Suzanne Van Bommel is the choice of Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal to chair the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Marketing Board for the next two years.
She is a former chief of staff for a previous Ontario agriculture minister, she is part owner of HAR MAR farms, manages a 560-acre cash crop business producing corn, soybeans and peas, a hog finishing business and is president of GPS Group, a public relations and issues management company serving agriculture companies and the provincial government.
The government took control of the marketing board earlier this year, dismissing the directors farmers elected and installing former agriculture minister Jeff Buchanan to chair the board and negotiate contracts for this growing season.
Buchanan is also vice-chairman of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Council which supervises marketing boards.
There are farmers who are not happy about what has happened and they continue to lobby for changes.
Van Bommel will have a board of directors that includes four appointed by the government and four that will be elected. The eight directors will eventually all be elected by farmers to two-year terms with half of the directors elected each year.