On April 29, Holstein Canada members and industry partners from across Canada and the world came together online for Holstein Canada’s 137th Annual General Meeting. This digital AGM was the first of its kind in the history of the Association, a step taken in order to maintain physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The digital AGM gave members the chance to receive updates about the results of 2019, learn how our Association is handling COVID-19, and help guide the direction of their Association despite the cancellation of the 2020 National Holstein Convention. Holstein Canada used the online platform GoToWebinar to hold the meeting and introduce members to incoming CEO Vincent Landry.
The Digital Annual General Meeting
President Gerald Schipper’s leading address to the audience of over 200 people discussed the tough farming year while stressing how our members stood by Holstein Canada and continued using our services to improve their herds. He highlighted what is called the “80/20 challenge” – how to get more producers (the 20%) to contribute information that improves the data of the overall Canadian herd. He also thanked members for their support regarding decisions made recently related to on-farm visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her final message to members as the CEO of Holstein Canada, Ann Louise Carson related the highlights and challenges of the last year, noting that we had record years for registration and classification in 2019. She outlined how the Association, with the help of its members, is handling the COVID-19 situation with the health of both employees and producers in mind.
The President gave updates on behalf of the Classification Advisory and Show & Judging Committees; details of the updates will be communicated in the coming months. Also delivered was the Financial Report, with KMPG being ratified as Holstein Canada’s auditing firm. Dairy Farmers of Canada CEO Jacques Lefebvre also addressed our members with updates on the effects of COVID-19 and CUSMA on the industry.
Updates to the Board of Directors
Holstein Canada welcomed Karen Versloot and Harold Sweetnam to the Board, representing the Atlantic and Manitoba/Saskatchewan respectively.
Following the AGM, President Schipper was reinstated as President. To assist him, the Board of Directors elected Nancy Beerwort (CHERRY CREST) of Martintown, Ontario as 1st Vice-President, and Ben Cuthbert (SILVERMAPLE) of Ladysmith, British Columbia as 2nd Vice-President.
The 2021 National Holstein Convention will be held in Ottawa, Ontario. More details will be made available as the final 2021 Convention schedule is set and the website is launched in the fall of 2020. Convention 2022, originally to be held in Quebec, will now return to Saskatchewan. Holstein Canada would like to thank Holstein Québec for moving their hosting opportunity to 2023.
Holstein Canada members interested in receiving a free copy of the 2019 Annual Report can contact Lucie McCarthy at email@example.com. The Annual Report can also be accessed on Holstein Canada’s website by visiting https://www.holstein.ca/Public/en/News-Events/Annual_Report/Annual_Report.
Holstein Canada thanks all those who participated. For more highlights from the 2020 Holstein Canada Annual General Meeting, watch for the July/August issue of InfoHolstein.