Industry News

Two Ontario sheep farmers recognized for their contributions to Ontario’s sheep industry

November 2, 2018

Two Ontario sheep farmers recognized for their contributions to Ontario’s sheep industry

For immediate release

November 2, 2018 (Alliston, ON) – The Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) recognized two long time members at the Ontario Lamb Banquet, held last evening.

Dick Kuiperij of Woodville was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Shepherd Award. He and his wife Marilyn, have been in the Ontario sheep industry for over 30 years, using Rideau Arcott and Canada Arcott genetics in their Eden Lane flock. Kuiperij was described by his peers a mentor to new entrants into the sheep industry, and as an advocate and spokesperson for industry education, himself participating in the Master Shepherd’s Course, the Ontario Maedi Visna Flock Status Program, and the genetic evaluation program. 

Recently retired Ontario sheep farmers Christopher Kennedy was recognized for his contributions to Ontario’s sheep industry as the recipient of the 2018 Long Service Award. Kennedy spent over 40 years in Ontario’s sheep industry, serving in many different leadership roles and capacities throughout that time, including chair of the OSF’s (then called the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency) board of directors in 2010/2011. His nominators noted that he has worked tirelessly to strengthen the sheep industry here in Ontario, with his knowledge and expertise about sheep production having benefited many producers in the province.

“We’re proud to recognize and acknowledge the significant contributions of Dick and Christopher to our industry,” said Rob Scott, Chair of Ontario Sheep Farmers. “From improving sheep genetics to ensuring sheep farmers had access to programming for predation, both of these industry leaders have provided leadership to help improve and sustain the sheep industry in Ontario.”

Heather Melinyshyn of Seeley’s Bay is the winner of the inaugural Industry Leader Award. She is currently a veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph with an interest in small ruminant veterinary medicine. Melinyshyn received a $500 cash award that she can use towards post graduate or industry education opportunities, or leadership courses. The Industry Leader Award was created to assist members of Ontario’s sheep industry further their leadership development. Funding for the award is from donations made in memoriam of Ontario sheep industry leaders.

This year’s undergraduate scholarship is Allison Brown from Woodville. Brown is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program at the University of Guelph, majoring in Animal Science and is involved in a number of activities and clubs on campus, including the Ontario Agricultural College’s Sheep and Goat Club. As the recipient of the 2018 undergraduate scholarship, Brown received $500. 

The banquet was a part of the 2018 Ontario Sheep Convention, bringing together members of Ontario’s sheep industry.

Ontario’s 3,000 sheep producers are represented by the Ontario Sheep Farmers organization. With a focus on profitability and sustainability, the organization works in the areas of advocacy, industry capacity, research and market development. Its goal is to provide consumers with premium lamb and sheep products. For more information visit 


For more information:
Jennifer MacTavish, General Manager
Ontario Sheep Farmers
O: 519.836.0043

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