Alberta dairy farmers have elected new leadership for their industry. Tom Kootstra is now the chairman of the board. He replaces Albert Kamps after a mandatory step-down.
Additionally, there were changes to the executive. Heini Hehli continues as vice chairman and Gezinus Martens steps into a new role as the second vice chairman. These changes took effect on November 24.
The new executive has extensive experience in governance within the dairy industry. The trio of dairymen have all served for many years on the Board as well as various specialized committees. Specifically, Tom spent 2013-15 as chairman then faced a one-year mandatory step-down.
“I appreciate the support of my peers to have this role once again and am encouraged by the work Albert and the Board completed this past year,” says Kootstra. “I’m looking forward to continuing this pace and moving the industry forward.”
The main issues he foresees are the impact of trade, seeing the conclusion of the national ingredient strategy which will provide a framework for innovation and better use of dairy ingredients in Canadian dairy products, and harmonizing dairy policies across Canada. He has a particular dedication to strengthening the relationship between producers and processors and the implementation of proAction, an on-farm program where dairy farmers across Canada prove their dedication to high standards of farming.
More about Tom
Kootstra owns and operates Stradow Farms near Ponoka where they have herd of 145 Holstein cows. Prior to living in Alberta, the Kootstra’s resided in British Columbia where he was also involved in the leadership of the dairy industry. Tom and his wife Pam have three sons of which two are involved on the farm.
About Alberta Milk
Alberta Milk represents the province’s dairy producers. Our vision is to grow a vital, sustainable and prosperous dairy industry.