Robert Wagner, Business Opportunities and Market Strategies Specialist We are pleased that Robert Wagner joined the Agriculture Development Branch as the Business Opportunities and Market Strategies Specialist. Robert will be working from the Guelph Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) office.  Robert Wagner

The Business Opportunities and Market Strategies Specialist works with producers to develop commodity marketing plans, primarily for the grains and oilseeds sectors as well as for livestock and horticultural sectors. The position also involves working with industry to identify new business opportunities, new markets and products and helping clients to determine the viability of these areas.  This work will also include developing and delivering new marketing and business resources to help industry enhance and meet changing customer demands.

Nick Betts, Business Management Specialist

We are pleased that Nick Betts joined the Agriculture Development Branch as the Business Management Specialist. Nick will be working from the Guelph Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) office. Nick Betts

The Business Management Specialist contributes to program evaluation, policy development, and direct engagement with farmers and farm organizations, particularly on topics related to sustainability in agriculture and agri-business, farm succession and new entrants, strategic planning, human resources and farm safety.

In these roles, Robert and Nick aim to increase business competitiveness and investment along the agricultural value-chain.

Robert and Nick’s contact details and a complete listing of business management specialists are available at: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/directory/staffdirectorybusiness.htm






We are pleased that Anita Heeg joined the Agriculture Development Branch on September 8, 2015 as the Feed Ingredients and Byproducts Specialist. Anita will be working from the Woodstock Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) office. 

The Feed Ingredients and Byproducts Specialist looks at the utilization of various feed ingredients, including food waste, and byproducts for livestock. This includes developing and introducing new feed ingredients to the animal feed market. Anita will assist the industry and producers to find and develop new feed ingredient and technology options for Ontario.

Anita will be building on the great work done by Ron Lackey, who recently retired from the position.


Anita’s agricultural and educational experience   

Anita grew up on a dairy farm in Salford. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph with a major in Animal Biology. For the past 8 years, Anita has worked as a Dairy Specialist with Alltech dealing with feed additives and mycotoxin related issues. She has worked closely with many dairy producers, feed representatives and university alumni. Anita and her husband own a dairy farm near New Hamburg, milking 120 cows robotically.

Anita’s contact details and a complete listing of livestock specialists are available at: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/directory/staffdirectorylivestock.htm

Ontario has gone four months without a confirmed case of PED.  Now is the time to maintain strict on-farm biosecurity protocols to prevent PED infection in your pigs.

Watch for Clinical Signs

  • Sudden onset of watery diarrhea +/- vomiting in all ages of pigs
  • High mortality in piglets

If you suspect that your pigs may be infected with PED virus, contact your veterinarian immediately. He or she will provide strategies to help you to manage the disease. Be vigilant and watch for early signs of scouring.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair provides a good opportunity to promote agriculture. The Pig Mobile is always busy every year.

OMAFRA Royal exhibit

OMAFRA Exhibit at the Royal

piglet under heat lamp

Sleeping at the Royal


In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, downstream flexibility can be achieved in part by predicting and managing upstream risk. This comprehensive, three-day course focuses on practical application and is essential for any farmer or agri-business leader whose production (outputs) or raw materials (inputs) are commodity based.

In summary, you will learn:

 How to set up an account and trade Futures and Options

  • Hedging for Futures & Options, using realistic examples
  • How to understand the technical analysis and information inside charts to improve your timing
  • Practice applying your knowledge to current market case assignments
  • Learn everything you need to know to develop a strategy
  • The course includes up-to-date analysis and practice so that you may apply your new knowledge to current markets

For more information, visit: www.agrifoodtraining.com

from Ontario Pork Congress, Oct 23 2015

Annual Ontario Pork Congress Industry Leadership Award presented to two industry leaders.

October 19, 2015–John DeBruyn, producer, and Dr. Kees deLange, University of Guelph, shared the honour as winners of the Ontario Pork Congress Industry Leadership Award on October 19 in Stratford at the Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Pork Congress (OPC).

Christine Schoonderwoerd, 2014/2015 President of Ontario Pork Congress, commented that the Ontario Pork Congress Leadership award is presented every year to someone in the industry who gives freely of their time to provide distinguished service to the Ontario Pork Industry. This year, we had a record number of entrees for this award, and the vote tied on two very worthy gentlemen.

John DeBruyn has led the Oxford County Swine Club for about 10 years, sits on the Farm Practices Board of Ontario, is actively involved in Oxford County Land Division and Nutrient Management Regulations, is President of the Oxford County Pork Producers and a representative on the Ontario Pork Board for Oxford County and others. He has been very involved in Ontario Pork Congress; and can often be found out helping with the Bacon Maker Classic (formerly the Junior Barrow Show). In the past, John was voted OSI Producer of the Year Award and has been inducted to the OFA Oxford County Hall of Fame. John is recognized in Ontario agriculture as a successful leader, a great example and a mentor for youth in our industry.

Dr. Kees DeLange, from the University of Guelph, was nominated by one of his peers. He has dedicated his whole life to the improvement of the pork industry, and made numerous contributions to the nutrition and management of all ages of pigs, and all parts of the swine industry. He has been incredibly active outside of his regular job serving the industry on a variety of committees, boards and meeting organizing groups. His international stature brings recognition and respect to the Ontario industry. Many of the students he has trained work in the industry in a variety of capacities.

DeBruyn and deLange thanked OPC for the recognition both saying that they were honoured to share the award with the other.

Read the full news release

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Rodent Control on Hog Farms

Rats and mice have long been a problem on farms where food and nesting sites are plentiful. These animals consume and contaminate food destined for livestock and other animals, as well as humans. Mice and rats have tremendous breeding potential. Under ideal conditions, a pair of rats and their offspring can produce 20 000 000 young in three years.

Controlling rodents is therefore a high priority for livestock producers. The OMAFRA factsheet, “Rodent Control in Livestock and Poultry Facilities,” provides information about rodents on farms and what you can do to control them.mouse eating nuts

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