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Dr. John Kelly to head Erie Agri-Food Innovation Initiative

February 23, 2009  By Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association


drjohnkellyNEWS HIGHLIGHT

Dr. John Kelly to head Erie Agri-Food Innovation Initiative
Dr. John Kelly has been named vice-president of the Erie Innovation and Commercialization, with a mandate to diversify the sand plains area of South Central Ontario Region (SCOR).

February 23, 2009, Guelph, Ont. – The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) recently announced that Dr. John Kelly has been named vice-president of the Erie Innovation and Commercialization, with a mandate to diversify the sand plains area of South Central Ontario Region (SCOR).

drjohnkelly
Dr. John Kelly

Through his tenure as executive director of MaRS Landing, Dr. Kelly brings many years of experience in the area of agriculture and agri-food innovation and commercialization. He will be starting his position at a Simcoe, Ont. location in early April.

“We knew that our biggest challenge would be to find the right person who possessed all the qualifications needed to fill this position,” said Brenda Lammens, chair of the OFVGA, lead organization for the initiative. “Dr. Kelly is extremely qualified and will bring professional credibility to our project and sustainability to our fragile agricultural sector. I am optimistic about the competitive advantage this will bring back to our sector.”

The southwestern Ontario sand plain is best known for growing ginseng, tobacco, asparagus and cucumbers. Tobacco producers hope to transition to other crops. The initiative is designed to match grower capacity with new opportunities, some of which may be in the industrial sector.

“We want to capitalize on the innovative climate in Ontario and the country, growing new crops and looking to harness the bio-economy,” said Dr. Kelly. “My first milestone will be to develop a strategic plan by the end of 2009.”

Dr. Kelly has a wealth of experience in the private and public sector and has held various positions with start-ups and multinational companies, including KeliRo Company Inc., Land O’ Lakes, Ralston Purina, Rhone-Poulenc Canada Inc. and Aventis CropSciences Inc., as well as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


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