2022 Speakers

Who speaks at GBFW

Every year the Grey Bruce Farmers' Week Committee develops an impressive line-up of speakers for  commodity program.  The speaker roster includes: producers; agribusiness; animal health specialists; researchers, OMAFRA representatives; motivational speakers, authors, agronomists etc.  There is always a good blend of local producers, speakers from across the province of Ontario, across Canada and the US.  These speakers are dynamic, impressive, and deliver leading edge information.  In 2022, we are delighted to have a speaker from the UK! What a great way to celebrate 56 years!

Amber Zupan - Beef Day

Amber Zupan grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario before moving to Guelph in 2016 to complete her Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology, with a minor in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph. After taking her first agriculture courses in her undergraduate degree and volunteering in her now advisors lab, this sparked her passion for agriculture and the beef industry. In addition, Amber also completed a 4th year project looking at the impacts of maternal protein and methionine supplementation in beef dams to determine the impact on offspring performance and meat quality. Upon completing her BSc. In 2020, Amber continued on to do her Master of Science studying Beef Cattle Nutrition in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Amber’s MSc. is focused on determining the impact of indigestible NDF and grain fermentability of performance and gut health of feedlot steers. Outside of school, you can find her working at Grober Nutrition as a Nutrition and Technical Associate, working on a dairy farm, raising Autism service dogs, or spending time outdoors with her chocolate lab Carlton.

Andrea De Groot - Dairy Day

Andrea specializes in farm and business transitions, providing clarity to family dynamics. With her experience in farm management, she collaborates with technical advisors to address business structure and facilitate conversations. Andrea grew up on a small beef and crop farm in southern Ontario. After earning a degree in agriculture business at the University of Guelphshe worked in agriculture and commercial lending throughout Ontario. In addition, she served as Managing Director of the Ontario Pork Industry Council for four years. Andrea and her husband own and operate their family hog and crop farm outside Stratford. 

Andrew Barrie photo

Andrew Barrie - Ecological Day

Andrew Barrie is an Environmental Specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) based in Walkerton.  Andrew maintains his CCA (Certified Crop Advisor) designation and is a Past Chair of the Provincial Soil Health Team.  He has worked with OMAFRA for 22 years in positions including Soil & Crop Advisory, Rural Water Quality Program Coordinator and Nutrient Management Specialist.  Andrew grew on up on a beef feedlot farm in Waterloo County and for 12 years operated a seasonal fruit & vegetable farm near Hanover (Grey County) with value added products sold across Ontario.  Andrew and his wife Jennifer reside in Kincardine where they are renovating an 1880 heritage home.

Andrew Campbell - Check Your Tech Tuesday, and Dairy Day Panel Facilitator

Andrew Campbell is a farmer, award winning communicator & passionate farm advocate. With the farm, he and his family milk cows as well as grow corn, soybeans, wheat & hay in Southern Ontario’s Middlesex County. On top of farming, Andrew has become a familiar voice for farmers and agriculture issues in the mainstream media, conference halls & online, pushing the positive stories that farmers across Canada have to share with their non-farming neighbours. He’s received awards that have named him a Leader in Innovation, Champion, Game-Changer & Top Agriculture Influencer for his work through written word, photographs, videos and podcasts.

Andrew St. Jean - Ecological Day

By combining 8 years as Organic manager for Beechwood Agri Services with over 15 years of in the field experience farming organically, Andrew brings a diverse knowledge of organic farming and grain marketing.

Anne Verhallen - Crops Day

Anne Verhallen is an OMAFRA Soil Management Specialist for Horticultual Crops. She specializes in cover crops, soil health & quality, and irrigation scheduling, and is very invested in extension and outreach programs. She was instrumental in the creation of the Southwest Ag Conference, and the Soil Your Undies Campaign. In 2019 she was named an OSCIA Soil Champion. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph and has worked with OMAFRA since 1988.

Anton Slingerland - Goat Day

Anton was born and raised in Lethbridge Alberta on a dairy farm. He moved to Ontario at 18 and worked in the trades as a welder fitter/gas technician until 2004. At that time he started milking goats while continuing to work in trades. Today he milks 350 goats and is a dealer for milking equipment and Mapleview milk replacer.

Betty Jo Almond - Goat and Sheep Day

Betty-Jo Almond is the General Manager of AgSights and has been with the company for over 10 years. She was previously the Business Development Manager of AgSights for 7 years, focusing on sales and customer service, system development, building industry relationships and develop new partnerships. She obtained her BSc in Animal Science from the University of Guelph and has taken part in additional programs including the BUILD Leadership program offered through Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and is currently completing the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. Betty-Jo was raised on a beef farm in Seeley’s Bay near Kingston, Ontario and now lives with her husband and their two children, Joseph and Hailey, spending much of their time at softball events across Ontario, and volunteering as a board member at a local recreation club. 

Brandee Ceaser-MacDonald - Beef Day

Brandee is a Partner in BDO’s Wiarton office with over 15 years of professional experience in public accounting. She has focused much of her career on helping clients in agriculture with accounting, assurance and corporate and personal tax matters. Born and raised on a beef farm in northern Bruce County, Brandee has a unique understanding of the daily challenges producers face.

Brent Preston - Ecological Day

Brent Preston and his wife Gillian Flies own and operate The New Farm, an organic vegetable operation near Creemore, Ontario. They specialize in cut salads for the wholesale and foodservice market, and provide produce to some of the best restaurants in Canada. Brent is the President of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and the Director of Farmers for Climate Solutions, a pan-Canadian coalition of farm organizations that advocates for better climate policy in agriculture.. He is the author of The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution, a national bestseller. Prior to launching his farming career, Brent worked as a human rights investigator, election observer and journalist on four continents.

Dr. Bronwynne Wilton - Dairy Day

Bronwynne Wilton is the Principal and Lead Consultant at Wilton Consulting Group in Fergus, Ontario where she and her team take a systems approach to solving problems and finding innovative solutions for the agri-food sector. As part of this work, she brings a passion for, and a deep knowledge of, the social, economic, and environmental aspects of the Canadian agri-food system. Bronwynne holds a PhD in Rural Studies and is experienced in managing comprehensive, full value-chain research and stakeholder engagement processes related to sustainability, innovation, strategic planning, and regional agriculture and food strategies. She is trusted for her comprehensive knowledge of, and commitment to, a vibrant agri-food sector as well as innovative, prosperous, and sustainable rural communities.  Bronwynne is currently the project lead for the development of the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI). This project is building leadership and co-operation for supply chain sustainability data, programs, tools, and collaboration opportunities.

Dr. Chris Aukland, BVSc VetMFHom MRCVS - Sheep Day

Chris has been working with an integrated holistic approach since graduating as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1986. Chris holds the VetMFHom qualification from the Faculty of Homeopathy. He helped develop and teach on the Homeopathy at Wellie Level course for farmers over the last twenty years. In the last three years he has worked with Whole Health Agriculture as the Head of the Livestock Health Program, focusing on developing training programs to support farmers using homeopathy and herbal medicine to a high standard on their farms.

Dr. Christine Baes - Dairy Day

Christine Baes holds a Canada Research Chair in Livestock Genomics and is Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph in Canada. She is also a scientist and lecturer in the Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern in Switzerland. As a quantitative geneticist, she is interested in developing breeding programs that incorporate health, welfare, productivity, and efficiency. Her research involves developing genetic, genomic, statistical, and computational tools to improve breeding programs. Furthermore, she and her team apply these tools to large-scale breeding programs, as well as work towards understanding the genomic architecture of relatedness, phenotypes, and inbreeding in livestock. Dr. Baes was born and raised on a dairy farm near Mitchell; in her spare time, she runs a small cash-crop operation near Maryhill.

Charlie Cunningham - Sheep Day

Charlie is a sheep farmer and shearer in Ontario. He operates a lamb feedlot and an approximately 300 ewe flock, while shearing 10-15,000 ewes per year, and is married with three daughters.

Christopher Wooding - Ecological Day

Christopher Wooding grows organic landrace cereals in eastern Ontario. Ironwood Organics now consists of 170 acres, and includes wheats (winter and spring), oats, rye and barley. He is the miller at the Old Stone Mill, a 200 year old grist mill in Delta Ontario, as well as having on-farm milling capacity. Recent areas of focus include heritage soybeans, dried beans, heritage potatoes and dent corns. They are working towards climate ready agriculture.

A primary focus is to understand and educate about the interconnectedness of the environment, food, health and diversity and sustainability and resiliency.

Claudia Wagner-Riddle - Crops Day

Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle is a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences (SES), University of Guelph, Canada. Originally from Brazil, Claudia has degrees from the University of Sao Paulo and Guelph. Claudia leads an internationally-renowned research program utilizing the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions to determine the carbon footprint of food, feed, and fuel produced by agriculture. Claudia currently leads several projects focused on evaluating how soil health impacts ecosystem services, including a new $2 million infrastructure using large scale soil weighing lysimeter. Claudia is a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Meteorological Society and of the Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology and leads a nation-wide training program on Climate-Smart Soils. Claudia was recently appointed Director of the North American regional chapter of the International Nitrogen Initiative and was awarded the 2020 IFA Borlaug Award of Excellence in Crop Nutrition. Wagner-Riddle has published >150 papers and has an h-index of 43 (Google Scholar).

Courtney Vriens - Sheep Day

Courtney Vriens is a ruminant nutritionist and the owner of Vriens Nutrition Consulting. She is no stranger to the agriculture industry having worked in ag since graduating from the university of Guelph in 2015. In previous years Courtney has worked in ruminant nutrition with both Masterfeeds and Wallenstein Feed and Supply. She went independent in the summer of 2019 to specialize in dairy and commercial sheep. She has numerous clients across Ontario and has more recently started doing work in other provinces. Courtney takes pride in working closely with her clients to help them improve animal health and reach new production goals.

Dave Bray - Ecological Day

Dave Bray is an Environmental Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs. Dave has over 33 years of natural resource and environmental management experience working with agricultural landowners. Dave is a member of the OMAFRA Soil Team and participates in delivering soil health education and extension events to landowners in Ontario. He also contributes to policy and program development for nature-based solutions and for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Dave and his wife Connie farm grains and oilseed crops in Perth County.

Dave Hooker - Crops Day

Dr. David Hooker is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. Dave's research and teaching programs reflect the nature of agronomy as extremely diverse in structure with robust contributions to both science and extension. His goal is to develop a better understanding of field crop systems for developing science-based solutions for improving corn, soybean, and wheat production. The primary objective of his research group is to achieve a greater efficiency and sustainability of corn, soybean, and wheat production.

Deb Campbell - Crops Day

Deb obtained her BSc (Agr) with a major in Agronomy and an emphasis in soil management from the University of Guelph. She then went on to complete her Certified Crop Adviser certification in 2000. Since then Deb added to that certification by completing the 4R Nutrient Management Specialty and the Resistance Management Specialty.  Deb has a broad range of experience from previously working for Cargill and Syngenta in an array of positions. From Agronomist to Account Manager, she understands all aspects of growing a successful crop both from the field and business perspective. She has production expertise in corn, soybeans (including IP), cereals, canola, edible beans, alfalfa, and cover crops. Deb was awarded the Certified Crop Advisor Award of Excellence in 2003. She has served on the Certified Crop Adviser Board of Directors since 2009 and in 2020 served as the Chair of the Board. Deb is currently a Co-Chair for the Provincial Soil Action Group.  This group is tasked with creating an implementation plan for Ontario's Agriculture Soil Health and Conservation Strategy. She provides technical expertise to the Plant Health Biosecurity webinars offered by OSCIA.  Deb is also a director at the local Grey County Soil and Crop and is First Vice for Grey Bruce Farmers Week. She has also previously served on the Board at AgScape. Most days you will find Deb checking fields as she works with farmers to achieve their cropping and business goals.
Deb owns and operates Agronomy Advantage Inc. and lives on a farm just west of Dundalk, Ontario.

Deborah Vanberkel - Check Your Tech Tuesday

Deborah Vanberkel is a registered psychotherapist and an active partner on her husband’s multi-
generational dairy farm. She worked for more than 15 years in the non-profit mental health and addictions sector before opening her private practice, Cultivate Counselling Services. Deborah developed the Farmers Wellness Program (FWP) in partnership with the regional Lennox & Addington Federation of Agriculture (LAFA), who funds the provision of this mental health service for its members, which has since grown and expanded into six other counties, with more in planning stages. Deborah conducted the pilot sessions of the University of Guelph’s mental health literacy program, In the Know, in 2018/2019 and recently authored the resource training manual for program and trained mental health professionals to deliver the program nationwide. Deborah continues to focus her efforts to form partnerships to build a network of support for those in Agriculture. She advocates for farmers’ mental health support and raises awareness by speaking at agricultural conferences and to various media outlets. Deborah was recently awarded the 2020 national Brigid Rivoire Award for Champions of Agricultural Mental Health.

Delma Kennedy - Goat Day Speaker & Sheep Day Panel Facilitator

Delma Kennedy is a sheep extension specialist with OMAFRA. Her passions are genetics, record keeping in any form and translating data and research results into usable information for small ruminant producers. She is currently working on projects related to selecting sheep for parasite resistance, body condition scoring and developing tools to improve information for decision making. She is based out of the Elora OMAFRA office.

Dr. Denis Nagel - Beef Day

Denis is from a small ranch in southern Saskatchewan. After graduating from Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983, he moved to Crossfield Alberta and started Nagel and Co. Veterinary Services. After transitioning to a beef consulting practice in 1993, a re-search branch of the clinic was initiated in 2002. Denis has researched over 50 different products including Meloxicam Oral Solution. He sold the practice in 2014 and worked for the new owners for two years. In 2016, he joined Solvet as a field veterinarian to support the Solvet animal health products and continue his passion for research.

Dr. Don Höglund - Sheep Day

Dr. Don Höglund is a veterinarian and graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University and holds a Master’s degree in agriculture economics and an undergraduate degree in animal science concentrating on cattle production and farm and ranch management. Dr. Höglund is co-author for 2015 Elsevier Text-book publishers Efficient Livestock Handling: Practical Application of Animal Behavior and Welfare Science. Dr. Höglund has presented more than 1000 professional and farmer workshops on efficient livestock handling in USA and Canada. Dr. Höglund teaches Dairy and Beef Stockmanship several times annually for Virginia Tech University and with Pennsylvania - School of Veterinary Medicine. During private veterinary practice Dr. Höglund served as the producer and animal trainer for Michael Eisner, CEO of the Walt Disney Company for Disney’s Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disneyland, Paris. He has worked on feature films such as Young Guns, Silverado, Desperado, Lonesome Dove, and City Slickers. For seven annual contracts Dr. Höglund provided technical training expertise and veterinary care for 20,000 wild horses with the Department of the Interior’s Wild Horse Prison Inmate Training Program and oversaw the removal of 2000 free-roaming horses for the Department of Defense from the White Sands Missile Range. Dr. Höglund’s best-selling book: Nobody’s Horses is about that capture. The book is under development for a feature film. www.dairystockmanship.com, www.livestocktrust.com.

Earl Cameron - Beef Day

Earl has been beef farming on the Bruce Peninsula for almost 30 years. He operates a 110 head cow-calf operation of Red Angus/Horned Hereford and raises his own replacements. He has worked as a Livestock Evaluator in North and South Bruce. He also is a member of the Bruce Grey Beef Cow Finance, Grey Bruce Livestock Co-op, and Bruce County Beef Farmers. He is a husband and father of 2 kids, and likes working with his family and teaching them about hard work and animal stewardship.

Elad Ben-Ezra, DVM-MBA - Dairy Day

Elad Ben-Ezra is a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, where he completed a DVM-MBA, in conjunction with the Edwards School of Business. After graduation, he attended the Cornell Summer Dairy Institute and went into dairy practice in British Columbia. In the fall of 2019, he moved back to Ontario and began working for Zoetis, and currently works as their technical services veterinarian for Ontario.

Erin Massender - Goat Day

Erin Massender is a Ph.D. Candidate studying Dairy Goat Genetics in the Centre for the Genetic Improvement of Livestock at the University of Guelph. She was also the Acting Small Ruminant Specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs throughout 2021. Erin grew up in Chatham-Kent and has always had an interest in both agriculture and animal breedingShe completed a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in 2016, focused on genetics and ethics, and a M.Sc. studying the genetic improvement of sheep growth and carcass traits in 2018, before beginning her Ph.D. Her Ph.D. research focuses on the implementation of genomic selection for Canadian dairy goats. 

Francois Tardif

Francois Tardif is a plant science professor at the University of Guelph whose research currently focuses on understanding herbicide resistance in plants. Other specialties include weed science & biology, and the molecular genetics of weeds.

Fred Baker photo

Fred Baker - Sheep Day

Fred has 30 years of experience producing lamb and sheep in Ontario, 20 years experience on the (Ontario Sheep Federation) OSF Board of Directors, many of those as Chair.  He is a former Chair of the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF), current member on the NFACC Board of Directors, and current member of the CSID advisory committee.

Guy Seguin - Dairy Day

Guy Séguin is a Professional Engineer and has worked for Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Dairy Farmers of Canada for the last 18 years. Current projects include the research file and milk quality expertise. During five years of that period, he worked for Dairy Farmers of Canada developing the proAction Initiative and the Environment program. Guy also worked with DeLaval Canada for nine years as a Product Manager for VMS, milking, feeding and manure handling equipment systems. Guy is passionate about dairy farming. He lives in Casselman Ontario with his wife Kathleen.

Hannah Woodhouse - Dairy Day

Hannah Woodhouse is familiar face to the Grey/ Bruce agricultural community.  Hannah grew up on a dairy farm just outside of Meaford and was active in agricultural societies and the 4-H program.  Hannah completed a Biomedical Sciences degree with a minor in Nutrition at the University of Guelph.  Upon graduating in 2020, she entered a MSc program in the Population Medicine Department at the Ontario Veterinary College to study free fatty acids (FFAs) in milk, which at the time was a novel milk quality concern.  Now after a year of her studies, Hannah transferred into the PhD program to continue her research in this field. Aside from her passion for the dairy industry, Hannah is an avid long-distance runner.  She has competed for Canada at multiple Pan American and World championships and aspires to represent her small community at the Olympics one day!

Hilda Geene - Goat Day

Hilda graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Animal Science major) and a Master of Science in Dairy Nutrition with a focus on the dairy goat industry. Since graduating in 2015, she has worked at Wallenstein Feed & Supply as a Ruminant Nutritionist, where she specializes dairy cows and small ruminants. She has grown up being involved in her family’s farm, and currently lives on a farm in Amberley with her husband and daughter.

Jackie Ralph smiling photo

Jackie Ralph - Check Your Tech Tuesday

Jackie has worked at CMHA Grey Bruce for 17 years. Jackie is a native of Priceville, Ontario in the glorious township of Glenelg. Ontario's only Palendrom township! Jackie leads a team of team members and dozens of students a year. Combined, they provide over 600 presentations a year. The Friends and Neighbours (FAN) Club programs uses child-sized puppets to talk to kids ages 4 to 11 about social issues affecting them. The Let's Talk and Youth Net programs visit junior, intermediate and high school classrooms sharing messages about good mental health, community resources and topics such as the media, relationships, and coping strategies. Jackie is also an instructor in Mental Health First Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Suicide Alertness for Everyone (SafeTALK), Rainbows Grief support for kids and the new In the Know Farmers Mental Health program of the University of Guelph. As a proud graduate of 36 4-H clubs and a Junior Farmer Alumnist and a keen 2-stepper and square dancer, Jackie is very honoured to be part of today!

Sgt. James (Jim) Hunter

Jim grew up in Flesherton ON. He has 20 years experience in policing - 4 years as a Platoon Sergeant for Grey County, 8 years as a technical traffic collision investigator, 16 years as a Scenes of Crime Officer, and 2 years in the Highway Safety Division.

Jason Emke - Goat Day

Jason Emke is a Relationship Manager out of the Walkerton, Ontario office for the past 17 years. Financing goat operations and guiding clients through the ups and downs has been a highlight of his career to date. Financing, generally a younger platform and quite often being a 1st generation farmer in the goat industry has been a refreshing and enthusiastic opportunity for FCC and Jason. Aside from looking at the numbers, Jason also has a purebred sheep operation with his family. Being active in the community with 4-H, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, fairs and boards Jason brings a deep passion for the agricultural community.

Jenna Funk - Beef Day

Dr. Funk received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.  She went on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master’s degree in Veterinary Preventative Medicine from Iowa State University.  She has practiced in rural mixed animal practice in south-west Nebraska and private beef cattle practice in southern Ontario in addition to completing a beef cattle residency in central Iowa.  She joined the VERO program in January of 2021, where she acts as the herd veterinarian for West Texas A &M University’s research herds and as a clinical professor for the beef cattle rotations in the 4th year of the veterinary curriculum for Texas A & M University.

Jenn Doelman - Crops Day

Jennifer Doelman is a third generation farmer, cover cropper and seed producer in Renfrew County and works to connect farmers through the Ontario Soil Network.  She is a graduate of the University of Guelph, an independent Ontario Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), a Director on the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) Board of Directors and an alumna of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP).

Jennie Hodgen - Beef Day

Jennie Hodgen, Ph.D., is a senior account manager for Merck Animal Health. Jennie has been with the company for over 13 years in various roles working on research and communication of effects on quality, consumer acceptance, and safety research in meat from animals given animal health products. She has also spear headed the performance technologies animal well-being post approval studies, training videos, and continues to provide expertise to associations, industry, and government officials.

Jennifer MacTavish photo

Jennifer MacTavish - Sheep Day

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.

Josh Nasielski - Crops Day

Joshua Nasielski is the MacSon Professor of Agronomy for Eastern and Northern Ontario at the University of Guelph. He started his Assistant Professor position in the Department of Plant Agriculture in 2019. In his role Nasielski’s research addresses issues affecting economic and environmental sustainability of crop production systems in eastern and northern Ontario, including spring-planted small grains, winter wheat, canola, corn and soybean. He teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level and conducts knowledge extension to farmers. He also provides scientific oversight of the three University of Guelph Agricultural Research Stations located in eastern and northern Ontario: Winchester, New Liskeard and Emo. Current research involves: improving nitrogen management in corn, reducing lodging in oats and winter wheat, and finding ideal cover crop and tillage combinations for eastern and northern Ontario.

Julie Bradley-Low - Ecological Day

Julie Bradley-Low is The Farmer Yoga Teacher, owner and manager of Stonegrove Farm & Wellness Studio near Wiarton. Julie has been offering inclusive yoga classes for over 10 years, and farming for 5 years on her family regenerative micro farm where she and her husband run a seasonal Meat CSA and raise Heritage livestock (pigs, sheep, turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens). Test

On top of providing her community with weekly, all levels, down to earth yoga classes online and in studio, she specializes her offerings to farmers around the globe so they can sustain and grow young into farming.

Her work has been published in Heart & Soil as well as Growing for Market magazines. She offered stretch breaks at the virtual Rural Women Studies conference, provided wellness workshops for the EFAO and the Ignatius Farmers training. She is running a 4-week online Farmers Winter Care program in November and January, to help farmers to restore their bodies during the slower months of the season.

Katherine Balpataky - Ecological Day

Katherine is the Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships with ALUS, a community-based, farmer-delivered charity that supports the production of nature-based solutions. Katherine has close to 20 years experience in the environmental and sustainable development fields.

Dr. Katie Wood - Beef Day

Dr. Katie Wood is an Associate Professor in Ruminant Nutrition and Physiology in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Her research program focuses on developing strategies to improve feed efficiency in the cow-calf and feedlot sectors.

Ken Laing - Ecological Day

Ken Laing has been farming with his wife Martha near St. Thomas for more than 40 years. During that time he has produced a wide variety of organic field, fruit and vegetable crops. His daughter is now managing the vegetable operation and Ken divides his time between helping his daughter, custom grazing beef calves, raising and working Suffolk Punch draft horses and managing a Living Lab site for the EFAO and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Kim Delaney - Ecological Day

Kim Delaney is a seed farmer living and working in Palmerston Ontario. She is the founder of Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds and a regular speaker on many seed related topics. Kim became a bonafide seedhead when she learned to identify, harvest, clean and test the seeds of Ontario’s native Tallgrass Praire ecosystem. She now focuses on vegetable, flower and herb seed and dabbles in on-farm plant breeding through her involvement with SeedWorks a small, Ontario based plant breeding club. Kim lives with her partner Brian and assorted animals on a 100 acre organic farm. She is currently a board member of SeedChange.

Koryn Hare - Beef Day

Koryn grew up on a mixed production farm near Rosetown, Saskatchewan where they did both cropping and cow-calf production with Angus-crossbred beef cattle. She studied at the University of Saskatchewan, completing her B.Sc. Ag., Major in Animal Science, in 2015 and her M.Sc., Major in Animal Science, in 2018. During her B.Sc., she studied dairy cattle in automatic milking systems, and, during her M.Sc., she studied protein intake in late gestation beef cattle. After completing her M.Sc., she moved to Ontario to start her Ph.D. in Animal Bioscience at the University of Guelph where she is studying the process of colostrogenesis in beef and dairy cattle.

Larry Dyck - Crops Day

My wife Mary and I farm in the Niagara Peninsula together with Ben and Kait, our son and daughter in law. We farm Niagara/Haldimand clay soils. We have been on a plant green/interseeding covers/trying to keep something growing in our soils as much as we can for 6 years. We have had lots of challenges, lots of success & some stellar failures/learning experiences.

Maggie Van Camp - Beef and Dairy Days

Maggie Van Camp is BDO’s National Agricultural Practice Development Leader, and a well-known former agricultural journalist, most recently as senior editor of Country Guide. As a farmer herself, Maggie is a respected, trusted voice in the industry. In addition to her membership in BDO’s National Agriculture Industry Group, Maggie chairs Drive Away Hunger, BDO’s firm-wide social responsibility program that supports foodbanks across Canada. She is responsible for BDO’s relationship with the agricultural industry overall including supporting Outstanding Young Farmers, Canadian Young Farmer Forum and Farm Management Canada. Notably, she helped launch Farm Transition Appreciation Day and BDO’s innovative financial benchmarking for Canadian farmers. In 2021, Maggie Van Camp was recognized by the Canadian Western Agribition as one of the Top 50 in Canadian Agriculture. Maggie is CEO of a commercial chicken farm in Blackstock, Ontario and cofounder of LOFT32, a communications firm which also developed an on-line training program for agriculture and food. She has been very involved in her farm community through various roles in the church, sports, 4-H and the agriculture society. Additionally, she is a member of Ontario Agricultural Business Association, the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, OAC ‘91 Aggies (BSc. Agr. University of Guelph) and sits on the board of the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Mark Hamel photo

Mark Hamel - Dairy Day

Mark 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.  Currently Mark is a Dairy Farmers of Ontario Board Member representing Region 11, Bruce and Grey Counties.  Mark is a 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 representative over a 3-week period in 2014.  Mark is a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program.  Mark is the second vice chair of DFO

Marlene Paibomesai picture

Marlene Paibomesai - Goat Day Speaker & Panel Facilitator

Marlene Paibomesai works as a Dairy Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Her office is loated in Elora Ontario and she covers production systems of dairy cows, goats, and sheep.

Marty Seymour - Check Your Tech Tuesday

Marty was raised on a cattle and grain farm in Carnduff, Sask. A cowboy at heart, he moved to Saskatoon and earned a degree in agriculture science from the University of Saskatchewan.

After a decade in sales and marketing in the animal health industry, Marty spent five years as CEO of Canadian Western Agribition, Canada’s largest livestock show and exhibition. Marty has been involved in international trade missions, sat on the economic development board of Sakimay First Nations, has done reality TV and was named a CBC Future 40 recipient for contributions to the community. Currently, he’s on the marketing committee for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

Megan Van Schaik photo

Megan Van Schaik - Beef Day Panel Facilitator

Megan Van Schaik is a Beef Cattle Specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, working out of Guelph.  Prior to working in her current position, Megan worked in the feed industry for a number of years and then in meat inspection.  Megan graduated from the University of Guelph with a B. Sc. (Agr) majoring in Animal Science, and a M.Sc. in ruminant nutrition, and received her B. Ed. from Queens University.

Mel Luymes - Crops Day Panel Facilitator

Mel Luymes is a freelance sociologist, project manager and writer. Her family runs a grain farm and custom farming business near Moorefield, ON, using precision cover crops, no-till and strip-till on their own fields. Co-founder of the Ontario Soil Network, she works at the intersection of agriculture, behaviour change and the environment.

Michele Bowering - Goat Day

Dave and Michelle and their family have been farming most of their lives. They both attended agriculture college and achieved their diplomas. They bought their 50 acre farm and herd in the summer of 2005 and have worked to turn it into the good milking herd that it currently is. They struggled with CAE in the beginning and then did testing and quarantining to become CAE negative. They have now maintained that status for 11 years. They operate a closed herd of 160 milking does and do mostly off-season breeding and some AI to get new bucks for breeding. Kidding mostly happens in the Fall, which allows them to stop shipping milk, if they choose, for the month between July and August. In the past year they milked one group through the summer and are duration milking them until next April when they will breed them again.

Nick Betts - Dairy Day

Nick is founder and director of Blue Orenda Inc., a Guelph, Ontario-based firm specializing in implementing sustainability into supply chain collaborations and business strategy. Nick acts as Americas Director for the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform; directing strategy and activities in the Americas. He leads the facilitation of agricultural sustainability project alignment globally. His previous experience includes project management, strategy & policy development and farmer engagement through a commodity organization, government and grassroots agricultural associations. Nick holds an MBA (Leadership & Sustainability) from University of Cumbria and a B.Sc. (Ecology) from University of Guelph, as well as designations as a Change Management Specialist, Six Sigma Lean Professional, Sustainability Reporting, and Farm Transition Coordination.

Dr. Paul Luimes - Sheep Day

Dr. Paul Luimes is a College Research Professor at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Recently he has taken on the role as Coordinator of the Agriculture Diploma program. He teaches and does research in the Livestock section. His primary area of research interest is sheep nutrition but also conducts trials in dairy and swine nutrition. His teaching includes a general course (Livestock Systems) and advanced production courses (Small Ruminant Production and Ruminant Nutrition). Besides doing talks around Ontario, he has been to the provinces of British Colombia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec and the country of Colombia. Dr. Luimes has been married to Kathryn for 23 years and they have 5 children from age 12 to 20.

Peter Johnson - Crops Day

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 the Middlesex Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s applied research program, is the Environmental Advocate for the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario, and is a member of the Ontario Compaction Team. Peter operates a small farm near Lucan, Ontario, where he constantly tries out new production ideas, and where the “rubber hits the road”! He is enthusiastic and passionate about agriculture, and loves to be challenged by growers. So “have at him”!!!

Peter Vingerhoeds - Goat Day

Peter Vingerhoeds has been farming in Huron County for 20 years with his wife, Amy, and 4 daughters. They expanded their meat goat operation in 2012, and raise kids from 80-100 high percentage Boer does in an accelerated breeding program. Peter will share some of the key elements in their operation that support breeding all year.

RJ Taylor - Ecological Day

RJ is a second-generation fish farmer and environmental advocate in Ontario. He and his sister Arlen raise rainbow trout, Arctic char and coho salmon at four land-based fish farms. They also run a processing facility and deliver sustainable wild and farmed fish to 1,500+ homes a month through a unique direct-to-consumer brand called Springhills Fish. RJ is the managing director for the Ontario Aquaculture Association, an advisor to Ontario's agriculture minister, and was appointed to the province's species at risk advisory committee. Although RJ grew up on the end of a fish net, he took a ten-year hiatus in his 20s to lead science education initiatives across Canada for Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the University of Toronto and Dyson.

The Honourable Rob Black - Check Your Tech Tuesday

The Honourable Rob Black has worked in the rural, agricultural, and leadership arenas for much of his working career.

He has had close involvement in 4-H and other leadership programs, such as Junior Farmers and the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP). He credits his involvement in these programs with allowing him to develop the skills that would lead him to apply to be a senator. He has been involved in 4-H for almost 50 years in all aspects of the program, at the local, provincial and national levels and is a Past President of the Canadian 4-H Council.

Rob was Ward 5 Representative on Wellington County Council. He has also been Manager of the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, and President of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association and the Wellington County Historical Society.

Rob worked with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) for 15 years. Following his time at OMAFRA, he spent 5 years as the Executive Director of 4-H Ontario. Rob then accepted the role of Executive Director of The Centre for Rural Leadership, which morphed in to the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI).

On February 27, 2018, Rob was sworn in as a senator representing the province of Ontario. Since then, he has been working on several issues of importance to Canadians through his role, and is a member of the Standing Committees on Agriculture and Forestry; Social Affairs, Science and Technology; Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament; and, the Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament. He is currently the Chair of the Canadian Senators Group (CSG).

In February 2021, Rob was recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Agriculture by Canadian Western Agribition.

In July 2021, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association recognized Senator Black as the 2021 Produce Champion. The annual Produce Champion award is given to a Member of Parliament or Senator who has been supportive of the produce industry and effective at bringing industry issues to the forefront on Parliament Hill..

Rob and his wife Julie live north of Fergus, ON and have four grown children and three grandsons.

Rob Kirkconnell - Check your Tech Tuesday

Rob Kirkconnell, who in partnership with his wife Courtney and his parents Bob and Mary Ann, runs Valleykirk Farms, a family owned dairy farm in Owen Sound. Together they manage a 60-cow robotic milking facility along with 400 acres of crops that consist of hay, corn and barley. After graduating from Ridgetown College in 2001, Rob worked off farm, running his own custom bale wrap business. He came home to work full-time on the farm in 2003. Rob is very involved in the community having refereed minor hockey for 25 years. He has also been a referee assigner for the local centre for 15 years. Rob is currently president of the Grey County Soil and Crop Improvement Association a delegate for Gay Lea Foods and a director for the Grey County Milk Producers. Rob and Courtney have an active little 4 year old daughter named Bree and cheerful farm dog named June. In his spare time, Rob likes to play sports, board games and cards as well as sit and read a good book.

Rob Lipsett - Beef Day

Rob Lipsett resides in Annan, Ontario and runs a 150 head cow-calf operation and backgrounds all of his own calves. In addition to Rob's role with the Beef Farmers of Ontario, he also represents the interests of Ontario beef farmers as a Director for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. Rob studied Business at Georgian College.

Robert Matson - Dairy Day

Robert Matson grew up on his family dairy farm in Ontario, Canada, before moving to Ottawa to complete his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. Robert then completed his MSc. at the University of Guelph, conducting research on dairy health and production in herds using automated milking systems. Robert worked under the supervision of Dr. Trevor DeVries, with the goal to increase efficiency and production while improving the health and wellbeing of animals milked in these systems. Since defending his thesis, Robert has joined the Ruminant Nutrition team at Wallenstein Feed and Supply and is very interested in helping producers achieve their goals and production targets.

Ron Hare - Beef Day

Ron is the owner/operator of a 25 cow/calf beef operation in the municipality of Meaford, and the President of the "Georgian Bay Charolais Calf Association".

Scott A. Shearer - Crops Day

Scott Shearer received his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1986. Currently, he serves as Professor and Chair of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at OSU. Highlights of his research career include development of methodologies and controls for metering and spatial applying crop production inputs, modeling of agricultural field machinery systems, autonomous multi-vehicle field production systems and strategies for deployment of UAVs in agriculture. He has lead research supported by over $15M in grants, authored more than 200 technical publications, and has made numerous invited presentations at international conferences, professional meetings and farmer forums. Dr. Shearer is a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Dr. Sjoert Zuidhof - Dairy Day

Sjoert graduated from the University of Utrecht and has been a veterinarian for almost 40 years. His main professional interests are dairy preventative medicine, on farm dairy research and udder health. He has an MBA in agriculture and is certified in Dairy Herd Management. After leaving veterinary practice he has worked for global animal health companies including a seven-year stint in the USA. He returned to Canada 4 years ago and is now consulting for a few companies including Solvet Animal Health in Calgary.

Stan Eby - Beef Day

Stan has been farming in Kincardine Township for 50 years. He is the past president of the OCA and CCA.

Steve Duff - Sheep Day

Coming from dairy and beef background in Northumberland county, Steve is an OAC “94 grad who completed a Masters in Ag Economics from the Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics (FARE) department at the University of Guelph in 1996.  Steve joined OMAFRA in late 1997 after a year as a policy researcher within FARE for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.  Starting as an agricultural economist with OMAFRA, Steve worked on a variety of projects that culminated with him leading the development of the Ontario Whole Farm Relief Program in 1998.  Over the course of 13 years as OMAFRA’s lead on business risk management programs, Steve lead provincial and national development of programs including the BSE recovery, CAIS, AgriStability and the Ontario Risk Management Program.  During this time Steve chaired several federal-provincial-territorial committees including the BRM advisory committee, the BRM administrators committee and is currently the co-chair of the Farm Income Forecasting Committee.  Steve is currently OMAFRA’s Chief Economist.  Since 2011, Steve has been an Adjunct Professor in the FARE department teaching 4th year Agricultural Policy analysis.  In 2016, Steve was the recpient of the first FARE distinguished alumnus award.  Steve is currently a Farmer Director on the Board of Farm Management Canada.  Steve and his wife Robyn operate a beef and cash crop farm near Colborne Ontario.

Steve Kell - Crops Day

Steve Kell has worked in the Ontario grain and feed industry for the past 30 years in all phases of the industry, as a farmer producing grain, as a country elevator manager conditioning, storing, and shipping grain, and as a merchandizer, hedging and trading commodities. Steve  farms in Simcoe County where he grows corn, wheat, and soybeans. In addition to farming Steve handles merchandizing for Kell Grain which operates elevators in Gilford and Belleville.  He also is a regular columnist in Farmers Forum newspaper writing about commodity markets.

Susan Cruickshank - Beef Day

Susan Cruikshank is a CPA CGA out of Kincardine Ontario.  She is a Senior Manager in Tax at BDO Canada LLP.  She completed the in-depth tax course certifying her as a Tax Specialist in 2013 and tutors Income Tax for the General Practitioner for CPA Canada annually.  She works with small to medium sized businesses of many industries with a focus on farm businesses.  Along with her husband they run a small cash crop farm operation.  In her spare time, she volunteers with the Kincardine Agricultural Society as the chair of the ambassador program and is the Secretary of the Kincardine Rotary Club.

Dr. Tammi Ribey

Tammi graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1988. She has always been in mixed practice, and has spent the last 28 years in Paisley, Ontario. Tammi has an advanced certificate in dairy health management. Her time is spent with dairy herds, beef cow/calf operations and small animals.
Tammi and her husband Brian operate a 500 acre cash crop and purebred herd of 50 Angus mother cows, just outside of Paisley. Their two children, Steven and Kelsey, help on the farm and have land of their own. Tammi is currently chair of the Canadian Angus Foundation. In the past, she was president of the Canadian Angus Association, chair of the Beef Industry Conference and a 4-H leader.

Terry Gipson - Goat Day

Dr. Terry Gipson is the Extension Leader for the American Institute for Goat Research at Langston University (LU). However, Dr. Gipson supports all three components of Langston University’s land-grant mission: teaching, research, and extension. Dr. Gipson’s teaches AS 4133 Animal Breeding and AS 4333 Agricultural Statistics. Dr. Gipson’s recent scientific articles have dealt with energy requirements for grazing animals and have incorporated technologies such as GIS mapping, GPS collars, heart rate monitors, and pedometers/accelerometers in the calculation of energy expenditures. Dr. Gipson coordinates and oversees the annual Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day, the Langston Goat DHI laboratory, and several annual producer workshops, including the artificial insemination workshops. Dr. Gipson also serves on the leadership team for the Goat Industry Community of Practice for eXtension. Dr. Gipson also lends his expertise to several international development projects. Dr. Gipson was a team member for Langston University’s projects in Algeria, Armenia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, and Namibia. Dr. Gipson earned his B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Missouri, his M.S. in Animal Science from the University of his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Thomas Farrell - Crops Day

Thomas and his wife along with their 3 young children live and farm just outside Kincardine Ontario. Together with his parents, brother and grandfather they run a dairy/cash crop operation where Thomas' main focus is on the cropping side of the operation. Thomas has a strong interest in soil health and introduced cover crops 10+ years ago as part of their soil health strategy that continues to grow and evolve. He has been a member of the soil network since 2017 and is a director of Bruce County Soil and Crop as well.

Wanda Snobelen - Beef Day

Wanda grew up on a beef farm in Bruce County and still farms there herself, growing cash crops and beef cattle. She calves 110 purebred Charolais cows in January and February. She markets her Charolais bulls privately and Charolais females in the Uppin' the Ante Charolais female sale as well as privately. Wanda is a member of the Bruce Peninsula pre-sort sale. On the crops side of the operation she grows corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and pasture.