Dr. Melanie Wowk and her husband operate Wowk Ranch, a multigenerational cow-calf operation near Beauvallon. Melanie has also been primarily a cow-calf veterinarian since 1993, operating her own practice, and now working in the pharmaceutical industry. She has served six years on the ABP board, including three years as a member of the Executive and currently sits as ABP Chair. She is also a board member for Alberta Farm Animal Care.
In her time as ABP Chair, Melanie has provided leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, a year of significant drought conditions, and raised awareness surrounding rural Alberta’s lack of access to veterinary services.
Sheila Hillmer and her family have a farming and ranching operation near Del Bonita, and her two sons are beginning the process of succession in the family business. Sheila is a Key Account Manager with Elanco Canada, a global animal health company. Sheila works with corporate feedyards and is based in southern Alberta. She also spends a significant amount of time developing and executing Learning and Development, both internally within Elanco and externally to customers.
Brodie Haugan was raised on his family’s ranch, near the town of Orion. Brodie attended the University of Saskatchewan, earning a Bachelor of Science in AgriBusiness. Along with his parents, he operates a commercial cow-calf herd, and they produce all their own feed. He also works with several feedlots, backgrounding and finishing cattle. Brodie is a graduate of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program and a past board member of the Young Cattlemen’s Council.
Nanita Blomquist and her family operate in the Big Valley area, where she represents the fourth generation of cattle producers.
Nanita is excited to return to ABP to be serve on behalf of producers in her area. She’s passionate about the industry and wants to ensure that it is promoted in an ever-changing marketplace and that we continue to tell our story and stay in the forefront.
Jay Hager and his family run a 400 head cow-calf operation near Provost. They also operate a welding business that fabricates cattle handling and feeding equipment, and custom fence in the summer. Jay is an active 4-H leader for the Stainsleigh club and is involved at district and regional levels.
Kent Holowath operates a grain and cow-calf operation with his wife, Jill, and three kids near Rumsey. They have both purebred and commercial black Angus cattle, as well as a backgrounding operation. Currently he is the head leader of the Rumsey 4-H Beef Club and a director at the Big Valley Feeder Association.
Lee Irvine and his family have recently set up a grass backgrounding operation in the Cochrane area. Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to market cattle through TEAM and Calgary Stockyards, to sit in the boardroom of multinational pharmaceutical companies and to run the auction market and feedlot software for ViewTrak Technologies. He has been an auditor for the Verified Beef Production Plus program and sat on the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Framework Committee.
George L’Heureux operates a ranch near Lac La Biche. As he reaches retirement, he is downsizing to a 60 head cow-calf operation, which will allow him to dedicate more time to ABP to assist the industry in going forward. He has previously served as county councillor, and currents sits as chair of the Athabasca Heifer Co-op and vice-chair of the Lac La Biche Ag Society.
Fred Lozeman operates a farm near Claresholm. Along with family members and dedicated employees, they produce cattle, grains, oilseed, and forage. Fred has been an ABP delegate for the past four years, including four years as a Director, three years as the Chair of the Research Committee, three years on the Governance Committee, and two years as an ABP representative for BCRC.
Gary These, together with his wife and son, operate a cow-calf and backgrounding operation north of Peace River. Gary has been an ABP delegate for the last two years and was previously a director for Peace County Forage and Beef. At ABP, he was on the Cow-Calf Council and found risk management very interesting.