At the Ontario Goat (OG) Annual General Meeting, you will have the chance to elect your Board of Directors that will represent you and your interests! OG Board of Directors serve on a voluntary basis, and are elected at large to rotating three year terms. Due to current vacancies and board member’s terms wrapping up, the OG Board is positioned for some exciting changes with new Board members joining in 2018. In advance of the Annual General Meeting and to help you get to know the nominees who are seeking a seat on the 2018 OG Board of Directors, here is an overview of the candidates in alphabetical order:
Michele Bowering, Ilderton, Dairy Goat Producer
Michele and her family have been milking goats for 13 years on their farm in Ilderton. Michele went through the process of taking her herd Caprine-Arthritis-Encephalitis (CAE) negative in 2012, and is now milking between 220 to 280 goats year round. Michele has served on the OG Board of Directors for the past three years and is seeking re-election.
Michele feels that “there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the goat industry and I would like to continue to be involved in the changes that we can get done by working together for the whole industry. Good things come from collaboration and a willingness to work together”.
Aaron Dykstra, St. Ann’s, Dairy Goat Producer
Aaron, his wife Michelle, and their six children milk 350 goats (Saanens, Alpines and LaManchas), cash crop 500 acres, and offer custom work services in the Smithville area. Aaron has served on his church council as well as the school board. Aaron is currently serving on the Gay Lea Foods Goat Producer Advisory Committee (GPAC) and is enrolled in their Co-op leadership course.
Aaron believes that “given the current state of our industry, it is important for all producers to have a unified voice and lobby for the benefit of the industry as a whole”.
Andreas Jackson, Winchester, Dairy Goat Producer
Andreas and his business partner manage their growing farm operation in Eastern Ontario. They milk around 300 does on one farm, with another 500 young stock, including calves from their cow dairy operation, on another farm where they milk approximately 76 cows and cultivate 400 acres. Andreas is currently a Director with the newly formed cooperative in Eastern Ontario – Goat Milk Canada Co-op.
Andreas suggests that “it is important that Eastern Ontario goat producers are part of the larger discussions and planning and that everyone work together for common goals. I want to be involved in moving forward and developing a strong future for all in the goat industry”.
Josh Landman, Grand Valley, Dairy Goat Producer
Josh and his family are full time dairy goat producers in Grand Valley. Having started milking goats in 2008, Josh now milks about 300 does in a newer barn built in 2015 with a double 18 parlour. The dry does and young stock are housed separately. They also crop approximately 300 acres (owned and rented). Josh is currently serving on the Gay Lea Foods GPAC and has also served as a Director on the Grand Valley Agricultural Society for the past two years, helping to organize the local fair and other local agricultural events.
Josh “would love to help with bringing new ideas and approaches to the OG Board as a Director. I think now is the time as a younger goat producer to get involved in my industry to help shape the future and understand how an organization like OG can work to benefit everyone”.
Marieke vander Broek, Springfield, Dairy Goat Producer
Marieke and her family have been milking goats since early 2017 on their farm in Springfield. They started out with 200 does, with plans to grow to 350 by this summer. Newly emigrated from Holland in 2016, Marieke also works off-farm as a bookkeeper with some farmer clients and has previous banking experience in Holland.
Marieke believes that “it is time that the whole sector comes together and takes one stand to get a stronger voice for a stronger sector. There is a lot going on and I want to help the sector with my experience and help bring everyone together”.
Amy Vingerhoeds, Hensall, Meat Goat Producer
Amy and her husband Peter have a 100 acre mixed farming no-till operation in the Hensall area. They have approximately 80 to 100 Boer-cross does for their commercial goat meat business and breeding stock sales. As well, the Vingerhoeds own and operate BSC Animal Nutrition where Amy works part-time. Amy is very involved in her community as a 4-H leader for the past 10 years, five of which have involved leading the 4-H Goat Club. Amy is also a member of the organizing committee for the Maple Syrup Festival and an organist for her church.
Amy believes that “it is important to represent the voice of meat goat producers on the Board so we can all work together on common goat issues. We have used and appreciated OG programs, services and resources and now is the time to ensure OG remains viable for the future benefit of all goat producers”.