About Us - Board of Directors

OPIC serves the Ontario pork industry by identifying gaps requiring collective action by industry, and using its network to facilitate the filling of these gaps.  The pork industry in Ontario has generated remarkable opportunities and benefits for all, based on a free-market, free-enterprise orientation. It is also an industry that can be vulnerable, and by working together collectively in specific areas we can address threats and respond to opportunities.  

It is on this basis that OPIC focuses its resources and orients its initiatives, and seeks out partnerships, such as in Swine Health Ontario (SHO).  OPIC provides management for the SHO Science and Technology committee, composed of OPIC members.  OPIC also provides management services for the Ontario Pork Congress, the London Swine Conference, and the Hog Jog.         

This year OPIC focused on human resources, anti-microbial use, and support of animal health incident management in our projects and events. OPIC conducted a number of workshops in partnership with Ontario Pork and sponsors to inform and assist producers in accessing and managing Temporary Foreign worker programs.  The sessions were exceptionally well attended with demand exceeding space availability.  

Funding from the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) was obtained for a third benchmark study of antimicrobial use.  This third study will allow participants to review development over time, and will include an economic component that benchmarks expenses associated with antimicrobials.  Funding was also successfully accessed from AAC to support development of a Swine Health Information System that can work with electronic manifests to support pig disease control and mitigation of spread.

Organizationally, OPIC has renewed a focus on members and ensuring that it is engaging with all elements of the pork supply chain in Ontario.  To bring new members into the OPIC network as members will require new and greater initiatives; we look forward to building this in 2019.  The OPIC board has focused on ensuring that it has the appropriate operational and governance processes in place to effectively meet its mandate.  This include processes for professional evaluation of the managing director, and work still in progress to monitor and enhance performance of the board.  In conjunction with our Managing Director, the board is developing a new activity-based means of budgeting and looks to extend this to focus board meetings.

In the fall of 2018, OPIC launched a new website.  The new site is much easier to navigate and update, and will provide new functionality that will make it easier for registrants and OPIC personnel to register for events and membership- forthcoming in 2019.     The pork industry in Ontario enters 2019 with a sense of concern over new risks, but also opportunities, due to African Swine Fever. OPIC will determine where it can provide assistance to the industry by leveraging its voluntary network to help align responses.

It is my privilege to serve as Chair of your Ontario Pork Industry Council.  I thank my colleagues on the OPIC board, especially those stepping off the OPIC board- past-Chairs Jay Squire and Jeff Robinson, as well as Adam Rae and Angie Hurst.  Also thanks to our people- Trish Littlejohn and especially our Managing Director Andrea DeGroot, the professional and public face of OPIC.  We look forward to another productive and successful year in 2019.

Al Mussell

OPIC Board of Directors - 2018/2019

  • Chair - Al Mussell, Agri-Food Economic Systems
  • Vice Chair - Colleen Roehrig, Conestoga Meats
  • Treasurer - Tanya Terpstra, Birch Lawn Farms Ltd.
  • Secretary - Frank Wood, Ontario Pork
  • Director at Large - Denise Cassidy, Vetnoquiol
  • Troy Hamilton, DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred
  • Tanya Diehl, Tradition Mutual
  • Bert Caputo, RBC
  • Chris Gehl, Parks Livestock
  • Marlon Vernla, Vernla Livestock Inc.
  • Cathy Templeton, South West Ontario Veterinary Services
  • Al Scorgie, Demeter Vet Services
  • Jeff Macdougald

SHO Science and Tech (formally OSHAB)

This year is a TSN turning point for the OSHAB and I hope our industry. We formed OSHAB to engage our industry with a focus of swine health. We believed that broad industry representation and inclusive focus would result in change, focus and differentiation of the Ontario swine industry with respect to health and we have achieved part of that goal. Prior to the OSHAB we did not have a PRRS PCR test in Ontario, most of our boar studs were positive for PRRS, many genetic supplies were positive and the concept of ARC&E did not exist. The platform for an industry disease intervention, did not exist and our response to PED would not have happened without the OSHAB. Our model has been presented throughout Canada and the United States and many regions want to emulate it. A lot has changed since 2005 when we started this adventure!! In 2016 & 2017 we worked with OP, OPIC and OMAFRA to form Swine Health Ontario (SHO), the evolution of the OSHAB with dedicated collaboration. The goal is a coordinated provincial swine health focused group that will engage stakeholders and government in sustainable, coordinated swine health initiatives.

It is time to rebrand and take swine health industry initiatives to an even higher impact on outcome. So, the OSHAB is now the Science and Technology committee of SHO. As chair of this I want to stress that our vision has not changed (significantly impact the health of the Ontario swine herd) and I believe this structure will enhance our ability to achieve this goal. We must never stop working together, regardless of business interests to reduce the impact of disease, we must never stop demanding inclusive collaborative interventions because if we do we fail. NOT AN OPTION. We will continue to promote and expand the ARC&E concept and tools, they work for all disease issues not just PRRS. We must continue to improve our disease containment strategies and we must develop the ability to prevent epidemics from becoming endemic. With continued support and engagement, we will get it done.

Marty Misener

OSHAB Science and Technology Committee - 2016/2017

  • Chair - Marty Misener, South West Ontario Veterinary Services (SWOVS)
  • Vice Chair - Cam Farrell, Paragon Farms
  • Cathy Templeton, SWOVS
  • Doug MacDougald, SWOVS
  • Ernest Sanford, private consultant
  • Cesar Caballero, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • John Rheaume, Wallenstein Feed and Supply
  • Grant Maxie and Jim Fairles, University of Guelph, Animal Health Laboratory
  • Christa Arsenault, OMAFRA
  • Brent Robinson, Vista Villa Genetics
  • Clare Schlegel, Schlegel Farms
  • Teresa VanRaay, VanRaay Farms
  • Jackie Gallant, Gallant Customs Laboratories Inc.
  • Jody Durand, Phibro Animal Health
  • Zvonimir Poljak, University of Guelph
  • Mike Degroot, Ontario Pork
  • Al Scorgie, Demeter Vet Services
  • Ryan Tenbergen, Demeter Vet Services
  • Glenn Armstrong, Mitchell Vet Services
  • Radu Zorzolan, Purina
  • Greg Wideman, SWOVS
  • Kevin Vilaca, SWOVS
  • Christine Pelland, SWOVS
  • Scott Dee, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, U.S.
  • Ed Metzger, SWOVS
  • Paisley Canning, SWOVS