Board of Directors
Brian Gilroy is President of CHC and is a member of the Georgian Bay Fruit Growers, which he has been part of since 1990. He has served as Chair of the Property Section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association and is also past Chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. Brian owns Nighthawk Orchards near Meaford, Ontario, where he has farmed since 1987.
Bar Hayre has been on the CHC Board of Directors since 2012 and is a delegate from the 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, past Vice Chair of the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC and his off-farm career includes a previous position as a Senior Relationship Manager with Farm Credit Canada. He is currently working with Scotiabank as the Agricultural Market Lead for the BC region.
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.
Stéphanie Levasseur runs the 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, Quebec Apple Growers. Stéphanie's father, Steve Levasseur, is a Past President of CHC.
Alvin Keenan 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.
Chair, Labour Committee
Beth Connery operates Connery Riverdale Farms in Portage La Prairie with her children, Sam and Chris. The farm covers about 1,000 acres, 650 of which produce asparagus, strawberries, broccoli, carrots and cooking onions, while the rest is in wheat as a rotation crop. The farm also includes a U-Pick and Pre-Picked Strawberry operation.
In addition to Chairing CHC’s Labour Committee, Beth also sits on the Board of Directors at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) and is Chair of Peak of the Market.
Bill George and his wife Lesliann grow 160 acres of wine grapes in the Niagara region. They also harvest and process ice wine juice on a farm that has been in the family since 1796.
Bill studied horticulture at the University of Guelph. While he continued to farm, he was elected to the Grape Growers of Ontario as a board member in 1995, and eventually moved up to become Chair – a position he held for 9 years. Bill had the honour of being voted “Grape King” by the Grape Growers of Ontario in 2001.
Bill currently holds the position of Vice-Chair for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.
Boyd Rose farms with his brother Myles and daughter Keisha on their sixth-generation potato farm, RA Rose & Sons, in the eastern end of PEI. They grow 100% of their potato crop on a three-year rotation for the fresh market. They also operate a bulk milk transport business which transports milk for local dairy farmers to the ADL processing plant. Boyd is also General Manager of East Point Potato, a fresh potato packing shed owned by his brother, his two nephews and himself. They package potatoes 11 months of the year for the fresh market. Boyd is married to Arlene and has 3 adult daughters. He is Past Chair of the PEI Potato Board as well as the PEI Potato Producers’ Association. He is active in his local community and church and enjoys a busy life.
Jan VanderHout is a Greenhouse cucumber grower from Hamilton Ontario, where he and his brother Dale operate 30 acres of greenhouses. Jan has served as a director on the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers board of directors for 15 years, is Chair of the Ontario Greenhouse Alliance, and is Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.
Chair, Finance Committee
Jocelyn St-Denis is a Chartered Professional Accountant who 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 producers in Canada. Specializing in the growing, packaging and marketing of baby lettuce under the Fresh Attitude brand, Vegpro International also sells a wide range of vegetables grown on its own land in Quebec and Florida.
He is a Director of the Quebec Vegetable Growers’ Association (APMQ) since 2008. “I am happy to represent the province of Quebec on the CHC Board and to work to enhance the condition of the horticulture sector in Canada”.
Keith Kuhl represents the Prairies region on the Board of Directors and served four terms as President (2013-2017). He owns and operates Southern Potato with his two sons and is also a member of the Board of Directors at Peak of the Market. Keith 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.
More info coming soon.
Peter Swetnam is the delegate for Horticulture Nova Scotia to CHC and represents the Atlantic Region on the Board.
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 that are grown and packed in cooperation with another local farm. These onions are marketed all over the Atlantic Provinces and exported on occasion.