A word from Don Dietrich, Director of Gay Lea Foods

My grandparents had a farm near Owen Sound, which is where I got the farming bug. After graduating from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in Agriculture, plus four years with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, my wife Susan and I bought a farm of our own.

After renovating an older barn, building an addition and acquiring 17 cows, we started milking in 1991. With the completion of another addition our barn is now home to 32 purebred registered Holsteins. We use the rest of the farm to grow corn for silage, mixed grain and hay.

We’ve been members of Gay Lea Foods since 1992. As a dairy farmer, it just made sense to have a stake in the processing side of the dairy industry. Elected as a delegate for two terms, I was able to serve as Zone Chairman, Delegates Governance Advisory Committee member and Chair, and delegate representative on the Gay Lea Governance Committee.

My experiences with Gay Lea over the years has instilled in me an appreciation for Gay Lea as a co-operative, dairy processor, and for its commitment to training and developing its delegates and directors. I consider it a great privilege to have a seat on the Board of Directors. And I see it as a huge responsibility to work as a team with the board to guide our co-op in the best interests of our member owners.

I am confident that Gay Lea will successfully navigate the challenges that lie before us. We will have to grow not only the processing side of our business; but also, in the number of our producer members. With our strong management team under the leadership of Michael Barrett I am confident that we can achieve our strategic goals.

Gay Lea From the Farm

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