Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ritz picks Cargill exec to watchdog council

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has picked Chantelle Donahue, Cargill vice-president for corporate affairs, for a three-year term on the Farm Products Council of Canada.

He has also re-appointed Mike Pickard to another three-year term as the council's vice-president.

Pickard is a broiler chicken producer who has been a director on both the Saskatchewan and national chicken supply management bodies. 

It’s main role is supervising four national supply-management poultry agencies – chickens, eggs, turkeys and hatching eggs.

Farmers wanted to make it five, but the council rejected a submission to form a national agency for pullet growers. Almost all pullets are raised by farmers who already benefit from holding egg quota.
Donahue is co-owner of a grain and oilseed farm in Saskatchewan,  is chair of the Canada Grains Council and the Western Grain Elevator Association Management Committee, co-chair of the Agriculture and AgriFood Canada Grains Roundtable and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops, and is vice-chair of the Barley Council of Canada.

She is a member of the board of directors for Cereals Canada, the Malting Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian National Millers Association, and Ag-West Bio Inc.

She is also a member of the Canada Meat Council Beef Committee, the steering committee for the Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and a representative on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Beef Value Chain Roundtable. Recently, she was director for the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.

She earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Cooperative Program) degree from the University of Alberta.

Maybe it would be a good idea to have Ritz report to her instead of vice versa.

As for Pickard, it's a stretch to think he will serve the public - as opposed to chicken farmers - interests.