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N.B. names ag round table members

A new and permanent 28-member board of advisors to New Brunswick’s agriculture minister has been named and tasked with advising Ron Ouellette on an ag strategy for the province.

The Minister’s Round Table on Agriculture, first proposed after the province’s Agriculture Summit in April last year, is generally to “offer ongoing advice to the minister on issues related to improving the agriculture and agri-food industry in New Brunswick.”

Its initial task will be to assist Ouellette in analyzing the final reports of six task groups, created after the Ag Summit to “engage industry in the process of establishing a long-term plan for New Brunswick’s agriculture industry.”

“The Minister’s Round Table on Agriculture will be key for the department as we develop a variety of policies and programs to establish a sustainable, viable agriculture industry in this province,” Ouellette said in a release Thursday, naming the Round Table’s members.

“This forum provides another opportunity for industry stakeholders to provide government with advice on issues pertaining to the industry, and ensure that stakeholders continue to meet with me and my staff on a regular basis.”

The Round Table, which Ouellette said “represents a strong cross-section of knowledgeable participants with many years experience in both provincial and national agriculture sectors,” is expected to meet four times a year.

Along with Ouellette, who will chair the Round Table, notable members include Dairy Farmers of Canada president Jacques LaForge; Maarten van Oord, president of the provincial Soil and Crop Improvement Association; Barb Somerville of the National Farmers Union in New Brunswick; and George MacLeod, a director with Egg Farmers of Canada.

Members also include Kathy Trueman, Robert Bourgeois, Kevin Antworth, Phillip Christie, Vince Kilfoil, Joe Brennan, Jean-Marie-Pelletier, Ed Kavanaugh, Jean-Eudes Chiasson, Rob English, Patrice Finnigan, Reg Perry, Larry Brown, Robert Godbout, Tony van de Brand, Stephanie Coburn, Jennifer MacDonald, Marco Servant, Karen Davidge, Mary McKenna, Bernard Savoie, Denis Berube, Pierre Laviolette and Gerald Daley.

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