FarmSmart 2020

Date:  Saturday, January 18, 2020

Location: Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Program PDF

Brochure PDF

Registration:  8:30 am , with the program starting at 9:00 am. Registration will open on December 1, 2019.

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).

Feature Speakers: 1:20 – 2:35 pm

Andrew Schrumm

Rozanski 1Andrew Schrumm, Senior Manager, Research in Thought Leadership, Royal Bank of Canada – Farmer 4.0 How the Coming Skills Revolution Can Transform Agriculture. A fourth agricultural revolution is underway, and this one isn’t powered by seeds or diesel. It’s all about data.
As research lead, Andrew examines how Canada can enter the 2020s as a diverse, innovative and sustainable nation. He manages RBC’s Humans Wanted research project, that examines how Canadian companies, governments, educators and youth are preparing for a disrupted future. This work is advancing thinking on skills-based job mobility, life-long learning and the potential of automation in our economy, and included the 2019 report Farmer 4.0: How the coming skills revolution can transform agriculture.
Andrew’s career has been split between roles in research and regulatory policy, centred on the question of how institutions and markets respond to change. Most extensively, he managed research projects at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, on topics covering the G20 and global finance, emerging economies and energy politics. Andrew also served as policy manager and advisor on international financial regulation, at both the Ontario Securities Commission and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies and master’s degree in Finance from Queen’s University.

Rozanski 2 Dr. Bonnie Mallard, University of Guelph – Breeding Livestock for Resilience. In her keynote address, Dr. Bonnie Mallard will provide a farm to fork perspective on how biotechnology in animal breeding plays an important role in managing disease in livestock and contributes to economically and environmentally sustainable food production.
Hear about Dr. Mallard’s research across livestock species and how advancements in immunogenetics and related technologies lend to improved animal health, reduced antibiotic use, climate-adapted livestock management and breeding practices, and improved economic sustainability for producers.

Dr. Bonnie Mallard is a professor of immunogenetics in the Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Dr. Mallard is a member of the Centre of Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL), at the university. She has been recognized at the national and international levels for her work on the High Immune Response Technology (HIR) for improving the health of livestock. In the last few years, she has focused on extending this technology for use in sires and in developing a genomics test for HIR in order to broaden its application.  Dr. Mallard is the recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Innovation for the HIR Technology.

Crop Production

9:00 am & 10:05 am – Planter Setups for Maximizing Corn Yields
Phil Needham, Needham Ag Technologies, Kentucky, US

With profit per acre the goal, Phil will discuss the right equipment and settings for row cleaners, closing wheels, gauge wheels, seed firmers, and fertilizer placement setups and everything else “planters” to target corns yield potential. (CM)
Phil Needham is a native of the United Kingdom and grew up on the family farming operation. He studied agriculture and soil science at agricultural college and university in England. He moved to the United States in 1989 to help expand a European crop management system called Opti-Crop and became manager in 1995. Phil started his own company Needham Ag Technologies in 2005 and consults directly with farmers, dealers and equipment manufacturers. 

9:00 am – AGRITECHNICA: Ag Innovations Unveiled! 2019 Attendee Panel
Moderator: Sonke Claussen, Brucefield
Cliff Horst, New Hamburg
Jake Kraayenbrink, Moorefield
Nicolas Dubuc, Souzy Inc., QC

The biggest Ag Expo there is! Why did we go, what did we find, what will it change on our farms? Why should you go in the future? (CM)

Nicolas Dubuc grew up on a dairy farm SW of Montreal, obtained a diploma in Farm Mgmt & Tech from Mcdonald College of McGill University, then went on to get my B.Eng in agricultural engineering also from Mcdonald College of McGill U.  I have been with Soucy for 8 years, initially as an application engineering, then as a product specialist.  My role is to connect engineering, marketing, sales with customer needs, industry trends, new technology.  Still an evening / week end farmer, helping out on the family farm.  

10:05 am – A Year in Review: Lessons from the Turmoil of 2019 
Matt Rundle, Harriston Agromart;
Sharon Vogels, Thompson Ltd.

These boots-on-the-ground agronomists will review learnings from this season and practices that have led to success. They’ll cover results of planting corn in wet conditions, planting in June, herbicide strategies in soybeans, how healthy soils can take care of you, and more.  (CM)

Sharon Vogels has been an Agronomy Consultant with Thompsons Limited for 16 years.  She grew up near Woodville, ON, and now farms in her “spare time” with her husband and two young boys near Dublin, ON. 

Matt Rundle is a Sales Agronomist with Harriston Agromart Inc. in Harriston, ON. He grew up in Stouffville, ON, where his passion for crop agriculture grew through working for local farmers. Matt is a Certified Crop Advisor and graduated from the University of Guelph with a bachelor’s degree in Crop Science in 2017. 

10:05 am – Do Cover Crops Pay?
Richard Vyn, UG & Mark Richards, Richards Rolling Acres Ltd

Learn about the profitability of cover crops to grain and horticultural crops from a long-term Ontario research trial and hear Mark Richards’ (IFAO’s 2018 Innovator of the Year) perspective on cover crop ROI. (CM)

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 on the economics of farm production practices. His other areas of research include farmland values, marketing of agricultural and food products, and economic impacts of agricultural and rural policy.

Mark Richards is a farmer in the Dresden area of Chatham-Kent. He grows processing tomatoes, sugarbeets, Corn, Soybeans and Wheat. The operation has been using cover crops for decades in varying degrees. The last 5 years have seen investment in equipment and technology to integrate covers in all aspects of the rotation. Interseeding, precision planting of covers and strip tillage as well as using simple blends have improved weed control, improved soil tilth and helps to prevent expensive nutrients from leaving the field.
Mark is a member of the Ontario Soil Network, sits on the board of the Innovative Farmers of Ontario and has served on the Michigan Sugar Company Board of directors for the past 8 yrs.

10:05 am – Precision Agr: How Precise is Precise Enough?
Alfons Weersink, UG

This session will discuss how we can best measure the payoff at different input rates to help judge the benefits of site-specific crop management. (SW)

Alfons Weersink is a professor in the Dept of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.  His research focuses on the impact of new technology and government programs on decisions made by farmers and the impact of those decisions on the environment and markets.

10:05 am & 2:50 pm – What it takes to win the high yield soybean contest!
Don Stall, Charlotte, MI

2018 Michigan State High Yield Soybean contest winner, 124 bu/ac. Don will discuss his management system for consistently achieving high yielding profitable soybeans in central Michigan. (CM)

11:10 am Corn Lessons Learned from 2019
Ben Rosser OMAFRA and Greg Stewart Maizex

Rain. Mud. Late Planting. Wet. Dry. High Moisture. Snow. A growing season most will be happy to get behind us. What corn lessons were learned during a challenging growing season like 2019? (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.

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. 




11:10 am – How to Hit the Restart Button on Your Alfalfa Crop 
Ashley Knapton, Pioneer
Christine O’Reilly, OMAFRA

2019 was a tough year for alfalfa. Widespread winterkill affected large areas of the province. This talk will focus on proactively moving forward. To that end, 2020 will be the year of the three Ss: scouting, seeding, and sfertility (what? Not all of the three Rs actually started with R). Review when and how to scout an alfalfa field, discuss tips for seeding a great forage crop, and still find time to talk fertility – rates, removals, what manure can and cannot do.  (CM)

Ashley was born and raised on her family’s dairy farm in the heart of the Ottawa Valley. After realizing her passion for agriculture at a young age, she proceeded to attend the University of Guelph where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the Ontario Agricultural College in 2013. Following graduation, she has held a variety of roles in the industry ranging from a dairy nutritionist to working for a national industry group in communications and government relations. Ashley is currently the Livestock Specialist for Pioneer Hi-Bred, travelling throughout Eastern Canada while remaining actively involved in her family’s dairy farm – Knapview Farms. 
Ashley was the 2014 winner of the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition and she recently completed the Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Leadership 2.0 program. Ashley currently sits on the board for the Lanark Holstein Club as well as the Lanark Federation of Agriculture. When she does have some spare time, Ashley can be found guarding a net at a hockey rink or admiring a craft brewery. 

Christine O’Reilly is the Forage and Grazing Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Her areas of focus include the benefits of forages and grazing within cropping systems, forage production and grazing systems for northern Ontario, and improving the productivity and profitability of forages. She received both her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Guelph. Christine joined the ministry in 2017 and is based out of the Lindsay office. 

11:10 am – Soil health testing in Ontario: what have we learned?
Laura Van Eerd, UG and Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA

How much do cover crops improve soil health? What kinds of tests work best? Learn the latest research results and tools available for soil health testing in Ontario. (SW)

Laura grew up on a cash crop and finishing hog farm in near Ridgetown, Ontario. She earned a triple crown (BSc, MSc and PhD) at the University of Guelph and is still there at Ridgetown Campus as a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences. With a focus on nitrogen and carbon cycling in agricultural soils, her research program aims to better understand the role of cover crops and crop diversity on crop productivity and soil health. 

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.

12:15 pm – Harvesting Energy Resources to Grow Ontario’s Energy Supply
Ryan Clemmer, UG

The burning of fossil fuels to meet the world’s energy supply is a major contributor greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.  Significant advances in alternative renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and biomass have been made but their widespread use is limited.  Farms are designed to produce food, but they also have the potential to supply energy.  There is space to install wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels and the capacity to grow new crops to convert to fuel.  There is also the ability to convert waste and residue into usable energy sources.  New technologies, such as high temperature fuel cells, can be used to convert renewable fuels into electricity to power buildings and equipment.  By leveraging current practices and new technology, farms can be a significant resource for producing clean and renewable energy to help meet Ontario’s energy demand. (1 CM)

Dr. Ryan Clemmer is an Associate Professor in the School on Engineering at the University of Guelph.  In his 8 years at UofG, he has taught several courses in the area of energy, design, and material science. With a background in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo and as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, he has spent over 15 years developing new materials for high temperature fuel cells.  He continues to work on the development of fuel cells, particularly for use in automobiles.  Having grown up in Waterloo County, Dr. Clemmer also has fond memories of visiting and helping on his grandparent


12:15 & 3:55 pm – Optimized Crop Farming in Switzerland, Beyond the Slopes!
Hanspeter Lauper

By understanding soils and developing a system to protect them using rotation, cover crops, weight and traffic management and timing, tire/track choice, headland management and more, Hanspeter has built a profitable resilient farm. (CM)

12:15 pm – Precision Agronomy Foundations…Where to Start and How to Engage
Tony Balkwill, Nithfield Agronomy and Dan Breckon, Grand River Planters

There remains a lot of hesitation to dive into site specific management. Where should you start and how can you start regardless of your operation size? (SW)

Tony Balkwill is an independent Precision Agronomy Specialist based out of Southern Ontario. As owner of NithField Agronomy & Research, he technically consults on over 75 thousand acres of cropland across several counties. NithField’s farming operation is the foundation for NithField’s research studies and trial program and consists of 650+ acres of full production field scale research systems, many with multiyear platforms.
Tony is a Certified Crop Advisor, a graduate of the University of Guelph and educated at the University of Illinois where he specialized in equipment technology and crop sciences. Tony was also a 2016 Canadian Nuffield Scholar who studied internationally for two years on reclassifying historical soil type maps accurately into field specific management zones for variable rate systems.

Dan Breckon is an agronomist with Woodrill Ltd, a full service crop input supply company and grain elevator business serving the farming community in central southern Ontario.  Dan has a passion for combining historical soils information and technology to optimize the farm scale agronomics for growing crops in central southern Ontario.

2:50 pm – Staying on Top of Weed Problems
Mike Cowbrough, Moderator
Melody Robinson, Clarks Agriservice; Meagan Griffiths, FS Partners

The panel will identify pleasant surprises and key learnings in weed management during the 2019 season and will discuss strategies to implement and new solutions worth trying for the 2020 season. (PM)

Melody Robinson is a Field Agronomist at Clark Agri Service.  Clark Agri Service is an independently owned and operated retail that services Haldimand, Hamilton/Wentworth and the Niagara Region.  Melody received her BSc and MSc from the University of Guelph and is a CCA (4R NMS, RM). Her areas of interest include weed resistance management and precision agriculture. 
 Meagan Griffiths is a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and University of Guelph graduate from Waterloo Region. She received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Plant Agriculture and went on to spend the past 5 years in retail agronomy. Her current role is in Precision Agronomy with FS PARTNERS where she focuses on intensive crop scouting as well as whole-farm 4R fertility and seeding recommendations based on spatial variability. Since the start of her experience in the agricultural industry, Meagan has been passionate about weed control, identification and resistance management. She now sits on the Ontario CCA Board of Directors and is an active participant within the Ontario Weeds Committee. 

3:55 pm – Taking Strides Towards Success with Barley and Oats in Ontario
Quentin Martin, Julia Thompson, Cribit Seeds

Cribit Seeds, in partnership with SeCan, are leading the way screening new varieties for Ontario, and developing niche cereal markets. Learn about the strides they’ve taken in advancing oats as well as spring, winter and malt barley production and their unique processing of cereal grains. (CM)

Quentin Martin is president and co-owner with four family members of Wintermar Farms Ltd located north of Waterloo, Ontario. The operation involves the production, conditioning and packaging of seed and whole food grains under the brands Cribit Seeds and Wintermar Grains.  Quentin is actively involved in his local community and church. He and his wife Jean have four daughters. 

Julia grew up on her family’s cash crop farm in Caledon ON where she was actively involved with 4H growing up. Pursuing her love for agriculture, Julia attended the University of Guelph, graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Honours) in 2017. Julia is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Cribit Seeds in West Montrose.

Beef Symposium

9:00 am – Winter Feeding Strategies to Reduce Feed Costs
Dr. Katie Wood, University of Guelph

This session will focus on winter feeding programs for cow-calf producers. Learn about strategies to maintain body condition, stretch forage supplies, optimize performance of your herd, and manage input costs.

Dr. Katie Wood

Katie Wood developed a passion for animal agriculture early in life through her experiences on her family’s cow/calf operation and through her involvement in the 4-H program. After concluding her Ph.D., she completed an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan. During this time her work focused on understanding gut barrier function and nutrient absorption in ruminants and their interactions with health, metabolic disease and production efficiencies. Katie returned to the University of Guelph in April 2016 as a faculty member. Outside of her research, Katie breeds, owns and shows Simmental cattle and Polled Dorset sheep.

10:05 am – Unique Grazing Perspectives
Graeme Finn, Southern Cross Livestock

Graeme is an innovative grazier who uses his grazing program to support cattle performance, soil health, and environmental sustainability. Learn about Graeme’s unique pasture management strategies addressing rejuvenation, fertility, grazing techniques, and more. (CM)

Graeme and his wife, Heather, and their two young daughters, Claire and Morgan currently run a beef operation near Madden, Alberta.  They manage a cow calf operation with a focus on year round grazing both high legume pastures and annual cover crop grazing.  They have been successful in incorporating intensive rotational grazing and winter grazing strategies into their management system.  Graeme is in his 26 year of living in Canada and has been involved with some of his mentors for most of that time, mentors like Doug Wray ,Grant Lastiwka and members of FFGA. Graeme sits on the research advisory committee of the ABP as well as sitting on the board of  BCRC,  Canadian round table for sustainable beef research committee and the UK and Canada AgriFood research council  and is a mentor on the young cattleman’s leaders program and  mentor of the beef council  researcher mentorship program and sit on the board of FFGA ,  and is on the Calgary stampede international agriculture committee.    His passion for looking at new ways to do things and finding ways to be profitable both by cutting the bottom line as well as looking outside the box to improve profit margin and run a beyond sustainable cattle grazing operation as well as improving the soil and environment they work with on their operation. Graeme has been involved in the agricultural industry in his capacity as director with ACIDF, FFGA, BCRC, CRSB and ARECA to try and help advance agriculture in any way.  He is also president of union forage.  He is always willing to lend a hand and keen to talk anything grass and forages with  people.

11:10 am – Sustainable Beef Panel: The Retailers’ Perspective.
Gurneesh Bhandal, Cargill; Jennifer Lambert, Loblaws, Monica Hadarits, CRSB; Christoph Wand (moderator)

Hear from sustainability experts on what their customers are looking for in beef. How do sustainable beef claims resonate in Canada, and how can producers get involved?

Gurneesh is Senior Sustainability Manager at Cargill Protein. She is responsible for leading beef sustainability initiatives in North America and serves on the Canadian,  US, and Global Roundtables for Sustainable Beef. She has been with Cargill since 2013. Prior to Cargill, Gurneesh worked with Sustainalytics, a responsible investment research firm where she specialized ESG (environment, social, governance) analysis of the food & beverage sector. Gurneesh holds a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the U.K. and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Jennifer is the sustainability lead at Loblaw Companies, working with the Loblaw Control brand team to develop and execute their Food for the Future strategy. In this role she is responsible for identifying sustainability opportunities along with supply chain risks.  This work involves implementing sustainability strategies for high risk commodities, working with suppliers on animal welfare, reducing the environmental footprint of packaging, and monitoring and implementing strategies to meet future consumer needs in areas like organics, GMOs and ingredients of concern in both food and personal care and household products.  Jennifer has an Engineering degree in Food Process design from the University of Guelph and an MBA with a specialization in global strategy and brand marketing from The Schulich School of Business at York University.  As part of her role at Loblaw, Jennifer participates as a member on a number of industry sustainability initiatives, including being a council member on the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and is a regular speaker at industry events and conferences.  Prior to working in the sustainability field, Jennifer led a team of Quality Assurance professionals, responsible for ensuring the safety and consistent quality of Loblaw’s control brand products. 

Monica is the Executive Director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). In this role, Monica leads the strategic direction and management of the organization, as well as overseeing funding opportunities and stakeholder relations.  Monica received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Guelph and has focused her career and research on sustainable natural resource use and climate variability in agriculture. Monica has family farm roots in Saskatchewan, experience working with rural communities across Canada, and international agriculture research experience in South America. 

12:15 pm – Enhancing Feedlot Health: From Pre-Wean to Finish
Dr. Greg Dimmers – Metzger Vet Services

A veterinarian’s insight on top health issues faced by Ontario’s feedlots and management considerations for improved cattle health, including practices to set calves up for success at the cow-calf level.

Greg is a veterinarian with Metzger Veterinary Services. He grew up on a pig farm outside of London Ontario. Greg earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph in 2016.

2:50 pm – Selection for Profitability Panel
Jamie O’Shea, BFO Cow-Calf Committee Chair, Moderator

Panelists Brad Gilchrist (Semex), Katie Wilson (Gilbrea Farms), and Scott Cornish (EastGen) will discuss aspects of cattle breeding that increase performance and profitability within the sector with Q & A from audience

Brad Gilchrist is Semex’s Beef Marketing Manager. He joined Semex in June 2014 as our Beef Marketing & Product Support Specialist, excelling in this role and was named Beef Marketing Manager in January 2019. Brad graduated from the University of Guelph with an honours degree in agriculture, and  has an excellent real life understanding of a wide variety of topics critical to the Beef industry including breed pedigrees, EPDs, genomics, defects, policies and a mindset to ensure customers are able to produce profitable cattle. Brad is passionate about the Beef industry, with a special focus on Angus genetics. Additionally, Brad is a Beef judge, officiating at all levels within Canada and he has shown Beef competitively at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for the past 21 years, as well as several major North American shows. Brad and his wife Kristie reside in Lucknow, Ontario with their daughter Peyton where they market Angus breeding stock to customers across Canada and abroad. They host 2 annual sales at Gilchrist Farms, GF and Friends IN IT TO WIN IT angus production sale as well as the Mid-Western Ontario Bull sale. 

Scott Cornish and his wife Paula, along with their 2 children Jason (11) and Shelby (9) own and operate a 75 cow / calf operation in Indian River consisting of both Hereford and Angus cattle.  Scott grew up on a purebred Hereford operation and Paula on a farm that background fed stocker calves.  Scott attended the University of Guelph and was a 96A grad.  Scott is a regional sales manager for Eastgen and has worked there for over 24 years.  They have exhibited cattle all over Ontario, competed at the Royal and have also shown cattle at Agribition.  Scott’s hobby is breeding and showing good cattle and meeting great friends along the way.

Katie and her dad, Bob, run Gilbrea Farm – a mixed farming operation near Erin, Ontario. Katie graduated Sheridan College in 2015 with a diploma in Marketing and Advertising. Since then she has taken an active role in farm operations with a strong focus on the cow herd. Katie will be first to tell you data capture and management is crucial to their operation. They raise Stabilizer seedstock as a cooperator herd with Leachman Cattle of Colorado and are strong proponents of the $Profit system. They’ve successfully marketed their bulls in Leachman sales since 2008. In 2015 they had their first on-farm sale and since then continue to host an annual sale. Katie is greatful for the mentors that she’s had the pleasure of learning from, including Brian Pogue. She is passionate about the improvement of their herd and “lives for the data”.  In 2017 she purchased her first heifer, that heifer’s bull calf sold this year. This fall she purchased her first herd bull. She understands the value of utilizing all the available data when making management decisions. For her this means assessing animals individually, and the herd as a whole, to determine the herd’s future direction. Maximizing profitability within the industry is a moving target and not always easy to obtain. Implementing some minor changes, especially in breeding programs, can make a marked improvement for producers. Katie will share some of the changes they’ve made in their herd and their goals moving forward. She’s always happy to talk about cattle with fellow producers.

3:55 pm – Beef Industry Issues
Stina Nagel. CCA

Stina will discuss the issues the Canadian beef industry is facing, the importance of stakeholder engagement to further positive messaging, as well as strategies beef farmers themselves can utilize to help in this.

Soil & Environment

9:00 am & 12:15 pm – Farming & Water Quality
Trey Hill, Harbourview Farms, ML

Hear from a Maryland farmer managing a 13,000 acre operation in the Chesapeake Bay area. Learn how Trey uses no-till, cover crops and precision agriculture to manage nutrients on his farm. (SW)

Trey is a 4 th generation grain farmer from Rock Hall, Maryland, he and his family till corn, wheat and soybeans on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Trey holds a degree in Farm Management and Economics from Purdue University. Trey has been committed to improving agriculture sustainability and carbon smart farming practices. He is leading the way in responsible agriculture and bridging the gap between environmentalists and agriculturalists. He believes that with the right farming practices farmers can improve the quality of our lives, land and waterways. Trey and his wife, Cheryl, have two children.

11:10 am – Soil Compaction: Learnings from 2019!
Alex Barrie OMAFRA and Nicolas Dubuc, Souzy Inc., QC

Highlights of learnings and continuing gaps from the big compaction events held in Ontario during 2019. (SW)

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.

Nicolas Dubuc grew up on a dairy farm SW of Montreal, obtained a diploma in Farm Mgmt & Tech from Mcdonald College of McGill University, then went on to get my B.Eng in agricultural engineering also from Mcdonald College of McGill U.  I have been with Soucy for 8 years, initially as an application engineering, then as a product specialist.  My role is to connect engineering, marketing, sales with customer needs, industry trends, new technology.  Still an evening / week end farmer, helping out on the family farm.  

11:10 am – Seeking Sustainable Crop Production Using Strip Till and Bio Strips In Corn
Allan Willets and Lawrence Hogan, North Huron Farmers

Targeting sustainable, profitable cropping by reducing tillage, using cover crops, and crop rotations. A targeted reduction in soil erosion, crop inputs and enhancing soil life, is proving to be a resilient cropping system. (SW)

Allan and his son Shawn farm 480 acres in northern Huron County. We background 300-400 head of beef cattle plus do 700 acres of custom combining and planting. We no till soybeans and wheat with strip till corn using cover crops and bio-strips. We have also planted corn and soybeans into a green cover crop. We are working on a no till corn system because I believe that strip till is still too much tillage.

Lawrence and his brother Steve Howard are No-Tilling corn, soybeans and winter wheat on 900 acres along with custom planting and harvesting in northwest Huron County.   After thirty years of attempting to No-Till corn into wheat stubble ,finally with the use Bio Strips and ‘Precleaned Rows’ they are happy with the results.

12:15 pm – Silvopasture: Integrating trees and Grazing Livestock
Brett Chedzoy, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County

Integrating trees into livestock operations or vice versa can increase revenue and carbon capture per acre. Insights into this practice from Brett’s experience in the USA, Argentina and Canada will change how you think about trees, livestock and money. (SW)

Brett is Senior Resource Educator in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County. He has B.S. in Natural Resources Management and M.F. in Forest Management and Operations. Over the past ten years as a regional extension forester, Brett has participated in an estimated 100 presentations and education events on silvopasturing that have reached 5,000 farmers, woodland owners, agency personnel and land management professionals.

2:50 pm Soil testing: Making Sense of the Numbers
Deb Campbell, Agronomy Advantage, Luke Hartung, North Wellington Co-op; Moderator: Jake Munroe, OMAFRA

How do you know if you need to build up potassium levels? Is there a missing nutrient from your fertility program? Attend this interactive session for answers on these and other pressing soil test questions. Bring a recent soil test! (SW)

Deb obtained her BSc Agronomy with emphasis in soil management from the University of Guelph. She then went on to complete her Certified Crop Adviser certification in 2000. Recently Deb completed Licensed Seed Crop Inspection training and is now certified. She also served on Certified Crop Adviser Board of Directors from 2009-2011. Deb has a wide variety of experience from working for Cargill and Syngenta in an array of positions. From Agronomist to Territory Sales Manager to Account Manager, she understands all aspects of growing a successful crop both in the field and in the chequebook. She has production expertise in corn, soybeans (including IP), cereals, canola, edible beans, alfalfa, and cover crops. Deb owns and operates Agronomy Advantage

Luke Hartung works as a Sales Agronomist at North Wellington Co-operative, in Harriston, ON. Luke is a graduate from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, and a Certified Crop Advisor, with a 4R Nutrient Management Designation. He grew up on family dairy farm outside of Gowanstown, ON, and continues to operate a cash crop and market garden farm business with his family.

2:50 pm – High-Tech Manure Application
Bruce Kelly, Farm and Food Care; Christine Brown , OMAFRA

Manure application and the machinery that enables it has come a LONG way. This session will highlight the best of the new equipment globally and how it will allow 4Rs and benefical timing such as side-dressing to work with manure on modern livestock farms. (NM)

Bruce is a U of G grad, and then spent more than 20 years as a Pork Producer in Wellington County. Since 2012, Bruce has worked for Farm & Food Care as Program Manager, working on a variety of Environmental and Animal welfare Issues impacting Ontario’s farmers. Bruce works in a number of program areas including welfare training for farmers, livestock emergencies (truck rollovers and barn fires) dealing with animal activists concerns and a variety of environmental issues related to agricultural water use and nutrient stewardship.

Christine is the Nutrient Management Field Crops Program Lead for OMAFRA. Her areas of focus include manure management for field crops, tools for nutrient management planning, and best management practices for and principals of nutrient/manure management. Christine is also editor of Publications 811, Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.

2:50 pm – Keeping Phosphorus on Your Farm and Out of the Water
Dr. Merrin Macrae, U of Waterloo & Jim McComb, Farmers Edge Agri-Coaching

What are the best ways to minimize risk of phosphorus loss from your farm? Dr. Merrin Macrae will share her findings from 7+ years of on-farm, edge-of-field research. Agronomist and farmer Jim McComb will share his practical experiences managing soil and nutrient loss on-farm. (SW)

Merrin Macrae is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Macrae received her B.E.S. and M.Sc. degrees from York University and her Ph.D. from Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research interests center around nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus) dynamics and water quality in agricultural landscapes and wetlands. Dr. Macrae studies water quality at both watershed and field scales, with an emphasis on assisted drainage. A key aspect of her work involves understanding the winter and snowmelt periods, and the efficacy of conservation practices during these critical times. Her research largely field-based science, focused in Southern Ontario and Manitoba. To date, she has supervised or co-supervised more than 30 graduate students, 4 post-doctoral researchers and 18 technical staff, published 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and co-authored more than 200 conference presentations.

Jim McComb is a Professional Agrologist, crop and certified nutrient management planner out of Central Eastern Ontario. He runs an 80 head cow/calf operation near Belleville, Ontario with his wife Glenda and daughters Eve and Kara. He seeks out strategies to allocate scarce resources for his clients to efficiently grow high yield crops and keep fertilizer investments returning bigger profits.

3:55 pm – Drainage Dilemmas and Decisions
Peter Johnson, Realagriculture; Brent Weigel, Weigel Drainage

Understanding drainage Do’s and Don’ts. From compaction to tile spacing, learn the many factors that determine the best drainage system for profit and environmental benefit. (SW)

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.

Business & Marketing

9:00 am – 2020 Market Outlook
Steve Duff, OMAFRA

Join Steve for an in-depth look at the global grain, cattle and hog markets and what is in store for 2020. (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 – Mental Health: What are Responsibilities as a Farm & Agribusiness Owner?
Jennifer Goertzen, Ward & Uptigrove

What are the obligations, roles and responsibilities of an employer for her/his employees? Ethics? Legalities? What do I do if I observe an employee or family member in crisis? (PD)

Jennifer completed her certificate in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University in 2014, and attained her CRSP designation in 2016. She joined Ward and Uptigrove in 2018 as a Health and Safety Specialist, and brings experience from the construction, surface mining, retail and automotive manufacturing industries, as well as municipal government. Jennifer provides our clients with health and safety guidance and solutions including, but not limited to, policy and program development and review, training, WSIB claims management, risk assessments, job hazard analyses, inspections, audits and investigations.

10:05 am – The Banker is the Farmer
Daniel Chiappetta, TD Canada Trust

Daniel was a non-farmer starting a farm… but from a banker’s perspective! A quick look at how a young farmer should makes a case to, and dialogue with, their lender while learning the ropes of a new cash-cropping business. (CM)

Daniel didn’t grow up on a farm however had an interest in agriculture from a young age. Went to university of Guelph for Agriculture Business and began renting some land and growing his cropping business all the while pursuing a banking career in agriculture Lending. Today, Daniel has been working in the lending world for 6+ Years and farming for 7 years all the while building a portfolio in residential and multi-family real estate. Some key topics covered are return on investment and tools learned outside the farm to set up to run the farm profitably.

11:10 am – Young Farmers Forum
Andrew Schrumm, RBC Senior Manager of research, Office of the CEO
; Greg Kitching,Integrated Solutions Consultant, Premier Equipment Ltd.
Don’t miss this important session as Andrew discusses the critical skills that are going to be needed by Farmers and their employees to be productive, competitive and successful in the near future.  Greg will then discuss the advancements in technology and the impact that they will have on our operations and the way we farm.

11:10 am Greenhouse Production for the Direct Farm Marketer
Sue and Don Hilborn, Red Barn Berries, Woodstock

How do concepts like hydroponic veggies, raspberry tunnels, herb production, greenhouse and other covered infrastructure fit in for value adders and ‘destination’ farms. (CM)

Don and Sue are graduates of the University of Guelph in Engineering and Diploma in Agriculture respectively.  Don worked as an Engineer for OMAFRA for 37 years.   They started a small greenhouse tomato operation in 1982 at their farm near Caledonia.   In 1990 they moved to Woodstock .  In the greenhouse they grew 9 types of tomatoes, mini cucumbers, peppers and hydroponic lettuce and culinary herbs  They attend Farmers’ Markets and have an on farm outlet.   In the fall 2018 they sold their 10,000 sq ft greenhouse structure to a young couple who rebuilt it on their property. Don and Sue continue to grow and market strawberries, asparagus, peas and beans.  They also grow everbearing raspberries in an exclusion netted greenhouse preventing the need for any pesticides.

12:15 pm – Turning Data into $
Travis Jansen, Consultant, Farm & Agri-Food ; Erich Weber, OMAFRA

This presentation will offer insights on the different cost of production and record keeping options available to farmers and include one young farmers experience with improving financial data management on their family farm. (PD)

Travis grew up on a hog and cash crop farm in southwestern Ontario. After high school, he completed a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo with a Minor in Economics and Management Studies. During this program, Travis tailored his courses to focus on agriculture and after graduating, he continued his studies through a graduate degree in Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. Throughout this degree, Travis continuously worked to develop his farm management knowledge. In addition to his thesis, Travis worked as a research assistant for an international project on young farmers, was selected for Farm Management Canada’s Young Successor Program, participated in Ontario Pork’s Young Leader Program and worked as a contract consultant. Travis now continues his work as consultant and also enjoys helping his parents with improving their farm management and looking after the flock of sheep that he owns with his brother.

Erich is the Business Finance Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. In this role, Erich provides information related to financial management, taxation, and business structures for farmers and agri-food processors. Prior to working with OMAFRA, Erich worked in a local accounting firm where he focused on farm accounting and taxation, and obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Erich attended the University of Guelph, where he studied Agricultural Business. He and his parents own a beef cow/calf, feeder and cash crop farm in Grey County.

2:50 pm – Help Wanted – Finding and Keeping Employees
Jennifer Wright, CAHRC

Farms just like yours are able to attract and retain the agriworkforce they need. Hear their stories & other best practices to help you overcome today’s agricultural labour challenges. (PD)

Jennifer grew up working in her family’s farm equipment dealership and helping on the farm in southwestern Ontario. She has worked in the field of human resource research and development for more than twenty years.  Her area of expertise includes inclusion, diversity, leadership, HR policies and workplace culture as well as research and analysis, facilitation, program management and evaluation.   Jennifer has worked with several industries, including agriculture, to bring partners together for projects related to inclusion and diversity, attraction and retention, work integrated learning, labour market research, skills development, training and education.  She has conducted national sectoral labour market studies, national compensation studies and working to develop a national framework of on-farm agriculture occupations within Canada. Jennifer has also conducted research related to the advancement of women in agriculture in Canada in addition to other work related to human resource development in Canada’s agricultural sector.  She holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Royal Roads University, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a member of the Canadian Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA). 

3:55 pm – Hot Topics in Tax for Farm Business Owners
Jesse Moore, Annette Muir,
BDO Canada LLP

Learn about hot-button tax issues affecting farm businesses and the planning strategies used to address them. Covering issues for businesses in the start-up, growth, or retirement/succession/estate planning phase. (PD)

Jesse Moore is a tax partner with BDO Canada LLP. Jesse has over ten years of professional experience providing income tax services to individuals, corporations and trusts/estates. He assists clients with both tax planning and tax compliance services in a wide range of industries, including agriculture, retail, professional and service businesses. He has also successfully assisted a number of clients with personal, corporate, and estate tax compliance and planning, business purchases and sales, reorganizations, successions and disputes with Canada Revenue Agency.Jesse has been a presenter at various seminars on estate/retirement planning, tax planning for owner-managed businesses (particularly in agriculture), as well as various seminars on recent and developing trends in income tax law. Jesse prepares tax-focused articles for various publications such as The Rural Voice, has been interviewed for Real Ag Radio, is a co-editor for Thomson Reuters’ The Taxation of Farmers and Fishermen, and is involved as a tutorial leader for CPA Canada’s Income Tax for the General Practitioner course.

Annette Muir is tax specialist manager with BDO Canada LLP. Annette’s practice focuses on owner-managed businesses with a particular emphasis on agriculture clients. She assists clients with reorganizations, estate planning and succession planning.

3:55 pm – Grain Marketing – Harnessing the Beast
Heather Moffatt Thompson Ltd.

Do you find managing your grain marketing program one of your biggest challenges? Let me share the strategies I’ve learned over the years that make marketing a task you’ll enjoy, not despise. (PD)

3:55 pm Non Family Succession
Steve Dolson, Karen Galbraith, Sally McMullen & Geoff McMullen – Legacy Holsteins

Both ends of a non-family farm succession will discuss lessons learned transitioning their dairy business which could be applied to all farm business successions. (PD)

General Interest

9:00 am – Rural Crime
Sergeant Laura Brown, Community Services Co-ordinator, West Region OPP

Where and what are the targets and how to protect your property? (PD)

10:05 am & 2:50 pm – Stress & Self-Care in Agriculture: Supporting You and Those You Care For
Lorna Callbeck Cross, Cassie Josephson, People Things Consulting, Saskatoon, SK

You’re stressed; the uncontrollable variables are overwhelming. Learn about the different types of stress and how it can show up in you and others around you. Share ideas on mental wellness and psychological health and safety with respect to yourself, the farm and the agriculture sector. Begin to develop a self-care plan and skills to assist with Psychological First Aid. Let’s work together to build resilience in yourself and the industry. (PD)

Lorna Callbeck Cross is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Global Leadership, from Royal Roads University in Victoria. Lorna is President and Founder of People Things Consulting, with 35 years proven expertise, as an employee and consultant, supporting corporations, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, and individuals. Lorna is very proud of her rural roots, growing up on a mix cattle grain operation in northwest Saskatchewan. Lorna is committed to increasing mental health education and finding ways to encourage these much needed conversations.

Cassie Josephson is a recent graduate from the University of Saskatchewan, with a Bachelor of Science degree in AgriBusiness. After successful sales roles in the agriculture industry, she joined People Things Consulting as Director and Facilitator. Cassie is passionate about breaking barriers and stigmas around mental health, to help create safe, inclusive communities. Throughout her own educational and personal journey, Cassie has seen first-hand the effects of lack of education and stigma surrounding mental health. People Things Consulting is a social purpose organization focused on strengthening psychological health and wellness, and culturally competent practices, leading to increased diversity and inclusion for all.

11:10 am – Computer Lab – Learn how to use Facebook for business –
Tammy Hudgins – double Session

In this workshop, we will explore our personal timeline and Business Pages to learn how to create your presence, to build your business, using key elements and marketing ideas. (PD)

Tammy Hudgin has been working the Facebook world for the past 11 years for business and has learned how to create her presence to sell her business.  Taking what she has done, Tammy expanded into teaching all that she has learned through workshops, training one-on-one and speaking engagements.  This has also led to small business owners hiring her to manage their Facebook Business Page for them.  Tammy has been nominated for 9 business awards, been a regular speaker on Rogers TV, regular Blog contributor to different business organizations, and provides opportunities through Facebook Groups, for business owners to continuously learn the world of Facebook at no cost.

3:55 pm – Decluttering Your Mind, Home and Work Spaces
Stephen IIott, TO

Stephen uses a combination hard work, psychology, and large dollops of humor to achieve his remarkable results. Now over sixteen years and well over 1,500 homes later he still loves what he does and offering new perspectives on the stuff that owns us and reinventing life. (PD)

Youth Program

Register your children for our Youth Program for ages 8‐16. The highlights of this year’s fully supervised daylong session include: Exploring Crop Science, an activity with the Ontario Veterinary College, Precision Ag Workshop with Climate FieldView and much more! For questions or concerns contact Johanna Lindeboom at 289‐925‐6828.


Youth Permission Form PDF