GBFW2021 Speakers – Updating Continuously

Thorsten Arnold

Thorsten holds degrees in environmental science, agricultural economics and watershed management.  He co-owns Persephone Market Garden in Grey County with his wife Kristine and their three children.  He works on a transition to a regenerative food system through writing, and teaching about an agriculture that feeds people and simultaneously promotes rural economies and a healthy biosphere.  He was in instigator and founding manager of Eat Local Grey Bruce online farmers market.  He now consults on the developing alternative food chains educates about the role of agriculture in biosphere regeneration.

Michael Barrett photo

Michael Barrett

Bio coming soon

Andrew Barrie

Bio coming soon

Lee Bries

Bio coming soon

Travis Busman

Bio coming soon

Deb Campbell

Deb is a Certified Crop Advisor with many years of experience in Agronomy and Precision Ag.  She holds multiple specialties and has worked across the Ontario Ag Industry helping producers achieve their agronomic and business goals.

Rob Campbell

Rob spent most of his career as an actuary where he set actuarial reserves or priced just about every kind of property or casualty insurance you can think of. In 2011 he realized that economics is leading humanity to make decisions against our best interests and switched to farming to test his ideas of sustainability in the face of climate change and energy descent. Better Together Farms is a small diversified farm in Grey County producing beef, pork, and vegetables.

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Travis Cranmer

Travis grew up on a farm in Bright's Grove, Ontario propagating, growing and selling various vegetables.  In 2017 he joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  He received his B.Sc. in Biology and M.Sc. in Plant Production Systems with an emphasis on plant pathology from the University of Guelph.  His graduate work focused on clubroot of Brassica crops.  After receiving his degree, Travis worked as a technician at Vineland Research in a plant pathology lab testing biopesticides and biostimulants on vegetable crops in hydroponics.  With OMAFRA, Travis provides assistance to growers, consultants, industry and researchers as a Vegetable Crops Specialist focusing on production and crop protection of vegetable crops including Alliums, Brassicas and leafy greens.  He is conducting surveys for leek moth, cultivar trials, testing biological controls as well as elevating the efficacy of a sterile fly release program for onion maggot management.

Dr Rex Crawford, DVM

Bio Coming Soon

Lindsay Grice

"Is it me or my horse?" Horse show judge, certified riding coach, trainer and specialist in equine behaviour and learning.  Lindsay Grice loves to help riders solve their horse puzzles, prepare for competition and enjoy the process of riding, not just the result!  She shares keys from the fascinating science and research of how horses think & learn.  Lindsay holds judging certifications with AQHA, Equestrian Canada.  She's a provincial Hunter/Jumper and dressage judge & also judges multiple breeds & Extreme Trail/obstacle events.  She's taught classes and seminars for courses offered by the University of Guelph, equine associations and therapeutic riding facilities.  Lindsay loves to share her own insights and stories from 25 years as a competitor & horse trainer.  "Why do horses do what they do?"  Lindsay says, "in the horse world, our traditions & the evidence sometimes collide.  I love to communicate the WHY's behind the HOW's of riding "Equitation Science" - it makes live better for horses when we speak in a language they understand!"

Luke Hartung photo

Luke Hartung

Brett Israel

Julie Ann & Ethan Higginson

We are a young married team passionate about beef production. We own and operate a 65-cow herd in Meaford, ON; with a strong focus on direct to consumer sales. Our beef is marketed as grass fed and grain finished. Our farm slogan is “Know your famer, know your food” - It is important to us to educate our customers about our daily farming adventures on social media via facebook and Instagram. Our cows calve on pasture starting early May. We farm around 600 acres. All rented land, no owned properties.


Beck Hunt

Becky's rural roots began on a family farm in Wellington County.   She currently resides with her husband and 2 young children on a small cash crop farm just outside Walkerton.  They are also part owners of a dairy equipment business that provides service to Grey, Bruce and neighbouring counties. Becky also works full time as a  Mental Health Counselor with CMHA Grey Bruce where she supports individuals with mental health concerns.  Her infectious smile and positive nature create a ripple effect of happiness for everyone that crosses her path.

Amy Kitchen

Amy Kitchen co-owns Sideroad Farm with her husband Patrick Kitchen.  They grow certified organic vegetable, cut flowers and pasture raised poultry on their farm in Walter’s Falls.

Rob Lipsett

Rob lives in Annan, Ontario and runs a 150 head cow-calf operation and backgrounds all of his own calves.  He has recently expanded his land base with plans to increase the backgrounding division of his farm in the near future.  Rob studies Business at Georgian College and represents the Beef Farmers of Ontario as a Director for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef Cattle Research Council.

Jennifer MacTavish

While studying International Development at the University of Guelph, Jenn became enamored by agriculture and food. She completed her MSc in Animal Science in 2001 and now has over 17 years of experience working with producers, processors, and industry leaders.  Jenn has been with the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) - formerly known as Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency (OSMA) as the General Manager of since 2013.  Prior to joining OSMA, she spent 9 years as the Executive Director for the Canadian Sheep Federation and for a two years.  During that time, she also worked as the Canadian National Goat Federation’s General Manager.  She is currently the Chair of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, and a volunteer mediator with Community Justice Initiatives in Kitchener.  Jenn is an avid knitter, reader, and traveler. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and son.

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John Molenhuis

John has been with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) as the Business Analysis and Cost of Production Specialist for 20 years. He has led several benchmarking projects with Ontario dairy, beef and sheep producers as well as the lead for the OMAFRA cost of production budgeting information.

Megan Moran photo

Megan Moran

Bio coming soon

Christine O'Reilly

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.  Christine joined the Ministry in 2017 and is based out of the Lindsay office.  No, she hasn't drank too much coffee; she's actually that excited about grazing management.

Ellen Polishuck photo

Ellen Polishuck

Ellen is a full time farm consultant and workshop leader.  She leverages her 35 years of biological vegetable farming experience to help growers ar0ound the country to achieve more satisfaction and better profitability from their farm businesses.  Ellen was one of three owners of Potomac Vegetable Farms in Northern Virginia where she grew Ecoganic produce for 7 farmers markets, a 550 member CSA and two roadside stands.  Ellen is co-author of the book "Start your Farm" and writes the farmer-to-farmer profile column for Growing for Market magazine.  She lives in suburban Maryland with her husband, where she gardens like crazy.

Matthew Pot photo

Matthew Pot

Bio coming soon

Jackie Ralph smiling photo

Jackie Ralph

Jackie has been with the CMHA staff for 14 years.  She does an average of 620 presentations/awareness training sessions a year to 7000 children, 7500 youth and 6000 adults.

Keith Reid

Keith lives north east of Owen Sound on a small farm with his wife Joni and their three children Clayton, Ainslee and Westin. He graduated from the University of Guelph in '02 with a diploma in agriculture. He has been a part of the staff at Grey Ag Services since June 2011 initially acting as a program’s assistant for the Environmental Farm Plan, and then he became the project coordinator for the Grey/Bruce ALUS pilot project.

Bailey Reiger

Bio coming soon

Romy Schill

Romy and Ryan Schill farm near Elmira.  We raise 900 commercial prolific ewes and pure dorset ewes.  Accelerated lambing schedule and TMR feed.  We sell meat lambs and breeding stock.  We grew the flock from 25 initial ewes and spent time on many projects and improvements around the farm to make life more efficient and productive.

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Dr. Mary Smith

Bio coming soon

Tatiana picture

Tatiana Stanton

Bio coming soon

Mike Steele

Bio coming soon

Courtney Vriens


Courtney is no stranger to agriculture.  She got her education at the University of Guelph and has worked in ruminant nutrition since graduating in 2015.  She now operates her own business, Vriens Nutrition Consulting where she works with both sheep and cattle.  Courtney resides on a dairy farm in Arthur with her husband Mike.  She is passionate about agriculture and highly values helping producers reach their goals.

Anne Wasko

Anne Wasko has been a market Analyst for 25 years focusing on the Canadian cattle & beef industry.  She is currently the Market Analyst for Gateway Livestock Exchange based in Taber, Alberta.  Anne is also the president of Cattle Trends Inc., and consults for companies and individuals in the cattle business making numerous presentations to conferences across the country.  She is a regular contributor to and RealAg Radio on SIRUS.  Prior to Gateway Livestock, Anne was the Senior Market Analyst with Canfax for 21 years.  Anne is the Chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and sits on the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund Advisory committee.  She keeps her feet on the ground by working along side her husband at their ranch in Eastern Saskatchewan.

Tom Wright photo

Tom Wright

Bio coming soon

Brenda Hsueh

Brenda Hsueh has been farming at Black Sheep Farm in Grey County for almost 10 years. She has been growing organic vegetables for her CSA members and raising sheep for meat and fiber. She is dedicated to regenerative agriculture, working to increase soil life and overall biodiversity on her farm. As a board member of the NFU (National Farmers Union) -Ontario Local 344 for Grey County, she advocates for farmers. She is always excited for what can be learned on Eco Day of Grey Bruce Farmers' Week, and for all the farmer socializing!

Jason Hayes

Adam DeVisser

Adam is 30 years old and part of his family’s turkey and cropping operation. He attended Ridgetown College and earned a diploma in Agriculture before returning to the family farm. Adam and his family are constantly looking for ways to be more efficient and sustainable on their farm.

Steve Duff

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.  He 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.

Brandon Dietrich

Brandon is an Agronomy Advisor with Sprucedale.  He works with  with farmers on how to improve profitability by using data, such as yield maps, soil sample data, aerial imagery etc.

Peter Johnson

Peter (@WheatPete) is the resident agronomist with Real Agriculture, where he posts a weekly podcast “Wheat Pete’s Word”. He is a regular on “Agronomy Monday” on Real Ag radio, Siruis Satellite Radio 147. Peter spent 30 years as the Ontario Cereal Specialist, and loves to talk anything agriculture, especially wheat! He leads Middlesex Soil and Crop Improvement Association research and directs the strip till project for Veritas. Peter operates a small farm near Lucan, Ontario, where he constantly tries out new production ideas. He is enthusiastic and passionate about agriculture, and loves to be challenged by growers.