Fresh veg grower new OFVGA chair
By Dave Harrison
Jan. 15, 2015, Niagara Falls, Ont. – The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association has a new board chair.
Current vice-chair and fresh vegetable grower Jason Verkaik (photo) was elected to the position at the organization’s 156th annual general meeting. He succeeds grape grower Ray Duc, who has led the OFVGA Board for the past two years.
“Building relationships is critical for being able to work successfully on behalf of farmers, both within horticulture and across the entire agricultural sector,” says Verkaik. “I look forward to working with the OFVGA board and our member associations, as well as other farm organizations in Ontario and at the national level.”
Verkaik is president of Carron Farms Ltd. near Bradford in the Holland Marsh, where the Verkaik family has been growing, packing and shipping farm fresh vegetables since 1934.
“As farmers we face many different issues that have the potential to impact how we grow fruits and vegetables in Ontario”, says Verkaik. “It’s never been more important to make sure that horticulture’s voice is heard when it comes to key issues like water use or crop protection, and we encourage the government to keep the industry at the table.”
Joining the OFVGA Board as new directors are Kenny Forth (fresh vegetables), Bill George (grapes) and Neil Reimer (asparagus).
The 2015 OFVGA board also includes directors Charles Stevens (apples and Crop Protection Section Chair), Norm Charbonneau (small fruit/berries), Mac James (potatoes), John Thwaites (tender fruit), Jan VanderHout (greenhouse vegetables), Don Taylor (greenhouse vegetables), Ken Van Torre (ginseng), and section chairs Ken Forth (Labour), Brian Gilroy (Property), Harold Schooley (Research), Mark Wales (Safety Nets), and Adrian Huisman (Canadian Horticultural Council).
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association is the voice of Ontario’s fruit, vegetable, and vegetable greenhouse farmers on issues affecting the edible horticulture sector.