Alvin Keenan (President) – Souris, Prince Edward Island

Alvin Keenan is the current President and represents the Atlantic region on behalf of PEI Potato Dealers Association.  He is a past director of PEI Potato Producers, PEI Potato Board, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and is Past President of PEI Federation of Agriculture. Alvin and his brother, Ray, grow, pack and market fresh potatoes from their company Rollo Bay Holdings Ltd, out of Souris, PEI where they produce approximately 800 tractor-trailer loads of fresh potatoes, (40,000,000) lbs. for the retail and food service markets in Canada and the US, as well as in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Alvin grew up on a potato farm in Woodstock, New Brunswick with three sisters and four brothers.  In 1975, he, and his wife, Nancy, and their three children Jennifer, Patrick, and Angela moved to Prince Edward Island.

Brian Gilroy (1st Vice-president) – Meaford, Ontario

Brian Gilroy is CHC’s First Vice President, the Chair of the Apple Committee and also Chair of the Apple Working Group. Brian represents CHC’s Ontario region as a member of the Georgian Bay Fruit Growers, which he has been part of since 1990.  He serves as Chair of the Property Section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association where he had a one-year term as Vice Chair of the organization before serving as Chair from 2010 to 2012. He is also past Chair of the Ontario Apple Growers.  Brian owns Nighthawk Orchards near Meaford, Ontario where he has farmed since 1987.

Bar Hayre (2nd Vice President) – Abbotsford, British Columbia

Bar Hayre is CHC’s Second Vice President and has been on the CHC Board of Directors since 2012. He is a delegate from BC Blueberry Council nominated to represent the BC region.  He operates a 40-acre blueberry farm in Abbotsford, and brings experience both in primary production and food processing to the board. He is a past chair of the BC Raspberry Industry Development Council and his off-farm career includes a position as a Senior Relationships Manager with Farm Credit Canada.

Bar operates Mirage Blueberries with his wife, Aman, their two daughters, Mira and Genna, and his parents, Gurmit and Manjit, who have been farming in Abbotsford since the early 1970s.

Adrian Huisman – St Catharines, Ontario

Adrian retired in 2012 after 47 years in the Ontario tender fruit industry, 15 of which were as the manager of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board.  Adrian now represents the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) as one of the Ontario directors on the CHC since 2012.  Adrian chaired the Oversight Committee in 2013-14, is the current Chair of the Finance Committee and is a member of the Business Risk Management Working Group.  Adrian and his wife, Shirley, live in St. Catharines.

Stéphanie Levasseur, Frelighsburg, Québec

Stéphanie Levasseur and her husband David Testu run their family orchard, Au cœur de la pomme in Frelighsburg, Québec.  Stéphanie is currently a Board Member of Union des producteurs agricoles and is President of their affiliate, Les Producteurs de pommes du Québec. Stéphanie is also the daughter of past CHC President, Steve Levasseur.

Jocelyn St-Denis, Sherrington, Québec

Jocelyn is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and started in agriculture in 2000 when he joined Cams Inc, a grower and packer of carrots and onions in Sherrington, Quebec. In 2010, he joined Vegpro International, one of the largest vegetable producer in Canada. Specialized in the washing and packaging of baby lettuces, they also sell a wide range of vegetables grown on their own land in Quebec and Florida.

He is a director of the Quebec vegetable growers association (APMQ) since 2008, and is now their Secretary Treasurer. “I am happy to represent the province of Quebec in CHC and to work to enhance the condition of the horticulture sector in Canada”.

Peter Swetnam – Centreville, Nova Scotia

Peter is the delegate for Horticulture Nova Scotia to the Canadian Horticultural Council and represents the Atlantic Region on the Board.  He is a member of the CHC’s Crop Protection Advisory Committee, the Business Risk Management and Vegetable working groups.

Peter and his brother, John, operate a second generation family farm, Dominion Produce, in Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia.  It was started by their father and mother, William and Mary Swetnam and has been in business for over 50 years.  The farm consists of broiler chicken production and grain crops (corn, soybeans, and wheat). There are 700 acres in rotation, of which 140 acres are fresh market onions which are grown and packed in cooperation with another local farm. These onions are marketed all over the Atlantic Provinces and exported when necessary.

Andrew Lovell – Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick

More information coming soon!

Keith Kuhl (Past President) – Winkler, Manitoba

Keith Kuhl, a Winkler, Manitoba potato farmer, is the Past President of the Canadian Horticultural Council. Kuhl represents the Prairies region on the Board of Directors and was first elected as president during the 91st Annual General Meeting in 2013.  He owns and operates Southern Potato with his two sons and is also chair of the Board of Directors at Peak of the Market. Kuhl served as Chair of the Potato Committee and Potato Council for nearly nine years. Keith’s father, John, was actively involved with the CHC for many years and served as president in 1987.

Beth Connery – Portage La Prairie, Manitoba

More information coming soon!

Robert Purton – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Robert has been involved in growing vegetables for the last sixteen years and is currently in partnership with his son for the past five years. He is currently the president of the Saskatchewan Vegetable Growers Association and has held this position for the last six years.

Fred Steele – Kelowna, British Columbia

Fred Steele represents CHC’s British Columbia region on behalf of the British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association (BCFGA) and in additional to serving on the Board of Directors he is a member of Apple Working Group.  He has been part of the BCFGA since 2007 and has served as President since 2014.  He is also on the Interior Horticulture Council, the BC Agriculture Council Board of Directors and the BC Agriculture Minister’s Agri-Food Advisory Committee.

When not helping guide the future of BC’s apple industry, Fred operates an apple orchard in Kelowna, BC.  He and his wife, Joan, have 24 grandchildren.