Leadership

John Hemsted, Chair
John Hemsted 

OSF Chair

District 6

With more than 40 years of experience in the Ontario sheep industry, John Hemsted brings a variety of skills and experiences to his role as Chair of Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF). He has been an active member of the organization for 20 years, taking active roles at local, provincial and national levels. As chair of the organization, John is involved in all committees as an ex-officio member. John is also a past chair of OSF.

John is president at Sunningdale Farms Inc. and controller of Central Monitoring Services Ontario Ltd. On his farm, he raises British Milk Sheep and a commercial ewe flock. He holds a degree in Animal Science from the University of Guelph.

As an agricultural volunteer and leader in the sheep industry, John says he understands and appreciates the contributions and commitment from those who give their time to make a difference in the industry. He is dedicated to serving the Ontario sheep sector, building a sustainable industry to ensure opportunities for future generations.

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Colleen Alloi, 1st Vice-Chair 
Colleen Alloi 

OSF 1st Vice-Chair

District 11

Colleen Alloi welcomed the first sheep on her farm in 1986, and has been maintaining a flock of about 100 ewes ever since. She sees great growth potential for the Ontario sheep industry – from existing and new farmers – because of the flexibility for animals to adapt to different environments. She’s been an Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) board member since 2012, serving on finance, dairy, production insurance/data collection and AGM committees, and representing the industry on the Toronto Stockyards Land Development Board.

Colleen graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. (Agr), majoring in agricultural economics and minoring in extension education. In addition to sheep farming, Colleen has enjoyed a 30-year career in the broader agriculture industry working with FCC and Lactonet. She’s also a regular vendor at the Mill Market.

Around the board table, Colleen knows the importance of bringing an open mind, speaking your own mind, and the willingness to compromise if that is what’s needed to move the industry forward. 

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Jay Lewis, 2nd Vice-Chair 
Jay Lewis 

OSF Director 2nd Vice-Chair  

District 2

Jay Lewis is part of a diverse farming operation, together with his family, that includes a lamb feedlot and a ewe flock that grazes on their solar farm. An Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) board member since 2016, Jay has served on finance and RMP committees.

After earning an Associate Diploma in Agriculture, Jay began his full-time farming career. He believes there are great opportunities for growth and prosperity in Ontario’s sheep sector, and wants to see greater inclusion and equity through the industry.

As an OSF board member, Jay understands that leadership involves accepting everyone’s viewpoint. He’s optimistic about the ability for new farmers to enter the sheep industry. And one of his guiding principles on the board is to embrace challenges and keep an open mind.

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Art Alblas, Director
Art Alblas 

Director

District 1

Serving his first term as a director, Art joined the Ontario Sheep Farmers board in October 2021. He grew up on a dairy farm, and currently raises a commercial crossbred and registered purebred Dorper and Southdown flock, marketing lambs and replacement breeding stock while growing field crops. In between his grassroots farming experiences, Art had a 40-year career in agribusiness, employed at Masterfeeds Inc. for most of that time. In his role at Masterfeeds he held senior management roles in provincial sales, marketing, animal nutrition, and national executive management as division general manager. He is a graduate of Centralia College of Agricultural Technology – Agri Business Management.

As an OSF board member, Art is involved in a variety of committees including, animal husbandry, GenOvis technical, governance, Maedi-Visna, convention, and the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission Sheep Industry Advisory.

Art is optimistic about the opportunities in today’s Ontario sheep industry, fueled by the energy of our new entrants, citing the potential for tremendous growth in the provincial, national and global marketplace.

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Keith Todd, Director
Keith Todd

Director

District 3

A fourth generation Ontario sheep farmer, Keith Todd raises a commercial and purebred flock (Southdown, Suffolk, Ile de France, and Dorset) of 600 ewes. Keith is currently serving his second year as an Ontario Sheep Farmers director and sits on the dairy sheep, genetics, and governance committees. He is also the president of the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association.

Before becoming a full-time farmer in 2005, Keith was a nutritional consultant and sheep specialist for Land O'Lakes Inc. He is a graduate of Ridgetown College, achieving an Associate Diploma in Agriculture.

As a leader and mentor in the sheep industry, Keith actively encourages others to enter the sheep industry. He believes it’s important to share knowledge and experiences to help others succeed on their own farms and collectively grow the provincial sheep sector together. 

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Marusha Kostuk, Director
Marusha Kostuk

Director

District 4

Marusha Kostuk didn’t set out to be a sheep farmer. She grew up in the family restaurant business, obtained a BA in food management from the University of Guelph, and is now a part-time sheep farmer. Marusha purchased her farm more than 10 years ago and raises light market lambs from her 100-ewe commercial flock. She loves the process of raising her lambs, working with butchers, and seeing the enjoyment from her customers.

Marusha joined the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) board in 2021, and participates on research, environment, and governance committees. She’s inspired by the diversity of the industry – the people, management styles, and flock sizes, and also by the similarities, they all share in working together to be successful and raise healthy animals.

When it comes to leadership, Marusha brings the perspective of someone newer to the sheep business and agricultural community and wants to help build the industry for small and large producers alike.

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Heather Little, Director 
Heather Little, 1st Vice Chair
Heather Little

Director

District 5

Heather Little has been involved in the sheep industry for 12 years and on the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) board for the last eight years. During her tenure on the OSF board, she has been elected as vice and 2nd vice-chair of the organization and served on a variety of OSF committees, including finance, environment, governance, RMP, research, dairy sheep, wool, and animal husbandry.

Heather balances and combines her farming experience and education in business and Associate Diploma in Agriculture with her current job as a real estate salesperson. She raises a commercial sheep clock, beef cattle, and field crops.

As an industry volunteer and OSF board member, Heather appreciates the time commitment and skills required of her fellow board members. She sees a lot of potential for the future of sheep industry and is invested in building the sector alongside her own flock.

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Ken Lamb, Director 
Ken Lamb 

Director

District 7

Full-time farmer and part-time volunteer, Ken Lamb is a newer member of the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) board, joining in 2021. But he’s no stranger to participating in various community and farm organizations. He’s been chair of his local district, is a founding member of Trillium Lamb Inc, – a lamb marketing company and is the current chair of Large Flock Operators – a producer management group.

Ken has a B.Sc. (Agr) in agricultural economics from the University of Guelph, and has been raising sheep since 2010 when he made the switch from hogs and cattle. He’s inspired by the awesome people who make up the sheep industry. And he’s working to help create an environment that helps all sheep producers thrive, including the next generation that has joined him on the family farm.

Ken knows leadership is hard work. But he also knows the process of gaining insights from multiple views and working together to move forward is worth the effort. On the OSF board, he’s part of the finance, RMP, and vegetative abatement committees. 

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Gary Fox, Director
Gary Fox, Director
Gary Fox

Director

District 8

Gary Fox has been farming all his life and an early lesson from his dad has served him well in farming and as an Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) board member – you’ll never learn anything if you do all the talking. Gary has been on the board for nine years, serving on environment, risk management, and governance committees. He’s always been interested in working to help keep sheep farming a profitable business.

Together with two sons and a grandson, Gary operates a sheep and dairy operation, including a flock of about 300 Dorper ewes, a South African breed. He’s encouraged about the future of sheep farming and encourages younger farmers to start small, within your means, to be sure you can be profitable.

Gary has volunteered his time on many boards over the years and his approach is to start by listening to find out about the issues and what’s happening before you jump in with advice. 

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Reggie Campbell, Director
Reggie Campbell

Director

District 9

Reggie is currently serving his first term on the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) Board of Directors, but he brings more than 20 years of experience volunteering serving on the boards of a variety of other agricultural organizations. He currently serves on the OSF governance, research, and wool committees.

A full-time farmer, Reggie raised sheep for more than 20 years and currently raises a commercial ewe flock of mixed Suffolk and Rideau breeds. He is encouraged by the growth potential of Ontario’s sheep industry and as an OSF director, he is an advocate for open communication.

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Lee Brien, Director
Lee Brien

Director

District 10

Lee Brien has been involved in the Ontario sheep industry since birth. He’s a fourth-generation sheep farmer, raising 60 purebred Suffolk and Jacob ewes. Lee is currently serving his second term as a director of the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) and also sits on the board of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission. As an OSF director, Lee has served on the wool, research, GenOvis technical, and Maedi-Visna committees.

A graduate from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, Lee continues his practical education working in the livestock industry and careers in sales, auctioneering, and as a Certified Crop Advisor. He credits a variety of industry mentors for this appreciation, knowledge, and passion for livestock.

His experience as an OSF director has taught Lee the value of communications. He believes that the ability for a leader to communicate with producers with clarity and transparency is a priority in the Ontario sheep industry. Lee says it’s easy to find inspiration in the industry, thanks to the variety of producers, production models, business strategies, and new uses for lamb, wool, byproducts, and genetics that continue to move the industry forward.

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To find out what counties each district represents click here.


Jennifer MacTavish, General Manager
Jennifer MacTavish

General Manager

Office: 519-836-0043 x 323

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Jennifer Johanson, Executive Assistant/Bookkeeper
Jennifer Johanson

Executive Assistant/Bookkeeper

Office: 519-836-0043 x 327

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 Mishka Morgan, Accountant
Mishka Morgan

Accountant

Office: 519-836-0043 x 325

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Anita O’Brien, On-Farm Programs Lead
Anita O’Brien

On-Farm Programs Lead

Office: 519-836-0043 x 322

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Tom Lewis, Industry Relations Specialist & Editor OSN
Tom Lewis

Industry Relations Specialist & Editor of Ontario Sheep News

Office: 519-836-0043 x 329

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Jan Smith, Administrative Assistant
Jan Smith

Administrative Assistant

Office: 519-836-0043 x 321

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Communication with the Board of Directors

While Ontario Sheep Farmers Board meetings are held in closed session, we are committed to ensuring open communication between member producers and the Board of Directors. Producers are invited to submit any matter pertaining to the business of Ontario Sheep Farmers for consideration by the Board.

Producers may make a submission to the Board of Directors. All written materials, including a written summary of any proposed oral submission to the board, must be delivered to the Ontario Sheep Farmers' office to the attention of the General Manager, three weeks prior to the Board meeting date.

The Ontario Sheep Farmers Board will make every effort to accommodate all producer requests in a timely fashion unless the proposed matter has already been duly considered by the Board, or is deemed to be a matter, which falls outside the jurisdiction of Ontario Sheep Farmers.

Unless otherwise stated all Board meetings are held in Guelph.