and research.   

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) welcomes Erica Pate as the direct farm marketing lead while Jessica Kelly is on maternity leave. She will work closely with the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, Farmers’ Markets Ontario and other groups.  

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has announced the appointment of Errol Halkai as its new executive director.  He joined CFA in 2009 as an international trade consultant and since 2015, has held the position of acting executive director. Brigid Rivoire, the previous executive director, has retired after serving in the role since 2001. 

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association welcomes Sasha Novakovic, formerly of Novaterra Environmental Ltd., to the position of water specialist. His degree in geological engineering from the University of Waterloo and consulting experience will make him a valuable asset as he assists Ontario growers with permit-to-take-water applications. He can be reached at 519-763-6160 ext 219 or He picks up the torch from George Shearer who is on temporary medical leave.

Also joining staff is Alex Nichols in the role of advertising sales representative for The Grower. He has held a number of positions in sales and marketing as well as the publishing industry. Based out of the Guelph office, he will be busy reaching out to advertising clients for upcoming issues and planning print and digital campaigns for 2017.  He can be reached at 519-763-8728 ext 218 or

Manitoba’s new agriculture minister is Ralph Eichler, MLA for Lakeside, replacing outgoing NDP Ron Kostyshyn. He will be in his post just a few weeks before the annual federal-provincial-territorial agriculture minister’s meeting scheduled for July 20-22 in Calgary, Alberta. 

In web-related news, The Grower welcomes sixth-generation farmer Keisha Rose as a new blogger to the A graduate of the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, she is working on her family-owned and operated potato farm, R.A. Rose and Sons Ltd located in North Lake, PEI. Look for her blog as she chronicles the summer potato-growing cycle specifically and agricultural issues generally on the Island. 

Condolences to the family and friends of Joe Polito who passed on May 6. As the Ontario Produce Marketing Association noted, “His passion for produce will be sadly missed by the entire community, including customers, growers, brokers, suppliers, tradespeople and members of the Canadian and provincial produce marketing associations.”  

Publish date: 
Thursday, May 26, 2016

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