Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DeWolde dead at 67

Swine breeder Henry (Hedrik) DeWolde died Tuesday, Dec. 20. He was 67.

He established Bra-Ma-Rod Farm at Ashburn.

He also rescued Ontario Swine Improvement Inc. from bankruptcy several years after the federal and provincial governments privatized their genetic improvement programs.

He changed roles from elected president to general manager and implemented radical changes to save money, yet to continue offering key services to hog producers, including artificial insemination while it was the only entity offering the service in Ontario.

He moved the business out of a test station between New Dundee and New Hamburg and established it in new facilities near Innerkip.

He helped settle raging controversies over the agency’s future and envisioned a future of “target hogs” tailored to specific markets, such as supermarket brand-name pork of specific qualities.

When he retired from the hog business, he bought and ran Shelter Valley Mobile Home Park near Picton.

His son, Rod, has followed him in hog breeding and as a director of Ontario Swine Improvement Inc.

Henry went to the New Orleans area as a disaster-response volunteer after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area and soon ended up managing the relief efforts for that agency.

He was a member of Bethany Christian Reformed Church where funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 23.

Donations to Christian Reformed World Relief Committee are welcomed as expressions of sympathy.

He is survived by his wife, Wilma, sons Mark, Rod and Brad and daughter Becky.