January 15, 2013, Niagara Falls, Ont – The former vice chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) has been chosen by his peers to be the organization’s new leader.
Grape grower Ray Duc is the new chair of the association after being elected to the position at the organization’s 154th annual meeting. He succeeds Mac James, who stepped down after serving one year as head of the OFVGA.
“Environmental issues, including water use, are critical to Ontario’s fruit and vegetable sector and underline more than ever the need for growers to speak with a united voice,” says Duc. “A key focus for our organization this year will be working with the provincial government to have horticulture included under the umbrella of the Nutrient Management Act and I look forward being a part of that process as chair of the OFVGA.”
Duc farms with his son and brother-in-law on a third generation family farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake, growing grapes and tender fruit. He is currently in his tenth year as a director with the OFVGA and had previously served a four-year term on the organization’s board. He is also the past chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario and has been involved with various other agricultural organizations, including Farm & Food Care Ontario, Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service and CANAG.
“As a board, we’ve developed a cohesive working relationship and are committed to being the united voice of the industry on issues of interest to all fruit and vegetable growers,” says Duc. “It’s important for growers, including young people coming into the industry, to be actively involved in our organization as we work for the future prosperity and sustainability of edible horticulture in Ontario.”
OFVGA’s 2013 board also includes directors Brian Gilroy (apples), Norm Charbonneau (small fruit/berries), Jason Verkaik (fresh vegetables – muck), Mac James (potatoes), Jason Ryder (asparagus), Fred Meyers (tender fruit), Jan VanderHout (greenhouse vegetables), Don Taylor (greenhouse vegetables), Ken VanTorre (ginseng) and Mary Shabatura (fresh vegetables).
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