Dr. Warren Jestin

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has appointed Warren Jestin as the new chair of the board. He replaces former federal agriculture minister Lyle Vanclief. Jestin was formerly chief economist at Scotiabank until his retirement in 2016. 

First place and congratulations to the OFVGA’s website ‘The Grower.’  The Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation recognized media excellence at its 2018 annual conference and awards competition on September 22 in Winnipeg. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, second from right, with Rick Nicholls, MPP Chatham-Kent Leamington, left; Monte McNaughton, MPP Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and Minister of Infrastructure; and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture.

Ontario will hold the line on further raises to the minimum wage currently at $14/hour. And a new natural gas program should mean lower heating and fuel costs for fruit and vegetable producers. Premier Doug Ford made the natural gas announcement at the International Plowing Match.

Polymer Logistics’ Canadian profile in reusable containers for transport and merchandising systems just got a boost with the appointment of Eric Biddiscombe.  His long and broad tenure with Loblaw Companies gives him the ‘street creds’ to grow the Canadian arm of the company.

Alex McKay and Jordan McKay

Brothers Alex and Jordan McKay have won the 2018 Ontario Outstanding Young Farmer competition. They will compete at the national competition in Winnipeg from November 29 to December 2. 

Chris Van de Laar

The Grape Growers of Ontario and Farm Credit Canada have announced that Chris Van de Laar of Niagara-on-the-Lake has been chosen by his peers as the 2018 Grape King. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Peter, who won the same distinction in 1985. 

As fall swings into gear, watch for changes at the federal level in the Conservative shadow cabinet. Alberta MP John Barlow is moving from agriculture to the ministry of employment, workforce development and labour.    

Albert Van Oosten stands in front of an Agrifac sprayer.

Specialty Vegetable Equipment plans to open a bricks-and-mortar storefront near Norwich, Ontario in the spring of 2019. The partnership between Streef Produce and Albert Van Oosten is expanding, following the trend to labour-saving machinery.

John Vanthof

John Vanthof, an NDP MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane since 2011, has been named NDP deputy leader for the 2018 fall session in the Ontario legislature. He’s also a shadow critic for the ministry of agriculture, food and rural affairs. 

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