FarmSmart 2019

Date:  Saturday, January 19, 2019

Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Registration:  8:30 am, registration is open on-line or call the AICC 1-877-424-1300 

PDF of program

NEW:  A map of the University of Guelph campus showing parking and Rozanski Hall, Richards Building, Crop Science Building and Peter Clark Hall (hot lunch).

CEU credits have been applied for.

Feature Speakers- 1:20 – 2:30 pm:

Rozanski 1 – John Phipps – Good News – We’re Going to Need Some New Tools. 
Instead of trying to predict the future, suppose farmers had more confidence they could manage any surprise. That calls for adding some skills, knowledge, and attitudes – new tools for 2019.  John Phipps, Farm Journal Commentator
(PD)

John was born in 1948 and raised on a six-generation farm in east-central Illinois. He graduated with honors from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1970 with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and a minor in economics. 
The next five years were spent as a nuclear engineering officer aboard the USS Seahorse, a fast-attack submarine home-ported in Charleston, S.C. During this time, he married Jan Sonneveldt from Grand Rapids, Mich. They have two sons: Aaron, a mining engineer who returned to the farm in 2008; and Jack, a project director for US Cellular in Chicago. John returned to his family’s 600-acre farm in 1975. The farm now comprises 2,140 acres in Edgar County. At various times, he has sold computers and software to farmers, worked in a mortgage banking operation as a closing officer, and taught at the Danville Area Community College. 
John writes humor and commentary, appearing regularly in Farm Journal and Top Producer magazines as a contributing editor.

Rozanski 2 – Dr. Robin White – A World Without Livestock –  
As a contributor to agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it has been suggested that by reducing animal agriculture or consumption of animal-derived foods and replacing with alternative proteins may reduce GHGs and enhance food security. Hear from Dr. White about her fascinating research on this popular hot topic.
(PD)

Dr. Robin White 
Assistant Professor of Integrated Beef Production Systems Management 
Virginia Tech 

Robin was born in Seattle, WA and attended Washington State University for a B.S. (2010) and Ph.D. in Animal Sciences (2014). Her doctoral research focused on identifying strategies to enhance sustainability of beef production systems. Robin did two postdoctoral fellowships – one with the National Animal Nutrition program, and one as a USDA Postdoctoral Fellow. She started at Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor of Integrated Beef Production Systems Management in winter of 2016 where she leads a research group focused on improving our understanding of ruminant nutrition and leveraging nutrition as a strategy to enhance sustainability of ruminant production systems.

To help plan your day check inside our brochure  for the sessions you wish to attend.

Crop Production

9:00 am & 11:10 am – Crop Management: From Rear View Mirror to Warp Drive!
Peter Johnson, Real Agriculture
Greg Stewart, Maizex

Peter and Greg will assess crop productivity improvements over the last 20 years and where that takes us into the future. (CM)

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.

Greg Stewart was born and raised on a farm near Peterborough, Ontario.  He attended the University of Guelph and worked there as a research assistant. Stewart worked for OMAFRA as the Corn Specialist for 17 years.  In 2015 he left OMAFRA to join Maizex Seeds as an agronomist. 



9:00 & 11:10 am – Advanced Cover Crop Management
Steve Groff, Cover Crop Coaching, Holtwood, PA
Strategies for taking cover crops to the next level: interseeding, planting green and roller crimping. (SW)

Steve Groff and his family, farm 305 acres of cash grain crops, pumpkins and heirloom tomatoes in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. For the past 22 years, his Cedar Meadow Farm has conducted thousands of cover crop research trials- out of which he developed the Tillage Radish- known and used around the world.  Steve is the founder of Cover Crop Coaching- a business that “trains the trainers” how to talk to farmers about effective cover crop use. He also founded Cover Crop Innovators, a subscription based membership group where Steve hosts a weekly live webinar and moderates a Facebook discussion group.  He is also a contributing columnist for the American Agriculturalist magazine and the Lancaster Farming- writing articles on the effective use of cover crops. He has consulted for market gardeners to 40,000 acre corporate farms around the world.

9:00 am – Bee Aware: Supporting Native Pollinators on Your Farm
Angela Gradish, UG
Louise Heyming, GRCA

You’ve heard the buzz about protecting honey bees, but what about other bees? In addition to honey bees, we’ll discuss the biology and behaviour of different native bees found in Ontario and ways to support and protect these important pollinators on your farm. (PD)

Angela was born and raised in southern Ontario. She developed an interest in insects and agriculture growing up, and eventually working, on her family’s tobacco farm. She completed her BSc in Zoology at Western University and her MSc and PhD in Entomology at the University of Guelph, where she currently works as a research associate. For the past 12 years, she has studied bumble bees and the ecotoxicology of pesticides. 


Raised on a dairy farm in Brant County, Louise has more than 20 years of experience working in the field of conservation and stewardship.  She became a member of Grand River Conservation Authority’s Conservation Services team in 2002, working one on one with agricultural producers through the Grand River Rural Water Quality Program.  Today as GRCA’s Supervisor of Conservation Outreach, she manages the delivery of this program as well as a number school and community outreach initiatives. 

10:05 amSlugs and IPM—Healthier soil decreases troubles from menacing molluscs
John Tooker, Penn State U
Slugs can be serious challenges to no-till fields. We will discuss research that suggests we can defeat slugs by making them fear your fields. Join us to plot your revenge. (PM)

Dr. John Tooker is an associate professor of insect ecology and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at The Pennsylvania State University.  His research group studies relationships among plants, invertebrate herbivores, and natural enemies to understand factors that regulate populations of herbivorous insects and slugs. The long-term goal of his research is to exploit ecological interactions for sustainable insect pest management.

10:05 am – What’s working on the farm? Practical solutions for problem weeds
Moderator: Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA; Steph Kowalski, Agromart Group; Ann Vermeersch, Tillvalley Farms Inc.
These two “boots on the ground” and “skin in the game” experts will provide solutions to address several profit limiting weeds. Come with your own pesky weed problem to ask and learn about strategies that have been working for them. (PM)

Steph grew up on a cash crop & potato farm in the Alliston area. She currently works as the Agronomy Lead for the Agromart Group, covering Ontario and the Maritimes. She works to support the Agromarts on the ground, with trials and new products as well as everyday agronomic support. She sees a wide array of crops and agronomic situations across Eastern Canada, and learns something new every day! She has a degree in Biology from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Certified Crop Advisor with her 4R NMS. Steph also leads the 4R Strategy for the Agromart Group. 

Ann and her husband Jeff operate Tillvalley Farms Inc. located in Norfolk county. Tillvalley Farms Inc. farms corn, soybeans, wheat and edible beans while providing custom work in the area of Tillsonburg.  Ann sells and services Pioneer brand seed and does independent crop consulting for growers in Oxford, Norfolk, Elgin and Brant. Ann has a passion for digital agronomy and specializes in creating custom agronomy prescriptions.  Ann has a B.Sc. Agr. from the University of Guelph, M.Sc.from Michigan State and is a CCA-ON with a 4R designation. 

10:05 am – What’s HOT in Grain Drying!
James Dyck, OMAFRA
From high to low temperatures and energy recovery to generators: learn what’s new in grain drying, and how YOU can dry your grain more effectively! Plus, hear from Ontario farmers and how they make it work. (CM)

James Dyck is the Engineering Specialist for Crop Systems and Environment with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), based in Vineland Ontario. James was raised on a cash crop and hog farm in the Niagara Region, and completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo. He has a particular interest in energy use and efficiency of farm production processes. His work at OMAFRA focuses on best practices, innovations and environmental impacts of grain drying and storage, field equipment, precision agriculture, and greenhouse gas reduction.

11:10 am – Ear Moulds and DON 2018 and Beyond!
Albert Tenuta, OMAFRA
Dave Hooker, UG

Understanding what happened in 2018. What is being done, what has been learned, what this means for your crop management going forward. (PM)




12:15 pm – Precision Ag: Our View!
John Sulik, UG
Adam Gilliespie, UG

Precision agriculture doesn’t always pay. Autosteer, section control, and yield mapping are good bets but variable rate isn’t as clear. Stay tuned to learn how a new approach to soil mapping may help close some management gaps. (SW)

John is a quantitative geographer. His first taste of agricultural research was working on canola with the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA. He went on to work for a precision ag company and then a company that sells multispectral sensing systems. He is interested in field crops and many specialty crops.

Adam is a soil organic matter researcher. He recently moved over to the University of Guelph from OMAFRA, where he was working on soil mapping and soil health. He is interested in how organic matter helps with compaction, nutrient cycling, soil health and crop health.

12:15 pm – Strip Tilling Corn: Why Me? Two Producer Perspectives
Moderator: Ben Rosser,OMAFRA; Mike Cornelissen, Watford; Ken Nixon, Ain Lea Farms, Ilderton
Ben Rosser will moderate a panel discussion of 2 producers at different points in their strip till experience about what works, what the challenges are and where they are planning to take their cropping systems with their strip till program and beyond. (CM)

Ben Rosser is the Corn Industry Program Lead with OMAFRA based out of the Crop Science building at the University of Guelph. Ben’s previous role was working as a technician in the same program, and has been involved in applied research projects investigating nitrogen rate and application methods, tillage and residue management, starter fertilizers, and the use of different precision agriculture technologies.

Ken Nixon farms with his brother, Kevin and father, George in a cash crop and custom work operation in Ilderton, Ontario. The Nixons no-till corn, soybeans or dry beans, winter or spring wheat in a strict 3 year crop rotation. The moldbouard plow was parked in 1992 and currently they employ 1 strip tillage pass every 3 years. The Nixons import manure from neighbouring livestock operations and cover crops are being added to their cropping system as comfort permits. Ken has a Crop Science Major & Ag Business Minor from the University of Guelph and has taken an active role in the daily operation of the farm business for over 30 years. Ken has been a volunteer fire fighter for 26 years, is a director on the Middlesex Soil & Crop Improvement Association, a past chairman of the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board, past president of the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario and a husband to Pam.

12:15 pm – Spring and Winter Canola
Meghan Moran, OMAFRA
John Lauzon, UG

Hot, dry conditions during flowering in 2018 brought up questions about the benefits of boron. Let’s review what we know about boron, and touch on sulphur and nitrogen too. The fertility discussions also apply to winter canola! We’ll give a quick run-down on the basics of winter canola production. (NM)

John Lauzon has been a soil science professor at, University of Guelph since 2000. Research interests focus on crop nutrient management strategies to maximize the agronomic use of plant nutrients and minimize losses. Current teaching include introductory soil science courses, 4th year courses in soil and nutrient management as well as graduate level instruction in soil nutrient management.


12:15 pm Optimizing nitrogen rates in corn
Joshua Nasielski, UG; Bill Deen, UG
Using the most recent Ontario research, Josh and Bill will discuss how nitrogen utilization of modern hybrids has changed and strategies to maximize your nitrogen ROI. (NM)

Josh Nasielski is a Ph.D student at the University of Guelph, studying the physiological basis of nitrogen use efficiency in corn production systems. He obtained his M.Sc in Physical Geography from the University of Toronto and B.Sc in Environmental Economics from the University of Guelph. His research is focused on finding ways to improve the economic and environmental performance of nitrogen fertilizer use in Ontario corn crops through greenhouse studies, field trials and computer models that help identify optimal timing and rates of nitrogen fertilizer applications.   

Bill Deen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph.   Bill received an MSc (1991) in agricultural economics and a PhD (1999) in plant agriculture from the University of Guelph.   Bill is an agroecologist who does applied research combined with outreach to growers and industry. The objective of his research program is to develop agroecosystems that are both productive and sustainable.  

2:35 pm & 3:40 pm – TMT – Top Management Targets in Corn and Soybeans.
Jason Webster, Precision Planting, 

Using his extensive experience in farming and time with Beck Hybrids and Precision Planters Jason will highlight what management areas producers should be targeting as they strive to optimize their crop production in 2019 and long term. (CM)

Jason Webster is the Lead Commercial Agronomist at Precision Planting acting as the key researcher and educator for the Precision Planting Commercial team, dealers and growers. His experience bolsters on-farm research efforts and the capability to provide solid agronomic education for dealers and growers. Jason is an industry-leading expert in the agronomic and profit impacts of different farming practices. Jason manages and directs the new Precision Technology Institute in Pontiac, IL where he conducts on-farm research on ways to help growers improve farm profitability.  
Jason is a graduate of Illinois State University and his family is actively engaged in their family farm located  in Livingston, Ford, and Kankakee counties in Illinois.  2019 will be Jason’s 32nd year of farming.

3:40 pm –  New Tech On The Way To Support Your Crop Management
Paul Raymer, SoilOptix Inc;

Sougata Pahari; Korechi Innovations Inc.;
Andrew Nickel, Niagara College

Experience this showcase of new technologies headed to your farm including dual RTK GPS robots and new cost-effective sensors, and hear about the farm problems they will solve. (CM)


Paul Raymer – Co-Founder & President, SoilOptix In
Paul grew up on a dairy farm in Oxford County and received his certification in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Fanshawe College – specializing in Mobile Equipment Design. Paul has a wide range of agricultural, industrial, and military experience; working on various engineering teams such as John Deere and General Dynamic. Paul has been instrumental in creating a tablet computer platform for GreenSeeker units and first introduced Y-Drop to the Canadian market. His passion for technology in agriculture has led him to develop and educate farmers and agronomists across North America and Internationally about the utilization of SoilOptix® and higher definition soil maps.

Sougata Pahari – Co-Founder & CEO, Korechi Innovations Inc.
Sougata is the Co-Founder and CEO of Korechi Innovations Inc., a Canadian company specializing in design of autonomous robots for precision-agriculture applications. Sougata has Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering, with over 7 years of experience in mechanical design, production co-ordination, quality control and project management. He has worked in Italy and USA before moving to Hamilton in 2016 and starting Korechi the same year.

Andrew Nickel – – Electronics Research Associate, Niagara College Research & Innovation, Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre
Andrew Nickel grew up on a farm, and grew grapes for many years. After his family sold the farm, Andrew graduated from Niagara College’s Electronics Engineering Technology program. Andrew’s love for agriculture motivates him in his current work with the Agriculture and Environmental Technology Innovation Centre at Niagara Research and Innovation. His expertise includes robotics and sensor networks.

Beef Symposium

9:00 am – An Update on Beef Research in Ontario
Dr. Katie Wood, UG
Dr. Jessica Gordon, UG

Catch up on the latest University of Guelph beef research, and hear about the new state-of-the-art Elora Beef Cattle Research Barn and some of the research that will begin in the new facility.

Dr. Katie Wood
Dr. Jessica Gordon

10:05 am – The Economic and Environmental Benefits of Intensive Grazing Beef Cattle
Chris Knight, Highgate, ON

Sustainability, quality and accountability are three guiding principles on Clear Creek Farms, a cow-calf to finish operation, owned by Chris Knight and his family. Their farm is located in Chatham-Kent, an area known for rich cash crops and vegetable crops. In this session hear how the Knight family has been able to carve out a little piece of this land and successfully rotationally graze 65 Angus cows.

11:10 am – Making the Most of Precision Technology Throughout the Beef Value Chain
Dr. Robin White, Virgina Tech 
Every day, new precision technologies for livestock production are popping up on the market. Ever wonder whether it is worth investing in these technologies? This talk provides a critical assessment of the value of precision technologies available throughout the beef value chain and what impact they might have on efficiency, profitability, and sustainability. (PD)

12:15 pm A Modern Twist on Traditional Farm Succession
James McKinlay, Ravenna, ON

James and Joan McKinlay are developing innovation partnerships with young people who are keenly interested in farming and will share their experiences in supporting, encouraging and working with a new generation of beef farmers. James and Joan have a successful breeding stock and cash crop operation at their Silver Springs Farms in Ravenna. (PD)

2:35 pm Tips for Storing and Feeding Silages
Dr. Matt Walpole, Dairy Smart Nutrition,
An important component of beef rations, in this session, Dr. Walpole will share tips and best management practices on storing and feeding quality silages for livestock. (CM)

Matt was raised in the rural community of Tiverton in Southwestern Ontario. After obtaining a BSc in Animal Biology and a MSc in Animal Science from the University of Guelph, he pursued his PhD at the University of Saskatchewan. His research focused on rumen physiology in dairy and feedlot cattle. While in Saskatchewan, Matt joined the DairySmart Nutrition group and upon graduation he moved back to Southwestern Ontario. He currently consults with both dairy and feedlot clients in Ontario and Manitoba.

3:40 pm The ABC’s of AMU
Dr. Dan Shock, ACER Consulting
Over the past few years, Health Canada has introduced new regulations that will help to ensure the safe and responsible use of antibiotics in livestock, but how will these changes impact your ability to access antibiotics when your animals need them? In this session, Dr. Shock will summarize the changes and answer your questions on antimicrobial use in livestock.

Soil & Environment

9:00 am Drainage Pays, Compaction Costs
Kevin McKague, OMAFRA
Alex Barrie, OMAFRA

Most farmers are convinced – tile drainage pays! But is soil compaction and declining soil health restricting the ability of our drainage systems to manage excess water? (SW)

Kevin McKague has a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and a Masters degree in Water Resources Engineering – both from the University of Guelph.  He has worked in the areas of soil and water conservation and rural water management for the majority of the past 35 years.  He began his career as a soil and water conservation engineer with the Maitland Valley and Grand River Conservation Authorities as part of the Joint Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Program.  In 1988 he joined Ecologistics Limited, a private consulting firm based in Waterloo, Ontario where he contributed to many national and international soil and water conservation projects.   Kevin joined OMAFRA in 1999 where he is now their Water Quality Engineer, based out of Woodstock.  He has been accredited as a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) since 1992.  He is part of OMAFRA’s Soil Team, assists with OMAFRA’s Agricultural Erosion Control Structures design course, helps coordinate on-farm water quality related research, and was instrumental in the development of OMAFRA’s erosion control structures design software (AgErosion).  He also led the adaptation of the USDA’s RUSLE2 (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Version 2) to Ontario.  He is currently overseeing the development of a related on-line tool to give Ontario landowners a quick and convenient means of estimating their land’s erosion risk and evaluating management options for protecting their soil resource.

Alex Barrie is a Project Engineer in Training at OMAFRA in the Environmental Management Branch. He grew up on a dairy farm in Bowmanville Ontario. He received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Guelph. In addition to working at OMAFRA he is completing a Masters of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Guelph focusing on vibration control for off-road vehicles. In 2009 he worked on a harvest crew cutting wheat in the US and Canada, and in 2014 he worked as a test technician for MacDon testing prototype combine headers all over North America. At OMAFRA, he is involved with a number of projects contributing to the understanding of equipment loads and tire types and the impact on soil strength and the potential to cause soil compaction.

11:10 am & 2:35 pm – A crop adviser’s perspective on managing for soil health and resilience
Lee Briese, Independent Crop Consultant, ND

Hear a North Dakota perspective on approaches to integrating cover crops, reduced tillage and precision agriculture to address the challenges of soil degradation and improve profitability. (SW)

Lee Briese (BREEZ) has been working as an independent crop consultant in south central North Dakota since 1999. He provides consulting services on nine different cash crops in Stutsman and Barnes counties. Lee is working with growers on customized strategies to incorporate cover crops, reduced tillage and precision agriculture to address the challenges of soil degradation, pest management and economic profitability. Lee was named 2016 Consultant of the Year from the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) and the 2017 International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) of the Year. He holds a M.S. in soil science and a B.S. in crop and weed science from North Dakota State University is working on the Doctor of Plant Health degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

2:35 pm – Your soil is talking
Anne Verhallen and Adam Hayes, OMAFRA
Learn the secrets of your soil in this hands-on session about soil health, management and barriers to productivity. (SW)

Anne Verhallen is a Soil Science graduate from the University of Guelph. She has worked for OMAFRA since 1988, starting as a Soil Conservation Advisor working in Essex and Kent. Currently Anne works in the area of horticultural soil management with projects in a wide variety of soil management areas such as erosion, compaction and water management. Promoting the use of cover crops and supporting better soil health are her passion.

Adam has a long history with the ministry beginning with soil conservation work and time as a soil and crop specialist. The second half of his career has been spent as a soil management specialist promoting soil management best management practices. He initiated the Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days at Ridgetown and has chaired the Southwest Agricultural Conference for the last 10 years. His current focus is on promoting and measuring soil health. In 2014, Adam was the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s Soil Champion Award and won the L. B. Thompson Conservation Award from the Soil Conservation Council of Canada in 2016.

3:55 pm – Sulphur Management in Field Crops
John Lauzon, UG
Dale Cowan, Agris Coop Ltd.

Hear about the latest strategies for managing sulphur and lessons learned from the 2018 season – get the researcher and agronomist’s perspective. (NM)

John Lauzon has been a soil science professor at, University of Guelph since 2000. Research interests focus on crop nutrient management strategies to maximize the agronomic use of plant nutrients and minimize losses. Current teaching include introductory soil science courses, 4th year courses in soil and nutrient management as well as graduate level instruction in soil nutrient management.

Dale Cowan is the Senior Agronomist and Sales Manager with AGRIS and Wanstead Cooperatives. He started with the cooperatives in 2008.  He received his CCA designation in 1997 and his 4R NMS in 2016. In the same year he received the International Certified Crop Advisor of the Year Award.  Dale has been instrumental in the development and promotion of sustainable agronomy and precision farming practices throughout Ontario since 1992. He has been with the AGRIS and Wanstead Cooperatives for the past 8 years. Prior to that he owned Agri-Food Laboratories an agricultural testing laboratory from 1990 to 2008. Having reviewing over 1 million samples during that tenure has offered great insight into the condition of agriculture in Ontario.

3:55 pm – Tires/Tracks Truths ‘n Tales – Get Your Questions Answered!
Greg Stewart, Moderator;
Eric Brubacher, Shawn Schill,
Cliff Horst, Boris Horodynsky

A panel Q&A on all things tires and tracks. With all the interest and activity on Soil Compaction, come and ask your hard questions of the tire experts as you work to lessen the load on your soils. (SW)

Eric has been involved in the tire industry for 20 years. His career started as being a mobile service technician doing onsite tire repairs and installation of new tires primarily Ag but also commercial and industrial applications as well. In the last 14 years Eric has been primarily involved with Ag tires sales, machine ballasting and technical setup for Ag equipment. His passion for proper equipment setup has involved many customized tire and wheel packages for customers  in the surrounding areas. Eric involvement in the technical side of equipment has him working closely with tire manufacturers and engineers to design and build tires that are better suited for their customer’s needs. The issue of compaction has been a myth that many people don’t understand and has therefore given him many opportunities to educate customers how the latest in tire technology can improve soil compaction. There has been many challenges  in working with heavy axle loads and high transport speeds that are taxing our tire durability like never before. The world of tire technology is constantly changing and evolving with new tread designs and construction annually. How goal is to stay committed to providing you with the best tire solution for your industry and application.

Boris Horodynsky run farm near Cookstown, ON and specialize in onions about 400 acres. He started to farm after he finnished high school on 10 acres and built up the operation over the last 45 years. Boris also grow soyabeans as a rotational crop. They farm both muck and mineral soils with both track and wheel type tractors. Boris also build a lot of his own equipment such as sprayers, harvesting equipment etc. being that it is specialized equipment. They have a sawmill operation that complicated their land clearing operations. Boris uses the lumber for pallet boxes, buildings etc. They have been using over the last 50 years steel, rubber track & & wheeled tractors.

Business & Marketing

9:00 am Better than a Bot: Attracting – and Keeping! – Good Employees
Maureen Geddes, Geddes Global Inc.

Farm employers: have you noticed that potential workers routinely have more than one job offer? The power has shifted in this labour market. Learn how to attract and keep the best employees for your operation. (PD)

As president of CANGRAM International Inc. for 14 years, and her most recent creation, geddesglobal,  Ms. Geddes worked with over 100 companies across Canada and several countries around the world on diversity & inclusion education, policy, and the creation strategic and operational plans.  Maureen’s passion is inspiring expansive worldviews and transformational change: creating fun and interactive ways to take personal and collective action, with the systemic changes that are also necessary for genuine respect and inclusion of all.  Her background includes teaching human resources management for the University of Guelph, and leading responsibility for diversity and employment equity at a large Canadian energy company.  Maureen represented Canadian business on an international “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” panel in Tokyo, at the request of the Japanese Ministry of Labour.  She also travelled to India, where she met with leaders of business and government and spoke to various audiences, including the National Institute for Personnel Management, and the International Institute for Human Potential Development.  In Taiwan, Maureen spoke at International Healthy Cities Conferences, with a focus on bringing synergy to public, private, and NGO efforts.  As Vice President and COO of GIFTE (Global Institute for Freedom, Transformation & Enlightenment), she facilitates events on conscious leadership and authentic communication.

9:00 am – Farmland values in Ontario: What’s Driving Them
Richard Vyn, Ridgetown College

Richard will discuss trends and influencing factors in Ontario’s farmland market. Find out how farmland values have been affected by factors such as non-farmer buyers, urban areas, the Greenbelt, and more.

Richard Vyn is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. He grew up on a cash-crop farm near Guelph. He completed a Ph.D. in agricultural economics at the University of Guelph. Richard has conducted extensive research related to property values in Ontario, both agricultural and rural residential. His other areas of research include marketing of agricultural and food products, economic impacts of agriculture and rural policy, and economic analysis of farm production practices.

10:05 am – Assessing Labour Saving Technology
John Van de Vegte & John Molenhuis, OMAFRA

Having collectively worked in the automotive sector, livestock, horticulture automation and industry J2 will give examples of where it makes sense and were it might not to use technology to replace labour, AND how to go through the process of that business case. (PD)

John Molenhuis has been with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as the Business Analysis and Cost of Production Specialist for the past 17 years. In this role he leads projects in the area of cost of production and financial benchmarking.
John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Guelph. John grew up on a farrow-to-finish hog operation near Strathroy, Ontario.

John Van de Vegte has a Masters of Engineering degree from the University of Toronto and was registered as a Professional Engineer in Ontario in 1989. Since that time, he has filled roles of engineering and management roles in a variety of industries. These include environmental, automotive, custom automation, pharmaceutical and renewable energy. Most recently, John worked at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre as Project Manager, Robotics and Automation. It was during this time that John became more aware of the challenges facing the agricultural industry in Ontario.
John joined the Innovation, Engineering and Program Delivery Unit of Environmental Management Branch in August 2015. As an Engineering Specialist, John has been working on a variety of projects related to process optimization, technology development, live-stock welfare and barn fire reduction.

10:05 am – International Trade: Where Are We at Right Now?
Brian Innes – President, Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance

USMCA/NAFTA, CPTPP, CETA and more; what is happening with current trade deals and negotiations and what are the potential implications to Canadian agriculture. (PD)

Brian chairs the board of CAFTA and works closely with the executive director to improve market access for agri-food exports through trade agreements. During his time leading CAFTA he has seen the conclusion of trade agreements with Europe, North America and the 10 pacific nations that make up the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He is also the vice-president of the Canola Council, where he leads public affairs activities including trade policy, market access, government relations and communications. During his time at the Council he has developed the industry’s market access strategy and used it to achieve results in China, the EU and beyond. Prior to joining the Canola Council, Brian was a senior consultant with the Ottawa office of an international public affairs firm. Brian also worked on Parliament Hill for the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of National Defence and an Industry Critic. He holds a B.Sc., Agriculture from the University of Guelph and M.Sc., Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK.

11:10 am – To Custom or Not to Custom? Considerations in Hiring Custom Contractors on the Farm
Ralph van der Wahl, Van Agri Custom Services, Lucan
Mark Luymes, Moorefield

This experienced panel will discuss advantages in working with custom contractors, considerations to work effectively with contractors in your operation and tips and tricks for setting expectations and managing the contractor-farmer relationship. (PD)

12:15 pm Riding the Technology Cycle
Peter Gredig, co-founder of Agnition and owner of PNG Farms

How can farmers keep up with the constant change in and emergence of new technologies and pick the winners for their unique farm needs.

12:15 pm Real Life Story of Succession Planning
Arlen Taylor and RJ Taylor, Cedar Crest Trout Farm, Hanover
Arlen and RJ will share their real life succession journey. Listen to their story of the importance of finding the right professionals to help them through the transition. Learn how they have worked through issues and build the family trout business to what it is today.

Sister-brother duo Arlen and RJ Taylor are the owners of Cedar Crest Trout Farms, a second-generation family business that operates five trout hatcheries in southwestern Ontario. Cedar Crest is the primary supplier of juvenile fish (called fingerlings) to the grow-out farms that float in Georgian Bay. Fish farming runs deep in Arlen and RJ’s blood. This year marks the 50th year that their father, Jim Taylor, has been in the industry. And both of them were raised in a house that was literally over a fish hatchery where — according to them — they spent many, many, many hours caring for trout. In addition to leading Cedar Crest, both Arlen and RJ are very active members of the wider farmed seafood industry in Ontario and Canada. Arlen is a board member for the Ontario Aquaculture Association, and also on the program advisory committee for Fleming College’s Aquaculture program and on several provincial fish health committees. RJ is the managing director for the Ontario association, and also chairs a national youth council for aquaculture. Before returning to the family farms, both Arlen and RJ also took 10-year trout hiatuses for the twenties. Arlen in international development in post-conflict areas of Angola, Mozambique, and Iraq. And RJ as a science communicator and educator at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Dyson, and the University of Toronto.

2:50 pm – 2019 – 2020 Grain Market Outlook and Strategies for Success
Steve Kell, Marketing, P & H

As if weather and worldwide grain demand wasn’t exciting enough, a new climate of trade confrontations have enhanced the risk in crop marketing. This presentation will cover the fundamentals of grain supply and demand, and offer a few suggestions on how to build a successful marketing plan for your farm. (PD)

Steve Kell has been in the grain and feed business in Ontario for 27 years,  For the past 18 years he has been a Grain Merchant for Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd.  After several years in grain trading Steve is currently in the role of Business Manager – Branch Grain. 
 In addition to working in the grain industry.  Steve owns & operates 1,200 acres, partially as a cash crop operation south of Barrie, and also in share-cropping  arrangements  in Elm Creek Manitoba, and Temiskaming, Ontario. 
Steve is a graduate of both the University of Guelph, (BA), and the Ontario Agricultural College, but most importantly, from the school of hard knocks.

2:50 pm – “Go-to” Advisors for You and Your Farm
Joan Craig, Ag Women’s Network Mentorship Program ; Kevin Reesor, Relationship Manager, TD Canada Trust; John MacKay and Craig Gillis, Embro

Who are your go-to people when faced with decisions big or small? Explore mentorship, producer groups, advisors, and other opportunities to build a strong network of go-to people. (PD)

Kevin Reesor is a Relationship Manager with TD Bank Agriculture Services based out of Listowel, he has been with the Bank for 9 years. Kevin was raised on a dairy farm outside of Fordwich.

Joan Craig is a beef farmer from Wellington North.  In 2015, she and her husband Elgin established Red Maple Speckle Park a cow/calf operation which now includes over 100 purebred and commercial Speckle Park cattle.  Joan is a retired elementary school teacher, a past president of The Drayton Festival Theatre, a former 4H leader and recently joined 100 Women Who Care Rural Wellington.  Currently, Joan is a Team Lead for the Ag Women’s Network Mentorship Program.   

3:55 pm – Catching Up on the Farm Tax Changes Most Affecting Agriculture
Tim Bridge, Ward and Uptigrove

Many farm tax changes have been introduced and implemented over the past couple of years. This session will provide an update on the current status of these changes now that the dust has mostly settled. (PD)

Tim is a native of the Listowel area and resides in Listowel. He graduated from Brock University with an Honours Bachelor of Accounting degree in 2006 and previously worked with KPMG LLP. Tim obtained his CA designation in 2009 and has also completed the CICA in-depth tax courses. Tim provides a wide range of services to farmers and clients in the agriculture industry including advising on incorporation, corporate and personal tax compliance, reorganizations of corporate structures, advising on purchase and sales of businesses, and estate and succession planning along with various other tax related services.

General Interest

9:00 am – Find a Healthy Work-Life Balance
KW Professional Organizers

While competing demands of work and personal life increase, balancing work life with personal life while working on a farm can be a challenging task. Keeping on top of farm and household workload can be overwhelming. Learn practices that can help you increase productivity, reduce stress, and take better care of parts of yourself. Create a healthy work-life balance to be more focused and less exhausted. (PD)

Emilio Jose Garcia
Originally from Barcelona, Spain. In 2008 Emilio decided to leave a life of success and comfort to follow his curiosity of exploring new countries and ways of living. He packed everything that was “important” in a backpack and sold/donated the rest. It was the beginning of his minimalist/nomad lifestyle that will take him to 14 countries over a period of 4 years to finally meet his better half Samantha in Wellington, New Zealand.
Experiencing such different ways of living, learning what is important for other cultures and feeling complete freedom, simplicity & happiness changed Emilio forever.
Emilio is passionate about sharing this experience with others. He believes that the most important things in life are meaningful relationships and experiences. We shouldn’t let “stuff” get on the way.

Samantha Kristoferson
After struggling with alcohol abuse and depression, Samantha bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand and changed the course of her life forever. She sold almost everything she owned and left her home country with debt and less than two thousand dollars to her name. She believes in the ability to change, no matter the odds, because she is living proof that it is possible.
Late in her twenties, Samantha realized that time is the most valuable resource we (humans) have and that we ultimately have the control in how we spend it. She protects her self care by maintaining a diverse range of hobbies outside of her professional life including learning Spanish, cooking, playing guitar, kundalini yoga, squash, gardening, urban sketching, and reading.

10:05 am –  What Are the Odds? A Guide to Better Worrying
John Phipps, Chrisman, ILL

Trying not to worry is ineffective. What does work is worrying about the right problems and being able to prioritize risks. From health to economics, knowing the odds, eases unnecessary fears and concentrates energy on the right possibilities

10:05 am – How to Declutter & Organize Any Space Workshop
KW Professional Organizers

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by physical clutter? Are there spaces in your home, office or shop that never seem to be organized no matter how often you clean? Do you spend time looking for things that have been misplaced? The session will dive into 5 different spaces to show real life declutter projects and how clutter is conquered.

Emilio Jose Garcia
Originally from Barcelona, Spain. In 2008 Emilio decided to leave a life of success and comfort to follow his curiosity of exploring new countries and ways of living. He packed everything that was “important” in a backpack and sold/donated the rest. It was the beginning of his minimalist/nomad lifestyle that will take him to 14 countries over a period of 4 years to finally meet his better half Samantha in Wellington, New Zealand.
Experiencing such different ways of living, learning what is important for other cultures and feeling complete freedom, simplicity & happiness changed Emilio forever.
Emilio is passionate about sharing this experience with others. He believes that the most important things in life are meaningful relationships and experiences. We shouldn’t let “stuff” get on the way.

10:05 am – Young Farmers Forum
Cedric MacLeod, New Brunswick

This is a double session that continues until 12:00.
Never has it been so important for the farm to be managed using solid business principles. New entrants and experienced operators alike are facing crucial questions about how the farm should be run and what goals should be set for the future. Escalating asset values, human resource management, public trust and big data management are some of the most pressing challenges that create significant opportunity. This breakout session will provide support for producers to take a look at themselves and their farm from a new, strategic thinking lens and start to plan a path for long-term farm stability and profitability.

Cedric grew up in Carleton County, New Brunswick working in the family concrete construction business.  He developed an early love for agriculture with encouragement from his dad and many construction jobs being in the agricultural field.
Cedric graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Nova Scotia Agricultural college focusing on Soil Science and Plant Science.  Cedric complete his Master’s degree in 2004 at the University of Manitoba, Department of Soil Science

Cedric established MacLeod Agronomics Ltd. in 2007 as an advisory firm to support innovation and production advances for Canadian farmers. Professional service offerings have evolved over time to include environmental, agronomic, energy and business management.  The Vision of MacLeod Agronomics Ltd. is to have clients engage in a process towards achieving Farm Business Management Excellence for current day and into the future.
Cedric manages 260-acres of pasture, forage and cash crops with his wife Alanda and his family using intensive rotational grazing, extended grazing season and no-till cropping system concepts.
Cedric has been producing grass-finished beef for direct market to local customers for 7-years.

11:10 am – Choices and Where They Lead You
Teresa Ann De Wetering, President, De Wetering Hill Farms, Stratford, ON

In life, and particularly in Teresa’s, one has many career choices and opportunities. Teresa found that once the choice is made and you stick with it, you will ultimately be on the right path to success. Most importantly, is to keep true to yourself and your life time goals. (PD)

Teresa started her 20-year career in Information Technology (IT) as Co-operative education student while earning a Business Information Systems diploma from Fanshawe College. While working in the life insurance industry, Teresa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario with complimentary studies at University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia.  She transitioned to consulting project management roles working with leading software companies based in Australia, within the apparel, warehousing and logistics industries in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

11:10 am Farming for Profit with Trees and Livestock
Carrie Wooley & Brett Schuyler, Schuyler Farms

Carrie and Brett have begun integrating timber into their significant sheep and tree fruit businesses. They will share their journey, goals and insights on how to make this synergy work and why it’s important.

Carrie farms alongside her husband Brett and is responsible for managing the sheep operation on their family farm.  Carrie joined Brett on the farm in 2013 while completing her Masters degree in Animal Behaviour & Welfare at the University of Guelph. 

A sizeable acreage of orchard and other farm land has allowed Brett and Carrie to grow their sheep business.  They currently run approximately 600 breeding ewes in an annual pasture lambing system.  Opportunistic grazing is a key part of their operation using sheep to graze everything from orchards and cover crops to corn stover and woodlots. A recent focus on silvopasture projects, where pasture and timber production are combined, present exciting new opportunities for their farm. 8

12:15 pm – Nuts and Bolts of On-Farm Value-Added
Jason Persall, Persall Farms Ltd. and Persall Fine Foods Co

Hear about one farm’s transformation from cash cropping to providing field to fork crafted products to the food industry. Everything you ever wanted to know about value adding – from coming up with an idea to turning that idea into reality. (PD)

A 4th generation farmer, Jason Persall is a familiar face in his native Norfolk County, always on the go in search of innovation with food and farming. There is a true passion here for crafting superior products showcasing the provenance of his farm. Ten years ago Jason vertically integrated the 1000 acre family cash crop farm to include virgin cold pressed oils. With a vision and passion for the food industry Jason designed and built a press mill to cold press canola, sunflower and soybean oils with nearly zero waste. By products are sold to either the livestock industry or used in other foods, a truly sustainable model. This deep-rooted passion follows from field to fork all while taking in on the provenance and flavours of the region.
Pristine Gourmet serves hundreds of high end restaurants and retail stores across Ontario and Canada nationally which has led to many praising reviews and awards through mainstream media. Jason and his products have been featured in MacLeans, The Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Saveur, Toronto Life, Food & Drink and played a role on Top Chef Canada. The core business focus today is the press mill and edamame production with other added gourmet products like edible beans, pulses and co-products. With following the food trend of local, healthy and sustainability Jason has fostered innovating ideas with products, packaging and marketing. Jason is married to Linda and has two children Benton and Emma.
Pristine Gourmet continues to introduce innovative, gourmet products that meet our exceptionally high quality standards and that will always be 100% pure Canadian, from field to table.

12:15 pm – Strategic Thinking
Cedric MacLeod, New Brunswick

Are you mired in the day-to-day business of operating your farm, and not taking enough time to actually work ON your farm business? This workshop is specifically designed to support farmers in honing their business management skills and taking a long-term view for where they hope to take their farm business into the future. (PD)

2:50 pm – How do I know I am Stressed
Lawrence Blake, Mental Health Work

How does stress and anxiety impact your work. This session will focus on anxiety in the workplace, particularly the agricultural sector, and guide participants through stress and anxiety in terms of balance and barriers. Participants will start to understand how to talk openly about anxiety. (PD)

Lawrence currently manages the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario’s nationwide workplace mental health program, Mental Health Works. As part of his role, he regularly liaises with regulators and governments in order to speak on and about mental health in the workplace. As a doctoral candidate, his research focuses on the effects of trauma on newcomer and refugee populations who have arrived in G7 member states. In addition to his role with CMHA, Lawrence has spent ten years in the Canadian Armed Forces in both Ontario and New Brunswick serving as an Infantry Officer, presently as Officer Commanding D Company, 48th Highlanders of Canada, a Primary Reserve Unit in Toronto.

2:50 pm – Rules of the Road Workshop
Dean Anderson, CASA
Ian McDonald, OMAFRA

This year’s workshop will focus on agricultural equipment on the road (not trucks).
Have the rules of the road changed recently?
How do we deal with larger and faster equipment, heavier traffic, distracted driving, weather and operator fatigue?
Dean and Ian will explain the current rules surrounding the movement of equipment and give practical tips to get you to the field and home safe.
(PD)

board group and headshots

Dean Anderson received his B Sc (Agriculture) from the University of Guelph, Ontario.  He has years of experience conducting research and project management in crop protection.  Dean has worked with the major crops in the agricultural regions of eastern and western Canada and the United States.  Mr. Anderson has been working in agriculture occupational health and safety for over 17 years and is currently the Strategic Advisor Agriculture Initiatives, at WSPS. 
Dean is currently Chair of the Rural Ontario Institute, Chair of the Ontario Institute of Agriculture and Vice-Chair for the FarmSafe Foundation. He serves on numerous committees nationally and provincially, including the CSA Ag Equipment Technical Committee and Ministry of Labour Farming Technical Advisory Committee. Further, he is also currently is the Treasurer (past chair) of Canadian Agriculture Safety Association

3:55 pm – Surviving and Thriving During Conflict (PD)
Neil Dunsmore, Fergus, ON

This session that will empower you to be masters of conflict resolution, no matter who is involved or how complicated the problem. Learn how choices can alleviate conflict, critical soft skills to communicate, how misperceptions and miscommunications cause hurt and tell the difference between what you say and what you mean. (PD)

Neil Dunsmore is a former Corrections Officer and Crisis/Hostage Negotiator, an Entrepreneur and Award-winning Humorous Speaker.  Neil uses his experiences as a Corrections Officer, Crisis/Hostage Negotiator, and Business Owner and shares the crisis, the characters, the outcomes and the lessons learned from each one. He teaches Corporations and individuals how to remain calm in the storm and how to deal with conflict of any kind. Most of all he wraps it all in an envelope of humour!

3:55 pm – Using Social Media to Build a Loyal Customer Base
Ian Baird, Terre Bleu Lavender Farm

A tech entrepreneur turned farmer who was so successful with social media that Facebook used them as a case study. How to build a strong brand and harness the power of social media to grow your customer base! (PD)

Ian Baird is currently CEO & Founder of Terre Bleu Lavender Farm,  Ontario’s award-winning and largest lavender farm.  Prior to starting Terre Bleu, Ian held numerous senior executive roles in the technology and media industries including: Group Chief Executive Arise Virtual Solutions, Global GM for EMC’s Data Management & Analytics business.  CTO of EMC’s Grid and Utility Computing Group, SVP Marketing and Business Strategy at Platform Computing an IBM company, Director of the Global Grid Forum, President of the New Productivity Initiative, SVP BCE Emergis, Publisher Thompson Newspapers and Aide De Camp to Lieutenant Governor NL.

Ian has held numerous other management, board and volunteer roles throughout his career and is an alumnus of Harvard and Memorial Universities.