Our Board

How the Board represents BC dairy farmers

Seven regionally appointed dairy farmers represent four regions: Northern BC, Southern BC, Mainland, and Vancouver Island. Three directors are elected by all dairy farmers in BC as members-at-large, and there is one independent director appointed by the board.

Holger Schwichtenberg

Chair of the Board

Representative from the Mainland region of BC

Holger is a second-generation dairy farmer in Agassiz. Together with his wife and three sons, Holger farms 210 acres and milks 160 cows in a three-robot barn. Holger is passionate about environmental leadership, serving on the Climate Action Initiative provincial steering committee, proAction environment pillar working group, as well as the provincial Environmental Farm Plan advisory group. Holger is also the president of the Kent Recycling Program and a Commissioner for the Agricultural Land Commission.

Sarah Sache

Vice-Chair

Member-at-Large

Sarah operates a dairy farm in Rosedale, BC alongside her husband Gene and brother in law Grant. Together, they milk 150 cows with three robots and farm 170 acres. With over a decade of dairy farming experience, Sarah has a passion for communicating about modern dairy farming with consumers, partners and policymakers, and connecting with future generations around the importance of a sustainable dairy industry. Sarah serves as BC Dairy’s Vice-Chair, is a board member on the BC Agriculture Council, serves on the Agricultural Advisory Committee for the City of Chilliwack, and has been a delegate for Agrifoods International Cooperative Ltd. since 2016. Sarah is also an advocate for autism awareness, and volunteers for the annual “Saccomaniacs Agriculture for Autism” golf tournament, which raises money for the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN). In addition to her role on the executive of the board, Sarah is the chair of the Market Growth committee.

Casey Pruim

Secretary

Representative from the Mainland region of BC

Casey is a second generation farmer in the Fraser Valley. Along with his wife Sarah, they farm 200 acres and milk 300 cows in Abbotsford. Using agri-technology to improve farm efficiency has been a focus for Casey. His farm features a new state-of-the-art calf barn, a rotary milking parlour, and manure separator that turns removed solids into bedding material after it’s been composted for the cows. Casey is on the Mainland Milk Producers’ Association board, sits on several advisory committees for the BC Milk Marketing Board, and is currently serving his first year on the Abbotsford Agricultural Advisory Committee. In his spare time, Casey coaches his children’s sports teams and is involved with his local church council.

John Kerkhoven

Treasurer

Member-at-large

John Kerkhoven is a second-generation dairy farmer from the Fraser Valley where he lives and farms with his wife, Darcie. His farm has two divisions; a dairy where he milks 120 cows, delivering a portion of the production to the grass-fed market, and a nursery specializing in greenhouse and outdoor cut flowers. John has been actively involved in agriculture leadership roles for over 17 years. Additionally, he is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nicomen Island Improvement District, which is responsible for the diking and drainage of Nicomen Island. As part of his role as Treasurer on the BC Dairy board, John is the Chair of the Finance and Audit committee.

Mickey Aylard

Member-at-large

Mickey Aylard is a fourth generation Vancouver Island dairy farmer and President of the Island Milk Producers Organization. She milks 100 cows with two robots and farms 300 acres with her family. Mickey’s farm follows some of the principles of regenerative agriculture, employing rotational grazing to pasture her cows, and using captured rainwater to irrigate crops. The amount of water captured by Mickey’s farm not only provides water for crop production, but also prevents flooding in the valley below them, protecting residential neighbourhoods. Mickey is also part of the Advisory Group on Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech (RAA) which aims to build a more resilient food supply through regenerative agriculture practices.

Lindsay Heer

Representative from Northern BC

Although not brought up as a “farm girl,” Lindsay grew up in the Bulkley Valley and has embraced country life since her second generation dairy farmer husband Janik, started dairying on his original homestead in the Bulkley Valley in 2009. They took over full operations in 2015, and together with their four daughters milk 100 cows, raise 250 cow-calf pairs, harvest over 2000 acres of crops and manage over 6000 acres of rangeland. As their dairy and beef business has grown, so has Lindsay’s desire to incorporate flowers, with her newest business–Robin Creek Flower Farm. Lindsay is a strong advocate for advancing women in agriculture and brings that to her work as Vice-chair of the Dairy Industry Research and Education Committee (DIREC), President of the Bulkley Valley Dairy Association, and as a director of the Bulkley Valley Cattlemen’s Association. In addition, Lindsay volunteers her time as the Chair of the Northern Agricultural Gala, and volunteers with her daughters’ 4-H Club.

John de Dood

Representative from Southern BC

Together with their two sons, John and June DeDood began farming in 1983 in the Okanagan Valley. They currently farm 300 acres and milk 110 cows in Grindrod. John and his family have diversified into agri-tourism, incorporating an on-farm destination called Farmer John’s Market, which showcases agriculture and offers locals and tourists locally produced meat and produce, unique crafts by local artisans, a restaurant and an ice cream parlour. John has served as the president of the Kamloops Okanagan Dairy Association, and currently sits on the executive in addition to participating in several committees. With BC Dairy, he chairs the Dairy Research and Innovation committee.

Ken Miller

Independent Director

Ken Miller is a non-producer Director who lives in Vancouver. While he doesn’t milk any cows, Ken has been working in the dairy industry for more than 20 years, holding senior sales and marketing positions with national and local dairy processors as well as contributing to BC Dairy’s Marketing, Education and Community Engagement Committee before joining the board. Additionally, Ken is the Treasurer of an Independent school in Vancouver and has served on several other not for profit community boards.

Dave Taylor

Representative from Vancouver Island

Dairy Farmers of Canada Director

Dave is a third generation dairy farmer on Vancouver Island. Together with his wife Lisa,   his brother, parents, son and nephew, all three generations milk 120 purebred holsteins and farm 400 acres in the Comox Valley. The Taylors have won several awards for producing top quality milk for BC and Vancouver Island consumers. They were also winners of the Canadian Outstanding Young Farmers award in 2008. Leadership within the industry has been a focus for Dave and his family. In addition to his role at BC Dairy, Dave serves on the Island Milk Producers Organization, is the BC representative for Dairy Farmers of Canada and is involved with a number of committees at a local and national level. Dave is a strong advocate for exemplary farming practices promoting sustainability in both agriculture and everyday life.

Jeff Hanson

Jeff Hanson

Representative from Southern BC

Jeff and his wife Jacqueline run a family farm in the Kootenays alongside his dad, brother and their families. Together they milk 550 cows in a 40 stall rotary parlour and farm 1500 acres of corn, alfalfa and barley. Jeff has been an active part of the Kootenay Milk Producers association and enjoys being involved in his community through coaching highschool volleyball as well as being involved on his church board. He started his involvement with BC Dairy as a member of the Finance and Audit committee and is excited to now be a Director on BC Dairy.

Mark van klei

Mark Van Klei

Representative from the Mainland region of BC

Mark is a third generation dairy farmer in Chilliwack. Along with his wife Christa he operates a 325 cow dairy and a 50 acre blueberry farm. His farm utilizes five DeLaval robots to milk and manage their cows, as well as a complete sand recovery system which removes sand from the manure which is reused as bedding for the animals. Mark enjoys working on behalf of farmers to help keep the dairy industry strong for future generations. He is currently the president of the Mainland Milk Producers Association and active on several committees. In his spare time he enjoys being outdoors with his family and supports his local community as a paid on call firefighter.