Alberta Pork has a dedicated and democratically-elected board of eight directors. Each director comes to us with a unique perspective on the pork industry, and they are all committed to upholding and promoting the standards and values of Alberta Pork.
Board of Directors
Brent Moen (Chair)
Brent is President of Verus Swine Management Services Ltd. in Calgary. Until recently, Verus owned and managed a number of large swine operations in Alberta. Brent is also the nominated company representative for Red Willow Farms in Alberta.
Brent serves the swine industry as Chairman of the Board of Western Hog Exchange (WHE), a position that he has held since April 2011. Brent Moen has over 35 years of feed mill and livestock management experience, obtained while working for world-recognized companies including Maple Leaf Foods, Landmark Feeds, Elite Swine and Cargill.
Stan Vanessen (Vice-Chair)
Picture Butte, AB
Stan is a partner-owner of AVE Farms Ltd., which has been producing hogs for more than four decades. Stan sees a real need for changes to the current pork pricing situation and marketing model to help improve profitability for independent producers.
Martin Waldner (Treasurer)
Hartland Colony (near Bashaw), AB
Martin is from Hartland Farming Co. Ltd. in Bashaw, Alberta and manages a 750-sow farrow-to-finish operation. He and his wife Martha are the proud parents of three boys and three girls. Martin has enjoyed working with hogs since the late-1990s. Becoming an Alberta Pork director was a choice he made to try and learn all he can about the challenges this industry faces, and to help this industry become stronger and better.
Iron Springs, AB
Hendrik was born and raised in South Africa. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science and is involved in mixed farming including pigs, dairy, sheep and crops. Hendrik immigrated to North Carolina in 2005, where he spent five years before coming to Canada in 2010. Hendrik has been married for over two years and has a couple of children. As a director for Alberta Pork, Hendrik knows that we are facing some challenging times in the pig industry and hopes to contribute in any way to make this sector more secure.
Red Deer, AB
Ian was born and raised in Barrhead, Alberta. He studied computer science at the University of Alberta and developed a producer database for a processing plant before accepting a position at the Western Hog Exchange (WHE).
Over the next decade, Ian worked to modernize the booking and settlement systems for the WHE, launching a risk management system and helping integrate their booking systems with the Alberta Quality Assurance program and the Alberta Swine Movement application.
Today, as the Manager of Hog Procurement Western Canada for Olymel, Ian works closely with producers.
Three Hills, AB
Marcel is a partner in an 850-sow farrow-to-finish operation near Three Hills. He feels strongly that the existing western Canadian hog pricing model, based on the U.S. price, does not bring fair value to producers. Marcel is an outspoken supporter of Alberta producers on this matter.
Craig started working in the swine industry in East Yorkshire, England after leaving high school and has been in this industry ever since. He first worked on a 500-sow, farrow-to-finish facility as assistant manager for eight years and successfully completed a four-year City and Guild Swine Business Management Course at Bishop Burton College (U.K.), which opened up an opportunity for Craig to work in the Canadian swine industry.
Craig moved to Acme, Alberta after accepting a position with Sunterra Farms in 1998. He has worked in all areas of Sunterra Farm’s swine operations and has gained business experience doing so. In addition, Craig managed the practical side of the transition of Sunterra’s swine business in Ontario.
Lakeside Colony (near Cranford), AB
Mark and his wife Janet have four children: Scarlett, Troy, Lilly and Boe. Mark manages a 500-sow farrow-to-finish operation at Lakeside Colony near Cranford, Alberta. He likes working with hogs and feeding people.
Mark wants to ensure that Albertans have access to high-quality pork every day, which is why he has been involved with Alberta Pork for the last decade. As an Alberta Pork director, he wants to help build a strong and sustainable pork industry for the short and long term.
Darcy Fitzgerald, Executive Director
Currently the Executive Director of Alberta Pork, Darcy has a technical diploma in Biological Sciences and holds a BSc and MSc from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Alberta. Darcy has spent his career in the agricultural industry. Previously Darcy has worked for the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, the Alberta Livestock Industry Development Fund, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and Esso Chemical.
Javier Bahamon, Quality Assurance and Production Manager
Javier is an Animal Scientist passionate about swine production. He was born in Colombia, surrounded by a culture of cattle and swine production. He graduated university in 2001, and has been involved with the swine industry for more than 13 years. Since 2008, he has worked with different companies within the industry, and he now has the opportunity to work as the Quality Assurance and Production Manager. He leads the production team made up of himself and Cristina Neva.This is our ground team who serve producers and consumers with the best biosecurity, animal welfare and quality assurance practices.
Bijon Brown, Production Economist
Bijon joined Alberta Pork in November 2019. He is responsible for analyzing market information, studying cost of production and providing a regional perspective on economic data and Alberta Pork's impact in rural communities.
Bijon holds a Ph.D in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Alberta, along with a Master’s in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan and an undergrad degree from his home country, Jamaica.
Janice Brown, Administrative Coordinator
Janice joined Alberta Pork in October 2018. She is responsible for coordinating various administrative tasks, including overseeing our reception area and main phone line, along with event and staff logistics, among other duties.
Marilyn Griesheimer, Office and Finance Manager
Marilyn joined Alberta Pork in February 1977. As a veteran employee, she oversees many aspects of office administration, including payables and receivables, financial records, personnel files and a wide range of other tasks as required.
Andrew Heck, Communication Programs Coordinator
Andrew joined Alberta Pork in June 2018. He is responsible for coordinating all producer communications; public, government and media relations; marketing and social media initiatives. He previously spent more than five years working in Alberta’s research and innovation industry.
Cristina Neva, Quality Assurance and Production Specialist
Cristina has a Bachelor in Animal Science degree from the National University of Colombia, and graduate studies from the University of Manitoba. She has twelve years of experience as an Animal Scientist at different companies in Colombia and Canada. She has enjoyed working with the Agriculture Industry in many different positions and provinces. Having worked from production site to research site, she brings a broad set of skills and pork industry experience to Alberta Pork.
Christina Quinn, Traceability Coordinator
Christina originally hails from northern Alberta, specifically around the Municipal District of Smoky River. She grew up in a culture surrounded by agriculture. She moved to Edmonton to pursue a degree at the University of Alberta. She started working at Alberta Pork as a summer student in 2007, and she has been with us ever since. Currently she is the Traceability Coordinator with Alberta Pork, and she also is the resident handler and translator for the entire office IT infrastructure.
Jose Rivera, Agriculture Intern
Jose joined Alberta Pork in February 2020. He holds a technical diploma in nanotechnology systems/applied sciences and previously spent seven years working in environmental sciences, with a focus on laboratory work and customer service. He works closely with the Traceability program and the producers to meet their needs and assists with other staff projects and day-to-day tasks.
Charlotte Shipp, Industry Programs Manager
Alberta Pork welcomed Charlotte in 2007, and she has worked with producers in this role for the last 5 years. In addition to administering the Alberta hog Feeders Association (AHFA) since 2010, she works directly with producers on a wide range of programs. In the course of her work, she has liaised with producers, government and industry partners. She supports our producers through helping grant applications and managing labour initiatives.