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Ontario Pork Congress celebrates two industry leaders at AGM

NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

Annual Ontario Pork Congress Industry Leadership Award presented to two industry leaders.

October 19, 2015–John DeBruyn, producer, and Dr. Kees deLange, University of Guelph, shared the honour as winners of the Ontario Pork Congress Industry Leadership Award on October 19 in Stratford at the Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Pork Congress (OPC).

Christine Schoonderwoerd, 2014/2015 President of Ontario Pork Congress, commented that the Ontario Pork Congress Leadership award is presented every year to someone in the industry who gives freely of their time to provide distinguished service to the Ontario Pork Industry. This year, we had a record number of entrees for this award, and the vote tied on two very worthy gentlemen.

John DeBruyn has led the Oxford County Swine Club for about 10 years, sits on the Farm Practices Board of Ontario, is actively involved in Oxford County Land Division and Nutrient Management Regulations, is President of the Oxford County Pork Producers and a representative on the Ontario Pork Board for Oxford County and others. He has been very involved in Ontario Pork Congress; and can often be found out helping with the Bacon Maker Classic (formerly the Junior Barrow Show). In the past, John was voted OSI Producer of the Year Award and has been inducted to the OFA Oxford County Hall of Fame. John is recognized in Ontario agriculture as a successful leader, a great example and a mentor for youth in our industry.

Dr. Kees DeLange, from the University of Guelph, was nominated by one of his peers. He has dedicated his whole life to the improvement of the pork industry, and made numerous contributions to the nutrition and management of all ages of pigs, and all parts of the swine industry. He has been incredibly active outside of his regular job serving the industry on a variety of committees, boards and meeting organizing groups. His international stature brings recognition and respect to the Ontario industry. Many of the students he has trained work in the industry in a variety of capacities.

DeBruyn and deLange thanked OPC for the recognition both saying that they were honoured to share the award with the other.

The Lyle Heldmann Award for “grace under pressure” is awarded annually to a participant in the OPC Bacon Maker Classic. This year the award was presented to Dawson Howling, of New Dundee, Ontario. His father and grandfather participated in the OPC Junior Barrow Show which makes Dawson a third generation competitor in the live show.

Dan Kane, Chair of the OPIC Hog Jog Committee and members, presented a “large” cheque to Ontario Association of Food Banks in the amount of $42,000.00 representing the proceeds of the 2015 Hog Jog. He announced that next year’s charity will be Shelterlink, an organization that provides assistance to homeless youth.

OPC opened their AGM with guest speakers, Bernard Tobin of Farm & Food Care and Amy Cronin of Ontario Pork. Bernard encouraged attendees to tell the story of agriculture by sharing their own experiences and talked about the “Real Dirt on Farming” strategy of Farm & Food Care. Amy enlightened the group on 2015 Ontario pork industry production and trade statistics and provided an update on what Ontario Pork is doing for producers.

A new executive was also chosen for the Ontario Pork Congress at last night’s meeting.

Blair Cressman, Territory Manager for Zoetis Inc., will serve as President for the 2015-2016 year. As he accepted his new position, Blair stated: “I look forward to working with our 2016 Executive and many dedicated volunteers to ensure that the 2016 Ontario Pork Congress is a successful “Celebration of Pork” for our industry and many attendees.”

Other executive members include:

  • Past President: Christine Schoonderwoerd – Wallenstein Feed & Supply
  • 1st Vice President: Joe Dwyer – Dwyer Manufacturing Ltd.
  • 2nd Vice President: Chris Crump – Ontario Swine Improvement.
  • Treasurer: Kirk McLean – Stubbe’s Precast
  • Secretary: Jim Donaldson – Canadian Swine Exporters
  • Director at Large: Meghan Kirkpatrick – Agribrands Purina
  • Director at Large: Andrea DeGroot – MDG Farms Ltd.

The Ontario Pork Congress has been in existence since 1973 and has a goal of bringing together all segments of the pork industry and to showcase what it has to offer. To learn more about Ontario Pork Congress, visit www.porkcongress.on.ca.




For more information:

Lori Moser

OPC Managing Director


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