GBFW20 Speakers

Picture of Cindy Wolf

Dr. Cindy Wolf, Wolf Veterinary Services, O'Neil Family Farm. Rushford, Minnesota, USA

Cindy Wolf is a solo practitioner who has been providing veterinary services to small ruminant producers for over 34 years. She retired from the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 where she taught and provided veterinary services in the areas of small ruminant medicine, surgery and production since 1984. She continues to represent the American Sheep Industry and the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners on a national level regarding policy issues. She also works with her husband the family's commercial sheep and beef farm near Rushford Minnesota. They raise Angus cattle, crossbred white face ewes, Saanen x Boer cross goats and dogs for livestock protection and herding.

Pedro Nogueira, Dairy Technical Support Ruminants, Shur-Gain

Pedro studied Animal Production at the University of Evora in Portugal and then completed a Master of Science in Animal Nutrition at the University of Lisbon.   He worked as an extension worker for a Union of Cooperatives of milk producers in northern Portugal.  Although the focus was dairy cows, he was always involved in small ruminants (dairy goats, dairy sheep and feedlot lambs).  In 2006, he moved to Canada with his wife and two children where they settled in Exeter.  He works in the feed industry, providing technical support to dairy famers, as well as writing articles for different publications.

Josh Landman

Dave Kabbes

Dave grew up on a dairy farm with his brother.  He always had a psssion for farming, primarily dairy.  He has worked for Conestogo Agri Systems for 20 years and plans to retire from there.  Dave sells dairy equipment, helps customers with barn layouts and milking equipment.  Although, most of his work is with cows, he has always had a soft spot for alternative livestock.  Dave, his wife and four children live on a small farm near Drayton where they keep some laying hens and pigs, and in the summer time meat chickens.  They have previously also raised rabbits.

Marlene Paibomesai

Dr. Marlene Paibomesai is a dairy specialist with OMAFRA who specializes in production systems of dairy cattle, goat and sheep.  She is located at the OMAFRA Resource Center.  She has a Doctorate in disease resistance from the Univeristy of Guelph.

Jillian Craig

Jillian was raised on a commerical sheep farm near Fenelon Falls and received her BSc in Animal Science from the University of Guelph.  Jillian joined OMAFRA in 2015 and is based out of the Lindsay office.  Prio to her current role, Jillian worked for the Ontario Sheep Farmers for five years and completed the Master Shepard's course in 2015.  Her current areas of focus include meat goat production, diary buck kids, predation and sheep production.

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.

Christoph Wand

Christoph recieved his B.Sc. (Nutritional Sciences) and M.Sc (Animal Science Ruminant Nutrition) from the University of Guelph.  He joined OMAFRA in 1998 as the Beef Cattle and Sheep Nutritionist.  His most recent work assignment began in Aug 2014 in the Elora OMAFRA office as Livestock Sustainability Specialist.  His previous technical work in nutrition was focused on economic sustainability including labour reduction, feed and nutrient use efficiency, alternative forages, GHG mitigation and most recently value chains.  Christoph has been on several national and industry-led committees. In 2014 he was appointed an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science recognizing his involvement at the Ontario Agriculture College.

Jake Sloan

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.

Sandi Brock

Sandi owns and operates Shepherd Creek Farms Ltd. with her husband Mark and children Jack and Jessica. They crop 1800 acres including corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and edible beans. They diversified into sheep in 2012, and now run 450 breeding ewes.  Sandi grew up on her family’s dairy operation before graduating from The University of Guelph in 1998 with a B. Comm degree in Agriculture Business. For the next 13 years  she worked with her in-laws on an intensive broiler breeder operation as a Farm Manager. In 2011, succession planning began where Mark and Sandi branched off and began Shepherd Creek Farms on their own.

To document her journey in the sheep industry, she has taken to social media platforms. She shares stories of life inside the barn, outside on the land, or inside the walls of her typical farm family home with anyone interested in following. Over the last couple of years, her focus has been on building a personal brand through YouTube by creating her channel called Sheepishly Me. Her hope is to be a safe place for people to come and learn with her as she navigates her way through farming and family life; and to share her struggles and successes, with her followers along for the ride each step of the way.

Vince Stutzki

Vince and Heather, along with the next generations, operate ElmCrest Farms near Paisley, Ontario.  They have been producing sheep since 1989.  They raise 850+ Rideau Arcott ewes on 200+ acres; the flock is accelerated, lambing 5 times per year.  The market lambs are raised for the heavy market with the goal of shipping lambs every two weeks into a value chain

Chris Vervoort

Chris Vervoort, his wife Jen and their 4 children run a composite ewe flock with 500-ish breeding females along with a few other side line business ventures on their farm near Arthur ON.  They have worked with wide range of different record keeping technologies. They have evolved from paper records, to the sales and support of EweManage sheep management software.  As their flock grew, they found that record keeping requirements change constantly and were always looking for the next option. In the fall of 2017, they  saw a presentation of Bergere, a French Canadian made flock management software.  In November of 2018 along with software developer Jacques Kirouac they officially launched EweManage to the North American sheep industry. Jen and Chris still maintain that software today.  It’s been an exciting journey for them and with the speed technology is advancing, the opportunities have just begun.

Jason Emke

Jason Emke

Jason Emke works for FCC out of the Walkerton office. His interest in sheep stems from being a fourth generation sheep farmer on his family farm with his wife Lisa and daughter Ava. Together they raise purebred Hampshire and North Country Cheviot Sheep from their 100 ewe flock. Jason is an active director with OSMA District 2 as well as sitting on the OSMA's Research Advisory Committee. Other interests include being involved with local 4-H members and a member of the Sheep Committee at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright

Robert Brander

Robert Brander was born and raised in Brampton Ontario on a beef and cash crop farm. In 1978 he purchased his farm in Caledon where he has fed cattle and cash cropped with his wife and family. The love of horses stemmed back to living in Brampton beside a neighbour that had Champion Breeding Stock of Clydesdales. Robert grew up helping his neighbour at home, the Royal Winter Fair, and Canadian National Exhibition. In 1998 Robert’s youngest daughter Abbie entered the 4-H Draft Horse club and that sparked the interest of buying their first Clydesdale . This year marks their 20th year of showing Clydesdale horses.

Jason Irwin

Jason is a horse trainer at Northern Livestock. Clinician – Jason & Bronwyn Irwin Horsemanship.  Teaches 20-25 clinics a year.  Clinician at the largest horse expo in Canada & the U.S.

Ellie Ross

Ellie is the Director of Animal Behavior and Applied Training at Wag and Train Inc.  Ellie studied Equine science at Virginia 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.

Dr. Tee Fox

Vickie Bruce

Lawrence (Chuck) Cannon

Chuck is a Retired Canadian Forces Soldier who has found a new adventure in old school Horse Travel. Chuck has travelled to British Columbia to learn Mountain Hors e Packing Skills from a Long Riders Guild member as well as completed the Blue Creek Outfiitter 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.

Lloyd Holterman

Lloyd is the owner and partner with wife, Daphne, in Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC, in Wisconsin. He graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in dairy science in 1980.  They have grown the operation over time to its current 1050 cows and 1,750 acres.  Lloyd is responsible for overall farm management, genetics and business management.

Mark Hamel photo

Mark Hamel

Mark Hamel lives on a family-operated dairy farm west of Elmwood, Ontario. Along with his son Matt, 4th generation and daughter in law Larissa, they milk 140 purebred Holsteins. Mark is a graduate of the Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program – Class 8.  Currently he is a Dairy Farmers of Ontario Board Member representing Region 11 (Bruce and Grey Counties). He is Past Chair of Gay Lea Foods Co-operative as well as Howick Mutual Insurance Company.   Mark contributed to the development of the Indonesia Dairy Co-operative Initiative by travelling to Indonesia to meet with Government officials and Dairy representatives over a 3-week period in the summer of 2014.

Kurtis Andrews

Kurtis Andrews is farm and animal welfare lawyer who focuses on issues typically involving farmers and rural residents from across Ontario.  He  has a wide range of experience which includes: rural issues, agriculture, animal welfare and constitutional law, and defense work involving provincial and municipal offences. Mr. Andrews is also a regular legal columnist for the Ontario Farmer.  See for more information.

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.

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.

Ben Loewith

Mark Ferguson

Mark is a Business Management Specialist in OMAFRA’s Business Development Branch and focuses on farm business planning, labour and human resource management, and succession planning. Before joining OMAFRA, Mark held positions in various farm management and agri-food business, including consulting and education program manager and Marketing and Business and Development.

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.

Shanon Borden

Jaclyn Horenberg

Jaclyn Horenberg is the Producer Relations Specialist with the Beef Farmers of Ontario. She grew up on a purebred Limousin cow-calf operation, and spent many years showing cattle across Canada. After graduating from the University of Guelph with a degree in Animal Science, she worked as a Beef Nutrition Consultant.  She is a graduate of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program, and is passionate about supporting beef producers to ensure a successful future for the industry. Jaclyn is married and a mom to two young kids.

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.

John McKinnon picture

John McKinnon

Dr. Mckinnon is a Professor Emeritus in Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan and owns and operates a nutrition consulting company by the name of JJM Nutrition Services Inc. During his tenure at the university, he occupied the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair, an industry funded position that focused on extension and research related to beef cattle. His research interests included growth and carcass quality of beef cattle as well as on the feeding value of byproduct feeds. Presently, John works with cow-calf and feedlot producers as well as the pharmaceutical industry across western Canada on issues related to feeding management. As well he writes a monthly nutrition column for the Canadian Cattleman’s Magazine.

Ed McGugan

Dr. Peter Kotzeff

Dr. Peter Kotzeff graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. He and his wife Pam have four children, Sasha is a Veterinarian and OVC graduate, Nichol is a Registered nurse, Laura works in the Film industry in New Zealand and Simon is a Harvard and MIT graduate.  Peter is a partner with his daughter Sasha and Dr. Stephanie Vamplew at North Heritage Animal Hospital but devotes 100% of his professional time to beef practice.  He is a founding member and the consulting veterinarian for the first value added reputation calf sales in Ontario. The purpose of these clubs is to develop and market sufficient numbers of quality calves that arrive healthy and stay healthy. The starting premise was to develop a uniform vaccination protocol that was verifiable, traceable and fulfilled buyer’s requirements. To date over 50,000 calves have been marketed at premium prices for producers, with buyers reporting less than 0.3% death loss.  Peter operates a 2000-acre cash crop and grazing operation in Bruce and Grey Counties with an emphasis on integrating cattle grazing, cover crops and minimal tillage to improve soil quality. In the past, he annually started up to 1000 high risk sales barn cattle for his grazing operation. Starting high risk sales barn stockers using low stress cattle handling techniques and intensive grazing was a challenge and pleasure. Death losses from purchase to slaughter were consistently less than 0.5%.  He has recently switched focus and is running 150 cow calf pairs on his pasture base with the emphasis on increasing grazing capacity through managed grazing and reducing feed costs by grazing cover crops and crop residue.  Dr. Kotzeff received the 2014 Beef Farmers of Ontario Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2015 Grazing Award for his grazing operation.

Ken Mitchell

Ken farms with his wife Rosemary and hired hand John VanDyk.  He farms 600 acres of cash crops and has 100 beef cows, background steers, and breeds 40 heifers for sale or replacements.  He tries to do as much no till planting as possible. Started planting cover crops 4 years ago.

Adam Shea photo

Adam Shea

Adam is part of a multi-generational farm that is focused on cow-calf beef, cash crop, and lamb production. Their farm is located near Bethany, ON about 20 minutes south of Lindsay. Adam and his wife Marie have developed a mutually beneficial relationship with a cash crop neighbor to graze cover crops on winter wheat stubble in the fall every year. It has been a very positive experience, and the system has been changed and adapted every year. It’s a great way to extend the grazing season, excellent for herd health, reduces stored feed costs, and has allowed them to expand the cow herd based on a limited land base.

Christine O'Reilly

Christine O’Reilly is OMAFRA’s Forage and Grazing Specialist. She joined the Ministry in 2017 and is based out of the Lindsay office. Christine’s areas of focus include integrating forages and livestock into cropping systems, forage production in northern Ontario, and improving the productivity and profitability of forage crops.

Dr. Lesley G Campbell

Fiete Suhr

Brett Israel

Michael Freiesleben

Michael is an independent soil, farm and human nutritional consultant with 33 years experience operating as TLC Animal Husbandry Inc. Michael and his wife Phyllis own a 100 acre farm near Harriston ON.  He has delivered over 400 presentations over the past 39 years in regards to human, animal and soil health making him a dynamic speaker.

Dr. Scott Gillingham photo

Dr. Scott Gillingham

Specializing in poultry, Dr. Scott has a commitment to Poultry Health and management through preventive medicine, disease control, genetic contribution, education and service.  He has traveled the globe teaching farmers and corporations how to solve the biggest challenges of the world’s fastest growing source of protein. Dr. Scott created iChicken to bring his vast experience of both commercial farming and personal farm to fork living to Backyard Farmers everywhere.

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.

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!

Kristine Hammel

Kristine Hammel and her husband, Thorsten, have been farming in Grey County since 2010. She operates a small-scale intensive market garden and markets her produce through a CSA, direct to restaurants and through Eat Local Grey Bruce. The farm is also home to three young children, a small flock of sheep, lots of bush, a farm camp and farm school.

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.

Jason Hayes

Dr. Angela Straathof

Angela Straathof grew up on a dairy farm in the Ottawa Valley before studying soil science at the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph.  She then went on to complete a PhD in Soil Biology and Chemistry at Wageningen UR in The Netherlands. She was a research associate in the Soil and Ecosystem Ecology lab at the University of Manchester in the UK before returning to Ontario in 2018. Angela is now the Program Director at the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, where she manages the team delivering cost-share opportunities to farmers across the province.

Dylan Sher

Dylan  Sher, Producer of "Before the Plate" grew up in the city but had a passion for agriculture. After attending the University of Guelph for Ag business Dylan saw the divide between farmers and the urban demographic. Dylan created "Before the Plate" as an attempt to try and further the understanding of modern day food production amongst the urban population.

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.

Mark Brock

Mark and his wife Sandi operate Shepherd Creek Farms Ltd, a 1700-acre cash crop and sheep farm outside Staffa, ON.  They are parents to two teenagers, Jack and Jessica.  Mark served as Chair of the Board for the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) starting 2015 for 3 years and earlier this year finished his term as director for District 9. At that time the organization was facing one of its largest challenges to date: the 2015 Ontario neonicotinoid rules and restrictions.  Mark provided leadership for Ontario farmers and a strong voice for Canadian farmers.   In 2018, he was awarded a Nuffield Canada scholarship, a two-year process which will allowed him to travel around the world for a few months.  He plans to use the opportunity to open doors to other like-minded individuals in other countries. He plans to study funding and investment models to create options for mid-sized farms to team together to create efficiencies.  Mark recently joined the board for the Do More Ag Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focusing on mental health in agriculture across Canada.

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.

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.

Donna Archer

Donna grew up on a beef & pork farm in South Western Ontario.  She went to Trent & Queen’s Universities to earn her teaching degree so that she could quit being poor and would never, ever have to farm again.  Now, along with her husband and four children, she runs Maizeing Acres Inc.,  a 1500 acre cash crop farm, and commercial grain elevator with two locations, one satellite location and over 5 million bushels of storage.

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.

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.