FarmSmart 2018 is here.
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Registration: 8:30 am, registration is open on-line or call the AICC 1-877-424-1300
Feature Speakers- 1:20 – 2:30 pm:
Rozanski 1 – The 5% Rule – Baby Steps to Bigger Profits –
Kristjan Hebert, Managing Partner, Hebert Grain Ventures
Hoping for unicorns and settling on good enough are very real when it comes to underperforming on your farm’s bottom line. Instead let’s focus on small improvements, balancing perfection and logistics, and aiming for excellence. The simple math will surprise you…
Dedicated to practicing and promoting excellence in farming. Kristjan Hebert was born and raised a farmer. He left the family farm briefly to get his CPA at the University of Saskatchewan but returned to his pursue his passion for farming.
Kristjan is the managing partner of Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV), a 12,000 acre grain and oilseed operation in southeast Saskatchewan. Kristjan quickly became recognized throughout the industry as one of the best young minds in farming.
After a brief stint at Meyers Norris Penny, he came back to farming with a focus on profitability. He is the Chairmen of Global Ag Risk Solutions and is a graduate of Texas A&M’s The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP).
Danny Klinefelter, of TEPAP, refers to Kristjan as “one of the most progressive young farmers he knows”.
Kristjan is also the co-founder of a new online platform WorkHorse Hub, geared towards solving a serious issue in agriculture today – labor.
Grateful for being born into farming, Kristjan has made it his life’s work to help each and every farmer increase revenue and reduce risk in hopes of helping them live a better life.
Rozanski 2 – Agriculture from a City Girl’s Perspective
Dr. Melodie Chan, Senior Manager Veterinary Services, Zoetis
Dr. Chan will tackle public trust, changes in consumer perceptions and choice, and how developing shared values might just be the key to our success in gaining inroads with our consumers.
Dr. Melodie Chan grew up in the greater Vancouver area as a city girl and fell in love with agriculture during her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia. In 2002, she graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and pursued a career within the cattle industry. After completing an internship in Dairy Production Medicine at Cornell University, Dr. Chan worked at a mixed animal practice in Saskatchewan and then started her own dairy veterinary practice in Olds, Alberta. Dr. Chan is currently the head of Zoetis Canada’s Technical Services Team for Cattle, Equine and Genetics.
Dr. Chan is a past-president of both the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians. In 2014, she was named as one of the honorees of Vance Publishing’s 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Award Program which recognizes people making a significant contribution to America’s food system. More recently, Dr. Chan received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Industry Award in 2016 that formally recognizes a CVMA member for their contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Chan has a passion for helping people to succeed by sharing knowledge that will improve animal health management, animal welfare and food safety.
To help plan your day check inside our brochure (will be available shortly) for the sessions you wish to attend.
- Crop Production
- Beef Symposium
- Business and Marketing
- Soils and the Environment
- General Interest
- Youth Program
9:00 am and 12:15 pm – Going Against the Grain, Turning Dirt Back to Soil in Michigan
Marc Hasenick, Hasenick Brothers LLC, Springport, MI
An efficient data driven approach to managing 4800 acres in Michigan through no-till, cover crops, cost of production analysis, fine-tuned fertility and some one-off pieces of machinery. (CM)
10:05 am and 12:15 pm – Where Soybean Physiology and Management Meet
Adam P Gaspar, IL
Profitable soybean production in tight margins with ever increasing environmental extremes requires employment of management practices that complement soybean physiology to maximize genetic potential year in and year out. (CM)I have spent my whole life involved with agricultural and the excitement surrounding its advancement. I have a passion for farming and agronomic research. Over the past decade my research and extension activities have covered many aspects of modern, Midwest row crop production, leading to multiple extension publication and 9 peer-reviewed journal articles. My research is very applied in nature and the resulting outreach is targeted at the farm level where these research findings can be immediately adopted by producers. The goal of my research is to increase crop production in an environmentally and economically sustainable fashion by improving crop management through the adoption of new practices and technologies.
10:05 am – Persistent Weed Management – Expel, Exploit or Execrate?
Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA
Clarence Swanton, U of Guelph
All farmers battle with tenacious, stubborn weeds. Get local research results and tips on how best to control problem weed species that are common on Ontario farms. (PM)
Dr. Swanton obtained his BSc in Botany from the University of Toronto, His MSc in Agrometerology from the University of Guelph, and a PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Western Ontario. His research is focussed on weed ecology and the development of integrated weed management systems for field and horticultural crops.
Mike Cowbrough is the weed specialist in field crops with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a position he has been in for 14 years. In 2009 Mike received the Canadian Weed Science Society’s Award for excellence in weed extension and in 2012 The T.R. Hilliard Award for agricultural extension in Ontario. He resides on a corn, soybean and wheat farm outside of Guelph with his family.
11:10 am – Weigh In On Wheat
Tim Meulensteen, C&M Seeds, Palmerston
Dave Arand, Atwood
John Winger, Palmerston
Wheat offers many benefits and value to a farm. Many of those benefits are not realized in the year of production. Things like yield benefit to other crops, building organic matter, living cover in the shoulder seasons of the year, excellent time for fertility application, opportunity for incorporating cover crops in the system, spreading the workload. Despite these benefits many people are abandoning wheat. Two well respected farmers will share their successes in making wheat an important and profitable part of their grain growing operations. Come and here why they value wheat in their system.(CM)
Tim Meulensteen, C&M Seeds – Session Moderator
Tim is a CCA-ON certified crop advisor who has worked in crop inputs industry since 2001. He graduated University of Guelph, OAC, Ag Bus in 2004. He has worked in agronomy, custom application, retail sales, and wholesale agronomy support. He enjoys living with his wife Jessica and their two young children at their small mixed farm near Atwood.
Dave Arand, Farmer Atwood, ON
Dave farms together with his wife Amy and two young children. They grow wheat, corn, edible beans, some soybeans. They also raise turkeys. Having a balanced crop rotation is important for him to for both workload and manure management. He grows two classes of wheat to spread the production and pricing risk. He heavily believes in setting pricing targets and forward contracting.
John Winger, Farmer Palmerston, ON
John and his wife Fran grow a balanced acreage of Corn, Wheat, Soybeans, Edible soybeans and introduces Red Clover as much as possible on wheat fields as well. He believes in strip till, improving soil health, and that you CAN make money with wheat while also improving the return of other crops at the same time. John grows mostly HRW wheat to maximize his return per acre.
11:10 am – The Battle against Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) Continues
Tracey Baute, OMAFRA
WBC are growing in numbers and distribution across the province. Best management practices for monitoring and managing WBC are continually being improved for corn and edible beans as we learn more. Get the latest info here. (PM)Tracey Baute is the Field Crops Entomologist with OMAFRA, working out of the Ridgetown Office. Tracey collaborates on applied research and demonstration projects to validate practical integrated insect management solutions.
12:15 pm – Cashing in on Cover Crops: A Farmers Panel
Moderator: Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA; Mike Belan,Oil Springs; Adam Ireland, Teeswater; Gerard Grubb, Mildmay
The ag industry is buzzing with talk of cover crops, but what is their real value? What do they cost? Three growers share their numbers on cover crop biomass, forage value, N credit and costs. (SW)
2:35 pm – The 5% Rule – Top 25 Attributes of a Successful Producer
Kristjan Hebert, Fairlight, SK
Kristjan and Danny Klienfelter (Texas A &M) are working on identifying the top attributes that are the common denominators to success. Come and find out if you have what it takes and where you can improve.
2:35 pm – How Do You Evaluate Precision Ag Strategies On-Farm? – Lessons Learned from the GFO Precision Ag Project
Ben Rosser, OMAFRA
Ben will explore the results from the recently completed GFO-GF2 sponsored major Precision Ag project that generated 25 case studies of applying PAg in grain production. (SW)
2:35 pm – Improved Forage Productivity with Sulphur and Improved Manure Use
John Lauzon, U of G
Christine Brown, OMAFRA
John will pair new data from a U of G study where the importance of sulphur was examined with Christine’s continued work on fine-tuning manure application to improve forage productivity. (NM)
3:40 pm – Ghosts of Corn Fields Past, Present And Future
Liz Lee, U of Guelph
What has haunted you as corn producers in the past and will in future? Things like the May 23 2015 major frost, big seasonal differences in light levels, poor soil conditions and delayed planting among others. In the future we may face new pests, more variable climate and less potential for genetic improvement. We need to think about how to manage these potential scenarios! (CM)
3:40 pm – Is Corn $Greener$ on the Other Side of the Fence (Border)?
John Molenhuis, OMAFRA
Can Ontario compete with countries like Brazil or France? How does Ontario grain and beef stack up? Results from the international agribenchmark network will compare Ontario to its global counterparts. (PD)
3:40 pm – “Weed-Eating” on Your Farm
Christine O’Reilly, OMAFRA
Christine takes an “outside the box” look at grazing, land ownership and accessing a whole new realm of landscapes. Multiple benefits can be realized by grazing trees, weeds, orchards and cover crops. (CM)
11:10 am – Innovative Research on Your Farm: How Applied Research from UofG is Making a Difference in #OntAg
A panel of University of Guelph agriculture researchers will discuss recent innovative research that has successfully been applied on farm to produce more, with fewer inputs. Researchers will also share their ongoing research and possible applications to continue to meet farmer’s needs.
9:00 am – Preparing the Foundations for a Strong Immune System
Dr. Melodie Chan, Senior Manager Veterinary Services, Zoetis
The goal of administering vaccines is to immunize cattle and protect them against disease. For vaccines to work to their full potential, we need to ensure that the animal’s immune system is able to respond. This talk will explore the benefits and limitations of vaccines to help manage our expectations.
10:05 am – New Kids on the Block
Dr. Katie Wood, Dr. Ben Bohrer,
Dr. Jessica Gordon, Dr. Angela Canovas
University of Guelph and Ontario’s beef industry are fortunate to have many new beef researchers added to the roster. Hear about the latest beef research on genomics, nutrition, animal health, feed efficiency and meat quality.
11:10 am – Getting Cattle Onto Cover Crops
Adam Shea, Bethany
Adam Bent, Omemee
Usually, we think of cover crops in terms of reducing soil erosion and adding organic matter to the soil, but they can do much more, especially if you integrate livestock into the mix. In this session, you will hear from a beef farmer and a grain farmer and how they established a unique partnership to graze cover crops. (CM)
12:15 pm – Managing a Family Farm Business
Mike Buis and Theresa Buis, Buis Beef, Chatham
This father-daughter duo will share their insights on a number of topics; from the importance of family succession to alternative feeds, as well as their direct marketing strategy with consumers. (PD)
2:35 pm – Tips and Tricks on Barn Design and Handling Facilities
Moderator: Megan Van Schaik, OMAFRA; Steve Eby, Kincardine; Paul Brown, Woodville; Tony Noorloos, Wyoming
3:40 pm – Sharing Common Ground
Virgil Lowe, Business Manager, Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+)
Virgil will walk you through a number of producer focused industry-wide efforts to “Share Common Ground” with all of the beef industry’s stakeholders from the farm to beyond the fork.
Business and Marketing
9:00 am – 2018 Market Outlook
Steve Duff, Senior Economist, OMAFRA
Join Steve for an in-depth look at the global grain, cattle and hog markets and what is in store for 2018. (PD)
Coming from dairy and beef background in Northumberland County, Steve completed a Masters in Ag Economics from the University of Guelph in 1996. Steve joined OMAFRA in late 1997 after a year as a policy researcher with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. For close to 15 years, Steve was OMAFRA’s lead on business risk management programs such as AgriStability and Crop Insurance. Steve is currently OMAFRA’s Chief Economist. Steve is an adjunct professor at the University of Guelph teaching 4th year Agricultural Economic Policy. Steve and his wife Robyn also operate a beef and cash crop operation near Colborne Ontario
9:00 am – Direct Marketing Strategies
Moderator: Jessica Kelly, OMAFRA;
Jason Persall, Persall Fine Foods Co.,
Jen Howell, Howell Road Cider Co.,
Pat McArthur, Heatherlea Farm Shoppe
Jessica will engage these leading direct marketers and value-adders about developing new products/businesses, dealing with customers, and juggling the many “hats” they wear. (PD)
10:05 am – Five Common Mistakes in Grain Marketing
Ed Usset, U of Minnesota
Explore a different approach to grain marketing. Ed identifies common mistakes in grain marketing, such as the reluctance towards pre-harvest marketing and holding grain in storage too long. Discover that great marketing is not predicting prices, but eliminating mistakes in our everyday decisions. Learn how eliminating mistakes can create a solid foundation in the development of pre and post-harvest marketing plans. (PD)
Edward Usset serves as a Grain Marketing Economist at the University of Minnesota. Working with his colleagues, Ed developed the award winning “Winning the Game” series of workshops. In addition, he manages Commodity Challenge, an online marketing education game that uses real-time cash and futures data. He teaches “Commodity Markets” at the University. The 2nd Edition of his book, “Grain Marketing is Simple (it’s just not easy)” was released in November, 2015. He is also a regular columnist for Corn & Soybean Digest.
11:10 am – Common & Emerging Legal Pitfalls in Farming and How to Avoid Them
Kurtis Andrews, Ottawa
Kurtis will review common and emerging legal pitfalls affecting many farmers today, including issues related to succession, estate and divorce disputes, and animal welfare charges – all of which occupy the majority of Kurtis’ legal practice. He will also discuss how to plan for and to avoid these problems that may have a major impact on your business. (PD)
11:10 am – Death & Taxes – It’s Never Too Early to Plan
Franklin Famme, Stratford
What type of planning can be done to minimize taxes upon death? This session will explore estate taxes relating to individuals, couples and transferring of farm property to the next generation. (PD)
Franklin Famme is a senior officer and director of Famme & Co. Professional Corporation, a chartered professional accounting firm with offices in Stratford, St. Marys and London. Famme & Co. has been a pillar of the business community in Stratford for 70 years with its strengths lying in a talented staff compliment and its commitment to the community.
Mr. Famme is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where he obtained his Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1996 and was a graduating member of the Dean’s honour roll. After graduation, he was employed with Coopers & Lybrand and PricewaterhouseCoopers chartered accounting firms in Waterloo and wrote his chartered accounting exams in 1997. Franklin moved back to Stratford in 1998 to join Famme & Co. and later became a partner of the firm in 2001. Mr. Famme services a variety of clients including owner-managed small businesses, professionals, construction and manufacturing companies, and farm and related businesses to name a few. He is a graduate of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountant’s in-depth tax courses, and its successor course on advanced tax issues for the owner-managed business. As a result of his specialized tax training, he offers a variety of detailed tax planning services and has been invited on various occasions to perform seminars and speaking engagements for organizations including government agencies, non-profit organizations, chartered banks, investment companies, charities, and schools. Franklin holds memberships in CPA Ontario, CPA Canada, the Canadian Institute of Management, the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, and the Canadian Tax Foundation.
Franklin has always enjoyed promoting Stratford and sharing his time with community organizations by sitting on various boards. He currently holds positions on the City of Stratford’s economic development board, the Stratford and Perth County Community Foundation, and is a mentor for the Junior Achievement movement.
Franklin and his wife Stephanie live in Stratford where they enjoy experiencing local culture and spending time with their busy children.
12:15 pm – Farm Tax Update – Are You Ready for the New Changes?
Franklin Famme, Famme and Co., Stratford
There are significant changes underway relating to income splitting, retention of investments in corporations, and how the small business rate is dropping. To keep current, this is a session you will not want to miss! (PD)
2:35 pm – Developing a Pre-Harvest Marketing Plan
Ed Usset, U of Minnesota
See how target prices and decision dates work together to create a proactive marketing plan before harvest. Get ready for a different approach to marketing before and after harvest. (PD)
3:40 pm – How to Successfully Work with the Farming Family
Richard Cressman, New Hamburg;
Bill Chesney, Innerkip
What does it take from the older and younger generation to have a seamless transition? Learn from a farmer and advisor who have gone through all of the unique complexities of family farming first hand! (PD)
3:40 pm Developing a Post-Harvest Marketing Plan
Ed Usset, U of Minnesota
9:00 am – RoadMAP® To Business Success
Rob Hannam, Synthesis Agri-food Network, Guelph
The RoadMAP® system is a streamlined approach to business management planning. It’s a simple process to help farmers be more proactive in their day-to-day management to achieve greater business success.
Soils and the Environment
9:00 am and 3:40 pm – Soil, Water and Topography (SWAT): The Maps to Variable-rate Success
Cory Willness, Naicam, SK
CropPro developed SWAT MAPS, the most important zone layers for a variable-rate fertilizer and seed program. Yield maps are useful in the “building”, but soil potential maps are absolutely necessary in the “foundation”. (SW)
Cory is the president of CropPro Consulting in Saskatchewan. He received his BSA (Agronomy) in 1996 from the University of Saskatchewan and has been an agronomist for 21 years. CropPro is an independent crop consulting company that provides Crop management services and variable-rate fertilizer and seed services to Western Canadian farmers. Their unique, patented process for variable-rate is called Soil, Water and Topography MAPS (SWAT MAPS). CropPro has an amazing staff of agronomist and precision ag specialist that also share Cory’s passion of “doing it right” in an effort to deliver boots on the ground services to their farm clients.
9:00 am – Approaches to Soil Health – Farmers’ Perspectives
Moderator: Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA; Ken Nixon, Ilderton; Kate Procter, Brussels; Brett Israel, Wallenstein
Hear about the tools, techniques and principles used by a range of Ontario farmers to maximize soil health! (SW)
2:35 pm – Producer Success with Banded Fertilizer
Warren Schneckenburger, Morrisburg; Henry Denotter, Kingsville
Let’s talk equipment! And let’s also discuss making the most of your fertilizer investment and environmental stewardship. Learn how these farmers place fertilizer underground in a range of tillage systems. (NM)
10:05 am – Conquering Compaction
Peter Johnson, Real Agriculture
Alex Barrie, OMAFRA
The silent yield robber! From soybeans in a crust like cement, to needing to split tile, compaction COSTS! Using amazing data from IFAO’s Compaction Action Day, Alex and Peter discuss minimizing and managing compaction. (SW)
Alex Barrie is a Project Engineer in Training at OMAFRA in the Environmental Management Branch where he assists on a number of projects related to soil health, climate change and nutrient management. He grew up on a dairy farm in Bowmanville, Ontario. He received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Guelph. During university he worked as a coop student at two Canadian ag equipment manufacturers. In addition to working at OMAFRA he is completing a MASc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Guelph focusing on vibration control for off-road vehicles.
Peter is the resident agronomist with Real Agriculture, where he posts a weekly podcast “Wheat Pete’s Word”. He is a regular on “Agronomy Monday’s” on Real Ag radio, Siruis Satellite Radio 147. He is the research lead for the Veritas strip till project, as well as Middlesex Soil and Crop Improvement Association projects. He is enthusiastic and passionate about agriculture, and loves to be challenged by growers.
11:10 am and 3:40 pm Managing Organic Matter: The Key to Soil Health and Productivity
Ray Weil, U of Maryland
An in-depth discussion of soil organic matter – what it is, how to build it, and how to make it work best for your soils. (SW)
Ray Weil is a professor of soil science at the University of Maryland where he teaches five undergraduate and graduate courses. He has taught over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students in his university courses, addressed over 5,000 farmers at meetings and field days, and helped train hundreds of researchers and managers in numerous companies and organizations, including the World Bank. He has been the major advisor for 40 MS and PhD students in the US and has co-advised numerous others at African universities. He is a Fellow of both the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy and has twice been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to support his work in Africa. He is probably best known for his ecological approach to soil science as coauthor of the 11th – 15th editions of the most widely adopted and cited textbook in the field, The Nature and Properties of Soils, by Brady and Weil.
He is a leader in researching and promoting the adoption of more sustainable agricultural systems in both industrial and developing countries. His research focuses on soil organic matter management for enhanced soil ecosystem functions and nutrient cycling for water quality and agricultural sustainability. Weil’s research program combines three interrelated areas: 1) Organic matter management for soil quality; 2) Sustainable cropping systems; and 3) Soil management for improved nutrient cycling and water quality. His research probes fundamental relationships between soil organic matter management and soil ecological functions. His soil quality program has achieved international recognition for its innovative efforts to develop a soil quality index and methods for the rapid, routine assessment of soil quality indicators. The analytical methods for soil microbial biomass and labile soil C that he developed have been adopted by the USDA/NRCS and are used in ecosystem studies worldwide. His contributions to improved cropping systems, including innovative cover crops, are now increasing on-farm biodiversity and improving soil function on farms large and small. He is an expert at diagnosing soil-related problems in the field. He has worked with the Ag Center to develop the SoilDoc, an package of innovative methods for on-the-spot soil analysis to assist in field diagnosis.
12:15 pm – Soil Maps and Crop Production
Tony Balkwill, Paris
Daniel Saurette, OMAFRA
An in-depth look at the basics of soil mapping, new techniques for building provincial and field-scale maps, and what improvements will mean for farmers in the future. (SW)
12:15 pm – ‘Irrigation for Dummies’
Rebecca Shortt, OMAFRA
Irrigation basics and FAQs for small acreage, PYO horticulture, forages and pastures including methods, capital costs and operational concerns. The decision to irrigate is no small matter!
9:00 am – Choices in Farm Shops
Herman Post, Post Farm Structures Inc., Alma
You have a budget, and you want to build your dream farm shop? Cool but you also want to build it right the first time! Consider different construction styles, exterior finishes, interior finishes, doors, heating, lighting options and more! Evaluate the value of hiring a general contractor or building it yourself. Avoid mistakes, sidestep risks and optimize your plan and selections. Ultimately learn if your Farm Shop can be more than a dream!
Herman Post is the President of POST Farm Structures, a second generation general contractor that focuses on farm construction. POST Farm Structures is located in Alma, ON and builds many types of agricultural and rural buildings with their team of about 60 people. Herman grew up in the heart of agriculture on his father’s dairy farm and later purebred cow-calf operation. Starting as a kid, visiting construction sites with his father, he was assigned to cleaning up the garbage. Years would transpire allowing him to earn a spot on the crew and eventually become a site foreman all the while earning his way through University. After attaining a Bachelor degree in Business from Wilfrid Laurier, he rejected corporate opportunities to join his father in business. And so in 1999 he became the second employee in the office whereupon he worked in every role from accounting, purchasing, project management and sales. Following a succession from their father 10 year ago, today Herman and his 3 brothers operate POST Farm Structures together. Herman resides north of Guelph on his own farm with his wife Karen and 2 children Maiya and Max.
9:00 am – Step Up Your Game on Social Media
Amanda Brodhagen, Brunner
This is a double session that continues until 10:55.
Social media is a place to find a community, agvocate, market your farm / and or services and engage in meaningful conversations about food, farming and so much more. Amanda will offer examples on how to kick it up a notch across various social media platforms, create a following, personal branding and how to measure success.
10:05 am – DIY Precision Ag and Automation
John Van de Vegte, OMAFRA
Fusing engineering with electronics to make new functionalities out of commercial equipment, John has DIY’d and tweaked Frankenmachines; everything from water saving carrot washers to methane sensor/controls in livestock barns. (PD)
10:05 am – International Trade: Where are We at Right Now?
Alan Ker, U of Guelph
Claire Citeau, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance
NAFTA, TPP, CETA and more; what is happening with current trade deals and negotiations and what are the potential implications to Canadian agriculture. (PD)
10:05 am – Kickstart Transition (Not Succession) Planning
Maggie Van Camp, Blackstock
Transitioning power to the next generation drives farms forward with new ideas, more risk-taking, and defined goals. With practical tips from other families and her own experience as a farmer and widow, Maggie will motivate you to begin planning. (PD)
11:10 am and 2:35 pm – Does Food Production Need to Double by 2050?
Mitch Hunter, Penn State U
Agriculture faces a new set of challenges. In addition to producing food and running profitable businesses, farmers are buffeted by societal demands for cleaner water, cleaner air, and reduced pesticide use. Given these challenges, what will the farm of the future look like? This session will begin with a brief overview of the latest data on how much more food will be needed by 2050 and how far environmental impacts need to decrease to ensure healthy ecosystems. We will then have an interactive discussion about how farmers should respond to these challenges agronomically, economically, socially, and politically. In many cases, producing food with fewer environmental impacts is technically feasible, but not economical for farmers. This discussion will explore options for aligning the realities farmers face with society’s expectations for agriculture. (PD)
Mitch Hunter is a PhD candidate in agronomy with a minor in ecology at Penn State University. His research focuses on using cover crops to improve cropping system productivity, sustainability, and resilience in the face of challenging climatic conditions. He uses both field experiments and modeling to investigate how cover crops affect drought stress in the subsequent corn crop.
11:10 am – New Ventures and Diversification Panel
Melissa McKeown, 1847 Stone Milling, Fergus; Nolan Vanderheyde, Willibald Farm Distillery, Ayr
These two farmers will share the challenges and rewards of their unique on-farm businesses, as well as the decision making that led them to take the jump into new ventures. (PD)
12:15 pm – Social Farming
Tim May, Rockwood
Come listen to Tim share his experience agvocating on social media, and learn how to paint a positive and realistic picture of agriculture for the everyday Ontarian.
12:15 pm – The Rules of the Road
Sam Hardie, MTO
Join Sam in this always popular and informative session. Check out any new changes, recommendations, legislation etc that would impact you and your use of public roadways for moving your equipment field to field.
2:35 pm – There is an Elephant in the Barn
Briana Hagen, U of Guelph
How do we address mental wellness in Canadian Agriculture? In depth interviews with producers provide the lived experiences of mental wellness in agriculture. Building on research results, we are collaborating with producers and industry to develop mental health resources that are tailored to the agriculture community. (PD)
2:35 pm – Retirement Killer Mistakes
Jim Tyler, St. Mary’s
Jim will discuss the importance of having a retirement plan, whether you plan on farming until you die, scaling down, or doing something completely different. What are the things you need to consider now and what are the retirement killing mistakes to avoid.
3:40 pm – Communicate to Motivate
Angela Leach, Princeton ON
Are you trying to motivate others? Angela will inspire you to improve engagement with employees and volunteers by exploring what motivates people, generational differences and their impact on your approach to communication. (PD)