Wednesday, April 9, 2014

History repeats at Ontario Swine Improvement

History is repeating at Ontario Swine Improvement Inc.

It was in the 1990s, not long after the company took over genetic improvement programs from the federal and Ontario governments, that it ran into severe financial difficulty, not unlike the situation today.

Henry deWolde
Henry deWolde, owner of Bra-Ma-Rod Farm at Ashburn, was the chairman of the board, elected to represent purebred breeders. Other directors represented commercial producers, the Ontario government and pork packers.

DeWolde took on the job of general manager, working out of an office at Guelph. He cut costs.

Rod deWolde, his son who took over the purebred herd, is chairman of the board now. He has also moved in as general manager. He is cutting costs.

Henry saved OSI, but in the process transformed the business. He closed a test station between New Dundee and New Hamburg, moved to the current facility near Innerkip, closed the Guelph office and moved that to Innerkip, and energized the semen-marketing business.

Rod and the current board of directors have hired Strive! consultants, led by Ralph Kikkert, to figure out what to do now.

Those who need the company hope Rod will prove to be as good a corporate saviour as his father, who died in December, 2011.