Canadian Poultry Magazine

Poultry Industry Council elect’s new Board of Directors

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

News Company News

Long-standing chair Ed Verkley steps down.

At its hybrid annual general meeting in October and at a recent board of director’s meeting, the Poultry Industry Council reviewed a year of educational programming and elected in some changes around the board table.

Long-standing chair of the board Ed Verkley of Verkley Enterprises stepped down to become past chair, and the board was pleased to elect Caroline Gonano into the position.

Gonano is the associate manager – technical affairs, science & regulation for Turkey Farmers of Canada and has been with the PIC board for four years.


Greg Lansink from Turkey Farmers of Ontario was re-elected as vice chair and Cathy Lennon, general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, continues to serve as treasurer.

New to the board is Samantha Havercamp, producer and chair of the Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg & Chick Commission (OBCHEPA), who is stepping in for Bill Van Heeswyk also of OBHECC to represent the organization.

Van Heeswyk steps down after six years on the board. Two directors, Marg Pritchard representing Poultry Service Association and Laura Bowers representing Burnbrae Farms, opted to renew their terms and were elected onto the board as well.

“The PIC board is a great opportunity for directors to support education and training for the sector,” Gonano says. “Our recent experience has taught us that we deliver great content, and need to remain nimble to respond quickly to changing dynamics, such as HPAI outreach and support.”

At the start of the new year, the PIC staff were expecting to transition back to in person delivery for their events and forums. This proved challenging, however, due to the outbreaks of HPAI across the province.

Despite this, the organization held 18 events with over 2,300 participants tuning in to learn about a range of topics from innovations and new barn builds, to the business of poultry and new thinking on animal welfare.

This past spring, PIC worked with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to deliver direct outreach to small flock stakeholders to ensure that part of the sector was informed and staying vigilant with biosecurity and zone restrictions. The Tuesday Night HPAI Update Series continues this fall until December.

“While we hope to have COVID clearly in our rear-view mirror over the upcoming year, HPAI caused some issues with our in-person program delivery,” Gonano says. “We look forward to gathering more in person this fall and continuing to bring the best information to the Ontario platform.”

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