London, ON – Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) are pleased to announce that Keith Robbins has been hired to lead the organization as its new general manager. Keith takes over the role on September 17, 2019, following the resignation of Cathy Lennon. A seasoned leader within the hog and poultry sectors, Keith brings more than 27 years of experience in management, communications and marketing to the processing vegetable sector.
Keith grew up in rural southern Ontario and started his professional career as an information officer with the provincial government at Centralia College. He spent 19 years with Ontario Pork, leading the communications and marketing activities at a time that saw increased consumer-directed marketing. For the past six years, Keith has been the executive director of the Poultry Industry Council – an industry-led, non-profit organization supporting Ontario’s poultry sector. He has expanded education and outreach activities for the organization and strengthened the revenue stream for activities through strategic partnership.
“We welcome Keith to OPVG and look forward to his leadership and guidance as the organization faces changes to how we market Ontario’s diverse range of processing vegetable crops,” says Dave Hope, chair of the OPVG Board. “Keith’s experience in other ag sectors will bring a perspective that will benefit our producer members, and we know his level-headed approach will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
Keith graduated from Centralia College with an Agricultural Business Management diploma in 1989, graduated from Conestoga College with a certificate in Volunteer Board Management in 1993, attended the University of Waterloo for a Bachelor of Environmental studies in 1993 and obtained his Executive Development Program from the George Morris Centre in 2005. He also has his Incident Command System Level 1 and 2 training. Keith has a progressive approach to association management including education and extension activities, staff management, administration, finance, research experience and advocacy.
The OPVG is a marketing board regulated under the Farm Products Marketing Act and represents nearly 400 Ontario processing vegetable growers producing crops such as tomatoes, onions, sweet corn, carrots, cucumbers, green, wax & lima beans, green peas, squash and pumpkin. Farm gate sales for our processing vegetable crops in in 2018 was just under $100 million. OPVG members are family-owned and operated businesses, growing vegetables for Ontario food processors and a US-based greenshipper.