Agri-Food Growth Steering Committee Members

The Growth Steering Committee brings together industry, government leaders and others with expertise to advise the Minister regarding the development of a system that measures growth of the province's agri-food industry.

The Steering Committee will also provide advice on actions that can be taken by government, industry and partners to create short and longer-term strategic growth opportunities.

These initiatives are collectively aimed at meeting the Premier's Agri-Food Growth Challenge to create 120,000 new jobs and double the growth rate of the agri-food sector by 2020.

The following people have been appointed to the Agri-Food Growth Steering Committee:

Deb Stark Committee Co-chair

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Amy Cronin Committee Co-chair

Amy operates a large hog farm based in the Bluevale area. She was elected Chair of Ontario Pork in April 2012 and has championed Ontario Pork's early supportive work on the Growth Challenge related policy development. She also served as Chair of the Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition in 2012 and 2013, and actively participates in the Presidents' Council.

Ted Bilyea

Ted is the President of Ted Bilyea & Associates consulting firm and has been the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) since 2012. He was formerly the Executive Vice-President of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. He is also a board member of several organizations, including Paterson Global Foods Inc., Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, and BHG International Trade Inc. Ted is the former chair of Food Processors of Canada and a former member of the Board of Governors of the University of Guelph.

Jim Brandle

Jim is the CEO of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, a position he assumed in 2007 when the organization began. As a strong advocate for the horticulture sector, he leads a team of over 85 research scientists and support staff in Consumer Insights, Horticultural Production Systems and Applied Genomics. With his direction, Vineland has emerged as a leading centre for innovation and industry outreach. His efforts have also helped generate private and public sector investment in horticulture research. Jim joined Vineland from his role at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as senior scientist working in plant molecular biology and genomics. Jim serves on the Boards of the Invasive Species Centre and the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from the University of Manitoba, and his M.Sc. and B.S.A. in Crop Science from the University of Saskatchewan. He is also a graduate of the Ivey Executive Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.

Christian von Twickel

Christian is the Executive Vice President of Dr. Oetker, an international brand that began Ontario operations with a dry mixes production facility in Mississauga over 50 years ago. He led the investment of Dr. Oetker's $100 million food processing facility in London, Ontario. The company chose Ontario as its location to expand into frozen pizza production to serve the North American market, acknowledging access to local ingredients, skilled labour, and a favourable environment for quality production.

Norm Beal

Norm is the President and founder of Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery. He also worked for over 20 years in the oil industry as an international oil products trader, and in other roles for multinational companies. He is a board member for the Wine Council of Ontario and is past director with the Canadian Vintners Association. Norm is also the Executive Director of Food and Beverage Ontario, a not-for-profit, leadership organization dedicated to advancing the interests of Ontario's food and beverage processors.

Scott Graham

Scott is a second generation egg producer and pullet grower from St. Marys since 1953. Graholm Farms has been actively involved since 1953 in the poultry business. Other farm interests include pure bred cattle, sweet corn, corn, wheat and beans. He is currently chair of the Egg Farmers of Ontario, and current Chair of the Presidents' Council. Scott was past director of the Agriculture Adaptation Council from 1998-2008. He has been actively involved in hockey coaching at many levels and also served as President of St.Marys Minor Hockey. Scott was elected Zone Director of Egg Farmers of Ontario in 2008. Scott and his wife Laurie live in St. Marys.

Jamison Steeve

Jamison is the Executive Director of Martin Prosperity Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, driving the strategic plan and the vision for the future of both organizations. He leads day-to-day administration, and develops the future of the institutes through the development of the research agenda and the communications strategy. He was the Principal Secretary to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty from 2008 to 2012. Jamison previously worked on health issues in the Premier's Office and as Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

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