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SPRING 2006 YOUR RIDGETOWN COLLEGE CONNECTION A SEMI-ANNUAL NEWSLETTER FOR ALUMNI, STAFF, STUDENTS, FRIENDS AND CLIENTS OF RIDGETOWN COLLEGE Wheat Researcher Retires After Dedicated 31-Year Career Most people can’t wait to retire, and many start their retirement countdown several years before the actual event. Not so for Dr. Arend Smid. After 31 years as a researcher at Ridgetown College, Arend is still enthusiastic about his work. “As time goes by, both research and teaching become even more enjoyable,” he says. “I can’t believe I have to stop already!” Arend was raised on a mixed farm in the Arend says that in his early career at Netherlands, and came to Canada with his Ridgetown, a lot of research was done family in 1952 when he was 11 years old. screening winter barley and spring cereal After several moves, his family settled in the lines from Agriculture Canada and Ridgetown area, where Arend first learned University of Guelph breeders. He also about Ridgetown College. He originally conducted many management studies, planned to attend Ridgetown College, but which included looking at row spacing when his parents moved to Thedford, he options, optimal planting dates for winter decided to continue his education at the wheat, and nitrogen fertility. Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) in Guelph. More recently, Arend’s work has focused Arend graduated with a Bachelor of Science on using cereal breeding expertise from degree in 1965, the first year University of national and international sources to Guelph degrees were granted to OAC improve the yield, quality and food safety students. He enjoyed learning and the of Ontario winter wheat. Discovering new discovery element of research, so he varieties and testing them in the field is continued his education by completing a something that Arend has always enjoyed. Masters degree in Guelph. He followed this “Being out in the field is like a holiday for up with a Ph.D. in Plant Nutrition at the me,” he admits. Arend has also managed University of Kentucky. It was while in the registration process of several wheat Kentucky that Arend met his wife, Willa Dale. and oat cultivars, including Freedom, RC Doyle, Whitney and Tribute. In 1975, Arend was working as a Research Scientist at Agriculture Canada in Brandon, Arend very humbly passes the credit for Manitoba when the opportunity arose for much of his success in cereal research to him to return to his old stomping ground. his technicians. “John Cofell, Scott Jay, “Someone from the College called to offer Jeff Horn and Bruce Humphries have done me a job as a lecturer, so I landed in an excellent job in managing the research Ridgetown again,” he says. “In fact, plots and producing top quality results,” I ended up in the same office that I had he says. “I owe all of them a big thank you!” once occupied as a summer student in the early 1960’s.” continued on page 14 A Message From... OAC Dean Ridgetown Campus Director Congratulations to all of you for your On my daily travels to and from this campus tremendous efforts in making the Rudy H. I observe the steady progress of our new Brown Rural Development Centre a reality. educational and athletic facilities. This new facility will provide an enormous As I watch the Rudy H. Brown Rural boost to educational programming at Development Centre develop I am reminded Ridgetown, as well as to the local community. that sometimes great things require great On behalf of OAC, I am pleased to recognize effort and determination. I want to thank the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of campaign staff and everyone who has provided support and/or assisted with the capital volunteers, and the many generous donors who have invested in the campaign for this new facility. I am excited to think of the many future of Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry. benefits these new facilities will offer our students, the community In a few months, Ridgetown will welcome the first cohort of and rural stakeholders. students in a unique new University of Guelph degree program – the Today it is important to recognize and celebrate the career of Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management (BBRM). This degree – 60% Ridgetown plant scientist, Dr. Arend Smid. Arend’s sincere science and technology, and 40% business studies – is designed to dedication to teaching and his steadfast commitment to crop provide students with the skill set they’ll require as they embark on genetics, particularly wheat cultivar evaluation, are the foundation management careers in the growing area of bio-resources. of his 31-year career at Ridgetown. The initiation of multi-campus programming such as the BBRM is At this time of year, the Campus is busy with many student part of the strategic integrated plan for OAC. The continued recruitment initiatives and I am pleased to note that current development of the regional campuses at Ridgetown, Kemptville applicant numbers to full-time education programs continue to and Alfred as providers of distinctive, high quality educational look strong. Working closely with the Guelph campus, planning programs will help serve a variety of learners and fulfill industry continues for the arrival of our first Bachelor of Bio-Resource requirements for skilled workers. Management degree students, scheduled to begin their studies at It is a period of change and opportunity, as we strive to deliver the the Ridgetown campus this September. I want to thank everyone very best in innovative life sciences education and research for involved in this exciting ‘educational adventure’ for their agriculture, food, the rural community and the environment. commitment to further developing the Ridgetown campus through degree programming. Sincerely, Thank you for your continued support of the Ridgetown campus. Kindest Regards, Dr. Craig J. Pearson Dean, OAC Dr. Ron Pitblado Acting College Director Address Updates, Alumni Corner News On-Line version or ROOTS story ideas: www.ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca/alumni/roots.cfm Janet Nauta ROOTS is published twice per year by the Alumni Services Co-ordinator Ridgetown College campus, University of Guelph ROOTS Staff E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 519-674-1504 Financial support for ROOTS is provided by Janet Nauta, Editor the Ridgetown College Campus and the Liz Meidlinger, Project Manager Ridgetown College Campus, Westag Alumni Association Photo Support University of Guelph 120 Main Street East, Ridgetown, ON NOP 2C0 Joseph Krogman Phone: 519-674-1500 Richard Armstrong Fax: 519-674-1530 www.ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca 2 firstname.lastname@example.org Several Gold Medals for Westags As Ridgetown Hosts Ontario Provincial Agricultural Games (OPAC) In early February 2006, the College hosted 222 students from Kemptville, Alfred, St. Clair, and Ridgetown Colleges for an action-packed, two-day sporting event. Ridgetown athletes worked hard and came home with several gold medals. Congratulations to Vicki King, OPAC program co-ordinator, and all the coaches and participants! Gold Medal Performances Badminton Men’s Singles & Men’s Doubles Bowling Men’s Broomball Mixed Curling Mixed Indoor Soccer Men’s & Women’s Floor Hockey Men’s 3 Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre CONSTRUCTION UPDATE The mild winter weather has provided some great construction opportunities and progress on the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre is moving along steadily. The Ridgetown College Agri-Food Foundation, the campaign team, and project managers fully expect to open the new facility in September 2006. October 2005 January 2006 March 2006 PROJECT FUNDING OVERVIEW $4.10 M Province of Ontario $0.60 M Municipality of Chatham-Kent $2.20 M Private Support $0.30 M Still to Raise $7.20 M Total Project Budget A Small Glimpse of the 2005 Campaign Year – These photos represent just a few of the many donors who helped the campaign reach and exceed its 2005 fundraising goal. 1. Maizex Donation: Dave and Brenda Baute 2. Ridgetown Rotary Donation: (back row) Blake Sheets, Dr. Ron Pitblado, Jeff Geddes, Terry Youlton, John Peter Van Haren, (front row) Faith Wood. 3. Western Fair Donation: Ken Monteith, Dennis Lang, Karl Nevin. 4. Monsanto Canada Donation: Dan Wright, Mike McGuire 5. The Pestell Group Donation: Don Pestell, Jennifer Whelan, Craig Pearson 1. 4 email@example.com 2nd Phase of Campaign Exceeds $1,000,000 Private Investment Target THANKS TO YOU – OUR SUPPORTERS To date, the 2nd phase of the campaign has raised over $1.2 million in private support for the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre campaign. As campaign chair Ken Monteith looks on at construction activities, he notes, “We have been tremendously fortunate to have garnered the support of so many alumni, agribusiness organizations and friends of the Ridgetown College campus to allow this construction process to begin.” In early 2005, a keen group of volunteers began a campaign to raise $1.0 million. As the calendar year progressed, so did the support for the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre. “Ridgetown alumni stepped forward with great support,” says Ken Stevenson, Alumni Campaign Chairperson. “We were thrilled with the commitment of alumni through the came forward to help reach the goal. in the Ridgetown community and in Ontario spring and fall telephone campaign “It was an easy task to engage agribusiness agriculture. “Our group asked the program. We had the expertise of the main in supporting such a worthwhile project,” Ridgetown community to support the Guelph campus on this particular activity, notes Bruce Magee, Corporate Campaign College by supporting the new Centre,” and we couldn’t have done it without them.” Chairperson. “The College is key to says Betty Van Haren, Community Beyond the telephone campaign, many developing young men and woman who Campaign Chairperson, “and they did!” other alumni ‘stepped to the plate’ to make will enter into production agriculture or “Many donors have made a commitment an investment in their rural community and agribusiness careers.” to this project since it was initiated,” notes their College. A small group of local leaders accepted the Monteith. “We hope that many of these Agribusiness organizations saw the task of better informing people in the area generous people will join us for our grand opportunity to make a difference and many about the many roles the College plays both opening celebration later this year.” 2. 3. 4. 5. 5 Darren Robinson (left) examines his sugar beet plots with summer student Chris Pathin. Researchers Work to Advance the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Whether it be a Niagara area vintner, a tomato processor in Dresden, or a sugarbeet grower from Camlachie, all have benefited from the research conducted at Ridgetown College. Fruit and vegetable research has always been a priority at Ridgetown, In the world of vegetable crops, seeing new products approved for and there are currently four research scientists on campus working to weed control is a rare occasion, but Robinson’s research efforts have improve this industry. Research done by Darren Robinson, John led to the registration of Pinnacle for tomatoes and Assure on snap and Zandstra, Steve Loewen and Ron Pitblado has garnered a high level lima beans. His research also attained a reduced pre-harvest interval of respect from both growers and the industry. for Pursuit on green peas. Steve Loewen’s focus is tomato breeding. He has taken literally John Zandstra enjoys targeting his research to areas that have thousands of genetically diverse tomato varieties created by immediate benefits for growers and the industry. For example, he is researchers at Ag Canada’s Harrow Research Station and is turning currently trying to determine how to keep sugar beets in piles from them into useful varieties for private plant breeders at companies such spoiling during mild winter weather. Zandstra is working with the as Heinz and CanGro Foods. The Harrow project began in 1984, and growers to see if smaller piles are the key, or if special water shedding involved scientists crossing cultivated tomatoes with every wild tomato poly-felt sheeting can help keep the piles from taking on too much species they could find to broaden the gene pool. “My job is to make moisture, while at the same time allowing the beets to breathe. He is these so-called ‘junky’ varieties look more like a cultivated tomato,” also conducting trials on how to increase the sugar content in beets. explains Loewen. Loewen says the processors have asked for and In the area of grape production, Zandstra has seen first hand how are getting a firmer, earlier maturing, disease-resistant fruit which seriously cold weather has set back vintners’ tonnage. He hopes peels well and shows good colour. that genetics from other countries will improve the viability of Weeds are Darren Robinson’s area of expertise. In his work, he looks grapes in Ontario. “By incorporating some breeding stock from at tank mixes, timing of sprays, and herbicide carryover and how each Austria, Italy and Germany into the popular wine varieties grown affect weed control in fruit and vegetable crops. One ongoing project is in Ontario, we hope to see superior cold tolerance characteristics the creation of a herbicide application model for so-called ‘micro-rate’ in Ontario grapes,” he explains. spraying. “This model will tell vegetable crop growers the ideal time to Ron Pitblado’s research with weather data to predict the most spray developing weeds, based on data delivered by the Ontario effective spraying time has certainly proven itself to the growers Weather Network,” says Robinson. who take his advice. In the fall of 2005, sugar beet growers in Michigan 6 firstname.lastname@example.org and Ontario were advised through Pitblado’s BEETCAST spray model off-campus trials. Fruit and vegetable research requires a number to do one final spray for Cercospora leaf spot fungus on a certain day. of locations with differing soil types and other geographic features, The farmers who did not follow the late season recommendation from so the researchers’ work is often done on one of over 75 co-operator BEETCAST delivered a lower sugar quality crop that was deemed to farms across Southwestern Ontario. “I like doing this kind of extension have cost the grower co-operative sugar plant millions of dollars in work where the growers are at home with their own cropping lost product. Pitblado also developed TOMCAST, a weather-timed conditions. Growers are much more comfortable talking to me about fungicide spray program for processing tomato growers. Soon his their production issues this way,” said Robinson. The College also has work will be collaborated with efforts from researchers in Wisconsin. two satellite research stations in Cedar Springs and Centralia. That spray model will be tested on research plots in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island in the battle against late blight in potatoes. Fruit and vegetable research requires a number of Pitblado also has an interest in irrigation on specialty crops. locations with differing soil types and other geographic Since we have been plagued with what seems like hotter and features, so the researchers’ work is often done on one of drier summer weather, the subject of irrigation on specialty crops over 75 co-operator farms across Southwestern Ontario. has become an important issue. “Despite the necessity of irrigation on some crops, the timing of the water application is equally important,” says Pitblado. “In tomatoes, processing Although Ridgetown’s research scientists are experts in their fields, companies require fruit solids, and excess water from the fruit cuts the key to a successful research project often lies in using the into profits.” In fact, Pitblado says a new contract is imminent where resources and expertise at other institutions as well. Numerous strong growers will be paid based on the percentage of tomato solids. As a linkages have been established between Ridgetown and Agriculture result, Ridgetown research into deficit irrigation (deciding when to and Agri-food Canada, as well as the ag research departments at shut off the water before harvest) has become a vital project for both several universities in Canada and the United States. For example, growers and industry. Steve Loewen works with researchers in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and California. This co-operation is important to achieving the best One other key area of research that Pitblado leads is the screening possible results to benefit the Ontario fruit and vegetable industry. of insecticides and fungicides on vegetable crops. The program at Ridgetown is Canada’s largest research program of this type. The With over 63 years of combined experience in fruit and vegetable results of these trials are published in OMAFRA’s Publication 363 research, the scientists at Ridgetown College have proven their and delivered directly to growers at many meetings where Pitblado dedication to the industry. And, by continuing to respond to its unique is asked to speak. challenges and opportunities, they will continue to be a well- respected and integral part of the fruit and vegetable industry. Not all of Ridgetown College’s research occurs on-campus. The researchers point out that an important aspect of their work is 7 Westag Alumni Association News Westag Alumni Association President’s Message Well, things are really booming around the old alma mater. Construction of the new Rudy H. Brown Centre is well underway and the Alumni Association looks forward to using the new facility for future banquets and events. Keep up the good work contractors! Also, I would like to thank all the alumni for the financial support and the ongoing support for this facility to become reality. Not only do we need a facility like this for the College, the community will get a great deal of use out of this venue. I would like to encourage people to utilize the alumni section on the website to contact old friends and fellow alumni. Also, remember to share the good news in your life with other alumni by sending it in to the ROOTS Alumni Corner. Maureen Hagan President, Westag Alumni Association Alumni Corner Do you want to read more about other Ridgetown College grads? Visit the Alumni Contact section of www.ridgetownc.on.ca. You can post your own information and get the latest news from your classmates. To have your alumni news printed in ROOTS, send an e-mail to email@example.com. Bill Zwambag (‘74) was recently presented with a 2006 Syngenta 4-H Dave and Dana (Johnston) Standeaven (‘98) are thrilled to announce Ontario Arbor Award for his outstanding volunteer work with the 4-H the birth of their second child. Anna Louise was born November 4, program. In 2005, another Ridgetown grad, Colin Pool (‘83), also won 2005, a sister for Scott. an Arbor Award. Sharla (Lee) Thompson (‘01) married Mike Thompson in 2002 and Keith (‘88) and Helen (Cook) (‘89) Stewardson have two boys, Caleb their daughter Sydney was born in May, 2005. Sharla is currently and Jacob. They custom feed and graze cattle on their farm near working as an RVT for the University of Western Ontario Veterinary Sauble Beach. They also have a home renovation, custom cabinetry Services in London. and carpentry business. Maureen (McCutcheon) Hagan (‘93) married Pat Hagan in 1996. They were preciously blessed with a new son, Caleb Patrick, In Memoriam on October 25th, 2005. Heather (Lassaline) Heyboer (‘93) and her husband Ken are now the Elmer E. Johnson (‘54) passed away August 15, 2005 from proud parents of two boys. Joshua Thomas was born on February 10, complications following brain tumour surgery. 2006, a little brother for Ryan. Bruce Cole (‘68) passed away on November 27, 2005. Kim (Huson) Surette (‘97) and her husband Paul are pleased to Wilfred Kuipers (‘76) died suddenly on March 4, 2006 announce the birth of their son Connor on October 9, 2005. as the result of a farm accident. Kevin Boersma (‘97) is the Chief Credit Officer for Syndenham Lloyd Clark (‘83) passed away on March 7, 2006. Community Credit Union. He married Tara Million in 2001 and they are the proud parents of Kaleb, born in February, 2003. Chris VanStee, a senior agriculture diploma student, died in a car accident on October 26, 2005. Our sympathies go out to the families and friends of these alumni. 8 firstname.lastname@example.org Class of 1955 Celebrates 50-year Anniversary 2005 Alumni Banquet Recap It was a sold-out crowd for the Annual Westag Alumni Banquet, held on November 19th, 2005. Congratulations to the Class of 1955, winner of the 2005 Royal Flush Award. They had the highest percentage of graduates from their class attend the reunion. As part of the fundraising efforts for the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre, Ron Gelderland and his classmates from the Class of 1960 sold 50/50 draw tickets. Thanks to their excellent sales abilities and the generosity of the guests, $425.00 was raised for the building. A special thanks to the draw winner, Darrell Sykes (‘80) – he donated his winnings back to the fund! The 2005 Westag Humanitarian Award was presented to George Members of the Class of ‘55 proudly display the Royal Flush Award. Earley (‘60). Congratulations, George! Front row (left to right): Richard Parkinson, Allan Downie, Dick Gilbert, Bill Galbraith, Nelson Stephens Back row: Ross Tedford, Allan Haugh, Don Orton, Ian Adamson, Harlan Nash Alumni Association 2006 Alumni Banquet Helps Current Students All graduates from years ending in a 1 or 6 – THIS IS YOUR REUNION YEAR! One of the roles of the Westag Alumni Association is to encourage This year’s banquet will be held on and support current students. There are several ways each year November 11th, 2006. Watch for your that the Association demonstrates this support. invitation in the mail in early October. Awards The Alumni Association sponsors two awards each year: ■ Top Student in Crop Management The $150 award is given in the fall to 2006 Alumni Bonspiel the student with the highest mark in DAGR 2200 - Crop Management I. ■ Student Overcoming Adversity As usual, the 2006 Alumni Bonspiel was well-attended and a lot of This $500 award is presented at fun for everyone participating. graduation to a student overcoming Maureen Hagan, Alumni Association President, presents In the first draw, it was a hard fought battle, but Dunc Gates’ Class adversity to achieve a Diploma in any the Student Overcoming program. Examples of adversity would Adversity Award to Jason of 1958 team edged out another Class of 1958 team led by Bill be a learning disability, family Verstraeten, an Environmental Buchanan. In the second draw, Ron Pearson (‘69) skipped his problems/tragedy, or personal tragedy. Management diploma graduate, team to the win over Amber Sayer and her team of 1998-99 grads. at the 2005 Convocation. Review Although everyone received a prize, the real winners at this Each year, the Alumni Association year’s bonspiel turned out to be those who finished in last place! sponsors the Review Public Speaking Contest. To celebrate the underdogs, UPI Energy provided $50 gift certificates Stress Kit Packages to each of the members on the losing team in each draw. These In a continued effort to help students cope with the stresses and certificates could be redeemed for product at any UPI Gas Bar. tension of exam time, the Westag Alumni Association offers parents the opportunity to show their child that they are thinking of them by Thanks to Les Hogg, Bill McBrien, Bill Buchanan, Duane Morden sending a Stress Relief Care Package. Parents purchase the and Ken Nesbitt for all their hard work in organizing the bonspiel! package, containing food staples, toiletries and tasty treats, from the Association. In the week before exams, representatives from the Alumni Association deliver the kits to the students. If you have any questions or comments on Westag Alumni Association activities, please contact Maureen Hagan at email@example.com. 9 CROSS-CANADA GRADS Ridgetown Alumni Living from Coast to Coast It’s a safe bet to say that most of the people reading this issue of Roots are living in Ontario. In fact, over 95% of Ridgetown College grads remain in this province. There are, however, approximately 100 alumni spread out across Canada. Our records show that Westags are living in every province and territory except Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories. In this issue of Roots, we’d like to introduce you to a few of these grads. Doug Pugh ’69 – British Columbia weather and crop quality. As the Weed Man, we try to achieve green and weed-free lawns, which is what a lot of people desire.” Doug Pugh grew up on a farm near Chatham, but having a career in Doug loves living in B.C. He still plays hockey, and he can golf almost farming was never his goal. His all year. “Snow stays on the mountains, not on the roads or the golf summer job working at the Libby’s course,” he notes. And although he doesn’t have all his family vegetable processing plant members nearby, the community has become his extended family. convinced him that his focus “The people in Chilliwack are great,” he says. should be on the food side of the agri-food industry, so when Doug Eugene Asnong ’72 – Alberta graduated from Ridgetown College Eugene Asnong in 1969, he began working in clearly research at Libby’s. remembers the After holding several positions at first test he ever Libby’s, Doug left that company in 1985 and joined Omstead Foods in handed in at Leamington. In 1989, he accepted a management position at Ridgetown Pillsbury/Green Giant in British Columbia, and Doug, his wife and two College – it was children then moved to Chilliwack. blank. “My English skills In April 1997, Doug had to make a career change when the Green were very limited Giant processing plant where he worked was closed. Doug had – I hardly always enjoyed a well-groomed lawn, so when a job transition officer understood any of the lectures, and even fewer of the test questions,” from Pillsbury suggested he look into a Weed Man franchise, Doug he says. Thankfully, Eugene, who had been living in Quebec, soon liked the idea. “I actually inherited my appreciation of a weed-free learned the language and successfully completed his diploma in 1972. lawn from Rudy Brown. I remember that he didn’t even like people to walk on the grass,” he says. Eugene’s original plan when he came to Ridgetown was to learn more about agriculture and the English language so he could return to his Doug’s Weed Man business has been very successful, and he now family farm and work more closely with the Vermont farmers who has over 800 regular customers. Chilliwack is a growing community purchased their grain corn. The pull to return to Quebec weakened, only one hour from Vancouver, and the mild weather allows him to however, when he met Linda (Lin) Baker, a junior RCAT student from work on lawns from February to November each year. Although Stratford; they married in June of 1972. basically a “Mom and Pop” operation, he and his wife Susan have four trucks and employ four extra people in the busy season. Eugene worked at several positions across Ontario before he and Lin returned to their farming roots with the purchase of a farm near “This is a great change from the food industry,” he says. “With food, Mitchell in 1978. “It was on this farm that we learned the ropes of you are always dealing with problems beyond your control like the running a farrowing operation,” he says. “This knowledge, combined 10 firstname.lastname@example.org with my dairy farming background and my Ridgetown marketing produce was higher in Saskatchewan. “You also can’t buy Vernors or lessons, became the basis of what I do today.” After struggling caramels out here,” she reports. “Whenever someone from Ontario with the high interest rates of the early 80s, and the loss of a young comes for a visit, we ask them to bring these items.” One good thing son to leukemia, they left farming and Eugene returned to the ag- that is noticeably absent is the humidity in the summer. service industry. For the record, Jane wants everyone to know that Saskatchewan In 1987, Eugene accepted a position with BSM Agri in Arthur where is not as flat as her elementary school teachers led her to believe. he was responsible for hog and dairy equipment sales. He is still “Really, I think Southwestern Ontario is flatter than some parts of employed by BSM, and the Canada-wide scope of the business Saskatchewan,” she says. allowed Eugene the opportunity to move west in late 1999. “Lin and Over the years, Jane has tried to keep in touch with some of her I have always enjoyed the Rockies and the prairies so Alberta was classmates, but busy schedules and distance make it difficult. She a good choice for us. The mountains are only a half hour drive to the encourages everyone to put their updated information on the Alumni west, and 1500 km of open prairie is to the east,” he explains. Contact Centre area of the Ridgetown College website at Although two of his children live in Alberta, Eugene returns often to www.ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca. Ontario to visit his youngest daughter. “We enjoy our trips east to see family, friends and all the maple trees, especially when they are in full Wayne Petrie ’60 – Manitoba colour,” Eugene says. Eugene would love to hear from his classmates at email@example.com. When you mention Miami, most people immediately think of bikinis and the sunny beaches of Florida. But there is also a Jane Westhouse ’85 – Saskatchewan Miami in Manitoba, home to Wayne Petrie, Saskatchewan has been home a 1960 agriculture grad. to Jane Westhouse (nee Wayne is originally from Atwood, Ontario, Blonde), a 1985 grad, since 2001. and after graduation he returned there to “My husband has lived in the farm. It was a fateful trip to Alaska that first brought the Petrie family West since 1983,” says Jane. to the village that would one day become their home. “We were on “When we got married, our way to Alaska for a vacation in 1973 when my wife became ill,” it was easier for me to move says Wayne. “She ended up in the hospital in Carmen for 10 days.” than it was for him to relocate.” With two small children in tow, Wayne toured around southern Jane grew up in Blenheim, Manitoba to pass the time. and until her move to Wayne was impressed by the Miami area for several reasons. He liked Saskatoon, Chatham-Kent remained her home. After graduating the fact that the land was cheaper and was suitable for growing corn with an Ag Business and Commerce diploma, she immediately put for silage. The large number of trees in the area was also a selling her education to good use as the Senior Branch Clerk at a local point. Still, when the final decision was made to relocate to Manitoba grain and fertilizer company. In 1993, it was time for a career change in 1974, Wayne credits an understanding wife for making it possible. and Jane began working for the Village of Erieau as the “Marilyn was pregnant with our third child when we moved and she Treasurer/Hydro Billing Clerk. Her last position in Ontario was in still stuck with me,” he says. Accounts Payable at a Ridgetown factory. Wayne is now semi-retired from farming, and works only a 1/4 section Jane is now working at the University of Saskatchewan, where her (160 acres) of land. Ten years ago, he started to take advantage of all education is still proving to be an asset. “My position is in Financial the trees in the area and began a stump removal business. Along with Reporting, which involves opening research accounts for faculty looking after the grandchildren, this keeps him pretty busy. Wayne members,” notes Jane. “There is agricultural terminology in some and his wife still have family in Ontario, so they try and come back of the accounts, and I surprise myself sometimes because I actually every two years. remember what it means from one of the courses at Ridgetown.” After 30 years in Manitoba, Wayne can confidently say he is Jane notes that there are several differences between Ontario and happy with the decision to move from Ontario. “We have raised Saskatchewan. Coming from an area where fruits and vegetables are three successful children here, and have a good life,” he says. plentiful and the cost is reasonable, she first noticed that the cost of “This is home.” continued on next page 11 CROSS-CANADA GRADS continued from page 11 Hélène Glémet ’81 – Quebec continues to work at clearing more of his property. “My woodlot does have marketable timber on it,” he says. “I haven’t cut much this year For someone who didn’t know what she wanted to because prices are currently low, do after high school, Hélène Glémet has certainly but I did sell logs a few years ago done a lot. when the market was stronger.” Hélène was born in Germany, but grew up in New While continuing to clear his land, Brunswick and Quebec. Although she wasn’t from James has found work at a couple a farm, she had an overall interest in how farming local businesses. After working at worked. “I didn’t have a career goal in high the Chipman Sawmill for a year, he is school, but I was really into the ‘back to earth’ movement,” Hélène now doing on-call trucking for J.D. says. “Agriculture was the basis of that so I wanted to learn more Irving Transportation. about it.” Helene remembers looking at various agriculture schools, but her adventurous spirit led her to Ridgetown. James admits that it is sometimes a struggle to live in a new place away Hélène enjoyed the courses she took at Ridgetown and even worked from family and friends. “It is hard to on a local vegetable farm during the summer. “I think if the opportunity be the ‘outsider’ in a tight knit had presented itself to have a career in farming, I would have been community,” he says. James also happy doing that for the rest of my life,” she explains. finds that the job opportunities are not as abundant as in Ontario, and there is less selection for building materials and food products. One After graduating in 1981, Hélène returned to the Ottawa area and thing he appreciates is the number of trees and the unspoiled nature began working at a health food store. She still had a strong interest in in his adopted province. “Most of New Brunswick is tree-covered, agriculture, and in 1985 she decided to build on her diploma education which is a big change from Ontario,” he notes. “I have deer in my yard by starting a degree at the University of Guelph. Hélène quickly and I’ve seen moose nearby. It really is a beautiful place to live.” learned that she enjoyed biology, especially fish biology, and she graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science with a major in Fisheries Science. Ron Schmidt ’86 – Nova Scotia Hélène didn’t end her education with a Bachelor’s degree. She Growing up in Perth County, Ron continued her schooling, obtaining both a Masters (Comparative Schmidt dreamed of a career in Physiology) and a PhD (Aquatic Sciences). Hélène is now a Professor farming. After graduating from and Researcher at the University of Quebec at Trois Rivières, with her Ridgetown College in 1986, he main area of expertise being fish physiology and how it links to worked on a few different farms, ecological processes. “As soon as I discovered what research was, and eventually became the I knew I had found my niche,” she says. herdsman at Craigcrest Holsteins in Arthur, Ontario. It was there he Still adventurous, Hélène has travelled around the world as a keynote met his future wife, Joanne, speaker at a number of conferences. She is now looking forward to a Nova Scotia native. a sabbatical later this year when she plans to travel to Arizona to work with other experts in her field. In 1994, Ron and Joanne moved to her hometown of Port Hood, Nova Scotia where they worked on her family’s dairy farm. That same year, they founded “Galloping Cows James Ring ’03 - New Brunswick Fine Foods”, producing fruit spreads, pepper jellies, fruit sauces and James Ring, a 2003 Agriculture grad, moved to New Brunswick soon punch mixes. “Wild blueberries are Nova Scotia’s biggest export, and after finishing school. For him, the main attraction of the Maritimes we felt there was a need for a new value-added business for all the was the abundance of inexpensive property. “Land prices are cheap locally-grown blueberries and other fruit,” says Ron. in New Brunswick, and I was interested in owning my own property, Creating a successful business doesn’t happen overnight, and Ron possibly for a small market garden,” he says. and Joanne have taken every opportunity to promote their products. James and his wife now own 153 acres of land in Chipman, New “We’ve exhibited at the One of A Kind Show in Toronto, and have Brunswick, something they would not have been able to afford in visited food shows in San Francisco,” says Ron. This promotion, along Ontario. At this time, only 3-5 acres are workable, but James with having a top quality product, has paid off. Although initially only 12 firstname.lastname@example.org serving the Cape Breton region, Galloping Cows now supplies product veterinarians. She also works with other agencies to monitor possible to over 80 specialty food stores, farm markets, and gift stores across cases of zoonotic diseases (BSE, West Nile virus, rabies, etc.) and the Maritimes. In 2006, they plan to further promote their on-line store other infectious diseases. at www.gallopingcows.com, and also expand into the Ontario market. One of Cathy’s most memorable experiences on the job was during One recent accomplishment for Galloping Cows is a product a rabies outbreak in 2002 and the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program order they received from the Canadian Consulate in Germany. (ORVP) that followed. “I spent several weeks vaccinating domestic “The consulate was looking for unique products from each province animals, and then spent a month in the air dropping oral rabies to showcase Canadian quality, and they choose our preserves as a vaccine bait from a helicopter,” she explains. “The bait was quality product from Nova Scotia,” explains Ron. consumed by the foxes, which aided in stopping the spread of the disease and its eventual elimination.” Cathy’s experience with rabies In addition to managing Galloping Cows, Ron stays busy driving a is not limited to Newfoundland – she spent two weeks in Texas in school bus and working on the family farm. And, despite having such January, 2006 helping with their ORVP. a busy schedule, Ron does enjoy the fringe benefits of living close to the Atlantic Ocean. “I love the beaches, the smell of salt air, and the Cathy has definitely made use of the education she received at lobsters,” he says. “It’s idyllic.” Ridgetown, and is still an advocate for the College. “I tell everyone interested in a career in veterinary technology to consider Ridgetown Cathy Roberts ’97 – Newfoundland College,” she says. Kari Mathers ’04 – Yukon Of over 5,000 people who have graduated from Ridgetown College, Kari Mathers has the distinction of being the only one to currently live in the Yukon Territory. A Class of 2004 graduate Kari working in the ruins of New from the Veterinary Cathy prepares for post-mortem diagnostic testing. Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Technology program, Kari moved to Whitehorse in the As one of the first two Ridgetown College students to come from summer of 2004 when her husband accepted a job there with Newfoundland, it doesn’t seem surprising that Cathy Roberts (Vet Tech Environment Canada. “I was able to complete the 6-week externship ‘97) ended up back in her home province. However, if it hadn’t been for required in the Vet Tech program at a Whitehorse clinic, and a denied visa application, Cathy’s life could have taken a different turn. thankfully was offered a permanent position here,” says Kari. In May, 1997, Cathy missed her graduation ceremony to attend a job Kari hasn’t spent all of the last 18 months in the Yukon. In September, interview at a veterinary hospital in New Jersey. She was offered the 2005, she was part of a Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT) that job, but 3 months later received word that her work visa application traveled to New Orleans to aid in the rescue, medical and husbandry had been denied. Not wanting to wait for another visa application to needs of thousands of animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. be processed, she hopped in her car (with a cat she adopted from the “We went through homes looking for abandoned animals,” says Kari. College) and headed to Alberta. “The streets were deserted, but you could hear dogs barking. Some Cathy worked at the Sylvan Lake Vet Clinic for several months, and houses had been spray painted by the National Guard as notification added to her family with a rescued Dalmatian puppy. In May, 1998, that animals were in the house.” After rescuing the animals, the group she drove back to Newfoundland for a 9-month contract with the worked to reunite pets with owners, and also shipped animals to provincial Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Animal Health shelters across Canada and the U.S. for adoption. Division. Eight years later, she and her pets are still there. Whereas in Whitehorse many of her clients are sled dogs, 90% of the Now a full-time Veterinary Technician with the DNR, Cathy’s work dogs she rescued in New Orleans were pit bulls. “There is a strong mainly involves disease surveillance, agricultural and wildlife dog fighting culture in the area where we were,” Kari explains. necropsies, and providing laboratory diagnostic support for staff continued on next page 13 CROSS-CANADA GRADS continued from page 13 Although her week in New Orleans was emotionally draining and She didn’t stay unemployed for long. Her sister was visiting from difficult (Hurricane Rita hit while she was there), Kari was sad to Nunavut, and she made Becky an offer. “My sister invited me to leave. “Everyone on the team felt strongly about what we were doing stay with her while I decided what my long-term plans were,” says and didn’t want to go home,” she says. Becky. Within hours of landing in Iqaluit, Becky had found a job in the housekeeping department in a hotel, and she stayed there for Kari, a native of Mississauga, enjoys living in Whitehorse and now six months. considers it her home. “This is a great place to live. The people are great and we have made lots of friends,” she says. She encourages When Becky came back to Ontario after her extended visit, she all Ridgetown grads to take the opportunity to visit or live in the area. attended Fanshawe College, where she received a certificate in Computerized Office Essentials. She then returned to Iqaluit to begin Rebecca Leighfield ’94 – Nunavut a position with the Nunavut government. September 11th, 2001 Becky now works as a Senior Mining Clerk for Indian and Northern changed the world in a lot Affairs Canada. “Nunavut is a huge area, with lots of potential for of ways. For Becky diamonds, sapphires and other precious gems,” Becky explains. Leighfield, a 1994 grad, it “I provide mining information to the public and the mineral industry.” started a chain of events With her love of the outdoors, Becky has found that Nunavut is a great that would lead her to place to live. “I love the summer here,” she says. “It is daylight most Nunavut. of the time and the temperature is between 5 and 15 degrees C. I get Before the World Trade off work, get my dog, and just walk in the quiet areas outside of town Center attacks, Becky was for hours.” Becky also recommends Nunavut for anyone looking for a working as a supervisor at new adventure. “There are many job opportunities here, especially for an auto parts factory in Tillsonburg. Her company, worried about a those who like physical labour’” she reports. possible decline in its export business because of the unstable Becky returns to Ontario two or three times each winter to visit her market, soon severed the employment of Becky and some of her family. “I have a good network of friends in Iqaluit, but I also like to co-workers. come home,” she says. WHEAT RESEARCHER RETIRES AFTER DEDICATED 31-YEAR CAREER continued from cover Beyond research, Arend has been a dedicated instructor, teaching subjects ranging from math to pedigreed seed production. “I really enjoy the students – some need a little more guidance than others, but they all mature a lot in their two years here,” he notes. “Arend’s cereal breeding expertise has clearly benefited Ontario’s wheat industry, and when you combine this expertise with strong agronomic knowledge, he has been a terrific asset as a diploma program instructor,” says Dr. Ron Pitblado, Acting College Director. “His open door policy and approachable manner is appreciated by all students.” Along with his successful career, Arend will be remembered by many on campus for his friendly manner and for riding his bicycle to work year-round. One recent grad even said that her favourite thing about Ridgetown College was “seeing Dr. Smid on his bicycle and saying ‘hello’ to anyone One of Arend’s Research Technicians, John Cofell, was with he passes.” him for his entire 31-year career. He relied on John’s expertise to Away from work, family life and church have been priorities for Arend. He and Willa Dale have four ensure excellent results in his sons and recently became first-time grandparents. cereal research plots. Best wishes for a wonderful retirement, Arend! 14 email@example.com Looking for Alumni Contact Info The 2006 Westag Alumni banquet for graduates in years ending in a 6 or 1 is only a few months away. Our alumni mailing list is missing the addresses for some of these grads, and we need your help to get it updated. We want to ensure that everyone is invited to the banquet, so if you have contact information for any of these people, please call Janet at 519-674-1504, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete list of Ridgetown College “Lost Alumni”, visit www.ridgetownc.com/alumni/lostalumni.cfm. 1956 1976 Paul Meloche Teresa Veenstra Charlie Dries Rory Bruce William Mitchell Dave Veraart Paul Klachan Richard Dermott Wayne Oosterhoff Edmond Zenka Marwood Martin Anthony Goossens Susan Picken Allan Riddell Roy Guest William Shebec 1991 Clarence Haak Paul Smith Deborah Bannister 1961 Gloria Harvey Susan Stevens Mike Boersma Ted Allen Jay Jackson Bernard Tetreault David Page Arthur Dickson Aaron Lemon Norine Vanderveen James Shuttleworth James Ferriss Alexander MacDougall Terry Walker Simon Ginn Anthony Mederak Dean Williams 1996 Arthur Hawkins Richard Parks Douglas Yorke Lisa Allen Eldon Lehrbass Adriano Prelaz Carri Chillingworth Donald O’Neil Deborah Shanks 1986 Adrianna De Boer Francois Pinsonneault Gregory Topp Larry Bauer Laurie Earish Garfield Rice Dennis Urback Debbie Brommer Bill Geisel Joseph Rooney Ida Van Grinsven Mabel Cook Amanda-Lynne Godin John Shaddock Mary Anne Walker Stephen Crowe Amanda Holden John Vandersluys Robert Walker Rob Davidson Joanne Kerslake Donald Waters Brian Willems Kevin Heeney Stephanie Lezun David Henderson Cindy Shipton 1966 1981 Jim Hunter John Siebelink William Allen Alison Abel Scott Jackson James Hayes James Bergsma Jeanette Jeppesen 2001 Robert Howlett Gail Blathwayt Mike Johnson Krystyna Czarnik David Lindley Wendy Blonde Maria Lassam Michelle Gagne John Stapleton James Clayson Jennifer Lee Nanette Kennepohl Stephen Wilson Michael Dick Dan Mastronardi Tilly Lucier Danny Digiovanni Allan Mcrae Scott Vandriel 1971 Maureen Driver Michael Mulholland Jaime Wilkins Maurice Caron Steven Dunlop Ronald Neufeld Lesley Worden Rick Iler Jennifer Ellis Richard Payne David King Leonard Groetelaars Anthony Pilon Gerald Krauter Bruce Hajas Lorraine Porteous Hugh McCaughey Harald Harms Jim Schunk Raymond McDonald Timothy Hutten Mike Snyder Wayne Pierce Mary Kleinzieverink Sharon Speers Donald Windsor Pierre Martin Darwin Van Wynsberghe 15 Westag Alumni Golf Tournament Registration Deadline: Saturday, July 29, 2006 J U LY 1 4 , 2 0 0 6 A golf tournament for Westags Westag Alumni Golf Tournament - Registration Form and their guests will be held on Saturday, July 29th Saturday, July 29th. This is a Name of Alumnus: fun event and golf skill is not Graduating Year: a pre-requisite, just get your Phone Number: classmates together to enjoy Address: a summer afternoon on the Province Postal Code golf course. E-mail address: ❐ I will be participating in the Westag Alumni Golf Tournament. My team members are: 2. 3. 4. (Individual entrants will be assigned to a foursome) Fee per golfer: $65.00 # of golfers x $65 = Payment Options: ❐ Cheque enclosed ❐ VISA ❐ Mastercard (Please make cheque payable to: Ridgetown College, University of Guelph) Card # Location: Ridgetown Golf Club Card holder Name: Time: Tee-offs start at 1:00 p.m. Expiry Date: Format: Choose either Team total score or Best Ball Register for this event before July 14th by mailing or faxing your completed form to: Entry Fee: $65.00 per person Janet Nauta, Ridgetown College Phone: 519-674-1504 Includes: 18 holes of golf, cart, prizes, and a 120 Main Street East Fax: 519-674-1530 Ridgetown ON N0P 2C0 Email: email@example.com steak dinner following the tournament 120 Main Street East Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0 1842293
"Wheat Researcher Retires After Dedicated 31-Year Career"