Melissa Bowers, Boviteq
Jay Shannon, Semex
Dr. Gordon Atkins, University of Calgary
Lisa McCrea-Hemphil BSc, DVM, Agwest
Bruno Divorne, Divorne Farms, Manitoba
John Hylkema, Hyljon Holsteins, Saskatchewan
Michael Vanden Dool, Vanden Dool Farms Ltd., Alberta
Ben Korporaal, Dicklands Farm, British Columbia
WestGen Days & Annual General Meeting 2017
We had a successful AGM and WestGen Days for 2017 at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford on March 27-29, 2017. We kicked off Monday night with a Wine & Cheese night and special guest Melissa Bowers doing a presentation on IVF. Tuesday’s AGM started out with a recap from CEO Chris Parry, President Tony DeGroot and reports on our financials from Vernon Smith (Financial Controller), Matt Plett (Treasurer) and auditor Eben Lau (MNP). Paul Larmer (Semex) and Éric Carmichael (Boviteq West) also gave updates.
WestGen and the Board of Directors would like to announce that after his 5 year term as President of the Board, Tony DeGroot has stepped down for 2017. Tony will be staying on as Director. The board would also like to announce that they have elected Eric Iversen as the new President. Eric joined the board in 2015 and served as Vice President in 2016. Matt Plett has been elected Vice President, Matt has previously served as Treasurer and Vice President. Tim Hofstra will continue on as Executive Director and Art Pruim has been elected as Alternate Executive Director.
The results of the recent mail-in elections for Directors in 2017:
Alberta: Eric Iversen and Tim Hofstra elected by acclamation for two year terms.
Manitoba: Matt Plett elected by acclamation for a two year term.
(2 for a 2 year term) Tony DeGroot and Richard Boer were elected by members present at the AGM.
WestGen and the Board of Directors would like to thank Tony for all his efforts during his term as President and look forward to a successful 2017.
The afternoon program included Jay Shannon (Semex) doing a Genetic update, followed by a Producer Panel moderated by Chris Bartels, giving a description of their farms and answering some questions on their views to the crowd. Dr. Gordon Atkins (University of Calgary) spoke on The Importance of Foot Conformation, Foot Trimming and Cow Comfort to Reduce Laminitis and had some samples of plastinated hooves on display.
Dr. Lisa McCrea-Hemphil (Agwest) ended the afternoon with a presentation on Making More Milk.
Chris Parry and Tony DeGroot did a recap of the daytime events. This was Tony’s last official duty as President after stepping down after 5 years serving as President of the Board. New President Eric Iversen and Eva Goldthorp gave a presentation showcasing the recent trip to Australia. Bob Massie was recognized for his 30 years of service at WestGen and guests gave a moment of silence to Gordon Souter as he was remembered. Kristie Baouya announced the launch of the new website.
Dinner was full of excitement as a random Wedding party joined the event, causing a ruckus all evening and ended up having the police called as someone was murdered! Luckily it turned out to be our Murder Mystery Dinner theatre and everyone had a great time and enjoyed some fantastic food.
Wednesday was fun-filled as we took in 3 informative seminars in the morning as Jay Shannon, Dr. Brent Fawcett and Dr. Alison Vaughan presented at the hotel. After the presentations, we hopped on the bus to tour Country Charm Farm, Dicklands and GraceMar Farms. Melissa Bowers also spoke at Dicklands Farm about Pooling and Commercial IVF Options. Thanks so much to the tour guides at each farm! What great facilities! The last tour was of the WestGen office.
The evening wrapped up 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.
Stay tuned for a complete update in the May 2017 Bullseye.