We had an exciting AGM and WestGen Days in Abbotsford, BC on March 27-29, 2017. The event kicked off with special guest Melissa Bowers doing a presentation on IVF at the Wine & Cheese event on the Monday evening. Tuesday’s AGM was well attended and began with a recap from President, Tony DeGroot and CEO Chris Parry highlighting the move to Abbotsford, strong fundamental company performance and a preview of the proposed new barn that is to be started this May.

Financials were highlighted by Controller Vernon Smith and Treasurer Matt Plett showing a positive trend. Another $77,300 was proudly reported by Tim Hofstra to be returned by the WestGen Endowment Fund to the cattle industry. Contributions totaling $1,669,333 have been returned to the industry since its inception. $452,196 of the Endowment Fund went directly to scholarships and youth development programs.

WestGen and the Board of Directors would like to announce that Eric Iversen has been elected President of the Board. After 5 great years President Tony DeGroot has stepped down for 2017. Tony will be staying on as a Director. Matt Plett has been elected as the new Vice President. Special thanks to Tony for an excellent job these past 5 years during your term as President!
The afternoon program included Jay Shannon (Semex) provided a Genetic update, followed by a Western Canadian Producer Panel including breeders from each of the western provinces: Bruno Divorne, MB; John Hylkema, SK; Michael Vanden Dool, AB; Ben Korporaal, BC that was moderated by Chris Bartels, with each giving a description of their farms and answering panel questions on the topic of “Strengthening Your Herd”.

Dr. Gordon Atkins (U of Calgary) spoke on The Importance of Foot Conformation, Foot Trimming and Cow Comfort to Reduce Laminitis, an Endowment Fund supported project and showcased a display of plastinated hooves. Dr. Lisa McCrea-Hemphil (Agwest) ended the afternoon with an engaging presentation on Making More Milk.

During the evening, Tony DeGroot’s last official duty as President of the Board was to give the AGM update to the diners. New President Eric Iversen and Eva Goldthorp re-capped showcasing the recent producer trip to Australia this past January. The new www.westgen.com was launched as well with a short presentation by Marketing Lead Kristie Baouya. Recognition was given to Bob Massie for his 30 years of service at WestGen and a moment of silence was taken for Gordon Souter.

Dinner was full of excitement as a random Wedding party joined the event, causing a ruckus all evening and ended up with the Mounties investigating a murder! Luckily it turned out to be our Murder Mystery Dinner theatre and everyone had a great time and enjoyed some fantastic food.

Wednesday was informative and fun-filled as we took in three morning seminars Jay Shannon (Semex), Dr. Brent Fawcett (Agwest) and Dr. Alison Vaughan (Agwest) presented strategies for Making More Milk. After the presentations, a tour bus ventured out to Country Charm Farm, Dicklands Farm and GraceMar Farms.

Melissa Bowers spoke at Dicklands Farm about Pooling and Commercial IVF Options. Thanks so much to the tour guides at each farm! What great facilities and hospitality! The day ended up touring the WestGen office before heading out to dinner at the Bow and Stern in Abbotsford for some great food.

Special thanks to all the special guests who took the time to come and join us as well as the members in attendance this week. We look forward to hosting you again next year.

View the PowerPoint presentations from WestGen days here.

WestGen Days Photos

Wine & Cheese Event

Monday March 27, 2017

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday March 28, 2017

WestGen Days Afternoon Program

Tuesday March 28, 2017

WestGen Days Evening Program

Tuesday March 28, 2017