Dairy Farmers name new president

A Vancouver Island dairyman has been picked to replace Jacques Laforge as president of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Wally Smith, who farms at Chemainus, B.C., south of Nanaimo, was elected Wednesday by delegates at the association’s annual meeting in Winnipeg.

Smith, who owns MariaHolme Farms, milks 75 cows and grows his own corn and forage, represents Vancouver Island’s milk producers on the board of the B.C. Milk Producers Association, which he chaired from 1999 to 2004.

At the national level, Smith was named second vice-president of the DFC in 2004 and has been the vice-president of the association’s board since 2009.

Laforge, a dairyman and cattle feeder from Grand Falls, N.B. and a past chairman of the New Brunswick Milk Marketing Board, retires from DFC having served on its board for over 25 years. He was first elected as DFC’s president in 2004.

DFC remains the national-level policy, lobbying and promotional organization for nearly 13,000 dairy farms across Canada, seeking to ensure “an environment for producers’ economic viability within the context of supply management.”

The organization, at its Winnipeg meeting, also announced the creation of a new environmental stewardship award to recognize dairy farmers “who go beyond common industry practices.”

The new DFC award, starting next year, is meant to “recognize the achievements of dairy farmers implementing environmentally sustainable practices, which positively contribute to climate change issues and/or manage natural resources efficiently.”

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