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Celebrating an industry that collaborates and works together. To me, that defines OPIC. “Collaborating for the good of the industry.” Whether you sit on an OPIC committee, serve as a Director, or pay dues as a member, you do so voluntarily, believing that working together, we do make a difference. The last 5 years has challenged everyone in this room. We all know the issues- health, trade, the Canadian dollar, feed prices, the list goes on. But by working together and creating an industry that communicates issues as well as opportunities, the Ontario Pork Industry can be and will be successful.

Over the past year, there has been a renewed spirit of teamwork. Examples of this include Disease Bulletins that you have received this winter. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ontario Pork, the Animal Health Lab at the U of Guelph, OPIC and OSHAB together worked out a method to alert the industry of health challenges. We are also working with Ontario Pork to present an Ontario Swine Health Strategy to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. As you will learn more tonight, it brings a comprehensive approach to fighting PRRS in Ontario. Our special interest meeting this fall on Sow Housing brought perspectives from Processors, Members of the Committee writing the new Pig Code and producers who have made changes to their farms. All of these initiatives could not have succeeded without different parts of our industry bringing their perspectives so that together we can develop a path forward.

Together this year, OPIC and OSHAB spent over $650,000 delivering projects for the Ontario Swine Industry. While all our projects are dependent on funding from various agencies, OPIC and OSHAB rely on your donations for the seed money to begin projects. We thank you for your continued contributions and encourage you to become active on OPIC committees or on the Board of Directors.

From all the Directors at OPIC and OSHAB, we need to extend a sincere THANK YOU to our Managing Director Lori Moser, HR Co-ordinator Sue Shafer, OSHAB Disease Control Coordinator Dr. Jane Carpenter, and to Donna Kaczmarczyk for all your efforts in accomplishing our goals, and keeping us focused.

To everyone in the pork industry, best wishes for a prosperous year ahead, and thank you for your support.

Eric Schwindt

© 2013 Ontario Pork Industry Council (OPIC)