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ONTARIO WELCOMES TREE FRUIT SPECIALIST

Erika DeBrouwer, peach and pear grower and now OMAFRA tree fruit specialist, will be sharing her knowledge and extension skills from the Simcoe, Ontario office. She joined January 11.
 
She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Master of Science in Plant Agriculture, both from the University of Guelph.  Her Master’s thesis focused on improvement of shelf life in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples using hexanal, as part of a large-scale international research effort spanning six countries and numerous crops.
 
Erika’s family owns and operates a tree fruit farm in Blenheim. In the past, their peach orchards spanned more than 50 acres with four different varieties. In recent years, they shifted from production to processing, and their farm now processes Ontario-grown peaches and pears, available at stores across Ontario under the Golden Acres Peach Company brand. In 2019, Erika out-competed more than 100 other businesses at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, successfully pitching her farm’s jarred peaches for distribution at Metro Inc. Her ability to understand both the production and business aspects of tree fruit will be invaluable in her role at OMAFRA.
 
Previously, Erika worked as a farm technician at Bayer Crop Sciences in Elora, and as an activation specialist for Climate FieldView.  She is also a former participant in OMAFRA’s Summer Employment Opportunities program, having worked with the field crops unit in Ridgetown in 2013 and 2014.  She can be reached at erika.debrouwer@ontario.ca or 226-931-4098.
 
In other OMAFRA news, Elaine Roddy has returned to her role as vegetable specialist, based out of the Ridgetown office, after a leave of absence.  
Source : OMAFRA