Growing the AgriWorkforce

The Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Summit

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council was pleased to host the 2016 Growing the AgriWorkforce event in Winnipeg, at the Fairmont Winnipeg Hotel on March 14th through 16th, 2016.

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Thank you to our Sponsors!

Speaker Presentations and Bios

Shannon Benner

Chief Executive Officer
4-H Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

As 4-H Canada’s leader and a visionary in the field of positive youth development, Shannon has more than 20 years of experience with youth development organizations. After getting her start with Outward Bound in western Canada, Shannon went on to leadership opportunities with several youth organizations, including The Princeton Blairstown Center at Princeton University, and the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. Shannon was recently appointed as Chair of the Global 4-H Network Board of Directors, where she contributes her leadership skills and a Canadian perspective to the worldwide 4-H movement.

Terry Betker

President and CEO
Backswath Management Inc.
Narol, Manitoba

Terry is President and CEO of Backswath Management Inc., originating in 1992 and a company that provides business management expertise to farmers on strategic business planning, succession planning, financial analysis, benchmarking and human resource management.

Terry was actively involved in a family grain farm for nearly 20 years. The farm is now entering its third generation.

Terry has delivered presentations on farm business management to agriculture organizations throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands. He teaches at the University of Manitoba and serves on national and provincial committees. Terry is a professional agrologist, a certified agricultural consultant and a certified management consultant. He has completed the executive program for agricultural producers at Texas A&M University. He is the 2015 recipient of Farm Management Canada’s Wilson Loree award, recognizing his contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada. His credentials include certification in mediation theory and strategic planning, and a science degree in agriculture from the University of Manitoba.

Michael Burt

Director, Industrial Economic Trends
The Conference Board of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

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Burt is the Director responsible for the Industrial Economic Trends group at The Conference Board of Canada. Mr. Burt joined the CBoC in 2004, he has since moved progressively into more senior positions. Before joining the Board he worked with an economic consulting firm in the United States.

In his role, Mr. Burt oversees the maintenance and production of the group’s forecasts and analysis. He is also the project manager for the consulting work that the group completes. For example, Mr. Burt is presently working with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council on a project related to labour market information in the agriculture sector. Mr. Burt is also a spokesperson for the Conference Board and does presentations on the industrial forecast to clients and the public and is often cited in the media.

Mr. Burt has more than fifteen years of experience conducting industry forecasting and analysis. Mr. Burt has a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Toronto, and has also completed the Chartered Financial Analyst program.

Mark Chambers

Senior Production Manager
Sunterra Farms Ltd.

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Mark immigrated to Canada in 1995 & started with Sunterra farms. He came from England with 6 years’ experience in swine production. Over the last 20 years he has taken on numerous responsibilities with Sunterra. Mark is now the Senior Production Manager for Sunterra, looking after production from 13,000 sows. Marks responsibilities include the production management, budgeting & staffing including spending a lot of time on the foreign worker program. Mark has recently moved to Lucan, Ontario.

Mark is a past member of the Red Deer Swine Tech Workshop committee & currently a committee member of the Ag Industry Labour council, Banff Pork Seminar & Co-Chair of The Labour Task Force.

Doug Chorney

Doug Chorney serves as vice-chair of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and past-president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP). Prior to this, he was KAP president, chair of KAP’s Workplace and Employment Committee, and chair of its Rural Development and Land Use Committee.

Through his extensive board participation with CAHRC, he has led various workforce research initiatives and supported management improvements for Canadian producers. During his time as president, Chorney led KAP in a variety of initiatives on behalf of Manitoba producers – including a campaign to remove school taxes on farm land and buildings, and a lobby effort for federal intervention to address poor rail service that is preventing much of the 2013 crop from reaching market.

He has made countless presentations on behalf of CAHRC, KAP and Manitoba farmers to federal government committees and members of parliament, provincial ministers and organizations, and industry stakeholders.

Chorney farms 1,500 acres of cereal, canola, forage seed and pulse crops near East Selkirk. A portion of his operation is given over to the longstanding family tradition of growing vegetables and marketing directly to the consumer, a practice in evidence at the Chorney’s farm-site vegetable stand.

Chorney holds an agricultural engineering degree from the University of Manitoba, and has worked in the resource and aerospace industries.

Cyr Couturier

Vice-president, Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (
President, Aquaculture Association of Canada (
President, Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (
Ottawa, Ontario

Cyr has worked closely with aquaculture producer associations across Canada, and abroad, for three decades, providing leadership, advice and support to enhance benefits and output for their members. He completed his graduate work at Dalhousie University in 1986. He has 30 years experience in applied research, project development and management, teaching, and extension services in the aquaculture and fisheries sectors. He has held Board positions on the Canadian Aquaculture Human Resource Council (1996-2001), participated in a variety of labour market studies, NOS projects, and workforce recruitment efforts for the past 20 years.

Cyr teaches in a wide variety of programmes, from community-based, to junior high and high school, to university post-graduate (science and interdisciplinary), all with an aquaculture focus. He is currently project leader on several research and development projects with partners in the shellfish and finfish culture industries in Newfoundland, and elsewhere. He has worked with people from and in 18 countries around the world in development, trade missions, extension, labour market and occupational analyses, and technology transfer / science exchange programs.

Cyr participates in a range of academic, industry and professional organizations devoted to sustainable agrifoods (aquaculture) development. He is President of the Aquaculture Association of Canada, Vice President of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), President of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association and currently a Director, as well as am Executive Board member of CAHRC.

He has published in excess of 100 technical, industrial, peer-reviewed, and science and policy commentary articles, in English, French and Norwegian, several on labour market issues in aquaculture.

Andrew Coyne

Political Journalist
Toronto, Ontario

Insightful, provocative commentary on political and economic issues is what Andrew Coyne delivers to Canadians across the country. With topical and timely presentations, the former national editor of Maclean’s magazine and current weekly columnist for the National Post is sure to ignite debate and discussion with every audience.

In addition to writing for Maclean’s and the National Post, Coyne has been an editorial writer and columnist for the Financial Post, The Globe and Mail, and the Southam newspaper chain; he also writes regularly for a number of foreign publications. He is a frequent commentator on radio and television—most famously, as a panellist on CBC TV’s The National, for the popular “At Issue” segment.

Coyne is the winner of two National Newspaper Awards and a four-time finalist in the National Magazine Awards. A past recipient of the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism, he is also a Fellow of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Ron Davidson

Director, International Trade, Government and Media Relations
Canadian Meat Council
Ottawa, Ontario

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Presentation Title:
Meat Industry Chronic Labour Shortage Implications and Solutions

Presentation Overview:
Every day, Canada's meat packing and processing industry operates with hundreds of empty workstations. Farmers, workers, consumers, value-added, innovation, investment, exports, competitiveness, business sustainability, rural municipalities, jobs, and economic growth all lose when government policies place restraints on access to workers.

Ron Davidson was raised on a farm south of Ottawa, Ontario. He joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 1971 after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Macdonald College of McGill University. As a member of that Department his assignments spanned a variety of responsibilities activities including: inspection and enforcement; international market development; Parliamentary relations; and, assignments as a Trade Commissioner in the Canadian Embassies in Washington, D.C. and Paris, France.

In 1991, he transferred to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada where he held a range of positions, including: NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) negotiator; Deputy Director, Technical Barriers to Trade; Director, South America Division; Director, International Trade Development for Latin America, Middle East and Africa; and, Director General, Trade Commissioner Service Initiatives. International assignments included: Commercial Counsellor in Tokyo, Japan; Consul General in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and, Ambassador of Canada to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Yemen.

Ron departed the government in 2009 to become the Chief Liaison Officer in Ottawa for the Canadian Wheat Board. In 2011, he was appointed Director of Government and Media Relations for the Canadian Meat Council, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, and the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada. Effective March 1, 2014, he accepted the position of Director, International Trade, Government and Media Relations for the Canadian Meat Council.

Ron and his wife Marcia live south of Ottawa near the rural community of North Gower, Ontario.

Vicki Dutton

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Vicki Dutton is involved in the production of commercial grain, seed, and livestock; in addition Dutton has 25 years in international trade & export as a business owner, and currently as a senior trader for ADM. From this lifelong experience as an entrepreneur in agribusiness, Dutton knew first-hand the challenges of employment, and was privy to the issues affecting many of her farm clients. Dutton saw membership in the workforce task committee, as a means to address the workforce issues limiting agricultural opportunities.

Dutton advocates that agriculture will play an increasingly important role in driving innovation, building economic stability and providing opportunities in Canada for the future. To do so, agriculture has workforce challenges which we must overcome to grow the business for the future. As a task force member she represented PULSE INDUSTRY ROUND TABLE as a SASKATCHEWAN PULSE GROWERS director.

Dutton is a certified horticulturalist, university educated, proud to work with her husband David and their three children who are all also involved in agribusiness.

Dori Gingera-Beauchemin

Deputy Minister
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Upon receiving her Bachelor of Agriculture degree from the University of Manitoba, Dori Gingera-Beauchemin joined Manitoba Agriculture in 1979.

During her 36 years with government, Dori has worked in both front line as well as central agency positions including 4H & Youth Specialist, Chief of the 4-H Program; Director of the Central Region, Director of the Marketing & Farm Business Management Branch, Assistant Deputy Minister of Agri-Food and Rural Development Division as well as Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Agri-Environment Division.

Dori is currently Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s Deputy Minister. Dori and her colleagues are committed to advancing the sustainable development of Manitoba’s agricultural and food sector while supporting vibrant rural communities. The many programs and services offered by the department in support of farm and rural families, industry and communities aim at achieving a high quality of life through prosperous entrepreneurs and enterprises.

Dori and her husband reside and operate the Beauchemin family farm south of Ile des Chenes.

Debra Hauer

Project Manager
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council
Ottawa, Ontario

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Debra Hauer is an experienced Researcher and Project Manager at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council.

Debra has a Master’s degree in Adult Education and has worked within the agricultural industry for her whole career. She is currently managing the Council’s national Labour Market Information project.

Ms. Hauer grew up on mixed beef and grain farm in north-western Saskatchewan and has diverse experience in agricultural research and education. She has taught Soil Management, Crop Production and Horticulture courses at Wascana Institute in Regina, managed numerous agricultural projects and has acted as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan 4-H Council.

Leah Knibbs

Knibbs/associates HR Consulting
Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Leah Knibbs owns Knibbs/associates (Kn/a) HR Consulting and is a partner in Kn/a Sourcing People, a recruiting firm. She is a result-producing individual with a proven record of accomplishment in planning and leading comprehensive human resource management strategies. Her adeptness at communicating and HR knowledge has enabled her to work with a diverse group of clients and projects. Client organizations range from 3 to 2000 employees, operating in urban and rural areas, and are private and public.

In addition to owning and operating a professional HR Consulting business for the last 14 years, Leah is also a sessional lecturer with the University of Regina, and developed and delivered undergrad and graduate classes, on campus and via distant delivery. Leah has a Bachelor of Administration, a Masters of Business Administration, and three professional designations, Certified Human Resource Professional, Certified Personnel Consultant, and Certified Payroll Manager.

With humour and excitement, Leah provides thought provoking presentations and key note addresses. The Kn/a team, and specifically Leah, have written articles related to HR in a number of national and provincial publications. Leah has been interviewed for provincial magazines and quoted in national newspapers.

As a human resource consultant and business owner based in rural Saskatchewan, Leah understands and supports sustaining, developing, and growing businesses within major centers but also in the smaller centers and rural areas. And she might be one of the few HR professionals that has milked a cow and raised meat rabbits.

Janet Krayden

Project Coordinator
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC)
Ottawa, Ontario

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Janet Krayden is a Project Coordinator for CAHRC. She leads the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan project and assists on the LMI and NAOF projects. Prior to coming to CAHRC, she worked in communications and stakeholder relations for the grain and seed sectors and she had a career on Parliament Hill as a Legislative Assistant. She comes from a farm background in Acme, Alberta and she knows how to drive a tractor.

Dr. Jean-Charles Le Vallee

Senior Research Associate
Centre for Food in Canada
The Conference Board of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

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Dr. Le Vallée's research focuses on food, including recent work ranging from Canadian agricultural labour markets, global food safety rankings, to a pan-Canadian Food Strategy, food performance metrics, food standards, sustainability, food waste, produce consumption and marketing, fisheries and aquaculture prosperity, and more.

Prior to joining the Conference Board in 2011, he was a former World Bank food economist, as with Michigan State University, the World Food Prize, IFPRI, FAO, and former national Coordinator at AAFC’s Food Security Bureau.

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Executive Director
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC)
Ottawa, Ontario

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Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst is the Executive Director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national, non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues facing agricultural businesses across Canada.

Portia holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has a wealth of experience in strategic Human Resource Management.

Ms. MacDonald-Dewhirst is an active member of industry based Boards and is currently guiding the Labour Task Force and the national Workforce Action Plan for the agriculture and agri-food industry.

Terry O'Reilly

Host of CBC Radio's Under the Influence
Toronto, Ontario

Terry O’Reilly is the familiar voice behind the hit CBC radio shows O’Reilly on Advertising, The Age of Persuasion, and his current program, Under the Influence, where he explores the business, the craft, and the promise of promotion. In his intriguing talks, O’Reilly explores how our culture is shaped by marketing, as well as providing his expertise on branding, campaigns, spin, and more.

O’Reilly has won hundreds of national and international awards for his advertising work. He was named in Marketing Magazine’s “Power 100 List,” and in 2009, was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends. He is a recipient of the Les Usherwood Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named as Radio Chair of the Clio Awards. He has been given two lifetime achievement awards, one from the Advertising & Design Club, and the other from the Television Advertising Bureau of Canada. He has also been granted an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from McMaster University in 2012, and an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree from Humber College in 2014.

Away from the radio microphone, O’Reilly is the co-founder of Pirate Radio and Television, in New York and Toronto, which specializes in audio production for radio and television commercials, and is the author of The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture.

Robert Ouellet

Coordinator in Agricultural Employment
Longueuil, Quebec

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Robert Ouellet has worked for five years as Coordinator of Agricultural Employment for AGRIcarrières, Québec’s agriculture sector committee.

He organizes, supervises and controls the activities of Agrijob, an agriculture labor recruitment center in Montreal, in close collaboration with the regional agricultural employment centers. He is also involved in developing projects and acts as a coach to each of the 12 Agriculture Employment Centers (CEA) of UPA. In addition, he provides recommendations to management of AGRIcarrières and has an advisory role on the Quebec agricultural employment issues, while ensuring a link between various internal and external partners.

He is a graduate in Industrial Relations from the University of Montreal. Mr. Ouellet has nearly twenty years of experience in managing non-profit organizations, and team and project management, focusing on employment, training and qualifications of the labor, especially the environment and automobile sectors.

Murray Porteous

National Labour Chair
Canadian Horticultural Council
Simcoe, Ontario

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Murray Porteous is the National Labour Chair for the Canadian Horticultural Council. He is a fourth generation farmer whose family grows 750 acres of tree fruit and 110 acres of asparagus in southern Ontario. The farm’s apple, pear and asparagus crops are very labour intensive and labour is the single largest expense on the farm. Although the farm advertises year-round for farm workers, the absence of reliable local labour has resulted in the farm now employing 70 Jamaican workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

Murray has been an industry leader in developing systems to motivate employees and monitor quality control. This approach has resulted in a work crew that is highly regarded. Attention to detail and maximizing optimum harvest has given the farm a reputation for producing premium quality produce. Many of Murray’s employment practices were featured in the government of Canada’s publication, “The Agricultural Employer’s Handbook”.

Murray has served as Past President of the Canadian Horticultural Council and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association as well as Chairing several other agricultural organizations in his province. Currently, Murray is Chairman of the Board at Agricorp which administers Agri-Stability, Crop Insurance and Farm Business Registration for the province of Ontario.
He enjoys flying with his wife, performing in theatre and in the past year, has become a grandfather twice.

Mary Robinson

PEI Federation of Agriculture
Albany, Prince Edward Island

Mary Robinson grew up closely involved in the family farm which was established in 1810 in Augustine Cove, PEI. After completing her post-secondary education at Acadia University, Mary worked in the potato industry in the United Kingdom, both in agronomy and food processing. Along with her cousins Andrew and Lori, Mary actively manages Eric C. Robinson Inc. and its subsidiaries, a third-generation Family Agri-Business and recognized in 2014 as one of Prince Edward Island’s Heritage Farms. Eric C. Robinson Inc. is owned by Eric Robinson’s six grandchildren, of whom Mary is one. It grows potatoes, grain, soybeans and hay in predominantly a 4-year rotation, and grows, packs and markets seed and table potatoes in Canada and the USA. As well, it is passionate about woodland management.

Mary is a Certified Crop Advisor, and actively manages Island Lime Inc. She on the executive and board of CAHRC, as well the boards of MidIsle Farms and the National Program Advisory Committee, and is currently President of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture. Mary and her husband Mike have two school age children.

Johanne Ross

Agriculture in the Classroom Canada
Selkirk, Manitoba

Johanne is the Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba Inc. (AITC-M), a position she has held since 2000. She is also presently acting as Chair of AITC Canada and alongside her AITC colleagues from across the country, she is bringing the Ag education mandate to the national stage. Johanne has her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a degree she received from the University of Manitoba in 1987. Johanne grew up in Brandon and Winnipeg, but knew that she wanted to “go country” as she embarked on the agriculture program. During her time completing her degree, Johanne had great opportunities through summer employment to try out different fields of agriculture, including the crop protection industry in sales and research as well as the grain and livestock feed industries. An aggie through and through, Johanne has continued her career in the industry, now helping to inspire young people to care about where their food comes from and to look at the agriculture industry as an exciting and dynamic place to be! Through management of AITC’s engaging and interactive programs, resources and eight enthusiastic staff, Johanne has been able to work with thousands of educators, students and volunteers to cultivate an interest in agriculture in young people. Johanne loves to volunteer in her community and has served on numerous Boards including the Council for Post Secondary Education and as chairperson of her local Parent Advisory Council. With her husband Barry she lives on a mixed farm north of Minnedosa, Manitoba. They have three adult sons and you guessed it, they are all Aggies.

Scott Ross

Director of Business Risk Management and Farm Policy
Canadian Federation of Agriculture
Ottawa, Ontario

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Presentation Title:
Provincial Nominee Program Comparison by Province

Presentation Overview:
Alongside Janet Krayden from CAHRC, Scott will discuss industry's interest in ensuring producers have avenues to transition international workers into permanent residents. They will then provide an overview of recent research conducted by CAHRC, with assistance from CFA, exploring the agriculture and agri-food industry's access to provincial nominee programs across Canada.

Scott Ross has been the Director of Business Risk Management and Farm Policy at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture for the past 4 years. His work with CFA covers a wide array of issues, including business risk management programming, labour, taxation, and ongoing analysis of farm incomes, amongst others. Over the past year, one of the primary focal points of his work has been improving Canadian agricultural labour market conditions. Prior to the CFA, he completed a Master’s in Local Economic Development at the University of Waterloo, with a focus on the drivers of agricultural innovation, value-addition, and their contribution to regional economic development outcomes. This work culminated in his co-authoring a 2012 study for the Economic Developers Council of Ontario examining opportunities to promote agricultural value-addition through regional economic development strategies.

Suzanne Simpson

President & CEO
Human Resources Systems Group Ltd.
Ottawa, Ontario

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Presentation Title:
Investments in People Matter

Presentation Overview:
Drawing on over 35 years experience as well as the latest research in the field of talent acquisition and managemen, this session is focused on pratical tools, tips and information that result in tangible improvements to efficiency, effectiveness and bottom line results.

Dr. Suzanne Simpson is the President of Human Resource Systems Group Ltd, a firm she founded in 1989 to offer talent management research, consulting, product and training services. Suzanne is recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in the field of Competency-based Management, with particular expertise in the areas of: defining standards for selection, promotion and development at all levels, including executive and leadership roles; developing and implementing selection and assessment systems; performance management and appraisal; strategic human resource planning; as well as career development and succession planning.

Lane Stockbrugger

Producer, Agvocate and Farm Management Expert
LD Stockbrugger Farms
Englefeld, Saskatchewan

Raised on the land his family first homesteaded in 1909, Lane Stockbrugger is passionate about marketing, branding and image, especially as they apply to agriculture operations. He brings a unique focus on planning and brand management based on his wide-ranging work experience. Lane has an administration degree from the University of Regina, and he studied Principles of Agri-Marketing at the University of Guelph. His varied work history includes Labatt Breweries, Brown Communications and, most recently, Farm Credit Canada. Lane has now transitioned his focus to LD Stockbrugger Farms, the 4,000-acre grain farm he and his brother Lance started from scratch 22 years ago. He’s also a board member for Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission.

David Tharle

Chair, Labour Committee
Alberta Beekeepers Associaiton
Ardmore, Alberta

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David Tharle is an apiarist. He began life on a mixed farm in southern Alberta which had required the use of hired labour in varying degrees since its inception in 1902. For the past 30 years, he and his wife have been operating a commercial apiary in the northeastern part of the province. Through staffing this business and assisting others within his sector, David has experienced most of the programs (past & present), available to Agriculture employers for workers from Canada & abroad; including a number of the exchanges.

David was the inaugural Chairman of the Agriculture Industry Labour Council of Alberta (AILCA) and continues to represent his sector as well as act as SAWP liaison & a Labour Summit committee member for the group. He was a member of the Policy and Programs Working Group of the initial 2013 Labour Action Plan. With the addition of the Bee Health to the Value Chain Roundtables, he now represents Apiculture as a full member of the Labour Task Force and participated in the development of the updated Workforce Action Plan. He is a member of the Canadian Honey Council Labour Committee and Chair of the Beekeepers Commission of Alberta Labour Group. He has held, and continues to hold, a number of Chairmanships and committee leads for a variety of organizations ranging from municipal & educational governance to hobby & community organizations. He resides in Ardmore, AB with his wife and two daughters.

Ron Volk

Employment Coordinator
Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
Calgary, Alberta

Ron Volk is currently the employment coordinator for Employment Services at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. He has assisted newly arrived immigrants with integration and securing jobs for the past four years. Previously, he has been a teacher and principal with the Calgary Catholic School Board, an instructor at the University of Calgary, Teaching Program, a manager & coordinator for two not for profit organizations in education, employment & health, as well as an inspector for a home builder.

Mark Wales

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council
Alymer, Ontario

Mark Wales serves as chair of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and Agriculture Co-Chair of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force. He currently serves as the OFA representative and Vice Chair of the Labour Issues Coordinating Committee and is the agriculture representative for both the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan Committee and the Lake Erie Source Water Committee. He has also acted as chair of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) from 2012-14 and chair of the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council

Since 1986, Mark Wales farms a variety of vegetables, both fresh market and processing; corn, soybeans, white beans. Prior to this date he farmed Flue-cured, burley and black tobacco.

He has graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture from the University of Guelph, completed the Advanced Agricultural leadership Program in 1997 and is a Nuffield Scholar (2004).

Susan Yaeger

Senior Manager, Human Resources
International Recruitment Office
Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.

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Susan Yaeger has been heading up Maple Leaf Foods’ International Recruitment Office (IRO) since May 2007. The IRO acts as the central recruitment source and administrative support to Foreign Workers employed at Maple Leaf Foods.

Susan’s career started in the insurance industry, earning her FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute) and ALHC (Associate Life and Health Claims). In 1999, Susan took on the challenge of establishing Human Resource Administration for Maple Leaf Pork’s state of the art pork processing plant in Brandon Manitoba. Susan’s accumulated career experiences led to her appointment as Senior Human Resources Manager, International Recruitment Office. During this time, she acquired her certification as an HR Professional (CHRP). Susan is responsible for Maple Leaf Foods’ recruitment initiatives of foreign nationals as well as facilitation of all related applications. She acts as liaison between the facilities and all levels of government.