The Holstein Ontario Field Representative is the liaison between the membership and the Branch. Their primary role is to provide on-farm service to current and prospective members, assisting with record-keeping, problem-solving registration issues, providing breeding strategy advice, interpreting industry data, and educating on the use of Holstein Canada services and programs. For new members, Reps will assist them in setting up a record-keeping system, purchasing foundation animals and establishing a sound breeding program.
Reps often conduct seminars and barn meetings on topics in accordance with membership needs. They work with other industry organizations such as A.I. units and CanWest DHI to ensure seamless transition and upkeep of registration and breeding data.
Reps provide support at County and Regional Holstein Shows, youth events, the TD Classic, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. They guide the County Holstein Clubs on program and activity development and provide the Club Directors with training when necessary. They attempt to ensure that members understand Holstein Canada’s services, policies and programs.
Please do not hesitate to call your area Rep if they can assist you in any way.
General Manager & Eastern Ontario Rep: Merina Johnston
Counties: Carleton-Russell, Dundas, Glengarry, Leeds & Grenville, Prescott, Stormont
Merina grew up on a dairy farm near Martintown, Ontario, and is thrilled to be returning to her Holstein roots as the General Manager of the Ontario Holstein Branch. She holds a degree in Business Administration and a diploma in Accounting and spent her four years prior to joining the Branch working with Scotiabank in a variety of capacities, including Manager of Small Business for Kingston Community. Most recently, she worked as an Agricultural Specialist at Scotiabank, a pilot role that saw her provide comprehensive, in-the-field support to agricultural clients in Eastern Ontario. Working as an Agricultural Specialist allowed her to discover a passion for helping the ‘farmer to succeed’, a strength she is finding useful as she visits dairy farms and works with members across the province in her role as GM.
East-Central Ontario Rep: Adrian Vander Wielen
Counties: Durham, Hastings, Lennox & Addington, Northumberland, Ontario, Peterborough, Prince Edward, Simcoe, Victoria, York, Lanark, Frontenac, Renfrew, Algoma, Muskoka-Parry Sound, Nipissing-Sudbury, Timiskaming-Cochrane, Thunder Bay
Prior to joining the Branch in 1986 Adrian was a professor at Ridgetown College where he taught the Dairy program. Adrian’s experience as the East Central Field Rep has given the counties in his district a great resource as they plan well attended events. Adrian lives in Lindsay with his wife Megan and his four children.
Western Ontario Rep: Angela Howard
Counties: Bruce, Elgin, Essex-Kent, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Oxford, Perth, Waterloo
A Holstein girl through and through, Angela grew up on a dairy farm in Enterprise, Ontario. Following her graduation from the University of Guelph with a degree in Animal Science, she worked briefly in the AI industry before taking her position with the Ontario Holstein Branch in 1993. She loves working with Western Ontario’s Holstein breeders! Angela is married to Jamie and they live south of Woodstock with their three daughters.
West-Central Ontario Rep: Amanda Comfort
Counties: Wellington, Dufferin, Grey, Halton-Peel, Brant-Wentworth, Haldimond-Norfolk, Niagara
Amanda comes from a Dairy background, hailing from Niagara County and growing up under the family prefix of Brookturn Holsteins. She has been actively involved in 4-H, as well as her local Holstein Club. After graduating with an Associate Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, Amanda spent several months working for the Branch in a contract position in the West-Central District. While in the role, she focused on reaching out to all members, providing value and service wherever possible.
Most recently she worked for Cogent as a Sales Representative, a role that allowed her to gain tremendous knowledge in breeding management and management decision-making.