Andrew Campbell is a farmer with a passion for agricultural advocacy, social media and new technology. On Bellson Farms, he and his family milk Holsteins, grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in Southern Ontario’s Middlesex county.
Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein is a senior scientist whose expertise and research is in the area of Beef Cattle Welfare. She was raised on a farm in southern Alberta, an active feedlot business which was instrumental in sparking her interest of cattle, their care and management. In 1996, she obtained her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in Applied Animal Ethology and in 2003 accepted a research scientist position in Beef Cattle Welfare with Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada in Lethbridge.
Dr. Kathy Parker After graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1981, Dr. Parker established a mixed animal practice in central Alberta. The large animal ambulatory service has evolved into a comprehensive mixed animal practice today at a clinic in Three Hills, Alta. where she also runs a purebred Suffolk Sheep Farm with her husband. Her dedication and passion for the improvement of animal health has been demonstrated through her lifetime commitment to her own practice, as well the various positions she has held within small ruminant organizations and her involvement with industry events.
John DePutter President of DePutter Publishing Ltd., has been commenting on farm news developments, studying the markets and advising farmers and agri-businesses for more than 38 years. John provides insights and strategies that enable farmers to minimize risk and capitalize on opportunities in both short-term and long-term trends. DePutter Publishing, which he founded in 1981, is known for publications such as Ag-Alert, The DePutter Market Advisory Service, E-Morning Ontario and Good Morning Prairies. John has contributed to a wide variety of publications, has taught commodity marketing courses, and is a frequent speaker at farm meetings and conferences across Canada.
Christopher Winslow, received his B.S. from Ohio University and both his M.S. and PH.D. from Bowling Green State University. Since 2004 Chris has been a fixture at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory, first as an instructor and research supervisor, but now as the Director of both the lab and Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Prior to joining OSU and Ohio Sea Grant, Chris was an instructor at BGSU (2002-09) and an Assistant Professor at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2009-11).
Ellie Ross, is the Director of Animal Behavior and Applied Training at Wag and Train Inc. Ellie studied Equine science at Virgina Tech. She is a former pet expert of CTV , Readers Digest, Satellite Radio, Kool-FM, CHYM FM, Daytime TV, etc. Ellie was formally the Director of Behavior Assessments for a branch of the OSPCA.
Lynsay Beavers grew up outside of Dorchester, Ontario in Middlesex county. She spent the majority of her childhood on the farm, actively involved in 4-H. Her interest in agriculture led her to pursue a degree at the University of Guelph, and after, a Masters of Science with a focus on Dairy Genetics from the Ontario Veterinary College. Upon graduation, Lynsay spent three years in Calgary working as a Marketing and Communications Specialist with a dairy genetics company. A job as the Industry Liaison at the Canadian Dairy Network brought Lynsay back home to Ontario in 2013. In this role she extends information about Canadian genetics and genetic evaluation systems to dairy producers and industry personnel through a variety of communication channels.
Steve Duff Comes 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
Marlene Paibomesai works as a dairy specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). She works as production specialist for the dairy cattle, dairy goat, and dairy sheep sectors. She is based out of the Elora OMAFRA office. She completed her doctorate at the University of Guelph with a focus on breeding dairy cattle for disease resistance and epigenetics. Marlene is a member of Whitefish River First Nations of Birch Island, Ontario. Marlene grew up off reserve in Kemptville, Ontario and is currently living in Guelph.
Robert Fera is the animal health specialist for Animal Pro Products. Since 1999, Robert has owned and operated Deerpath Breeding and Development, an equine reproduction facility. Robert has many years of experience in stallion management, mare care and foaling in addition to having worked as the equine nutrition specialist for several large animal nutrition companies. Along with publishing articles on animal health and nutrition, Robert has been invited to speak at animal nutrition conferences in Canada and the US.
Lawrence (Chuck) Cannon is a Retired Canadian Forces Soldier who has found a new adventure in old school Horse Travel. Chuck has traveled to British Columbia to learn Mountain Horse Packing Skills from a Long Riders Guild member as well as completed the Blue Creek Outfitter Horse packing Guide training course. Chuck is a skilled educator who teaches numerous courses professionally and is always willing to share his knowledge and experiences.
Dr. Paul Luimes, teaches and does research in the Livestock section at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus since 2004. In Dr. Luimes presentation he will be reviewing his data and other current data related to feeding market lambs.
Van Mitchell was raised on a cow/calf ranch and farm in Utah. He went to vet school at Mississippi State University. He has been working at Metzger Vet Services out of Linwood and Chesley Since 2010. He lives near Durham with his wife and 5 children.
Jennifer MacTavish completed her MSc in Animal Science in 2001 and now has over 17 years of experience working with producers; processors and industry leaders. Jennifer became the General Manager of the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF), in April 2013. Prior to joining OSMA, she spent 9 years at Canadian Sheep Federation as the Executive Director. During that time, she also worked as the Canadian National Goat Federation’s. 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.
Leslie Moskovits owns and operates Cedar Down Farm with her partner Jeff Boesch. They are a certified organic vegetable farm serving over 200 members through a Community Shared Agriculture program. They deliver organic vegetables weekly to member families in Hanover, Port Elgin and Guelph nearly year-round through their summer, winter and spring programs. They employ two people each season to grow and deliver their vegetables which are grown in field and hoophouses.
Dr. Talia Fletcher is a mixed animal veterinarian working in Grey and Bruce County who has a special interest in regenerative agriculture. At Markdale Veterinary Services, Talia works with a large variety of animals and ecological/organic herds and flocks. Her special interests include milk quality/mastitis, pasture management and small ruminant health. Outgoing, enthusiastic and engaging, Talia is an experienced presenter who loves to share ideas with interested participants.
Mike Cowbrough has been the Weed Specialist in Field Crops for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 2002. His work focuses on providing tools and resources to help Ontarians manage weeds. He obtained both BSc. (Agr) and MSc. Degrees at the University of Guelph. In addition to his role with the Ministry, Mike also has Adjunct Faculty status in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. He resides on the family farm north west of Guelph with his wife and daughter.
Marieke Patton grew up on a mixed farm in South Simcoe County and attended the University of Guelph where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Marieke started working with Bayer as a summer student and has been a Territory Sales Manager for 15 years throughout Central, East Central and Northern Ontario working with retail and grower customers. In her spare time she enjoys farming with her husband and two daughters, curling, gardening and snowboarding.
Eric Bejergso is the General Manager of the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Ltd. Eric graduated from Agricultural college and employed with the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Ltd. since 1976. He has been the General Manager since 1983.
Philip Armstrong and family own 100 acres and rent about 1,200 acres, growing corn, wheat, soybeans and hay. In 2001 they built a 250 cow barn with a double twelve parallel milking parlour. The cows were averaging 27 l/day at that time. In April 2008 they began milking 3 times/day, and increased their milk production by 6-7L/day. In 2006, they built Cover-all heifer barn. The heifers enter at 3 months and move through the barn according to age. The final group is 12 months or older, and are their breeding group. In 2009, they started genomic testing on all heifers. In 2015 they added 130 stalls to their dairy barn, for a total of 370 stalls. In 2016 they added a maternity barn, and in 2017, a commodities shed.
Kristine Hammel grew up on a dairy farm in southwestern Ontario. After almost a decade away from farming, spent studying, working and travelling, she returned to Grey County in 2009 and started market gardening. Her degrees in Environmental Studies and Organic Food Chain Management are coming in handy, but her skills as a farmer are rooted in her parents. Alongside the market garden, Kristine has carried out several projects on public sector procurement of local foods, helped found a local, multi-stakeholder food cooperative (Eat Local Grey Bruce), presented workshops on market gardening, all while raising two small children with her husband.
Tom Kilcer grew up on a dairy farm in Columbia County, NY. He earned an AAS in Agronomy from SUNY Cobleskill; a BS in Fisheries Science from Cornell; and worked on environmental impact studies for Peach Bottom and Indian Point Nuclear plants. In 1976 he obtained a second BS in Agronomy from Iowa State. For 33 years he was the multi-county Field Crop and Soils Educator; and Program Leader for Agriculture at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, NY.
Wayne Wagler was born 1953, and was raised on the family dairy farm, that now has the 4th generation involved. Wayne is the owner/operator at Claynook Farms Ltd. New Hamburg, ON, since 1981. As a teenager Wayne worked in Zaire Africa (Belgium Congo). Wayne also served on the Waterloo County Milk Committee and Holstein Club, and also served as a church "Planter" and Leadership Coach. Wayne and his partner have been married 42 years, and share 8 Children; 4 Natural, 4 by marriage, and 11 grandchildren. Wayne continues to have a passion for coaching people and breeding great Holstein genetics.
Dan Ganesh completed his B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D. at the University of Guelph. He worked 24 years in the Feed Industry as a Ruminant Nutritionist and as Manager of Nutrition. For the past 5 years, he has been the owner of Bos Nutrition Services Inc., and offers consulting services to the Feed Industry and other stakeholders. He also works with two companies, Novus International (Canada) Inc. and Activation Laboratories. Dan has served and continues to serve on several Committees, is former Chair of the Nutrition Committee for OABA (Ontario AgriBusiness Association), sits on the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC) and collaborates with colleagues in Industry and the University of Guelph. Dan resides in Guelph.
Susan Stoeckli has three grown up children and is am the owner of Stoeckli Organics. Susan learned organic farming in Switzerland and immigrated to Canada in 1988. Up until recently she operated an organic dairy farm and 4 years ago she started growing herbs for teas, culinary blends and healing creams. Susan is continually reading and learning more about herbs and how they can benefit our health. This past October she sold my dairy quota to help her daughter on her organic dairy farm, taking care of her granddaughter and to extend her herb business.
Jay Lennox farms with his parents Kim & Grace Lennox. They currently run a flock of 250 ewes, along with a beef herd. The Lennox family breeds Purebred Canadian Arcotts and market breeding stock. Jay works off the farm at North Wellington Co-op as a agronomist. Jay graduated from Olds College with a degree in Agribusiness in 2017.
Dr. Chris Buschbeck is a large animal veterinarian with a masters degree in agriculture and is co-owner of Markdale Vet Services. She currently serves as past president of SRVO (Small Ruminant Veterinarians of Ontario) and is owner of SRGenetics, a company offering laparoscopic AI and reproductive services to the sheep and goat industries. With her husband Axel she runs WoolDrift Farm, breeding and milking East Friesian Dairy Sheep.
Anja Vandervlies and her husband Henry have been milking goats since 1995. Currently they milk 1200 goats on their farm south of Teeswater. The feed for the goats is grown on their own farm as well as rented land. Anja and Henry also do some cash cropping. They have 4 children, some working on the home farm and have 7 part time employees.
Jillian Craig is the Small Ruminant Specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She works out of the Lindsay OMAFRA Office. Her main focus includes dairy kid rearing and management, meat goat production as well as sheep production. Prior to her current role, Jillian graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Animal Science. She worked for the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency for five years and completed the Master Shepherd’s Course in 2015.
Keith Todd is currently raising a flock of 450 commercial and purebred sheep with an emphasis on efficient growth and increasing meat yield while maintaining ewe prolificacy. Keith conducted his 1st embryo and artificial insemination with Ile de France Sheep in 2010 and again in 2015. December 2017, Keith traveled to Australia to scout out rams for semen collection to import back to Canada. He facilitated the collection of 10 stud rams and imported the semen for use in Canada by 19 different producers across the country. Breeds include: Dorset; Hampshire; Southdown; Suffolk and Texel. Currently Keith is a 4H Sheep leader and helps with Purebred Sheep Breeders of Ontario; Ontario Southdown Club, and Western Ontario Lamb Producers and OSF District 3.
Greg Stewart has been marketing vegetables grown on his farm in Bruce County for seven seasons. As one of the original organizers of the co-op, Greg took over as president after the second year in operation. He’s currently completing a year round growing, processing and storage facility based on passive solar design, and is looking forward to a second season of winter greens production.
Peter Johnson is the lead research agronomist with Veritas, an independent crop scouting/advisory company in Ontario. Strip tillage, Phosphorus management, & big data analysis are the current focus in this effort. He is treasurer/past-chair of the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee. He co-founded the Great Lakes Wheat Workers group. Peter was an integral part of developing the SMART Wheat program which significantly increased Ontario wheat yields. Peter is a strong advocate of social media opportunities and the value it brings to agriculture. In particular, he utilizes Twitter, @WheatPete, and agronomic video tips through RealAgriculture.com
Jason Emke works for FCC out of the Walkerton office. Jason's interest in sheep stems from being a fourth generation sheep farmer working with his family on their farm in Grey County. Together they raise purebred Hampshire and North Country Cheviot Sheep from their 100 ewe flock. Jason is an active member with Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) - District 2 as well as sitting on the OSF's Research Advisory Committee. Other interests include being involved with local 4-H members, showing, and judging at various fairs as a member of the Sheep Committee at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Neil McCutcheon studied at the University of Guelph, and received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Agriculture Economics. Neil has owned and managed a dairy farm for 9 years. Neil spent 12 years as a Controller at Shouldice Designer Stone and 9 years in Public Practice. Neil is currently employed with BDO, LLP in Owen Sound working predominately with farm businesses. He also was the Past President of Grey County 4H, Grey County Holstein club, and Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation.
Mary Baks graduated in 1988 from Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Guelph, and has since worked in large animal, then mixed practice and for the past 13 years her own equine only practice located just outside of Walkerton. Special interests in lameness and rehabilitation to performance although all aspects are interesting.
Shawn Hamilton has been running her professional equestrian photography business CLIX Photography since the early 1980’s. After covering many Pan American, World Equestrian and Olympic games, of which her photos appeared in North American & European magazines. Shawn added writing and photojournalism to her specialties. Focusing on horseback riding vacation articles her work has taken her to many corners of the world; crossing the Andes from Chile to Argentina by horseback; wine tasting in South Africa; galloping through farms of Mexico & experiencing the magic of Mongolia
Craig Klemmer joined FCC IN 2009 joining the Portfolio Analysis and Modeling team. His previous experience included two years as a livestock specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, and prior to that he worked with the Canadian Wheat Board. Craig has a master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Saskatchewan.
Tracey Baute has been the Field Crop Entomologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for more than 17 years. Her recent areas of focus include research; extension work on western bean cutworm; cover crops and pest interactions and monitoring for a new invasive pest, the brown marmorated stink bug. A major portion of her time is currently spent helping to develop a national plant health strategy, as well as addressing the issue around neonicotinoids, and strengthening Best Management Practices to mitigate their risk.
Ruth Knight has 30 plus years of experience in organic agriculture; soil & crop management; organic certification; livestock grazing, and community development. As a collaborator; mentor; coach, Ruth combines her experience as a farmer with her passion to regenerate soils as her mission to co-create a brighter future. In 2017, Ruth began a pilot project in Erin, ON with community members to measure soil health and water infiltration. Utilizing community engagement, citizen scientists, and participatory research, the project team sampled 28 sites in 2018. Outcome metrics of soil health, shared learning and taking a systems approach to adaptive management will assist all types of land stewards to make actionable management decisions for regenerating soils, water and communities.
Kevin Freiburger and his family Own of Sandy Ridge Ranch. It is a cow-calf to finish operation. Kevin and his family have 650 cows calving on the Sandyhills in the Elmwood area. They use a combination of Hereford; Black Angus, and Charolais in their breeding program.
Dr. Cathy Bauman is a graduate of OVC and practiced 15 years before returning to Guelph to study public health and infectious diseases. She is now an assistant professor in the OVC dept of Population Medicine where she teaches epidemiology (study of patterns of disease) and conducts research with the small ruminant industries, clinical trials, and Johne’s disease. She currently resides on a farm near Elmira with her husband and 3 children.
Beth Fenton her husband, and their youngest son and his wife, own and operate Clover Valley Farms. Their home farm is located just north of Alvanley in Bruce County. They have been farming since the early 80’s. They started with sheep and beef cows. In 2008, they bought some goats from a farm in Minnesota, and began to milk in 2009, shipping to Ontario Dairy Goat Co-operative. This is their 10th year of operation.
Ann Godkin After 28 years as an OMAFRA Cattle Health veterinarian, Ann left the ministry in August 2018 to become a private consultant. Her experience with Johne’s in beef cattle comes from herd investigations with private veterinary practitioners and from the Ontario Johne’s Beef Project conducted from 2010 to 2013 with complying Ontario veterinarians and their cow-calf producer clients.
Patrick Kitchen has owned and operated Sideroad Farm with his wife Amy since 2013. They grow 65 acres of certified organic vegetables and raise 3000 meat chickens on pasture annually. The Farm focuses on four season production and markets products through a summer and winter CSA program, at year-round farmers markets to local retail and restaurant establishments and most recently through their new on farm store.
Scott Kuhl is part owner of Keady Livestock market. He keeps 100 cows that calve from the end of January through the end of April. He sells in Calf-A-Rama week at the end of October (Georgian Bay Sale)
Gary Markus is a 3rd generation dairy producer, along with his wife Hilary and 2 children Peyton and Nolan. Currently Markhill Farms Ltd. consists of 90Kgs of Quota, 125 Holstein animals located on 180 acres just south of Ingersoll Ontario. The Markus family has a passion for producing high quality 100% Canadian milk. They take pride in providing exceptional cow comfort and welfare. Along with the daily dairy chores, Gary has been a fulltime Genetic and Reproduction Consultant for Alta Genetics for the past 9 years. Working at Alta has given Gary a fantastic opportunity to travel North America and see 100’s of great farms within the Global Dairy Industry.
Ken Nixon farms with his brother, Kevin and father, George in a cash crop and custom work operation at Ilderton, Ontario. The Nixon’s no-till corn, soybeans, winter or spring wheats, in a strict 3 year crop rotation. The moldboard 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 been a volunteer fire fighter for 29 years, is a director on the Middlesex Soil & Crop Improvement Association, is a past-chairman of the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board, past-president of the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, and a husband to Pam.
Ben Rosser is Corn Specialist with OMAFRA. Prior to joining OMAFRA, Ben was a Research Technician at the University of Guelph with former corn specialist Greg Stewart. In both roles, Ben has been involved in applied research projects investigating corn agronomic practices including corn nitrogen rate and application methods, tillage and residue management and the use of different precision agriculture technologies.
Jake Sloan is the Chairman of the Ontario Sheep farmers District 2. Jake and his brother Sam own Sloan Bros. Sheep shearing. They shear 12 months of the year, the month of May is spent shearing Alpaca’s and Llamas in Quebec. The Sloan Brothers also own and operate 200 breeding ewes on their farm in Chesley, Ontario.
Brenda Hsueh has been farming at Black Sheep Farm in Grey County for almost 10 years now. 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
Melissa Hall was born & raised on a cow/calf operation just outside of Regina, SK Melissa spent many years involved in Beef 4-H & showing purebred cattle with the family. She graduated from Olds College in the Animal Health Technology program in 1999 and spent the next 10 years working in mixed animal veterinarian practice with a cow/calf focus in Claresholm, AB then Ogema, SK. In 2009, she started her career in Animal Health Pharma with Novartis Animal Health in sales in the cattle division which I continue to work in with Elanco, who purchased Novartis in 2015.
Annie Brown has been with Rodale Institute since 2012 and currently serves as the Director of Development. She is primarily responsible for raising resources from foundations, corporations, and individuals in order to expand Rodale Institute’s important research, education, and outreach. Rodale Institute has been leading game-changing research, expertly training farmers, and educating the community to help heal broken agricultural systems for over 70 years.