OFVC Show Guide 2022

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Canada’s Premier Horticultural Event


SHOW GUIDE February 23–24, 2022

Scotiabank Convention Centre Niagara Falls, Ontario P R E S E N T I N G PA RT N E R


From the world market to the farmer’s market, we collaborate with our customers to deliver successful solutions for the agricultural challenges of today and produce the highest quality vegetable seeds for the future. We pride ourselves on working side-by-side with growers to provide the most regionally relevant and reliable vegetable seeds available.

Learn more at www.hmclause.com HM.CLAUSE, Inc. • 260 Cousteau Place, Suite 210 • Tel:530.747.3700






Matt Peters N . M . B A R T L E T T I N C ., H C O VICE PRESIDENT

Kelly Ciceran O N TA R I O A P P L E G R O W E R S , H C O GE NER AL MANAGE R


President’s Welcome


Thanks to our Great Sponsors


Convention Exhibitors


Exhibitor and Session Room Maps


Session Schedule


Speaker Biographies

Glenna Cairnie DIRECTORS

Kelly Ciceran O N TA R I O A P P L E G R O W E R S , H C O Catherine Clark F A R M E R S ’ M A R K E T S O N TA R I O , H C O Douglas Darling N P F &V G A Victoria Eastman B E R R Y G R O W E R S O F O N TA R I O , H C O Barbara Hipple-Roller N P F &V G A Tom Tancock N P F &V G A Kevin Vallier F A R M F R E S H O N TA R I O , H C O Torrie Warner N P F &V G A Jennifer Whalen O M A F R A CHAIR

Kevin Schooley N . M . B A R T L E T T I N C ., H C O FAC I LITI E S

Kevin Schooley N . M . B A R T L E T T I N C ., H C O


OFVC Competitions: Ontario Craft Cider and ONHops Brew Off


Trends Shaping Canada’s Future Food Picture


Welcome to the New Age of Farming


37 38

Meet the New Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs OFVC Roundup Events: Woman in Agriculture and Young Farmer Forum


Farmers’ Markets Ontario® Award of Excellence


NPF & VGA Award of Merit


Interested in advertising in the 2023 Show Guide? Contact Steve Watt, steve@ofvc.ca. The OFVC Show Guide is published by Bright Light Communications www.brightlightcommunications.com. Design by Sherpa Creative www.sherpacreative.com.


Ross Parker N P F & V G A Craig Parker Tom Tancock N P F & V G A SPEAKER PROGRAM

Hannah Fraser O M A F R A Erica Pate O M A F R A S P E A K E R C O - O R D I N AT O R

Carol Pupo A C C O M M O D AT I O N S

Catherine Clark F A R M E R S ’ M A R K E T S O N TA R I O , H C O POSTER SESSIONS

Andrew Wylie O M A F R A M A R K E T I N G /A D V E R T I S I N G / W E B S I T E

Steve Watt B R I G H T L I G H T C O M M U N I C AT I O N S C O M M I T T E E M E M B E R S AT L A R G E

Barbara Hipple-Roller, N P F & V G A Ken Slingerland N P F & V G A Torrie Warner N P F & V G A 2022 SESSION CHAIRS Ryan Brewster B C S

Jenny Liu O M A F R A

Kathryn Carter O M A F R A

Sarah Marshall O T F G

Catherine Clark F M O

Dr. Wendy McFaddenSmith O M A F R A

Tejendra Chapagain O M A F R A

Nele Michiels O M A F R A

Travis Cranmer O M A F R A

Kristen Obeid O M A F R A

Erika DeBrouwer O M A F R A

Marlene Paibomesai O M A F R A

Jason Deveau O M A F R A

Erica Pate O M A F R A

Wayne Du O M A F R A

Elaine Roddy O M A F R A

Virginia Eastman B G O

Rochelle Roye O P M A

Evan Elford O M A F R A

Amanda Tracey O M A F R A

Katie Goldenhar O M A F R A

Kevin Vallier F A R M F R E S H

Kristy Grigg-McGuffin O M A F R A

Dennis Van Dyk O M A F R A

Colleen Haskins O M A F R A

Anne Verhallen O M A F R A


Belinda Kemp B R O C K

Robb Wagner O M A F R A


Stefan Larrass O F V G A

Sean Westerveld OM A FR A

David Lauzon O M A F R A

Andrew Wylie O M A F R A

No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission from OFVC. Copyright © 2022 by OFVC Inc. Printed in Canada by Annex Business Media.



Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

PRESIDENT’S WELCOME Welcome back to the OFVC! It has been a long 2 years since many of us have seen each other. Our last OFVC happened just before the initial lock-down and was the last time our farming community was able to truly get together. Now we’re back in ’22 and this really feels like a kick-off to the long-awaited “return to normal”. We warmly welcome many valued members of our community through various virtual components, and it is extra exciting to physically see our wonderful community of farmers, industry, researchers and extension back in Niagara Falls to reconnect! However you decided to take in this year’s premier horticultural event, thanks for your continued support! The value presented by a physical trade-show has never been more evident as the face-to-face conversations had on the floor have always proved to be difference makers as we continue to strive to improve our respective businesses. Thanks for the overwhelming support from industry to get back to OFVC so you can share what you’ve been busy working on. Same goes to researchers, extension and organizations who have continued their important work to drive innovative ideas and support growers through many new layers of bureaucracy. We are all looking forward to hearing and seeing the fruits of your labour.


We have all endured a lot over the last 2 years, and the OFVC team wish to give a huge THANK YOU to all facets of the Canadian fruit and vegetable community for working long, hard hours to continue feeding Canadians fresh, healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables while balancing family and community health. I would be remiss to not give a special shout-out to those in the health care industry who have done the same to help keep our citizens healthy. The OFVC board/committee plus Niagara Falls Convention Centre staff, hotel staff and many contractors have put in a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure the OFVC is a fun, informative, inclusive and above all, safe event so please make sure to give them a ‘thank you’ for their efforts when you get the chance. Now it’s time to celebrate our collective toils, and to reconnect and learn as we prepare for another bountiful growing season in Canada! Cheers! Matt Peters PRESIDENT

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS *As of January 7, 2022







C O N V E N T I O N S U P P O RT E R Durward Jones Barkwell

Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc.

Vanden Bussche Irrigation


EXHIBITOR LIST *As of January 10, 2022

405 A & B Packing Equipment 412 A & L Canada Laboratories/ A Link Computer Solutions 1009 A&S Agriproducts/Anderson Lime Service 1014 A.M.A. Horticulture Inc. 407 Acti-Sol 432 Advantage Packaging Ltd. 213 Agriculture & AgriFood Canada 829 Agro - 100 733 AgroHaitai Ltd. 506 Anatis BioProtection 1010 Andermatt Canada Inc. 215 Aqua Treatment Technologies Inc. 909 Arbourdale 423 BASF Canada Inc. 502 Belchim Crop Protection Canada 902 Ben Berg Farm & Industrial Equip. Ltd. 1016 Besseling Group North America Inc. 908 Bioline Agrisciences 729 BioWorks Inc. 436 Bogballe/MS Gregson 322 Burgess Baskets 222 C. Frensch Ltd. 231 Cadman Power Equipment 709 Canadian Fruit Tree Nursery Co-operative Ltd. 607 Ceragen 529 Cog-Veyor Systems Inc. 725 Cohort Wholesale 905 Colvoy Equipment 323 Corteva Agriscience 907 Crescent Oil/Fuels Inc. 728 Croptracker 309 CWB National Leasing 130 DeCloet Greenhouse Mfs. Ltd. 324 Delaware Pump and Parts Ltd. 1008 Deluxe 636 Don Arthur Orchard Equipment 811 Eckert Machines 315 ECO+ 311 Ecocert Canada 1125 Équipements Vegtech 611 Farm Credit Canada 226 Farm for Profit/Greencrop Agri Products Ltd.


806 Felco 1030 Ferntree Equipment & Distribution 511 First Genesis Inc./Sunflower Rubber & Plastics 333 Flexo Products Ltd. 833 FMC Canada 1022 Frontline Process Solutions Inc. 304 Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp. (DRC) 406 Fruit & Vegetable Magazine 208 Gertex Solutions 202 Gintec Shade Technologies Inc. 229 Global Horticulture Inc. 1029 Gowan Canada 707 Grant Thornton LLP 915 Grape Growers of Ontario 114 Green Lea Ag Center Inc. 632 Greenhouse Technology Network 326 Grimo Nut Nursery 1011 Grindstone Creek Nursery Inc. 426 Growers Mineral Solutions 1114 Haggerty AgRobotics 417 Harris Moran Seed Company 408 Harvest Goodies 310 Heartnut Grove - WWT 431 HJV Equipment 330 Houweling-Dutch Plantin Ltd. 1111 Huplaso 427 Hydrogardens 913 ICL Innovative Ag Solutions 812 Industrial Bags Inc./Sacs Industriels Inc. 429 IntelliCulture 1006 Jiffy 306 Johnny’s Selected Seeds 302 Kaclauma Inc. 425 Kam’s Grower Supply 724 KOOLJET Refrigeration Inc. 308 Koppert Canada Ltd. 914 Lakeside Grain & Feed 524 Lakeview Vineyard Equipment Inc. 727 Lallemand Plant Care 305 Lambert Peat Moss Inc. 536 Leading Edge Equipment Ltd. 230 LeKAC Sourcing Ltd. 903 Lift Line Machinery Ltd.

228 Lignition Corp. 325 Maximum H2O 409 Maxstim Products Inc. 807 Metagenom Bio Life Science Inc. 1107 Meteor Systems 1026 MetosCanada 626 MNP LLP 224 Monte Package Company 705 Moore Packaging Corporation 822 N.M. Bartlett Inc. 527 Natural Insect Control 206 Niagara Christian Gleaners 628 Niagara College - Research & Innovation 116 Niagara Community Observatory-Brock University 814 Niagara Orchard & Vineyard Corp. 827 Norseco Inc. 319 Nufarm 403 Nurture Growth Bio Fertilizer Inc. 624 NutriAg Ltd. 328 Nuvia Technologies Inc. 1105 Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) 110 OMAFRA - Agriculture Development 122 Oneida New Holland 402 O’Neils Farm Equipment 808 Ontario Federation of Agriculture 710 Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association - The Grower 609 Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association 917 Ontario Tender Fruit Growers 708 Penn Refrigeration Ltd. 415 Phytocultures Ltd. 329 Planet Paper Box Group Inc. 802 Plant Products Inc. 410 Plant, Grow Share A Row 1002 Premier Containers (1983) Inc./ The Apple Bag Lady 702 Premier Equipment Ltd. 428 Premier Tech Horticulture 928 ProduceTech 216 Production Lareault Inc. 923 Provide Agro 1123 Quest Community Health Care

1113 831 236 508 732 703 507 336

R & W Equipment Ltd. Ready-Set-Grow Redtrac International Ltd. Rupp Seeds Seedway Seminova Shorquip Ltd. Slimline Manufacturing Ltd. (Turbomist) 210 Specialty Vegetable Equipment Inc. 603 Stokes Seeds Ltd. 731 Strawberry Tyme Farms Inc. 307 Structural Panels Inc. 313 Sustane Natural Fertilizer 515 Syngenta 809 TD Canada Trust 706 The Cider Keg 922 Thiessen Tillage Equipment 128 Timac Agro Canada 132 Tirecraft 726 Twistyer Products Inc. 602 UAP Canada Inc. 1103 University of Guelph - Coop Education & Career Services 825 UPL Agrosolutions Canada 910 Upper Canada Growers 422 VandenBussche Irrigation & Equipment 606 Velocity Green 608 Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd. 630 Vineland Research and Innovation Centre 217 VineTech Canada Inc. 804 VirtualOne/FreshQC Software 1013 Vivid Machines 513 Wellington Produce Packaging 312 Willsie Equipment Sales


N I A G A R A FA L L S C O N V E N T I O N C E N T R E — S E C O N D L E V E L

Shuttle Bus Schedule

Complimentary shuttle bus service is provided between the Niagara Falls Convention Centre and the Embassy Suites Fallsview Hotel.

TUESDAY Noon – 6:00 pm WEDNESDAY 7:00 am – 7:30 pm THURSDAY 7:00 am – 5:30 pm



11:00 Grower Experiences with High Density Peaches Gabe Spurgeon, South Baldwin Farms, USA; Tony Sgambelleri, Ridgeview Orchards, George Lepp, Lepp Farms

10:30 Early Peach and Future Neat Varieties Dr. Jay Subramanian, University of Guelph

10:00 A New Thinning Compound for Peaches Dr. John Cline, University of Guelph

Chair: Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA

Chair: Elaine Roddy, OMAFRA 9:30 Regional Hop Supply Chains: Challenges & Opportunities Julien Venne, MAPAQ

Chair: Evan Elford, OMAFRA


ROOMS 221 & 222



10:00 Precision Robotic Weeding for Vegetable Crops Teric Greenan, Nexus Robotics



10:30 Working with Beneficials on Your Farm Pam Fisher, 11:00 Bioprotection Fisher Berry Crop Consulting, Tom in Winemaking Heeman, Heeman’s Dr. Nichola Hall, Strawberry Farm Scottlabs 11:00 Macro 11:30 New Sparkling Biologicals Wine Research Update Grad student — Beneficial flash talks: Hannah Insects, Mites and Nematodes for Charnock & Jacob Berry Growers Medeiros Reps from Natural SPONSORED BY: Insect Control, Koppert; Plant Products, Biobest

Dr. Kevin Usher, Summerland Research and Development Centre

9:30 The Buzz on Blueberry Pollination – Advances in Pollination 10:00 Diversity, Research Inclusion and Dr. Lisa WaskoBelonging in DeVetter, Canada’s Winery Kelly Brown, Arterra Washington State Wines Canada, chair University, USA of the Wine Growers 10:00 Understand of Canada Strawberry Flower Physiology to 10:30 Foliar Urea Improve Production for Increased Dr. Edward Durner, Post-veraison Rutgers University, Assimilable USA Nitrogen

9:30 LCBO Ontario Wines Business Update Marie Cundari, LCBO

Chair: Belinda Kemp, Chair: Victoria Brock University Eastman, BGO




(No morning sessions in this room)

ROOMS 223 & 224




10:30 An Overview of the Hop Supply and Value Chain Structure in the Pacific Northwest Ann George; Small Scale Farms 10:30 10:30 Jessica Stevens, Rainfastness Effectiveness of Vegetable and Efficiency of Maggie Elliot, Hop Growers of Fungicides Field Robots Daniel S. Egel, Chuck Baresich, America, USA Purdue University, Haggerty Creek USA AgRobotics (presentation 11:00 runs until 11:30) Phytophthora Rots in Pumpkins and Squash – The Scourge of 2021! Katie Goldenhar, OMAFRA

9:30 Sweet Corn Pest Management Update Elaine Roddy, 10:00 Your Market, OMAFRA Your Vendors, 10:00 Strip Your Risk Tillage — What Paul Moran, CoCan Sweet Corn operators; Sunni Growers Learn Shannon, Duuo from the Field Insurance Corn Experience? 11:00 Small Ben Rosser, Scale Farms OMAFRA Renee Delaney, 9:30 Agricultural Robots – What to Expect and Are They Worth the Investment? Sougata Pahari, Korechi Innovations Inc.




ROOMS 207 & 208

ROOMS 201 & 202

ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check


(No morning Chair: Catherine sessions in Clark, FMO this room) 9:30 Farmers’ Market of the Year Award Winner TBD



10:15 Growing. Building. Expanding A panel discussion of FFO members

Chair: Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA 9:30 The Economics of Fertilizing Peaches: What Makes Cents? Kathryn Carter, John Molenhuis, OMAFRA



Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO 9:30 Brant County Diversified Farming Pam Dueling, Emily Sousa, County of Brant



(All sessions and speakers subject to change. Some presentations may be live-streamed or pre-recorded due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.)

Chairs: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA (Prep area for the afternoon competition)





2:50 Navigating the Process: Serving Alcohol on the Farm A panel discussion of FFO members

2:00 Annual General Meeting Catherine Clark, FMO Executive Director

2:00 The Use of Abscisic Analogs to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change and Red Blotch Infection Dr. Jim Willwerth, CCOVI, Brock University

2:00 Dealing with Urban-Rural Conflicts James Dyck, OMAFRA

2:00 The Secret Relationships Between Food and Music Allan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things

Chair: Travis Cranmer, OMAFRA

3:30 Role of Biopesticides and Cover Crops in Integrated Disease Management of Vegetable Diseases Dr. Cheryl Trueman, University of Guelph

3:00 Efforts to Effectively Integrate Biopesticides into Management Programs Using Best Horticultural Practice and Disease Forecasting Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell University

2:30 Biological Solutions for Small Fruits and Vegetables Dr. Surendra Dura, University of California, USA

2:00 Where Do Biopesticides Fit in a Disease Management Program for Vegetables Dr. Margaret McGrath, Cornell University, USA

Chair: Katie Goldenhar, OMAFRA



ROOMS 221 & 222



2:00 Panel Discussion with the Judges (Presentation runs until 4:00 pm followed by announcement of winners at Farmers & Friends reception)



(No afternoon Chair: Erica Pate, sessions in this OMAFRA room) 2:00 Consumer 2:00 Research: Neopestalotiopsis Fresh Produce sp.: An Emerging Consumption and Pathogen on Attitudes Strawberry Dr. Natalia Peres, Lisa Covens, University of Leger 360 Florida, USA 2:30 Converting 2:30 Recent Consumer Advances in UV-C Research into Light For Disease Marketing and Pest Control Strategies Dr. Fumiomi Brittany Stager, Takeda, USA Rees and Stager 3:00 Do3:00 Promoting it-Yourself Produce to Conditioning of Consumers in ‘Albion’ Strawberry Ontario with Photoperiod Sandra Ulewicz, and Nitrogen to OPMA Enhance Yield 3:30 Panel Dr. Edward Durner, Discussion Rutgers University, Lisa Covens, USA Leger 360; 3:30 Motivating Brittany Stager, and Managing Rees and Stager; Staff in 2021 Sandra Ulewicz, Morris Gervais, OPMA Barrie Hill Farms; Alex Chesney, SPONSORED BY: Thames River Melons; Hollis English, Murphy’s Farm Market

Chair: Rochelle Roye, OPMA


ROOMS 223 & 224




Chair: Evan Elford, Jason Deveau, David Lauzon OMAFRA


2:00 Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Garlic Crop Travis Cranmer, 2:30 Management 2:30 Meet your of Hard to Control Market Neighbour OMAFRA 3:30 Garlic Weeds Workshop Clean Seed Kristen Obeid, Facilitators: 2:30 Improving OMAFRA Deanna Chakarova, Production Potassium Candy Keith, St. Catharines 3:00 New IPM Recommendations Farmers’ Market; University of Products/Product in Ontario Guelph Ann Slater, St. Re-evaluation Vineyards Marys Farmers’ Update Kathryn Carter, Market; Lisa Ag chemical reps; Dr. Tejendra Cooper, Uxbridge Sougata Pahari, Chapagain, Farmers’ Market Korechi Innovations OMAFRA (presentation runs Inc.; Dr. Wendy until 4:00) 3:00 Dealing McFadden-Smith, with Urban-Rural OMAFRA Conflicts 3:30 OMAFRA’s New James Dyck, Digital Application OMAFRA for Crop Protection 3:30 Cool Tools Information for Vineyards Madé Quay, OMAFRA Dr. Justine Vanden Heuval, Cornell, 3:45 Niagara USA; Kevin Irrigation Project Buis, Glen Lake Sarah Marshall, Vineyards; Aaron OTFG Oppenlaender, 4:00 Using Sensors Huebel Grapes to Measure Stone Estates, Dan Fruit Quality and Stouck, Malivoire Maturity Winery Dr. Ian Goodwin, SPONSORED BY: University of Melbourne, Australia

Chair: Catherine Clark, FMO



Chair: Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA


ROOMS 201& 202

ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check


Chair: Ryan Brewster, BCS




Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO



(All sessions and speakers subject to change. Some presentations may be live-streamed or pre-recorded due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.)


Chairs: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA (Competition open to the public; runs until approximately 4:30)





11:00 OMAFRA’s New Digital Application for Crop Protection Information Madé Quay, OMAFRA


10:15 Sharing Success A panel discussion of FFO members



11:00 Taking Advantage of Your Health and Safety Partnership to Maximize Profits and Lower Risk Jeff Pedlow, Pamela Resvick, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services

10:30 SAWP/ TFWP Ag Stream 2022 Update Ken Forth, OFVGA

10:00 Tools to Manage the People Part of Your Farm Jennifer Wright, Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council

11:00 Panel Discussion Dr. Alexis Hamilton, Virgina Tech, USA; Dr. Laura Strawn, Virginia Tech, USA

11:00 Q & A Session Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA; Anita Buehner, former partner, Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery

10:30 Maintaining, Harvesting and Processing Lavender Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA

10:00 Starting a Lavender Agri-Tourism Business Anita Buehner, former partner, Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery

9:30 Introduction to the Production of Lavender Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA

Chair: Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA


11:45 Young Farmer Forum


Made From Scratch: Growing a Successful Business From a Family Dream Hollis English, Murphy’s Farm Market & Bakery (runs until 9:15 am)

8:00 Women In Ag Breakfast




From Growing on Hope to Growing on 11:00 Integrating Featured Biopesticides and Biocontrol in Ontario Guarantees Dave Apple Orchards – Grower Perspective Kranenburg, Kendal Hills Brian Rideout, Farm Manitree Fruit Farms; Pat Johnson, (runs until 1:30 pm) AppleTop Farms; SPONSORED BY: Gerbe Botden, Botden Orchards Ltd.

10:30 Efforts to Effectively Integrate Biopesticides into Management Programs Using Best Horticultural Practice and Disease Forecasting Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell University, USA

9:30 Updates on Molecular Testing and Robotic Weeding Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA 10:00 Plant Growth Regulator (PGR) Effects on Storage Disorders of Gala and Honeycrisp Dr. Chris Watkins, Cornell University, USA

Chair: Kristy GriggMcGuffin, OMAFRA





9:30 Canada GAP Updates: Unannounced Audits and Environmental Monitoring Heather Gale, Amber 10:00 Fitting Bailey CanadaGAP Cover Crops Note: session is into Vegetable divided in half. Rotations Part1: Unannounced Dr. Thomas Audits; Heather Gale Bjorkman, Cornell University, Part 2: Environmental USA Monitoring Program; 10:30 Soil Amber Bailey Health and Cover Crops – A 10:00 Listeria Winning Combo and Other Food Pathogens in the for Ontario Field Vegetable Dr. Laura Strawn, Growers Virginia Tech, USA; Dr. Laura Van Eerd, University Dr. Alexis Hamilton, Virginia Tech, USA of Guelph 10:30 Understanding 11:00 Grower Panel – Building and Implementing Soil Health Pays an Environmental Monitoring Program Kurtis Allaer, (TBC) Serkka Farms, James Kingsbury, Dr. Alexis Hamilton, Virgina Tech, USA; Sandy Shores Dr. Laura Strawn, Farms Virginia Tech, USA

9:30 Soil Health Testing – What’s it Worth to You? Sebastian Belliard, OMAFRA

Chairs: Wayne Du, Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA



Chair: Tejendra Chapagain, OMAFRA

ROOMS 223 & 224




ROOMS 221 & 222


10:50 Managing Stink Bugs in Vegetables: A Summary of 10 Years of Research in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. Dr. Thomas Kuhar, Virginia Tech, USA

10:10 Internal Fruit Rot of Pepper: A Greenhouse Foe Now Causing Issues in The Field Dr. Genevieve Marchand, AAFC

9:45 Cultivating Non-Traditional Talent Ingrid Muschta, Ontario Disability Employment Network

9:30 Connecting Ontario’s AgriFood Workforce Janice Janiec, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

9:30 New or Not? Biology and Management of Anthracnose Fruit Rot on Peppers Dr. Anthony Keinath, Clemson University, USA


Chair: Stefan Larrass, OFVGA



ROOMS 207 & 208

Chair: Amanda Tracey, OMAFRA

ROOMS 201& 202

ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check


Chair: Dr. Wendy Chair: Catherine McFadden-Smith, Clark, FMO OMAFRA 9:30 Farmers’ 9:30 New Market Selling Products Online and Product Huron Farmers’ Re-evaluation Market Network, Update Joan Brady, Ag Chemical Bayfield 10:00 Orchard and Reps, Sougata 10:00 Local Food Pahari, Korechi Environmental Connections – Factors Affecting Innovations Your Farmers’ Peach Productivity Inc.; Dr. Wendy Market McFadden-Smith, Deanna and Harvest OMAFRA Quality Chakarova, St. Dr. Ioannis Minas, 10:00 Spotted Catharines Colorado State Lanternfly – Farmers’ Market; University, USA What’s Being Prof. Thomas Done to Prepare Merritt, The 10:30 Viruses of Greater Sudbury Prunus Species in for Its Arrival? Mackenzie Market; Mary-Lou Niagara DiGasparro, Ambrose-Little, Dr. Jonathan Invasive Species Port Colborne Griffiths, AAFC Centre; Dr. Wendy Farmers’ Market; SPONSORED BY: McFadden-Smith, Carolyn Wong OMAFRA Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market 10:30 Update (Toronto) on Identifying Insect Vectors of (presentation GRBV in Ontario runs until 12:00) Dr. Justin Renkema, AAFC

Chair: Sarah Marshall, OTFG 9:30 Crop Tracker Update and Grower Experience Matthew Deir, Dragonfly IT, Brian Rideout, Manitree Farms



Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO 9:30 FFO Year in Review Kevin Vallier, FFO



(All sessions and speakers subject to change. Some presentations may be live-streamed or pre-recorded due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.)



Plant Program for Canadian Grapevines Ethan Churchill, Canadian Grapevine 3:30 The Ontario Certification Network Topsoil Survey – Digging into 3:30 The Ontario Soils Challenging 2021 Daniel Saurette, Vintage OMAFRA Dr. Jim Willwerth, CCOVI; Dr. Wendy SPONSORED BY: McFaddenSmith, OMAFRA; Dr. Helen Fisher, University of Guelph

3:00 Soil Health in Washington Orchards Tianna Dupont, Washington State University, USA

2:30 Potential for Suppression of Multiple 2:30 How Soil Grapevine Health and Cover Diseases and Crops Work for Pests with UV Me Light Brian Rideout, Dr. David Gadoury, Manitree Farms; Cornell University, Albrecht Seeger, USA Seeger Vineyards 3:00 A Clean

2:00 Use of Horticultural Spray Oils in Grape Pest Management Dr. Tom Lowery, AAFC

2:00 Cover Crop Options for Vineyards – Ontario Research Kathryn Carter, Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA; Liette Vasseur, Heather VanVolkenburg, Brock University


2:00 Matthew Corrin – Founder and CEO Freshii Matthew Corrin, Freshii (presentation runs until 3:30)

Chair: Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA

Chair: Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA




Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO




ROOMS 201 & 202




2:00 Catalyzing a Hazelnut Industry in the Upper Midwest USA Jason Fischbach, University of WisconsinMadison, USA


3:30 Succession Planning – Planning for the Inevitable Mark Ferguson, OMAFRA


2:30 Response of Gala Apple Trees to Blossom Thinning with Ammonium Thiosulphate (ATS) and Lime Sulphur Dr. John Cline, University of Guelph

2:00 Protecting and Promoting Pollinators in Apple Production Dr. Vicki Wojcik, Pollinator Partnership Canada

Chair: Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA



3:00 Integrating Current and Emerging Mechanical Technologies in Modern Apple Orchards 3:30 Opportunities Mario Miranda for Nut Growing Sazo, Cornell in Ontario University, USA Ernie and Linda Grimo, Grimo Nut 3:30 Orchard Management Nursery Practices of Honeycrisp to Mitigate Bitter Pit Mario Miranda Sazo, Cornell University, USA

3:00 Integrated Plant Propagation System for Hazelnut Dr. Praveen Saxena, University of Guelph

2:30 Taxation – Keeping your $$$ 2:30 Opportunities Erich Weber, and Drawbacks OMAFRA of Chestnut Production in 3:00 Lessons Ontario from the Dr. Dragan Galic, Producer University of Playbook Guelph Phil Dick,

2:00 Getting your $$$ – Government Funding Programs Margaret May, OSCIA

Chair: Robb Chair: Jenny Liu, Wagner, OMAFRA OMAFRA




3:00 Haskap Processing for Value-Added Products Dr. Su-Ling Brooks, Dalhousie University (Haskap Berry Growers Association of Ontario (HBGAO) will begin their AGM following the speaker session.)

2:30 Haskap Pests in Ontario – Current Update Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA

2:00 Haskap Fertility: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Evan Elford, OMAFRA

Chair: Evan Elford, OMAFRA


ROOMS 223 & 224





3:30 TBD TBD

3:00 Behind the Scenes of Organic Seed Aaron Varadi, High Mowing Seeds

2:30 Notill Organic Vegetables – Our Successes and Challenges Ken Laing, Orchard Hill Farms

3:30 Asparagus Weed Control in a World without Linuron Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA

3:00 Potato Options without Linuron in the Tank Dennis Van Dyk, OMAFRA

2:30 Controlling Pigweed in Carrots on Mineral Soil without Linuron Darren Robinson, University of Guelph

2:00 Crop Functional Traits Through Domestication: Nutrient Acquisition in Organic Agriculture Dr. Marney Issac, University of Toronto

Chair: Andrew Wylie, OMAFRA


ROOMS 207 & 208

ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check

(No Afternoon Chair: Dennis Van sessions in this Dyk, OMAFRA room) 2:00 Pyridate and Linuron-free Weed Control in Carrots Clarence Swanton, University of Guelph


(All sessions and speakers subject to change. Some presentations may be live-streamed or pre-recorded due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.)

(No Afternoon sessions in this room)


SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES AMBE R BAILE Y Amber has been involved with food safety in the horticultural industry for the last 22 years. She holds a BSc in Food Science and a MSc in Food Safety both from the University of Guelph. Amber has been with the CanadaGAP program for 17 years and is currently the Technical Manager. In this position her responsibilities include overseeing the food safety manuals, audit checklist, and any other relevant food safety documents as well as supporting certification bodies, auditors and program participants.

CHUCK BARESICH Chuck is the General Manager of Haggerty Creek Ltd., a crop input and grain elevator located near Bothwell, Ontario. He is also the President of Haggerty AgRobotics Company, a new venture bringing autonomous robots to Ontario fields. Chuck farms with his wife Heather and their 2 children, and is a graduate of the University of Guelph.

GE RBE BOTDE N Gerbe is the orchard manager at their family farm, Blue Mountain Fruit Company, in Thornbury, Ontario. Their operation grows, stores, and packs apples from other growers as well as their own that are sold to retailers in Canada and the US. With a focus on continuous improvement, Gerbe is always looking for innovative ways to continuously grow high quality and high yielding crops.

JOAN BR ADY Joan is passionate about food and farming – whether preparing a community dinner for 200, growing delicious food and beautiful flowers for sale at the farmgate or farmers’ market, or helping others build


their businesses and creating ways for businesses and their respective communities to work together. Her farming journey has made her realize the importance of policy and political work to developing a healthy and sustainable food system. Building on her broad range of agricultural and community experience, Joan started Sustainable Futures Farm & Food Consulting in 2014. She manages projects for various organizations and agencies and continues to work with other farmers and community members on hunger, poverty, sustainability, and resilience issues. She is a long-time member of the National Farmers Union and an advocate for farm families at local, national, and global levels.

DR. SU-LING BROOKS Dr. Brooks is a Professor in the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS). She has a degree in Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering (Massey University, NZ) and PhD in Chemical Engineering (University of Cambridge, UK). Her research centers on food and bioprocessing and waste utilization for value-added products. She has been recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the Canadian Society of Biological Engineering (CSBE) for her significant research contributions in advanced manufacturing for food and bioprocess engineering with the CSBE John Clark Award in 2016.

KE LLY BROWN Kelly is the Executive Vice President, People, Legal & Corporate Affairs for Arterra Wines Canada Inc. Arterra is the leading wine producer in Canada with 8 wineries and such iconic brands as Inniskillin, JacksonTriggs, Kim Crawford, and Robert Mondavi. Kelly is also the Chair of Wine Growers Canada. Prior to joining Arterra, Kelly was the Chief People, Legal &

Corporate Affairs Officer for Molson Coors Canada. Kelly received her law degree from Dalhousie University and her BA (Hon) from McGill University. She was called to the bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada. In 2006, Lexpert named her one of Canada’s “Top 40 Lawyers under 40”.

ANITA BUE HNE R Recently retired, Anita continues to enjoy growing lavender, although on a much smaller scale. A farm diversification plan, beginning in 2009, led to the establishment of 12,000 lavender plants and 10 acres of wine grapes on their former farm. With the goal of revitalizing their farm, Anita and her husband Steve began focusing on establishing an ecological agri-tourism destination – from field to final product. The journey of their new venture crossed many unforeseen paths.

KE VIN BUIS Kevin was born and raised in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and grew up on the family farm which was started by his parents, Peter and Margaret in 1957. He received an engineering degree from the University of Guelph in 1986. After graduating from university, Kevin joined his brother Peter in carrying on the family business which now consists of 400 acres of 14 varieties of wine grapes. Kevin has been very involved in the agriculture industry, and has served on various committees and boards including the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association Advisory Committee and the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. Kevin is currently a member of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Irrigation Committee.

K ATHRYN CARTE R Kathryn is the Fruit Specialist (Tender Fruit and Grape) for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture,

Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). She has worked with OMAFRA for the past 20 years, where she has been involved in research projects and transferring production information to growers and the agricultural industry. Kathryn has a MSc in Environmental Biology from University of Guelph, and a BSc from Brock University.

DE ANNA CHAK AROVA Deanna is born and raised in Niagara and passionate about the region and all the great things it has to offer. Her passion for local food can be traced back to her early years growing up on a hobby farm in Port Colborne, where Deanna’s family raised livestock and grew their own vegetables. Deanna has worked for the City of St. Catharines since 2012 in the Community, Recreation and Culture Services department. She took on the role of the community and market coordinator in January 2019, received Farmers’ Market Ontario’s Market Manager Certification and has been working hard to enhance and grow the market and increase its visibility and impact in the community.

DR. TE JE NDR A CHAPAGAIN Dr. Chapagain is the Soil Fertility Specialist in Horticulture at OMAFRA. He deals with soil fertility related issues in horticultural crops including development of soil fertility and nutrition guidelines and reports, as well as soil fertility management practices in Ontario’s horticultural crops. He is also coordinating OMAFRA’s soil lab accreditation program. He received his MSc in Horticulture and PhD in Plant Science/Agronomy with a focus on intercrop experiments assessing the effect on land productivity, biological nitrogen fixation and cycling, carbon sequestration and water use efficiency of intercrop and monoculture plots. He subsequently worked as a post-doctoral research agronomist at the University of Alberta and most recently as a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph focusing on cover crops, complex

cropping systems, precision agronomy and agroecology.

E THAN CHURCHILL Ethan is currently the Project Manager for CGCNRCCV, responsible for carrying out the organization’s activities on behalf of the Board of Directors. He graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Sport Management in 2020. Prior to CGCN-RCCV, Ethan worked as a supervisor of a local winery’s retail store, which kick started an appreciation for the Canadian grape and wine industry.

JOHN CLINE Dr. Cline is a professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph where he teaches undergraduate and graduate students and conducts research in tree fruit pomology. He also provides outreach in various capacities to the tree fruit industry. The primary objectives of Prof. Cline’s research is to investigate factors that determine yield and fruit quality of tree fruit crops. Projects include investigating the use of new, size-controlling apple, peach and cherry rootstocks, irrigation scheduling, and studying horticultural technologies to reduce labour inputs in a movement toward greater orchard automation. Additionally, his research spans the investigation of plant bioregulators to regulate flowering, plant growth, improve fruit quality and reduce pre-harvest fruit drop. John holds a BSc in soil science (Univ. of Guelph), MSc in horticulture (Michigan State University), and a PhD in Horticulture (University of London, UK).

LISA COOPE R Lisa was the driving force behind the start-up of the new Uxbridge Farmers’ Market in 2000. As a farmer herself, she knew the importance of having a farmers’ market in her local town. The market went through its ups and downs and growing pains. It had 3 homes in the first 14 years. Finally in 2017 they aligned with a local brewery, set up shop there, and never

looked back. In 2019, they won Farmers’ Market of the Year. Lisa has been the market manager since its inception, and she along with the board have built a market that always has a waiting list to join.

MAT THE W CORRIN At 23 years old, Matthew set out to create a restaurant brand that would help people all over the world live healthier and longer lives with fast food that is convenient and affordable. Enter Freshii: a brand which is now growing at a faster pace than Subway, Starbucks and many brands they admire. Today, Freshii has over 350 locations in 18 countries around the world. Matthew credits the popularity of Freshii to its focus on the millennial generation. With over two-thirds of Freshii franchisees (and Matthew himself) falling within the millennial age range, the brand has an authentic appeal to this prized consumer market. In 2013, Matthew launched Fresh Startups, a technology accelerator to invest in young tech companies. In 2017, Matthew’s Freshii launched their $124 million IPO with ‘healthy returns for investors. ’

LISA COVE NS With over 20 years of marketing research experience, Lisa started at Leger in 2003 and is a highly respected professional. As a vice-president at Leger, Lisa manages the Communications and Public Affairs practice and is a senior member of the Toronto office. Her clients include government, most of the top PR agencies in Canada, and communications practitioners at several corporations, food associations and pharmaceutical companies. She is well-versed in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. With nearly 300 studies completed each year, Lisa’s team regularly assesses advertisements, public opinion, attitudes, behaviour, and key satisfaction metrics across various industries. Lisa is an active member of the CPRS as a national board director and an Ace Awards judging co-chair.




Dr. Cox manages a program of tree fruit and berry research and extension at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, AgriTech. Principal research efforts include antimicrobial resistance (fungicides and antibiotics), and applied disease management with a focus on apple, stone fruit, strawberries. Extension efforts focus on pesticide education, disease forecasting, and applied disease management with emphasis on covered production in small fruit. Teaching efforts include undergraduate and graduate level Plant Pathology and IPM courses as well as leadership on student learning committees. Since the establishment of his program, Dr. Cox has been conducting antimicrobial resistance and invasive pathogen surveys in New York and the Northeastern United States.

Marie is the Senior Director of New World and Ontario Wines at the LCBO. With over a decade of buying experience, Marie has worked with and has developed relationships with many Ontario wineries and local associations over the years. With a passion for local, Marie is always looking for new and innovative ways to promote and showcase the incredible selection of Ontario VQA wines at the LCBO. Marie holds an Honours Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business as well as several professional Wines and Spirits certifications.

TR AVIS CR ANME R Travis is a Vegetable Crop Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He works with growers, consultants, industry, and researchers to improve production and pest management strategies for Alliums, Brassicas and leafy greens. Travis received his BSc in Biology and MSc in Plant Production Systems with an emphasis on plant pathology from the University of Guelph.

AL AN CROSS Alan is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger, and speaker. As well as hosting the long-running documentary The Ongoing History of New Music, Alan’s resume includes five books, a national music column for GlobalNews.ca, voicework for film, and television, plus creating content for various film and TV studios, record labels, artist management companies, streaming music services like Spotify and a travelling museum exhibit called The Science of Rock’n’Roll.


DR. SURE NDR A DAR A Dr. Dara has 25 years of experience in IPM and microbial control working on 17 species of invasive pests and diseases and several endemic species throughout his career. He also conducts research on biostimulants and biological soil amendments. He has authored/co-authored more than 400 scientific and extension articles, which include three co-edited books, four co-edited special issues of journals, 25 book chapters, and 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has a strong research and extension program that develops innovative solutions for sustainable crop production and protection, and reaches out to the agricultural community locally, regionally, and internationally. He has extensive international outreach experience training farmers in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, Kosovo, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. He is currently holding offices at the Entomological Society of America and the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists. He also has editorial responsibilities for the Journal of Economic Entomology and the Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.

PHIL DICK Phil is a Business Resource Specialist in the Business Analysis and Resources Unit of the Business Development Branch at OMAFRA where he works with Agri-food

stakeholders on technology commercialization and adoption, energy efficiency, water, logistics, organic waste, environment performance, circularity and climate adaptation. He is active across ministries on various files including stewardship, phosphorus recovery, green energy, energy efficiency, food waste and logistics. Prior to his 30 years with the ministry, Phil spent 12 years in progressive management positions in the agricultural supply sector and the food processing industry.

MACKENZIE DIGASPARRO As a Program Development Coordinator at the Invasive Species Centre, Mackenzie utilizes her background in ecology and forest pest management to lead programming related to invasive forest pests and pathogens that threaten the health and resiliency of Canadian forests. Mackenzie holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a specialization in Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour from the University of Ottawa and is slated to complete her certificate in Environmental Management from Seneca College in 2021. Her passion for the environment and community health motivates her to share her knowledge of invasive species to help protect Canada’s lands and waters.

TIANNA DUPONT Tianna is a Tree Fruit Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor for Washington State University. Her focus is on sustainable pest and disease management, soil and water management and providing opportunities for orchardists to learn and apply research-based information. DuPont has worked with soil health for 14 years including work with assessments, cover crops, conservation tillage, nematodes and building organic matter.

DR. E DWARD DURNE R Dr. Durner is an associate research Professor in the Plant Biology department at Rutgers University. His research involves alternative small fruit production studies with


long-day strawberries and goldenberries (Physalis peruviana). As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, he participated in an evaluation of the performance of thornless blackberries on a divided trellis which produced his first referred publication (co-author). His graduate research provided insight into strawberry flowering physiology. His masters work at Virginia Tech produced the first published evaluation of the day-neutral flowering characteristic in strawberry determining that ‘day-neutrals’ were not truly day neutral, but rather quantitative long-day plants at moderate temperatures (>22C and <30C). (Since his initial work, others have revealed that at least some of the newer day-neutral cultivars are qualitative long-day (>15 hrs) plants at high temperatures (>30C).) His doctoral research at NC State evaluated the most effective method for measuring stages of flowering in large numbers of strawberry plants.

JAMES DYCK James is the Engineering Specialist for Crop Systems and Environment with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), based in Vineland, Ontario. He was raised on a field crop and hog farm in the Niagara region, and completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo. His work at OMAFRA focuses on best practices, innovations and environmental impacts of grain drying and storage, field equipment, precision agriculture, and greenhouse gas reduction. He has a particular interest in energy use and efficiency of farm production processes.

DR. DANIE L S. EGE L Dr. Egel conducts statewide vegetable disease research and extension programs at Purdue University. Current efforts include the management of Fusarium wilt of watermelon as well as the use of alternative and organically listed products for the management of bacterial spot of tomato. Extension publications include the disease portion of the annually updated Midwest Vegetable Production


Guide. Dr. Egel also leads the National MELCAST program, a weather-based disease-forecasting program for cantaloupe and watermelon. Dr. Egel received his BS degree in Botany from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, his MS degree in Forestry from Purdue University and his PhD degree in plant pathology from the University of Florida.

E VAN E LFORD Evan is the New Crop Development Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) based in Simcoe, Ontario. He works on developing information related to specialty crop production for a range of crops including non-traditional fruits, vegetables, grains, and other crops such as hops and specialty mushrooms. Evan grew up on a hog farm in Cannington, Ontario and prior to joining OMAFRA, he completed a BSc and MSc at the University of Guelph in Plant Agriculture, worked for industry associations, a horticultural farm operation, and as a field technician with the University of Guelph.

MAGGIE E LLIOT Maggie is the Director of Science and Communications for the Washington Hop Commission. In this role, she facilitates collaboration among growers, merchants, brewers, and researchers to empower producers with the scientific and regulatory tools to remain as world-leading stewards of their farms and communities. Maggie leads US hop industry initiatives to register, harmonize, and maintain plant protection measures, operates the HGA Best Practices committee to promote datadriven and ecologically sound management strategies to producers, and assists in the procurement and designation of research funding to support industry advancement. Maggie holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science, Communications, and Leadership from the University of Idaho as well as master’s degree in Agricultural Communications from Texas Tech University.

MARK FE RGUSON Mark is a Business Management Specialist in OM A FR A’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 businesses, including Consulting and Education Program Manager and Marketing and Business Development Coordinator.

DR. ME L ANIE FILOTAS Melanie is a Horticulture Pest Management Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Simcoe, Ontario. She works with growers, industry, researchers and ministry colleagues to identify pests and pest management solutions for specialty crops in Ontario. Her current areas of focus include tree nuts (eg. hazelnuts), hops, sweet potatoes, haskap, herbs and ginseng. Melanie has a PhD in Entomology from Cornell University where she studied biological control of forest insects. Prior to joining OMAFRA, she worked as a researcher with the US Department of Agriculture, looking at use of biopesticides, natural enemies and other reduced risk products to control insects in commercial greenhouses.

JASON FISCHBACH Jason is the Emerging Crops Outreach Specialist with UW-Madison Division of Extension and has co-led the Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative since 2007. He also manages the UMHDI Hazelnut Processing Accelerator, a public/private partnership working to develop processing capacity and build markets in the Upper Midwest. Jason holds a BA from Carleton College and an MS from University of Minnesota. He and his wife also own and operate a vegetable and cut-flower farm near Ashland, WI.




Pam is a horticultural crop consultant with Fisher Berry Crop Consulting. She studied plant protection and entomology at the University of Guelph, and then worked for several decades as a crop specialist with OMAFRA. Currently, she provides berry growers with on-farm advice, scouting services, and technical information about pest management and berry crop production.

Heather has worked with Canada’s horticultural industry since 2000 and is the Executive Director of CanadaGAP, the food safety program for fresh fruit and vegetables. Her career with the horticulture sector began with the Canadian Horticultural Council, where she worked in communications, issues management and food safety. Heather serves on the Board of the Canadian Supply Chain Food Safety Coalition and the GFSI US-Canada Local Group. Her work history includes several years’ experience working on a fruit and vegetable farm.

Dr. Goodwin is the Research Leader Crop Physiology in Agriculture Victoria based at the Tatura SmartFarm. Ian has more than 35 years’ experience in horticulture research and innovation with a focus on intensive production systems, crop water requirements and climate challenges. In recent years, Ian has established several dedicated research orchards for pears, stone fruit, apples and almonds to investigate the effects of tree density, training system, row orientation, rootstocks, cultivar, irrigation, netting and solar energy production on yield, fruit quality and labour efficiency. These experimental orchards have provided a resource to study sun damage thresholds, colour development, tree physiology (eg. photoinhibition, transpiration), crop regulation and water relations. In addition, the orchards are a powerful tool to communicate results and new technologies (eg. sensors and platforms, auto-irrigation, traceability) to the industry as well as students, government, service providers and scientific peers.

KE N FORTH Ken is the 5th generation farmer at Forthdale Farms Ltd. The farm is in its 6th generation of vegetable production, evolving from a multi-crop vegetable producer to 225 acre broccoli production, primarily for the Ontario market. The latest in technology and production methods are used to ensure the best quality and safest food. The farm employs 18 workers from the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Program (Jamaica), seasonal local workers and family members. Ken is also President of Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.); chair of labour section for OFVGA, chair LICC and on the boards of CFA, and CAHRC; past president OFVGA; past president CHC. Ken has received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Guelph, all for work on the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program.

DR. DAVID GADOURY Dr. Gadoury is a plant pathologist at Cornell University’s experiment station in Geneva New York, where his program has focused on pathogen biology, pathogen ecology, and epidemiology of diseases of fruit and vegetable crops since 1985. He is a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), chairs the APS Foundation, and is host of the APS podcast Plantopia.

DR. DR AGAN GALIC Dr. Galic has been working with the Canadian Chestnut Council to breed blight tolerant American chestnut (Castanea dentata) for reforestation and commercial nut production in Ontario and Canada since 2001 and chestnut cropping systems since 2007. As a researcher in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, he has also focused on development of new chestnut propagation technologies and chestnut blight management strategies. He had been associated with the development of the hazelnut industry in Ontario from 2007 to 2013. Dragan is a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Chestnut Council. He has a Master of Science from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada and PhD from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.

K ATIE GOLDE NHAR Katie is a plant pathologist for horticulture crops at OMAFRA. She specializes in the detection, identification, and management of endemic and emerging plant diseases. She also verifies and validates new disease management techniques and technology for the Ontario horticulture industry. Prior to joining OMAFRA, Katie completed her master’s degree at Michigan State University, researching vegetable disease management with Dr. Mary Hausbeck.

TE RIC GRE E NAN Teric grew up in Halifax and spent 1 1/2 years at StFX studying engineering before quitting and travelling across Canada. He started a small vegetable farm in Lunenburg County with a friend. They ran the farm together for 3 years and that experience gave him insight into how much time and resources are spent doing repetitive tasks on farms. He started Nexus Robotics in 2017 with two friends to utilize robotics to automate repetitive tasks in the field. Teric is in charge of operations for Nexus Robotics as the current COO.


Quality, Efficiency, Safety REDpulse is a new, innovative, incapsulated and purely pneumatic defoliation module for removing shading leaves. The module enables red coloured apple varieties to receive a more intense and even exposure to light. ● ● ● ●

Increased light & temperature exposure Compact harvest window Even colouration No. of pickings reduced

DR. JONATHAN GRIFFITHS Jonathan is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada studying the molecular biology of plant viruses. Viruses infecting Prunus spp. in the Niagara region is a major research priority. Research in the lab includes applying Next Generation Sequencing approaches towards plant virus identification. Two major projects include understanding the role of viruses in tree fruit decline, and surveying orchards for viruses through bee pollination activities. Research is carried out at the AAFC research station in Vineland. Jonathan holds a BSc (HONS) in Biology/Biotechnology from Carleton University, a MSc in Plant Science from Western University and a PhD from the Botany department at the University of British Columbia.


● ● ● ●

Better aeration & less humidity on fruit skin Comfortable operation via joystick & tablet or smartphone Front attached – optimal view Fits to Edward comfort system



Ernie’s nursery and nut farm operations grew slowly from 1973 to the present. He retired from teaching in 1994 and began to expand his nursery business. Linda moved back to Niagara in 1999 to work alongside Ernie and help build the business. On the 14-acre farm, ten acres are dedicated to experimental trial plantings of seedling and grafted nut trees brought to them from breeders or growers from the US and Canada. Ernie wants to find or develop the best nuts for the Canadian climate. His hazelnut breeding efforts led to numerous disease resistant trees that are now the foundation of colder climate hazel orchards. Linda is actively involved in breeding heartnuts to select the best cracking heart-shaped nut. They dig and ship trees in the spring, and harvest the nuts from their test/research orchards in the fall selling the surplus crops to local residents.

Dr. Hall holds a BSc (HONS) in Microbial Biotechnology (1997) and a PhD in Yeast Physiology and Fermentation Science (2001) from the University of Abertay Dundee, United Kingdom. Dr. Hall has held various positions in the wine industry: Director of Microbiology at Bronco Wine Company, Ceres, CA (2002-2007), Technical Consultant at Vinquiry, Inc., Windsor, CA (2007-2009) and is currently at Scott Laboratories, Petaluma, CA employed as the Technical Director of the Fermentation and Enology Department (2009- Present). From 2009- Present, Dr. Hall is co-winemaker at Mathew Bruno Wines, and in 2019 began teaching the Quality Control and Analysis in Winemaking module as part of the UC Davis Winemaking Certificate Program. Dr. Hall is very involved in the American Society of Enology and Viticulture serving as president in 2016-2017. She is a past chair of the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium and a long-standing member of the AVF grant management Enology committee.

DR. ALE XIS HAMILTON Alexis is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Laura Strawn’s food safety and microbiology laboratory and Extension program at Virginia Tech. Currently, she is working collaboratively on projects evaluating the survival and transfer of foodborne pathogens on fresh produce and packing materials, describing food safety indicators in soil, and assessing food safety attitudes and management practices of growers, farmers, and other stakeholders to coordinate and optimize outreach materials.

E DUARDO HUESCA Eduardo has 15 years of experience working with Ontario international/temporary foreign agricultural workers and their employers on occupational health and safety (OHS) issues. He has presented OHS educational workshops to over 1700 international agricultural workers across

Ontario, in English and in Spanish. His work focuses on supporting the importance of effective health and safety communication, understanding, and participation in the context of language and culturally diverse workplaces.

DR. MARNE Y ISA AC Dr. Isaac is a Professor in the Department of Physical and E nv i r o n m e n t a l Sciences and the Department of Global Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. Dr. Isaac holds the Canada Research Chair in Agroecosystems & Development. She serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology and the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development. Dr. Isaac leads an interdisciplinary lab on sustainable agriculture and addresses fundamental questions on the role of biodiversity and nutrient cycles in agroecosystems. She is a specialist in the field of agroecology, with particular

expertise in agroforestry systems. Her research provides insights into the plantsoil interactions that govern the structure and function of biologically complex agricultural landscapes. She also supervises an international research program investigating the role of agrarian information networks in the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.

JANICE JANIEC Janice joined OFA’s Farm Policy Research Group in May 2021 to cover the Agriculture Economic Development portfolio during Danielle Collins’ leave of absence. The Agriculture Economic Development portfolio encompasses local food, municipal engagement, agricultural research and farm innovation, rural economic development and initiatives to grow the agriculture and food sector.




Pat is an organic mixed famer since 1978 with a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Currently, Pat is the Plant Nutrition & Biological Product Specialist with N.M. Bartlett Inc.

James is currently serving as Infrastructure Manager at Sandy Shore Farms Ltd., and Shorequip Ltd. His past role included Farm Manager of Sandy Shore Farms Ltd. large Asparagus, Bell Pepper and Forage crop operations covering 1600 acres along Lake Erie between Port Burwell and Long Point. Farming in this environmentally sensitive area along with its inherent soil challenges has propelled Sandy Shore Farms to be consistently green throughout the year. From cover crops, nurse crops, to adding forage crops into our rotation, we have stubbed our toes along the road of failures to what we feel is a regenerative, carbon sequestering, profit making solution that works hand in hand with the 4R’s philosophy. Our goals have always been to reduce our inputs, increase our organic matter and reduce our erosion while maintaining a healthy bottom line.

DR. ANTHONY KEINATH Anthony (Tony) is a Professor of Plant Pathology at Clemson University and the research and Extension vegetable pathologist for South Carolina. His PhD in Plant Pathology was awarded by Cornell University in 1988. Since 1991, he has worked at the Coastal Research and Education Center in Charleston, SC. His area of expertise is management of cucurbit diseases and he was the lead editor on the second edition of the APS Compendium of Cucurbit Diseases and Pests. In 2018, he received the GodleySnell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research from Clemson University.

CANDY K EITH Candy is the lead at the SPUD Unit established in 1983 as part of the Ontario Crops Research Center New Liskeard, established 1922. This virus indexing, clean plant propagation program, has been administered by the University of Guelph since 1997. It handles research and a production needs for any crop that uses vegetative propagation. The enthusiastic team has adopted constant innovation to enhance client service, review yield performance, improve levels of productivity and evaluate the traceable systems of gene banks. Their expertise spans multiple crop management projects for extending the growing season, employing the laboratory, screenhouse, greenhouse, high tunnel and field facilities. Candy earned her BSc and MSc at University of Guelph. She is passionate about embracing opportunities to further develop horticulture with international partners and food sustainability in rural, northern Canadian communities.


KE N L AING Ken graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc in horticulture in 1979. He is farming at Orchard Hill Farm near St. Thomas, Ontario with his wife Martha and daughter Ellen. He has experience growing a wide variety of horticultural and field crops organically for 3 decades. Orchard Hill Farm is now the horticultural site for Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada’s/EFAO’s “Living Labs” project in Ontario which is looking to develop no-till strategies for organic vegetables for mid-scale market gardeners. His experience with a wide variety of cover crops and years of building and modifying machinery are proving very useful.

DR. TOM LOWE RY Graduate of the University of Guelph (BSc, MSc) and UBC-Vancouver (PhD), Dr. Lowery has nearly 25 years of research experience at the Summerland Research and Development Centre, AAFC, on sustainable grape pest management, including chemical and biological controls, leafhopper antifeedants, and the use of

beneficial vineyard groundcover vegetation. He has also conducted research on the epidemiology and management of insect-borne plant diseases, including work with grapevine viruses and their vectors since 2011. He was an Affiliate with the CCOVI, Brock University, and an Associate Professor with UBC-Okanagan, Kelowna. Tom has served on a number of BC Wine Grape Council Research and Development committees for many years and produced the insect and mite chapter of the BC Production Guide for Grapes and accompanying photo guides for grapevine pests and for beneficial insects.

SAR AH MARSHALL As Manager of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers and Fresh Grape Growers, Sarah represents over 200 growers of tender fruit and table grapes across Ontario. She reports to a board of directors for each organization and manages initiatives on research, marketing and promotion based on direction from the board.

MARGARE T MAY Margaret has a long history of program delivery with OSCIA. She loves to interact with primary producers to find programs and projects that fit their needs to make changes to their businesses. She facilitates Growing Your Farm Profits workshops, Environmental Farm Plan workshops and Biosecurity workshops for all commodities. Her family farms near Glencoe, Ontario with beef cows, sheep and field crops.

DR. WE NDY MCFADDE N-SMITH Dr. McFadden-Smith has been the Tender Fruit and Grape IPM Specialist with OMAFRA, Vineland since 2008. She is adjunct professor and sessional lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences and a CCOVI Professional Affiliate at Brock University. She has worked on projects including modeling grape berry moth populations, etiology and management of

sour rot of grape, biology and management of black knot and bacterial spot of stone fruit, fungicide resistance in brown rot of cherry, integrated management of fire blight and grapevine leafroll and red blotch viruses and their vectors.

DR. MARGARET MCGRATH Margaret (Meg) is an Associate Professor in the Plant Pathology and PlantMicrobe Biology Section at Cornell University. She is stationed at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center where she conducts applied research and extension activities on optimizing management of diseases affecting vegetable crops and herbs produced conventionally and organically. Her research has included evaluating biopesticides for powdery mildew and downy mildew in cucurbits, Phytophthora blight in cucurbits and pepper, foliar diseases in tomato, and downy mildew in basil.



Thomas is the chair of the board for the Greater Sudbury Market Association, the independent not-forprofit that runs The Sudbury Market. A transplanted American, Merritt has been going to The Market longer than he’s lived in Canada. In fact, The Market community was one of the things that drew him to Sudbury. A professor at Laurentian University, another central part of Sudbury, Merritt sees The Market as a core part of a healthy local community and a strong local food network. The Market has recently transitioned from a city organization to an independent notfor-profit allowing it greater flexibility and responsiveness while maintaining close ties to the city and shared objectives.

Dr. Minas received his PhD 2014 in Pomology and Postharvest Physiology from the School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece. He is an Assistant Professor of Pomology, in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture located at Western Colorado Research Center – Orchard Mesa Agricultural Experiment Station, Colorado State University. His research interests include: production and management efficiency in orchard systems; orchard and environmental factors affecting harvest quality and post-harvest physiology with emphasis in peaches, sweet cherries, and apples; rootstocks and cultivars; and novel technologies to improve general orchard performance and tree fruit harvest and post-harvest quality.

Join us at the

farmers & friends

evening reception

Wednesday, February 23 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Enjoy an assortment of Ontario inspired hors-d’oeuvres served throughout the floor space as well as featured Ontario wines, hard ciders, craft beer and roaming entertainment.



MARIO MIR ANDA SA ZO Mario is a Fruit Extension Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Lake Ontario Fruit Program. He manages several projects aimed at solving practical fruit production problems that will increase the profitability of the NY fruit industry. His program is largely field oriented with significant Extension outreach. He works in nine areas: (1) orchard systems, (2) rootstocks, (3) tree nursery production, (4) tree training/pruning/PGR use, (5) crop load and canopy management, (6) irrigation/foliar/soil nutrient management, (7) orchard mechanization for higher labor efficiency, (8) Spanishspeaking training, and (9) strategic thinking and innovation for adoption of digital agriculture technologies. Before Mario joined Cornell, he worked as a product development manager for BASF in Latin America, Harris Moran Seed Company in California, and managed the IR-4 field residue program at the Department of Horticulture, Cornell University. His academic training is in


agronomy (BS) and in horticulture and agronomy (MS), UC Davis. He is currently pursuing a PhD on nutrition physiology and management at Cornell.

JOHN MOLE NHUIS John has been with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as the Business Analysis and Cost of Production Specialist for the past 21 years. He is the lead for financial benchmarking and cost of production. John has a degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Guelph.

PAUL MOR AN Paul is a Financial Advisor/ owner of Paul Moran Insurance Group Inc., representing Co-operators, with over 35 years in the insurance industry.

INGRID MUSCHTA Ingrid is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario with 20+ years of combined working experience in corporate, entrepreneurial, and not-for-profit settings. She joined the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) in 2017 as a Diversity & Inclusion Specialist. In this role, she was instrumental in moving 250 people who have a disability into employment and delivered the ODEN Disability Awareness and Confidence Training to over 500 business members. In 2021, Ingrid took on the role of Director of Special Projects & Innovation. Ingrid’s vision for her son who has Down syndrome is in-line with that of all parents: that her son will grow up in a society where people with disabilities will participate in formal higher education; that as citizens, they will be engaged in equal and meaningful employment; that they will access and contribute to decision-making processes, which directly impacts their lives, and they will be recognized as vibrant contributors to their communities.

A ARON OPPE NL AE NDE R Aaron was born and raised on Huebel Grapes Estates farm in Niagara-on-theLake. He has always had a love for farming especially in vineyards. As he watched his dad’s love for it, his love grew and today, he runs the farm alongside his father and brothers.

SOUGATA PAHARI Sougata is the founder and CEO of Korechi Innovations Inc., an Ontario-based agriculture robotics company which was established in 2016. Sougata has obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from India, followed by a Master’s degree in Materials engineering in Italy followed by several years of work experience in the electronics sector in Italy and USA. As a child, Sougata grew up on small farms in India and Nigeria and began studying the machinery being used at the vineyards and orchards in Verona, Italy. In 2016, Sougata migrated to Canada and founded Korechi at the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, before moving to Oshawa in 2018. Korechi designs robots to automate simple and repetitive tasks in the horticulture and golf industries. Korechi’s RoamIO line of tracked and wheeled robots are being used in farms to automate datalogging, seeding, weeding and vegetation management.

JE FF PE DLOW Jeff is currently a consultant with the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services since 1998. He has over 25 years of health and safety experience in both management and consulting. At WSPS, Jeff is a lead auditor and the Health and Safety Excellence program consultant. He continues to work with businesses across Canada in the service, manufacturing, education, transportation, municipal, agriculture, and federal sectors. Prior to joining WSPS, Jeff worked for the City of London for 12 years, later transferring to the private sector for the world’s largest waste management company where he held a dual role of Manager of Health and Safety, South Western Ontario and Manager of

Recycling Operations for the City of London. Jeff continuously draws on his additional hands on and in-depth experiences such as being a professor at Fanshawe College for over 22 years and working with additional business sectors such the environment (started two environmental businesses).

DR. NATALIA PE RES Dr. Peres is a Professor at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC). She has an active applied research and extension program focused primarily on the management of fungal diseases of strawberry. She is also responsible for the Diagnostic Clinic at GCREC serving the strawberry, ornamental, and vegetable industries in the area. Her research and extension programs focus on the development of integrated management approaches to reduce losses to growers in Florida, but recommendations extend across regions affecting many growers, including strawberry nurseries. She has developed the widely adopted web-based Strawberry Advisory System, which provides recommendations for strawberry growers on the need for fungicide applications based on the weather conditions. She has authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals as well as technical extension bulletins and published multiple book chapters.

MADÉ QUAY Madé has been working for OMAFRA for 6 years as a Technology Transfer Specialist. She works directly with OMAFRA’s crops specialists to design and deliver resources to the sector. Part of Madé’s role also includes exploring how information can be shared more effectively using new approaches, tools and technologies.

DR. JUSTIN RE NKE MA Dr. Renkema is a Research Scientist in Entomology with Agriculture and AgriFood Canada in Vineland, Ontario. His research program focuses on developing integrated

pest management strategies in vineyard, tree fruit and berry crops. He is currently working on spotted wing drosophila in berries, cyclamen mite and weevils in strawberry, leafhoppers and vectors of grapevine red blotch virus in vineyards, and oriental fruit moth, other leafroller moths and ambrosia beetles in tree fruit. Justin has a PhD from Dalhousie University (2007-2011), studying blueberry maggot, worked on spotted wing drosophila sampling and control in berry crops as a post-doctoral researcher at University of Guelph (2012-2015), and was an Assistant Professor of Entomology at University of Florida (2015-2018), with a research and extension program focused on pest management in strawberries and blueberries.

PAME L A RESVICK Pamela has over 16 years of experience as an occupational health and safety professional working in various environments. She specializes in agriculture, occupational hygiene, as well as the warehouse and distribution sector, providing guidance on health and safety requirements to meet compliance with regulatory and organizational needs. She has particularly enjoyed assisting clients to benefit from WSPS’s agriculture solutions, OMAFR A’s Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and to navigate the WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program. Pamela is a Certified Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and a certified JHSC Representative. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, she holds a Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety, and Human Resource Management from Fanshawe College.

BRIAN RIDEOUT Brian and his wife operate Manitree Fruit Farms along with family Rusty and Jean Smith. They have approximately 250 acres of fruit trees the majority of which is apples and peaches. They also grow nectarines, pears, strawberries, tomatoes, squash and cantaloupe. The farm has a controlled storage facility for apples and squash as well.




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Phone: 905-468-3297


BE N ROSSE R Ben works as Corn Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Ben received a BSc and MSc in agronomy from the University of Guelph. Prior to becoming corn specialist, Ben worked as a research technician for previous OMAFRA corn specialist Greg Stewart. Ben enjoys working on applied research projects with Ontario corn growers, and works out of the Crop Science Building, University of Guelph.

DR. SAR AH ROTZ Sarah is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (FEUC) at York University. Her research is collaborative and interdisciplinary and is grounded in environmental justice, with a focus on land and food systems. Much of her research aims to situate political economic processes – such as agri-food industrialization, financialization, and policy – within a lens of settler colonial patriarchy and racial capitalism. Her work has focused on topics ranging from the political economy and ecology of farmland tenure to critical perspectives of big data in agriculture. A lot of her research specifically examines public and private institutions, including government ministries, research institutes, funding agencies, and industry sectors.

DANIE L SAURE T TE Daniel is a Land Resource Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,



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Crop Protection Specialists


Fax: 905-468-2527


Email: info@niagaraorchard.com


located in Guelph, Ontario. Previous to this role, Daniel was primarily working in the private sector as a soil scientist with a focus on soil survey, classification and mapping. His role at OMAFRA is to lead, in a technical capacity, Ontario’s soil survey and mapping program. This includes maintaining the Ontario Soil Survey Complex database, leading new soil survey programs to support OMAFRA’s initiative to update soil maps across agricultural regions of Ontario, and providing interpretation of soil resource information, such as soil classification and CLI ratings. This includes more recently projects to collect baseline information on soil health in Ontario’s diverse agricultural systems and collect soil samples for specialised soil health analyses to develop an understanding of the health of our soil resource.

DR. PR AVE E N SA XE NA Dr. Saxena is a Professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, and has over 30 years of experience in plant biotechnology focusing on the application of in vitro technologies for conservation of endangered plant species as well as for the production of value-added plants for horticultural industries in Canada. Dr. Saxena’s lab at the Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation (GRIPP) has developed innovative integrated plant production technologies for commercial propagation and plantation of a range of economically important crops including tree fruits, nuts, berries, ornamentals, and medicinal plants.

ALBRECHT SE EGE R Albrecht was born to a grape growing and farming family in South-Western Germany, and grew up on a mixed crop and livestock farm. After finishing his viticulture and agricultural education, Albrecht worked alongside his parents, until the family sought greater opportunities and immigrated to Canada in 1978, and harvested their first grape crop in Niagara-on-theLake in 1979 (part of this crop was the famous 9549 – deChaunac!). Alongside his wife Anja and daughters Freya and Pia, the vineyard has grown from a single 65-acre plot, to nearly 200 acres of premium vinifera.

SUNNI SHANNON Sunni is Duuo Insurance’s Partnerships Manager. Licensed across Canada and a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP®), Sunni has over 14 years experience in the insurance industry. In 2019, Sunni took on a new opportunity at Duuo, an insurance distributor under the Co-operators group of companies. Today, Sunni works closely with Duuo partners to create innovative, on-demand insurance solutions that meet the unique needs of their clients.

ANN SL ATE R Ann is the chair of the St. Marys Farmers’ Market and a member of the board of Farmers’ Markets Ontario. She has been operating a small market garden just outside of St. Marys for almost 40 years and has been a vendor at the St. Marys Farmers’ Market since it opened in 1992.

Department of Education, and United States Department of Agriculture, Jessica provides strategical and fiscal management for the US hop industry’s international marketing efforts, pesticide harmonization initiatives, and agronomic research projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration with a specialty in Accounting from Washington State University.



Brittany is a Partner and the Chief Content Officer at REES + STAGER, an integrated omnichannel agency that delivers exceptional strategy, creative, and content. Brittany and the team at R+S use close listening skills to generate real brand insight and, with obsessive attention to detail, act as valiant defenders of your forward-facing brand in every execution. Brittany has unique and extensive experience working directly with foodservice directors and chefs, national and local retailers, registered dietitians, influencers, and event organizers. She knows what is important to each industry, and how to get them excited about menuing, shelving, or showcasing food products.

JESSICA STE VE NS Jessica is the Executive Director of Hop Growers of America, and in this role ensures compliance and operational efficiency for all programs of the organization. With extensive experience in contract management as well as an impeccable record overseeing millions of dollars in funding from the National Science Foundation,

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Dan planted his first vinifera vines on 2001 following his graduation from the first winery program at Niagara College. He has been assisting in making wines for 20 years and just completed his 21st harvest at Malivoire wine company where he has been managing vineyards for 20 years growing 10 different varieties.

DR. L AUR A STR AWN Dr. Strawn is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist of Produce Safety in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech. Her research program focuses on the microbial safety of fresh fruits and vegetables; specifically, the ecology, evolution, and transmission of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in the produce field to fork continuum. Additionally, Dr. Strawn works directly with produce stakeholders on current produce safety issues, as well as teaches Environmental monitoring program and packinghouse best practice courses throughout the state of Virginia. She is a lead instructor for both the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and Preventive

Controls for Human Food Rule associated FDA-recognized curriculums created by the Produce Safety Alliance and Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance. Recently, in 2021, Dr. Strawn received the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award given to a scientist who shows great promise in the field of food microbiology and safety.

JAYASANK AR (JAY) SUBR AMANIAN Jay has over 25 years of experience in horticulture, especially fruit crop improvement in India, US and Canada. He has worked with diverse crop species and for the past 18 years has been working with tender fruits – both using conventional and contemporary approaches. He has developed and released 14 improved varieties in India and Canada. Jay is also an investigator in several provincial, national and International grants such as IDRC and has obtained over 10 million dollars in grants as PI or Co-PI. He has invited to present his work at several national and International organizations including the UN General Assembly’s Market Place in New York and at the Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa.

DR. HANNAH TAIT NEUFE LD Hannah is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health Sciences at University of Waterloo and holds a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health, Wellness and Food Environments. Her research focus for the past 20 years has been on incorporating

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community-based research methodologies to continually engage and support Indigenous project partners, community members, and trainees to investigate food as a medium to bridge environments and share land-based knowledge.

evaluated the sensory impact of leaf petioles in wine. Currently Dr. Usher is investigating leaf removal practices and their impact on fruit development and wine quality.


Laura grew up on a farm. She always wondered why each year there were always rocks to pick up. That work and hoeing beans didn’t deter her from going to the University of Guelph. In fact, she never left; she’s a Professor of Sustainable Soil Management at Ridgetown Campus. The goal of her internationally-recognized research program is to advance understanding of biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and carbon in various agroecosystems. Seriously though, Laura enjoys researching ways farmers can build soil health while maintaining crop yields and minimizing nitrogen inputs. She’s been told that “she has excellent practical knowledge of environmental and agronomic issues facing farmers”. In 2020, she was recognized as an Influential Woman of Canadian Agriculture, and in 2021, Laura was named Soil Champion by OSCIA.

Dr. Trueman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus. Her research interests focus on integrated management of insect and disease pests of vegetable crops in Ontario. She is interested in applied research for adoption by growers to improve pest management, reduce yield and quality losses, and delay the development of pesticide resistance. Cheryl earned a BSc (Agriculture), MSc (Horticulture), and PhD (Environmental Biology) from the University of Guelph. In addition to research and graduate student advising, Cheryl teaches courses in vegetable production and pest management in agriculture and horticulture diploma programs at Ridgetown.

SANDR A ULE WICZ Sandra studied nutrition in university and went on to pursue a career in marketing and communications and is now the Communications Coordinator at The Ontario Produce Marketing Association. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, she is passionate about local food and healthy eating.

DR. KE VIN USHE R Dr. Usher is a phytochemist working on wine grape chemistry with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Summerland Research and Development Centre in British Columbia. His research focus is on vineyard management practices and site conditions and how they affect flavor, mouthfeel and aroma in grapes and wine. Dr. Usher has investigated the effects of canopy management, nitrogen application rates and timing, irrigation regimes, terrior and virus infection on the development of aromas and flavours in grapes and wine. Other research includes wine micro-oxygenation with the use of tannin and oak products to advance aging and reduce herbaceous flavour and he has



HE ATHE R VANVOLKE NBURG Heather is a research manager and contributor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University. She has spent the past ten years working at different capacities within the Vasseur Research Lab on various agroecological and ecological related projects both local and global in scope. Heather earned her MSc under the co-supervision of Dr. Vasseur and Dr. Guinel, producing a thesis that focused on the impacts of cover cropping and agromineral applications in vineyards. Her current work focuses on cover crops as mitigation tools for climate change, the influence of pandemics on food security in West Africa. She was recently recruited by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a contributor for a project focusing on global ecology and pandemics.

A ARON VAR ADI Aaron joined High Mowing Organic Seeds in the summer of 2020 as Commercial Grower Sales Representative,

where he works with commercial vegetable growers across Canada to get them the seeds and knowledge they need to thrive. Prior to joining High Mowing, Aaron spent the previous decade managing organic farms in western Washington state, where he grew diversified vegetables for fresh market sales, and seed crops on contract for High Mowing and many other seed companies. He has participated in variety trials on a regional and national level and has developed his own breeding projects in addition to collaborating on breeding projects with industry and research partners.

DR. LIE T TE VASSEUR Dr. Vasseur is a full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University and a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. Since 2014, she holds the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability: From Local to Global at Brock. Her research program is interdisciplinary and links issues such as sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and resilience, community-based ecosystem management, and ecosystem governance. Her research is in Canada, China, Ecuador, Burkina Faso and Senegal. In Canada, three major projects focus on organic and sustainable vineyards in the Niagara region where she studies responses of the ecosystem to alternative techniques and climate change adaptation in rural and coastal communities. She is President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the deputy chair of the Commission for Ecosystem Management at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and co-editor-in-chief of the journal Botany at the Canadian Science Publishing.

JULIE N VE NNE Julien is a Horticulture Advisor with the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) in Gatineau, Québec. His passion for lupulin has led him to contribute to Canada’s hop industry for the past twelve years. In addition to the agronomical support he has offered to hop growers in eastern Canada, he is known for his involvement in various research projects. Amongst other activities, Julien has managed cultivar




910 . Apples

. Pears

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trials, he has researched optimization of hop processing and he coordinated market studies in both Québec and the Maritimes. His background allows him to have a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities surrounding our national hop industry. Julien completed a BSc and MSc at McGill University before working as a researcher with a local NGO. He later served has a self-employed consultant before joining the MAPAQ in 2017.

E RICH WE BE R Erich is the Business Finance Specialist with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. In this role, he provides information related to financial management, taxation, and business structures for farmers and agri-food processors. Prior to working with OMAFRA, Erich worked in a local accounting firm where he focused on farm accounting and taxation and obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Erich attended the University




of Guelph, where he studied Agricultural Business. He and his parents own a beef cow/calf, feeder and cash crop farm in Grey County.

ginseng replant disease. Sean is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph.



Sean has served as Ginseng and Herbs Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 2008. He received BSc (Agr.), MSc, and PhD degrees in horticulture from the University of Guelph. Prior to working with OMAFRA, Sean worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Muck Crops Research Station and as interim leader of the Vegetable and Nontraditional Crops Research Program at the Simcoe Research Station of the University of Guelph. His primary role in OMAFRA is to support the Ontario ginseng, lavender and herb industries through technology transfer and to provide input into provincial and federal policies that may affect the industry. Over the past eight years he has been the lead on an initiative to find a solution to

Dr. Willwerth is an Assistant Professor in grapevine physiology in the Department of Biological Sciences and a Researcher at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University. His research program is largely focused on grapevine cold hardiness and evaluation of grapevine clones and rootstocks to support the Canadian Grape and Wine Industry. He is interested in understanding how different Vitis genotypes and their interactions with environment influence cold hardiness responses and how plant growth regulators such as Abscisic acid analogs can be used to promote/maintain dormancy and hardiness. Jim works closely with the Canadian grape and wine industry serving on various technical committees and


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providing outreach services through CCOVI programs. He is the current Chair of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, Eastern Section.

DR. VICTORIA WOJCIK Vicki has been working to protect and promote pollinators for over a decade. She is the Director at Pollinator Partnership Canada, an ENGO focused on maintaining resilience in our natural and managed ecosystems. Vicki’s research and outreach programs include understanding pollination services and risk management in farm systems, habitat conservation, community conservation, garden ecosystems, and policy. Vicki has a BSc in Biology from the University of Guelph, and a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy from UC Berkeley.

CAROLYN WONG Carolyn became the manager and co-founder of the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’


Market (Toronto) by way of the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park, a volunteer community group, 14 years ago. She credits her survival to her film industry experience, having a patient husband, and all the volunteers and vendors who are truly gifts that keep on giving.

JE NNIFE R WRIGHT Jennifer grew up working in her family’s farm equipment dealership and helping on the farm in southwestern Ontario. She has worked in the field of human resource research and development for more than twenty years. Jennifer has worked with several industries, including agriculture, leading initiatives related to inclusion and diversity, attraction and retention, work integrated learning, labour market research, skills development, training and education. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Royal Roads University.


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Janet has been the City of Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market Coordinator for the past four years. She has been a regular customer of the Farmers’ Market for years, visiting her neighborhood market with her family of six. When an opportunity presented itself, Janet jumped at the chance to re-enter the work force and utilize her retail management experience to rejuvenate this community tradition. Highlighting farmers, recruiting vendors, growing social media presence, and building community through events and outreach have been building blocks to revive the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market. The support provided by FMO has been instrumental in her professional growth. Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market will soon have a new space with the completion of the Niagara Falls Exchange in 2022. Janet also serves as a Community Development Worker for Niagara Nutrition Partners, providing healthy meals to students in the Niagara Region.

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From consumer stockpiling to supply chain disruptions to a burgeoning interest in local food, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on food trends over the past two years. All of these factors, and more, are explored in the 2022 edition of Canada’s Food Price Report that was released this past December. Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph publish the report annually and this year the University of Saskatchewan, along with the University of British Columbia, were added to the research team to strengthen the national scope and regional expertise of the report. According to the project’s lead, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, there is always a lot to talk about concerning Canada’s food picture, including where it’s been, where it’s going in the year ahead and what the future holds in general. Before COVID-19, Charlebois said Canada’s food landscape was actually quite smooth with a market that was a lot more predictable than it is today. “When COVID hit, everyone lost their food bearings,” Charlebois said. “It didn’t matter where you were in the supply chain, everyone was facing brand new rules, rules that didn’t exist before.” As the pandemic advanced, more and more people began working from home and cooking from home. Suddenly, consumers were buying everything online including food and that changed the entire industry in an instant. Issues around labour, climate change, and logistics in the supply chain quickly became headline news; a trend that Charlebois said won’t be changing any time soon. Taking a look at the research specifically, the latest food price report found that consumers’ food choices in 2021 were motivated by health and environmental sustainability.


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Director, Agri-Food Analytics Lab, Dalhousie University

“The new generation, the Millennials and Gen Z, for them it’s all about healthy living,” Charlebois said, and with that comes a greater desire for transparency and ethical practices around food products. The research also showed that consumers continued to support local food in 2021, and many plan to maintain their COVID-19 shopping habits (like buying online) in the future. When it comes to the price of food in Canada, the total annual expenditure for a family of four was $13,801 in 2021. Meanwhile, the research showed that the overall price of food in Canada increased by 3% to 5% during that same time Projections for 2022, indicate that a family of four will spend $14,767 on food this year, while the price of food will go up 5% to 7% overall. This is the highest predicted increase in food prices since the inception of the report 12 years ago. “It’s important for consumers to understand that food prices have been going up for some time, and there’s no turning back,” Charlebois said. Fruits and vegetables as individual categories are predicted to increase by 3% to 5% and 5% to 7% respectively. Year-over-year

predictions on the fruit and vegetable sector are tricky, according to Charlebois, and it’s difficult to determine why this category fluctuates the way it does. “Veggies are tough. You never know what’s going to happen with weather, demand, the dollar or domestic production,” he said. In times when demand for local fruit and vegetables does go up, Charlebois said Ontario growers are sitting on a big opportunity to promote their products, and not just at a provincial level but nationally, as well.

“I don’t think we’re promoting fruit and vegetables enough,” he said. “It’s not a sexy subject but we have to make it sexy. We have to align the category with other categories to make it interesting.” Charlebois suggested that farmers aim to become more intertwined with the market and develop stronger relationships with processors to reenergize the sector at this time. Consumers are impacted in many different ways by food trends, Charlebois said. They will listen to media or influencers or they’ll hear different things when they are out living their lives. “And this is what they are making their food choices based off of.”

Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 by the Numbers X Overall food prices will increase 5% to 7% in 2022. X Dairy and restaurants will see the biggest increase at 6% to 8%. X Bakery and vegetables will see an increase of 5% to 7%. X A family of four will pay $14,767 for food this year, an increase of $966 from 2021. X Ontario is just one of the provinces that will see price increases higher than the national average. X The 2022 forecast predicts the highest increase in both percentage and dollars in 12 years.

Growers don’t need to know every single food trend that comes and goes, but Charlebois said they should be at least listening and talking about it with others in their industry. Staying informed and understanding what’s going on will give growers a leg up. Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 is available for download at www.dal.ca/sites/agri-food/research/ canada-s-food-price-report-2022.html.





For centuries, farmers have learned to adapt to their changing environments by taking on new practices and new technologies. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that modern agriculture would not be where it is today if someone hadn’t have said, “let’s just give it a try and see what happens.” Two Ontario farmers, whom you’ll read about below, are shining examples of this mindset in motion. Hollis English of Murphy’s Farm Market & Bakery and Dave Kranenburg of Kendal Hills Game Farm are redefining what it means to be successful in 2022 and they’re doing so by venturing into a new age of farming that merges lessons from the past with visions of the future. These are their individual stories. We hope you enjoy.

Hollis English Murphy’s Farm Market & Bakery Hollis English grew up as the oldest of five children on her family’s farm in Alliston. The operation, which was started by her parents Mark and Shawn Murphy in the early 1980s, shifted throughout the years from potato production to a full-fledge farm market and back to potatoes by the time English was studying landscape architecture at the University of Guelph. Upon graduation, English moved to England for a year to work as a nanny and it was there she realized she had a strong desire to re-open her family’s farm market and bring it into the next generation alongside her siblings. “I didn’t ever feel an obligation to continue farming, but my parents were thrilled when we wanted to take it on,” English said. In 2010, Murphy’s Farm Market and Bakery was opened and with that came some big changes for the business. Putting in a scratch bakery was something that had never been done before, but it’s a move that has been well received by consumers. Expanding deeper into agri-tourism was another step the


operation took by building a business model that charges admission for on-farm activities. “When mom and dad started it wasn’t normal to charge admission, there wasn’t a climate for social acceptance around that. It took a little bit at the beginning, but a lot of farm markets are doing this,” English said. Now, English and her brother Calder Murphy run the farm market and bakery with help from their brother Connor Murphy and an annual staff of 30-40 people. The business, which is extremely active on social media, offers pick-your-own, seasonal produce, fresh baked goods, holiday events, field trips and more. English said what sets her family business apart is the amount of attention they purposefully give to those who work for them. “It’s so essential to care for your staff in a way that you would want to be cared for,” she said.

Over time, Kendal Hills Game Farm was accepted into an artisanal chicken program and the farm now raises laying hens, ducks, turkeys and quail. Pigs are raised in partnership with a neighbour and mushroom production is also underway to create a closed loop, pastoral system for it all.

“In the span of 48 hours, I lost 95% of my revenues so I needed to find an alternative,” Kranenburg ran the farmers’ market hustle for the first few seasons and there was always a small e-commerce component to the farm but after the pandemic hit, the business model had to pivot quickly. “In the span of 48 hours, I lost 95% of my revenues so I needed to find an alternative,” Kranenburg said. Literally overnight, Kranenburg invited a group of farmers to join a virtual farmers’ market and it took off in a big way.

You can find out more about Murphy’s Farm Market at www.murphysfarmmarket.com.

Dave Kranenburg Kendal Hills Game Farm Dave Kranenburg grew up all over Canada! His father was in the military so every two to three years, Kranenburg’s family would move to a new location. Southern Ontario, specifically, felt most like home and when it was time to pick a post-secondary school, Kranenburg chose to study zoology and criminal justice at the University of Guelph. About six years ago, Kranenburg and his partner Emily Tufts relocated to Tufts’ parents’ farm in Clarington and through a succession plan, worked together to revive what was once a game bird farm. Kranenburg didn’t have a background in farming so he said, “it was a huge learning curve.”

“It was absolutely insane the first few months. We would get 500-600 orders in the first 15 minutes. We crashed the site a couple of times,” Kranenburg said. The platform, now called Graze & Gather, creates an online connection between consumers and 100 small producers. All items ordered are delivered directly to buyers’ homes and farmers are paid upfront for their products. In January, the company launched its wholesale distribution division that will create even more connections between farmers, restaurants, chefs and consumers. You can find the online store at www.grazeandgatherfood.ca.



For centuries, farmers have learned to adapt to their changing environments by taking on new practices and new technologies. As Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honourable Lisa Thompson has the busy job of representing Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector at the provincial level. Growing up in Huron County, Thompson has fond memories of watching her grandfather and father show Hereford cattle, as well as being a witness to her mother’s 35-year career in municipal politics. Thompson herself had a career in Ontario agriculture prior to getting into politics. She worked as a rural community advisor for OMAFRA after graduating from the University of Guelph and served as the general manager of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative. Thompson and her husband continue to farm on his family’s 121-year-old homestead near Teeswater in Bruce County. In June 2021, Thompson was appointed Ontario’s 40th


Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It is a position she proudly accepted and has been working at for the past eight months. The OFVC recently caught up with Minister Thompson for an informative Q&A, taking the opportunity to meet the new minister and hearing what she’s been up to. We hope you enjoy the highlights of that conversation below. Q: How does your Ministry plan on promoting local food in Ontario? A: As Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, I am going to work very hard with my colleagues and commodity organizations to continue to grow good quality food and increase awareness of why it matters to support and buy local products. On top of that, I want to work on opening up doors for the rest of the world to benefit from the quality products that are generated in Ontario.

Q: What are some of the biggest issues facing the provincial agriculture industry today? A: Labour shortage is an absolute worry and concern that’s felt across every commodity and every link of the supply chain. We’re continuing to promote the amazing careers that we have in the agri-food sector and I also recognize there is an opportunity to conduct research on how technology can assist with labour shortages. Farmers are really interested, and processors are, as well, in identifying how technology can continue to move the industry forward and make positive impacts. Q: What successes do you see happening in Ontario agriculture? A: I am so incredibly proud of our overall agri-food industry in Ontario. They have pivoted, they have responded and they have demonstrated how they can continue to make a solid contribution towards our overall economy. Throughout the pandemic, the industry has continued to churn on all cylinders because of the amazing farmers and the people who have invested in processing and manufacturing in the spirit of Ontario. Q: Are there any programs that you want to highlight? A: I am really pleased with the responsiveness that is being realized through the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program. This is a cost-share program that could see a total of $50,000 invested to address worker health and safety issues. Meanwhile, this past summer we’ve been working with the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo and partners like the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to bring mental health support to farmers that’s close to home.

Q: Where do you see Ontario agriculture going in the future? A: In terms of where we’re going into the future, I think it’s bright. I see farmers and processors alike pivoting and demonstrating their dexterity to adapt to market demands. And around the world, people are going to want more Ontario products because they value and trust the integrity we have in our overall sector. Q: Is there anything else you would like to say to Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers? A: I look forward to seeing growers continuing to lead by example when it comes to innovation and research, while making stewardship the number one priority. I am really impressed by this particular sector in our overall industry and I look forward to seeing where we can go working side by side together.



A new free program is available for Canadian farmers to help them with multiple facets of operating a farm business. Entitled The University of Guelph (U of G) with support from Farm Credit Canada and Royal Bank of Canada, created the Foundations in Agriculture Management program. The online certificate program, which opened for registrations January 17, is made up of eight 20-minute video modules featuring U of G professors discussing various topics including business planning basics, human resources, risk management and mental health.

“Everyone who has been involved sees the value in this for Canadian agriculture and how we can support Canadian farms and farm families,” Dr. John Cranfield, associate dean of external relations at the U of G’s Ontario Agricultural College, told Farms.com. The program is open to all farmers across Canada and there is a French version available. The U of G will offer the course four times this year: • January to March • April to June • July to September • October to December Participants study the modules at their own pace and must complete a short quiz before starting the next one. The goal of the program is to help Canadian farmers make better agribusiness decisions. What that means depends on the individual operation, Cranfield said. “The first step to making a better business decision is to have a plan,” he said. “Our first module teaches the basics of business planning. It’s not just about doing things but looking at what the effects of those actions are. But if you’re a farm with employees, that plan might be different. So that’s where our human resource management module would be ideal.”


YOUNG FARMER FORUM Connect with fellow young farmers over a light lunch and a featured speaker. Thursday, Feb 24 11:45 am – 1:30 pm The Lounge FEATURED SPEAKER


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Congratulations to the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market, chosen as the 2021 Market of the Year by Farmers’ Markets Ontario®


For more than 100 years, this historical market has been offering its region the best of locally grown produce, farm fresh meats, baked goods, handmade artisanal products and more. Today, about 1,800 people per week visit the market, which Market Manager Janet Zylstra said welcomed 30,000 people in the 2021 season. “We have a little bit of everything and most of our farmers are within 30 minutes of the market,” Zylstra said. According to Zylstra, forging community partnerships has always been a priority for the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market. It is something that she says, sets the market apart.


Over the years, the market has helped with food drives, worked with the local library, and partnered with the City of Niagara Falls for a Night of Art, an event that features instalments created by local artists. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zylstra said it was more important than ever to get healthy, safe food out to the residents of Niagara Falls.

inside and another 20 outside, there is opportunity for the farmers’ market to grow.” Zylstra said she was “absolutely thrilled” when she heard that Niagara Falls had been named market of the year. “We have created a lot of community, we have amazing volunteers and I am really proud of that,” she said.

It was a challenging time, to say the least, but focusing on customer service, something the market has consistently made a priority, went a long way. “We had customers tell us that coming to the market was their one safe weekly outing and that was rewarding to hear,” Zylstra said. Looking ahead, the market has a lot to be excited about!

“We have created a lot of community, we have amazing volunteers and I am really proud of that.” This September, the City of Niagara Falls is opening the Niagara Falls Exchange, which will include an indoor space for the farmers’ market, an artist studio, a wood working area and a café. “It’ll be a collective where we can share everything, food, culture, art,” Zylstra said. “Plus, with 12-14 spaces



P h oto c redit : Glenn Low s on f or T h e G ro w e r

its best to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the constantly changing regulations that came with it.

Sarah Marshall, manager of Ontario Tender Fruit Growers, is the recipient of the 2021 Industry Award of Merit. Presented by the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, the award is handed out annually to an individual who demonstrates ongoing commitment to the agriculture community. Marshall began her career in the fruit sector in 2007 after taking a position with Ontario Apple Growers. Within five years, she made the move to OTFG and then happily accepted the role as manager of that organization in 2012. “I remember it well. We bloomed ridiculously early that year and everything got frozen out so I had to ramp up pretty quickly there,” Marshall said. Marshall got to work immediately, handling things like promotion, research, price setting and marketing. She also stepped into playing a key role in lobbying the government on behalf of growers. “I am on a lot of committees,” she said. “If you’re not at the table, you won’t know what’s going on and you won’t be able to offer solutions. There needs to be somebody there to say ‘hey, that doesn’t work for my growers.’” Marshall said representation became even more critical over the last two growing seasons as the industry did


In fact, surviving that time as an organization and an industry as a whole is something Marshall said she is quite proud of. The Jupiter Grape is another success Marshall is happy to talk about. This great flavoured blue grape, which is seedless, is a new variety that the industry has been working on for years and according to Marshall, “it’s getting close and it will get growers into the market earlier.” Marshall is a huge proponent for any kind of advancement or labour reducing technology that can move the industry forward and offer growers some work life balance. When it comes to winning the Industry Award of Merit, Marshall said she was more than surprised. “I was shocked but very pleased, very happy, it means a lot to me,” she said. If she had to guess, Marshall feels she were chosen out of all of the candidates because of her commitment to growers. “I work hard to always be available to the growers to help them through whatever situation they need help with,” Marshall said. Looking towards the future, Marshall is excited to continue her work in the industry. Topics like robotics and developing fully compostable packaging remain on her radar.

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