OFVC 2020 Show Guide

Page 1




Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, Ontario



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Glenna Cairnie DIREC TORS


President’s Welcome


Thanks to our Great Sponsors


Convention Exhibitors


Trade Show and Session Room Maps

Cathy Bartolic  ONTARIO FARM FRESH, HCO Kelly Ciceran  ONTARIO APPLE GROWERS, HCO Catherine Clark  FARMERS’ MARK E T S ONTARIO, HCO Jessica MacKinnon  OMAFR A Kevin Schooley BERRY GROWERS OF ONTARIO, HCO Tom Tancock  NPF & VG A Torrie Warner  NPF & VG A Tom Wiley  NPF & VG A CH AIR



Session Schedule


Speaker Biographies


OFVC Competitions: Ontario Craft Cider and ONHops Brewoff


SAWP and Agricultural Stream – Do You Know the Difference?


Food Innovation: The Spotlight on Local


4-H Ontario Launches a New Farmers’ Markets Initiative


OFVC Roundup


Making a Difference: The Power of Volunteering


OFFMA Outstanding Farm Market of the Year: Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery


Farmers’ Markets Ontario® Awards of Excellence


NPF & VGA Award of Merit

Glenna Cairnie FACILITIE S


Dr. Jason Deveau  OMAFR A Hannah Fraser  OMAFR A SPE A KER CO - ORDIN ATOR



Margaret Appleby Elizabeth Best, NIAG AR A COLLEGE

Tyler Blauel, OMAFR A Kathryn Carter, OMAFR A Catherine Clark, FARMERS’ MARK E T S ONTARIO


Interested in advertising in the 2021 Show Guide? Contact Steve Watt, steve@ofvc.ca. The OFVC Show Guide is published by Bright Light Communications, www.brightlightcommunications.com. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission from OFVC. Copyright © 2020 by OFVC Inc. Printed in Canada by Annex Publishing and Printing Inc.

Travis Cranmer, OMAFR A Emilia DeSousa, OPMA Wayne Du, OMAFR A Dr. Michael Duncan,

Sarah Marshall, OTFG Sarah Martz, OMAFR A Dr. Wendy McFaddenSmith, OMAFR A Erin McLean, MCLE AN BERRY FARM

Jake Munroe, OMAFR A Kristen Obeid, OMAFR A Erin Panek, OMAFR A Erica Pate, OMAFR A Dr. Sophie Pelletier, CANADA



Kristen Ego-MacPhail,

Dr. Sudarsana Poojari,



Evan Elford, OMAFR A Kim Feere, K ITCHENER

Nicole Rabe, OMAFR A Noella Rinaldo, URBAN PARK



Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFR A Dr. Helen Fisher, U OF

Gavin Robertson, NIAG AR A


Rodrigo Santillan, A AFC Kevin Schooley, BGO Rebecca Shortt, OMAFR A Dr. Jim Todd, OMAFR A Anne Verhallen, OMAFR A Robb Wagner, OMAFR A Dr. Sean Westerveld,

Amanda Green, OMAFR A Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, OMAFR A

Colleen Haskins, OMAFR A Jay Howell, BR ANT V IE W APPLES & CIDER

Faiza Jahan, A AFC Stefan Larrass, OF VG A




Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

PRESIDENT’S WELCOME Hello and welcome to the 2020 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention! The OFVC organizing committee and board are pleased to present to you this forum for growth, connection and celebration. OFVC is always a great time and venue to reflect on past experiences, and to set new goals in order to move successfully into the future. We will all toast to the successes and challenges of 2019 at the annual Farmers and Friends event on Wednesday evening. When you see a committee member this week, give them a quick “thank you” for their hand in helping bring us all together once again. I’d also like to thank the volunteers from OMAFRA, FMO, OFFMA, OBG, OAG and NPF&VGA for bringing together another fantastic speaker program filled with top minds from around the globe to share their valuable perspective. To the speakers themselves, welcome to the beautiful Niagara region and thank you so much for sharing your time with us! This year, the UN and FAO have declared 2020 the “International Year of Plant Health”. The goal of this declaration is to raise awareness of the effect plant health has on the world economy and other global issues, like hunger, poverty, and environmental

impact. I believe the OFVC is an excellent venue to have meaningful conversations about how our industry can have a wider impact on the world we live while sustainably feeding Canadians with healthy and delicious fruits and veggies. As always, I’d like to thank the sponsors who generously support the show. Without them we wouldn’t be able to provide such a rich environment of connection and education. Your support is always appreciated. So please, BROWSE, CONNECT, LEARN and ENJOY the show!

Regards, Matt Peters President








EXHIBITOR LIST 405 A & B Packing Equipment 608 A & L Canada Laboratories 606 A Link Computer Solutions Inc. 1114 A.M.A. Horticulture Inc. 407 Acti-Sol 125 Adams County Nursery Inc. 400 ADS Canada Inc./Ideal Pipe 430 Advantage Packaging Ltd. 211 Agricorp 114 Agriculture & Food Laboratory – University of Guelph 531 Agri-Flex Inc. 201 AgriFresh Technologies Canada Inc. 210 Agro Liquid 312 AgroHaitai Ltd. 304 Allied Associates, LLP Chartered Professional Accountants 111 Alpine 215 Aqua Treatment Technologies Inc. 116 Artes Politecnica srl 415 Atlantic Packaging Products 728 Axter AgroScience Inc. 724 BASF Canada Inc. 1118 Baxter Kitchens Inc. 413 BCM (Bertie and Clinton Mutual Insurance) 502 Belchim Crop Protection Canada 902 Ben Berg Farm & Industrial Equip. Ltd. 217 Berger 1016 Besseling Group North America Inc. 804 BioWorks Inc. 1123 Bird Control Group 524 Burgess Baskets 1116 Bylands Nurseries Ltd. 222 C. Frensch Ltd. 130 Cadman Power Equipment 707 Canadian Fruit Tree Nursery Co-operative Ltd. 510 Central Fabricating & Welding 905 Colvoy Equipment 229 Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Brock University 517 Corteva Agriscience 907 Crescent Oil/Fuels Inc. 1022 Croptracker 309 CWB National Leasing 1007 Decade Products LLC 913 DeCloet Greenhouse Mfs. Ltd. 927 Delaware Pump and Parts Ltd. 107 Deluxe Payroll 1124 DFK Equipment Sales 706 Dominion and Grimm Inc. 536 Don Arthur Orchard Equipment 1008 Douglas Agricultural Services Inc. 1112 Drape Net North America, LLC


822 DuBois Agrinovation Inc. 403 Durward Jones Barkwell & Co. 811 Eckert Machines 313 ECO+ 314 Ecocert Canada 1006 ecoSolv Ag Technologies 528 Elnova Ltee 1103 Evans Manufacturing Company LLC 506 Evergreen Liquid Plant Food 611 Farm Credit Canada 115 Farm for Profit/Greencrop Agri Products Ltd. 323 Farm Power Equipment Inc. 1012 FBC 406 Filmorganic 511 First Genesis Inc./Sunflower Rubber & Plastics 636 Flexo Products Ltd. 1125 FMC Canada 1111 Frontline Growing Products (Silamol) 731 Frontline Process Solutions Inc. 308 Fruit & Vegetable Magazine 227 Fruit Support Europe bv 208 Garage Wendel Mathis Inc. 411 General Seed Company 113 Georgia-Pacific Corrugated 300 Gintec Shade Technologies Inc. 909 Global Horticulture Inc. 705 Grant Thornton LLP 515 Grape Growers of Ontario 109 Green Lea Ag Center Inc. 701 Grimo Nut Nursery 1011 Grindstone Creek Nursery Inc. 925 Growers Mineral Solutions 436 H & W Equipment 529 Harris Moran Seed Company 408 Harvest Goodies 809 Heartnut Grove – WWT 1107 High Mowing Organic Seeds 700 Hindle’s Clarksburg Hardware 812 Hoskin Scientific Ltd. 1106 Huplaso 601 Hydrogardens 911 ICL Specialty Fertilizers 626 Industrial Bags Inc./Sacs Industriels Inc. 630 Invasive Species Centre 202 Iron Earth Canada 801 Jiffy 627 Kam’s Grower Supply 625 KOOLJET Refrigeration Inc. 310 Koppert Canada Ltd. 914 Lakeside Grain & Feed 922 Lakeview Vineyard Equipment Inc. 105 Lallemand Plant Care 305 Lambert Peat Moss Inc.

1004 Landmark Canada 336 Leading Edge Equipment Ltd. 230 LeKAC Sourcing Ltd. 903 Lift Line Machinery Ltd. 831 Local Line Inc. 1104 Manulift 727 Maximum H2O 311 Maxstim Products Inc. 923 Meester Insurance Centre 416 Meridian Credit Union 224 Monte Package Company 729 Moore Packaging Corporation 736 MS Gregson Inc. 322 N.M. Bartlett Inc./Provide Agro Corp. 530 National Building Group Inc. 527 Natural Insect Control 206 Niagara Christian Gleaners 509 Niagara College - Research & Innovation 825 Niagara Orchard & Vineyard Corp. 526 NNZ Inc. 414 Norseco Inc. 628 Northshore Grapevine Nursery 607 Nova Mutual Insurance Co. 632 NSF International 319 Nufarm 302 Nurture Growth Bio Fertilizer Inc. 624 NutriAg Ltd. 900 Nuvia Technologies Inc. 1105 Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) 108 OMAFRA – Agriculture Development 412 OMEX Agriculture Inc. 402 O’Neils Farm Equipment 417 Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association 808 Ontario Federation of Agriculture 401 Ontario Food Terminal Board 710 Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association - The Grower 830 Ontario Orchard Supply 609 Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association 1026 Ornelas Farms 708 Penn Refrigeration Ltd. 316 Phytocultures Ltd. 126 PipeDreemz Inc. 1102 Planet Paper 1109 Plant A Row 802 Plant Products Inc. 1014 PLS Insoles 1000 Premier Containers (1983) Inc./ The Apple Bag Lady 814 Premier Equipment Ltd. 428 Premier Tech Horticulture 725 Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd

122 ProduceTech 828 Production Lareault Inc. 1010 Quest Community Health Care 1113 R & W Equipment Ltd. 136 Redtrac International Ltd. 1009 RJ Equipment 508 Rupp Seeds 1013 Sani Marc 226 Scholten’s Machinery Inc. 910 Scotts Canada 732 Seedway 703 Seminova 100 Skyway Lawn Equipment Ltd. 236 Slimline Manufacturing Ltd. (Turbomist) 500 Sparro Automation 306 Speare Seeds 212 Specialty Vegetable Equipment Inc. 829 St. Catharines New Holland Ltd. 800 Stevens Drainage 603 Stokes Seeds Ltd. 1110 Stoller Enterprises Ltd. 307 Structural Panels Inc. 333 Sunridge Nurseries 204 Syfilco Ltd. 219 Syngenta 600 TD Canada Trust 929 TekPak Solutions 410 Texel Technical Materials 702 The Cider Keg 704 The Orchard Revitalizers 127 Thiessen Tillage/Tilmor 133 Tirecraft 1002 Tunnel Tech 726 Twistyer Products Inc. 602 UAP Canada Inc. 901 Univerco (1978) Inc. 112 University of Guelph – Experiential Learning 432 UPI Energy FS 426 UPL Agrosolutions Canada 906 Upper Canada Growers 409 V. Kraus Nurseries Ltd. 422 VandenBussche Irrigation & Equipment 709 Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd. 507 Vineland Research and Innovation Centre 117 VineTech Canada Inc. 806 VirtualOne/FreshQC Software 833 Warwick Orchards & Nursery Ltd. 730 Weather INnovations Consulting LP 513 Wellington Produce Packaging 1108 Whiffletree Farm and Nursery Inc. 803 Willsie Equipment Sales



Shuttle Bus Schedule Complimentary shuttle bus service is provided between the Scotiabank 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 Sponsored by



Chair: Kristin Ego MacPhail, Ego’s Garden Centre 9:30 The Leaders’ Edge-Developing Strategies to Move Forward with Effective Leadership Tim Arnold, Leaders for Leaders 10:30 Making your On-Farm Market into a Destination Wendy Hogarth, Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh 11:00 Making the Most of your POS System Bernia Wheaton, Your Farm Market

Chair: Kevin Schooley, BGO 9:30 Pesticide Reevaluations – What are the Impacts for Berry Grower? Chris Duyvelshoff, OFVGA 10:00 Optimization of Drone-Based Releases of Predatory Mites in Strawberry Fields Christian Nansen, UC Davis, USA 10:30 Managing Berry Diseases with Reduced Captan Use Guido Schnabel, Clemson U, USA 11:00 SWD Insecticides – Impact on Natural Enemies Philip Fanning, Michigan State U, USA 11:30 Bee Vectoring: Using Bees to Deliver Bio-Control of Grey Mold to Strawberries Susan Chan, U of Guelph



Chair: Evan Elford, OMAFRA 9:30 Production Practices and Cone Quality – A Review Evan Elford and Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA 10:00 Sensory Evaluation of Hops and Beer: Quality Impacts for End Users Roy Desrochers, U of Vermont Extension, USA



Chairs: Jay Howell, Brantview Apples & Cider and Catherine Clark, FMO 9:30 Market Success Stories from the 2019 Award Winners Lisa Cooper, Uxbridge Farmers’ Market, Jaime Grant, Innisfil Farmers’ Market, Carmen Locke, Simcoe Farmers’ Market 10:30 Tips and Tools from the Refreshed FMO Website Steve Watt, Bright Light Communications 11:00 Harnessing the Healthy Tension at Your Market Tim Arnold, Leaders for Leaders







(All sessions and speakers subject to change)



Chair: Amanda Green, OMAFRA 9:30 Traditional and Modern Practices in Cider Fermentation Claude Jolicoeur, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook 10:00 Making Winning Cider at Hounds of Erie Winery Mat Vaughan, Hounds of Erie Winery 10:30 Development of Original Pommages for Eastern Canada Claude Jolicoeur, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook 11:00 Challenges and Opportunities for the Ontario Craft Cider Association Richard Liu and Derek Cartlidge, OCCA



Chairs: Rodrigo Santillan, AAFC, Faiza Jahan, AAFC 9:30 Identifying Ambrosia Beetles in Apple and Tender Fruit Orchards in Ontario Justin Renkema, AAFC 10:00 Managing Fire Blight in Young Ontario Apple Orchards Darlene Nesbitt, Steven Gayder and Antonet Svircev, AAFC 11:00 Performance of the Horticulture Sector Plus Current Collaborative and Strategic Initiatives Nathalie Durand, MISB – Crops and Hort. Division


Chair: Nicole Rabe, OMAFRA 9:30 Improved Approaches for Soil Mapping Dr. Asim Biswas, U of Guelph 10:00 Soil Suitability Considerations for Planting the Best Crop Daniel Saurette, OMAFRA 10:30 Case Study: Soil Mapping and Changes to Fruit Planting Tony Balkwill, NithField Advanced Agronomy 11:00 Panel: Robotic Transplanters in Ontario Rob deNijs, Agriplanter, Kenny Forth, Plant Tape, John Beardsley, Ferrari


ROOM 206


Chair: Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA 9:30 Strategies to Manage Pests in the Aftermath of Pesticide Re-evaluations Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA, Ryan Brewster, Brewster Consulting, Matt Peters, N.M. Bartlett Inc. 10:00 Food Safety in the Packing House Chalmers R. Carr III, Titan Farms, USA 10:30 Improving Production Efficiency in Pack Lines John VandeVegte, OMAFRA 11:00 Novel Approaches to Monitoring Spotted Wing Drosophila Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith and Erica Pate, OMAFRA


ROOMS 207 & 208 CEU



Chairs: Erin Panek, OMAFRA, Gavin Robertson, Niagara College 9:30 Future Perspective on Cannabis Drinkables Dr. Keith Warriner, U of Guelph 10:00 Crush Pad Technology: Flash Détente & Decanters Thierry Lemaire, Nuance Wine Supplies Inc. 10:30 Alternative Packaging Formats: Chemistry, Wine Quality and OffAromas Rachel Allison, Cornell U, USA 11:00 Sustainable Winemaking – Process Optimization Dr. Ron Runnebaum, U of California-Davis, USA


ROOM 205



ROOM 203



Chair: Tyler Blauel, OMAFRA 9:30 New Products Patricia Kloepfer, Syngenta, Amanda Walsh, Adama 10:00 Powdery Mildew Efficacy Trials – What Works Best and Does Chlorothalonil Fit? Dr. Margaret T. McGrath, Cornell U, USA 10:30 Fruit Rots and Foliar Diseases Dr. Margaret T. McGrath, Cornell U, USA 11:00 Corn Ear Pests – An Ever Changing Frontier Dr. Jocelyn Smith, U of Guelph 11:30 Cucurbit Downy Mildew Management with Limited Fungicide Options Katie Goldenhar, OMAFRA


ROOMS 201 & 202 CEU

CEU = CEU Credits Available


Chairs: Dr. Sean Westerveld and Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA 9:30 Introduction to Farming and Finding Markets Dr. Sean Westerveld and Robb Wagner, OMAFRA 10:00 The Business of Farming: Setting Up Robb Wagner, Erich Weber, John Molenhuis and Mark Ferguson, OMAFRA 10:30 The Business of Farming: Day to Day Robb Wagner, Erich Weber, John Molenhuis and Mark Ferguson, OMAFRA 11:00 It All Begins with Your Soil Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA 11:30 Waterlogged or Dry as a Bone? Manage Water Before You Plant Rebecca Shortt, OMAFRA


ROOM 221


2:00 ONHops Brewoff




12:30 Ontario’s Finest Sweet and Hard Cider Competition



Chair: Kristin Ego MacPhail, Ego’s Garden Centre 2:00 Managing Crowds on your Farm Nathan Gorr, Downey’s Farm & Estate Winery, Meghan Snyder, Snyder’s Family Farm, Chris Hiemstra, Clovermead Adventure Farm 3:00 Bricks and Bouquets – A Review of 2019 TBD







Chair: Erica Pate, OMAFRA 2:00 New Potential Management Options for Cyclamen Mite and SWD Justin Renkema, AAFC 2:30 Purespray Green in a Captan Replacement Program Matt Peters, N.M. Bartlett Inc., Matt Tigchelaar, Tigchelaar Berry Farms 3:00 What’s New in SWD Management? (TBC) Philip Fanning, Michigan State U, USA 3:30 New and Upcoming Berry Varieties Charles Keddy, Keddy Nursery Inc., Frederick Laforge, Lareault




(All sessions and speakers subject to change)


Chair: Travis Cranmer, OMAFRA 2:00 Developing Broccoli Adapted to the East Dr. Thomas Björkman, Cornell U, USA 2:30 Resistant Cultivars and Crop Rotation to Manage Clubroot Sarah Drury, U of Guelph 3:00 Control of Alternaria Head Rot in Broccoli Christy Hoepting, Cornell U, USA 3:30 Cover Crops after Brassica Vegetables Dr. Thomas Björkman, Cornell U, USA



ROOMS 201 & 202

ROOM 204

Chairs: Wayne Du, Sarah Martz and Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA 2:00 What Is Enough When Managing Food Safety Risks? Dr. Michelle D. Danyluk, U of Florida, USA 2:30 Walmart Canada Requirements from Farm to Fork Katherine Di Tommaso, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. 3:00 Food Safety – From A Farmer’s Perspective Speaker Chalmers R. Carr III, Titan Farms, USA 3:30 Making Food Safety Work – A Panel Discussion Dr. Michelle D. Danyluk, U of Florida, USA, Katherine Di Tommaso, WalMart Canada Corp., Chalmers R. Carr III, Titan Farms, USA SPONSORED BY:

Chairs: Emilia DeSousa, OPMA, Elizabeth Best, Niagara College 2:00 Consumer Insights: Survey Results on Consumption Intentions of Canadians Michelle Carter and Lisa Coverns, Leger 360 2:30 Packaging Innovations Robert Procius, TekPak Solutions, Dr. Ana Cristina Vega Lugo, Can. Food & Wine Inst. Innovation Ctr. 3:00 How is Industry Adapting to Change? Sheri Evans, Sobeys, Dan Martin, Earth Fresh 3:30 Panel: How is Industry Adapting to Change? Martin Gooch, Value Chain Mgmt. Int., Sheri Evans, Sobeys, Dan Martin, Earth Fresh, Sonia Benoit, Cascades, Dr. Ana Cristina Vega Lugo, Can. Food & Wine Inst. Innovation Ctr.


Chair: Sarah Marshall, OTFG 2:00 Improving Efficiency in Peach Production Chalmers R. Carr III, Titan Farms, USA 2:30 Thinning in Tree Fruit Dr. John Cline, U of Guelph 3:00 Rootstocks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA 3:30 Evaluation of Asian Pear Cultivars Dr. Robert Crassweller, Penn State U, USA


ROOM 206


Chair: Dr. Sudarsana Poojari, CCOVI, Brock U 2:00 Strategies to Manage Pests in the Aftermath of Pesticide Re-evaluations Dr. Wendy McFaddenSmith, OMAFRA, Ryan Brewster, Brewster Consulting, Matt Peters, N.M. Bartlett Inc. 2:30 Impact and Management of the New Invasive Insect Pest: Spotted Lanternfly Heather Leach, Penn State U, USA 3:00 Grapevine Trunk Diseases – Where They Come From and How to Control Them Dr. José Úrbez-Torres, AAFC Summerland 3:30 Why Labels with Per Hectare Rates Don’t Work in Vineyards and What to Do About It Dr. David Manktellow, App. Research & Tech. Ltd. New Zealand



ROOMS 207 & 208


Chairs: Dr. Sean Westerveld and Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA 2:00 Pest Management and Weed Control 101 Dr. Melanie Filotas and Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA 2:30 Cropping Systems Introduction: Fruit Production Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA 2:50 Cropping Systems Introduction: Vegetable Production Dennis Van Dyk, OMAFRA 3:10 Cropping Systems Introduction: Specialty Crop Production Evan Elford, OMAFRA 3:30 Grower Experience: Starting a Farm in Ontario Hayden Dooney, Norfolk Fruit Grower’s Assoc. 4:00 Q&A Session


ROOM 221



Chairs: Erin Panek, OMAFRA, Gavin Robertson, Niagara College 2:00 Are Ontario Wines About to Hit a Brick Wall Called Cannabis? Terry Donnelly, Hillstreet Beverage Co. 2:30 Oenological Challenges and Opportunities in Nova Scotia Wine Industry Neslihan Ivit, Perennia Food and Ag. Inc & Acadia U 3:00 Launch of the Export Market Development Guide for Ontario Wineries George Alkalay, Northfield Ventures, Mary Jane Combe, GGO 3:30 NonSaccharomyces Yeast and Their Potential for WineMaking Dr. Vivien Measday, U of BC


ROOM 205




ROOM 203

CEU = CEU Credits Available


Chairs: Jay Howell, Brantview Apples & Cider and Catherine Clark, FMO 2:00 The Next Generation of Farmers and Shoppers Philip Powell, Ottawa, Sheena Switzer, 4-H Ontario 3:00 Promoting the Farmer at Ontario’s Farmers’ Markets Moderator: Philip Powell, Ottawa; Panelists: Deanna Chakarova, St. Catharines Farmers’ Market; John Finlay, MyPick Inspector; Sarah Bakker, Field Sparrow Farms 4:00 Farmers’ Markets Ontario AGM






Chair: Dr. Helen Fisher, U of Guelph Adjunct 9:30 Precision Agriculture in Vineyards Dr. Kaan Kurtural, U of California-Davis, USA 10:00 Stuck in a Rut – Managing Vineyard Floor Compaction and Erosion Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA 10:30 Grapevine Virus Sampling 101 plus CGCN Update Dr. Sudarsana Poojari, CCOVI, Brock U, Bill Schenck, CGCN 11:00 Drones and Other Tactics for Bird Control Dr. Catherine Lindell, Michigan State U, USA

Chair: Erin McLean, McLean Berry Farm 9:30 What I Have Learned from My Business Mistakes Paul Baxter, Baxter’s Kitchens 10:00 Exploring Staff Training that Works Kate Seaver, Kate’s Garden 10:30 Hiring a Market Manager Kate Seaver, Kate’s Garden, Morris Gervais, Barrie Hill Farm, Paul Brooks, Brooks Farms 11:00 Agricultural Myths and Facts – Getting the Information Across to Your Customers Joe Schwarcz, McGill University

Chairs: Amanda Green and Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, OMAFRA 9:30 Fire Blight Biology, Management Options and Research Dr. Srdjan Acimovic, Cornell U, USA 10:00 Crop Load Management – Right Timing, Right Number Dr. Poliana Francescatto, Valent BioSciences, USA 10:30 Emerging Fungal Diseases of Apples in New York – Fruit Bitter Rot, Marssonina Leaf and Fruit Rot Dr. Srdjan Acimovic, Cornell U, USA 11:00 Managing Storage Disorders in Gala and Honeycrisp Apples Dr. Jennifer DeEll, OMAFRA








(All sessions and speakers subject to change)


Chair: Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA 9:30 Weed Control Issues Dr. Kris McNaughton, U of Guelph 10:00 Robotic Weeding for Vegetable Crops Teric Greenan, Nexus Robotics 10:30 Herbicide Resistance Genetic Testing Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA 11:00 Using Electricity for Weed Control with Shocking Results Philip Oegema, OSCIA Chairs: Anne Verhallen and Jake Munroe, OMAFRA 9:30 There’s an App for That! Jake Munroe, OMAFRA 10:00 Fertility for Vegetable Transplants Friedhelm Hoffmann, Lakeside Grain, Kurtis Allaer, Serkka Farms 10:30 Organic Matter and Fertility – New Ideas, Better Understanding Dr. Adam Gillespie, U of Guelph 11:00 Putting Cover Crops to Work for Vegetable Fertility Programs Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA, USA


ROOMS 201 & 202 CEU

CEU = CEU Credits Available





Chair: Dr. Sophie Pelletier, Canada Revenue Agency 9:30 Session-Long Workshop Dr. Sophie Pelletier, CRA, Habib Khemir, CRA, Brigitte Gener, CRA


ROOM 206


Chair: Margaret Appleby 9:30 New Releases and Directions in Tender Fruit Breeding Program at U of Guelph Dr. Jay Subramanian, U of Guelph 10:00 Beating the Black Knot Blues – BMPs Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA 10:30 Impact and Management of the New Invasive Insect Pest: Spotted Lanternfly Heather Leach, Penn State U, USA 11:00 Why Labels with Per Hectare Rates Don’t Work in Orchards and What to Do About It Dr. David Manktelow, App. Research & Tech. Ltd. New Zealand


ROOMS 207 & 208 CEU


Chair: Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA 9:30 Managing the Transition to Organic Hugh Martin, Martin Ag. Consulting 10:00 Certifying Bodies 101 Dave Lockman, Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. 10:30 Fertility and Weed Management Strategies for Organic Growers Andy Hammermeister, Dalhousie U 11:00 Transitioning to Organic – A Grower’s Perspective Manus Boonzaier, Algoma Orchards


ROOM 205



Chair: Stefan Larrass, OFVGA 9:30 Tools to Manage the HR part of Your Farm – Best Practices and How to Comply with Legal Requirements Portia MacDonaldDewhirst, CAHRC 10:00 Protecting Potential: How to Build Your Safety Program and Reduce Premiums Under the New WSIB Rate Framework Kristina Dragun, WSIB 10:30 SAWP/TFW Ag Stream – 2020 Update Ken Forth and Carrie Raymond-Gardner, FARMS 11:00 Programs and Resources to Help with Your HR Management and Labour Productivity Stephen Morris, OMAFRA


Chair: Noella Rinaldo, Urban Park Market (Timmins) 9:30 Manager/ Leader Networking Roundtable Philip Powell, Ottawa, Henriet DeBruin, Thunder Bay Farmers’ Market, Ann Slater, St. Marys Farmers’ Market 11:00 Food Safety Matters at Farmers’ Markets Jessica Morris, Wellington-DufferinGuelph Public Health/ASHIO




10:30–11:30 Ontario Lavender Association AGM

ROOM 221


11:45–1:30 Young Farmer Forum


8:00-9:15 Women in Agriculture: Outstanding in Her Field




Chairs: Amanda Green and Kristy GriggMcGuffin, OMAFRA 2:00 Future Trends in Fruit Crop Spray Application and Why You Still Need to Get the Simple Things Right Dr. David Manktellow, App. Research & Tech. Ltd. New Zealand 2:30 Orchard Nutrition for Achieving Optimum Yields Dr. Robert Crassweller, Penn State U, USA 3:00 Panel: Grower Insights on Achieving High Yields of HighQuality Apples Art Moyer, Moyer Orchards and Vineyards, Gerbe Botden, Blue Mountain Fruit Company, Doug Balsillie, The Fruit Wagon 3:30 How to Produce Apples in a Changing Climate Dr. Robert Crassweller, Penn State U, USA






Chair: Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA 2:00 Mechanization in Vineyards Dr. Kaan Kurtural, U of California-Davis, USA 2:30 Ontario Grape Virus Research Report Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith, Dr. Sudarsana Poojari, CCOVI, Brock U, Dr. Justin Renkema, AAFC 3:00 Grapevine Virus Diseases in Ontario: Research Update Dr. José ÚrbezTorres, AAFC Summerland 3:30 Best Management Practices for Sour Rot Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA




Chair: Dr. Jim Todd, OMAFRA 2:00 Cannabis Licensing Joanne Garrah, AAFC 2:30 Starting an Outdoor Cannabis Farm Brad Assim, Grower 3:00 Obtaining a Micro-Grow Cannabis Licence Joel Lacelle, Hearst Organic 3:30 Building a Micro-Grow Cannabis Operation Joel Lacelle, Hearst Organic



Chair: Kim Feere, Kitchener Farmers’ Market 2:00 Food Labelling at Farmers’ Markets Philip Powell, Ottawa

ROOMS 201 & 202 CEU


Chair: Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA 2:00 Increasing Your Revenue Stream by Diversifying Your Lavender Operation Ellen Reynolds, Beagle Ridge Herb Farm 2:30 Lavender Products: What Sells? Alice Marrin, Lookout Lavender Farm (via Skype) 3:00 A Quick Intro to Social Media and Search Engine Optimization (Video) Sarah Clarke, Dufferin Media 3:30 Panel: Social Media and Agritourism: How do You Manage? Janine May, Lynn Valley Lavender Farm, Ellen Reynolds, Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, Kara Pate, Brantwood Farms


ROOM 203

CEU = CEU Credits Available


Chair: Erin McLean, McLean Berry Farm 2:00 Top Tips from Tennessee Kara Pate, Brantwood Farms 2:30 Growing the Next Generation of On-Farm Shoppers Andrew Fleet, Growing Chefs Ontario, Kelty McKay, Willowtree Farm



(All sessions and speakers subject to change)





Chair: Rebecca Shortt, OMAFRA 2:00 Session-Long Workshop Stuart Miller, MECP



Chair: Dr. Sophie Pelletier, Canada Revenue Agency 2:00 Session-Long Workshop Dr. Sophie Pelletier, CRA, Habib Khemir, CRA, Brigitte Gener, CRA


ROOM 206


Chair: Evan Elford, OMAFRA 2:00 Specialty Fruit Research and Production Update Evan Elford, OMAFRA 2:30 Haskap Nutrient Management Dr. Andrew Hammermeister, Dalhousie U 3:00 Kiwiberries: Production and Breeding Highlights from New Hampshire Dr. Iago Hale, U of New Hampshire, USA 3:30 Specialty Fruit Pest Management Update Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA


ROOM 204



Chair: Dr. Michael Duncan, Niagara College 2:00 What the Data Tells Us Dr. Michael Duncan, Niagara College 2:30 Resulting Impact on Soil Sarah Lepp, Ag. and Env. Tech. Innovation Centre 2:45 Suitability Ryan Eyre, SoilOptix 3:00 TBD Speaker TBC 3:30 Why the Data is Important – A Farmer’s Perspective Linda Grimo, Grimo Nuts, Earl Hughson, Ontario Hazelnut Assoc.


ROOMS 207 & 208 CEU


Chair: Robb Wagner, OMAFRA 2:00 Preparing for New Programs Margaret May, OSCIA 2:30 Taxation Update Rick Wismer and/ or Kristy-Anne Wytenburg, MNP 3:00 Business Financing Erich Weber, OMAFRA 3:30 Business Planning Mark Ferguson, OMAFRA


ROOM 221

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES DR. SRDJAN ACIMOVIC Dr. Acimovic is a plant pathologist at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Research Laboratory. He conducts research on management of tree diseases, plant pathogen identification and epidemiology, including lab and field evaluation of biocides and plant resistance activators for their control. He holds a doctorate in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. His current research focus is on apple tree pathology including development of new control methods for fire blight bacterium Erwinia amylovora. Previously, his postdoctoral work focused on urban tree pathology with pathogen detection and development of control option for Fusarium euwallaceae, Western sycamore pathogen vectored by Polyphagous Shothole Borer, Phomopsis canker of spruce (Phomopsis occulta), Anthracnose of sycamore (Apiognomonia veneta), Rapid ʻōhiʻa death (Ceratocystis fimbriata), Diplodia tip blight of pines aka Sphaeropsis blight (Diplodia pinea), Diplodia canker and wilt of Quercus spp. (Diplodia corticola), Coast redwood blight and canker (Neofusicoccum australe, N. luteum, N. mediterraneum, N. parvum and Botryosphaeria dothidea), Fusarium wilt of palms (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. canariensis and F. o. f. sp. palmarum) and Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora). The goal of his research is to provide necessary scientific environment for development of solutions for target-precise tree disease control. Dr. Acimovic is a member of the American Phytopathological Society, International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences, and International Fruit Tree Association, and has published 60 articles and proceedings in scientific journals and on conferences based in USA and abroad.

GEORGE ALKALAY George is the founder of Northfield Ventures Ltd., a consulting firm providing advice and assistance to a wide range of agricultural, food, and rural co-operatives, businesses, and marketing boards, primarily in the food-processing and biofuel sectors. Since 1996, Northfield Ventures has assisted co-ops and other enterprises with business and strategic planning, project management, securing appropriate financing from both


traditional and non-traditional sources, developing and implementing community investment campaigns, and obtaining government regulatory approvals and funding. Core areas of specialization include the development of agricultural co-operatives and other forms of producer-driven organizations.

KURTIS ALLAER Kurtis is a third-generation farmer in Chatham-Kent area of Ontario. He farms with his family and has been growing vegetables for the past 30 years. His family’s farm produces over 700 acres of field grown vegetables for the processing industry. This includes processing tomatoes, peppers, pickling cucumbers, sweet corn and peas. Kurtis believes his fundamental approach to soil health and sound agronomic practice has contributed to his success and helped him maintain high standards for yield and consistency over the years. Kurtis continues to explore new concepts by adapting technology and innovation, but always tries to keep an emphasis on basic fundamentals that maintain soil health.

RACHEL ALLISON Rachel is a PhD candidate in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. She received her undergraduate degree in Engineering Chemistry at Queen’s University. She is a recipient of NSERC Canada Graduate and Postgraduate Scholarships. Her research with Dr. Gavin Sacks in wine flavour chemistry focuses on the evolution of reduced off-aromas, particularly related to copper fining and canned wines. A former captain of the Cornell Cuvée Wine Education and Blind Tasting Society, her team recently placed first in the Millésime EHL Wine Tasting Contest in Lausanne, Switzerland.

TIM ARNOLD Tim has spent over two decades helping organizations unite teams, spark change and get unstuck, with clients that include The United Nations, Citibank, KPMG, Toyota, and Siemens. He leverages his experience launching successful businesses, social enterprises, and community

development programs to bring a real-world perspective to his clients. With advanced degrees in both business and social justice, he is able to help organizations pursue both profit and purpose. He married into a multi-generational tender fruit farming family and helped launch the social enterprise - The Southridge Jam Company - in partnership with a number of tender fruit farms in Lincoln.

BRAD ASSIM Brad is founder and CEO of Farmaira, a large-scale outdoor cultivation project which is in the final stage of licensing with Health Canada. Brad comes from a family with over 70 years of experience in agriculture, including tobacco and ginseng, eventually becoming one of Canada’s most respected Ginseng cultivators. Combining his experience in real estate, agriculture, and entrepreneurship, Brad has put a unique spin on the cannabis industry with Farmaira, which will produce over forty-four thousand kilograms of premium outdoor cannabis by 2021.

SARAH BAKKER Sarah is the co-founder of Field Sparrow Farms, located on 100 acres in Bobcaygeon, ON where they focus on regenerative agriculture practices that protect habitat for grassland bird species. Currently, they market grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and pastured chicken via retail stores, food co-ops, and farmers’ markets. She is also the General Manager of the National Farmers Union-Ontario and the Chair of the Fair Finance Fund and has previously served on the Board of the Organic Council of Ontario and the West End Food Co-op.

TONY BALKWILL Tony is an independent Precision Agronomy Specialist based out of southern Ontario. As owner of NithField Agronomy & Research, he technically consults on over 40 thousand acres of cropland across several counties. NithField’s farming operation is the foundation their research studies and trial program and consists of 650+ acres of full production field scale research systems, many with

multiyear platforms. Tony is a Certified Crop Advisor, a graduate of the University of Guelph and educated at the University of Illinois where he specialized in equipment technology and crop sciences. Tony was also a 2016 Canadian Nuffield Scholar who studied internationally for two years on reclassifying historical soil type maps accurately into field specific management zones for variable rate systems.

DOUG BALSILLIE Doug has been growing apples since 1983 in Canada’s most southerly orchard near Lake Erie with his wife Leslie. He graduated from the University of Guelph in OAC ‘77, and worked in the grain industry for 13years, before turning to farming full-time. Their home farm was originally mostly peaches, but has transitioned to 85% apples, with a retail business of fresh peaches, pears, plums, berries, flowers and vegetables at their roadside market called The Fruit Wagon. Doug’s goal is to be a small, intensive business focusing on high yields and high quality produce using the efficiencies of new technologies. His membership in IFTA has been instrumental in keeping them current in orchard management strategies and the lessons learned have molded their ongoing orchard renewals with recent plantings at 2000 trees per acre.

PAUL H. BAXTER A serial entrepreneur, Paul has spent most of his life building businesses. He has enjoyed many challenges in several industries with the most recent working away with his son David at building Baxters Bakery, a scratch bakery supplier to many farm markets, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels in the industry for the past 12 years. During his 38 years in business he has had some winners and some that were not so much. He is pleased to share from his many challenges over the years. Paul is pleased to serve on the board of OFFMA and looks forward to serving and supporting the industry in whatever way he can.

JOHN BEARDSLEY John is the crop specialist at Exeter Produce. He is responsible for the transplanting and management of the cabbage, rutabaga, green bean and bell pepper crops. Along with the rotational row crops, Exeter produce manages over 4000 acres. John is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a

major in Crop Science and has worked mostly for input suppliers as a certified Crop Advisor in Huron and Bruce counties helping producers with fertilizer and crop protection decisions.

SONIA BENOIT Sonia has been a fan of agricultural since childhood. She has occupied many strategic roles related to marketing, innovation, consumer insights and new market development for companies such as Scotts Miracle Gro and Fafard. In her current role, she is responsible for packaging innovation and marketing for Cascades in markets including produce, food, and beverage for North America.

DR. ASIM BISWAS Dr. Biswas is an Associate Professor of soil physics and hydrology at the University of Guelph. His research program on sustainable soil management is focused on increasing the productivity and resilience of our land-based agri-food production systems in an environmentally sustainable way while accounting for changing climate, economy and production methodologies. Currently, he runs a large research team, funded by federal and provincial bodies as well as industries, grower’s associations and international organizations. He has authored and co-authored 109 peer-reviewed journal papers, 155 conference abstracts, 12 proceedings, 15 book chapters, 2 popular articles, edited a book, delivered radio and TV interviews and granted a patent. He was invited to deliver keynote talks around the world and currently teaches multiple undergraduate, graduate and special courses.

THOMAS BJÖRKMAN Thomas did his undergraduate work in biochemistry at UC Davis and his PhD in botany at Cornell. He has been on the horticulture faculty at Cornell’s Geneva campus since 1990, with a primary responsibility in vegetable physiology. Under that broad umbrella, his research and extension have ranged from studies of molecular control of floral development and microbe-enhanced germination to the integration of cover crops into vegetable production systems, and a comprehensive breeding, extension and market-development project for broccoli for eastern US-North America. He has worked with a broad array of stakeholder groups including market gardeners, organic certifiers, large-scale

vegetable growers, community development boards, seed companies, and legislators.

MANUS BOONZAIER Manus is the orchard manager at Algoma Orchards. He grew up on a farm and have been growing apples for almost 10 years. He did a degree in Pomology from Elsenburg Agricultural College in South Africa before starting his career in the apple business.

GERBE BOTDEN Gerbe is the Orchard Manager on his family farming operation in The Blue Mountains, Ontario. The vertically integrated operation includes nursery, orchard, storage, packing and marketing. With 8 years of full-time experience and continuous improvement as a focus of his management approach, yields as well as apple quality continue to improve. The orchards are all irrigated, trellised high density plantings aiding in efficiency and quality. In 2019, the Botden’s took on an expansion to their apple packing facility with a new 65,000 square foot facility to sort, package and sell their own apples, as well as apples from other growers.

ERIC BRENNAN Eric is a research horticulturist and lead scientist in organic production at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Salinas, CA where he’s worked since 2001. His current research is in organic vegetable and strawberry production focused on cover crops, weed and soil fertility management, and biological control of insect pests. This occurs on farms and at the 25 acres of certified organic, USDA-ARS land that he manages. Eric is passionate about long-term research and effective communication of practical research results to farmers and others. Prior to USDA-ARS, Eric worked as a farm advisor (Thailand), and did research on tree propagation, plant breeding and plant-insect interactions.

RYAN BREWSTER As an agricultural consultant, Ryan has been working in the Niagara area, grape and tender fruit sectors since 2002. He began as summer student, monitoring and reporting on pest presence in Niagara area vineyards and tender fruit orchards under the tutelage of Kevin Ker (KCMS Inc.). In 2019, Ryan


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branched out and started his own agricultural consulting company, Brewster Consulting Services (BCS), focusing primarily on pest monitoring/trapping, development of IPM based spray programs and soil/tissue sampling to optimize nutrient management programs. During the winter months, Ryan is one of the primary researchers involved with the CCOVI Vine Alert system, which provides frequently updated cold hardiness information and grapevine bud survival levels to Ontario grape growers. Ryan is a member of both the Ontario Institute of Agrologists (OIA) and the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC), and a proud graduate of Brock University.

CHALMERS R. CARR III Chalmers, a first generation farmer, is the owner and operator of Titan Farms which grows, packs and processes peaches and vegetables in the eastern United States. The farming operation consists of over 6,000 acres of peaches, 1,600 acres of vegetables and employs over 750+ H-2A workers annually. Chalmers currently serves as Chairman of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee and President of USA Farmers, a national organization representing H-2A employers. Over the years he has also served on other various committees and won several awards including past President of the National Peach Council, Farm Journal’s Top Producer of the Year in 2017, and 2015 Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award Winner. Chalmers believes in empowering his employees because they are the operation’s most valuable resource. Through his vision and the leadership of the management team, Titan Farms is an industry leader in the utilization of technology and best-in-class food safety programs.

KATHRYN CARTER Kathryn is the Fruit Specialist (tender fruit and grape) for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Kathryn’s current research focuses on evaluating stone fruit rootstocks for their suitability in Ontario orchards, and improving fertilizer programs in orchards and vineyards. Kathryn has worked with OMAFRA for the past 18 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.

DEREK CARTLIDGE Derek is currently the President of Thornbury Village Craft Cider and Beer. He is a graduate of Niagara College in both Business Administration and Finance and has worked in the beverage alcohol industry for almost 15 years. Derek has served as Vice Chair on the Ontario Craft Cider Association and currently sits as a participant on the Government Relations Committee for the OCCA. Derek’s background in Finance has helped him to educate members of Queen’s Park to fully understand the hardship that cider has endured due to unfair tax practices. Derek is also is a board of Wine Growers Ontario (formerly WGAO) and is also the Treasurer for the VQA Ontario Wine Appellation Authority.

DEANNA CHAKAROVA Deanna was born in Niagara and is passionate about the region and all of 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 both Alberta and Port Colborne, Ontario, 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. Deanna’s passion for fresh, healthy food and food security goes beyond her work at the market. Outside her professional life, she maintains a passion for nutrition and educating others on what clean eating is as a volunteer nutrition ambassador at a local fitness facility, along with sharing the importance of building sustainable communities.

SUSAN CHAN Susan has an academic background in agriculture, education, and pollination biology and is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Guelph studying the effects of common agricultural practices on the health of native squash bee populations on Ontario farms. Besides her studies, Susan works on a variety of projects to make conservation of native pollinators more understandable and applicable to Ontario’s farmers. Susan is the author of The Landowner’s Guide to Conserving Native

Pollinators on Farms, a Technical Guide for Preserving and Creating Habitat for Pollinators on Ontario’s Farms, and many short factsheets on the topic of crop pollination and pollinators. With funding from GLASI, she has recently created an online tool for designing pollinator habitat on farms. Susan lectures at Trent University’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program.

SARAH CLARKE Sarah has worked in the digital marketing field since 2003. Dufferin Media was founded in 2012 as a full service digital marketing agency focusing on affordable website and social media marketing solutions for small to medium sized business owners. Sarah works with business owners to develop a strategy that communicates their business message clearly and consistently to their target market in a way which will result in more awareness, more customers, and more revenue.

JOHN CLINE Dr. Cline is a Professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph where he teaches and conducts research in tree fruit pomology. He also provides outreach to the industry, growers and stakeholders. The primary objectives of his are 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, studying horticultural technologies including to reduce labour inputs in a movement toward greater orchard automation, and investigating plant bioregulators to regulate flowering, plant growth, improve fruit quality and reduce pre-harvest fruit drop. Research is carried out at the University of Guelph, Horticultural Experiment Station, Simcoe and on commercial orchards across Ontario. John holds a BSc in soil science (University of Guelph), MSc in horticulture (Michigan State University), and a PhD in Horticulture (University of London, UK).

LISA COVENS 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 some of the top PR agencies in Canada, and


communications practitioners at several corporations, food associations, and pharmaceutical companies. She focuses her practice on research for media attention across numerous industries as well as research with market access and food associations. She is well-versed in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and is a security cleared federal government moderator. Lisa graduated from McMaster University in 1998 with an Honours Degree in Political Science. She furthered her studies, completing her Master’s Degree in Political Science in 2000 at McMaster University with a focus on comparative politics, research methods, and statistical analysis. Lisa is currently on the National Board of the Canadian Public Relations Society, a Corporate Board Member at Make-a-Wish® Canada and a member of the Board of Directors at Robbins Hebrew Academy.

ROB CRASSWELLER Rob is the Tree Fruit Extension Specialist and a Professor of Tree Fruit at Penn State University. He has been at Penn State since 1984 and prior to that was at the University of Georgia from 1980 through 1983. His undergraduate degree is from Miami University in Oxford, OH in Botany. His horticulture graduate degrees are from Ohio State University working under Dr. Dave Ferree. His primary areas of expertise are tree fruit rootstocks, training systems, apple cultivars and plant nutrition. In the late 1980’s, he was part of the PSU team that developed expert systems for orchard management that released the Penn State Apple Orchard Consultant (PSAOC) program. He has also taught the undergraduate Horticulture 432 Deciduous Tree Fruit Production course since 1996. Rob is also a member of NC140 Regional Research Project on tree fruit rootstocks.

DR. MICHELLE DANYLUK Dr. Danyluk is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Food Safety and Microbiology in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida, situated at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, FL. Her current research and extension interests include microbial food safety and quality, emphasizing the microbiology of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and juices. Michelle’s extension program includes teaching programs related to FSMA, HACCP, GAPS and other specialized food safety


programs. She received the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award in 2010 and a Presidents Recognition Award in 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019 from the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). Michelle was elected a member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Food (ICMSF) in 2016 and to the IAFP Executive Board in 2019.

HENRIET DEBRUIN Henriet is currently sits on the Board of Directors for Farmers’ Market Ontario and sits as a member of the Policy Advisory Council for Ontario Federation of Agriculture. She is also the Past President and a current board member of the Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture. Together with her husband, they own and operate DeBruin’s Greenhouses which sells hydroponic produce directly to consumers at local farmers’ markets and to local stores and restaurants.

DR. JENNIFER DEELL Dr. DeEll is the Fresh Market Quality Specialist - Hort Crops with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), located in Simcoe. She is currently: studying the effects of anti-ethylene technologies on apple fruit ripening and physiological disorders during storage; developing optimum postharvest practices for new apple and pear cultivars, as well as to reduce mealiness and chilling injury in peaches; and investigating methods to improve handling and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables. Dr. DeEll was one of the first to receive the Agri-Food Innovation Award from the Government of Ontario for previous work on fresh-cut apple slices. She has published over 90 scientific papers, as well as review articles and books, on subjects pertaining to postharvest physiology and the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. She is also on the editorial board for the international scientific journal Postharvest Biology and Technology.

ROB DENIJS Rob is the Vice President of Bercab Farms Inc., in Tupperville, Ontario. After attending Fanshawe College for Diesel Motor Mechanic, Rob returned to the family farm in 2000. The farm currently grows a wide range of crops including grains, oilseeds and horticulture processing crops such as tomatoes, banana peppers, green beans, peas and

sweet corn. Today as majority shareholder and Vice President, Rob is dedicated to finding new and innovative ways to utilize technology to get the job done and increase the bottom line.

ROY D. DESROCHERS Roy is a sensory expert who has been supporting the brewing industry for over 35 years. He is the beer flavour expert for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA). He has conducted many beer flavour training programs and workshops around the globe for both small and large brewers. In addition, he provides educational and technical support to farmers and growers including hops and grains. He has conducted sensory workshops for the MBAA National Conventions, MBAA District Texas, MBAA District New England, and MBAA District Ontario, The Hop Growers Conference in Burlington, VT, The Hop Growers Guild in Columbus, Ohio, the Hop Growers Convention in Michigan, the Vermont Brewers Guild, and the Massachusetts Brewers Guild.

KATHERINE DI TOMMASO As Senior Director of Regulatory Compliance, Katherine oversees food safety within the Walmart Canada network. Katherine’s scope of responsibilities includes food safety oversight of Walmart Canada’s stores, food safety training and education of associates, food safety oversight of food suppliers, food safety within the distribution network and several critical regulatory compliance issues. Prior to joining Walmart in 2003, Katherine spent six years in the food manufacturing sector where she had progressive food safety roles. Katherine holds memberships with several professional associations, including the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) and the Ontario Food Protection Association (OFPA). Katherine is a former Board Member for the OFPA. She holds a BSc in Food Science from McGill University, a Master of Science MSc in Food Science from the University of Guelph and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Wilfrid Laurier University.

TERENCE M. DONNELLY Terry is the Chairman and CEO of Hill Street Beverage Co., focused on the production of world class, award winning cannabis-infused and alcohol-free wine and beer. Hill Street’s alcohol free products are currently

available in thousands of leading grocery and drug stores across Canada. Their products have won awards around the world, including three Golds at the US Open Beer championships, a Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Challenge, and the Retail Council of Canada’s Grand Prix Award. The company is preparing its brewing and winemaking operations to become a leader in cannabis infused beverages to be available in 2020 or whenever the government approves them. Terry is also the co-founder of the Cannabis Beverage Producers Alliance, a national organization representing the unique interests of beverage producers for lobbying and public education.

HAYDEN DOONEY Born and raised in Hawkes Bay on New Zealand’s eastern coast, Hayden grew up on a family owned and operated orchard growing primarily apples. After studying and working in the Hawkes Bay grape industry for a short period, Hayden ventured overseas and now resides in Norfolk County where he is the Assistant General Manager at The Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association. Hayden has recently purchased his own orchard and has just completed his first harvest as an apple grower.

KRISTINA DRAGUN Kristina is the Health & Safety Excellence program Consultant at Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS). As an approved Program Provider of WSIB’s Health & Safety Excellence program, WSPS has tasked Kristina with the responsibility for the creation of their offering. She has been in the health and safety field for over 12 years, working in various positions to support the safety of workers across the province. Having lived in and around the Niagara region her entire life, Kristina appreciates the importance of agriculture to the region, and how it has shaped the culture of the area.

SARAH DRURY Sarah is studying plant pathology in an MSc program in the Plant Agriculture Department at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the management of clubroot, a serious disease of Brassica crops, with resistant cultivars and crop rotation. Her research interest is to mitigate the impacts of diseases of horticultural crops. Sarah is the

recipient of an HQP scholarship and has worked with vegetable crops at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as part of this scholarship program.

to the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Nathalie holds a Bachelor and Master degree in Economics from Laval University, Quebec.



The seeds of sustainability and efficiency in agriculture have firmly taken root at Niagara College Research & Innovation through the efforts of Dr. Duncan, the first NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in 2012. With a specialization in Precision Agriculture and Environmental Technologies, the mission of the Chair is to continue the work Duncan had already started when he arrived at Niagara College in 2001 including to develop new tools and to engage provincial and national farming communities. The Chair work began with the Crop Portal, a cloud-based cash crop yield data processing system with partners OMAFRA and the GFO. It is used to study techniques in precision agriculture. In 2017, Dr. Duncan was successful in renewing the Chair for another five years to extend the precision ag work by studying the climate and weather conditions that crops grow in (ie. what weather conditions support good yields). Dr. Duncan and his team of students and collaborators are currently examining the ‘suitability’ of different crops. Using forensic meteorology, climate change predictions and a number of AI based and conventional analytics, the team is looking into how various changes in the weather might impact the business of farming.

Chris is Crop Protection Advisor at the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) in Guelph, Ontario. OFVGA advocates on behalf of Ontario’s fruit, vegetable and greenhouse farmers and the edible horticulture industry, and represents its members provincially, nationally, and internationally. Chris’ role is to ensure that OFVGA’s member growers have access to the crop protection tools they need to protect their valuable crops. This includes supporting continued access to currently registered crop protection materials and seeking new registrations for edible horticulture crops. Chris also reviews crop protection regulatory policy at both the federal and provincial levels. Chris has worked in roles supporting edible horticulture growers since 2012. He began his career in agricultural extension in Nova Scotia and previously worked for Syngenta Canada prior to joining OFVGA. Chris has a BSc (Agr) degree with a horticulture major and an MSc in plant agriculture from the University of Guelph.

NATHALIE DURAND Nathalie is the Executive Director, Crops and Horticulture Division, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC). She has spent most of her career at AAFC and has a vast experience of working on agricultural issues, both domestic and trade. Most recently, she was on an assignment at the Farm Products Council of Canada as interim executive director where she oversaw the operations of the supply managed poultry and eggs agencies as well as the promotion and research agencies. She also held different senior positions at AAFC, including Director of the Americas where she worked at developing solid relationships with the U.S. and Mexico, and as Director of the Trade Negotiations Division where she provided leadership on the World Trade Organization Doha Round of negotiations as well as the exploratory talks between Canada and the European Union that led

EVAN ELFORD 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 and marketing 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.

SHERI EVANS Sheri is the Local Development Manager for Sobeys and Foodland Ontario shows her passion for local food and entrepreneurs alike. She is versatile, self-directed and an efficient individual with 29 years experience managing or supporting managers and executives in a fast-paced retail



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environment. She has held several positions throughout the business and across the province from Department Manager, Store Manager, Computer Automated Ordering Specialist and Grocery Specialist. Her diversified skills include client relations, cultivating strategic relationships, business development, promotional planning and project management. Currently, as part of the Field Merchandising team, she is sourcing, supporting and nurturing local growers and producers across Ontario and has “boots on the ground” looking to strengthen existing and establish new relationships and build partnerships in the company’s strategy of “Winning in Local”.

RYAN EYRE Ryan grew up on his sixth generation family dairy farm in Leeds and Grenville, Ontario. He attended the University of Waterloo where he had several co-op placements in the GIS field before he graduated with a Bachelor of Geography and Environmental Management. After graduating, he wished to incorporate his education, his interest in programming and machine learning, and his agriculture background into a career, which made SoilOptix® a natural fit.

DR. PHILIP FANNING Dr. Fanning has 10 years of experience working with control of insect pests in agricultural, forestry and cut-foliage production between Ireland and the United States. Until recently, he was a Research Associate at Michigan State University, working extensively with Michigan’s berry growers to help them optimize their IPM programs to mitigate losses from insect pests and conserve beneficial insects. Fanning has worked on multiple nationally coordinated projects involving collaborators


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across the United States focusing on research to develop practical tools for growers to control the invasive fruit fly spotted-winged Drosophila.

MARK FERGUSON Mark is a Business Management Specialist in OMAFRA’s Business Development Branch and focuses on farm business planning, labour and human resource management, and succession planning. Before joining OMAFRA, Mark held positions in various farm management and agri-food businesses, including Consulting and Education Program Manager and Marketing and Business Development Coordinator.

DR. MELANIE 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 hazelnuts, hops, sweet potatoes, specialty berries 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.

JOHN FINLAY John has been acting as a verifier for the MyPick program with Farmers’ Markets Ontario for the past 10 years. The MyPick program promotes individual

growers/producers selling only products produced on their farms. It provides the opportunity for customers to know they are buying local produce from a farmer who provides fresh product and reinvests the returns from the business in the local economy. John lives in the Municipality of Brighton in Northumberland County on a family farm.

ANDREW FLEET Andrew is an avid gardener and local food enthusiast. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Growing Chefs! Ontario, a London based charity with a mission to get kids excited about wholesome healthy food. They are working to change the way we teach children, youth and families to develop healthy relationships with the food they eat. Andrew has designed, implemented and coordinated several successful food education programs that have served over 35,000 children, youth and families in London and area. In 2015, Growing Chefs! Ontario was a finalist for the Pillar Community Innovation Awards in the Impact category, and Andrew was named as one of the Top 20 Under Forty - Business London Magazine’s list of Londoners working in the local business community. In 2017 and in 2018 Growing Chefs! was the recipient of a S.W. Ontario Tourism Award for the innovative events hosted at Growing Chefs! headquarters.

KEN FORTH Ken is Chair of the Labour Section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. He is a broccoli grower from the Hamilton area, and currently president of the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service (FARMS) and Chair of the Labour Issues Co-ordinating Committee. He also

serves on the Trade committee of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), and is a past president of both the OFVGA and CHC. In 2013, Ken was among two Ontarians who was awarded the prestigious Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, receiving the recognition for his long and dedicated service to the Farm Work Programme.

KENNY FORTH Kenny joined the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association board as a director in January 2015. He’s a fourth-generation vegetable farmer near Lynden who has been racing cars since he was 12 years old. A graduate of the agricultural program at the University of Guelph, Kenny farms with his father and grandfather.

POLIANA FRANCESCATTO Poliana received her Master’s degree in Plant Physiology and Development in 2009 from the Federal Univ. of Pelotas in Brazil and got her PhD degree in 2014 in a joint research program from the Federal


University of Santa Catarina and Ohio State University. Since then, Poli worked in various postdoctoral research and extension positions at EMPBRAPA and Cornell University focusing on orchard management practices and plant growth regulator use in tree fruit crops. In 2019, Poli joined Valent BioSciences as a Global Technical Development Specialist with main responsibilities in the market and technical development of PGRs in fruit crops around the world. She is based out of VBC’s Chicago Headquarters.

Brigitte completed a bachelor’s degree in Commerce at the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal. She worked for two years as an auditor at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and left to pursue a long and successful career at Canada Revenue Agency. In 1998, Brigitte joined the SR&ED Program in Montreal as a reviewer and is now a Senior Technical Specialist since 2016.



Joanne is Director of Licensing and Security for the Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch at Health Canada. Prior to that, she was Chief of Staff with the Privy Council Office’s Results and Delivery. Her experience includes a blend of policy, issues management, and regulatory operations gained from work with Health Canada’s Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization, and the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Queen’s University.

Morris is a second-generation farmer, who owns and operates Barrie Hill Farms, just outside of Barrie, Ontario. Morris grew up on Barrie Hill Farms, a tobacco farm, which was established by his parents, Adrien and Evelyn, in 1968. In the late 1970s, the farm exited the tobacco industry by beginning to grow pick-your-own strawberries. Throughout the 1980s, Barrie Hill Farms expanded its offerings to include farm fresh asparagus as well as PYO raspberries and PYO blueberries. Morris graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in agriculture in 1989 and accepted full time


employment with Molson Breweries, while continuing to work on the farm during the spring and summer. Following almost four years of employment with Molson, he realized big corporate life was not for him, and began farming full time alongside his parents in 1993. The farm now produces over 200 acres of fruits and vegetables, the majority of which is sold either PYO, or at its on-farm market.

DR. ADAM GILLESPIE Dr. Gillespie is a faculty member at the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental. He is a soil chemist with a research focus on soil organic matter characterization, mapping and modelling. He has a strong interest in using innovative research and instrumentation to link land management with soil health and sustainable land use. Adam has a BSc (University of Guelph), MSc (University of Saskatchewan) and a PhD (University of Saskatchewan).

KATIE GOLDENHAR Katie has recently joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as the Pathologist for horticulture crops. She has a background in applied vegetable pathology from Michigan State University and has been working in the Ontario horticulture industry for the past few years. She recognizes the challenges the horticulture sector is faced with when managing the wide range of diseases and is excited to tackle these in partnership with the sector. One of her areas of focus will be to ensure Ontario growers are informed and aware of the key diseases that impact horticulture crops and to bring new solutions for disease management to the industry in the Great Lakes area.

MARTIN GOOCH Dr. Gooch is co-founder and CEO of VCMI, a global consulting company headquartered in Oakville, Ontario. VCMI helps businesses enhance their longterm profitability and environmental sustainability by implementing systems for driving continual improvements in performance. Martin has two decades’ experience in analyzing businesses and value chains to identify where food and related waste occurs and why, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on this topic, including the January 2019 report, “The Avoidable


Crisis of Food Waste.” Martin is Co-Chair of PAC Food Waste, and lead author of CPMA’s December 2019 report “A landscape review of plastics in the Canadian fresh produce sector.” Martin holds a PhD and Master’s degree in agri-food management and a Bachelor of International Business. In 2017, the OPMA awarded Martin the Cory ClackStreef “Produce Industry Person of the Year” award for assisting Ontario’s produce industry to benefit from reducing food loss and waste.

TERIC GREENAN Teric grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He ran a small vegetable farm in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia for three years before starting Nexus Robotics. He spoke to larger producers at the local farmers’ market about challenges with weeding and other repetitive tasks. A few of Teric’s friends who are engineers agreed to help build a robot that could solve some of these challenges. Nexus began building prototype version 1, named R2-Weed2, in the fall of 2017. The technology was first trialed on Elmridge Farm in Nova Scotia this past summer. The mission of Nexus Robotics is to create innovative robotic software that can help farmers reduce labour expenses, reduce dependence on herbicides and increase yields.

LINDA GRIMO Linda was born and raised in the Niagara region. She went to Graceland University, in southern Iowa, and received her BA in Education. She moved to Arizona to teach and while there she earned her MA in Education. She quit teaching shortly thereafter to return to Niagara with her family to work alongside her father, Ernie Grimo, at Grimo Nut Nursery. She helps to manage the farm from the business side and in the fields as well. Linda is actively involved in research to breed heartnuts to select the best cracking heart shaped nut. They also continue to breed hazels to find disease resistant cultivars suited for our Ontario climate. 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. She is a director for the Niagara North Federation of Agriculture, the Northern Nut Growers Association and is the past president of the Ontario Hazelnut Association.

DR. IAGO HALE After studying Physics (BA) at Dartmouth College and living and working internationally for a number of years, Iago attended the University of California Davis, where he earned his MS in International Agricultural Development and PhD in Horticulture and Agronomy (Plant Breeding specialization). In 2013, Iago launched a long-term research and breeding program for kiwiberry (Actinidia arguta) at UNH, with the aim of developing improved varieties and best commercial practices for New England. Inspired by the potential of plant breeding to enhance health, rural livelihoods, food security, and ecosystem integrity, Iago is involved in variety of other projects as well, from pre-breeding (gene discovery and characterization) for rust resistance in wheat to developing bioinformatic tools to support the improvement of orphan crop species. Iago teaches a graduate-level course on the design, analysis, and interpretation of experiments at UNH and is a core instructor for the UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy.

DR. ANDREW HAMMERMEISTER Dr. Hammermeister is the Director of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. He has a BSc in Agriculture specializing in Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan, MSc in Land Reclamation and PhD in Applied Ecology from the University of Alberta. Andrew has worked with the (OACC) since 2002, collaborating in research on grain, vegetable and fruit cropping systems, exploring soil fertility and weed management. Most recently he has been studying small bush fruits such as haskap, landscape biodiversity, and applications of smart technologies to organic agriculture. Andrew is the Science Director for the Organic Science Cluster, the coordinated national initiative for organic agricultural research in Canada.

WILL HEEMAN Will is the Chief Daymaker at Heeman’s, an award-winning, multi-generational family-run experiential garden centre and berry farm serving the London area. After graduating from university, Will took a sabbatical working at a garden centre in New

Zealand before returning the family business. He helped introduce a new generation of clients (guests) to the business by adding new offerings, new marketing approaches and innovating their space all while staying true to the longstanding values and ‘feel’ existing clients came to love over 50+ years. Over the last decade, both customer visits and sales have grown rapidly. Will is past president of the Ontario Berry Growers, has been called ‘someone to watch’ in the greenhouse industry, has been honoured on numerous ‘Under 40’ lists and was 2016’s Young Retailer of the Year for North America.

CHRIS HIEMSTRA Chris grew up on a commercial honeybee farm and graduated with a diploma in Horticulture from U of Guelph in 1990. He produced bumblebees for greenhouse pollination, and later purchased his parent’s bee farm in 2000. Now he is focused on agri-tourism, hosting over 50,000 guests annually at the Clovermead Adventure Farm, where visitors can learn about bees, farm animals, crops and play outdoors.

CHRISTY HOEPTING Christy is a Vegetable Specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Vegetable Program in Western New York, a position she has held since 2001. She conducts on-farm applied farm research projects and demonstrations, and educational programming in onions, cabbage, broccoli and garlic. She has a BSc in Environmental Toxicology and a MSc in Plant Pathology and Applied Entomology from the University of Guelph. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Extension and Outreach.

FRIEDHELM HOFFMANN Friedhelm grew up in Germany and graduated from the Farmer’s Trade Program and the University for Agronomy. He worked at a variety of different farms before emigrating to Canada in 1998. His Canadian work experience includes over 7 years at Suntastic Hothouse and Veri Hydroponics as a Greenhouse

Grower and Manager for tomatoes and 12 years as General Operating Manager for Exeter Produce, a large vegetable fresh market and cash crop operation producing high quality produce. During this time, he worked closely on field and vegetable crop fertility to increase both plant health and yield and in collaboration with his team, developed a fertigation program implementing precision orientated agriculture. Since 2017, Friedhelm works at Lakeside Grain & Feed Limited in Forest, Ontario, building and operating the Precision Agriculture Compliance Excellence part of the business.

WENDY HOGARTH Wendy is CEO of Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. The company started as a cranberry farm in 1950. Since marrying a second-generation cranberry grower in 1981, Wendy has led company diversification into the establishment of a winery and into the development and expansion as a tourism destination. Wendy’s credentials include sommelier and an MBA from University of Guelph in agri-business, hospitality & tourism.

Join us at the

farmers & friends

evening reception

Wednesday, February 19th 5 – 7 pm at the Convention Trade Show 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.



EARL HUGHSON Earl has spent most of his life in the global OEM automotive electronics industry. He has managed new start-ups, R and D, high-volume manufacturing facilities, formed numerous international technology partnerships, and has been an active member of the Board of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. In 2016, Earl was selected to be 1 of 6 Hazelnut Trial Farm Growers as a part of a special research initiative created by the Ontario Hazelnut Assoc. (OHA). He currently has 12 acres with 17 hazelnut cultivars on his 100 acre farm near Uxbridge. He is a member of the OHA Board, and chairs the R&D Committee. Earl and his wife Roselyn are learning a lot about the challenges, cold hardiness and suitability of hazelnut cultivars in this climate zone 5 environment.

NESLIHAN IVIT Neslihan works as a Wine Quality Specialist through a unique collaboration between Acadia University and Perennia, connecting directly with the industry to maximize the quality of wines produced in Nova Scotia. Her position rounds out Perennia’s offering to the grape and wine sector as expertise is available from soil to wine through this collaboration. Neslihan holds an MSc of Viticulture and Enology from Montpellier SupAgro (France), Bordeaux Science Agro (France) and Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain). She specializes in sparkling wine production and non-Saccharomyces yeasts, with her published MSc thesis research and published scientific articles. She has a BSc in Food Engineering from Middle East Technical University with an associate degree of Business Management (Turkey) and food science education from University of Bologna (Italy). She has international winemaking experience, including Turkey, Spain, France, Chile, USA, and Canada.

CLAUDE JOLICOEUR Claude is the author of “The New Cider Maker’s Handbook”, an important reference book on the topic of cider making. He has also authored “Du pommier au cidre” in French. A mechanical engineer and research scientist by profession, he started 30 years ago making cider as a hobby. Since then he has accumulated a vast experience, always searching to obtain the highest quality possible. His ciders have earned many awards at


competitions, including a Best of Show at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP). Mr. Jolicoeur actively participates in discussion forums such as the Cider Digest and Cider Workshop, and is invited as a guest speaker or as a judge to cider events all over the world. He currently works on the evaluation of wild native apples for the establishment of collections of high quality cider varieties that are well adapted to eastern Canada conditions.

CHARLES KEDDY Charles is a first generation farmer and nursery man. After graduation from Nova Scotia Agriculture College in 1973, he worked in the industry for 7 years. Charles purchased his first small farm in 1977 and along with his wife Doris, started Keddy’s Nursery in 1979, selling certified strawberry plants and raspberry canes. This year marks the 41st year of operation and now includes their son Philip and his wife Kattie. Charles is past president of Horticulture Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and the North American Strawberry Growers Association. At present he is Chairman of the Board of Perennia, an Agriculture and Fisheries development and extension company.

HABIB KHEMIR Habib is a Professional Engineer in telecommunications and electrical engineering. After many years in the industry, he joined the SR&ED Program in Quebec City in 1998 and in Montreal in 1999 as a Research and Technology Advisor and shortly after as a Research and Technology Manager. In November 2009, Habib joined the SR&ED Directorate (HQ) as the National Technology Sector Specialists’ Manager and acted for a few years as a Director of the Technical Guidance Division as well as a the Science and Technology Division. He is now in charge of the Operational Support and Technical Guidance team within the SR&ED Directorate.

DR. S. KAAN KURTURAL Dr. Kurtural joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis November 2015 as a new Cooperative Extension Specialist in Viticulture. Dr. Kurtural’s research focuses on three main parts with short and long-term

outcomes: 1) improving production efficiency in vineyards by applying principles of canopy and crop load management using vineyard mechanization and applied water amounts; 2) identifying quality improvement traits in berry composition by translating fundamental research into applied production practices in vineyards; 3) evaluating alternative methods of control invasive species in vineyards. Dr. Kurtural has statewide appointment and travels California’s grape growing regions providing extension and outreach to grape growers, working with county farm advisors and conducting research projects. He and his laboratory team are based at UC Davis’s Oakville Station in Napa Valley. This research and experimental station includes a 40-acre research vineyard, the Harry E. Jacob Research Facility and the Robert J. Barone Laboratory. For more than 50 years, the V&E Department has conducted viticulture research at this site with field trials for grapevine rootstocks and clones, vine spacing, pruning levels, irrigation and many other aspects of viticulture and vineyard operations. Kurtural has done extensive research on mechanized canopy management and precision viticulture for optimizing grape yields and quality in California. His research interests include precision viticulture; vineyard mechanization for optimizing crop load, yield efficiency and sustainability; whole grapevine physiology; and irrigation deficits, scheduling, application and their interactive effects with cropping levels on vine and grape flavonoid biosynthesis.

JOEL LACELLE Joel is a micro-cultivation cannabis licence holder and owner of Hearst Organic Cannabis Products in Ontario. After several months of planning, building a greenhouse, retrofitting an existing building and preparing an application, his business received a Health Canada license in July 2019.

FREDERICK LAFORGE Frederick is an agricultural professional working in berry fruit production since 1989. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 1986 and a Master in vegetal biology from Laval University in 1989. He is a member of the Ordre des Agronomes du Québec since 1987. Frederick is the co-owner of Phytoclone Inc., a tissue culture operation dedicated to berry plant certification and ornamental propagation since 1992. He worked as a consultant in greenhouse production until 1998 and

started working part-time for Lareault Nursery. As research activities increased with Lareault nursery, he started working as R&D director in 2008. Selections and variety evaluations led to the introduction of Lareault’s exclusivity.

HEATHER LEACH Heather is an extension specialist at Penn State Entomology specializing in spotted lanternfly. She is an applied entomologist by training and has previously worked with other invasive pests including spotted wing Drosophila and the brown marmorated stink bug. She has predominantly worked in specialty fruit crops including raspberries, blueberries, tree fruit, and grapes. She is a native of Michigan and received her MS in Entomology from Michigan State University.

DR. CATHERINE LINDELL Catherine is an Associate Professor in the Integrative Biology Department at Michigan State University with a joint appointment at the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. Her work combines theoretical and applied approaches to the study of the behavior and ecology of birds and the roles of birds in the functioning of ecosystems. One line of research investigates bird activity in fruit-production systems and how this activity contributes to pest management. Another research objective is to determine how to make managed landscapes more hospitable for species that contribute significant ecosystem services. Dr. Lindell has worked extensively with American kestrels, small falcons that can be attracted to fruit orchards and vineyards with nest boxes. The kestrels deter and eat many fruit pests including rodents, insects, and fruit-eating birds. Dr. Lindell collaborates with social scientists to understand economic and social components of pest management performed by birds in managed ecosystems.

RICHARD LIU Richard is the Proprietor and President of Ironwood Cider in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Established in 2013, Ironwood is a 20,000 case producer and distributes across Ontario. Richard is currently the Chair of Ontario Craft Cider Association, advocating the growth of craft cider industry in the province. Prior to founding the Cider House,

Richard started his career at J.P. Morgan and Weber Shandwick in various marketing roles.

DAVE LOCKMAN Dave is the Certification Manager for the Eastern Regional Office of Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. He has over 12 years experience in the organic certification industry and over 20 years of experience in the Agri-Food industry. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Agri-Food from Laval University and a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.

PORTIA MACDONALDDEWHIRST Portia is the Executive Director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council ( C A H R C ), C a n a d a ’s AgriWorkforce Centre of Excellence. Through collaboration, the Council researches emerging labour issues, modern job requirements, position vacancies and labour impacts to competitiveness. CAHRC also develops practical staff management tools and training programs to grow the AgriWorkforce and ensure it is skilled and resilient for future success. Portia holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has a wealth of experience in strategic Human Resource Management. She is an active contributor to many industry initiatives and is currently guiding the national Labour Task Force and the Agriculture & Agri-food Workforce Action Plan.

DR. DAVID MANKTELOW Dr. Manktelow apprenticed for 14 years in government research and extension where he completed a PhD on refinement of tree row volume spraying for the then new intensive dwarf apple plantings. David have been working as an independent researcher, educator and consultant for the last 17 years. He has worked across a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops focusing on the development and maintenance of sustainable production systems – in all aspects of agrichemical use and pesticide application. David is really excited by current developments in crop canopy scanning and sensing and the potential this holds for spray application technology and application rate and volume decisions.

HUGH MARTIN Hugh is an organic inspector and consultant working with organic farms for over 35 years. He is also chair of the National Standards Committee on Organic Agriculture. He retired from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food, and Rural Affairs in 2011, after 34 years.

MARGARET 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. WENDY MCFADDEN-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.

KELTY MCKAY Kelty grew up in London, Ontario. She attended Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and received an honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry. After graduation, Kelty returned to husband Alex’s family farm in Port Perry. Kelty joined the McKay family in running the daily operations of Willowtree Farm and helped grow their existing business. Today, she manages the kitchen/bakery/ café, the CSA program, healthy school fundraisers, school tours as well as helps to manage the farm production and labour. Since joining the family farm, Kelty received a Premiers Award for her healthy food


fundraiser program and last year, the McKay family was honoured to be named one of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018.

KRIS MCNAUGHTON Kris has worked at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus as a Research Associate for 18 years with the Horticultural Weeds research team, conducting research on crops such as sweet corn, tomato, cole crops, blueberries, cover crops and many others. While she has worked with vegetable crops for a number of years now, she grew up north of London on a cow-calf and cash crop farm and completed her education both at McMaster University and the University of Guelph.

STUART MILLER Stuart is a Business Analyst with the Business Transformation Branch of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. In his line of work, Stuart works with software developers and various program areas to help develop the Permissions Enterprise Platform – the system used for the electronic issuance and registry of environmental permissions. Since joining the ministry in 2016, Stuart has worked on the development of the ministry’s electronic Pesticides Licencing System, Permit to Take Water, and Environmental Activity and Sector Registry.

JOHN MOLENHUIS John has been the Business Analysis and Cost of Production Specialist with OMAFRA for the past 19 years. He leads financial benchmarking projects and develops crop and livestock cost of production budgeting tools. He has been involved with several cost of production studies for horticulture crops such as grapes, tender fruit, apples and recently hazelnuts. John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Guelph.

JESSICA MORRIS Jessica has 17 years of combined experience in the area of food safety, as a front-line public health inspector, and currently in a management role at Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. She sits as the chair of the ASPHIO (Association of


Supervisors of Public Health Inspectors in Ontario) Food Safety Committee, and is inspired and passionate about the world of farmers’ markets. She aims to act as a resource to help bridge the work of public health and food safety, in collaboration with Farmers’ Markets Ontario.

STEPHEN MORRIS Stephen is the Team Lead in the Business Analysis and Resources Unit, with the Business Development Branch for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The Business Development Branch (BDB) supports economic growth across Ontario’s agri-food value chain by helping rural communities, organizations, and businesses to prosper. He is currently supports the development and implementation of the economic development aspect of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership. Stephen also supported the development of the Ministry’s new Agriculture Economic Development Resource and works with the OFA on the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice sessions.

JAKE MUNROE Jake is a Soil Management Specialist for Field Crops with OMAFRA. He has expertise in soil fertility, soil health and cover crop management. Through field days, plot demonstrations, and presentations, Jake shares information with Ontario producers on best management practices to improve soil health and crop production. He is a member of the OMAFRA Soil Team and a Certified Crop Advisor.

CHRISTIAN NANSEN Christian is associate professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis, California. His research and teaching hinge on development and promotion of solutions within the broad frameworks of sustainable food production and pest management. Use of remote sensing technologies plays a key role in his research.

KRISTEN OBEID Kristen has a master’s degree in weed science from the University of Manitoba and an honors bachelor of science degree in

agriculture from the University of Guelph. As OMAFRA’s Weed Management Specialist for Horticulture crops, she leads the development, coordination and implementation of programs related to weed management issues in Ontario. Kristen is a past recipient of the Deputy Minister’s Award for her work as a provincial vegetable specialist and the recent recipient of the Excellence in Weed Science Extension Award from the Canadian Weed Science Society (CWSS) for her current work. Kristen previously spent several years with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers and in the private sector coordinating research trials in support of new product registrations.

KARA PATE After attending the University of Guelph and working in the United Kingdom, Kara returned home to the family farm, Brantwood Farms in Brantford Ontario. She works with her family on their fruit and vegetable farm, managing their farm market, marketing and events. Since returning, Kara has worked to develop a customer focused marketing strategy for the farm and to develop and promote a wide range of on farm events.

SOPHIE PELLETIER Sophie joined the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in 2009 as a Research and Technology Advisor (RTA) for the agriculture sector. Since 2017, she is the National Technology Sector Specialist for the Agriculture, Food Processing and Forestry sectors. She develops sector specific guidance material on SR&ED, as well as providing support to RTAs reviewing SR&ED claims in agriculture, food processing and forestry. She is a member of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec since 2000, and holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy. She then completed a masters and a PhD in plant biology at Université Laval. She has been a visiting researcher at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Canberra, Australia) in 2005, before being a post-doctoral fellow, in 2006, at the Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada). Her research focused on several fields of agricultural science, including plant physiology, animal nutrition and soil fertility.

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MATT PETERS Matt is passionate about horticulture. His passion started as a young man, working on a peach farm, helping his mother garden and travelling with his father to “help” install equipment at fruit and vegetable farms across Canada. This inspired him to attend the University of Guelph to earn his BSc Agr. (Hon. Hort.). Since his graduation in 2006, Matt has enjoyed working in his family’s century-old horticultural solutions businesses: Provide Agro and N.M. Bartlett, and is currently the Niagara sales rep and business development manager. He enjoys the daily challenge of working with farmers and other ag businesses to develop innovative solutions to new issues. Matt has served on the OFVC planning committee since 2007 and has been president for the last 5 years.

ROBERT POCIUS Robert founded TekPak Solutions in 2007 and has been actively involved in printing and packaging for over 40 years. He has been developing and promoting environmentally responsible packaging for 15 years. Robert is a voting member of the ASTM on several committees involved in biodegradable and compostable standards since 2010 helping shape the course of many new standards and preventing greenwashing from contaminating the ASTM. TekPak Solutions is also a member of Sustainable Hamilton/Burlington since 2011. Robert has received several awards and recognition for his work including: Certificate of Excellence in New Technology from The National Research Council of Canada in 2012; Award of Recognition from the Global Leadership and Innovation Summit for Omnidegradable Packaging, addressing the issue of Waste Management, 2014 and the Environmental Innovation Award – Sustainable Hamilton/Burlington 2016.

DR. SUDARSANA POOJARI Sudarsana is a Senior Scientist at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). Sud received his PhD in Plant Pathology from Washington State University in 2013. Before joining CCOVI, Sud completed his NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Summerland, BC. Currently, Sud leads the national grapevine virus testing facility at CCOVI and his research is focused on advanced


molecular diagnostics and epidemiology and management of grapevine virus diseases.

PHILIP POWELL Philip was born and raised in the Ottawa Valley. After a brief career in banking, he applied to a newspaper ad offering “an unusual and stimulating opportunity for a hands-on manager” with the City of Ottawa. That led to a 30-year career managing Ottawa’s historic ByWard and Parkdale Markets. For his last ten years with the city, he was also responsible for the business licensing and by-law enforcement divisions where he developed Ottawa’s new street food program. Philip’s passion for markets and local food saw him serve as treasurer and chair of Farmers’ Markets Ontario and as a founding member of Savour Ottawa, the Capital’s “buy local” culinary initiative. Philip now works locally and internationally sharing his farmers’ market and municipal government expertise.

CARRIE RAYMONDGARDNER F.A.R.M.S. is non-profit organization federally incorporated in 1987 to facilitate and coordinate the requests for foreign seasonal agricultural workers. This 50 year old program is a trilateral international agreement between Canada, Caribbean and Mexico (government and worker representatives) and Canadian farmers. Carrie oversees all facets of the daily operations at F.A.R.M.S. including worker application processing and changes, employer/worker issues and works closely with the government agents involved.

DR. JUSTIN RENKEMA Dr. Renkema is a Research Scientist in Entomology at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Vineland, Ontario. Justin completed his PhD at Dalhousie University (2007-2011), studying blueberry maggot, and then worked on spotted wing drosophila in berry crops as a post-doctoral researcher at University of Guelph (2012-2015). He was Assistant Professor of Entomology at University of Florida (2015-2018), with a research and extension program focused on pest management in strawberries and blueberries. Justin’s current research program includes projects on vineyard, tree fruit and berry crop entomology. He

is working on testing and developing chemical, physical and biological control methods for major fruit pests and studying plant-insect-pathogen interactions to improve pest management.

ELLEN REYNOLDS Ellen is an entrepreneur who has been in business since 1978, owning retail shops and a needlework manufacturing company with international customers before opening Beagle Ridge Herb Farm. She presently is busy providing classes, wholesale and retail sales of her bath and body product line and operates a successful agritourism site in Wythe County, Virginia. She opened Beagle Ridge in 2001 and since its inception has hosted visitors from 50 states and 29 foreign countries. She sits on several local, regional and national boards and is active in the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs. Although the farm grows hundreds of herb varieties, they specialize in Lavender, with 14 varieties in the ground. As a former board member of the US Lavender Growers Association, she teaches an intensive 2 day Lavender Academy at the farm for aspiring Lavender farmers. When not digging in the dirt at the farm, she speaks and consults with Lavender growers nationwide.

DR. RON RUNNEBAUM Dr. Runnebaum works on improving processes for more sustainable use of natural resources, including those important in winemaking. These processes involve development and use of solid materials that can be regenerated and reused and can replace chemicals used and reduce solid waste produced. Dr. Runnebaum’s wine research includes seeking alternatives for removing potassium bitartrate and proteins. Prof. Runnebaum earned his MS in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. During that time, he worked in the cellars of J. F. Mugnier in Burgundy, France and of Hanzell Vineyards and Acacia Winery, in Sonoma and Napa, California. Ron pursued his PhD in Chemical Engineering working on the catalytic conversion of biomass to value-added chemicals and fuels. Prof. Runnebaum completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, in aspects of chemical catalysis, where his work was published in journals including Nature Nano, J. Am Chem. Soc., and ACS Catalysis.

DANIEL SAURETTE Daniel is a Land Resource Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 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 agricultural capability ratings. Daniel is an active member of the soil science community as a member of the Canadian Society of Soil Science, the Canadian Digital Soil Mapping Workgroup, and volunteers his expertise to promote soil science through events such as the Envirothon, the Soils Roadshow, Zone Smart and other public events.

BILL SCHENCK Bill is a fourth generation grape grower in St. Catharines. In 2009, he was elected Grape King by his fellow growers. In 2010, Bill was elected to the Grape Growers of Ontario Growers (GGO) Committee. Bill is currently the Vice Chair of the GGO board. In addition, Bill also serves as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN-RCCV). This board was incorporated in 2017 with a mandate to advance the Canadian Grape and Wine Industry by ensuring a sustainable domestic supply of clean-certified grape vine material. CGCN-RCCV is also the lead for the Grape and Wine Science Cluster which is administered through the Agriculture and Agrifood Canada.

DR. GUIDO SCHNABEL Dr. Schnabel is a Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist at Clemson University with over 30 years of experience working with pathogens of fruit crops. His research in the area of pesticide science focuses on molecular mechanisms of fungicide resistance and the development of control options for diseases of peach and strawberry. He developed the MyIPM smartphone app frequently used by growers, county agents, consultants, and

specialists to implement IPM practices. He has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles. For his efforts and documented impact on disease management in fruit production, he received the Clemson University 2017/2018 Centennial Professorship, the 2015 Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Research, as well as two national awards from the American Phytopathological Society. Dr. Schnabel has been named Associate Editor in 2019 of the prestigious journal Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology.

JOE SCHWARCZ Joe is Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society which has the mission of separating sense from nonsense. He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. “Dr Joe” has hosted a radio show on science for forty years, has appeared hundreds of times on television, writes a regular newspaper column and is the author of eighteen best-sellers. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Athabasca University, Cape Breton University, the University of Windsor and Simon Fraser University. Professor Schwarcz is also an amateur magician and often spices up his presentations with a little magic.

KATE SEAVER Kate is a Horticulturist, Garden Designer, Garden Décor Expert, Professional Organizer, Entrepreneur and Lifestyle Coach. Before deciding to pursue her passion for gardening, Kate spent 20 years in the corporate world, serving as a senior executive for two large Canadian companies with a focus on Leadership Training and Organization Development, Process Reengineering and Human Resources. As well as a Botanical Boutique, Kate’s Garden specializes in gardening services and offering a wide array of workshops. Media trained, Kate is a frequent horticultural speaker and television guest.

REBECCA SHORTT Rebecca is the irrigation/water management engineer with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Her role with the Ministry involves helping Ontario producers improve their production by providing irrigation and water management expertise to the province. Rebecca is the co-author of

many OMAFRA irrigation publications including the Irrigation Best Management Practices book. Most recently, Rebecca has developed demonstrations and presentations on water efficiency and soil moisture monitoring. Her specialty includes water permitting and drip irrigation. In addition to irrigation, Rebecca develops solutions for other agricultural water uses such as fruit and vegetable washing. Rebecca holds a MSc and BSc from McGill University in Agricultural Engineering and has been active in water and irrigation associations across Canada and the US.

PETER SKRASTINS Peter has over 10 years’ experience in the market research industry managing a variety of quantitative and quantitative-qualitative hybrid research projects. His work has included brand and advertising tracking and testing, consumer and shopper segmentations, product category usage & attitudes studies, concept testing, in-store shopper research, and product line optimization. Peter is known for his curiosity, creativity, and passion for uncovering insights that drive action for his clients. A majority of Peter’s market research experience is in the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail sectors, but his experience also spans a range of other industry sectors including B2B (professional services firms, commercial real estate), telecommunications, and financial services. Peter has an Honours Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.

ANNE SLATER Ann is a small-scale organic market gardener who has sold her fresh organic vegetables at the St. Marys Farmers’ Market since it opened in 1992, along with operating a 40+ member CSA. She has served on the board of the St. Marys Farmers’ Market for much of its history and is currently the chair of the board. Ann is on the board of Farmers’ Markets Ontario and has past experience as a board member of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and the National Farmers Union.


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Jocelyn is a research scientist in field crop entomology, specializing in insect resistance management for transgenic corn. Her research activities include collaboration with commodity organizations, seed and pesticide industries, public researchers, and government specialists to develop management strategies for key pests in corn, soybeans, and wheat in Ontario.

Sheena has worked in the non-profit industry for over 5 years and has over 10 years of marketing experience in the public and private sectors. She is a strong believer in community partnerships, particularly in the Agri-Food Sector. Prior to joining 4-H Ontario as their Manager of Communications, Sheena managed the Georgetown Farmers’ Market and Business Improvement Area. Born in Toronto and raised in Georgetown, she is passionate about community, the importance of agriculture in Ontario, 4-H, and of course, Farmers’ Markets!

JAYASANKAR (JAY) SUBRAMANIAN 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. He is 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. He is a member of the editorial board in three International Journals and has reviewed manuscripts for over 20 International journals. He has published 95 research articles, co-edited 3 books, has 8 patents and 20 PBRs.

DR. ANTONET M. SVIRCEV Dr. Svircev is a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Vineland, Ontario, specializing in the control of the fire blight pathogen in apples and pears. Current research programs include studying tree fruit decline in Ontario and the development of bacteriophages as biological control agents for control of bacterial plant pathogens. Currently, Dr. Svircev is a member of a multidisciplinary team of AAFC scientists that are conducting research on the identification of abiotic and biotic factors that may be contributing to tree fruit decline in Ontario apple and tender fruit orchards. The biological control development research involves studying bacteriophage-pathogen interactions, optimization of an epiphytic bacterium as phage delivery system, bacterial host resistance mechanisms and optimization of phage therapy under field based trials.

MARGARET (MEG) TUTTLE MCGRATH Margaret is an Associate Professor with Cornell University located at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center since 1988. She conducts research and extension activities on optimizing management of diseases affecting vegetable crops and herbs within organic as well as conventional production systems. Activities include investigating fungicide resistance primarily in the cucurbit powdery mildew pathogen, monitoring occurrence of diseases, and evaluating management practices: resistant varieties, cultural practices including reduced tillage and mustard biofumigation, fungicides, biopesticides and other organic fungicides.

MATTHEW TIGCHELAAR Matthew is a fourth generation strawberry farmer based in the Niagara region and has grown up on the farm his whole life. After graduating from Niagara College with a Horticulture Technician degree, Matt officially joined the family run business in 2011. He helps run the IPM program on the farm with help from his uncle Jeff. He has also played a role in implementing an outdoor biological program which has had a great impact on the industry. Matt is also involved in the daily tractor work and enjoys scouting the fields to make sure all is in check.

DR. JOSÉ RAMÓN ÚRBEZ-TORRES Dr. Úrbez-Torres is a Research Scientist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Summerland Research and Development Centre in British Columbia and serves as Adjunct Professor in the Biology Department at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. He received a postgraduate Master’s degree in viticulture, enology and wine marketing in 2001 from the International Social Science Council and the degree of Agricultural Engineering in 2004 from the University of Valladolid in Spain. He completed a PhD in Plant Pathology in 2009 at the University of California Davis. Dr. Úrbez-Torres has studied diseases of woody perennial crops, primarily grapevines, since 1999 and his current research focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable management strategies for fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases of grapevines and tree fruits in Canada. Dr. Úrbez-Torres is the current Chair of the International Council on Grapevine Trunk Diseases.

DENNIS VAN DYK Dennis is a vegetable crop specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Guelph, ON. His portfolio of crops includes potato, carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, radish and horseradish. Dennis is involved in applied research projects and tech transfer of IPM and production information to growers. His background is in plant pathology with a strong emphasis on nematology. Dennis has worked extensively on nematode issues in carrot production as well as projects on disease and insect forecasting, insecticide resistance, phosphorous management, weed control, application technologies, and post-harvest issues.

JOHN VAN DE VEGTE John has a Masters of Engineering degree from the University of Toronto and was registered as a Professional Engineer in Ontario in 1989. Since that time, he has filled roles of engineering and management roles in a variety of industries including environmental, automotive, custom automation, pharmaceutical and renewable energy. Most recently, John worked at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre as Project Manager, Robotics and Automation. It


was during this time that John became more aware of the challenges facing the agricultural industry in Ontario. John joined the Innovation, Engineering and Program Delivery Unit of Environmental Management Branch in August 2015. As an Engineering Specialist, John has been working on a variety of projects related to technology development, livestock welfare, barn fire reduction, air quality in livestock barns and process optimization.

MAT VAUGHAN Mat is a partner in the Hounds of Erie Winery, a new boutique family owned winery in the emerging wine region of Norfolk County. The Hounds of Erie winery specializes in small batch hand crafted premium wines and ciders. Mat has been a winemaker since 2007. In addition to the winery, Mat is also a seasoned professional planner, and is attending the University of Waterloo for his PhD in City Planning.

DR. ANA CRISTINA VEGA LUGO Dr. Vega Lugo is the Senior Food Scientist for the Canadian Food & Wine Institution Innovation Centre, part of the Research & Innovation Division at the College. Ana Cristina is responsible for managing the research/student team and resources required for all product and process innovation, food safety, analytical lab and label compliance services, and other technical service and applied research activities. A trained food engineer and scientist with a PhD degree in food science, Ana Cristina has 10 years’ experience in food science and commercialization, including in development, troubleshooting and applicable packaging science and technology. Her most recent position was with Hela Spice Canada as a senior product developer.

ROBB WAGNER Robb is the Market Strategies and Business Opportunities Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. In this role, Robb provides information related to commodity marketing, evaluation of marketing opportunities, and business assessments for farmers and agrifood processors. Prior to working with OMAFRA, Robb worked in a wide variety of industries, including grain elevators, manufacturing and telecommunications. Robb has obtained his Certified


Management Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Robb attended the Radio College of Canada where he obtained an electronics engineering degree as well as the University of Guelph, where he studied management economics and earned an MBA.

DR. KEITH WARRINER Dr. Warriner is currently a Professor within the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph. He received his BSc in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, UK and PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, UK. Dr. Warriner joined the Faculty of the University of Guelph in 2002. During the last fifteen years in the field of microbiology and food safety research, Dr. Warriner has published more than 100 papers, book chapters, patents, and conference abstracts. His research interests are focused on enhancing food safety within meat processing, fresh cut sectors and more recently, in the area of marijuana edibles. To this end, his research team have advanced knowledge in the area of emerging pathogens, intervention technologies and development of biosensor devices to detection of foodborne hazards. He was awarded the Ontario Innovation of the Year award in 2017 and OCE Mind to Market award in 2018 for contribution to developing fresh-produce decontamination technologies. He is the past President of the Ontario Food Protection Association and is currently the Chair of the University of Guelph Biosafety committee, Department Graduate Coordinator and Director of the OMAFRA HQP Scholarship program.

STEVE WATT Steve is the creative force of Bright Light Communications. His primary role is that of a creative storyteller, translating complicated business matter into effective messaging across all communication channels. He is a conceptual thinker with strong creative vision and a skilled multi-tasker who can balance communication excellence with business objectives and priorities. Being a strong advocate for local food and agriculture led Bright Light Communications to develop Harvest Ontario, the largest source for agritourism destinations in Ontario. For the past 10 years, Steve is also the creative, advertising and marketing lead of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention looking after all communication messaging including the Show Guide magazine and the OFVC website.

ERICH WEBER Erich is the Business Finance Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. In this role, Erich 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.

DR. SEANN WESTERVELD 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 Non-traditional 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 few years he has been the lead on an initiative to find a solution to ginseng replant disease. Sean is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph.

BERNIA WHEATON Bernia is the owner and manager at Your Farm Market, Woodstock. When she had the opportunity to join the new ownership team in 2019, she didn’t hesitate. For 16 seasons, Your Farm Market has been sourcing farm fresh produce for Oxford County, improving access to the foods that are grown and produced within 100 km of the market. Bernia is an award-winning e-marketing specialist. Over the past 20 years, she has provided freelance consulting services to businesses, non-profits, and government throughout Ontario. Her expertise is in e-marketing strategy development and execution, rural development, and strategic planning.

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Without international farm workers, there would be no Canadian fruit and vegetable production. This is not up for debate. It’s a fact. According to the Canadian Horticulture Council (CHC), the current labour shortage across these sectors has reached epic proportions with 114,000 vacancies projected by 2025. The reality is “Canadians are generally unwilling or unable to take on the rigours of farm labour, which is why many Canadian producers rely on international farm workers to help plant and harvest their crops,” CHC says on its website. The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention spoke with Ken Forth about this ever-important topic. Forth, a leading expert in the field, is a long-time advocate for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program in Canada and the president of Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.). Forth said in Ontario there are two main avenues growers can take to access foreign labour– the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Agricultural Stream. The SAWP started in 1966 with 264 workers from Jamaica. Today, it brings in about 22,000 workers annually, 98 per cent of those going to Ontario and Atlantic Canada and a small percentage to Manitoba. Temporary seasonal workers can also enter Canada through the Agricultural Stream, a program that is similar to the SAWP but with some key differences. The SAWP is administered by F.A.R.M.S., which is a notfor-profit organization that facilitates and coordinates the


processing of orders. Agricultural Stream is administered by Service Canada and was designed to allow the employer (ie. the producer) to manage the administration themselves if they choose. F.A.R.M.S. will also administer orders through Agricultural Stream or the grower can hire a private consultant to manage the process. Forth said F.A.R.M.S. manages approximately 3,000 workers in this capacity annually. Any employer who is part of an approved agricultural commodity sector can apply for temporary workers through the SAWP. Meanwhile, each Agricultural Stream application is assessed individually by Service Canada. The countries participating in the SAWP are limited to Barbados, Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago. This means growers who want to access labour through this program can only work within these prescribed countries. Agricultural Stream, on the other hand, is open to any country so employers can get workers from anywhere on the planet, Forth said.

Temporary foreign workers coming in through the SAWP are permitted to work a maximum of eight months between January 1 and December 15 and must be guaranteed at least 240 hours of work during this time. The period of employment for Agricultural Stream is a little different. In this case, an employer is allowed to hire a worker for up to a maximum of 24 months upon approval. According to Forth, the extended work period is one of the main reasons a grower would choose Agricultural Stream over the SAWP. “Most of the workers come through SAWP but we’re seeing more growers wanting workers longer. Some people want a few labourers over Christmas time for packing crops or for getting greenhouses ready for harvest in January,” Forth said. Another difference between the two programs has to do with medical coverage for the workers. Through the SAWP, medical coverage is provided through provincial health schemes and private coverage taken out by the source country. There is no required waiting period and coverage kicks in right away.

Approved housing under the SAWP must be provided by the employer at no cost to the workers and is subject to annual inspections by the local Ministry of Health. Employers who go through the Agricultural Stream are not required to provide accommodations, however, they must demonstrate that suitable and affordable housing approved by the Ministry of Health is available. At the end of the day, when it comes to deciding which program to apply to, Forth said it’s not about one having benefits over the other. “They’re parallel programs and it’s about what fits your farm,” he said. Growers need to consider all of the information– only some of which was presented above– and choose accordingly.

For more information, Ken Forth will be speaking at 10:30 AM in the General Labour session in Room 204 on Thursday, February 20.

So for Ontario, “OHIP is automatic from the day the workers land,” Forth said. Workers coming in through Agricultural Stream are not covered by provincial health schemes until three months after their arrival. This means, employers are required to purchase comparable health coverage for each worker during the three-month waiting period. Employers are also required to make sure workers have a place to live but once again this differs slightly between the two avenues.



Innovative things are happening with local food in Ontario and it’s bringing together retailers and researchers with on the ground growers. Sheri Evans is one of those retailers. The Grimsby native, who is a mother of two, works for Sobeys as a local development manager. The self- proclaimed foodie has an impressive background in the food retail sector with a career spanning 30 years. Evans’ present role with Sobeys isn’t her first. She actually started with the company as a cashier in 1990 working parttime while attending high school. After graduating from college, Evans took a full-time position with Sobeys and ran a grocery department. She eventually turned that position into running an entire store before moving into an office role where she implemented a computer automated system for the company. Evans positions with Sobeys continued to evolve over time as she worked as a grocery specialist; a role that she said was close to her heart. “I started as a cashier but grocer was the one I gravitated to. I


loved seeing the new food come in and what was on trend,” Evans said. In 2017, yet another position came Evans’ way and this time it was something entirely new. Evans said Sobeys was going through a transition at the time. The company was moving away from a regionally based business structure and becoming a national organization. Throughout the process, Evans said “it was key that we kept the local focus with boots on the ground” so a new team was formed and Evans was asked to be a part of it in a merchandising role promoting local food. It’s the role Evans holds today and it’s one she absolutely loves. As part of her current job, Evans works directly with local suppliers establishing and fostering new partnerships. “If I am working with a potato grower, I will go on site, visit the farm, see what they do, see what the process is like,” Evans said. “I actually got to harvest potatoes and that was cool.

That’s the fun side of the job.” And there are serious sides too. Evans will act as a bridge between grower entrepreneurs and the government. “It’s important to have a relationship with the government. They’re key players in a lot of the funding so we partner together,” she said. So if Evans finds a new entrepreneur that’s looking to do something innovative or a grower that wants to grow a unique crop, she’ll connect them to the appropriate ministry as a way of helping them succeed. According to Evans, promoting local isn’t anything new for Sobeys but she said the company is really taking it to the next level. The mandate goes all the way back to 1907 when the food retailer’s founder, J.W. Sobeys, started a local meat delivery business in Nova Scotia. The Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre is another organization that’s going above and beyond when it comes to local food.

After graduation, Vega-Lugo worked in the food science industry for a number of years before taking on her current role at Niagara College where she works as part of a team that helps clients create and launch innovative new food products. Clients can be anyone from farmers to entrepreneurs who have a product or an idea for a product but don’t know how to proceed. This is where Vega-Lugo and her team step in and offer one-on-one expertise and guidance. “We have this unique team that we assemble according to the project. We get all the creativity from the students and experience from the senior people and we figure out how to help the client,” she said. Local food is at the forefront of many, if not all, of the centre’s projects. Whether the team is developing a new peach drink or a new wine or a new hot sauce, incorporating local ingredients into the formulations is key. Reducing local food waste is another objective the centre has

Dr. Ana Cristina Vega-Lugo is the senior food scientist for the centre, which is part of the research and innovation division at Niagara College. Vega-Lugo has 10-years experience in food science and commercialization, including development, trouble-shooting and packaging technology. Born and raised in Mexico, Vega-Lugo said growing up she had always wanted to become a doctor. Even when she was studying food engineering at the postsecondary level, the dream of working as a physician was never far away. “I always wanted to help people and I was accepted into medical school,” Vega-Lugo said. “I couldn’t handle the emotional component so I wanted to find out how I could help people in a way that they’re going to be healthy.” The connection between food and health seemed to be the perfect fit so Vega-Lugo completed a master’s degree and PhD in food science at The University of Guelph. Part of her research focused on extending the shelf life of strawberries and it allowed her to apply the findings to real life, which was important to the researcher. “I wanted to apply science and engineering that is tangible; something that I can see and see the outcomes right away,” she said.

worked on. Vega-Lugo said it’s not uncommon for a farmer to bring in an unused part of their product and enquire about what to do with D R. AN A CR IST INA it. Instead of throwing it in the VEGA-LU GO garbage, with a little innovation the product can be transformed or preserved into something new and value-added. It’s multi-faceted work and it has a positive impact on the environment, the economy and society in general. “We’re not just developing products, we’re helping the local community,” Vega-Lugo said.

Both Sheri Evans and Dr. Ana Cristina Vega-Lugo will be speaking in the Food Innovation: Trends, Opportunities, Adaptation session in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 19 in Room 204.



A new partnership between 4-H Ontario and Farmers’ Markets Ontario® is connecting youth to agriculture and agriculture to youth. The organizations have come together to launch a new pilot project that encourages 4-H clubs to get involved with their local farmers’ market. Sheena Switzer, manager of communications at 4-H Ontario, said the organization is excited to deliver the program to its 6,000 members and 2,000 volunteers province wide. “There are so many people who are passionate about food and it gives kids a chance to connect to food regardless of geographical location,” Switzer said. The idea for the initiative came from Switzer herself who spent a number of years managing a farmers’ market before coming to work at 4-H Ontario. The communications manager pitched the idea to the 4-H leadership team and they loved it. Meanwhile, FMO was looking for a way to engage youth in markets so the idea came at the perfect time. “There is so much potential with this partnership. Every small town has a market and so do urban communities,” Switzer said.


Six areas across Ontario have been identified for the pilot launch and the partners will work together to connect local 4-H clubs to the farmers’ market in its area. How the clubs and the markets interact is open to possibility. Switzer said it could be in the form of hosting a club at the market, setting up a fundraiser onsite or volunteering for the market itself. “This initiative encourages 4-H clubs and farmers’ markets to truly find the best fit for their organizations,” Switzer said. The project is also inline with 4-H Ontario’s objective to offer equal opportunity to all youth. Switzer said the organization is proud to continue be one of the most affordable activities available to kids. And although 4-H is certainly rooted in agriculture, going all the way back to its early days in Ontario in 1913, the organization has evolved to remain relevant to today’s youth. “We’ve incorporated a lot of other learning opportunities that

focus around multiculturalism, hiking, STEM, marketing and everything in between” Switzer said. The emphasis isn’t solely on rural communities anymore either. Although most of the local clubs remain predominantly in small towns, 4-H Ontario is seeing more interest from youth in urban areas especially in the Greater Toronto area. This goes back to the program’s affordability and flexibility in terms of what constitutes as a local club. “For an organization so rooted in agriculture, it’s not limited to that,” Switzer said. There’s also a desire for kids today to learn leadership and resiliency, two skills 4-H has been developing in youth for decades. Switzer said, years ago, kids inherently learned how to be resilient because they were able to be more independent, particularity through play. “Our world has changed and so have our kids, but 4-H is teaching those same skills in a structured environment that still allows kids the chance to explore, learn, problem solve, think critically and ask questions,” she said. Like all of 4-H Ontario’s programming, the hope is the same for the new farmers’ market project. The pilot will launch this year in 2020, which also happens to be 4-H Ontario’s 20th anniversary as an autonomous organization.

4-H Ontario Through the Years 1913 The first 4-H club in Ontario began with a potato-growing contest in Carleton County; however, this information was only brought to light in the mid-1980s. Before that, a club established in Waterloo County in 1915 by Stanley Knapp has been long recognized as the first club in the province and from which all of Ontario’s 4-H anniversaries have been dated.

1919 There were 450 4-H members in Ontario and by 1923 the organization grew to 127 clubs with 2,369 participants. The numbers doubled over the next decade and continued to rise with the inclusion of homemaking clubs.

1952 The program was officially named 4-H Canada, which was selected to represent the four H’s in the pledge: head, heart, hands and health. Not long after, ‘learn to do by doing’ became the official 4-H motto, the same one that’s still used today.

1965 The height of 4-H Ontario membership hits 28,833. By the 1980’s, membership numbers were starting to drop and in 1988 the Ontario 4-H Council was established to act as a guardian of the 4-H program ensuring its longevity.

2000 4-H Ontario became an autonomous

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organization from the government of Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs ran the 4-H Ontario program up until this time.

2020 4-H Ontario has an expansive reach and can be found in communities all across the province, including rural, urban, and suburban areas. The 4-H program is still well rooted in a strong agriculture history but recognizes that everyone can benefit from the holistic and socially conscious approach 4-H takes to learning. *Source: 4-H Ontario website




Photo : University Of Guelph

In 2019, the Gary Ireland Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Anna Schmidt, a third year student studying agriculture science at the University of Guelph. Schmidt, who hails from Hanover, says horticulture has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. In fact, it was her love for nature, smallscale food production and sustainable farming that steered her towards her current discipline. “My favourite part about my program is the flexibility it gives me to take the courses I want,” Schmidt said and that includes horticulture, genetics, animal nutrition, physiology and more. That same passion will undoubtedly carry over into a career once Schmidt graduates. She’s leaving her options open for the moment but the fields of tropical agriculture, sustainable development and urban agriculture are grabbing her attention.

Photo : OFVC committee m embers Torrie Barb Hipple wi W th recipient An arner and na Schmidt.

When it comes to being chosen as this year’s scholarship recipient, Schmidt said she was very excited. The money is going to good use too. It will help pay for Schmidt’s travels to study abroad in New Zealand and to cover the costs of participating in a field course in Ghana.


h rsity Of Guelp Photo : Unive


48North Cannabis Corp. had quite the year in 2019 after it’s article in last year’s Show Guide. The Toronto-based company, has become the first operation in Canada to grow cannabis outdoors at its 100-acre farm near Hamilton, the largest licensed operation of its kind in the country. Alison Gordon, 48North’s current CEO, is just one of the reasons the company hit so many milestones last year. In 2019 alone, Gordon raised $42 million in funding, while 48North acquired the popular vape company Quill and entered into lucrative wholesale agreements in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.


The business also completed its first harvest at the outdoor farm, hitting production cost targets and yielding 12,000 kilograms of dried cannabis from 250,000 seeds. And the accomplishments kept coming. Gordon was named one of the 50 most influential Torontonians in 2019, as well as one of High Times Female 50, a list that celebrates influential and innovative women across the cannabis landscape.

Photo : @48Nrth



For OFVC committee member Tom Wiley, volunteering isn’t all about giving; it’s about what you get back as well. The Ontario grape grower, who operates a family farm in Jordan with his wife Marlene and their son Loring, has been serving the Ontario horticulture industry in one way or another for decades. Wiley has been a longstanding volunteer with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention and is currently a director on the executive board representing the Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association (NPF & VGA). Wiley got involved with the NPF & VGA after being recruited by fellow grape grower Doug Whitty. He eventually became president of the association, a role Wiley said he held for years, and continues to serve the board today as a director. The list of NPF &VGA’s accomplishments is long, but one initiative in particular stands out for Wiley and that’s the research completed by Dr. Jay Subramanian on reducing food


spoilage with innovative packaging. The project’s potential to improve global food security was huge, so much so that Subramanian was invited to discuss it at the United Nations in New York City. The NPF & VGA were the original funders on the project and because of that, Wiley is proud. “To know that we did something positive, maybe to help the world in a small way or maybe in a big way. And if it all comes back and benefits Ontario growers, that’s a good thing too,” Wiley said. According to Wiley, being a team player is critical when sitting on or leading volunteer boards. Whether he was on the field as a junior football player or playing rugby throughout his adult life, Wiley said he’s always thought of himself as a good teammate.

OUTSTANDING IN HER FIELD Join us for breakfast and networking “If I believed in where the team was going and what I wanted it to do, I was the biggest supporter,” he said. Looking on the bright side of everything is important too and when it comes to the future of Ontario horticulture, Wiley said that will be key. Profitability will be crucial as well and is something Wiley called the best form of protection the industry could have.

Thursday, Feb 20 8:00 am – 9:15 am Port Colborne Lounge FEATURED SPEAKER


“We have to try to be positive so we made lemonade out of the lemons” “No one is going to sell their farm if they’re doing what they love and making money off of it,” Wiley said. When Wiley isn’t offering his time and efforts to volunteering, he knows how to have a good time. The grower plays hockey, goes fishing and attends music festivals throughout North America. On that note, when a windstorm took out one of the barns on his property not too long ago, Wiley and his family decided to convert the fallen building into a band shell for neighbourhood concerts featuring local bands. “We have to try to be positive so we made lemonade out of the lemons,” Wiley said. Those are some wise words that can go a long way from one of Ontario horticulture’s biggest supporters.

YOUNG FARMER FORUM Connect with fellow young farmers over a light lunch and a featured speaker. Thursday, Feb 20 11:45 am – 1:30 pm Port Colborne Lounge FEATURED SPEAKER



OFFMA Outstanding Farm Market of the Year:


The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association’s 2019 Farm Market of the Year is Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery, home of Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh. This third generation family business located in Bala is owned and operated by Murray Johnston and Wendy Hogarth, along with their four sons. Murray’s parents, Orville and June Johnston, pioneered the farm in its early days, laying a solid foundation for its current owners. Over time, the farm has evolved, diversified and added value to ensure continued success and profitability. Hogarth said it’s something that was necessary to keep the business going but it’s also kept things fresh and exciting. Visitors today are welcomed to take the Bog to Bottle Discovery tour, which the farm offers three times daily. The


guided tour was named a Signature Canada Experience and it follows cranberries from peat bog to delicious wine. Seasonal fun includes skating on the ice trail and snowshoeing in the winter; hiking the maple trail in the spring; relaxing with a glass of wine on the patio in the summer and of course, checking out harvest in the fall. According to Hogarth, all of the farm’s experiences are deeply rooted in farming. “Our business started with agriculture and we want to stay true to that,” she said. Staying true to quality and environmental stewardship are two other main objectives as well.

When it comes to marketing, Hogarth said the plan has changed over time just like the farm has. Print advertising was big in the 1980s but that’s shifted to digital platforms especially social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Word of mouth has always been important and that’s something that hasn’t changed throughout the years. Being a reliable business that’s opened 363 days a year is also huge. Hogarth said it’s all about being consistent. “If people show up and you’re not open, they won’t come back,” she said. But with so many experiences to offer, people do come back to Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. Canada’s own Rick Mercer dropped by for a visit a few years back and you can still see the video today on YouTube. Being chosen as the 2019 Farm Marketer of the Year was “a lovely surprise” for the farm family. “There’s nothing nicer than the support of your peers. It was really out of the blue and we really appreciate it,” Hogarth said. When asked if there was anyone the family would like to thank, Hogarth said, “it takes a village to raise a farm. I’ve realized this over time.” Unwavering support has been offered from family and friends, not to mention the community of Bala that founded a festival around cranberry growing. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our community. It’s taken a lot of efforts over the years,” Hogarth said.



Farmers’ Markets Ontario is once again honouring the best of the best with its awards of excellence and this time around, the organization is handing out three awards.



UXBRIDGE FARMERS’ MARKET, which is managed by Lisa Cooper and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020. According to Cooper, the market was dying just four years ago but moving to a new location– The Second Wedge Brewing Company’s parking lot– turned things around. Now, the market gets about 600 customers per day during the busy season. From the freshly baked bread to the local meat to the wood fire pizza, the farmers’ market has something for everyone. And let’s not forget the local produce grown and sold by the farmers who all live within a 20-kilometre radius of the market.

The partnership with the brewery, the ambiance and its rotating community spot that hosts a different organization each week for free are just a few more things that make this market a standout.








The market, which started in 2011, is managed by Jaime Grant and runs throughout the summer and fall. It has up to 32 full-time vendors and 44 rotating local artisans at its peak.

which is managed by Carmen Locke and will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at the Norfolk County fairgrounds this year.

Last summer, the market implemented a loyalty coin program as a way to give back to its devoted customers.

This Thursday market has 32 year-round indoor vendors and another 25 outdoor vendors from May until October.

The innovation was a true community event. The farmers’ market came up with the idea and had the arts council select the ‘heart’ theme. Meanwhile, high school students crafted 2,000 wood coins by hand and market volunteers handed out the coins that customers can use as currency to buy goods. “People loved the idea of collecting something physical,” Grant said. “Maybe it brings back memories of a time when we collected things. It’s fun and nostalgic!”

Its award-winning event was the 2019 farm to table fundraiser supper held last August. Locke said the idea for the event came out of necessity– the market was in need of funds for upgrades– but it’s turned into so much more. The dinner is held outside at the market building where attendees feast on local food, all donated by the market’s vendors. It’s very rustic and the perfect backdrop for local musicians who volunteer their time to entertain the crowd, Locke said. A silent auction and a live auction add excitement to the evening and because the surrounding community donates all of the items, there’s a huge feeling of togetherness.



Hugh Fraser, a well-known figure in the Ontario horticulture industry, is the 2019 recipient of the Award of Merit presented by the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. Fraser, who grew up on a dairy farm in southwestern Quebec, moved to Ontario to attend the University of Guelph where he studied agricultural engineering. Upon graduation, he worked for John Deere for a short time and then settled into a position with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The civil servant moved to Vineland in the late 1980s and spent the rest of his career working for OMAFRA in that region. Fraser said he’s worked with everybody from livestock farmers to hort crop growers to a whole bunch of others that didn’t fit into any one category. He’s particularly proud of his work on the minimum distance separation formula and told the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention that he used to be known as “the godfather” of the program.

“It’s a good program. It separates people from their neighbours and it’s worked very well for 40 years,” Fraser said. Fraser’s work on rapid cooling methods for fruits and vegetables is another feather in his cap, as is the work he completed on dead stock. Speaking to the latter, Fraser put together a fact sheet on how to properly bury and compost animals and almost singlehandedly brought burial vessels to the industry. After retiring from OMAFRA in 2015, Fraser started OTB Farm Solutions, a consulting company that represents farmers within the urban shadow. Drawing on his years of experience working on rural-urban issues, Fraser works one-on-one with farmers and municipalities to build a bridge of understanding when it comes to by-laws, permits and more. “I am passionate about making sure farmers of all stripes get their fair shake,” Fraser said. “Farmers are so outnumbered now and there are so few people who understand what goes on in the industry anymore.” As if Fraser wasn’t busy enough with OTB, he’s also been a certified auditor for the Ontario Craft Wineries and the Grape Growers of Ontario. And then there’s his latest passion project, a book entitled ‘Swing Beam Barns of Niagara – Stories of 50 Barns Built in Ontario Circa 1819 to 1884.’ When it comes to being selected as the 2019 NPF&VGA Award of Merit winner, Fraser said he was honoured. “I never would have thought that this would be something I’d even be considered for. I know some of the people who have won this award so I am humbled,” he said. In closing, Fraser said he would like to thank his wife Judith for looking after him all these years and being so supportive. The couple will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in 2020.



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