NewsMakers May 2016

Matthias Oppenlaender.

Matthias Oppenlaender is the new chair of Grape Growers of Ontario. German-born, he emigrated in 1984 to Canada where he now farms more than 400 acres of vineyards near Niagara-on-the-Lake. He is joined by vice-chair Bill Schenck and the following directors:  Steve Pohorly, Erwin Wiens, Jim Morrison, Brock Puddicombe, Debra Marshall, Scott Wilkins, Kevin Watson, Doug Funk Jr.  

Farm & Food Care Ontario has named Andrew Campbell, Strathroy, Ontario, its 2016 recipient of its Champion Award. The dairy farmer has been a leader in telling agriculture’s story in a positive approach through social media. 

Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Lambert, Niagara-on-the-Lake grape grower who passed away in mid-April. He was a former chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Association property committee, chair of the Fresh Grape Growers’ Marketing Board from 2014-2016 and an avid member of many agricultural committees. He was 55.

At the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers Association annual general meeting, the following board was elected for 2016/17:  Phil Tregunno, chair; John Thwaites, vice-chair; Dave Enns, David Hipple, Fred Meyers, Leo Devries, Brock Puddicombe, Rusty Smith, Ken Porteous.  The 2015 Award of Merit honoured Abe Epp, a longtime tender fruit grower for his contributions, particularly to the nectarine industry.  

The PEI Wild Blueberry Growers Association will continue with John Handrahan as chair after their recent annual meeting. He is joined by Phillip Jennings, vice-chair, Merrill Wigginton
treasurer, David MacNearney, secretary. Newly elected director is Leigh Jenkins, joined by Robert MacLean, Kevin Carver, Colin MacAulay and John MacDonald.

Scotian Gold Co-operative based in Coldbrook, Nova Scotia has announced the retirement of David Cudmore, CEO, after 33 years of service. The company is now helmed by David Parrish, who was previously chief operating officer.    
Sylvain Charlebois, frequent TV commentator and contributor to the Globe and Mail, is leaving the University of Guelph’s Food Institute and moving to Halifax. Effective July 1, he becomes dean of the faculty of management and professor in the faculty of agriculture at Dalhousie University.

Belated welcome to Carolyn Teasdale, British Columbia’s new industry specialist for berries. Based in Abbotsford, she has taken over from Mark Sweeney, who retired last fall. Look to page 20 for a B.C. perspective on spotted wing drosophila.  

Condolences to the family and friends of Norman Looney, who built a distinguished career as principal research scientist, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Summerland, British Columbia. He made significant contributions on Canadian expert committees on tree fruits as well as presidency of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science and Agriculture Industry of Canada. One of his greatest legacies was the outreach he maintained with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and his work with states in Eastern Europe, sub-Sarahan and Northern Africa. He passed away March 24 in Vancouver, B.C.  

Best wishes to Herb Sherwood, advertising sales representative for The Grower for the last nine-and-a-half years. He has been a familiar face at horticultural trade shows and been the friendly telephone voice to our advertisers. He leaves May 31 for a well-earned summer vacation and new opportunities beyond.  


Publish date: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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Ken Forth awarded honorary doctorate

The University of Guelph conferred an honorary degree on broccoli grower Ken Forth during convocation ceremonies on June 12.  He was cited for his decades of leadership work on the labour file that has taken him to Mexico, the Caribbean and meetings in Europe.

Chris Davison heads to Washington

With more than 25 years of experience in public affairs and communications, Chris Davison is leaving corporate and government affairs in Syngenta’s Guelph, Ontario office to take up a new role in Washington, DC. He is the new head, business sustainability for Syngenta North America.

Crystal Mackay launches Loft32

The former CEO of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity has announced her founding of communications company Loft32 in Guelph, Ontario.

John Jamieson takes on CEO role

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity has hired John Jamieson as its new president and CEO. Most recently, Jamieson served as deputy minister of agriculture and fisheries, and deputy minister of rural and regional development in Prince Edward Island. He was also a past executive director of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture.

Dairy farmer is new PEI ag minister

Bloyce Thompson is adding extra roles to his daily routine of milking Holstein cows. He is Prince Edward Island’s new minister of agriculture and land, justice and public safety and attorney general.