Potato grower Mac James is the new chairman of the board of directors for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.
James succeeds Brian Gilroy, who stepped down after serving as chairman for two years, according to a news release from the Niagara Falls, Ontario-based association.
A lifelong grower from Leamington, Ontario, James has been on the association board for seven years, most recently serving two one-year terms as vice chairman. He is also a member of the Ontario Potato Board. James grows peppers and other crops in addition to potatoes on a century farm.
He said Ontario’s horticulture industry needs a strong voice with a strong message when dealing with government and industry partners, according to the release, and he plans to speak out on topics such as labor, research, crop insurance and safety nets for growers.
Also on the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association board for this year: Gilroy, an apple grower; Norm Charbonneau, a small fruit and berry grower; Jason Verkaik, a vegetable grower; Ray Duc, a grape grower; Jason Ryder, an asparagus grower; Fred Meyers, a tender fruit grower; Jan VanderHout, a greenhouse grower; Don Taylor, a greenhouse grower; Ken VanTorre, a ginseng grower; and Mary Shabatura, a vegetable grower.