The Ontario Potato Board has announced the retirement of general manager Don Brubacher, effective October 31. He’s been with the board for 28 years, 18 years in the leadership role. His son Kevin Brubacher assumed the general manager’s role August 1 after a decade as field manager and office services coordinator.
Dennis Van Dyk has been named vegetable specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) responsible for potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, radish and horseradish. Previously, he was the University of Guelph’s integrated pest management coordinator for the Muck Crops Research Station in Bradford, Ontario. He is close to finishing his Masters degree in plant agriculture under the tutelage of Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald.
The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame will induct one of horticulture’s leaders this fall: the late James Bartlett. The agribusiness pioneer made tremendous gains for the Canadian horticultural industry through his leadership and vision. Born into the family business, N.M. Bartlett Inc., Bartlett led the Ontario-based company to become the only national horticulture crop protection distributor. James advocated for policies affecting importation of U.S. crop protection products. He helped create, and later chair, the precursor organization to CropLife Canada. And he championed the minor use registration of pesticides for small, specialty markets to keep Canadian horticultural growers competitive. James Bartlett was from Beamsville, Ontario and was nominated by Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. The awards event will be held November 6 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association hosted a town hall August 9 in picturesque Tracadie, Prince Edward Island to discuss industry issues with federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay. A public Half Your Plate BBQ attracted media coverage with chef Michael Smith, Half Your Plate Culinary Ambassador.
Remi Van de Slyke has been elected to the board of directors for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association representing the ginseng industry. He’s grown ginseng for 20 years and is currently vice-chair of the Ginseng Growers of Ontario. He replaces Ken Van Torre on the board.
The Prince Edward Island Potato Board, Cavendish Farms and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have announced an agronomy initiative to improve marketable yields of potatoes, sustainably. The working groups are chaired by John Ramsay, seed management; Jonathan MacLennan, soil improvement; and Nathan Ching, science and technology. Project leader is Ryan Barrett, PEI Potato Board.
Congrats to Linda Delli Santi, executive director of the British Columbia Greenhouse Growers for being chosen by the Globe and Mail as one of The Food 53. The five-part series celebrated the most influential people in Canadian food. She was lauded for her role in winning greenhouse sector tax relief from a carbon emission tax, arguing successfully that greenhouse growers need carbon dioxide -- created by burning natural gas -- to fertilize vegetable crops.
Peter Chapman, retail consultant and principal at GPS Business Solutions, has teamed up with Gary Morton to launch SKUfood.com. For more than 35 years, Morton has worked with agriculture and agrifood businesses. This on-line community is an opportunity for people to access free industry knowledge and to implement it in their own business.