Meet the Pesticide Vendor Instructors

Pierre-Alain Blais

Pierre-Alain Blais

Pierre-Alain Blais earned a B.Sc in Agriculture, with a minor in Crop Protection from McGill University, and a M.Sc. in Biology also from McGill University.  He worked as an adjustor for the Crop Insurance Corporation in Québec for several years, has taught agronomy courses at the Collège d’Alfred de l’Université de Guelph for 10 years and has been an agriculture editor and writer for a Franco-Ontarian bi-weekly farm newspaper for more than 10 years.  He is now working as a freelance translator for specialized agriculture and environmental texts as well as providing pesticide safety courses in French for growers and pesticide vendors in the Prescott-Russell United counties since 2005.

Bill Burden photo
Bill Burden

Bill has been spraying crops for over 40 years.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and has been involved in farm groups including the Soil and Crop Improvement Association and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Bill has taught with the Ontario Agricultural Training Institute and at Kemptville college as well as invigilated Nutrient Management courses.  Although he says he’s not an expert, Bill is one of the most experienced OPEP instructors, having taught the Grower Pesticide Safety Courses and Pesticide Vendor Certification Courses for more than 20 years. Bill’s biggest challenge is staying up to date on changes in the industry.

Barr Glofcheskie

Barry Glofcheskie

Barry Glofcheskie instructs the GPSC and the PVCC in the Guelph area for OPEP. He started his academic career at the University of Guelph achieving a B.Sc (Agr) in Environmental Biology.  Subsequently, Barry continued at the University achieving an M.Sc in Veterinary Entomology.  Barry also consults in the Organic Food production sector as an auditor and processor/producer consultant.

Claude Peloquin photo
Claude Péloquin

Claude teaches in the Algoma, Sudbury and Nipissing area.

Don Ross

Don Ross

Don facilitates the Pesticide Vendor Certification Course in the northern part of Oxford county and surrounding areas. He is an honour graduate of the University of Guelph BSc (Agr) and with a major in Crop Science. After 35 years in the crop protection and seed industry Don is retired and lives near Innerkip. He is in partnership with his brother John on a small cash crop farm. Since retirement, experience has been gained by involvement in the Obsolete Chemical Disposal Program. With over 25 years’ experience facilitating adult learning, Don always learns something new at each course. Learning new ideas and skills is what makes this role so interesting.

Steve Speller

Steve Speller

Steve was in the Grain and Farm Supply business for 32 years where he was involved in pesticide application and recommendations. He still holds his Agricultural Land Extermination and Structural Extermination licences as well as his Pesticide Vendor Certification.  Steve represented the Ontario Ag Business Association on the OPEP steering committee for 12 years.   Today he is involved with Aerial Remote Sensing and cash crop farming, where he still operates various sprayers.  Steve looks forward to learning more from his students’ experiences in agriculture.

Jim Walker

Jim Walker

Jim graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in Agricultural Economics and Business. Jim has worked as an agricultural banker, farmed farrow-to-finish hogs, cow-calf beef, cash crops and sold seed. He was also a Pork Advisor with OMAFRA, a Senior Financial Analyst with the AgriStability program and was a Specialist with Agricorp. Jim began teaching Grower Pesticide Safety Courses when they were first offered, until 2004. He then rejoined the Ontario Pesticide Education Program as an instructor in 2014 and now also teaches the Pesticide Vendor Certification Courses.