The OHA Mission Statement
Hazelnuts Ontario is a dynamic, self-sustaining globally recognized centre of excellence leading and advocating for all stakeholders in the hazelnut sector. Vision: Lead the development of the hazelnut industry in Ontario. . The purpose of the Ontario Hazelnut Association is to:
Promote the development, sale and export of hazelnut agricultural products.
To provide educational opportunities to enhance hazelnut production in Ontario.
Set a vision for the hazelnut industry in Ontario for producers, aggregators, processors and retailers in the province.
Create a network for information and resource sharing, research and project collaboration.
Promote a brand "Hazelnuts Ontario" through the Ontario Hazelnut Association.
Actively advocate for the benefit of hazelnut industry growth and development.
Board of Directors
Eric Beriault Chair of the Board of Directors
Eric grew up on the fertile north shore of lake Erie, just outside of Blenheim, in Southwestern Ontario. Growing up, countless hours were spent in the cucumber, tomato, pepper and tobacco fields with his father and working for other local farmers. In 1997 he moved to London, Ontario and obtained a Business Marketing diploma from Fanshawe College. Eric was bit by the entrepreneurial bug in 1999 when he owned a Student painting franchise for the next 2 summers. Subsequent to that he entered the Real Estate world as a property manager and Rental Sales agent. This lead to becoming a Real Estate Investor and Mortgage Broker. In late 2009 he accepted his biggest challenge with the support of his business partners and family to start a new venture in energy efficiency somewhere in the United States. That somewhere ended up being California - the land of innovation, energy efficiency and sustainability. What drew Eric to Hazelnuts was the fact that it is a perennial, multi generational, sustainable crop. With the help of family and friends, the first 6 acres were planted in 2017 surrounding the family residence.
Ivan Tamminga Secretary
Scott Deslippe Treasurer
Scott is the Co-owner of G&S Equipment Rentals and Excavating based out of Amherstburg, Ontario in Essex County where he also owns and operates Kavery Nut Nursery. He was also President of the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2014 and served as Vice President and President of the Windsor ATSSA (Automotive Transportation Services Superintendents Association for a number of years while doing sales in the trucking industry. After owning a cash crop farm for nearly 10 years he began down the path of converting his 48 acre farm to a hazelnut orchard which he started planting in 2017.
Amanda Pilot Membership Chair
Gordon Chinnick Director
Raised outside Chatham on farm growing cashcrop and livestock. Studied System Design Engineering at Waterloo. Did software development for 25 years in automotive, medical and technology development industries. Cash crop farmer and beekeeping in Chatham Kent in recent years.
Martin Hodgson Director
Martin graduated from the University of Guelph in 1974 with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in Earth Science. Through the plethora of work experience Martin had, he traveled across Canada, The North Magnetic Pole, South America and Pakistan where he gained a wealth of experience that helped build the foundation for future endevours. Currently, Martin is the Exec. VP Anchoring for Williams Form hardware and Rockbolts (Canada) Ltd. of London Ont., where for the past 23 years he has been involved in the marketing and sales of anchoring products for rock, soil and concrete for heavy construction projects across Canada. Martin has lived with his wife Pat on a 100 acre farm, in Southern Ontario, just north of Lake Erie for the past 23 years. In that time, through many interesting agricultural endeavours, Martin can fully attest to the old saying that “a farm is a hole in the ground that you pour money into.” But it really is a life style that him and his family would not trade to live in any city for.
Les High Director
Les High and his wife Pat are using 8 acres of their agricultural land base to grow Hazelnuts. Originally a hobby crop on their parents' farmsteads, they feel that Hazelnuts can add value in multiple ways as a commercial tree crop in Ontario. Les graduated from the Agricultural College at Guelph in 1974. His wife Pat was employed at Agriculture Canada. Later they formed Highview Orchards. Tender Fruit crops were grown for several decades. Their three children were involved into their young adult years. Les is again a start-up farmer finding new intrigue with Hazelnuts. Les believes Hazelnuts will add horticultural diversity within the Tree Crop Industry for Ontario with economics from use in processing and fresh markets. Environmental benefits also exist. It is a crop low in cultural management cost and good research has occurred rapidly in the last 5 to 10 years. The opportunity exists for early adopters.
Kevin Hodge Director
Wayne McIntyre Director
Earl Hughson Director