This month John Ross is retiring as director of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Animal Industry Division to take up the role of executive director with the Canadian Pork Council based in Ottawa. He replaces Marin Rice at the pork council who will retire at the end of April. In his 30-year career with the Agriculture Department Ross has regularly served as the government’s point man with the livestock industry. Specifically, he has been involved in the implementation of genetic improvement programs, the creation of the domestic and export market development strategies, and the national beef, pork, and sheep roundtables. He also chaired the Canadian industry/government steering committee for the country-of-origin labelling (COOL) dispute. The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) serves as the national voice for approximately 7,000 hog farms, producing 25.5 million animals a year and generating over $13 billion in economic activity.
Ray Armbruster of Manitoba was presented with the Carl Block Award late in 2015. His dedication to the eradication of bovine tuberculosis from livestock and wildlife in and around Riding Mountain National Park for nearly 20 years was cited as one of the reasons for his selection as a recipient of this annual award presented by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). He is a past president of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association and former director of the CCA. He is also a director of the Manitoba Shorthorn Association. Armbruster and his family run a muti-generational ranch along the southwest border of the Riding Mountain National Park raising commercial and purebred Shorthorn cattle. The award honours the late Carl Block, a Saskatchewan rancher with a strong commitment to animal health. He was the first chair of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, the agency responsible for administering the national cattle identification program. He was also a director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the inaugural chairman of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition and a former president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association.
On March 1 Melinda German becomes the first general manager of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency based in Calgary in the offices of Canada Beef. The agency manages the collection and expenditure of the mandatory National Checkoff (NCO) on behalf of the industry. This latest turn in German’s career follows two years as general manager of the Manitoba Beef Producers and before that director of the Livestock Knowledge Centre operated by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.
The agency has been administered by Canada Beef since its inception. Following discussions about the need for some separation between the promotion agency and the collection of the National Checkoff the board of Canada Beef decided to set up a separate NCO division to look after the administration of the checkoff.
In her new role German will report to the board of Canada Beef but work with the funders — provincial cattle organizations, importers, exporters as well as governments — and will be accountable for organizational performance and alignment of the agency’s activities related to Farm Products Agencies Act.
The National Checkoff funds the industry’s research and marketing programs.
Tracy Hussey is the new executive director of Farm & Food Care Ontario replacing Crystal Mackay who has moved on to become the CEO of the national organization, Farm & Food Care Canada. Hussey has over 20 years of experience working in food- and health-related roles, with 10 years in senior leadership positions. A registered dietitian by training she has a master of health sciences degree from McMaster University and comes to Farm & Food Care Ontario with experience in the food industry, a hospital environment as well as family medicine.
The Dairy Farmers of Manitoba has appointed Ray Mangin to represent it on the board of the Manitoba Forage and Grain Association after longtime board member Lawrence Knockaert stepped down to take on new duties with the DFM.