Board members are elected by their fellow dairy farmers and serve for a four-year term. They typically spend one third of their working days on Dairy Farmers of Ontario-related business.
Ottawa-Carleton (twp. of Cumberland), Glengarry, Prescott and Russell
Dundas, Ottawa-Carleton (except for twp. of Cumberland), and Stormont
Frontenac, Grenville, Lanark, Leeds, and Renfrew
Hastings, Lennox & Addington, Northumberland, and Prince Edward
Bart Rijke, a dairy farmer from Hammond, Ontario, was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2016. He represents the producers in Ottawa-Carleton, and the counties of Glengarry, Prescott, and Russell. Rijke was elected Vice-Chair in January 2019.
Mr. Rijke chairs the Governance, and also serves on the Audit Committee, and the Quality Assurance Committee; as well as the Ontario Advisory Committee for Milk. He is also a DFO representative for the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee, and the P5 Supervisory Body Committee.
Mr. Rijke is a first generation dairy farmer that began farming with his wife, Antje, after moving to Canada from the Netherlands. Today, they milk 120 cows and crop 500 acres with their oldest son, Geert, and his wife, Danielle. Bart and Antje have three children.
Nick Thurler, a dairy farmer in Dundas County, Ontario, was elected 2nd Vice-Chair in January 2019. He represents milk producers in the counties of Dundas, Stormont, and the municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (except for the township of Cumberland).
Mr. Thurler serves on the Audit Committee, the Markets and Allocation Committee, and the Quota Committee; as well as the Ontario Advisory Committee for Milk. He is also a DFO representative for the P5 Quota Committee. Mr. Thurler also serves on the Board of Directors of Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Mr. Thurler is bilingual in French and English. He and his family have been in the dairy business in Ontario since moving to Canada from Switzerland in 1979. Mr. Thurler, his brother, and his two sons milk 420 cows, shipping DHA milk.
John Wynands, a second-generation dairy farmer from Cardinal, Ont., was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2018. He represents the producers in Frontenac, Grenville, Lanark, Leeds, and Renfrew.
Mr. Wynands graduated from the agricultural program at Kemptville College. He has been involved with the Grenville Dairy Producer Committee and has previously served on the board of directors with CanWest DHI.
Gerann Holstein is a family-run farm that milks 250 cows on 1,500 acres of farmland. Gerann Holsteins were awarded a master breeder shield in 2018.
Adam Petherick, a dairy farmer from Campbellford, Ont., was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2020. He represents the producers in Hastings, Lennox and Addington, Northumberland and Prince Edward. Mr. Petherick was elected second Vice-Chair in January 2022.
Mr. Petherick has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph. He is the chair of the Northumberland County Holstein Club and is previously a Board Member of the Campbellford Seymour Agricultural Society.
Mr. Petherick was a recipient of the Ontario Dairy Youth award and was selected to be the Ontario delegate for the Future Leaders Program in 2017.
Mr. Petherick is a seventh-generation dairy farmer at Almerson Farms Ltd. and manages the business with his wife Amy and his parents, Evan and Marilyn. They milk 75 Holsteins, and crop 400 acres of scenic land in northern Northumberland County.
City of Kawartha Lakes, Durham Region, Peterborough, and York
Dufferin, Peel, Simcoe and Wellington
Brant, Haldimand, Halton, Niagara, Norfolk and Wentworth
Oxford and Waterloo
Don Gordon, a dairy farmer from Cannington, Ont., was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2019. He represents the producers in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Durham Region, Peterborough, and York.
Mr. Gordon has vast experience in the dairy sector. He has supported dairy producer committees across Ontario and was part of a dairy committee that developed Maple the Cow, a life-size milking cow exhibit. In addition, he is the chair of DFO’s research committee, working with agriculture organizations to represent producers’ needs.
Mr. Gordon runs Gordhill Farms, a 450 acres family-run farm which milks 75 cows with robotics.
George Van Kampen, a dairy farmer from Amaranth, Ontario, was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2022. He represents milk producers in the counties of Dufferin, Peel, Simcoe, and Wellington.
Mr. Van Kampen has served on the milk committee for 18 years and have been on numerous boards and committees over the years.
Mr. Van Kampen and his family have been dairy farming for over 35 years. Mr. Van Kampen and his wife have four children.
Albert Fledderus, a dairy farmer from Lowbanks, Ontario, was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2015. He represents milk producers in the counties of Brant, Haldimand, Halton, Niagara, Norfolk, and Wentworth.
Mr. Fledderus chairs the Quota Committee and also serves on the Organic Producer Advisory Committee, the Research and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee, as well as the Ontario Advisory Committee for Transportation. He is also the DFO representative for Ontario Forage Council and serves on the Board of Directors of Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Mr. Fledderus and his family have been in the dairy business in Ontario for over 30 years and they milk 75 purebred Holsteins.
Murray Sherk, a dairy farmer from Plattsville, Ontario, was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2012. He represents milk producers in the counties of Oxford, and Waterloo. Mr. Sherk was elected Chair in January 2019. He previously served as chair of the Waterloo Dairy Producer Committee, as a member of the Progressive Dairy Operators’ executive, and chaired a local church board for nine years.
Mr. Sherk was employed as a Relationship Manager with Farm Credit Canada for 25 years, working with farmers and agribusiness owners. In addition, Mr. Sherk is trained in effective teamwork, problem solving, negotiating, sales and marketing, credit and financial analysis.
Mr. Sherk chairs the Audit Committee, and also serves on the Markets and Allocation Committee, as well as the Ontario Advisory Committee for Milk. He is also the DFO representative for the Presidents’ Council as well as a DFO representative for the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee, and the P5 Supervisory Body. Mr. Sherk is the Chair of the P5 Quota Committee, in addition to being a DFO representative on the Committee.
Mr. Sherk owns and operates a 100-cow dairy farm near Plattsville with the support of family and staff.
Elgin, Essex, Kent, Lambton, and Middlesex
Huron and Perth
Bruce and Grey
Districts of Northern Ontario and Haliburton
Vicky Morrison, a dairy farmer in Essex County was elected to the board in 2020. She represents the milk producers in Elgin, Essex, Kent, Lambton and Middlesex. She previously served as the Chair of Essex-Kent Dairy Producer Committee and is active on the Essex-Kent Holstein club committee as well as being an Essex County 4H dairy club leader.
Before moving to Canada in 2007, Vicky was a lecturer in dairy herd management at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE Greenmount Campus), in Northern Ireland, and this experience serves her well to chair the training and development sub-committee. She also chairs the promotion committee, and serves on Quality Assurance, Communications and Government Relations, the Sustainability sub-committee and is a DFO representative for P5 Raw Milk Quality committee.
Vicky is currently enrolled in the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (Class 19), offered by the Rural Ontario Institute, and along with her family and staff milks around 200 registered Holsteins and farms 400 acres.
Roger Boersen, a dairy farmer from Stratford, Ontario, was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2022. He represents milk producers in the counties of Huron, and Perth.
He served in various roles on the Perth County Dairy Committee for nine years, before becoming the director of Gay Lea Foods for the last five years.
Mr. Boersen operates Boern View Farms Ltd with his family and staff.
Mark Hamel was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2018. He represents milk producers in the counties of Bruce and Grey.
Mark contributed to the development of the Indonesia Dairy Co-operative Initiative by travelling to Indonesia to meet with government officials and dairy representatives in the summer of 2014. Mark is a graduate of the Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program - Class 8.
Serving on the Audit Committee, Communication and Government Relations Committee, Promotions and Marketing Committee, Quota Committee and Transportation Committee, Mark is also Chair of Markets and Allocations.
Mark and his wife Cathy are partners with their son Matt (fourth generation) and daughter-in-law Larissa to operate Harmony Holsteins west of Elmwood, Ontario. Together, they milk 150 purebred Holsteins and farm 900 acres.
Mark and Cathy have three children and six grandchildren.
Steve Runnalls, a dairy farmer from Thornloe, Ontario, was elected to the Board of Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in 2012. He represents milk producers in the districts of Northern Ontario, and Haliburton. He previously served on the Temiskaming Dairy Producer Committee and was on the local DHI Committee, serving as a delegate to the provincial meeting for a number of those years. He has also been involved with the local Holstein Club and has been a member of the Kerns Township Fire Department for over 20 years.
Mr. Runnalls chairs the Communications and Government Relations Committee, and also serves on the Audit Committee, the Governance Committee, the Marketing and Promotion Committee, the Quality Assurance Committee, and the Quota Committee as well as the Ontario Advisory Committee for Milk. He is the DFO representative for the Toronto Stockyards Land Development, the Milk Testing Laboratory Management Committee and a DFO representative for the P5 Raw Milk Quality Committee.
Mr. Runnalls and his family milk approximately 40 registered Holstein cows and grow mainly alfalfa and barley with some canola cash cropped on 800 acres, 560 workable. In addition, the family sells replacement cattle and does custom work. Mr. Runnalls is the second generation in dairy farming and the fourth generation to own the original farm.
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