Holstein Canada's annual summer meeting
By Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
- AgriNews Staff Writer
GLENGARRY -- Every year the 12 board of directors from Holstein Canada convene five times a year for their board meetings. While four of the meetings happen at Holstein Canada's headquarters in Brantford, the summer meeting is always held in a different area of Canada. Last year's summer meeting took place in Alberta. However, this year has brought the meeting to Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, covering from Vaudreuil-Dorion to Glengarry.
The directors spend their week in meetings, visiting farms, and bring ideas forward that may help further the Holstein agriculture of Canadians. Farmers make up a lonely two percent of Canada's population. This means that they need strong committees and a board to help fight for the issues that concern farmers.
Holstein Canada has 10,000 members across Canada and the board's top priority is to meet the needs of those members. This was adamantly expressed by Holstein Canada's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ann Louise Carson. In her words, there are two main questions that she will ask when visiting a farm, "What is Holstein Canada doing well, that is working for the farmers, and what should Holstein Canada be doing differently?" Since Holstein Canada is a breeder governed entity, they are not subject to the demands or protocols of a government company. Carson expressed that this is why the board can focus solely on the needs of their members.
Carson is starting her fifth year as the CEO of Holstein Canada and worked as the CEO of Eastern Breeders, the precursor to EastGen, before her role at Holstein Canada. In her words, "it is so nice to come back to Eastern Ontario. I love the people and the area." The summer meeting has allowed Carson and her directors to visit a number of farms in the area including Cherry Crest Holsteins, Heidi Farms Inc., and Glengarry Stock Farms. The 2016 summer meeting will come to an end and the 12 directors will disperse to their own farms which range from the East Coast to Vancouver Island.