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C A N A D A’ S P R E M I E R H O R T I C U L T U R A L E V E N T

2016 Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention FEBRUARY 17–18, 2016




@ofvc1 #ofvc2016

OFVC Executive & Committee Members 2016



Matt Peters  HCO

Brad Huisman  NPF & VGA


Glenna Cairnie D I R EC TO R S

Contents 5

President’s Welcome

Cathy Bartolic  ONTARIO FARM FRESH, HCO Robert Chorney  FARMERS’ MARKETS ONTARIO, HCO Kelly Ciceran  ONTARIO APPLE GROWERS, HCO Bob Forrest OMAFRA Kevin Schooley  ONTARIO BERRY GROWERS, HCO Tony Sgambelluri  NPF & VGA Torrie Warner  NPF & VGA Tom Wiley  NPF & VGA CHAIR


Thanks to Our Sponsors

Tony Sgambelluri  NPF & VGA C O N V E N T I O N C O O R D I N ATO R

Glenna Cairnie


Exhibitor List




Trade Show Map


Session Schedule

Ross Parker  NPF & VGA S P E A K E R P RO G R A M

Melanie Filotas OMAFRA Sean Westerveld OMAFRA S P E A K E R C O - O R D I N ATO R


Speaker Biographies

Carol Pupo ACC O M M O DAT I O N S



Slowing Down Spoilage in Fruit and Vegetables



Taking Sustainability Beyond the Farm


Glenna Cairnie Catherine Clark  FARMERS’ MARKETS ONTARIO P O ST E R S E SS I O N S


Protecting Ontario’s Fresh Water Supply


2015 OFFMA Outstanding Farm Marketer of the Year


OFVC Roundup


Celebrating 25 Years of Farmers’ Market Success


Convention Centre Lunch Menu


NPF & VGA 2015 Industry Award of Merit


Land Plans Under Review


2016 Innovation Award Submissions


Farmers & Friends Reception

Hannah Fraser  OMAFRA / Jason Deveau OMAFRA M A R K E T I N G /A DV E R T I S I N G / W E B S IT E


Convention Partners

Interested in advertising in the 2017 Show Guide? Contact Steve Watt, The OFVC Show Guide is published by Bright Light Communications, No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission from OFVC.



Bob Forrest OMAFRA Brad Huisman  NPF & VGA Ken Slingerland  NPF & VGA Torrie Warner  NPF & VGA Tom Wiley  NPF & VGA 2016 S E SS I O N C H A I R S

Margaret Appleby CONSULTANT Ryan Brewster KCMS Kathryn Carter OMAFRA Michael Celetti OMAFRA Jason Deveau OMAFRA Evan Elford OMAFRA Helen Fisher UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH (RETIRED) Pam Fisher OMAFRA Leslie Forsythe FORSYTHE FAMILY FARMS Amanda Green OMAFRA Kristy Grigg-McGuffin OMAFRA Colleen Haskins OMAFRA Nicole Judge SPIRIT TREE ESTATE CIDERY Christoph Kessel OMAFRA Janice LeBoeuf OMAFRA Todd Leuty OMAFRA Sarah Marshall TFGA Tom Neufeld FARMERS’ MARKETS ONTARIO Kathie Noble OMAFRA Marion Paibomesai OMAFRA Erin Panek OMAFRA Valerio Primomo VINELAND RESEARCH AND INNOVATION CENTRE Elaine Roddy OMAFRA Kevin Schooley ONTARIO BERRY GROWERS ASSOCIATION Rebecca Shortt OMAFRA Jim Todd OMAFRA Anne Verhallen OMAFRA Robb Wagner OMAFRA

Copyright © 2016 by OFVC Inc. Printed in Canada by Annex Publishing and Printing Inc.


OFVC PRESIDENT’S WELCOME Welcome to the 14th edition of your Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention! Over the next few days, you will have some great opportunities to connect with like-minded people about things that matter to you – the business of fruits and vegetables. While walking around, you’ll likely notice that the show has grown once again. We are utilizing more session rooms to highlight a very talented cast of experts from around the globe. A big thanks to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for their tireless efforts in organizing this component and of course the speakers for sharing their hard-earned knowledge. Based on last year’s success, the ‘meet the buyers’ event, an aspect of the business that is critical, is back once again with a great line-up of buyers in a new expanded venue on February 18th. The trade show will be our largest to date and I believe our attendance numbers will reflect this growth in a positive way. In a business of declining stakeholders, our year to year attendance growth exemplifies the importance placed on the connections made here. Our two-day gathering of all key industry players makes our industry stronger. As this year’s theme suggests, together we can. Our exhibitors and sponsors are always greatly appreciated as they help us to put on a great convention. Their support goes beyond just these two days however, and I’m happy to share that all the net proceeds from the OFVC over the last 13 years have amounted to well over $1,000,000 in various project funding that has and will continue to help your business grow! I sincerely hope that you enjoy the fruits of our volunteers’ labour and wish you all the best for the 2016 growing season.





Thanks to our Sponsors PL ATINUM










Tried, tested & new

The Canadian

corrugated industry develops creative packaging solutions that are cost effective, versatile, sustainable and food safe. Corrugated is the food industry’s packaging of choice.

Proud supporter of the Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

December 5, 2014 CCCA Ad Press Ready Half Page Portrait – 8.223” x 9.5”

2016 Convention Exhibitors *AS OF JANUARY 18, 2016 608 A & L Canada Laboratories 1112 A.M.A. Plastics Ltd 905 Abell Pest Control 704 Adama Canada 302 Adams County Nursery Inc. 330 ADS Canada Inc. 1013 AEF Global 724 Agricorp 1104 Agriculture & AgriFood Canada 533 Agri-Flex Inc. 530 Agrofrost Canada 312 AgroHaitai Ltd. 729 AgroSpray Limited 317 AgroThermal Systems 1107 Agrozone International Inc. 304 Allied Associates, LLP Chartered Professional Accountants 222 AP Material Handling 1014 Armtec Limited Partnership 431 Arysta Life Science 125 Austin Roofing & Waterproofing Ltd. 526 Axter AgroScience Inc. 220 BASF Canada Inc. 1118 Baxter Kitchens Inc. 914 Bayer Crop Science 902 Ben Berg Farm & Industrial Equip. Ltd 424 Bertie and Clinton Mutual Insurance 1016 Besseling Group North America Inc. 804 Bioworks Inc. 1110 Bridgeforce Financial Group 524 Burgess Baskets 917 C. Frensch Ltd. 130 Cadman Power Equipment 1101 Canada-China Agriculture & Food Development Exchange Centre 705 Caribbean Worker Outreach Program 500 Carther Plants 510 Central Fabricating & Welding 410 Cog-Veyor Systems Inc. 306 Compac Sorting Equipment 728 Corporate Benefit Analysts Inc. 401 David Stevens Drainage Ltd. 333 Decade Products LLC 1001 DeCloet Greenhouse Mfs. Ltd. 1106 Del Communications 929 Delaware Pump and Parts Ltd. 1020 DFK Equipment Sales 307 Distribution Importation Jean Gagnon Inc./Antonio Carraro Tractors 337 Don Arthur Orchard Equipment 624 Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. 1007 Dragonfly IT Inc. 801 Drummond Equipment 820 DuBois Agrinovation Inc. 402 DuPont Canada 413 Durward Jones Barkwell & Co. 816 Eckert Machines 313 ECO+ 502 Engage Agro 1109 Enza Zaden Canada Inc. 503 Evergreen Liquid Plant Food 921 Extreme Technology Corporation 611 Farm Credit Canada


123 Farm for Profit/Greencrop Agri Products Ltd. 1010 Farm Power Equipment Inc. 1006 Filmorganic 507 First Genesis Inc./Sunflower Rubber & Plastics 230 Flexo Products Ltd. 1000 FMC Canada 321 Frontlink Inc. 511 Fruit & Vegetable Magazine 131 G.B. Equipements Inc. 411 General Seed Company (2000) Ltd. 314 Georgia Pacific Corrugated 300 Gintec Shade Technologies Inc. 915 Global Horticulture Inc. 708 Grand River Planters 128 Grant Thornton 708 Grand River Planters 826 Grape Growers of Ontario 1009 Grindstone Creek Nursery Inc. 229 Grospurt Canada 828 Growers Mineral Solutions 436 H & W Equipment 329 Harris Moran Seed Co. 911 Harvest Goodies 807 Heartnut Grove Inc. 900 Highland Fresh Technologies 127 Hillside Cultivator 700 Hindle’s Clarksburg Hardware 607 Holland Marsh Growers Assoc. 631 Hoskin Scientific Ltd. 630 Ideal Pipe 808 IGSA Management (SEI) Group 626 Industrial Bags Inc./Sacs Industriels Inc. 408 Janny MTCA 113 JCB/D&W Group 513 Johnny’s Selected Seeds 629 Kam’s Grower Supply 1017 Knights Grapevine Nursery 625 KOOLJET Refrigeration Inc. 310 Koppert Canada Ltd. 237 La Coop Federee – Dispro Machinery & Parts 920 Lakeview Vineyard Equipment Inc. 1015 Lambert Peat Moss Inc. 536 Leading Edge Equipment Ltd. 903 Lift Line Machinery Ltd. 701 Liftow Limited 907 Martins Family Fruit Farm 426 Maximum H2O 416 Meridian Credit Union 1100 Monte Packaging Company 232 Moore Packaging Corporation 433 Mori Essex Nurseries Inc.

707 Mori Vines Inc. 320 N.M. Bartlett Inc./Provide Agro Corporation 224 National Leasing 527 Natural Insect Control 606 Niagara College – Research & Innovation 810 Niagara North Federation of Agriculture 430 NNZ Inc. 414 Norseco Inc. 703 Northern Equipment Solutions 403 Nourse Farms 827 NOVC – Louth & Niagara Orchards 825 NOVC – Niagara Grape & Tender Fruit 628 NSF GFTC 405 Nufarm 913 NutriAg Ltd. 1111 Oasis Greenhouses Ltd 406 Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) 122 OMAFRA – Agriculture Development 124 OMAFRA – Agmaps 126 OMAFRA – Food Safety & Traceability Programs 223 OMAFRA – Foodland Ontario 227 OMAFRA – Growing Forward 225 OMAFRA – Horticulture Technology 509 O’Neils Farm Equipment 415 Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association 400 Ontario Food Terminal Board 710 Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association – The Grower 1102 Ontario Institute of Agrologists 831 Ontario Produce Marketing Assoc. 609 Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association 1004 Ontario Tender Fruit Producers 525 Penn Refrigeration Ltd 316 Phytocultures Ltd. 910 Pic’s Motor Clinic 1024 Plant A Row 802 Plant Products Co. Ltd. 432 Premier Containers (1983) Inc. 1026 Premier Equipment Ltd. 725 Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd. 1116 Pulp Moulded Products 1113 R & W Equipment Ltd. 627 R.E. Mann Brokers Ltd. 601 Recoltech Inc. 636 Redtrac International Ltd. 1002 Robert H. Laning & Sons Ltd.

508 Rupp Seeds 226 Scholten’s Machinery 800 Scigiene Corporation 732 Seedway 505 Seminova 407 Seydaco Packaging Corp. 632 SGS Canada Laboratories 812 Shemogue Custom & Trellis Inc. 428 Shur Farms Frost Protection 811 Siegers Seed Company 736 Slimline Manufacturing Ltd. (Turbomist) 906 Specialty Vegetable Equipment 829 St. Catharines New Holland Ltd. 633 Sterling Marking Products 603 Stokes Seeds Ltd. 1114 Stoller Enterprises Ltd. 315 Strawberry Tyme Farms Inc. 506 Structural Panels Inc. 1011 Summerland Varieties Corp. 727 Sunpack Agro-Plastics Canada Ltd. 600 Sunshine Pickles 909 Superior PetroFuels 1003 Supply Rite Steel 706 Syfilco Ltd. 305 Talk Wireless Inc. 702 The Cider Keg 331 Tirecraft 602 UAP Canada Inc. 531 Unibeauce Inc. 327 University of Guelph – Laboratory Services Division 1108 UPI 1105 UPI Energy LP 409 V. Kraus Nurseries Ltd. 1124 Vailmont Vineyards Ltd. 420 VandenBussche Irrigation & Equipment 528 Vector Process Equipment 529 Vegetolab Inc. 709 Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd. 517 Vineland Research and Innovation Centre 319 Vinetech Canada Inc. 806 VirtualOne Software 833 Warwick Orchards & Nursery Ltd. 730 Weather INnovations Consulting LP 733 Weening Brothers MFG 515 Wellington Wood Products 532 Western Plastics Canada 803 Willsie Equipment Sales 1125 Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

Shuttle Bus Schedule Complimentary shuttle bus service is provided between the Scotiabank Convention Centre and the Embassy Suites Fallsview Hotel. WEDNESDAY 7:00 AM – 7:30 PM THURSDAY 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM Shuttle service compliments of:

Convention Centre parking compliments of:

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention SCOTIABANK CONVENTION CENTRE

Speaker Sessions

Exhibit Booths


Cafe / Food Court

Poster Display



TRADE SHOW – SESSIONS DAY 1: MORNING (All sessions and speakers subject to change)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 9:30 AM


ROOM 201 & 202

ROOM 203

ROOM 204





Chair: Valerio Primomo, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Chair: Robb Wagner, OMAFRA

Chair: Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA

9:30 am Sustainability: What’s New and What It Means for the Future of Your Farm Business Nick Betts, OMAFRA

9:30 am Soil Health: Experiences with Potato Production in Michigan Dr. George Bird, Michigan State University, USA

9:30 am Get Ready Ontario: Vineland Sweet Potato Varieties Coming to Market Dr. Valerio Primomo, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre 10:00 am AMI’s Tools and Resources to Support Your Business Success 10:00 am High Tunnel Production of Organic Alison Robertson, Agri-Food Management Institute Specialty Vegetables Dr. Youbin Zheng, University of Guelph 10:30 am Show Me the Money! 10:30 am Where Do We Go from Here: A Fresh Look at Okra and Eggplant in Ontario Dr. Viliam Zvalo, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre 11:00 am Lessons Learned: Successes and Failures in Specialty Crops in Ontario Dr. Jim Todd, OMAFRA


Margaret May, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association 11:00 am Seven Vital Questions for Business Success Joe Calhoon, Calhoon Enterprises, USA

10:00 am Digging Deeper into Organic Matter Katelyn Congreves, University of Guelph 10:30 am Maintaining Soils in Vegetable Crop Production Systems Dr. Dan Brainard, Michigan State University, USA 11:00 am Lessons Learned: Building Better Soil on Farm Ruth Knight, Organic Consultant Inc.

ROOM 205

ROOM 206

ROOM 207–208





Chair: Erin Panek, OMAFRA

Chair: Amanda Green, OMAFRA

Chair: Sarah Marshall, TFGA

9:30 am Ontario Grapevine and Wine Research Network Update:

9:30 am Making Winning Cider at Brantview Apples and Ciders Jay Howell, Brantview Apples and Ciders

9:30 am Crop-Adapted Spraying: The Results of a Three-Year Study in Orchard Pesticide Dosage Optimization Dr. Jason Deveau, OMAFRA

• 9  :30 am The Impact of Bentonite on Sparkling Wine Autolytic Characters and Sensory Quality   Dr. Belinda Kemp, Brock University

10:00 am What Can the Government Do for You? Peter Ilnyckyj, Kiran Pandey and Rob Gamble, OMAFRA

• 9  :50 am Yeast and Botrytis Considerations for the Development of Regional Appassimento Wines   Dr. Debbie Inglis, Brock University

10:30 am Thoughts from the LCBO on the Ontario Cider Market: Past, Present, and Future Mark Wilson, LCBO

• 1  0:10 am Stomata as Indicators of Grape Cold Hardiness   Dr. Annette Nassuth, University of Guelph

11:00 am Real Life Experiences with Exporting Globally Lyndsay Gardner, Flying Monkeys Brewery; Richard Liu, Sunnybrook Farms Estate Winery

10:30 am Minimizing Utility Bills: Step-by-Step Priorities for Wineries Phil Dick, OMAFRA

10:00 am High Density Pear Production: The Netherlands Perspective Eric van der Hoeff, Fruitconsult, Netherlands 10:30 am Krymsk and other Stone Fruit Rootstocks I Dr. Greg Reighard, Clemson University, USA 11:00 am Improving Retention and Enhancement of Postharvest Storage in Fruits Dr. Jay Subramanian, University of Guelph SESSION SPONSORED BY:

11:00 am Sustainable Winemaking Ontario: From Action to Certification (Panel) Richard Linley, Wine Council of Ontario (Moderator); Jamie Slingerland, Pillitteri Estates Winery; J.-L. Groux, Stratus Vineyards; Jamie Evans, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery; and Dave Hooper, Cave Spring Cellars SESSION SPONSORED BY:








Chair: Kevin Schooley, OBGA

Chair: Nicole Judge, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery

Chair: Tom Neufeld, FMO

9:30 am Weed Management for Berry Crops at The Jungle Farm Blaine Staples, The Jungle Farm

 :30 am The High Cost of Low Employee 9 Engagement Joe Calhoon, Calhoon Enterprises, USA

9:30 am – 12:00 pm Presentation and Interactive Workshop:

10:00 am New Strawberry, Raspberry and Blackberry Varieties from Agriculture Canada Dr. Andrew Jamieson, AAFC

10:30 am The Bull Pen: Agriculture’s Answer to the Dragon’s Den

10:30 am Moving Forward on Berry Pest Problems: Spotted Wing Drosophila and Strawberry Viruses Pam Fisher, OMAFRA 11:00 am Profitable Raspberry Production Panel: Management Details that Make a Difference Mike Whittamore, Whittamore’s Farm; Calvin Dentz, Dentz Orchards and Berry Farm; Dr. David Handley, University of Maine, USA

11:30 am – 12:00 pm OFFMA’s Annual General Meeting

• Understanding and Selling to Today’s Consumers • T oday’s Food Trends and How They Will Impact Your Business   Tracy Lamb, Mopani Communications; Lois Ferguson, Malibu Consulting



SESSIONS DAY 1: AFTERNOON (All sessions and speakers subject to change)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 2:00 PM ROOM 201 & 202 VEGETABLES


ROOM 203

ROOM 204




Chair: Janice LeBoeuf, OMAFRA

Chair: Christoph Kessel, OMAFRA

Chair: Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA

2:00 pm Fostering Soil Health for Reduction of Risk Associated with Physical and Biological Stress Dr. George Bird, Michigan State University, USA

2:00 pm Integrating Soil and Tissue Analysis into Crop Management Jack Legg, SGS Agri-Food; Kevin Lewis, Exeter Produce

2:00 pm Regulation and Compliance: What Fruit and Vegetable Growers Need to Know Paul Bailey, OMAFRA

2:30 pm Bacterial Disease Management: Beyond the Sprayer Janice LeBoeuf, OMAFRA

2:30 pm Getting a Bird’s Eye View with UAVs Daryl Patterson, A&L Canada/Paradigm Precision

2:30 pm CanadaGAP Certification: The Process and its Benefits Heather Gale, CanadaGAP

3:00 pm Insect Management in Sweet Corn, with Updates on Bt Varieties and Corn Earworm Control Dr. Richard Weinzierl, University of Illinois, USA 3:30 pm Fusarium Diseases of Vegetables Brian Collins, University of Guelph

3:00 pm Making the Data Work for You Karon Tracey-Cowan, AgTech GIS

3:00 pm Breaking Barcodes: Improving Your Business with Barcodes and Traceability Vanessa Taylor, OMAFRA

3:30 pm Making Precision Ag Work for Me Shawn Brenn, Brenn-B Farms Ltd.

3:30 pm Food Safety: Opening Doors to New Markets Cornelis (Kees) and Anita de Dreu, de Dreu Farms




ROOM 206

ROOM 207–208





Chair: Erin Panek, OMAFRA

Chair: Margaret Appleby, Consultant

Chair: Ryan Brewster, KCMS

2:00 pm Marketing VQA Wines: Sparking a Tipping Point? Sylvia Augaitis, Regina Foisey, and Magdalena Kaiser, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario

2:00 pm Voluntary Viticulture Sustainability Certification Mary Jane Combe, Grape Growers of Ontario

2:00 pm Krymsk and other Stone Fruit Rootstocks II Dr. Greg Reighard, Clemson University, USA

2:30 pm Viticulture in Baden-Württemberg (Germany) Dr. Dietmar Rupp, Weinsberg Institute, Germany

2:30 pm Peach Scab: Biology and Control Dr. Norm Lalancette, Rutgers University, USA

3:00 pm Insights on Buying Trends in the Restaurant Industry Drew Walker, Café Boulud & dbar, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto 3:30 pm Fostering Diversity in Today’s Wine Market Rémy Charest, Freelance Food and Wine Writer, Quebec City SESSION SPONSORED BY:

3:00 pm The Invasion Continues: Asian Lady Beetles, Grapes & IPM Updates from the Midwestern U.S. Dr. Bill Hutchison, University of Minnesota, USA 3:30 pm Pinot Leaf Curl: a Nitrogen Disorder Rhonda Smith, University of California Extension, USA

3:00 pm Understanding Mealiness in Peaches Dr. Jennifer DeEll, OMAFRA 3:30 pm Peach Storage and Mealiness Dr. Chris Walsh, University of Maryland, USA SESSION SPONSORED BY:











Chair: Pam Fisher, OMAFRA 2:00 pm Strength in Numbers: Why We Need an Ontario Berry Growers Marketing Association Jenn VanDeVelde, OBGA 2:30 pm Botrytis and Anthracnose Resistance to Fungicides: Why Your Disease Control Program is a Lot More Complicated Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell University, USA 3:00 pm Using Apogee for Runner Management in Strawberries Dr. David Handley, University of Maine, USA 3:30 pm Should I Be Using Surfactants, Spreaders and Stickers? Joe Uyenaka, NutriAg

Chair: Nicole Judge, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery 2:00 pm Communicating with Staff Lynda Van Casteren, Nicholyn Farms; Patti Stevenson, Barrie Hill Farms; Jesse Lauzon, Springridge Farm

Chair: Tom Neufeld, FMO 1:30 pm The Future of Farmers’ Markets Jon Bell, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets; Aileen MacNeil, OMAFRA

3:00 pm Building an On-Farm Market Around Meat Lynda Van Casteren, Nicholyn Farms

2:30 pm 2015 FMO Review and Anniversary Celebration Recognition of Friends of Farmers’ Markets Ontario

3:30 pm Round-Table Talks Moderator: Brian Hugli, Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Farmers’ Markets Ontario Annual General Meeting

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm • T he Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition   Chairs: Jason Deveau and Evan Elford, OMAFRA   S PONSORED BY: • O  ntario’s Finest Sweet and Hard Cider Competition   Chair: Amanda Green, OMAFRA

4:00 pm New Products for Berry Growers Company Representatives


TRADE SHOW – SESSIONS DAY 2: MORNING (All sessions and speakers subject to change)

Thursday, February 18, 2016 9:30 AM


ROOM 201 & 202

ROOM 203

ROOM 204







Chair: Elaine Roddy, OMAFRA

Chair: Christoph Kessel, OMAFRA

Chair: Pam Fisher, OMAFRA

9:30 am Managing Cucurbit Insects: Don’t Over-Do It and Cause More Problems Dr. Richard Weinzierl, University of Illinois, USA

9:30 am Foliar Nutrient Uptake: Of Myths and Legends Dr. Thomas Eichert, University of Bonn, Germany

9:30 am Economic, Consumer and Management Aspects of Bird Damage in Fruit Dr. Catherine Lindell, Michigan State University, USA

10:00 am Cover Crop Residue Management in Squash Dr. Dan Brainard, Michigan State University, USA

10:00 am Foliar Tissue Analysis: Understanding the Leaves Kirk Patterson, Scotland Agromart

10:00 am Tactics for Managing Deer and Other Wildlife in Fruit Crops Dr. Paul Curtis, Cornell University, USA

10:45 am Fungal Disease Management in Pumpkins and Squash: Too Many Choices? Elaine Roddy, OMAFRA

10:30 am Foliar Uptake: Bottlenecks to Effectiveness Dr. Thomas Eichert, University of Bonn, Germany

10:30 am New Techniques for Managing Birds in Ontario Vineyards Dr. Jim Willwerth, Brock University

11:30 am Open Question Period OMAFRA Vegetable Specialists, Agricorp and Vegetable Session Speakers

11:00 am Foliar Nutrient Products: The How’s and Why’s Joe Uyenaka, NutriAg

11:00 am More Aspects on Bird and Wildlife Management for Fruit Growers Dr. Paul Curtis, Cornell University, USA


11:30 am Question and Answer Period Dr. Catherine Lindell, Michigan State University, USA; Dr. Paul Curits, Cornell University, USA; Dr. Jim Willwerth, Brock University

ROOM 205

ROOM 206




ROOM 207–208 GRAPE


Chair: Jim Todd, OMAFRA

Chair: Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA

Chair: Helen Fisher, University of Guelph (retired)

9:30 am Five Steps to a Successful Product Launch Gary Morton, Morton Horticultural Associates

9:30 am Management of Fire Blight in Pears: Solutions and Challenges Dr. Antonet Svircev, AAFC

9:30 am Evaluation of Winegrape Cultivars for Cool Climate Regions Dr. Michela Centinari, Pennsylvania State University, USA

10:00 am Bacterial Spot Management: Comparison of Copper Compounds and Rates Dr. Norm Lalancette, Rutgers University, USA

10:00 am Regent & Co: Remarks on Some New Varieties Dr. Dietmar Rupp, Weinsberg Institute, Germany

10:30 am Ontario Stone Fruit Harvest & Cold Chain Best Management Practices Sarah Marshall, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers Association; Dr. Bernard Goyette and James Aiello, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

10:30 am New Agrichemical Update Dow Agrosciences Canada, Bayer CropScience, Stockton Group, Syngenta Crop Protection Canada, FMC Agricultural Solutions

10:00 am Experiences Setting Up On-Farm Alcohol Production Thomas Wilson, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery 10:30 am The Key Elements to Successful Pricing Gary Morton, Morton Horticultural Associates 11:00 am Panel: Adding Value to Your Farm Products Dale and Marianne Donaldson, EverSpring Farms; Adrian Quinn, Brandneu Foods Canada Inc.; Gary Morton, Morton Horticultural Associates; Thomas Wilson, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery

11:00 am Adapting to a Changing Stone Fruit Industry: Grower Panel Jake Rasch, Rasch Farms, USA; Jim Bittner, Bittner-Singer Farms, USA

11:00 am Cold Hardy Grape Variety Panel: Success and Challenges Wes Wiens, VineTech; Doug Funk; Gerald Klose, Constellation; Jason Roller, Andrew Peller Ltd. SESSION SPONSORED BY:








Chair: Amanda Green, OMAFRA

Chair: Leslie Forsythe, Forsythe Family Farms

Chair: Tom Neufeld, FMO

9:30 am Techniques to Improve Apple Quality During Storage Dr. Jennifer DeEll, OMAFRA

9:30 am What Can We Learn from BC’s Direct Farm Marketing Industry? Nicole Judge, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery

9:30 am – 11:00 am Selling More by Attracting and Keeping More Customers

10:00 am Mechanical Hedging Trials in Nova Scotia Orchards Chris Duyvelshoff, Perennia

10:30 am Keeping Your On-Farm Market Safe and Secure Doug Penson, SecurU

10:30 am Harnessing Orchard Soil Microbiology for Replant Disease Control and System Resilience Dr. Mark Mazzola, USDA-ARS, USA

11:00 am Making Numbers Work for You: Understanding Your Labour Costs (Webinar) Erin Pirro, Farm Credit East

11:00 am Panel: Answering those Tough Questions from Customers on Apple Production and Pest Management Melisa Luymes, Cathy McKay, Karen Ferri

11:30 am Do You Have What it Takes to Attract Tourists? Carolyn Polgrabia, MTCS


Presentation and Interactive Workshop: Tracy Lamb, Mopani Communications; Kelly Ward, Foodland Ontario • A  dvertising and Promotion/Social Media Strategy • Customer Experiences that Work

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Money Smarts • How to get it: FUNDRAISING Anthony Keating, Cystic Fibrosis Canada • How to Protect it: SECURITY at the Market   Michael Harrington, Millennium Security

POSTER SESSION SESSIONS DAY 2: AFTERNOON (All sessions and speakers subject to change)

Thursday, February 18, 2016 2:00 PM


ROOM 201 & 202

ROOM 203

ROOM 204





Chairs: Michael Celetti and Marion Paibomesai, OMAFRA

Chair: Kathie Noble, OMAFRA

Chair: Rebecca Shortt, OMAFRA

2:00 pm Business Transition Planning for Family Enterprises Paul Stringer, Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP

2:00 pm Frost Formation, Measurement and Passive Strategies to Avoid Damage Robert Evans, USDA (retired), USA

2:00 pm Challenges and Successes in California Garlic Production Tom Turini, University of California Cooperative Extension, USA 2:30 pm Working with Family: Secrets of Successful Farm Families 2:30 pm Fertility Management for Optimizing Garlic Yields Richard Cressman Crystal Stewart, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, USA 3:00 pm Ag Literacy for Growers: Tips for 3:00 pm Disease and Insect Pests of Garlic in Ontario Michael Celetti and Marion Paibomesai, OMAFRA 3:30 pm Panel: Marketing Garlic in Ontario Jackie Rowe, The Garlic Box; Peter McClusky, Toronto Garlic Festival; Warren Ham, August Harvest


Communicating with Consumers Melisa Luymes, Farm and Food Care Ontario 3:30 pm Optimism in Agriculture: Ag More Than Ever Jennifer Peart, Farm Credit Canada SESSION SPONSORED BY:

2:30 pm Using Infrared Thermography to Visualize the Freezing Process and Assess the Performance of Frost Protection Measures Dr. Michael Wisniewski, USDA, USA 3:00 pm Airflow Machines and Heating Equipment for Frost Protection Hugh Fraser, Outside the Barn Farm Solutions 3:30 pm Irrigation and Row Covers for Frost Protection Robert Evans, USDA (retired), USA SESSION SPONSORED BY:

ROOM 205

ROOM 206





ROOM 207–208 GRAPE


Chair: Todd Leuty, OMAFRA

Chair: Evan Elford, OMAFRA

Chair: Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA

2:00 pm Progress on Hazelnut Research in Ontario Dr. Toktam Taghavi, University of Guelph

2:00 pm Reduced Tillage and the Use of Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Dr. Dan Brainard, Michigan State University, USA

2:00 pm Cover Crops as a Tool in Sustainable Viticulture Dr. Dietmar Rupp, Weinsberg Institute, Germany

2:30 pm Use of Mycorrhizae on the Farm in Vegetable Crops Dr. David Douds, USDA, USA

2:30 pm Grapevine Red Blotch Disease: Current Research While California Growers Grapple with it and Move Forward Rhonda Smith, University of California Extension, USA

2:30 pm Developing Resistance to Eastern Filbert Blight in Hazelnuts Dr. Thomas Molnar, Rutgers University, USA 3:00 pm Ferrero Canada Update Jorge Acevedo, Ferrero Canada 3:30 pm Producer Panel: Experiences with Growing Hazelnuts Les High, Highview Orchards; Linda Grimo, Grimo Nut Nursery 4:00 pm Pest Management and Food Safety for Hazelnuts Todd Leuty, OMAFRA

3:00 pm Conserving Pollinators and their Habitat on the Farm Susan Chan, Farms at Work 3:30 pm Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Benefits Fruit and Vegetable Production Dave Reid, ALUS

3:00 pm Options for Renovating Injured Vineyards (webinar) Dr. Tom Zabadal, Michigan State University, USA 3:30 pm Comparing Manure, Compost, Organic Amendments Use in Vineyards Deanna Nemeth, OMAFRA SESSION SPONSORED BY:








Chair: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, OMAFRA

Chair: Leslie Forsythe, Forsythe Family Farms

Chair: Tom Neufeld, FMO

2:00 pm The Vineland Apple Breeding Program Dr. Daryl Somers, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

2:00 pm Landowner’s Rights and Responsibilities: When the Public is on Your Farm Jonathan Schwartzman, Zuber and Company LLP

2:00 pm Foodland Ontario Update Denise Zaborowski and Barb Smith, Foodland Ontario

2:30 pm Nova Scotia’s 2014 Fire Blight Epidemic: Impacts & Outcome Chris Duyvelshoff, Perennia 3:00 pm High Density Apple Production in the Netherlands Eric van der Hoeff, Fruitconsult, Netherlands 3:30 pm Crop-Adapted Spraying: The Results of a 3-Year Study in Orchard Pesticide Dosage Optimization Dr. Jason Deveau, OMAFRA

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Keeping the Farm in the Family? Succession Planning for the Next Generation Charles Stevens, Wilmot Orchards; Trevor Hewitt, Hewitt’s Farm Market

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Market Trends and Strategies for the Future: Panel Discussion Jon Bell, British Columbia; Henriet DeBruin, Thunder Bay Country Market; Ted Smith, Gore Bay Farmers’ Market; Alix Aitken, Cambridge Farmers’ Market; Normand Geoffroy, ByWard and Parkdale Markets; Chris Ganowski, Junction Farmers’ Market



Speakers Biographies ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 2016 JORGE ACEVEDO Jorge is presently the Global Agroinnovation Leader for Ferrero International, one of the world’s three most important confectionary companies and also the largest hazelnut buyer. He is an Agricultural Engineer who graduated from Zamorano University, in Central America. He worked in the Ag Chem, Seeds and Biotech industry extensively since 1994. His experience includes working for Bayer CropScience as a pesticide’s product manager, Industrial Vegetation Management and Range & Pasture, for Central America and The Caribbean; with Dow AgroSciences as an agronomy leader of Seeds and Biotech for corn, soybeans, wheat and edible beans across Canada and sections of the US mid-west. He currently works connecting players of the hazelnut production and research world with Ferrero with a focus on this crop. He devotes most of his time to sourcing, creating, developing and implementing innovation and agronomic improvement information for Ferrero’s own ‘AgriFarms’ and also to its outgrowing network (contract producers) around the globe.

JAMES P. AIELLO Jamie was schooled in combined Electronics, Communications & Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He had his professional rearing in the nuclear, military and aerospace industries being responsible for projects such as the Primary Shutdown System for the Darlington nuclear plant, multiple air to air missile systems, as well as Infra-Red sea skimming missile defense systems. In addition to program and project management experience in multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, automotive and heavy steel, Jamie has hands on experience with multi-spectral imaging, data acquisition, sensor interface and mechanical design. His past multidiscipline program and technical management experience has helped him to focus on problem solving as well as cost/schedule tracking and report writing. Jamie’s instructor experience for courses such as software, hydraulics, pneumatics, SPC and imaging have honed his abilities to effectively communicate highly technical topics. Jamie joined the Robotics and Automation team at VRIC in the spring of 2015.

ALIX AITKEN Alix has been the Market Manager for the Cambridge Farmers’ Market since June of 2011. In February of 2013 Alix join the FMO board as a representative from western Ontario. Prior to her work in Cambridge, Alix was a Community Development Worker in Guelph, Ontario where food security was a central part of her job. Food Cupboards, Community Gardens and other work all lead to making Alix passionate about food, farmers and markets. Alix enjoys being a part of a collective of individuals that are committed to bringing healthy local food to its residents. She believes markets are


the “hub” in every community, and that they should be celebrated for their ability to bring people together.

SYLVIA AUGAITIS Sylvia brings a wealth of marketing and communications experience to her role as Executive Director of Marketing of the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO). Sylvia earned her marketing credentials working across more than 20 product categories in the Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail and Not-for-Profit sectors. She and her various teams have been instrumental in contributing to building some iconic Canadian brands such as Canadian Tire – all in highly charged competitive environments. The establishment of WMAO by the Ontario wine and grape industry is a major step forward in successfully marketing VQA wine to consumers and tourists across the province and internationally.

PAUL BAILEY After graduating from the University of Guelph, Paul enjoyed a long and diverse agri-business career before joining the Food Inspection Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs in 2003. Currently, Paul acts as Coordinator of the Risk Identification and Management (RIM) Unit in the Foods of Plant Origin (FPO) Program. The FPO Program utilizes a variety of progressive compliance tools to encourage compliance with Ontario Regulation 119/11 under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001. This approach to regulatory compliance includes delivery of food safety education and advice to fresh fruit and vegetable growers/packers, as well as to honey and maple syrup producers.

JON BELL Jon is originally from England, grew up in Quebec and the Maritimes and went to McGill University, studying agriculture where he specialized in Plant Pathology and Botany and learned how to pronounce all those scientific names. In his career, Jon has been a municipal weed inspector, a federal quarantine officer for 33 years, has done contracts with the province of BC, worked with the flower bulb industry in Holland and taught in the US. Now that Jon is “retired”, he is a provincial director of the BC Farmers’ Market Association, a member of the local Agriculture Advisory Committee, VP and past president of the Sechelt Farmers’ Market (15 year member), and is the farmer in the local farm to school program. In the summer most of his time is put into running West Sechelt Farm Produce, growing fruit and vegetables to sell at the local market.

NICK BETTS Nick is the Business Management Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He has over 10 years of experience developing projects with farmers, agribusiness and food industry partners, delivering programs, and conducting research. Nick has an educational background in ecology and biogeography, having studied at University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University, and he is currently undertaking an Executive MBA in Leadership and Sustainability with University of Cumbria, UK. He is passionate about embedding sustainability principles in the fabric of business and society. Nick’s other files include sustainability, strategic development, new farm entrants, succession planning, human resources and on-farm safety.

GEORGE BIRD George is a Professor in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University, a former Research Scientist, Agriculture Canada and Associate Professor, University of Georgia. He received his BS and MS from Rutgers University and the PhD at Cornell University. George spent much of his childhood on a poultry/dairy farm in southeastern Vermont and managed an apple orchard in western Massachusetts during his high school years. He has been at MSU since 1973, where he teaches, does research and outreach on soilhealth issues related to agriculture. George works closely with Michigan growers across fruit, vegetable and field crop systems. In addition, Dr. Bird served as the first National Director of the US Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

JAMES BITTNER Jim is the managing partner of Bittner-Singer Orchards, a five hundred acre fruit farm located in Northern Niagara County of New York State. The farm currently grows apples (including some organically), sweet and tart cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and pears. Markets for the fruit include: wholesale sales, u-pick, Buffalo Market, delivery to retail farmers markets, servicing CSA’s, and supermarket deliveries. Previous to Singer Farms, Jim was a partner in Retawta Farms, an 80-cow dairy operation. He received his BS degree from Cornell University in 1980. His wife, Margo Sue, is also a Cornell graduate and has an on-farm winery called Winery at Marjim Manor. The Bittner’s have three children working on the farm: Kevin, graduated from Cornell in 2004, Janet, graduated from Cornell 2006 and David, a 2008 Purdue graduate. Currently, Jim is the Chairman of the NY Farm Viability Institute and Secretary/Treasurer for the Western New York Cherry Producers Cooperative. He is also past president of

the New York Horticulture Society, President of the Niagara County Farm Bureau, past president of the Niagara County Cornell Cooperative Extension Board and past president of the Barker Lions Club.

DAN BRAINARD Dan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. He received his MS from Stanford University in Economics and a PhD from Cornell University in Horticulture with an emphasis on weed ecology and management in vegetable crops. Prior to graduate school he worked on commercial vegetable farms in the Northeast U.S., and served as an agricultural extension educator for the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa. His current primary research and extension interests include: 1) development of reducedtillage cover crop intensive vegetable production systems to help growers improve soils and increase crop resilience to stress, and 2) weed ecology and management in vegetable and field crops.

SHAWN BRENN Shawn is currently the president of Brenn-B Farms Ltd., and together with his brother Chris, they represent the 4th generation of producers at Brenn-B Farms Ltd., dating back to 1940. Shawn graduated from the University of Guelph in 1998 with two diplomas, one in Ag Business and the other in Horticulture. Immediately after graduation Shawn returned to the family farm, bought shares into the company and started his future on the family farm. Brenn-B Farms is currently cropping close to 2000 acres and in peak season, employs 65 people and maintains 15 full time staff year round. Shawn is currently on the board of directors for the Ontario Potato Board as well as the board of directors for the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce.

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MICHAEL CELETTI Michael is the Plant Pathologist, Program Lead for Horticulture Crops with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Guelph. After he obtained his graduate degrees in Plant Pathology from the University of Guelph, he researched disease management at the Agriculture University in The Netherlands. Upon returning to Canada, Mike worked for the Prince

Edward Island Potato Marketing Board researching disease and nematode management in rotation crops with potatoes. His interests in chemical control lead him to a position with an international pesticide manufacturing company in western Canada. Prior to joining OMAFRA in 1998, he was the Provincial Plant Pathologist for Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food. In 2006, Mike received the “Award for Achievements in Plant Disease Management” from the Canadian Phytopathological Society.

MICHELA CENTINARI Michela is an Assistant Professor of viticulture at The Pennsylvania State University, USA. Her research program addresses problems related to the economic and environmental sustainability of wine grape production in the eastern United States. She is currently working on the effect of management practices and cultivar selection on grapevine freezing stress, evaluation of wine grape cultivars suitable for Pennsylvania climatic conditions, impact of canopy management practices on wine chemistry, sensory perception, and production costs. Michela is originally from Italy. Before joining Penn State in 2014, she worked for four years at Cornell University, NY, where her research focused on the effect of root-zone management practices on above and below-ground grapevine growth and physiology.

RÉMY CHAREST Rémy has been writing about food and wine for nearly twenty years, for many publications in Canada and the United States, including Le Devoir, EnRoute, Photo: Jason Dziver Cellier, Chacun son Vin/ WineAlign, Punch Drink, Coup de Pouce and Palate Press. He has also appeared regularly on radio shows with CBC, Radio-Canada and CJAD in Montreal. He has also translated and written several books, and has extensive experience in website creation and social media. He lives in Quebec City with his three children.

BRIAN COLLINS Brian recently completed his MSc at the University of Guelph in plant pathology. His research involved the evaluation of management practices for Fusarium wilt of spinach, including: cultivar selection, seed treatments, limestone application, and soil fumigation. Brian also grows bunched leafy green vegetables, along side his parents on their farm in Hamilton.

MARY JANE COMBE Since 2008, Mary Jane has been working with the Grape Growers of Ontario as a Market Analyst. GGO is the official organization that represents 500 actively producing growers of 17,000 acres in the province’s viticulture areas. Embracing new technology and creating a focus on growing Ontario’s VQA wines is the culture embraced by the organization. Before joining the Grape Growers of Ontario, Mary Jane worked as an Agricultural Business Consultant guiding a number of agri-business projects and prior to that, she was a Business Management Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Mary Jane holds a BSc (Agr) degree from the University of Guelph, and lives with her family near St Catharines, Ontario.

DR. K ATE CONGREVES Dr. Congreves is a soil scientist focused on the development of sustainable cropping systems. She studies the effects of agricultural management on soil health, organic matter, and nitrogen fertility. Her educational background includes a PhD in Land Resource Science from the University of Guelph, a BSc in Biology and a BEd from Queen’s University. She has experience working at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and currently works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph.

DR. KERIK COX Dr. Cox manages a program of tree fruit and berry research and extension at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Principal research efforts include fungicide and antibiotic resistance, and applied disease management with a focus on apple and stone fruit. Recently, fungicide resistance research has expanded in botrytis of strawberry. Extension efforts focus on pesticide education and disease management in small fruit with emphasis on covered production. Since the establishment of his program, Dr. Cox has been conducting fungicide resistance and invasive pathogen surveys in New York and the northeastern United States.

RICHARD CRESSMAN Richard has been coaching farm family businesses on how to effectively communicate and work with each other for the past 15 years. In addition to coaching farm families, Richard and his brother have been operating a Dupont Pioneer seed dealership for 20 years. This has given Richard the unique opportunity to observe firsthand how some families excel at making communication work.


DR. PAUL D. CURTIS Dr. Curtis has coordinated the Wildlife Damage Management Program for Cornell Cooperative Extension in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University during the past 25 years. His applied research interests include testing novel fencing and repellents for protecting plants and fruit crops from wildlife, deer impacts to forest regeneration, wildlife fertility control, management of colonial waterbirds, and resolving communitybased wildlife issues. He has conducted research on white-tailed deer, controlled hunting programs, black bear ecology, urban coyote behavior, Canada geese, woodpeckers, and fruit-eating birds. Dr. Curtis is a co-author of the National Wildlife Control Training Program, and he is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with the Wildlife Society.

HENRIET DEBRUIN Henriet is an AALP Graduate Class 15, registered nurse. She is Vice-President of Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture, past board member of Thunder Bay Country Market and sits on the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy Administrative Committee. Henriet and her husband, Arjen own a first generation greenhouse operation in the Thunder Bay area. They grow hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and fresh herbs, with the addition of hydroponic strawberries in 2015. They currently supply the local farmers’ market as well as restaurants, retail outlets, and have farm gate sales. Henriet and Arjen were involved with starting and helping grow the Thunder Bay Country Market.

of Ontario for previous work on fresh-cut apple slices. Dr. DeEll has published over 75 scientific papers, as well as review articles, book chapters, and books, on subjects pertaining to postharvest physiology and the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. She is on the editorial board for the international scientific journal Postharvest Biology and Technology.

CALVIN DENTZ Calvin, along with his brother Paul, operates a successful fruit and vegetable farm south of Ottawa. They grow, pack, and ship strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, apples, and squash. Corn, soybeans, wheat, and sweet corn are also grown. Crops are sold through distribution channels as well as at the farm gate. Dentz Orchards and Berry Farm planted their first raspberries in 1994. Calvin has 30 years of farming experience and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.

DR. JASON DEVEAU Jason is the Application Technology Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He holds an Honours BSc in Biology & Psychology from Mount Allison University, a MSc in plant cell physiology from York University and a PhD in plant cell electrophysiology from the University of Guelph. Working out of the Simcoe Resource Centre in Ontario, his current focus is to explore methods to reduce pesticide wastage and off-target contamination, to develop methods to spray crops more consistently and to create educational materials for sprayer operators.



De Dreu Farms is a family owned vegetable and cash crop operation with over 700 acres including cabbage, broccoli and kale. Eight-five percent of their vegetable sales are grown for the Ontario market and 15% is exported to the United States. In October 2014, they invested in a new facility to accommodate packing and cold storage demands. The farm is CanadaGAP certified for 2 years and see the benefits of having this certification for maintaining existing markets and welcoming new ones.

Phil is a Business Resource Specialist in the Strategic Marketing and Analysis Unit of the Business Development Branch at OMAFRA where he works with infrastructure, energy and environmental connectivity to Ontario’s food industry. He is active across ministries on various files including Climate Change, Great Lakes Water, Green Energy, Energy Efficiency, Cap and Trade, Food Waste and, Transportation/Logistics. Phil sits on the Performance Measurement Technical Working Group of the Provincial Wine and Grape Strategy. Prior to his 24 years with the ministry, Phil spent 12 years in progressive management positions in the agricultural supply sector and the food processing industry. His experience includes general management, agronomy, sales, marketing, logistics, procurement and QA.

DR. JENNIFER DEELL Dr. DeEll is the Fresh Market Quality Program Lead with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), located in Simcoe. She is currently studying the use of anti-ethylene technologies to retard fruit ripening and control physiological disorders during storage, investigating methods to improve handling and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables, and developing optimum postharvest practices for peaches as well as new apple and pear cultivars. She was one of the first to receive the Agri-Food Innovation Award from the Government


DALE DONALDSON Dale is the co-owner and founder of Everspring Farms Ltd., a diversified family owned farm and functional food business located in Ilderton and Seaforth, Ontario. The business focuses on food products and services that add value to primary agriculture products that cater to the growing health and wellness sector. Some of the ag products used for further processing to date include mushrooms, corn germ, seabuckthorn berries, chicory root, healthy fat replacers and a wide variety of grains and seeds used for sprouting and blending. Everspring also provides a wide range of services including sprouting, drying, milling, blending and packaging to companies launching new products into the healthy foods category.

DAVID DOUDS David received his PhD in plant physiology from the Purdue University Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources in 1984. After two post-doctoral positions at the University of Florida, he began working at the USDA-ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, PA, USA in 1989. He has spent his research career studying mycorrhizal fungi on topics ranging from basic studies of physiology to applied field research. Most recently, he has collaborated with The Rodale Institute and local vegetable farmers in southeastern Pennsylvania to develop a technique for the on-farm production of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus inoculum and to demonstrate its usefulness in crop production.

CHRIS DUY VELSHOFF Chris is part of the horticulture team of Perennia Food & Agriculture which delivers extension services in Nova Scotia. He provides advice to Nova Scotia producers on all aspects of horticulture systems for tree fruit crops including apple, pear, and stone fruits. He joined Perennia in 2012 after completing an MSc degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph with a specialization in apple physiology and management. In addition to extension activities, Chris is involved with applied research trials in several crops including pesticide and growth regulator trials and other applied research aimed at improving efficiency and profitability for Nova Scotia tree fruit producers.

THOMAS EICHERT Thomas is Lecturer at the Department of Plant Nutrition at the University of Bonn. He has a degree in Geoecology from University of Bayreuth, Germany and received his PhD at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He habilitated at the University of Bonn, Germany, Faculty of Agriculture. He is author of numerous peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of plant nutrition and physiology. He is a leading expert in foliar nutrition and has

made major contributions to the understanding of the principles of foliar nutrient uptake and environmental factors controlling this process. Apart from foliar nutrition, his research focuses on plant ecophysiology, nutrient mobility in plants, and plant availability of nutrients in soils and fertilizers. He contributed to the 3rd edition of Marschner‘s textbook: “Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants”.

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 ethno-cultural vegetables, specialty berries, specialty grains, and other crops such as hops. Evan grew up on a hog farm in Cannington, Ontario and prior to joining the ministry, he worked for the University of Guelph, industry associations and a horticultural farm operation.

JAMIE EVANS Jamie became winemaker at Peninsula Ridge in August of 2009. Prior to this, he served as winemaker and consulting winemaker to several other Niagara wineries beginning in 1997. Jamie has an Honours BA from the University of Ottawa (don’t tell anyone, but he is also a trained classical archaeologist). Fortunately, he is also a graduate of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Jamie’s wines have won numerous awards over the years and have been enthusiastically received by the public. For the past three years he has also served on the Sustainable Winemaking Committee of the Wine Council of Ontario.

DR. ROBERT EVANS Dr. Evans is considered one of the foremost authorities in the world on cold temperature management (AKA: “frost protection”) of orchard and vineyard crops. He has conducted extensive research on undertree and overtree sprinklers, wind machines and heaters (individually and in combination) for low temperature management

of a wide variety of crops while conserving water and other resources at Washington State University. He has conducted numerous national and international presentations and workshops plus hosting many visitors and receives frequent requests for reprints on these topics. Dr. Evans has also made major contributions on the use of overtree sprinkler systems for evaporative cooling of apples to reduce sunburn. He is also widely recognized for his work on regulated deficit irrigation of apples and grapes, drip irrigation and site-specific center pivot sprinkler systems. Dr. Evans’ work in water requirements of wine grapes, hops, apples and sweet cherries is also widely utilized.

LOIS FERGUSON Through her company Malibu Consulting, Lois communicates the science of nutrition with a fresh approach of pleasure and permission, on behalf of consumer packaged goods companies and agricultural commodities. Using her skills as Home Economist and Registered Dietitian she keeps on top of the trends in food, nutrition and entertaining. Before starting her business, she gained experience as Director of Communications for the Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada, as a Nutritionist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and in marketing and public relations at Best Foods Canada Inc. In her best-selling book Eating for Energy & Ecstasy, she shows us how to engage our senses as we prepare food and invites us to savour every meal we share with family and friends.

K AREN FERRI Karen and her husband Tom own and operate TK Ferri Orchards in The Blue Mountains, Ontario. The team is a third generation of apple growers who are on the leading edge of planting techniques with high density orchards on 22 acres. Drawing from a discerning customer base of tourists, weekend residents and local citizens, Karen has begun to build a farm-gate market, and pick-your-own, with the reputation for apple quality and customer service. Networking through culinary tourism, and the use of social media have proven to be increasingly successful endeavors as the farm-gate market is a sought after destination. No stranger to opening the orchard doors, Karen guides orchard tours to international media, international travel agents, local business groups, government departments and special interest groups.

PAM FISHER Pam is the Berry Crop Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Simcoe. She and the OMAFRA berry team teaches growers and scouts about berry crop pest management and works with growers to solve problems in the field. Recent projects have been focused on spotted wing drosophila, nematode management, strawberry virus diseases and day-neutral strawberry production.

REGINA FOISEY Regina started in the Ontario wine industry in 1995. She started working in a retail setting at a wine kiosk, then moving on to a winery where she managed a busy tasting bar, retail shop and executed tours for visitors and assisted with harvest and vineyard management to gain a full 360º view of a winery setting. She started with the Wine Council of Ontario in 2003 and has worked to develop many of the programs running today. Transitioning to the newly created Wine Marketing Association of Ontario in early 2015, she oversees many of the marketing components from advertising, tourism programs and printed materials, website, retail training programs for wineries and LCBO stores, research and more.

HUGH FRASER Hugh retired last year from OMAFRA at Vineland. Soon after, he started a one-person consulting firm called OTB Farm Solutions with the by-line ‘Outside the barn bright thinking for farming in the urban shadow’. He works with farmers experiencing issues created by having dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of neighbours next door to their farm. In his old job, Hugh worked with horticultural growers on frost protection and co-authored a factsheet on BMPs for using wind machines.

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DOUG FUNK Doug is a 2nd generation grape grower and part owner of Funk Farms Ltd., in Jordan within the Niagara Region. After completing his apprenticeship, he worked as a Licensed Farm Mechanic at Boyle Tractor and Parts and Service Manager at Lakeview Harvesters. He has extensive knowledge and a passion for designing and building equipment that suits the ever changing needs of the industry. In 2007 he started full-time on the family farm, with 8 different varieties of grapes grown on their 150 acres of vineyards. With the loss of markets, and also aging vineyards, a decision was made to transition from juice grapes to wine grapes. The focus has been to replant with varieties that are cold hardy, varieties that have been found to be sustainable and suitable given their location above the Niagara Escarpment. He continually looks for new opportunities to be innovative, and to keep current within the wine industry.

HEATHER GALE Heather has worked with Canada’s horticultural industry since 2000 and is the Executive Director of CanadaGAP, the food safety program for fresh fruit and vegetables. Her career with the horticulture sector began with the Canadian Horticultural Council, where she worked in communications, issues management and food safety. Heather serves on the Board of the Canadian Supply Chain Food Safety Coalition and the Global Food Safety Initiative’s Technical Working Group. She formerly chaired the Food Safety Committee of the International Federation for Produce Standards. Her work history includes several years experience working on a fruit and vegetable farm. She graduated with a Masters degree from the University of Ottawa in 1994.

ROB GAMBLE Rob is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Economic Development Policy Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and works on wine and grape policy issues. Prior to that he was a Marketing Analyst with the Farm Products Marketing Commission for 5 years and a Farm Finance and Taxation Program Lead for the ministry for 12 years where he led the development of programs and initiatives in business management, finance and taxation. Rob holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and a Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Waterloo.

CHRIS GANOWSKI Chris has been an avid fan of food and farmers’ markets for as long as he can remember. He immigrated to Canada from Poland as a small child and remembers the importance his parents put on eating seasonally and locally. After completing a BA in Political Science from the


University of Guelph, Chris went on to obtain his MA in European and Russian Studies from Carleton University. He spent several years working at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, but longed to apply his love of local food in his community. In 2012, Chris was one of the founding members of the Junction Farmers’ Market (JFM) and has served as president of the board ever since. Located in downtown Toronto, the Junction Farmers’ Market is first and foremost a place where urban dwellers can shop for local food and build connections with the farmers that grow it.

LYNDSAY GARDNER Lyndsay is the Export Manager and IT Coordinator for the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario. In a few short years, Lyndsay has catapulted the Flying Monkeys to the forefront of the Ontario Craft Beer Export List promoting the allure of local craft products to global export marketplaces. With lucrative trade relationships in over 13 different Asian and European countries, rapid expansion of Flying Monkeys’ distribution in the northeastern U.S. markets, and export to seven other Canadian provinces, she advises fellow Ontario craft brewers on export-related questions. She recently returned from a trade mission to Seoul, South Korea, hosted by the Canadian Embassy where she educated young Asian markets about the quality and creativity of Canadian craft beer. Since 2008, Lyndsay has performed nearly every job in the brewery making her especially suited to co-ordinate the company’s custom ERP system uniquely specific to the intricate operations of a craft brewery with growing export markets.

NORMAND GEOFFROY Normand graduated from eastern Ontario’s Alfred Agricultural College in agriculture. After spending a year in France working on a large bovine and equine farm operation, he eventually earned a position at the City of Ottawa Markets Management. After 28 years, he remains very passionate about markets and farming issues. Normand has a vast experience in the operation of farmers’ markets. He has developed guidelines and procedures for farm verification processes, organized numerous special events, and had a lifetime to put into practice client service, patience, persuasion acting, tenacity, listening and negotiation skills. He was chair of FMO in 2001 and was on the Franco-Ontarian Music Festival board of directors from 2010 to 2014.

DR. BERNARD GOYETTE Dr. Goyette received his PhD in 2010 from the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill University, Montreal, where he conducted research investigating the application of physical treatments to enhance quality attributes of fresh horticultural produce. Dr. Goyette joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2011 as a Research Scientist in the area of Postharvest Science, bringing with him almost 20 years of experience in

postharvest technology research. He is an agricultural engineer by training, specializing in postharvest treatments and his area of research has included precooling, storage and handling, as well as physical postharvest treatments. Bernard is establishing the postharvest program at Vineland. He specialized in applying thermodynamics and heat and mass transfer principles to develop new storage methods or techniques that maintain optimum freshness and quality of horticultural produce.

LINDA GRIMO Linda was born and raised in the Niagara region. She went to 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 when her second son was born and returned to Niagara with her family to work alongside her father at Grimo Nut Nursery. She helps to manage the farm from the business side and in the fields as well. They dig and ship trees in the spring, and harvest the nuts from their test orchards in the fall; selling the surplus crops to local residents. She is a director for both the Niagara North Federation of Agriculture and the Ontario Hazelnut Association. Linda has a passion for farming and for encouraging people to eat local and is the current President for the Niagara Local Food Co-op, an online farmer’s market.

JEAN-LAURENT ‘J-L’ GROUX A native of the Loire Valley in France, J-L studied winemaking both at the College de Beaune in Burgundy and at the University of Bordeaux. He subsequently traveled the globe to learn more about the world’s wine regions and styles of winemaking, a journey that eventually brought him to the Niagara region in the early 1980s. In 1989, he joined Hillebrand Estates where he seized the opportunity to experiment with grape varieties, winemaking techniques and wine growing practices within the rebirth of the Canadian wine industry. In 2004, J-L joined Stratus Vineyard’s, as the Director of Winemaking. At Stratus, J-L is renowned for his passion for creating distinctive wines based on the principle of assemblage – the art of crafting several different grape varieties to produce a wine that is the most complex expression of the vineyard’s terroir.

WARREN HAM Warren was born in 1957 on a small mixed farm in eastern Saskatchewan and attended Simon Fraser University. Over the past years, Warren has been a part of growing plots of garlic from 1 to 100 acres. He supplies garlic seeds to major grocery chains across Canada and the US, and as well as individual growers, farmers, and seed houses across North America, and England. As a member of the Garlic Growers Association of Ontario for 28 years, he has served in most capacities. Warren worked on the case that went before the International Trade Tribunal to block Chinese garlic from being dumped into the Canadian market. He is working with the University of Guelph, the Volcani Institute in

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Israel, and companies in the United States and both levels of government to develop disease and virus free garlic seed for the strains of garlic grown in Ontario. In 2014 he was a guest speaker at the International Garlic Congress held in Madrid, Spain. He was also a co-founder of the Stratford Garlic Festival. Warren and the kids live on a 100 acre farm called “Augusts’ Harvest” just north of Stratford, Ontario.

DAVID HANDLEY David is a Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist and a Cooperating Professor of Horticulture for the University of Maine. Dr. Handley received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, and his Masters and PhD degrees from the University of New Hampshire. He has been based at Highmoor Farm, the Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Monmouth, Maine, since 1983, where he carries out applied research regarding berry and vegetable variety evaluation, production techniques and pest management strategies. He coordinates statewide integrated pest management (IPM) programs for strawberries and sweet corn. Dr. Handley is the author of numerous Extension fact sheets, articles and newsletters, and co-editor of two regional small fruit production guides.



With 15 years of experience within the security industry, Michael consults with his clients on security systems, video surveillance, video verification, perimeter protection, card access, environment protection and GPS tracking. Merging yesterday’s systems with today’s technology in easy to understand applications, has created the trust and loyalty of Michael’s customer base.

Les and his wife Pat grow 8 acres of hazelnuts. Les farmed with his parents and graduated from the Agricultural College at Guelph in 1974. In 1978, Les and Pat purchased additional property and Highview Orchards was soon formed where tender fruit crops were grown for several decades. Now with operations in Jordan Station, the High’s strongly believe that Ontario hazelnuts contribute to horticultural diversity along with environmental benefits. They are a low in cost and require less management making them an excellent choice for Ontario growers.

TREVOR HEWITT Trevor is a third generation farmer married with two young girls. He and his wife started taking over the family farm in 2010 where they currently farm sweet corn, soybeans, pumpkins and maple syrup. Along with his parents and two younger brothers, they operate Hewitts Sweet Corn consisting of 13 roadside stands. Also in 2010, Trevor and his youngest brother helped to expand the business by building a farm market and bakery located on the farm which is opened almost year round. In 2013, Trevor and his wife expanded into the agri-tourism world and opened Hewitts Fun Farm where they offer school tours, birthday parties as well as daily activities.

DAVE HOOPER Dave is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (BSc Hons Biol) and has been involved in the wine industry since graduating in 1995. He has worked in all aspects of wine production including the vineyards and the lab. Since 1998, Dave has been at Cave Spring Cellars and is currently the Winery Operations Manager. He has also taught the Cellar Operations and Technology course at Niagara College for 8 years. He currently is involved with winery process planning, sustainability, food safety, technological advisement and equipment design.


JAY HOWELL Jay, Linda, Melissa, Jenny, and Dan operate Brantview Apples & Cider near St George, Ontario. Close to 200 years in the family, the farm features medium to high density apple plantings, retail store, activities pavilion and U pick. Known for sweet cider production for decades, they also attend several GTA area farmers’ markets with apples and a variety of value added apple products.

DR. BILL HUTCHISON Dr. Hutchison is a Professor and Extension Entomologist in the Dept. of Entomology, University of Minnesota recently serving as Dept. Chair from 2010–2015. His research focus is the development and implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for fruit and vegetable crops that are practical at the farm level. His work on grapes has been directed primarily at the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (MALB), with the current IPM plan field-tested in Minnesota. His presentation will include current thought on the lady beetle “taint” in wine, adult MALB movement, and current IPM solutions.

PETER ILNYCKYJ Peter is an economic development consultant with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the ministry responsible for economic development for the Ontario food and beverage sectors. He brings a lot of business experience to this role and is an entrepreneur who started his own company. For 10 years, he owned and managed a 150 acre mixed crop farm in Norfolk County. Peter has had management roles with Kerr Farms in Chatham, Nabisco/Kraft, OMAFRA and the previous Ministry of Research and Innovation.

DR. DEBRA INGLIS Dr. Inglis is currently the Director of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and one of the core research scientists within the institute. She attained her PhD in Biochemistry in 1995 from McMaster University, and after spending three years as a senior scientist in industry, returned to academia specifically to join CCOVI in 1999. She is a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock teaching wine chemistry, wine microbiology and metabolic biochemistry in the oenology and viticulture undergraduate program. Her research focuses on priority areas of the Canadian grape and wine industry for premium wine production: icewine fermentation and factors affecting icewine quality; factors affecting grapevine cold hardiness; the causal organisms responsible for grape sour rot in Niagara; biochemistry-based research strategies to improve wine quality through the reduction of methoxypyrazines associated with greeness in cool climate wines; new emerging wine styles for Ontario such as sparkling and appassimento wines. Debbie has been involved in the grape and wine industry


her entire life as her family are grape growers in the Niagara Peninsula and she and her husband Rob run their own vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

ANDREW JAMIESON Andrew (PhD, University of Guelph 1985) is a fruit breeder employed by AAFC at the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre in Kentville, Nova Scotia. His current research emphasis is in developing high quality, disease resistant strawberry, raspberry and blackberry cultivars. Dr. Jamieson has developed the seed-propagated lowbush blueberry ‘Novablue’, the strawberries ‘Cavendish’, ‘Mira’, ‘Sable’, ‘Cabot’, ‘Brunswick’, ‘Evangeline’, ‘Wendy’, ‘Valley Sunset’, Laurel’ and ‘AAC Lila’, and the raspberry ‘AAC Eden’. He has contributed to the introduction of the white wine grape ‘L’Acadie’. In 2011, he was recognized by Horticulture Nova Scotia with an Honourary Life Membership and in 2013 received AAFC’s Gold Harvest Career Achievement award.

DR. NICOLE JUDGE Dr. Judge is a veterinarian and the co-owner of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery. Nicole is a 1995 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. She worked as a small animal practitioner for five years before joining Hill’s Pet Nutrition where she held various roles in sales and marketing. For the past eight years, Nicole has worked as the Chief Operating Officer for the Ontario Veterinary Group, a group of six hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa. She and her husband, Thomas Wilson own and operate Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, a wood-fired oven bakery, farm shop and cidery. In the six years that Spirit Tree has been open, they have won numerous awards including a Premier’s Award for Agri-Innovation, Best Culinary Tourism Destination for the Headwaters Region, Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association Outstanding Farm Market and Ontario’s Cider Champion.

MAGDALENA K AISER Magdalena has been in the wine industry almost her entire life. She began working at Inniskillin Wines as a young teen and bottled wine with co-founder and father Karl Kaiser at the age of five. With over 30 years’ experience in wine, tourism and communication strategy she brings passion and expertise to the industry she loves. A lifelong promoter of local wine, she is now the Director of PR at the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario where she proudly showcases Ontario wine to top wine media and trade from home and abroad. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Wine program.

ANTHONY KEATING Anthony is the Chief Fund Development Officer with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, has more than 10 years experience in the nonprofit sector as a professional fundraiser, and is a long time consumer of local food and a farmers’ market regular. In 2010, Anthony was awarded with the Association of Fundraising Professionals prestigious new fundraising professional of the year, and in 2012 received an international ECHO marketing award for his work in digital marketing. Originally from Newfoundland, Anthony now calls Toronto home. He was educated at Memorial University, Newfoundland and is currently working on his MBA, through Athabasca University. Anthony is an active member of his community and volunteers with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Boys and Girls Club, and the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation.

BELINDA KEMP Belinda (PhD, Lincoln University, New Zealand) is senior staff scientist in oenology at CCOVI. As well as a scientist, Kemp gained previous practical still and sparkling winemaking experience in commercial winemaking in New Zealand and the UK. Her main sparkling wine research areas are foamability, flavour and aroma. Her research since joining CCOVI has included a sparkling wine research project investigating the effect of various wine-based dosage solutions on Niagara sparkling wine flavour and aroma. She is currently working with Jim Willwerth, Debbie Inglis and George Van der Merwe (University of Guelph) investigating the effect of sparkling wine clones and rootstocks (Pinot noir and Chardonnay) planted on different soil types, the impact of the timing and type of bentonite used during sparkling wine production on a range of grape varieties. She currently serves on the VQA-O Standards Development Committee and the VQA-O sparkling wine rules committee.

GERALD KLOSE Originally from Manitoba, Gerald moved to Niagara-onthe-Lake, Ontario in May of 1965 to a mixed tender fruit and vegetable farm. His career in the wine industry started in 1978 at Inniskillin Wines. Gerald began in the cellars, transitioning over the years to manage the Inniskillin estate vineyard Brae Burn. The Brae Burn vineyard yielded the first frozen grapes that were used in Inniskillin’s debut Icewine in 1984. In 1990, Inniskillin purchased Montague Vineyard as well as additional acreage to expand its vineyards. Gerald then tended to all vineyard operations and liaised full time with Inniskillin’s 20 core growers. Currently Gerald operates his family’s vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake and is also Director of Viticulture at Constellation Brands Canada with 650 acres of vineyards and 90 area growers producing grapes for Constellation including Inniskillin, Jackson Triggs and Le Clos Jordanne.

RUTH KNIGHT Ruth was born and raised in southwestern Ontario. She is passionate about soil regeneration and the tremendous opportunities it holds for farmers, our communities and our planet. Ruth brings a diversity of experiences to her agronomy work including; organic certification inspections, land use planning, education and knowledge networks, as well as being a former partner in a mixed livestock/ pasture farm. For the past 10 years, Ruth has provided services to a diversity of farms that are transitioning to organics, or improving the productivity of their existing operations, or are new landowners looking to create meaningful connections to their landscape. Ruth’s role as a coach and consultant is to guide farmers in the development of farming systems that regenerate soil, provide farm profits, steward the landscape and grow healthy abundant food.

DR. NORMAN LALANCETTE Dr. Lalancette is an Associate Professor of Plant Pathology and Extension Specialist in Tree Fruit Pathology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. His current research and extension programs focus on the epidemiology and control of tree fruit diseases, with special emphasis on diseases of peach, the major tree fruit crop in New Jersey. Prior to joining Rutgers University, he was Director of Software Development at Neogen Corporation in Lansing, Michigan, where he was responsible for the development of 28 disease and insect forecasting models on nine different crops. Dr. Lalancette received

his PhD and MS degrees in plant pathology from The Pennsylvania State University and his BS degree in agriculture from Cornell University.

products picked and prepared in season. He is also Past President of the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association.



Tracy has been promoting local food, farmers and agriculture for over 25 years. She is passionate about the connection between food and health, the need to appreciate and understand where our food comes from and the vital role that farmers’ markets play in that connection. Tracy and her team develop and implement provincial and national programs to raise awareness, motivate shifts in attitudes and behaviours and increase production and consumption of locally produced food. An expert in marketing communications in agri-food, Tracy has extensive knowledge of all parts of the value chain, from producer to retailer and from influencer to consumer. Her passion for promoting healthy eating has led to her involvement in countless local food and nutritional education programs across Canada, working collaboratively with all stakeholders to develop innovative yet practical solutions aligned with her clients’ business objectives.

Since 2001, Janice has been a Vegetable Crop Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Ridgetown, Ontario, where she focuses on tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sugarbeets, and table beets.

JESSE LAUZON Jesse is the Food Director at the popular and awardwinning Springridge Farm in Milton, Ontario. After graduating from Queen’s University and George Brown’s Chef Training program, Jesse came home to Milton to oversee the development and production of Springridge Farm’s innovative farm fresh preserves, fine foods, and scratch baking. Jesse believes that great food starts with outstanding local

JACK LEGG Jack is the General Manger of SGS Canada Inc.’s Guelph location (Agri-Food Laboratories), and as an Ontario Certified Crop Advisor also serves as the staff agronomist. He has been involved with precision agriculture since embarking on his agricultural career with the laboratory in 1994 utilizing GPS for geo-referenced sample collection and GIS map making. Agronomic responsibilities include QC review of soil test data, reports, and recommendations, developing fertilizer plans, and managing the field service staff performing custom soil sampling and GPS mapping. Jack is also active in the industry serving on numerous committees, including the position of Chair on the Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee, the Certified Crop Advisor review committee for Continuing Education Credits, Ontario Agri Business Association’s Soil and Research Committee, and the OLPC Plant Biosecurity Advisory Panel.

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Todd is the Agroforestry Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 1997, working in tree-based industries of horticulture and forestry. Areas of focus include: commercial tree nut horticulture, maple syrup production, sugar bush and maple orchard management, Christmas tree production, renewable wood energy, environmental projects promoting windbreaks and shelterbelts for crop and soil protection, riparian protection and prevention of spray drift. Todd obtained BSc and MSc degrees in 1984 and 1988 from the University of Guelph in orchard horticulture then integrated pest management in viticulture (wine grape and table grape production). He began working with ministry at Harrow as Horticultural Crops & Pest Management Specialist of commercial fruit orchards, small-fruit and wine grapes from 1987 to 1997.

Richard is the President of Sunnybrook Wine and is responsible for its day-today operation. Based out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, the company engages in production of fruit-based alcoholic beverage. Its portfolio includes Sunnybrook Estate Series, Chocolate Series, and Ironwood Hard Cider™. It markets its products through retail, licensees, LCBO stores and export. Prior to founding Sunnybrook Wine in 2013, Richard was an Associate at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong from 2010 to 2012, responsible for marketing its China Market research. A marketing specialist, Richard had consulted for various blue chip brands in greater China while working with Weber Shandwick from 2005 to 2009. Richard holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from York University in Toronto.

Sarah began her career in the tree fruit industry in 2007 as a Production Research Analyst. After being promoted to Director of Marketing for the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers in 2011, Sarah was selected to take over as manager in February 2012. Since then, she has secured over $2 million in research and promotion funding for the tender fruit industry.


Melisa is the Environmental Coordinator at Farm & Food Care. She has a Master’s Degree in Rural Sociology from the University of Guelph, with a background in communications and agriculture. Her family farms field crops in Wellington county and she spent three grueling summers growing vegetables there, while championing farmers’ markets and local food. She is passionate about food and farmers and she is never shy to speak her mind.

Kevin has been a vegetable grower for Exeter Produce for over 30 years. They have consistently been pushing yields and quality higher using precision farming methods including grid sampling, variable rate fertilizer application, tissue sampling, and fertigation. His main vegetable crops include: field peppers, snap beans, cabbage, and rutabagas.

CATHERINE LINDELL Catherine is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Integrative Biology and Center for Global Change and Earth Observations at Michigan State University. She works with fruit growers, researchers, and extension personnel across the country to investigate risk factors for bird damage, deterrent techniques, and how to enhance landscapes to make them more attractive to species that consume crop pests.

RICHARD LINLEY Richard was appointed President of the Wine Council of Ontario in November 2013. Previously, Richard served as Senior Director, Government Affairs at the Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) where he had national responsibility for the development and execution of government relation strategies in the areas of legislative and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining the CBA, Richard spent over seven years working in politics with the Ontario government. He was directly responsible for advising Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers on policy developments at the Ministries of Agriculture and Food, Natural Resources and Environment. Richard holds a Master of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Ottawa.



AILEEN MACNEIL Aileen has been with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry Rural Affairs since 1986. During this period she has held a number of positions including Marketing Analyst for the dairy and poultry sectors, Coordinator – Safety Nets Policy, General Manager of the Farm Products Marketing Commission, Provincial Liaison – Meat Inspection, the Director of the Livestock Technology Branch and Director of the Food Safety and Traceability Programs Branch. In 2007, Aileen assumed the role of Director, Agriculture Development Branch. The branch is comprised of 81 crop, livestock and business management specialists located throughout the province. Aileen is responsible for leading divisional efforts related to technology development and transfer of innovative solutions for a prosperous agriculture sector. Aileen is broadly respected and well-known for her leadership, her skill in maintaining collaborative relationships and her ability to share her passion for the agri-food and agri-products sector.

MARGARET MAY Margaret is Regional Program Lead with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. She has been involved with OSCIA and program delivery since l986. Margaret is keen to involve new participants in workshops and programs and loves to see a business grow as a result. She lives and breathes agriculture with OSCIA and on the farm near Glencoe where they have beef cows, sheep and crops.

MARK MAZZOLA Mark is a Research Plant Pathologist located at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Tree Fruit Research laboratory in Wenatchee, Washington. He also serves as a member of the faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology at Washington State University and Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Mark obtained his BSc in forest biology and MSc in forest pathology at the University of Vermont, and PhD in Plant Pathology at Washington State University. His research program seeks to identify effective practices to manage the structure and function of the soil and rhizosphere microbiome and to develop ecologically sustainable means to enhance agro-ecosystem resilience through suppression of soil-borne plant diseases.

PETER MCCLUSKY After working for several years in New York in marketingrelated ventures, Peter moved back to his hometown, Toronto. His work and volunteerism in small-scale agriculture includes interning on an organic farm for one year; fundraising for, starting and managing farmers’ markets (Aberfoyle, Regent Park); and starting the Toronto Garlic Festival. He grows several strains of heirloom garlic and consults for the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network. Peter is a member of the Ontario Garlic Growers Association, a board member with the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market Association and holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Toronto.



Cathy received her BSc Agr and MSc in Plant Pathology from the University of Guelph. When she and her husband Marvin Stevenson finished graduate school, they purchased a farm on the Oak Ridges Moraine and planted an orchard. Initially, Cathy worked for OMAFRA, as an IPM Specialist, and subsequently for 27 years had an independent IPM consulting business, focusing on apples. She has managed Nature’s Bounty Farm for over 30 years. The farm has become a destination for Torontonians as well as citizens of Durham and York Regions. It is a pick-your -own apple orchard on a very scenic property where apple quality and a welcoming environment are the priorities.

Dr. Nassuth has researched plant tolerance to various stresses for more than 25 years. This initially pertained virus diseases in crops such as tomato and grape in collaboration with industry. More recently her group has concentrated on identifying the genetic basis for tolerance to frost and drought stress in grapevines. Recent results determined that some genes responsible for the acquisition of freezing tolerance are similar to those regulating the development of stomata. As a result she now wants to determine if stomata can be used as an indicator for frost tolerance of grapes, and therefore help in the selection of superior grape varieties for the vineyard. Dr. Nassuth is a CCOVI fellow since 2010 and a member of the International Grape Research Coordination Network.

THOMAS MOLNAR Thomas received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2006. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Plant Biology and Pathology Department of the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA). His research program concentrates on the genetic improvement and study of hazelnuts (Corylus) and large-bracted dogwoods (Cornus). Part of this work includes germplasm exploration, collection, and evaluation. A major aspect of his current research is developing and characterizing genetic resistance to eastern filbert blight, a fungal disease that is the primary limiting factor of hazelnut production in the eastern North America. Breeding objectives in both woody ornamentals and hazelnuts emphasize selection for high levels of disease and pest resistance and cold hardiness.

R. GARY MORTON Gary provides specialized consulting, advisory and training services to clients in the agri-food sectors and is an authority in the area of developing and commercializing new value-added agricultural products and innovations. He works with his clients to define and redefine their path to success by helping them find new value and profit from what they do. His clients appreciate and benefit from the depth of knowledge, understanding and valuable hands on experience he brings to his work. Gary is co-author of “Adding Value through Farm Diversification” and “Farm Business Planning: Understanding, Preparing and Using.” He has delivered his workshop, “Value Plus, a Quest for New Farm Value” across Canada. Gary is a graduate from the NSAC, the University of Guelph, and is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF). Gary lives with his family in Coldbrook, in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.

DEANNA NEMETH Deanna is the Horticulture Nutrient Management Program Lead with OMAFRA in the Vineland office. She works with industry associations and researchers to transfer nutrient management research and technology to the Ontario horticulture sector. Deanna has a Masters in Nutrient cycling and soil science from the University of Guelph.

TOM NEUFELD Tom along with his wife have 500 acres of land that they farm near Vineland in the Niagara area. They have 3 grown children (Peter, Conrad, and Brigitte) who have all contributed to the farm over the years. They cash crop wheat, corn, and soy beans along with raising beef cattle. Around 15 acres of their operation is concentrated on market garden vegetables that they sell at five different markets: St. Catharines, Grimsby, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne and Pelham. The Neufeld family has been selling at the St. Catharines market since 1932 making them the longest serving vendors there. 

MARION PAIBOMESAI Marion started with OMAFRA as a vegetable crops specialist in July 2010. In this position, Marion is involved in vegetable research projects and transferring IPM and production information to growers and delivery personnel. Marion received her BSc (2007) and MSc (2010) from the University of Guelph in integrative biology. She is currently the chair of the Vegetable Technical Working Group for Ontario and editor of Publication 838, the Vegetable Crop Protection Guide.

KIRAN RAJ PANDEY Kiran is a Sector lead at Ontario Food Exports (OFEX) assisting Ontario’s beverage, confectionery and protein companies in their export initiatives. He has more than 17 years of experience in international trade and business development of agri-food and beverage

products mainly with China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, US and India. With an MBA in AsiaPacific focused International Business from the University of Hawaii, Kiran understands different business cultures in international businesses. He has worked closely with retail buyers from different countries in helping them source agri-food products from Ontario’s companies. He is also currently working as a Geographic Specialist for India at OFEX and facilitating Ontario’s agri-food export to India. His knowledge and understanding of import rules and regulations is beneficial for Ontario’s agri-food companies pursuing export opportunities especially in India.

DARYL PATTERSON Daryl is the precision Ag Manager at A&L Laboratories Canada, a full service agriculture based laboratory in London, Ontario. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc in biology. A&L has been engaged in remote sensing R&D since the early 80’s and began working with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology in 2009. Their remote sensing initiative is to develop interpretations for UAV collected data and developing custom UAV technologies for agriculture.

KIRK PATTERSON Kirk, CCA (Ontario) is currently the Marketing and Agronomy Manager at Scotland Agromart Ltd. with more than 25 years of crop consulting experience in a wide range of horticultural and conventional crops in Brant and Norfolk County. He developed custom precision programs for site specific crop management and established crop specific scouting services for a wide range of crops including ginseng, potatoes, strawberries and vegetables.

JENNIFER PEART Graduating from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Agriculture Business in 2006, Jennifer loves agriculture. As a Relationship Manager with FCC in the Simcoe office, Jennifer gets to help producers advance their business and follow their dreams every day. Her passion for agriculture can also be seen through her involvement in her family’s dairy farm operation in Hagersville, Ontario, and in her 200-acre cash crop land she owns with her sister. Jennifer is also the President of the Haldimand Norfolk Holstein Club and a member of the Norfolk County Fair Ag Society.

DOUG PENSON Doug is the President of SecurU Inc. He has been an expert in the security industry for over 22 years providing customized solutions for out of the box security problems. As a specialist in his field, Doug has resolved security challenges for different farm related organizations across southern Ontario.




Erin has been helping farmers, large and small, make their businesses run better since 2001. As a Farm Business Consultant for Farm Credit East with a background in agricultural economics, Erin’s focus has been on benchmarking and profitability improvement because sustainability means economics, too! At home, Erin’s small family farm raises and markets sheep and wool products in southern New England.

Many would call Adrian a “naturally born entrepreneur”. At 18 years of age, he started Kokimo Candles as a fundraiser for the United Way and eventually grew that business to employ over 50 people within three years. The money earned by Kokimo Candles became seed money to support the start-up of Brandneu Foods Canada Inc., a kale chip business that is now in its second year of operation. With plans to expand to 1000 acres of kale grown and processed in Ontario, the production site in Cobourg is an innovative opportunity for growth and employment in Northumberland County. Brandneu Foods dominates the kale chip market in Canada with 85% market share and plans to sell into the United States early in 2016. Adrian designed and engineered the unique and high capacity kale chip production line called the Kale-O-Matic that is key to the success of the operation.

CAROLINE POLGRABIA Caroline joined the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports in 2006 as the Regional Tourism Advisor for the Greater Toronto area. During this time, Caroline was seconded over to the Policy and Research Division, where she worked on the team that supported the development of the new regional tourism model. Caroline has returned to her Regional Advisor role, and prefers working directly with the industry to create change and increase capacity to grow tourism as a major economic driver for our province.

VALERIO PRIMOMO In 2011, Valerio joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre as a Research Scientist, Vegetable Breeding. His work is focused on developing greenhouse tomato varieties as well as sweet potato varieties that perform well under Ontario’s environmental conditions using traditional breeding methods and current molecular technology. Shortly after graduating, Valerio accepted a Post Doc position with the Genomics Integration group at Pioneer Hi Bred headquarters in Johnston, Iowa where he identified and developed genome wide genetic markers in soybean. In 2007, he accepted a Research Scientist position with Pioneer Hi Bred in Caledon, Ontario as a molecular breeder for several crops including canola, sunflower, sorghum and rice. Valerio received his BSc in Biochemistry from McGill University and his MSc in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Guelph. In 2004, Valerio completed his PhD at the University of Guelph where he identified genetic regions associated with isoflavone content in soybean seed.

JAKE RASCH Jake is a 6th generation fruit farmer and co-owner of Rasch Family Orchards which is located in a prosperous West Michigan fruit growing region know as The Ridge. They specialize in apples, pears, apricots, prune/plums and 12 different varieties of peaches that average 550-600 bushels per acre. Their fruit is sold in seven countries. Jake has been an active fruit farmer for most of his life and holds an Ag-tech degree from Michigan State University. He spent 9 months on a farm in Brewster, Washington to compare operations and consider updates at Rasch Family Orchards. Jake has spent the time since then implementing innovations meant to adapt for the changing environment, customer preferences, and improvements in mechanization and to grow their business into the future.

DAVE REID Dave was raised on a mixed cash crop/general/tobacco farm in Norfolk County of southwestern Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Guelph, Hon. F&W Biology (1975). He has worked for 36 years with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, spending 20 years as a biologist in the Long Point Area of Aylmer District and 16 years as

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stewardship coordinator for Norfolk Land Stewardship Council. He is also involved with ALUS as a project of the Norfolk Land Stewardship Council since January 2002 and is the current eastern Canada Hub Manager. Dave is the current director to the Norfolk Woodlot Owner’s Association and a recipient of the Carolinian Canada Coalition Conservation Award presented annually to individuals who have excelled in stewardship efforts for natural habitat.

DR. GREG REIGHARD Dr. Reighard has been a research and extension horticulturalist for 30 years at Clemson University. His field research involves rootstock evaluation, growth regulators, manipulating peach tree dormancy/flowering, crop load management strategies, modeling fruit maturity, and adapting mechanical technologies for training systems. His lab has conducted genomics research on dormancy (Evg mutant) and rootstock resistance to nematodes and peach tree short life. He has published more than 550 papers and abstracts and has been P.I. or Co-P.I. on more than $20 million in grants during his career. He co-developed Guardian® rootstock, the most widely planted peach rootstock in the southeastern U.S., and has served for more than 25 years as the Peach Rootstock Trial Coordinator for the North American NC-140 Rootstock Project and the past 7 years as the Peach Section Chairman for the International Society of Horticultural Science. He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science in 2014.

ALISON ROBERTSON Alison is the Executive Director of the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI). AMI promotes new ways of thinking about agribusiness management and aims to increase awareness, understanding and adoption of beneficial business management practices by Ontario agri-food and agribased producers and processors. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Food Terminal. Alison was the program manager for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) for 11 years. Alison also sits on the Agriculture Canada Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable (HVCRT). She is past chair of both the Consumer Focus Working Group and the Horticulture for Health Working Group at the HVCRT. She also sits on the selection panel for the Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence.

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Elaine has been a Vegetable Crop Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 1997. She is involved in field research trials and extension and specializes in sweet corn, cucurbits, beans, peas and asparagus. Her responsibilities include all aspects of crop production, pest management and marketing. Current projects include; soil quality and nitrogen efficiency in asparagus, vine crop disease management and IPM for legume vegetables. Elaine is also the editor of the Ontario Field Vegetable Guide (OMAFRA Publication 839).

Originally from Montreal, Jonathan completed a Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Windsor Law School and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1995 and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1997. Since then Jonathan has practiced exclusively in the area of insurance-related civil litigation, and at the Toronto law firm of Zuber & Company LLP since 2000 and as a partner since 2005. Jonathan has broad experience in litigation throughout the province involving motor vehicle accidents, homeowner’s liability, and commercial liability, including personal injury for slips, falls, occupiers’ liability, and other causes of injury, and property losses from fires, flooding, oil leaks and spills, and construction-related causes. Jonathan has conducted motions, trials, and appeals before the Ontario courts, as well as tribunal applications and arbitrations. Jonathan is also an avid gardener and recently grower of vegetables with his wife, Kimberly Green, at their Niagara property.

JASON ROLLER Jason has worked in the Ontario wine industry since receiving his BSc in Oenology and Viticulture in 2003 from Brock University in Ontario. He worked as winemaker for Diamond Estates in Niagara for over a decade before joining Andrew Peller Limited as the VQA winemaker at their Winona winery. He brings constant energy and commitment to his job and his foremost goal has been the constant improvement of the quality of his wines through his focus and interactions with the local growers. Jason is also the founder of Roller Family Vineyards located in the Niagara region, which manage 37 acres of premium grape production.

JACKIE ROWE Jackie is branding her company’s most valuable asset, Ontario grown garlic. Located in Hensall, The Garlic Box has been navigating the challenges of carving a niche market in the era of global commerce since 1998. Jackie’s mixed background of bookkeeping, life-long passion for cooking, freelance writing and interior design has been credited to seasoning her entrepreneurial success in the food industry. She is a member of the World Wildlife Fund, Cuisine Canada and the Ontario Garlic Growers Association. She resides on a farm with her husband and work partner Jim, in Exeter, Ontario.

DR. DIETMAR RUPP Dr. Rupp grew up on a wine farm in Germany and studied soil science, viticulture, plant protection, ecology of plants, and land conservation at Hohenheim University (Stuttgart) from 1979 to 1984. He was a research associate in soil science from 1984 to 1987 and completed his PhD (thesis: water balance and nitrate leaching in vineyard soils) in 1987. Since 1987, Dr. Rupp has worked at Weinsberg State College and Research Institute for Viticulture and Fruit Growing teaching viticulture, soil science in viticulture and fruit growing. His research includes: soil management and soil conservation, fertilizers, irrigation, and meteorlogy (impact of climate change).

JAMIE SLINGERLAND Jamie is the Chair of Sustainability and a board member for Wine Council of Ontario. He is a family member and Director of Viniculture at Pillitteri Estates Winery. Pillitteri Estates is renowned for being the world’s largest estate producer of icewine. Jamie is a 79A OAC graduate, University of Guelph. He worked as an Inspector with OMAFRA 1980–85 and has grown grapes for 35 years at Pillitteri and his own vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Jamie is the 2015–16 Grape King and the recipient of the “Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence 2011” for his collaborative work with OMAFRA, U of Guelph, U of Brock, VRIC, and Vine Tech for the commercial adaptation of green shoot grafting and the introduction of the three Italian Amarone varieties of grapes to Canada, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. He was also a partner on the CCOVI Appassimento project 2010–15.   

BARBARA SMITH Barbara is the Retail Services Supervisor for the Foodland Ontario program. She works with Ontario’s retail groups, farmers’ markets and on-farm market groups to increase market opportunities and prominence of Ontario grown foods. Barbara has been with OMAFRA for over 16 years in various marketing and program roles.

RHONDA SMITH Rhonda has been a Viticulture Farm Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County for over 25 years. She holds a MSc in Horticulture and a BSc in Plant Science from UC Davis. Her degrees emphasized viticulture and plant pathology respectively.

Her current research projects include determining the effect of red blotch disease on grapevines, evaluating rootstocks for nematode resistance and investigations with vine growth disorders. Her long-term research projects include data collection on frost conditions to help guide choices on spring frost protection practices.

TED SMITH Ted grew up helping his parents work large market gardens in both southern Ontario and Manitoulin Island. After a number of different careers, Ted returned to Manitoulin Island and his love of gardening. His farm, Gypsy Family Farm, is a polycultural blend of plants and animals where organic principles come first. Currently, Ted is serving on the Board of Directors for Farmers’ Markets Ontario® and is also a MyPick® Verified Local Farmer®. He also writes a weekly newspaper column where he strongly advocates for family farms and ethical farming practices.

DARYL SOMERS Daryl joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2008. He provides a link between the genome sciences and plant breeding by translating whole genome into markers useful for selection of traits controlling consumer preference, disease resistance and yield in a wide range of horticulture crops. He has worked in the area of Plant Genetics and Molecular Biology since 1993. Prior to joining Vineland, he worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for 13 years focusing on molecular breeding of canola in Saskatoon and wheat in Winnipeg. Most recently, he managed the primary lab at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for wheat molecular mapping. Daryl received his PhD from the University of Toronto and held post-doctoral positions with the USDA in Columbia Missouri and Pullman Washington.

BLAINE STAPLES Blaine grew up on a farm in southeastern Alberta. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc Ag in Soil Science in 1980 and then later after marrying his wife Leona, returned to complete a MAg in Production Economics. In 1996, he returned to Leona’s family farm. Their initial half acre of strawberries has evolved into 15 acres and 12 acres of vegetables. Produce is sold through farmers’ markets, a CSA, and a farm-stand. Their three sons, ranging in age from 13 to 23, are all involved in the farm. Blaine is currently involved with the North American Strawberry Growers Association as well as the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association.


CHARLES STEVENS Born in Bowmanville on a family dairy farm, Charles is the last of the Stevens to have farmed this land for over 200 years. While attending the University of Guelph, Charles rented a 40-acre orchard. After graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree, Charles purchased an orchard in Newcastle that he has now been farming with his wife and partner Judi for 38 years. Judi is also a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics. The farm is a state of the art 105 acre orchard planted mainly with Honey Crisp, Ambrosia, and Royal Gala, as well as 22 acres of highbush blueberries. Charles attributes his success in the industry, in part, to his adapting new technology and his continued involvement in organizations within the industry.

PATTI STEVENSON Patti believes in empowering her staff and creating a positive work environment. With her many years of managing a learn to ski program, and the experience of owning her own business, she enjoys mentoring her young staff as they start out in the work force. Patti joined Barrie Hill Farms in 2010, and has helped grow the business from a combined pick-your-own farm and small fruit stand, to a thriving retail 4,800 square foot destination marketplace.

Bachelor of Mathematics degree in 1978 from the University of Waterloo and he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1979.

DR. JAYASANKAR (JAY) SUBRAMANIAN Dr. Subramanian is a Professor with University of Guelph, working at the Vineland location. He has over 25 years of experience in fruit crop improvement, breeding, biotechnology and post harvest technology. He has worked with diverse crop species and for the past 12 years has been working with tender fruits- both using conventional and contemporary approaches. Currently he is leading a successful IDRC project involving researchers from 6 different countries and in over 100 farms in these countries. He has been invited to deliver talks in several countries including a recent one at the UN General Assembly’s Market Place event in September 2015 and at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Government of Canada, Ottawa in December. He has published over 60 research papers, released 15 improved crop varieties. He is a member of the editorial board in three international journals and reviews manuscripts for several journals in plant sciences.


Crystal is a regional vegetable specialist for Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. She works closely with organic and small, diversified farms in 17 counties in Eastern NY and also provides guidance to the industry as the state garlic specialist. Her research interests focus on root crops, organic systems, and brassicas.

Dr. Svircev is a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Vineland, Ontario, specializing in fire blight management and the development of biological control agents for the control of pre- and post-harvest pathogens. Current research on fire blight involves: a Canada wide streptomycin resistance survey in apple and pear orchards, management of young orchards to prevent fire blight infections and the development of a novel biopesticide that uses bacteriophages and a carrier bacteria. Dr. Svircev’s ultimate goal is to keep on advertising (to any one that will listen) and promoting the importance of incorporating biologicals in fire blight control programs.




Paul’s practice currently focuses on entrepreneurial and family businesses. This builds on over 40 years of experience in providing traditional assurance services, income tax and estate planning advice related to reorganizations and business successions, financial consulting with respect to the purchase and sale of businesses and generational transfers, and general business consulting in numerous industries. Paul is a FAMILY ENTERPRISE ADVISOR™ certificant, obtained through the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors after completion of the UBC Sauder School of Business Family Enterprise Advisor Program. This skill set, along with his extensive business and accounting experience, allows Paul to help the leaders of family businesses manage the more complex and sensitive issues they face when making important decisions about the future of their business and their family legacies. Paul obtained his


Dr. Taghavi is an Adjunct Faculty and a Research Associate with the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph, Simcoe Research Station. Her research interests include the development of new cultivars of strawberry and hazelnuts for Ontario climate. She is a board member of the Ontario Hazelnut Association and co-lead the research and development working group. She has previous professional experience as an Assistant Professor at the University of Tehran in Iran as well as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Florida. She has experience in transferring research knowledge from the lab to growers, including multiple horticultural crops, fertilizers and crop protection, and post-harvest technologies.

VANESSA TAYLOR Vanessa is the Food Safety and Traceability Advisor on the Traceability Team at OMAFRA. Her background includes being raised on a dairy farm in New Brunswick, and moving to Ontario in 1991. She has gained experience in the shipping and logistics industry and as in quality assurance for the meat and dairy processing and pharmaceutical sectors. She came back full circle to agriculture in 2003 as the Milk Quality Assurance Program Lead at OMAFRA working with producers to help improve the quality of milk, mostly in the goat and sheep sectors, and then took on the role as Food Safety and Traceability Advisor in 2007.

JIM TODD Jim joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), as the transition crop specialist in 2005. He began his career with a BSc from the University of Waterloo, followed by a PhD in plant physiology from the University of Guelph. After graduation, his research focused on plant wax and lipid metabolism and using microarrays to study large scale gene expression in plants. As OMAFRA’s transition crop specialist, Jim works on identifying crops with potential to serve as agricultural feedstocks for Ontario’s developing bio economy.

K ARON TRACEY-COWAN Karon launched AgTech GIS in 1995 to provide tools, information, support and training services to the agriculture industry using GIS and web based technologies. AgTech GIS has a 20 year history promoting products from Ag Leader Technology, Farm Works (Trimble) and recent addition iCropTrak, always promoting solid tools to get quality data into the hands of decision makers. More than just a software reseller, Karon is a front line user of ag-specific GIS software products to communicate soil sampling information, yield maps, imagery analysis, field level topographic data and variable rate application prescriptions. Her career focus has been to develop data and customer competency for growers, consultants and local agri-businesses through a personalized training approach. Since 2010 Karon has been teaching the hands-on lab portion of the Precision Ag Course at University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.

THOMAS TURINI Thomas is a UC Farm Advisor in central California with extension and applied research responsibilities in vegetable crops. He holds a baccalaureate and Master’s degree in Plant Protection from California State University, Fresno. He has worked for the University of California, Davis since 1992. Currently, his position serves an area in which the largest vegetable crops in terms of area and total

value are processing tomatoes, garlic, onions, melons and lettuce and his research program focuses on these crops. The bulk of his current program is on development of integrated strategies of managing disease and insect pests of processing tomatoes. In addition, he has worked extensively on management of garlic and onions particularly evaluating approaches to manage white rot of onions and garlic, which is a devastating soil-borne disease. In addition, he operates a diagnostic laboratory in central California to serve his clientele, who are the large scale vegetable crops growers.

JOE UYENAK A Joe graduated from the University of Guelph with Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree majoring in Horticultural Science and Crop Protection in 1974. He currently is an Agronomist and Territory Sales Manager for NutriAg in Ontario and the states of Michigan and New York working to develop new nutrient packages to improve the yield and quality of all farm crops. As well, he works with ag dealers and farmers assisting in production, nutrient and pest recommendations.

LYNDA VAN CASTEREN Lynda is the visionary at Nicholyn Farms, just north of Barrie, which she owns with her husband Nick. In 1989, they began selling their own pork products direct to the consumer, first at one year round farmers’ market and then adding 5 seasonal markets over several years. Today Nicholyn Farms raises pork, beef, chicken and

lamb; grows vegetables, herbs and fruits in small educational gardens (a greenhouse and a geodome); has 3000 sq ft of retail space, a scratch bakery, café as well as attends a year round farmers’ market. They partner with over 75 local producers, farmers, and microprocessors to provide a one stop, year round local food experience. Lynda’s desire to make a difference is the driving force behind Nicholyn Farms. It is truly a place to learn, grow, work and feed body and soul.

ERIC VAN DER HOEFF Twenty-two years ago, when Eric was 23, he founded together with 3 partners, the company called Fruitconsult in Holland. Fruitconsult is a consulting company for European apple and pear growers. The company works with 10 fulltime advisors, 3 orchardists and one researcher. The advisors are all specialized in specific aspects of fruit growing with Eric specializing in tree-management and plant nutrition. Besides Holland and Belgium, he works in Italy, Hungary, Ukraine and Germany and provides consulting to tree nurseries as well. Fruitconsult has a practical research program at its research station in Randwijk. They try to optimize the growing strategies with the combination of research and practical knowledge. Living in Holland under sub-optimal growing circumstances with high costs makes it necessary to produce fruits in the most efficient manner.

JENN VANDEVELDE Jenn is the current President of the Ontario Berry Growers Association and, along with her husband David, owns Wholesome Pickins Market and Bakery in Delhi, Ontario. Wholesome Pickins produces strawberries and raspberries and has an on-farm market and scratch bakery. Jenn has been a director with OBGA for 7 years.

DREW WALKER It’s impossible to not get excited about wine when speaking with Drew, Wine Director of Café Boulud and dbar in the Four Seasons Toronto. Originally from southern Ontario, Drew grew up in the heart of Niagara wine region working in various restaurants and wineries. His extensive experience includes positions at Peller Estates winery, Hillebrand winery and Daniel Boulud’s Lumiere Restaurant in Vancouver, where it was awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award, one of only three properties In North America to receive this designation. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Drew majored in History and Business. Over the past decade Drew has travelled the wine regions of France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and across the United States, and in 2008 completed the 3-year Sommelier Diploma Program with the International Sommelier Guild.

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Dr. Walsh has worked in the production and handling of fruit crops for more than three decades. He earned a BA in Chemistry at Middlebury College. After five years as an orchard foreman in Vermont, he earned an MS and a PhD from Cornell. After receiving his doctorate he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland where he teaches and conducts research on fruit and vegetable crops. During his career he has received a number of awards for his teaching, research and extension and authored or co-authored more than 30 refereed journal articles and two patents. As a participant in NC-140 and NE-1336, he conducts rootstock research and maturity and storage trials of apples, peaches and Asian pears. He also receives extramural funding for food safety research, fruit tree architecture and postharvest physiology. His involvement in international horticulture began while on sabbatical at Massey University in New Zealand. While at Massey, he studied postharvest problems in peaches and apples destined for export. He continued these laboratory studies on return to the US where he focused on ethylene, Gala apple fruit maturity, and mealiness in peaches and nectarines.

Mike was born and raised on a farm in Markham, Ontario. Working with his family on the farm since he was young, he completed a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from the University of Guelph. Along with his brother Frank, Mike has spent his career building and operating Whittamore’s Berry Farm, a pick-your-own, farm market, and entertainment establishment. On the farm today, Mike grows 100 acres of fruits and vegetables, with strawberries and raspberries being the two main crops. He is past president of The Ontario Berry Growers Association and has served on the board of directors of Commonwell Mutual Insurance for fourteen years.

Dr. Willwerth is a Senior Scientist in Viticulture at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University located in St. Catharines, Ontario. His responsibilities are to perform research and outreach services in the field of viticulture with emphasis on grapevine winter hardiness and the priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry. His expertise includes grapevine physiology and cold hardiness. His research and outreach projects are diverse including: optimizing cold hardiness in V. vinifera, winter protection methods, new bird deterrent strategies, cultivar evaluations, remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).



Wes is the owner of VineTech Canada one of the leading providers of grapevine stock to the Canadian grape and wine industry. Since 2003, Wes and his company have endeavored to raise the standard of planting material for Canadian vineyards through partnerships with various research institutions across Canada. VineTech is a culmination of the tradition of grapevine propagation and the application of modern technology and science to provide a new standard of grapevine for the Canadian market. Along with his wife and four children, Wes continues to strive for excellence in every aspect of their family business whether in the grapes they grow or the vines they supply. Their goal is to cater to the Canadian grape and wine industry with truly ‘made in Canada’ solutions.

Mark started at the LCBO in 2009, and worked as a Product Manager in Ready-To-Drink (coolers) and then White Spirits. In 2014, he moved to Product Manager Beer & Cider, and in August 2015 took over the role of Category Manager Beer & Cider. Prior to working at the LCBO, he worked for 14 years at Canadian Tire in various Supply Chain and Category Management positions.

KELLY WARD Kelly is the Supervisor of Brand Services with Foodland Ontario and is the face behind their social media channels where she manages interaction with over 185,000 Ontarians daily. Kelly is a selfproclaimed digital enthusiast and holds a Masters in Digital Experience Innovation from the University of Waterloo. With Foodland Ontario, she oversees social media strategy development and execution, ad placement and consumer behaviour research to promote local food in Ontario.

RICHARD ( RICK) WEINZIERL Rick received a BA in Biology from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1975, his MSc in Entomology from North Dakota State University in 1979, and a PhD in Entomology from Oregon State University in 1984. He is a professor and extension entomologist in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1984. He conducts extension educational programs and applied research addressing integrated pest management in vegetable and fruit production. His research and outreach programs have addressed insect management in pests of fruits, vegetables, livestock, stored products, and field crops. He teaches Introduction to Applied Entomology for undergraduates and has taught the graduate courses Fundamentals of Insect Pest Management and Principles of Plant Protection. Dr. Weinzierl serves as editor of the Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News newsletter.


SUSAN WILLIS-CHAN Susan is a pollination biologist (MSc, Guelph) with a background in agriculture (BSc, McGill) and education (BEd, UWO). She has a long-standing special interest in the native pollinator, Peponapis pruinosa, commonly known as the squash bee. Susan researches the ecology of the pollination system of pumpkin, squash, and summer squash crops, especially as it relates to nesting habits, foraging efficiency, and reproductive efficiency of those crops’ pollinators. She is a popular speaker on the topic of native bees, and manages the Native Pollinators on Farms Program for Farms at Work, a not-for-profit charitable project of Tides Canada located in central Ontario. Through Farms at Work, Susan has a special interest in designing pollinator habitat that fits seamlessly within a broad range of productive farming systems while achieving parallel stewardship goals such as erosion control, nutrient capture, and streambank stabilization.

THOMAS WILSON Thomas is the owner/operator along with his wife Nicole Judge of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, Ontario. A fourth generation farmer, Thomas returned to the family farm after graduating from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts in 1996. In 2005, Thomas and Nicole purchased a new farm property and in 2009 opened Spirit Tree Estate Cidery. Spirit Tree is an award winning apple farm, cidery/artisan bakery/ farm shop/cider mill. To prepare for opening this business, Thomas took cider making courses in Somerset, England and Geneva, New York, USA. Most recently, Spirit Tree has been awarded Best Cider (Apple Lager) OFVC 2015 and Silver, Specialty Cider (Dry Hopped Cider), Canadian Brewing Awards 2015. Thomas is one of the founding members of Ontario Craft Cider Association currently holding the position of Chair. He is also a trained chef specializing in artisan bread making and wood fired oven baking.

DR. MICHAEL WISNIEWSKI Dr. Wisniewski has conducted research for the USDA-ARS on the cold hardiness and dormancy of fruit crops for over 30 years and is considered a leading expert on this topic. He has published on the regulation of deep supercooling in fruit crops, utilized high resolution infrared thermography to study ice nucleation and propagation in plants, and patented a hydrophobic kaolin material that when applied to plants promotes supercooling of tender spring growth, thus providing frost protection. Most recently he has used a transgenic approach to

develop a model apple system to study the function of genes that regulate cold hardiness, dormancy, and growth in temperate fruit trees. He has advised numerous national and international graduate students, trained undergraduate students, and served as a mentor for new ARS scientists.

THOMAS J. ZABADAL Thomas is a Professor of Viticulture in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. He serves as the Director of the MSU Southwest Michigan Research & Extension Center. Prior to that he was at Cornell University where he served as the Grape Specialist for the Finger Lakes Region. His Viticultural specialties include Vineyard Establishment, Vineyard Mechanization, Winter Injury to Grapevines and Table Grape Production.

DENISE ZABOROWSKI Denise is the Manager of OMAFRA’s Domestic Marketing’s Foodland Ontario program. She is a local food advocate who encourages the public to ask for, purchase and care about all of the “good things that grow in Ontario”.  She is also the 2011 recipient of the Visionary Award from the American Agri-Women Association for leadership. The Foodland Ontario program has also been a recent recipient of an Innovation Award for Social Media, and a North American Agricultural Marketing Excellence Award. Denise has been in the Ontario Public Service for over 12

years and has held a number of roles including Client Services Officer, Executive Assistant to the ADM, Food Services Supervisor and Healthy Eating Team Lead. Denise also has experience in leading marketing communications in the food industry with M&M Meat Shops, and Weston Bakeries. Denise holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree from Guelph in Consumer Studies. 

DR. YOUBIN ZHENG Dr. Zheng is an associate professor and Environmental Horticulture Chair at the University of Guelph. He is also a researcher at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. He specializes in producing plants under controlled environments (eg. high tunnel, greenhouse and other indoor facilities). The crops Dr. Zheng’s group has been working on includes vegetables, medicinal, nutraceutical and ornamental crops. His expertise includes plant nutrition and fertilization, irrigation and water treatment, soils and growing substrates, plant-environment interactions, greenhouse lighting, CO2 enrichment etc.

VILIAM ZVALO Viliam joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2014. In his role, he investigates field and greenhouse production of world crops and other new crop opportunities for Ontario growers. Viliam brings a wealth of experience after spending 13 years at Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc., in Nova Scotia where he provided support to vegetable producers and managed numerous research projects in new vegetable crop development, cultivar testing, pest management and evaluation of different production systems and methods. While at Perennia, he was instrumental in the development of a commercial sweet potato industry in Nova Scotia, while also introducing other new crops to the region such as hops, brassica greens and oilseed pumpkin. At Vineland Research, he is leading the World Crop Program with an objective to develop production systems for non-traditional crops such okra, Chinese long and Indian round eggplants. Viliam holds a PhD in Plant Physiology/Soil Ecology from the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovakia and an Executive MBA from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Slowing Down Spoilage in Fruit and Vegetables


If 20 per cent of post-harvest losses were recovered that could make a huge difference at the farmer, country, and global level. NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE CONSIDERED THE IMPACT

fruit production has on global food security, but one team of researchers did and the results could possibly change the world. University of Guelph plant agriculture professor Dr. Jay Subramanian and his 35-person international team have been working to develop technology that slows down spoilage in fruit. The project involves innovative packaging created by using nanotechnology to improve the shelf life of mangoes, a major fruit crop throughout most of the world. Subramanian says phase one of the research began in India and phase two took place in Sri Lanka, Africa, and the Caribbean. The study came about after researchers reviewed data on post-harvest loss in India’s mango crop. The numbers were mind boggling, Subramanian says. “We found that on average about 25 per cent of the crop is lost post-harvest and in some regions it was as high as 50 per cent. That equates to almost $2 billion (CAD) in one crop in one year.” 30


Most of India’s mango crop is produced in rural areas that don’t have the facilities to store the fruit or ship it across the country. That means huge production losses and financial downfalls for the farmers, as well as a decrease in nutritional security for that part of the world. Subramanian and his team considered this issue and thought even if 20 per cent of post-harvest losses were recovered that could make a huge difference at the farmer, country, and global level. Hexanal, a natural plant product that delays fruit from ripening and aging is key to the research. The scientists concluded that spoilage would be reduced significantly if hexanal were sprayed onto the fruit’s packaging in one format or another. When it comes to food safety risks, Subramanian says they were considered. His team completed an extensive study on the bio-safety of hexanal and even at five times the concentration levels being used in the research, no issues were found. Hexanal is also FDA approved, Subramanian points out.

“We are eating natural hexanal that is produced by plants all the time,” he says. Because the compound will reduce post-harvest spoilage, fruit (and vegetables for that matter) could be shipped from one part of the world to another in a much fresher condition. And that could be a game changer for global food security. So much so in fact that Subramanian was recently invited to discuss the research at the United Nations in New York City. The professor says his main message to the UN was that agriculture is the most high-risk job in the world in that a farmer goes through a lot to produce a crop and to let it go to waste after so much struggle is a bigger crime than murder. “People laughed when I used the word murder but the chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation found me after my presentation and told me my words were powerful,” says Subramanian. Speaking to the UN allowed the research to be seen on a global stage and that will hopefully attract a major agency to get on board. The next step will be to develop a start up company so the packaging will have its own name and be available on the market. Subramanian says, “We have done enough from a research point. Now this has to reach the farmer and that’s what we’re working towards.” The Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention is proud to report that this important research was funded in part from convention proceeds via the Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association. For those interested in learning more about this important research project and global food security in general, Subramanian will be speaking on Wednesday, February 17 during the Tender Fruit Session at 11:00 am in room 207-208. 

Taking Sustainability

Beyond the Farm


It’s critical we work with farmers and give credit to those who’ve already completed sustainability programs. A






in conjunction with the province’s food and beverage processors, has created a new sustainability plan that’s hoping to be unlike any other. ‘Farm, Food & Beyond: Our Commitment to Sustainability’ was launched by farm and food industry leaders in September 2015 in a special presentation on the opening day at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock. Dr. Gord Surgeoner, chair of the Sustainable Farm Coalition Steering Committee, says the new plan will build upon the success of the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), which has been completed by more than 38,000 Ontario farm families since 1991. Surgeoner explains that Farm, Food & Beyond will move sustainability farther by incorporating a total value chain approach. The plan addresses not only environmental practices but also economic and social issues. “Ontario is going to add 4 million more people to its population by 2040. At the same time, we’re being asked to double our food exports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions so the word beyond is so important,” Surgeoner says. Four objectives have been developed to help the provincial agriculture and agri-food industries reach this 32

new level. These objectives are: 1.  To guide farmers in the identification of needs/ opportunities for improvement in sustainability. 2.  To assure/inform the general public about these transformations. 3.  To help address growing requirements by food manufacturers and retailers for assurance that farm products have been produced in a sustainable manner. 4. To ensure that the supply chain is working together towards sustainability improvements from farm to fork. “We also want to reduce redundancy,” says Surgeoner, who adds, “It’s critical we work with farmers and give credit to those who’ve already completed sustainability programs.” Meeting and exceeding international standards is important too. Surgeoner says Canadian agriculture has a strong reputation when it comes to the treatment of its labour force, land, and animals but it’s crucial to maintain that status. “We’ve done a good job and will continue to do a good job so this could be an opportunity for agriculture as a whole to get our bragging rights,” he says. Since the launch this past September, the Farm, Food & Beyond team has been working on a gap analysis



comparing the new program to 11 other existing sustainability programs. According to Surgeoner, there are approximately 200 sustainability programs in existence and they all come from different angles. Some are processor based while others are retail oriented or there are programs like McDonald’s Canada’s Sustainable Beef Pilot. “With so many options out there we wanted to compare what our producers would know,” says Surgeoner. Ontario’s two most successful sustainability programs have been the Environmental Farm Plan and Growing Your Farm Profits. Both of these programs are delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) so because of this Farm, Food & Beyond plans on building infrastructure with OSCIA moving forward. Realistically speaking, Surgeoner says the new program won’t be out in the field for another 18 months, and this depends on securing funding, but the plan is headed in the right direction. Ontario growers who are interested in learning more about Farm, Food & Beyond can do so online. A report entitled ‘Our Commitment to Sustainability,’ which is a basis for the long-term initiative, is available at 

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Protecting Ontario’s Fresh Water Supply BY COURTNEY DENARD

Ontario is trying to curb the amount of nutrients going into major waterways. This is not necessarily a new issue but it’s going to become a bigger issue as time goes on. ONTARIO RELIES ON ITS LAKES FOR A VARIETY OF USES

including leisure, drinking water, and in the case of agriculture, for food production. Because of this, farmers are being called upon to protect the province’s freshwater supply and ensure they’re doing all they can to reduce risks to water quality. The Holland Marsh Growers’ Association (HMGA) has recognized this calling and has chosen to be proactive with the development and implementation of the HMGA Water Project. To get a clearer idea of what this important project entails, the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention recently spoke with Bridget Visser, a project team member. Below is a selection of the interview. Why was the HMGA Water Project developed? A few years back, a goal was established to reduce phosphorus in Lake Simcoe and funding was dedicated to this cause. The Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Cleanup Fund eventually came into action and people were able to submit applications to receive funding for the purpose of reducing phosphorus content in Lake Simcoe and the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed. The HMGA proposed a project that would aim to reduce phosphorus content from vegetable wash-up with a specific focus on root vegetables, potatoes, and greens.


Can you tell me about the project’s methodology? The project is a 4-year initiative and its completion date is the end of March 2017 so we’re about half way at this point. I believe we have approximately 20 different test sites, all working farms and washing facilities. We spent the winter of 2014–15 looking at solid phosphorus removal technology (e.g. filters) and this winter we’ve been looking at technologies that are targeting nutrient removal. The next step will be finishing the data work and putting the results into a manual that will be available in print and online. Our plan is to be able to offer 2-3 technologies for growers across the province to reference. Who is involved in the HMGA Water Project? The Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Cleanup Fund is financing the project and HMGA is the over-seeing body. The association is working with Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Support is also coming from Flowers Canada, the Ontario Potato Board, and Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association. On top of that, HMGA has partnered with various technology companies that are supplying equipment. Our biggest cooperator, however, are the farmers who are involved. Without them we wouldn’t be able to test any of the new technology or management practices that we’re developing.



How will the project’s results impact Ontario growers? Ontario is trying to curb the amount of nutrients going into major waterways. This is not necessarily a new issue but it’s going to become a bigger issue as time goes on. Growers are going to have to treat any water or discharges leaving their land before it enters a waterway so more and more farms are going to have to think about this. As the government and conservation authorities start to tighten levels in the lakes they will turn to the people producing the discharges. In fact, it’s already happening. With that in mind, we concluded that when it comes to people, you can always tell them how to do something but showing them is usually better. That’s why we partnered with technology providers and set up on-farm to show growers the different options out there. Our objective with this research is to keep farmers ahead of the regulations to ensure their businesses continue into the future. Is there anything else you would like Ontario growers to know about phosphorus reduction? It’s not a cheap thing to deal with. There are definitely costs involved but in the long run the benefits will be there. The biggest thing for a lot of growers is that they see it as another task for them to do but we’re trying to get them ahead of the curve. These regulations are coming and we want growers to think about it before they have to be thinking about it. That’s a better way to do it than having a regulation come in and forcing change. It’s going to cost, take time, and create more work but at the end of the day it will be beneficial. 


COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH COVERAGE BEFORE YOU NEED IT Illness and accidents can be devastating for your farm and your family. OFA members can protect themselves with a health and dental plan through CBA. Visit us at Booth 728 to talk about a plan for your farm.

Contact Yvonne at 1-800-463-2555 or



2015 OFFMA

Outstanding Farm Marketer of the Year BY COURTNEY DENARD

Lynda and Nick Van Casteren of Nicholyn Farms have spent over 30 years offering locally produced goods to Ontario consumers. FROM TRADITIONAL HOG PRODUCER, to market vendor,

to on-farm retailer, the 2015 Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association’s Outstanding Farm Marketer of the Year has a lifetime of experience offering locally produced goods to Ontario consumers. This year’s recipients, Lynda and Nick Van Casteren of Nicholyn Farms in Phelpston, have spent over 30 years working full-time in the agriculture industry. The couple started out as hog farmers in 1982 but when the market crashed in the late 80s, Lynda says they had to find a better way to fill their pork. Farmers’ markets, it turns out, were the perfect choice. “I really enjoy interacting with consumers,” the farm marketer says. “I love to educate them not only about pork or meat but about farming in general.” Nicholyn Farms participated in their first farmers’ market in 1990 and at one point the operation was attending six markets per week. Over time, consumers grew loyal to Nicholyn’s products so Lynda and Nick decided to set up shop right at home. 36

The couple built their on-farm retail outlet in 1995. The 384 square foot room was the perfect space to sell their local pork, pies, and preserves. And the story goes from there. In the past 20 years, the Van Casteren’s have expanded their retail space to 8,000 square feet and now employ 10 full-time and five part-time staff. Their son Shane and his wife Melissa work for the business as well. The farm continues to offer pork, pies and preserves but has added a plethora of locally produced goods sourced from 75 different farmers, gardeners, microprocessors, and apiarists. The farm is now also home to an on-site bakery and café and has a strong presence on social media. Even though Nicholyn Farms has come a long way since its establishment in 1982, Lynda still says she was “stunned” when she learned the family business was chosen as OFFMA’s 2015 Outstanding Farm Marketer of the Year.

The long-time farmer felt thankful too. Firstly to her Nicholyn Farms team but also to everyone in agriculture. “We have borrowed their ideas to add to our own; they have provided information, support, and knowledge and all of the things that make community,” she says. Today, its the Van Casteren’s desire to make a difference that is the driving force behind their success and best summed up online. “Welcome to Nicholyn Farms, your year round choice for locally produced, organic and traditionally raised foods. Do you know where your food comes from? We do. The diversity on your plate can and should come from local producers. By supporting farm families and local agriculture, you are helping to sustain our food economy, preserve our farm land and keep dollars in our community.” 

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ROUNDUP Cold Weather Mitigation Support for Growers

Ontario urges Students to Consider Careers in Agriculture




that it would be providing cold weather mitigation support to fruit and specialty crop growers across the province. In a news released posted online, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Ontario is providing financial support to farmers to better ensure the survival of apples, tender fruit, berries, and specialty crops during the winter. The province will share up to 35 per cent of the cost of weather mitigation equipment and growers can be eligible to receive up to a maximum of $31,500 per project. This support will help cover the costs of weather mitigation equipment, such as portable or fixed wind machines, heating and air movement devices, insulating devices, overhead irrigation systems, and crop covers. Growers may apply for funding through the Ontario Crop and Soil Improvement Association (OSCIA), which administers the program. Applications will be accepted at several times over the next couple of years. Look for details to be posted on the OSCIA website or call 1-800-265-9751. 





that said provincial politicians are taking steps to encourage young people to consider careers in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector. According to the article, Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa Thompson lined up all-party support for her motion to add an agriculture-food component to the “careers and guidance curriculum” for Grades 9 and 10 students. “The reality is, for every graduate from the University of Guelph (agricultural programs), three jobs are waiting for them,” said Thompson. New Democrat MPP John Vanthof, who owned a dairy farm for 30 years, said in the article that there are huge opportunities in the sector, and not just in traditional ways. “It’s not just on the farm and it’s not just in the elevator,” said Vanthof. The Liberal government signaled its intention to act on Thompson’s motion, and said young people should be told about the job possibilities in the sector. “Students need to know that a career in farming is not just about long hours and hard physical toil,” said Liberal MPP Arthur Potts, parliamentary assistant to the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. “Modern farming requires advanced knowledge of science, economics, marketing and much more to be successful,” Potts said. 

Jamie Slingerland Crowned Grape King

2015 Gary Ireland Horticultural Scholarship





and Wine Festival and Farm Credit Canada recently named Jamie Slingerland of Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-onthe-Lake as the 2015/16 Grape King. The Slingerland family has been farming in Niagara-onthe-Lake since 1783 and Jamie was raised on the family grape and tender fruit farm. He works today as director of viticulture at Pillitteri Estates Winery, which has 43 full-time employees and produces 100,000 cases of wine per year (half of this is icewine). The winery is a true family business that was founded in 1993 by Jamie’s father-in-law Gary Pillitteri (who was also crowned Grape King in 1981). Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife Connie is C.F.O president of operations and his son Richard is vice-president of sales. Jamie says being chosen as the 2015/16 Grape King and receiving this recognition from his peers is “an accomplishment.” He also says it’s a great opportunity to talk about the issues that are important to the Ontario grape and wine industries. The grape grower says he is particularly excited about the industry’s potential in red wines, especially cabernet franc. Another passion is continuing to expand the market for Ontario ice wine on an international level. As part of his official Grape King duties, Jamie will spend the next year traveling the country attending media events, wine festivals and industry gatherings representing the Grape Growers of Ontario. 

of Guelph’s Gary Ireland Horticultural Scholarship. The Bachelor of Science Agriculture student focusing on Crop, Horticulture, and Turfgrass Sciences, grew up in the rural community of Burford, Ontario where he says he was surrounded by farms. Zielinski comes from a small but very close family who encouraged him to follow his interests in horticulture from a young age. He realized early on that he “enjoyed the opportunity to grow food and feed people.” Zielinski says he also liked the risk associated with horticultural production and saw that it could be a lucrative endeavour. This year’s scholarship recipient gained practical horticulture experience through various positions he held during his academic career and summers off from school. His work at Gillespie’s Garden in Cambridge taught Zielinski a great deal about fresh market production and good farming practices. As a research assistant at the Simcoe Research Station, Zielinski worked in the area of tree fruit research and maintenance. When it comes to being selected as this year’s scholarship winner, Zielinski says, “I was surprised to say the least” but “honoured to have been selected.” Zielinski will complete his studies at U of G in April 2016 and plans on finding a job in a horticultural oriented company. 


Celebrating 25 Years of Farmers’ Market Success BY COURTNEY DENARD

FARMERS’ MARKETS ONTARIO® (FMO) is commemorating its 25th anniversary this year by celebrating the past and looking to the future. FMO’S ORIGINS CAN BE TRACED BACK TO 1987 WHEN

funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food was allocated to develop a farmers’ market scene throughout the province. In 1991, the Ontario Public/Farmers’ Markets Association (later renamed FMO) was established to act as a dynamic network and voice of Ontario’s farmers’ markets. Bob Chorney, FMO’s executive director for the past 24 years, says FMO has played an integral role in growing and supporting Ontario farmers’ markets for a quarter of a century. “FMO is committed to leadership, development, management, promotion, and representation,” he says. “We have programs for the markets, the farm vendors, and we’re active in lobbying the government.” At the time of FMO’s inception, 25 years ago, there were 60 farmers’ markets in the province. Today there are 180 that bring in 20 million annual shoppers. Sales from Ontario farmers’ markets exceed $700 million per year and have an economic impact of $2.5 billion.


When asked to list some of FMO’s greatest accomplishments, Chorney says the organization remains quite proud of its partnership with the provincial ministry of agriculture. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are,” he says. FMO also takes pride in its signature My Pick program that assures consumers the food they’re buying from a verified My Pick farmer was grown and produced directly on-farm. Reaching 25 years it not something to ignore. Chorney says, “It means we’ve done a whole lot of good things.” And those good things will be celebrated throughout 2016 starting at FMO’s Annual Networking Symposium/ Annual General Meeting, which is being held yet again in conjunction with the 2016 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. The symposium is a once a year opportunity that FMO creates for market managers and vendors to meet in the same space, says Tracy Lamb, Mopani Communications Inc.



“The goal is to network and share ideas, which is important because most of these people do not get the chance to travel around and see what other markets in the province are doing,” Lamb says. The theme of this year’s symposium will be celebrating the past while looking to tomorrow. “We’ll be reflecting on what we’ve learned over the last 25 years and how its relevant to what we’re doing now and where we’re going in the future,” Lamb adds. For those interested in learning more about the symposium, or what FMO does on a daily basis, check out 

Have you discovered the many paths to innovation at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre? Check out


Editor’s Note: This story would not be complete without a tip of the hat to both Bob Chorney and Catherine Clark who share an incredible passion to support “real-deal” farmers and farmers’ markets in Ontario.





Sandwiches $6.50 GRILLED STEAK SANDWICH Marinated Grilled Bavette Steak with Smoky Tomato Relish, Cheddar Cheese, Spinach PULLED PORK SANDWICH Willowgrove Hill Farms Pulled Pork, Fresh Coleslaw, Silver Smith Black Lager BBQ Sauce


Entrée Salads $6.50 HYDROPONIC BLACK-SEEDED SIMPSON SALAD Poached Apples, Toasted Nuts, Grilled Organic Chicken, Roasted Pear Dressing GREEK SALAD Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion, Vinegar Poached Chicken


Classic Combos** PASTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE $10 SAUSAGE WITH DRINK $10 HOT SANDWICH WITH DRINK $10 SOUP & SALAD $10 SOUP & DRINK $8 SALAD & DRINK $8 **All Soups and Pasta Come with Rolls and Butter.

NPF & VGA 2015 Industry Award of Merit


Compassion, dedication, devotion to agriculture and loyalty to family, key characteristics of this year’s Industy Award of Merit recipient. A SIXTH GENERATION FARMER WHO

had a passion for leadership has been given the 2015 Industry Award of Merit, presented by the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. The late Howard Staff grew up on his family homestead in Jordan as the eldest of three boys. His great-greatgrandfather, who emigrated from England, settled the farm in the late 1700’s.

Staff was notorious for wearing a bowtie to school every day and was involved in agriculture from a young age both on the farm and off through clubs like 4-H. After the death of his grandfather in 1968, Staff became responsible for the day-to-day operations of the family farm. He was 26 at the time. Eventually it was decided that Staff and his two brothers would run the business together so an aggressive expansion took place. The once 300 acre family farm grew to 1,000 acres and approximately 800 of those were dedicated to viticulture. The bulk of the production was sold exclusively to Jordan Wines and world dignitaries like Mikhail Gorbachev, Pierre Trudeau and David Peterson stopped in to tour the operation. Staff ’s love for agriculture on and off the farm continued his entire life. He will be remembered as one of the youngest and longest serving committee and board members of the Grape Growers’ of Ontario and a

youthful president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. His list of leadership roles throughout his career is long and extensive- too many to mention herebut his daughter Sue-Ann Staff says, “He always had time for a multitude of committees that most often centered around agriculture.” Speaking on behalf of her father who passed away suddenly in July 2014, Sue-Ann says she believes Howard was chosen for the Industry Award of Merit “due to his overall gentlemanly worldly demeanor; his compassion, dedication and devotion to agriculture; his loyalty to his family; and his commitment to community.” Sue-Ann says she can hear her father saying, “I am so humbled by this award” and adds “he would have been dignifiedly honoured and enthralled.” 



Land Plans Under Review BY COURTNEY DENARD

The results of the review will have a large impact on the provincial horticulture and agriculture sectors.





coordinated a review of four significant land use plans, the results of which could mean big changes for growers across the province. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced the review that includes The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan. According to the ministry, these four plans work together to manage growth, protect the natural environment and support economic development in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). The GGH is one of the fastest growing regions in North America and in recent decades has experienced tremendous pressure from population growth and urban and suburban development. Between 1985 and 2006, the government put in place legislation with the intent to accommodate growth while protecting farmland, water resources and natural heritage. Critics and supporters have long debated if the legislated plans are in fact accomplishing what they set out

to do over 30 years ago. The review last year aims to answer that question. Ontario appointed a panel, chaired by David Crombie, to support the coordinated review and develop recommendations on how to amend and improve the four plans. Keith Currie, vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, was a member of this panel. Currie says the results of the review will have a large impact on the provincial horticulture and agriculture sectors because of the massive geographic region the plans encompass. “It’s basically all of central Ontario,” he says. The advisory panel has submitted its recommendations to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Currie says he is happy with the report. “The recommendations we came up with all flow very well but they’re also good stand alone agricultural policies,” he says. The ministry expects to have the official review completed and released by April 2016. For more details, growers can log onto: h t t p : / / w w w. m a h . g o v.o n .c a / Page10882.aspx. 

2016 OFVC INNOVATION AWARD SUBMISSIONS Austin Roofing & Waterproofing

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TRITOflex is an instant-set GREEN liquid rubber membrane for use on any surface. It is the growers’ solution for eco-friendly waterproofing – from rooftop to underground and everything in between.

Fracture is a unique biological fungicide with a polypeptide active ingredient sourced from germinating Lupine plants. Effective for control of powdery mildew and botrytis in grapes, strawberries, stone fruit and outdoor ornamental crops.


Lambert Peat Moss



Providing consistent, continuous protection throughout the spray interval and even under adverse weather conditions, Sercadis is the next fungicide from BASF for control of key diseases in horticultural crops. As a stand-alone Group 7 fungicide, Sercadis was developed specifically for the Canadian horticulture market whose growers told BASF that they preferred the flexibility of selecting their own tank-mix partners to a pre-determined coformulation.

Mixes are specially designed for nursery stock (tree, shrubs and perennials) providing watering cost savings and are the perfect mixes for long-term crops.

Bayer CropScience B O O T H # 9 14 PRIWEN

Priwen fungicide provides a new mode of action for powdery mildew control in Canadian wine grapes. It’s a Group 5 fungicide providing systemic foliar protection and post infection activity. And because it utilizes a unique mode of action, it’s an excellent resistance management tool in the vast selection of powdery mildew products available for wine grapes.

Cadman Power Equipment B O O T H # 13 0 C A D M A N M I N I 10 0 0 SER I E S T R AV EL L ER S

Cadman Mini 1000 Series Travellers use the innovative and easy to use iWater™ mini controller coupled with an electric drive system for reliable accuracy. The Mini 1000 Series are engineered to be strong, simple to use and easy to maintain. A Mini 1000 Traveller has a variety of uses from watering gardens and estate lots, sports field irrigation/artificial turf cooling, industrial and arena dust suppression, engineered footing for equestrian events and even cemetery irrigation.

Flexo Products Ltd. BOOTH # 230 TORNADO INDUSTRIES

The Tornado 17/6 is an automatic floor scrubber which will clean and dry your warehouse or packing house floor to help achieve CFIA approvals. This compact scrubber is ergonomically designed and eco-friendly.

Provide Agro Corporation BOOTH # 320 FA M A CK P30 0 ORCH A RD HED GER

The CKP300 is a tractor-mounted, hydraulic-powered vertical sickle-bar hedger featuring a topping and skirting bar that is operated with a simple joystick control with a wide range of settings for custom tailoring to individual orchard designs. The CKP300 is used in high density apple orchards to promote a consistent fruiting wall that maximizes fruit quality while lowering hand labour costs.


Real Ontario Hops. Real Ontario Craft Brewers. Real Drama. Join us at the 4th annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition. The event pits teams of Ontario hop growers along with Ontario craft brewers as the teams go head-to-head with their custom beers specifically brewed for the competition.



s r e m Far s d n e i & Fr AT T H E JOIN US




pm 7th 5 – 7 1 y r a u r day, Feb w Wednes rade Sho T n io t n onve At the C T H A N K S TO O U R EVENT SPONSORS

Reception Menu Enjoy an assortment of Ontario inspired hors-d’oeuvres served throughout the floor space.

Featured Ontario Craft Beers

Featured Ontario Beverages

Duggan’s Brewery Parkdale 

Warner Farms (cider)

The Blue Elephant Craft Brew House 

Niagara College

(MADD non-alcohol beer)

Featured Ontario Wines

The Exchange Brewery

Featured Ontario Snacks

Casa Dea Estates 

Wellington Brewery

Martin’s Family Fruit Farm (apple chips)

Erie Shore Winery

Fielding Estate Winery

Henry of Pelham Family Estate

Huff Estates

Sandbanks Estate Winery


Featured Ontario Hard Ciders Bonnieheath Estate

White Meadows Farms (maple kettle corn)

Roaming Entertainmment by Sandy Vine Entertainment 

Shiny Apple Cider


Spirit Tree Estate Cidery


Solutions for Industry



Research & Innovation


With funding support from various regional, provincial and federal agencies, students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty researchers to assist industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. We conduct many projects in collaboration with small- and medium-sized businesses. For example, in recent months we have: CREATED

NEW RECIPES for a fine meats company


acres of grain managed with our PRECISION AGRICULTURE ALGORITHM

DOUBLED production capacity for VIJ'S AT HOME to expand sales across Canada

Do you have an innovative idea but lack the resources to bring it to life? MEET WITH US. WORK WITH US.


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OFVC 2016 Show Guide