Keystone Agricultural Producers’ (KAP) communications co-ordinator Val Ominski is retiring at the end of June.
Joey Dearborn has been hired to fill the position.
For the last seven years, Dearborn, who grew up in Emerson, Man., has been employed with the Manitoba government, most recently as a press secretary for Agriculture, Crown Services, and Infrastructure, KAP said in its May 22 newsletter.
Dearborn has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Winnipeg.
Ominski, who has been KAP’s communications co-ordinator since April 2012, will continue to work on contract for the farm group’s magazine, Farmers’ Voice, she said in an interview May 23.
Ominski’s career in the agricultural sector began in 1986, working for Manitoba Agriculture’s communications branch.
“I knew nothing about agriculture,” Ominski said with a chuckle. “I was a good writer so they hired me.”
Much of her work involved preparing ‘fact sheets’ turning scientific and technical information into material farmers could use.
Over the next 33 years Ominski did a lot of freelancing, including publicity for Manitoba Ag Days, Canada’s largest indoor farm show in Brandon, as well as work for the federal and provincial governments.
She also worked for a term with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Monsanto.
Before joining KAP, Ominski was at Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development writing letters and speeches for the minister of agriculture.
Asked if she’s ready to retire, Ominski replied: “It has come up so quickly. I’ve been busy at work. I’ll take the first little while off and do some house things, some gardening.”
Ominski said she also wants to volunteer to help new immigrants get settled in Canada.
One of the most rewarding parts of working for KAP has been working with members, she said.
“I loved working with farmers.”