OFVC Show Guide 2024

Page 1



F EB 21 –22, 2024



Follow us online

@ofvc1 #ofvc2024




President’s Welcome


Thanks to our Great Sponsors


Convention Exhibitors




Session Schedule


Speaker Biographies


OFVC Events: Poster Competition, Women in Ag and Young Farmer Lunch & Learn



Food Rescue Charity Offers New Home for Unwanted Grower Produce The Evolution of Spraying: Drone Spraying in Canadian Agriculture


Douglas Darling N P F & VG A GE NER AL MANAGE R

Glenna Cairnie DIRECTORS

Victoria Buma BE R R Y G R OW E R S O F O N TA R I O, H C O Kelly Ciceran O N TA R I O A P P L E G R OW E R S, H C O Catherine Clark FA R M E R S ’ M A R K E T S O N TA R I O, H C O Douglas Darling N P F&VG A Barbara Hipple-Roller N P F&VG A Matt Peters N.M. B A R T L E T T IN C., H C O Tom Tancock N P F&VG A Kevin Vallier FA R M F R E S H O N TA R I O, H C O Torrie Warner N P F&VG A Jennifer Whalen O M A F R A C H A I R /FAC I LI TI E S

Kevin Schooley N.M. B A R T L E T T IN C., H C O TR ADE SHOW

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

Erika DeBrouwer O M A F R A Amanda Tracey O M A F R A S P E A K E R C O - O R D I N AT O R

Beverly Cantelon A C C O M M O D AT I O N S


Innovation Offers Food Sovereignty for Indigenous and Remote Communities


Never Underestimate the Power of Your Story


Farmers’ Markets Ontario® AWARD of Excellence


The Future of Agriculture: All Hands on Deck


NPF & VGA Award of Merit


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

Cara McCreary O M A F R A Denise Beaton O M A F R A MARKE TING/WEBSITE

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

Douglas Darling N P F & VG A Barbara Hipple-Roller N P F & VG A Ken Slingerland N P F & VG A Torrie Warner N P F & VG A SESSION CHAIRS

Denise Beaton O M A F R A Ryan Brewster BR E W S T E R

Stefan Larrass O F VG A Sarah Marshall OT FG CROP SERVICES Dr. Wendy McFaddenVictoria Buma B GO Smith O M A F R A Kathryn Carter O M A F R A John Molenhuis O M A F R A Deanna Chakarova Kevin Montgomery O M A F R A S T. C AT H A R IN E S FA R M E R S ’ Erin Panek O M A F R A MARKET Erica Pate O M A F R A Dr. Tejendra Chapagain Amy Shi O GG A OMAFR A Amanda Tracey O M A F R A Travis Cranmer O M A F R A Kevin Vallier F FO Erika DeBrouwer O M A F R A Elaine Roddy O M A F R A Emilia De Sousa O P M A Dennis Van Dyk O M A F R A Dr. Jason Deveau O M A F R A Steph Vickers O M A F R A Dr. Melanie Filotas O M A F R A Dr. Sean Westerveld Kristy Grigg-McGuffin OMAFR A OMAFR A

Interested in advertising in the 2025 Show Guide? Contact Steve Watt, steve@ofvc.ca. The OFVC Show Guide is published by Bright Light Communications www.brightlightcommunications.com. Design by Sherpa Creative www.sherpacreative.com. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission from OFVC. Copyright © 2024 by OFVC Inc. Printed in Canada by Annex Business Media.

Dr. Alexandra Grygorczyk VRIC

Danny Jefferies O M A F R A Jennifer Kelly C C OV I Sophie Krolikowski OMAFR A



P R E S I D E N T, O N T A R I O F R U I T A N D V E G E T A B L E C O N V E N T I O N


On behalf of the OFVC Board and Planning Committee,

Welcome to the 22nd Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention On behalf of the Board of Directors and Planning Committee, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the 22nd Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention. With horticulture production spread out across Ontario, it’s great to come together under one roof to network, learn, and explore what’s new in the hort sector. This year’s convention theme is ‘Cultivating abundance. Nurturing growth’ and there certainly is an abundance of information and connections available. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors and exhibitors for your continued support of the show. Many hours of dedication have been given by the volunteer OFVC Planning Committee and Board in organizing the event. We are so fortunate to have a great team working on this event which includes our convention professionals who keep us focused. Thank you to

Glenna Cairnie, Steve Watt, and Bev Cantelon for your many contributions to our convention. Our thanks to all the OMAFRA Session Chairs who have created another wide-ranging line up of topics and issues. New sessions this year include Farming Basics for New Growers, Drone Spraying, Sustainability, and Cost of Production. The trade show is once again sold out. Thanks to all the returning exhibitors and welcome to our new exhibitors. Enjoy the convention and cheers to a great growing season ahead! Kelly Ciceran PRESIDENT

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention acknowledges that Niagara Region is the traditional territory of the Hatiwendarank, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe peoples that made up the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous peoples.


Thanks to Our Sponsors C O N V E N T I O N PA R T N E R S







Incorporated Ontario

Incorporated Ontario



exhibitor list 511 A & L Canada Laboratories 609 A.M.A. Horticulture Inc. 1124 Abell Pest Control 407 Acti-Sol 1217 Adams County Nursery Inc. 630 Advantage Packaging Ltd. 929 AEF Global Biopesticides 1205 Ag Business & Crop Inc. 1428 Agricorp 215 Agriculture and AgriFood Canada 315 Agriculture & Food Laboratory — University of Guelph 1235 Agriculture Solutions 923 Agro — 100 1410 AgroEcoPower 828 AgroHaitai Ltd. 1105 Andermatt Canada Inc. 333 Antonio Carraro/Distribution Importation Jean Gagnon Inc. 1226 Arbourdale 620 BASF Canada Inc. 1021 Bayer Crop Science 235 BCM Insurance Company 401 Belchim Crop Protection Canada 1001 Ben Berg Farm & Industrial Equip. Ltd. 1131 Benchmark Equipment Sales & Service 509 Besseling Group North America Inc. 1031 Bioline Agrisciences 725 BioSafe Systems 824 BioWorks Inc. 211 Bogballe/DFK 514 Burgess Baskets 521 C. Frensch Ltd. 328 Cadman Power Equipment 531 Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) 806 Canadian Fruit Tree Nursery Co-operative Ltd. 1436 Canadian Wollastonite: Calcium + Silicon 524 CanGrow Crop Solutions & Bioline Corp. 1227 Carbon Robotics 633 Charter Next Generation 326 Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) 1134 CO2 Gro Inc. 626 Cog-Veyor Systems Inc. 723 Cohort Wholesale 734 Consulate General of Barbados/ Barbados Liaison Service 931 Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Brock University 420 Corteva Agriscience 1007 Crescent Oil/Fuels Inc. 1022 Croptracker 1206 Crown Bin & Pallet 1129 CSP Labs 1109 CWB National Leasing


935 Decade Products LLC 213 Design-Construct-Solutions 826 Desjardins Business 604 Dominion and Grimm Inc. 1025 DuBois Agrinovation Inc. 1316 Eastern Manufacturing & Design Inc. 1111 Eckert Machines 410 ECO+ 1314 Ecocert Canada 529 Econse Water Purification Systems Inc. 1231 Ekopack8 329 Enza Zaden 708 Farm Credit Canada 327 Farm for Profit/Greencrop Agri Products Ltd. 1211 Farm Power Equipment Inc. 427 FarmHQ 704 Filmorganic 908 First Genesis Inc./Sunflower Rubber & Plastics 1404 Flexo Products Ltd. 603 FMC Canada 933 Frontline Growing Products 500 Fruit & Vegetable Magazine 532 Fruit Support Europe/FruitSecurity Holland 1306 Gintec Shade Technologies Inc. 1209 Global Horticulture Inc. 1203 GMABE Inc. 1120 Gowan Canada 505 GPS Ontario 1020 Grape Growers of Ontario 428 Green Lea Ag Center Inc. 1420 Greenhouse Technology Network 331 Grimo Nut Nursery 1106 Grindstone Creek Nursery Inc. 1326 Gripple Canada 727 Gro-Bark (Walker Industries) 907 GroundWork 429 Growers Mineral Solutions 1033 GrowSpan 1122 Growtec Solutions Inc. 1121 Haggerty AgRobotics 606 Harnois Greenhouses 411 Harvest Goodies 1012 Heartnut Grove — WWT 1101 Hectre 131 Heubel Grapes Estates Ltd. 534 Highland Ag Solutions 1330 Hindle’s Clarksburg Hardware 635 Hortau 729 Hortinova Inc. 1210 Hoskin Scientific Ltd. 733 Huplaso 424 Hydrogardens X TERIS 735 i2i Automation Inc. 530 Inland Desert Nursery 1009 IntelliCulture 1024 Irritec USA 1108 Jiffy 1201 Johnny’s Selected Seeds

1204 Kickin’ Frass (SureSource Agronomy) 227 Knights Grapevine Nursery 1432 Koko Ag Canada Inc. 921 KOOLJET Refrigeration Inc. 832 Koolmees Equipment Inc. 1126 Koppert Canada Ltd. 1011 Lakeside Grain & Feed Ltd. 623 Lakeview Vineyard Equipment Inc. 515 Lallemand Plant Care 405 Lambert Peat Moss Inc. 105 Leading Edge Equipment Ltd. 430 Leaffilter North of Canada Inc. 634 MAF Roda 525 Magic Window 334 Martin’s Family Fruit Farm 414 Maximum H2O 1208 MaxOn Ag Solutions Inc. 409 Maxstim Products Inc. 705 Meester Insurance Centre 624 MNP LLP 526 Monarch Oil Ltd. 325 Monte Package Company 422 Moore Packaging Corporation 823 N.M. Bartlett Inc./Provide Agro Corp. 800 Natural Insect Control 1224 Netafim 1426 Niagara College - Research & Innovation 913 Niagara Orchard & Vineyard Corp. 431 NNZ Inc. 925 Norseco Inc. 1332 Notch Financial 732 Nova Mutual Insurance Company 415 Nufarm 608 Nurture Growth Bio Inc. 822 NutriAg Ltd. 501 O’Neils Farm Equipment 1229 Oasis Therapy 1132 Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) 310 OMAFRA — Agriculture Development 221 Oneida New Holland 802 Ontario Federation of Agriculture 809 Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association — The Grower 901 Ontario Orchard Supply 308 Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association 1233 Orchard & Vine Equipment Solutions 804 Penn Refrigeration Ltd. 229 Planet Paper Box Group Inc. 506 Plant Products — a member of Biobest Group 1406 Plant, Grow Share A Row 801 Premier Equipment Ltd. 706 Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd. 321 PRO-MIX Premier Tech Horticulture 301 ProduceTech Inc.

502 Production Lareault Inc. 507 Profile Products 413 Provision Analytics 1034 Pulp Moulded Products 1328 Pure Life Soil Inc. 1324 Pygar Sales Canada Ltd. 435 Quest Community Health Care 1006 R & W Equipment Ltd. 1128 Rainmaker.Earth 1026 Ready-Set-Grow 113 Redtrac International Ltd. 433 Regent 1434 Renewal by Andersen of Greater Toronto 1438 ROOTPRO 607 Rupp Seeds 527 SAI System and Services Inc. 535 Seaborn Organics 311 Second Harvest 425 Seedway 1312 Seminova 1030 SK Cornerstone Group 228 Slimline Manufacturing Ltd. (Turbomist) 504 Smart Home Designs Niagara Inc. 927 Southern Irrigation 1035 Stemilt Growers 700 Stokes Seeds Ltd. 209 Strawberry Tyme Farms Inc. 523 Structural Panels Inc. 830 Sun-North Systems Ltd. 612 Syngenta 1103 TD Bank 528 Tessier Greenhouses 911 The Cider Keg 201 Thiessen Tillage Equipment 1200 Timac Agro Canada 233 Tirecraft 332 TSLC 605 Twistyer Products Inc. 701 UAP Canada Inc. 731 Unitec Canada 313 University of Guelph — Coop Education & Career Services 533 University of Guelph, Pollinator Partnership 1113 Upper Canada Growers 421 VandenBussche Irrigation & Equipment 632 Velocity Green 707 Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd. 1418 Vineland Research and Innovation Centre 909 VineTech Canada Inc. 1414 Vitis Import 601 Vivid Machines 610 Wellington Produce Packaging 1223 Whiffletree Farm and Nursery Inc. 508 Willsie Equipment Sales 1130 Windward Drones Inc. 1408 Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

NFCC Maps N I A G A R A FA L L S C O N V E N T I O N C E N T R E — F I R S T L E V E L

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

Shuttle Bus Schedule

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

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







8:30 – 5:00 Trade Show – Exhibition Hall

12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and Trade Show


11:00 Planting Peach Orchards for the Future: High Density Grower Panel Jake Rasch, Rasch Family Orchards, USA; Steve Frecon, Frecon Farms, USA

10:30 Irrigation and Fertilization in Peaches Dr. Dario Chavez, University of Georgia, USA

10:00 Quest’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Health Program Moises Vasquez, Jesslyn Froese, Quest Community Health Centre

9:30 How to Manage Resistant and Difficult to Control Weeds in Tender Fruit Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA

Chair: Sarah Marshall, OTFG


ROOM 206








11:00-12:00 Reshaping the Directto-Consumer Experience Peter Jones, Shopify (Live stream)

10:30 Brettanomyces Control Strategies in the Winery Dr. James Osborne, Oregon State University, USA (Live stream)

10:00 LCBO: Ontario Wines Business Update Aaron Pothier, Liquor Control Board of Ontario

9:30 A Sustainable Winegrowers’ Dilemma Shiraz Mottiar, Malivoire Wine Company

Chairs: Erin Panek, OMAFRA; Jennifer Kelly, CCOVI


ROOMS 207 & 208

8:30 – 5:00 Research Poster Display – Front Foyer



ROOM 205



Chair: Kevin Vallier, Chair: Elaine Roddy, Chair: Dr. Sean Chairs: Dr. Alexandra Chair: Denise Beaton, FFO OMAFRA Westerveld, OMAFRA Grygorczyk, VRIC; OMAFRA Steph Vickers, 9:30 Designing a 9:30 Grower 9:30 -11:00 9:30 Cucurbit 9:30 Getting 9:30 10 Years OMAFRA Brand in the Alcohol Profile: Stevenson Your Stories Are Casualties: Soil Started: with the Spotted 9:30 2023 Market Space Strawberry Farm More Powerful Borne Pathogens Introduction to 9:30 What’s Lanternfly of the Year Award Amanda DeVries, Eye Tom Stevenson, Than Your Data and How to Farming Really Driving Richard Blair, Setter Cathy Bartolic, Candy Design Stevenson Ron Tite, Church Manage Them Dr. Sean Westerveld, the Sustainability Ridge Winery, USA Newmarket Farmers’ Strawberry Farm & State Creative Dr. Brenna Aegerter, OMAFRA Push? 10:00 Cidermaking 10:00 Spotted Market Agency University of Food Safety Basics Steph Vickers, From a 10:00 Fertigation Lanternflies California, USA Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA 10:00 Enhancing Fermentation and Nutrient 11:00-12:00 in Vineyards: OMAFRA 10:00 The Art of Safety & Managing Perspective Management Diversifying 10:00 OFVGA Research Findings Growing a High Risk at Your Market Allison Findlay, of Blueberries: Your Business 10:00 Financial Sustainability and Management Quality Sweet Philip Powell, Niagara College Food Tips for Fruitful To Grow Your and Business Survey: The Scenarios Corn Crop Consultant, & Beverage Innovation Production Brand Planning Tripping Practices Gaining Dr. Michela Centinari, Mike Holzworth, (Live stream); Mark Saunders, Points Popularity with Pennsylvania State 10:30 What Makes a Dr. David Bryla, Holzworth Farms Paul Moran, USDA, USA Saunders Farm; John Molenhuis, Growers University, USA Bad Cider Apple Co-operators Melinda McArthur, 10:30 Can You OMAFRA Dr. Alexandra Elizabeth Garofalo, 10:30 Cornell 10:30 SLF Update Heatherlea Farm; Build Organic Grygorczyk, Vineland 11:00 Community University of Berry Breeding 10:30 Soil from CFIA Chery Peck, Cider Matter on Sandy Research and Massachusetts, USA Food Partnerships: and Variety Matters Carla Cassone, Jamie Keg Innovation Centre Soils? Public Markets Danny Jefferies, Maloney, Canadian 11:00 Cider Maker Update Dr. Zachary Hayden, OMAFRA as Tools for Food Panel: The Art Dr. Courtney Weber, 10:30-11:15 Food Inspection Michigan State Security Cornell University, Grower Panel: Agency and Science of 11:00 Nutrients University, USA Cameron Dale, USA Farming for Fermentation in Horticultural 11:00 Spotting Kitchener Market; Efficiency Jay Howell, Brantview 11:00 Nursery 11:00 Squash Crops: The Basics Opportunities to Julie Hornick-Martyk, Orchards & Cider/ Moderator: Gordon Production and Panel Dr. Tejendra Stomp Lanternfly The Food Bank of Stock, OFVGA; Dan Howell Road Cider Soil Management Chapagain, C O Keddy Nursery; Josh Mosiondz, Waterloo Region Oliver, Nortera; Josh Co.; Janelle Balsillie, Lareault Nursery; EZ Ben Vermeulen, OMAFRA Hannah Fraser, Aitken, Cave Spring Heeman’s Cider/ Vermeulen Farms Grow Farms; ReadyOMAFRA 11:30 Pest Vineyard; Brian Carolinian Cider; Set-Grow and Weed Rideout, Manitree David Couture, West SPONSORED BY: Management 101 Fruit Farm; Brian SPONSORED BY: Avenue Cider SPONSORED BY: Dr. Melanie Filotas, Collins, Collins Farm BELCHIM 11:30 Ontario OMAFRA Produce Craft Cider and 11:15 Accessing Sweet Cider Award SPONSORED BY: Program $$ for Winners with Hort Growers Review of Cider Margaret May, Categories and Ontario Soil & Tasting Event Crop Improvement Janice Ruddock, Association Ontario Craft Cider Association



Chair: Kevin Chair: Erica Pate, Montgomery, OMAFRA OMAFRA



Chair: Deanna Chakarova, St. Catharines Farmers’ Market



ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check BALLROOM D


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


8:30 – 5:00 Trade Show – Exhibition Hall

Chair: Victoria Buma, BGO





ROOM 203


ROOM 204





12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and Trade Show

Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO

ROOMS 201 & 202


ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check


ROOM 206

8:30 – 5:00 Research Poster Display – Front Foyer



ROOMS 207 & 208

Chair: Dennis Van Dyk, Chairs: Dr. Sean Chairs: Sophie Chair: Kathryn Carter, Chair: Ryan Brewster, OMAFRA Westerveld, Krolikowski, Dr. Melanie OMAFRA Brewster Crop OMAFRA; Amy Shi, Filotas, OMAFRA Services 2:00 Rebuilding 2:00-3:00 Essential 2:00 Carrot Nitrogen 2:00 Optimizing OGGA 2:00 Thinning: Blueberry IPM Research Before Management and 2:00 The Chestnut Thinning in Peaches 2:00 How to 2:00 Growth Expert Panel Programs for SWD Launching Remote Sensing 2:00 Prevention Industry in Eastern Dr. Dario Chavez, Manage Resistant Through Dr. John Cline, Steven Van Timmeren, Agritourism Dr. Zachary Hayden, and Proactive US: A Generational University of Georgia, and Difficult to Governance University of Guelph; Dr. Michigan State Activities Michigan State Management: Perspective USA Control Weeds in Workshop Todd Einhorn, Michigan University, USA Claudia Schmidt, University, USA Lessons Learned Amy Miller, Route 9 Grape 2:30 Use of 1-ACC Ellen Sinclair, Rural State University, USA Pennsylvania State from Clubroot of Cooperative, USA Kristen Obeid, 2:30 Homegrown 2:30 Getting The to Thin Peaches and Institute of Ontario; University, USA Cole Crops OMAFRA 2:45 Thinning: Innovation Most Out Of Your 2:30 Producing Plums for Improved Thomas Merritt, Dr. Mary Ruth Grower Panel Challenge: Future3:00-4:00 Vegetable Storage Walnut, Butternut and Labour Efficiencies 2:30 Advances Sudbury Farmers’ McDonald, Gerbe Botden, Botden proofing Canadian Diversifying Doug Trivers, Dayson Birch Tree Syrup Sofia Franzluebbers in Understanding Market; Jenny University of Guelph Orchards; Ian Parker, Food Production Enterprises Agricultural Ventilation Todd Leuty, (retired) (MSc Candidate), Grapevine Pinot Groenheide, Thunder Wilmot Orchards; Leslie Dr. Lukasz Dana Thatcher, 2:30 What is OMAFRA Specialist University of Guelph gris and Grapevine 3:00 Stemphylium Bay Country Market Huffman, The Fruit Aleksandrowicz, Thatcher Farms Killing My Crop? Red Blotch Viruses - The Unstoppable 3:00 The Cooperative 3:00 New Tender 3:30 2023 Snapshot Wagon Weston Foundation Butcher Shop, Bakery Plant Disease Dr. Sud Poojari, Brock Force Model for Tree Crops: Fruit and Fresh & Annual General & Farm Market Forensics University 3:15 Thinning: Open 3:00 Weed Control Emily McFaul, Our Experience with Grape Variety Meeting Amy Fang Shi, Panel Discussion in June-bearing University of Guelph Chestnuts Development 3:00 Mechanized Lisa Cooper, Uxbridge Ontario Ginseng Strawberries: Amy Miller, Route 9 Dr. Jay Subramanian, Fruit-Zone 3:30 New Farmers’ Market Growers Ontario Covering Windows Cooperative, USA University of Guelph; Leaf Removal: SPONSORED BY: Technologies for of Time 3:00 Managing Sarah Marshall, Fundamentals and Crop Protection of 3:30 Food Safety Sonny Murray, Perennia the Impacts of Ontario Tender Fruit Research Trials Horticultural Crops Considerations for Plant-Parasitic Growers Dr. Michela Centinari, 3:30 PYO Pundits Dr. Mary Ruth Tree Nuts Nematodes in Pennsylvania State Panel McDonald, University Colleen Haskins, 3:30 Packing Lines Horticultural University, USA Susan Judd, Heemans; of Guelph OMAFRA for Tender Fruit Crops Matt Stetzkorn, Round Table 3:30 Updates Dr. Tom Forge, Andrews Farm Market & Kai Wiens, Dylan on CGCN-RCCV Agriculture and AgriWinery; Tim Alexander, Wiens, John Feenstra Certification food Canada Robintide Farms Programming and 3:30 Using Cluster Funding Fungicides for Darien Temprile, SPONSORED BY: Soilborne Disease Canadian Grapevine Management Certification Network Katie Goldenhar, OMAFRA

Chairs: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin; Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA



Chair: Deanna Chakarova, St. Catharines Farmers’ Market



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

Chairs: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA






8:30 – 4:00 Trade Show – Exhibition Halls



ROOM 204


ROOM 206




ROOMS 207 & 208



8:30 – 4:00 Research Poster Display – Front Foyer


Chairs: Dr. Tejendra Chair: Emilia De Chair: Dr. Wendy 8:00-9:15 Sousa, OPMA Chapagain, Danny McFadden-Smith, Women in Jefferies, OMAFRA OMAFRA Agriculture 9:30-10:30 Crop 9:30-10:30 A Breakfast Overviews: Fresh View 9:30 Mapping 9:30 Evaluation of Featured speaker: Speciality Crops on Branding: Orchard Novel Technology Alison Robertson, Evan Elford, OMAFRA Variability and Insights for the in Grapes and Executive Director, Fruit Crops Produce Industry Perennial Crops Soil Attributes to Ontario Fruit Kathryn Carter, Brian Ettkin, Improve Orchard Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, & Vegetable OMAFRA Numerator Management Cornell University, Growers’ Vegetable Crops Bernardita USA 10:30-11:30 Association Dennis Van Dyk, Sallato Carmona, Storytelling 10:00 Assessing OMAFRA Washington State that Sells: How Fungicide SPONSORED BY: University, USA 10:30 Planning Sharing Your Resistance in and Scheduling 10:00-11:30 OnStory Sells Your Eastern Vineyards Vegetable Crops: Farm Soil Mapping Business & Dr. Tim Miles, Sweet Corn Case & Technology #OntAg Michigan State Study to Improve Christina Crowley- University, USA Elaine Roddy, Site-Specific Arklie, Crowley + 10:30 How To Get OMAFRA Management Arklie Strategy & Co. The Most From Panel 11:00 Experiences Your Fungicide Liam Reeves, in Starting a Farm Buck SPONSORED BY: Stratus Vineyards; in Ontario Dr. Wendy Ben Vermeulen, Gail Winters, Goodlot McFadden-Smith, Vermeulen Farms; Farm & Farmstead OMAFRA Friedhelm Hoffman, Brewing Company 11:00 Smart Lakeside Grain 11:30 Q&A Vineyard Panel: & Feed, Herman Session Technology for the Visscher, MEN’s All Speakers Future Farming Inc. Jennifer Phillips Russo, Cornell SPONSORED BY: University, USA; Chuck Bareisch, Haggerty AgRobotics

Chair: Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA


ROOM 203

12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and Trade Show

9:30-10:30 9:30 Adapting 9:30-11:00 Navigating to Aggressive Agritourism 9:30 Safe Place & TFWP/SAWP 9:30 Crop Load Liability: Reducing Anthracnose in Paperwork: Peppers Code of Conduct Management the Lawsuit Risk LMIAs and Work Dr. Todd Einhorn, Katie Goldenhar, at Markets Rusty Rumley, The Lori Brunetta, City of Permits Michigan State National Agricultural OMAFRA Shawn McGowan, University, USA St. Catharines Law Center, USA 10:00 Fusarium Schuyler Farms; 10:30 Food 10:00 Ambrosia 11:00-12:00 What in Fruiting Amanda Doughty, Vegetables Sovereignty Beetles in Does the Year Sandy Shore Dr. Brenna Aegerter, for Indigenous Ontario Apple Ahead Hold and Farms Communities: Orchards How You Can University of Virtual Tour 10:30 WSIB 101: Dr. Justin Renkema, Capitalize California, USA Jesse Russell, Forms, Recovery Agriculture and Jo-Ann McArthur, 10:40 Growers Canadore College; and Return to Agri-food Canada Nourish Food Choice: An Angela Proudfoot, Work Marketing 10:30 NonInteractive Canadore College, Kendra Hollidayfumigant Exchange on (Live stream) Bryant, WSIB Approaches Insect Issues 11:30 7 Strategies 11:00 Labour to Pre-plant Ben Aigner, Virginia for Better Market Market Management of Tech, USA (Join us at lunch to Information Nematodes and learn more) Session the Apple Replant SPONSORED BY: Melanie Anderson, Phyllis MacCallum, Disease ByWard Market Canadian Dr. Tom Forge, District Authority Agricultural Agriculture and Human Resources Agri-food Canada Council 11:00 Adventures 11:30 Update in Cider Apple on SAWP/TFWP Growing and LICC Elizabeth Garofalo, Ken Forth, FARMS/ University of LICC Massachusetts, USA

Chair: Stefan Larrass, OFVGA



Chair: Deanna Chakarova, St. Catharines Farmers’ Market



ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check

Chair: Kevin Vallier, Chair: Amanda Tracey, OMAFRA FFO


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


Chairs: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA




8:30 – 4:00 Trade Show – Exhibition Halls


12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and Trade Show

3:30 Spray Drones: Magic or Myth? Adrian Rivard, Drone Spray Canada


ROOMS 207 & 208




3:30 Grower Panel: Thinking Outside the Box Gabriel DeMarco, Cave Spring; Craig Wismer, Glen Elgin Vineyards; Liam Reeves, Stratus Winery

8:30 – 4:00 Research Poster Display – Front Foyer

Chair: John Molenhuis, OMAFRA


ROOM 204

Chair: Kathryn Carter, 12:00-1:30 Young OMAFRA Farmer Lunch and Learn 2:00 The 2:00-3:00 Collecting 2:00 Soil Health in Importance of Data to Calculate Vineyards SPONSORED BY: Calibrating a RPAAS Costs of Production Dr. Deirdre Griffin Dr. Jason Deveau, David Cohlmeyer, LaHue, Washington OMAFRA Sustainable Good State University, USA Foods (Live stream) 2:30 RPAS/Drone Regulations in 3:00 Maximizing 2:30 A 12-Year Canada COP for Farm Vineyard Cover Crop Cindy Haughton, Business Strategy Case Study and Transport Canada and Growth Journey to Vine and Dusty Zamecnik, Soil Health 3:00 How Tommy DeVos, EZ Jennifer Phillips UASS Flight Grow Farms Russo, Cornell Characteristics University, USA Affect Spray Quality 3:30 COP Toolbox and Coverage John Molenhuis, 3:00 2023 Ontario Dr. Michael Reinke, OMAFRA Grape Varietal Study Michigan State Rob Gamble, AgriUniversity, USA Metrics Consulting


ROOM 203



Chair: Travis Cranmer, Chair: Dr. Jason OMAFRA Deveau, OMAFRA



Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO

ROOMS 201& 202


ofvc.ca for more information.

CEU Credits may be available for

CEU certain sessions. Please check

2:00 Building New 1:00-3:30 2:00 Improving Housing for TFW 2:00 Orchard Cultivating a Culture Production 2:00-3:00 Farm Workforce – Grower Economics of Engaged Teams – Practices Labour, Food Panel Alison DeMarree, Workshop Travis Cranmer, Security & Farmers’ DeMarree Farms Neil Thornton, The OMAFRA 2:30 Handling Markets Thornton Group Expansions of 3:00 In Orchard 2:30 Major Pests Anne Durst, Bry-Anne a Farm’s TFW Diagnostic for of 2023 and How Farms; Erin McLean, Workforce – Grower Soil and Nutrient to Manage Them in McLean Berry Farms Panel Management 2024 Bernardita Sallato 3:00 Recognized 3:30 Incorporating Carmona, Washington Employer Pilot Clean Seed into State University, USA (REP) for SAWP/ Your Farm TFWP 3:30 Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses, Oh My! 3:30 Perspectives How Pathogen and Lessons Diagnostics Can Learned from Inform Your Disease Service Canada Management Interactions with Katie Goldenhar, Growers in TFWP/ OMAFRA SAWP Panel

Chair: Stefan Larrass, OFVGA



Chair: Deanna Chakarova, St. Catharines Farmers’ Market



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

Speaker Biographies BRENNA AEGERTER Brenna has been a Farm Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension since 2005. She works closely with vegetable growers in the northern San Joaquin Valley and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta on various aspects of vegetable production and conducts on-farm research projects addressing challenges in plant health, nutrient, and irrigation management. Her goal is to use research-based information to solve local production problems to improve the economic sustainability of farms and minimize environmental impacts. She has a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of California, Davis and specializes in the diagnosis and management of diseases of warm-season vegetables. Major vegetable crops in the region include tomatoes, potatoes, and cucurbits. California produces over half of U.S.-grown vegetables, with 920,800 acres of vegetables in 2021.


Dr. Aigner is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working with Dr. Tom Kuhar in the Vegetable Entomology Lab at Virginia Tech. Ben received his Masters of Science in Entomology from Virginia Tech and his PhD in Entomology from University of Georgia. His graduate research focused on the biology and spatial dynamics of heteropteran pests of agricultural crops and has published several papers on the topic. He has extensive experience with sampling and managing insect pests of vegetable and field crops.


Lukasz manages the Weston Fa m i l y F o u n da ti o n’s Homegrown Innovation Challenge. Prior to joining the Foundation, Lukasz was a senior manager at the Wellcome Trust, a UK-based global foundation, developing strategy and funding programs at the intersection of climate and environmental change, and health. He has worked on the Indian Million Death Study, leading


development of new tools for tracking health in low-resource settings, as well as on a number of global health and nutrition projects with Médecins Sans Frontières, the World Health Organization, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Panel on Agricultural and Food Systems for Nutrition. Lukasz completed a PhD in sustainable food systems from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK).

MEL ANIE ANDERSON Melanie is all about markets! She has over 10 years in market management in Ottawa and beyond and is passionate about working with producers and creating opportunities for the community to engage with local makers. Having studied Environmental Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, her main focus was in local food systems and food security. Melanie is the Eastern Region Representative on the Board for Farmers’ Markets Ontario as well as a recent speaker at the InTents: International Farmers Market Conference.

CATHY BARTOLIC Cathy has a long and varied history in agriculture. Currently she is the Chief Petal Pusher at Perennial Petals, a boutique flower farm located in Stouffville, where she grows specialty cut field flowers and garlic with her husband. In 2000, Cathy started going to the Newmarket Farmers’ Market (NFM) with her products and has been a vendor ever since. She has been on the NFM Board for 4 years and the president for 2 years. Over that time, she has watched the NFM grow into a vibrant hub in the community.

K AT Y BENNET T Katy is known as a dedicated farmers’ market supporter and patron in the community. Coming from a background in the health food industry, organics and part time farm work, she developed a passion for farmers’ markets and local healthy food. In 2018 Katy joined

the Newmarket Farmers’ Market as a vendor, selling fresh local vegetables, becoming involved with the community and fellow vendors. Katy became the Manager of the Newmarket Farmers’ Market in 2021. The organizational skills and enthusiasm she brings to the market has allowed it to grow into exciting Saturdays from May – October.

RICHARD BL AIR With degrees in economics and agricultural economics and a long career in real estate and with a long time love of wine, in 1998 he planted 8 acres of vinifera grapes at our Stonehedge Vineyards and in 2007 another 25 acres at his Richard J Vineyards. In 2010 they opened their gravity flow in Kutztown, PA. With a lifetime of a passion for pinots, vineyards were planted mostly with pinot noir, different clones, rootstocks, and many experiments. Bugs, weather and herbicide drift has made for a long and interesting journey.

LORI BRUNET TA Lori is a former high-performance athlete who was the recipient of the 1982 Ontario Achievement Award for excellence in sports. She went on to pursue post-secondary education at Laurentian University, Durham College, Georgian College and most recently the University of Toronto. She obtained her Certified Risk Manager designation in 2015 and her FMO’s Ontario Market Manager Certification in 2020. For the past 12 years, she has held the role of Manager of Recreation and Cultural Services at the City of St. Catharines (her hometown). Her portfolio has oversight of the St. Catharines Farmers Market.

DAVID BRYL A Dr. Bryla is a research horticulturist with the USDA ARS Hor ticultural Crops Production and Genetic Research Unit in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. He is recognized internationally for his research on irrigation and nutrient management of tree fruit, vegetable, and small fruit crops. Ongoing projects

in his laboratory include designing efficient fertigation systems, developing drought-resistant irrigation strategies, addressing heat damage in berries through irrigation, and exploring the benefits of soil amendments such as humic acids and biochar. Dr. Bryla has authored more than 150 scientific publications and compiled the most complete work on fertigation of blueberries and other small fruit crops to date. He is serves as an associate editor on several academic journals, including HortScience, Irrigation Science, and Frontiers in Plant Science, and is a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

K ATHRYN CARTER Kathryn Carter is the Fruit Specialist (Tender fruit and Grape) for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Kathryn has worked with OMAFRA for the past 21 years, where she has been involved in research projects focusing on the use of cover crops in vineyards and the use of chemical thinners in peaches. Kathryn has a MSc in Environmental Biology from University of Guelph, and a BSc from Brock University.

MICHEL A CENTINARI Michela is an Associate Professor of viticulture at Penn State University. She received her BSc and PhD in horticulture at the University of Bologna, Italy, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell University. At Penn State, Michela works with a multidisciplinary research and extension team and the Pennsylvania grape and wine industry to solve vineyard management issues and optimize crop production practices. Her program investigates the effects of environmental factors, cultural practices, and biotic stressors, such as the spotted lanternfly, on grapevine physiology, production, and fruit and wine quality.

TEJENDR A CHAPAGAIN Dr. Chapagain is Soil Fertility Specialist in Horticulture with OMAFRA. He deals with soil fertility related issues in horticultural crops including development of soil fertility and nutrition guidelines and reports, as well as soil fertility management practices in Ontario’s

horticultural crops. He is also coordinating OMAFRA’s soil lab accreditation program. He received his MSc in Horticulture and PhD in Plant Science/Agronomy with a focus on intercrop experiments. He subsequently worked as a post-doctoral research agronomist at the University of Alberta and most recently as a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph focusing on cover crops, complex cropping systems, precision agronomy and agroecology.

DARIO CHAVEZ Dr. Chavez is an Associate Professor in Peach Research and Extension in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia. His main area of interest is peach research and extension with focus on orchard management, tree longevity, irrigation practices, root interaction with tree health, production, and plant breeding and genetics. His main objective is to study the plant production based on the plant’s genetic potential, orchard management practices, growing environment, and their interactions. His aim is to identify the optimal interaction of the plant and the environment, having the highest potential of plant production and profit for the growers and the industry.

JOHN CLINE Dr. Cline is a professor in the Depar tment of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph where he teaches undergraduate and graduate students and conducts research in tree fruit pomology. He also provides outreach in various capacities to the tree fruit industry. The primary objective of Prof. Cline’s research is to investigate factors that determine yield and fruit quality of tree fruit crops. Projects include investigating the use of new, size-controlling apple, peach and cherry rootstocks, research on European apple cultivars and red-fleshed crab apples for hard cider, irrigation scheduling, and studying horticultural technologies to reduce labour inputs in a movement toward greater orchard automation. Additionally, his research spans the investigation of plant bioregulators to regulate flowering, plant growth, improve fruit quality and reduce pre-harvest fruit drop. His orchard and lab research is carried out

at the University of Guelph, Simcoe Research Station and on commercial orchards across Ontario. John holds a BSc in soil science (Univ. of Guelph), MSc in horticulture (Michigan State University), and a PhD in Horticulture (University of London, UK.

DAVID COHLME YER David founded and managed an 80-acre organic market garden for over 22 years. Acclaimed quality and consistency made him a favoured supplier for Toronto’s leading restaurants and hotels. His good work was recognized with awards for both Ontario and Canada Supplier of the Year and a Governor General’s Award for Stewardship and Sustainability. After selling the business in 2011, he began sharing his expertise by consulting with many types of farmers throughout Ontario (and beyond). He soon learned that most producers know how to grow excellent crops; but many need help with the business side of farming. David has become an expert at teaching about branding for effective marketing at higher prices, and good recordkeeping practices to enable profitable business decisions.

LISA COOPER Lisa is a co-owner of a 7th generation family farm, in Zephyr ON, Coopers CSA Farm. Along with her husband, son and daughter-in-law, they provide food boxes (farm raised meat, veggies and fruit, and assorted farm products) for their members throughout the year. They also provide an agri-entertainment experience with their annual fall 10 acre corn maze. In 2010 Lisa and Steve won the prestigious Outstanding Young Farmers award provincially and nationally. Lisa started the Uxbridge farmers market in 2000 and been the manager for 23 years. It won market of the year in 2019. She is also a board member of FMO, in the treasurer position and sits on the Newmarket FM board as Vice President.

TR AVIS CR ANMER Travis Cranmer is a Vegetable Crop Specialist with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food and Rural


Affairs. Travis works with growers, consultants, industry, and researchers to improve production and pest management strategies for Alliums, Brassicas and leafy greens. Trials with a garlic focus include work on cultivar performance, fusarium management, planting dates, virus-freed clean seed, leek moth and nematode management as well as intercropping. Travis received his BSc in Biology and MSc in Plant Production Systems with an emphasis on plant pathology from the University of Guelph.

CHRISTINA CROWLE Y-ARKLIE Christina is an Ontario raised dairy farmer’s daughter and strategic marketing and communications entrepreneur, who is on a mission to transform how we communicate about agriculture-food and beyond. Christina is the founder of Crowley + Arklie Strategy & Co., providing communications and digital marketing services and strategy, corporate training and one-on-one coaching in agriculture and food to help elevate brands, businesses and leaders in communicating their why. Her professional and personal experiences have led her to manage the communications efforts in the political, corporate, academic and non-for-profit sectors.

CAMERON DALE Dale is the manager of the Kitchener Market, one of Ontario’s oldest and largest Public Markets. With a background in participatory community development and placemaking work, Cameron focuses on the use of food as a tool for building community, and the role that public markets can play in creating healthy, vibrant, and equitable neighborhoods.

JASON DE VE AU Dr. Deveau (@spray_guy) is OMAFR A’s Application Technology Specialist. Jason studied biology and psychology at Mount Allison University, plant cell physiology at York University and plant cell electrophysiology at the University of Guelph. Based in Ontario’s Simcoe Resource Centre since 2008, he researches and develops practical


methods to optimize productivity, spray effectiveness and reduce waste. Founder and co-author of “Airblast101 – Your Guide to Effective and Efficient Spraying”, he also founded and co-administers www. sprayers101.com.

AMANDA DE VRIES Amanda, RGD, is the principal and creative director of Eye Candy Design, a boutique branding and packaging design firm that creates fresh, iconic work for food and beverage companies. She has nearly 20 years experience as a brand consultant, art director and graphic designer. Amanda spent 10 years in Ottawa, where governmental agencies kept her busy but not terribly inspired. In 2010, her family moved to southwestern Ontario to start an organic vegetable farm and this presented her with the opportunity to work directly with entrepreneurs and business owners. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge through various teaching gigs and mentoring younger designers. She is the mother of 3 children who share her love of good food, vintage shopping and travel.

AMANDA DOUGHT Y Amanda is a strategic HR professional with over 20 years of working experience in HR and operations in the retail and agricultural industries. She is the Human Resources Manager for Sandy Shore Farms in Port Burwell and is also a Contractor/Consultant for HR Professionals for Business (HRP4B) supporting small to medium sized businesses with their human resources needs. Amanda has a passion for propelling teams to deliver outcomes that meet or exceed expectations through continuous improvements to staffing processes, succession planning, and workplace management. She has extensive knowledge in performance management, HR policies and programs, training and development, employment law, strategic planning, LMIA applications and processes as well a solid understanding of the various TFW programs, and navigating ESA standards as they apply to agriculture. Amanda has received her CHRP designation and is an active member of the Halton Chapter of the Human Resources Professional Association.

ANNE DURST Anne and her husband own Bry-Anne Farms, Home of the Great Pumpkin Patch, in Fenwick, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Guelph, BSc (Agr) Honours and went on to earn her BEd from Brock University. She taught full time for 7 years and has maintained an Occasional Teaching Position with the District School Board of Niagara since coming home to raise her family and contribute more fully to the operation of the Farm. Anne is a past director of FMO. She has held positions of director, secretary, vice chair and currently is the Chair of the Pelham Farmers’ Market. At her church, she is the Chair of Christian Education and holds a position on the Church Council. Anne attends 5 Farmers’ Markets in the Niagara Region and her teaching experience is a valuable asset when thousands of children visit the farm during October.

E VAN 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 for a range of crops including non-traditional fruits, vegetables, grains, and other crops such as hops. Evan grew up on a hog farm in Cannington, Ontario and prior to joining OMAFRA, he completed a BSc and MSc at the University of Guelph in Plant Agriculture, worked for industry associations, a horticultural farm operation, and as a field technician with the University of Guelph.

MEL ANIE FILOTAS Dr. Filotas is a Horticulture Pest Management Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Simcoe, Ontario. She works with growers, industry, researchers and ministry colleagues to identify pests and pest management solutions for specialty crops in Ontario. Her current areas of focus include tree nuts (eg. hazelnuts), hops, sweet potatoes, haskap, herbs and ginseng. Melanie has a PhD in Entomology from Cornell University where she studied biological control of forest

The Farmer Wellness Initiative: Access free counselling for farmers and their families 24/7/365 in both English and French at 1-866-267-6255.

The Guardian Network: Volunteer in your community. Learn strategies and tools to identify the signs of mental distress. Connect individuals with appropriate mental health and crisis resources.

In the Know: Free workshop to learn about stress, depression, anxiety, substance use, and how to start a conversation about mental well-being.

AgricultureWellnessOntario.ca Free counselling for farmers and their families is available 24/7 at:


insects. Prior to joining OMAFRA, she worked as a researcher with the US Department of Agriculture, looking at use of biopesticides, natural enemies and other reduced risk products to control insects in commercial greenhouses.

ALLISON FINDL AY Allison took an interest in plant biology after completing her Bachelor of Science and used it to fuel her passion for Ontario viticulture after falling in love with the art, science and beauty that is Ontario wine. She completed the Niagara College Winery & Viticulture Technician program in 2014 and began traveling and honing her skills as a winemaker. She has now been working in the Ontario wine industry for over a decade, and currently the Head Winemaker at a one-ofa-kind teaching winery at Niagara College. This new role not only allows her to utilize her skills in the cellar, but also share her passion, experience and knowledge with future winemakers, viticulturalists and wine enthusiasts alike. Allison also manages cider operations for the college and works with her team to create traditional and experimental ferments to showcase the diversity of Ontario cider production.

THOMAS FORGE Tom is a research nematologist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland Research and Development Centre in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. His research program addresses the ecology and management of plant-parasitic nematodes in relation to climate change and adoption of alternative soil and nutrient management practices. Foci of his recent and ongoing research activities include: 1) effects of nematodes on susceptibility of apple and cherry to abiotic stresses associated with climate change; 2) influences of alternative alleyway cover crops and organic soil amendments on nematode populations and replant disease complexes of perennial fruit crops; and 3) efficacy of novel nematicides on nematode populations in vineyards and orchards. Tom also functions as Test Site Manager for the Minor Use Pesticide Program at the Summerland Research Centre.




Sofia graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture. She is currently pursuing her MSc degree in plant agriculture at the University of Guelph under Dr. John Cline, and her research is on stone fruit physiology, focusing on thinning peaches and plums.

Jesslyn is a dedicated and compassionate Outreach Registered Nurse at Quest Community Health Centre, where she has been serving in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker’s Health Program since 2018. Jesslyn’s areas of expertise include health assessments, phlebotomy, disease prevention, client care coordination and outreach. Her work involves reaching out to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker communities, assessing their health needs, and providing necessary care and support. In addition to her nursing career, Jesslyn is a Certified Yoga Teacher and a Certified Comprehensive Pilates Teacher. These certifications highlight her commitment to promoting holistic health and wellness. She also has a certification in phlebotomy, further expanding her skill set in the medical field.

HANNAH FR ASER Hannah is the Entomologist – Horticulture with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Her work is focused on emerging insect pest issues across horticulture sectors to support preparedness and coordinated response planning. Hannah networks with other levels of government, industry partners, researchers, and extension professionals from other jurisdictions to develop best management practices for pests of concern to the horticulture sector. She is a member of the national Spotted Lanternfly Technical Advisory Committee and associated sub-working groups.

STE VE FRECON Steven, an owner and manager of Frecon Farms, Fruit Farm and Cidery, graduated from West Chester University in 2002 with a BA in Communications. Throughout college, Steve remained active in his family’s business working in both the orchard and retail store. After college, Steve worked for SAVVIS Inc. in Manhattan for The Financial Industry. During his tenure at SAVVIS, Steve remained active in the family business beginning the generational business transition and diversification of the business into new ventures such as local wholesale distribution, farmers markets, hard cider, u-pick, and a bakery. Steve returned to the family business fulltime in 2013 to run the orchard and retail business. His current responsibilities include management of orchard, packing and wholesale operations, oversight of retail business, and wholesale sales.

ROB GAMBLE Rob is currently the Principal of Agri-Metrics Consulting, an agricultural economic consulting and research organization based in Guelph, Ontario. He has spent his entire forty-year career in the agricultural industry. Rob grew up on a dairy farm in eastern Ontario. He holds a Diploma and Degree in Agriculture (BSc (Agr)) from the University of Guelph and a Master of Taxation (MTax) from the University of Waterloo. Rob started his extensive career with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, including roles in crop and livestock extension, farm business management, taxation, farm business succession, policy development, economic analysis, and as an analyst and manager of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing. During his time at the Commission, he chaired the grape price negotiations. Prior to establishing AgriMetrics Consulting he served as the Chief Economist for the Grain Farmers of Ontario where a major focus was on the development of provincial and national business risk management programs, carbon tax analysis, and economic impacts of government policy.



Elizabeth traces her love for agriculture back to her childhood where she experienced seasons in the orchard near her home. From airblast sprayers in spring to climbing apple trees in fall, her early connection to land and seasonal agricultural tasks left an indelible mark on her. Garofalo earned her associate’s degree in Sustainable Food and Farming from Stockbridge School of Agriculture, a bachelor’s degree in Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences at UMass and continued to a master’s degree in Plant and Soil Sciences, specializing in plant pathology with a focus on apple scab at Cold Spring Orchard. Currently an Extension Educator at UMass Amherst, Garofalo’s work involves developing educational programs, conducting applied research, and providing insights to fruit growers statewide. Her interests lie in IPM, cider, cider apple production and sustainable agriculture, offering expertise in plant disease and insect management, pest risk forecast models, and outreach.

Katie is the pathologist for horticulture crops with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs based in Guelph, Ontario. She works to strengthen the province’s horticultural sectors through extension education and applied research on improved disease identification, monitoring and management. Katie received her Master of Science at Michigan State University in plant pathology.

DEIRDRE GRIFFIN L AHUE Deirdre is an Assistant Professor of Soil Quality and Sustainable Soil Management at WSU’s Nor thwest Washington Research & Extension Center (NWREC) in Mount Vernon. Her research and extension program focuses on the impacts of agricultural practices on soil health, microbial communities, and the functions they provide. She takes a systems approach to understanding dynamics of soil organic

matter, microbes, and nutrients in agriculture to help improve the resilience of cropping systems. Deirdre received her MS and PhD in Soils & Biogeochemistry from UC Davis, where she studied the effects of soil amendments and irrigation management on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, soil health, and system productivity and profitability.

JENNY GROENHEIDE As a family the Groenheide’s own Tarrymore Farms in northwestern Ontario. They operate a mid sized beef farm and do some cash cropping. Farm products are sold mostly at their local farmers’ market. Being an active part of the community is very important to them. Currently Jenny sits on the Board of Directors for the local market, the Thunder Bay Country Market. She also represents the North with Farmers Markets’ Ontario.


• Access research expertise, cutting-edge equipment and facilities • De-risk with matched project funding • Applications are online, ongoing and non-competitive

The HSS CF is a trailer orchard sprayer offered with 1000, 1500 or 2000 litre tanks, as well as a three row option. ● Clean water flush tank ● Low noise ● Hand wash tank ● Low volume ● Consistent air flow The Intelligent Spray Application® (I.S.A.) from Hol Spraying Systems increases the efficiency of the H.S.S. CF series orchard sprayers. With the three innovative detection sensors on each side placed on the spray tower, the leaf mass is detected in real-time. In combination with GPS, the growing power of the planting can be harnessed, and untreated trees become a thing of the past.


905.563.8261 | 1.800.263.1287 info@provideag.ca | www.provideag.ca | ON, Canada

Funded by: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario


Financé par : Agence fédérale de développement économique pour le Sud de l’Ontario



Alexandra is a Research Scientist at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. In her more than ten years at Vineland, she has been leading diverse grant funded research projects and providing contract services to support the food and horticulture industries. Her areas of research include investigating opportunities for creating value-added products from horticulture waste streams, providing sustainability-related market intelligence for the food and agriculture industries, and examining drivers of consumer preferences for fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.

Dr. Hayden is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan S tate University. His research and extension program focuses on soil and nutrient management for vegetable cropping systems. His team investigates strategies to help growers both manage nutrients profitably in the short term and improve the health and fertility of their soils over the long term. Focus areas include nitrogen management, organic and integrated fertility management, cover crop integration, soil health impacts, and remote sensing-based decision support.



Colleen is the Food Safety Program Lead with OMAFRA and has been with the Ministry since 2011. Much of her work is focused on assisting farmers with navigating the food safety landscape and helping them understand how to minimize the food safety risks when producing food. Before OMAFRA, she worked as a Quality Assurance/Control Manager in a fresh produce packing facility.

Friedhelm Hoffmann, BSc Hons(agr) Agronomist Precision Ag & Fertigation Lakeside Grain & Feed Limited originating from Germany. Achieved bachelor’s degree in Ag Science at the University of Nuertingen, Germany. Worked on a variety of livestock and vegetable farms abroad. Immigrated to Canada in 1998, working at large-scale greenhouses as grower and Manager for Tomatoes, Peppers for 7+ years. Additionally, 12 years as General Operating Manager at a large 2000+ acre operation in Huron County growing various fresh market vegetables and cash crops. Successfully produced a variety of high-quality product, over his 25-year+ Canadian work experience. At Lakeside, Friedhelm works closely with field and vegetable crop fertility to improve plant health and yield. In collaboration, developed a fertigation program for farm operations. Implementing precision orientated agriculture for high value crops, including practical injection equipment, SAP/tissue analysis, soil sampling and water quality analysis. Since 2017, and currently with Lakeside’s Hort/Orch team as Agronomist working with farmers to develop Fertility & spray programs. Friedhelm, with his team travel across Ontario consulting with the goal of making “Good Farmers great”.

CINDY HAUGHTON Cindy is a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector with Transport Canada and has been for over 24 years. She held a regulatory role in RPAS/Drone oversight since 2010. Her previous industry experience has been in traditional manned aviation. She has instructed and held Chief Flight Instructor positions and still holds a Class 1 Instructor rating. Cindy has also flown in industry in Part 702 air work and Parts 703, 704, 705; air taxi, commuter and airline operations. She left Canadian Regional Airlines in 2000 during the Air Canada merger to come to Transport Canada and currently pilots Transport Canada’s Citation 550. She also holds a RPAS Advanced Pilot Certificate with a Flight Reviewer rating.

KENDR A HOLLIDAY-BRYANT Kendra is a Project Director at the WSIB. She joined the WSIB 18 years ago,

beginning as a consolidated adjudicator before quickly moving on to managing a variety of case management teams in the Kitchener office for most of her career. In January 2020, Kendra moved into the role of Stakeholder Relations Manager, working closely with stakeholders in many sectors, including Agriculture, Mining, and the Federal Government to address systemic and global issues along with providing proactive engagements. In December 2023, Kendra took on the role of project director overseeing the Foreign Agricultural Worker Review. Kendra has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Public Management and a Masters of Arts Degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Guelph.

MICHAEL HOLZWORTH Mike is a graduate from University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus with a diploma in Agriculture and Horticulture. As well as being a research Agronomist at C & M Seeds, He is the third generation to live on his family farm with his wife Tiffany outside of Palmerston Ontario. On their farm, they have 60 beef cows and crop 400 acres, including 9 acres of fresh market sweet corn. They have been growing sweet corn for over 40 years and can’t imagine a summer without the hustle and bustle of a busy August morning.

JULIE HORNICK-MART YK Julie has been the Food A ssis tanc e O u treac h Coordinator at the Food Bank of Waterloo Region for two years. Her role is to assist community members with locating community resources and offering support to over 120 agencies within the Community Food Assistance Network.

DANNY JEFFERIES Danny is the Soil Management Specialist with the Horticulture Tech Unit at OMAFRA. Through field days, plot demonstrations, and presentations he shares information with producers on soil health, precision ag and best management practices for


managing soils. Danny is a Certified Crop Advisor and holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Guelph. He has a background in field crop agriculture in Ontario as an agronomy and precision ag consultant over past 10 years.

PETER JONES Pete is a Sonoma County native with a career spanning commerce, payments, SaaS, adult bev, and is also the co-founder of aesthete wines. In his role at Shopify, he works with some of the world’s largest suppliers, distributors, retailers, and the largest firms that deliver on their business requirements. Pete is passionate about helping businesses leverage best-in-class technology that empowers companies of all sizes to thrive in the ever-changing and hyper competitive alcohol industry.

TODD LEUT Y Todd is recently retired as an Ontario provincial Crop Advisor specializing in tree nut horticulture, maple syrup production, forestry and various tree related farm practices. Bridging the sciences of tree-based horticulture and traditional forestry to benefit farming and the environment was the primary objective. Previously, Todd specialized in commercial tree fruit orchards, berries and vineyard management with a significant focus on developing and delivering integrated pest management with a team of specialists. Todd’s recent family background includes apple farming in the Meaford area and working with commercial tree fruit industries in Niagara. Early Mennonite

farming in Markham, dairy herd performance and northern forest industries broadly describes Todd’s historical family background. Todd completed a BSc in Orchard Horticulture (1984) and MSc (1988) in Viticulture Pest Management from the University of Guelph.

SAR AH MARSHALL As Manager of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers and Fresh Grape Growers, Sarah represents growers of tender fruit and table grapes across Ontario. She reports to a board of directors for each organization and leads initiatives on research, marketing and promotion and works with stakeholders on government advocacy efforts on behalf of growers.

MARGARET MAY Margaret works with OSCIA suppor ting Ontario Agriculture with workshops, webinars and cost share initiatives. She is keen to help growers find a fit with the programs delivered.

JO-ANN MCARTHUR Jo-Ann has spent a career building brands with consumers and retailers at Molson, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and Cadillac Fairview. As a divisional President of Molson Coors, and a member of its North America Management Board, Jo-Ann led the charge to sell more beer more profitably. As the owner and President of Nourish Food

Join us at the

farmers & friends reception Wednesday, February 21 5:00 – 7:00 pm Enjoy featured Ontario wines, hard ciders, craft beer, hors d’oeuvres, and entertainment.



Marketing, Jo-Ann now builds powerful brands for food and beverage products in Canada, the US and Europe, creating marketing strategies that help move products off the shelves, into the consumer’s shopping basket, onto their plates and into their hearts. She currently appears in the international TV documentary series “Eat Me (or try not to)” airing on Curiosity Stream as a food marketing expert.

MELINDA MCARTHUR Melinda is a passionate entrepreneur at Heatherlea Farm Shoppe, a foodie destination in the rolling hills of Caledon, ON. Renowned for its outstanding meats and butchery, this family-run farm, co-owned with her in-laws Pat and Gord and husband Don, boasts a unique on-farm butcher shop and dry aging vault. The shoppe, a centrepiece for local delicacies, meats, and house-made meals, underscores their commitment to local producers and culinary excellence. Recently, the acquisition of Damn Good Dips has broadened their culinary scope, introducing artisan dips like Kale Edamame, Dressed Labneh, and Lemon Sesame Hummus, further elevating their status in the gourmet food industry.

MARY RUTH MCDONALD Mary Ruth is a full professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture and a Research Program Director for the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. Her research and outreach activities are focused on clubroot of Brassica crops, integrated pest management and

sustainable crop production, including agricultural robotics and adaptation to climate change. Dr. McDonald teaches undergraduate plant science and a graduate course in plant pathology and supervises grad students who are conducting both applied and basic research. She has received college, national and international awards for excellence in research, extension, and integrated pest management.

WENDY MCFADDEN-SMITH Wendy has been the Tender Fruit and Grape IPM Specialist with OMAFRA since 2008. She hasn’t retired yet!

EMILY MCFAUL Emily is an MSc student in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on evaluating pathogen factors that affect disease severity and management. She is examining the progression of Stemphylium vesicarium resistance to various fungicides and determining cultivar susceptibility to toxins produced by this pathogen. Through this, Emily hopes to contribute to improving Stemphylium leaf blight management practices and supporting sustainable onion production in the Holland Marsh, ON.

SHAWN MCGOWAN Shawn is the Government and Human Resources Specialist for Schuyler Farms Limited and The Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association. He is responsible for all aspects of hiring, LMIAs, permits, on-boarding, off-boarding, employee relations, employee communications, Service Canada and FARMS/CanAg interaction and professional development. In addition, Shawn is the primary contact for communicating with Liaisons, Ministries, Service Canada and FARMS/CanAg, building community relationships, and actively participating on the Labour Committee of the OFVGA. He was invited to the ARMTT meeting in November of 2023, and has been invited back for the 2024 negotiations in Barbados. He has met directly with the Minister of Labour for Jamaica and for Trinidad to discuss the

TFW program and actively seek ways to better the lines of communication and process. He has also worked with community organizations such as the TNO, City of Norfolk, The Farms of Norfolk Footballs Association, and Haldimand-Norfolk REACH for outreach to employees with disabilities.

ERIN MCLE AN Erin farms with her family on their farms in Buckhorn, Ontario where they grow a wide range of fruits and vegetables for sale at their farm store, for PYO, at farmers markets and at on farm events they offer to their local communities.

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

TIMOTHY MILES Dr. Miles is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. His research program focuses on fungal and oomycete pathogens on small fruit and hops covering a broad range of topics such as fungal genomics, fungicide resistance, metagenomics, postharvest diseases, and molecular diagnostics. He received his BSc degree in Biology at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI and completed a PhD from Michigan State University (MSU) in 2011 on anthracnose fruit rot of blueberry. Afterward, he held postdoctoral positions

at the University of Idaho (Aberdeen, ID) and the United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (Salinas, CA), both focusing on molecular diagnostics of various plant pathogens (primarily Phytophthora, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia spp.). He then was an Assistant Professor at California State University– Monterey Bay, where he worked with undergraduate students on various molecular diagnostic projects for plant pathogens. He returned to MSU in 2018 and, currently, his research and extension interests are focused on developing and implementing the best disease management practices.

AMY MILLER Amy is the manager of Route 9 Cooperative in Ohio, US, a third-generation chestnut grower, and a doctor of Plant Pathology, specializing in nut and fruit diseases. She is committed to specialty crop research and continuing the family orchard legacy while focusing on long-term environmental and economic sustainability.

JOHN MOLENHUIS John has been with the Ontario Ministr y of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as the Business Analysis and Cost of Production Specialist for the past 23 years. He is the lead for cost of production reports and financial benchmarking projects. John has a degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Guelph.

PAUL MOR AN A financial and Insurance Advisor with 36 years experience representing Co-operators Insurance, providing comprehensive insurance solutions with a focus on families and small business.

JOSH MOSIONDZ Josh is the Provincial Minor Use Coordinator (PMUC) for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. As PMUC, he is responsible for submission of provincially


sponsored User Requested Minor Use Label Expansions, Emergency Use Registrations, and the annual priority collection exercises held each fall and winter.

SHIR AZ MOT TIAR Shiraz was in the first graduating class at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Upon graduation, he joined Malivoire Wine Company in 2000 and was promoted to Winemaker in 2005. In 2017 Shiraz was awarded Quench Magazine’s Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards, and in 2021, Malivoire was recognized by WineAlign as Canadian Winery of the Year at the National Wine Awards. Shiraz has also farmed his own vineyards since 1999 and has been an integral committee member of Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario. Now the winery’s Team Principal and GM, Shiraz continues to guide the winery and industry towards a more sustainable future.

Agricultural College, where he majored in Plant Science and minored in Pest Management. After graduating, Sonny started his career in canola production and weed research with the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. Sonny has received many industry awards in recognition of his service, including the 2014 Nova Scotia Agrologist of the Year. His extension activities include responding to farm inquiries, hosting production workshops and tours, and publishing fact sheets.


Kristen has a master’s degree in weed science from the University of Manitoba and an honours bachelor of science degree in agriculture from the University of Guelph. As OMAFRA’s Weed Management Specialist for Horticulture crops, she leads the development, coordination and implementation of programs related to weed management issues in Ontario. Kristen is the Chair of the AgRobotics Working Group, Chair of the Ontario Pest SONNY MURR AY Sonny has over 20 years of Management Conference and Co-Chair of experience in the agricultural the Weed Surveillance Community of industry, working with Practice which is part of the Canadian Plant producers on crop input and Health Council. Kristen is a past recipient seasonal planning. During of the Deputy Minister’s Award for her work his time in the agricultural retail business, as a provincial vegetable specialist, he spent time developing crop input plans recipient of the Excellence in Weed Science tailored to the producer’s quality and yield Extension Award from the Canadian Weed goals. Sonny provides advisory services in Science Society and recently received the horticultural crops, including strawberries, Gold Harvest Award from Agriculture and blueberries and caneberries. Sonny’s Agri-Food Canada as part of the project No. _______________ experience includes nutrient management, team that has developed numerous rapid genetic tests for herbicide resistant weed soil fertility, weed management,To:crop ________________ rotation and soil conservation. He obtained detection. Date: _______________ his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the former Nova Scotia


JAMES OSBORNE James is the Director of the Oregon Wine Research Institute and a Professor and Enology Extension Specialist in the Food Science and Technology Department at Oregon State University. He received his PhD from Washington State University in 2005 researching interactions between wine yeast and bacteria after which he spent time in his native New Zealand working at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on the impact of wine lactic acid bacteria, Brettanomyces, and non-Saccharomyces yeast on wine quality James provides outreach programs for the Oregon wine industry such as technical workshops and seminars to aid in the transfer of relevant research results to winery application. In addition, James teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in support of the enology and viticulture program at Oregon State University.


Cheryl’s professional life is dedicated to creating, growing, and producing award winning apple cider products. The success of this Canadian owned and operated business is its focus on quality: quality locally grown ingredients, a500-BC101-BLK quality production system PLTWHT P389-0001 2023-04-24 2:49:51 and quality people, in the form of positive, motivated team members. As The Cider Boss, she is passionate about growing and supporting local value-added food production, producing the highest quality Cider Keg brand apple ciders for our local consumers, independent level vendors through to national chains. They also collaborate with many companies to


Fruit sales Containers & packaging Cold storage Custom packing Transportation Orchard supplies Vineyard supplies


Jordan Station, ON | 905.562.4133 | vinelandgrowers.com


Virgil NOTL Jordan

PO Box 43 Virgil, ON L0S 1T0 905-468-3297 905-646-5777 905-562-8825



develop proprietary cider blends for new unique products or enable expansion of company private label product line using their own Cider Keg proven cider products. Cheryl’s education and family guidance gave her a solid foundation, but it is her personal drive, entrepreneurial spirit paired with the network of partners and employees that she depends on for collective success.

JENNIFER PHILLIPS RUSSO Jennifer is the Cornell V iticulture E x tension Specialist for the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program. Her current research investigates floor management practices for water and nutrient conservation in nonirrigated vineyards, microclimate cold hardiness/phenology monitoring, spray applications to delay budbreak, and precision viticulture management strategies. Her extension work at LERGP brings local experience and research-based solutions together to provide projects aimed at increasing yields, product quality, diversity and improvement of cultivars, efficiency of production, profitability, and adoption of environmentally sound cultural management strategies with emphasis on soil and grapevine health, site selection, growth control, nutrition and water management, and harvest management. There are approximately 31,500 acres of vineyard in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania grown on 582 farms, making this the largest grape growing region in the eastern US. Jennifer received the New York Wine and Grape Foundation 2022 Unity Award for Researcher of the Year.

SUDARSANA POOJARI Sudarsana is a Principal Scientist and Adjunct Professor at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). Sud received his PhD in Plant Pathology from Washington State University. He leads the national grapevine virus testing facility and grapevine clean plant program at Brock University and his research is focused on advanced molecular diagnostics, epidemiology, insect

vector-host interactions, and sustainable disease management solutions for plant viral diseases.

A ARON POTHIER Aaron has been with the LCBO since 2005 and has worked in both store development and merchandising. He has been the Category Manager for Ontario Wines since 2018 and his team is responsible for the buying and promoting of local products.

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

ANGEL A PROUDFOOT Angela is the Project Administrator Sustainable Food and Clean Water at Canadore College in North Bay Ontario. Currently, she manages the solar hydroponic grow facility on campus which creates food for the culinary program with minimal impact on the environment. Her work includes plant growth and research, insect mitigation, nutrient management, creating SOPs and biosafety documents, and managing a small-scale water purification plant. She has previously worked as a sustainability scientist and researcher, an agriculture assistant, and a facilities technician. They all included work with growing and maintaining plants as well as forest mitigation, her love of the natural world plants her firmly as someone who enjoys what she does.

JAKE R ASCH Jake is the co-owner of Rasch Family Orchards. He runs the farm with his brother Nick and dad Don. They have 500 acres of apples, 52 acres of peaches and 8 acres of pears and grow ten varieties of peaches. Jake manages the new plantings and running the crew. If you made it to last winter IFTA, you got to see his newest peach planting (In-row V) of 12 foot by 6 foot with 3 leaders per tree with a 2-wire trellised with bamboo orchard. This session will be a continuation on his progressive methodology for peach orchards of the future.

LIAM REE VES Liam is the Winegrowing Manager at S tratus Vineyards, a premium vineyard and winery in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario, Canada. He graduated the Winery and Viticulture technician program at Niagara College in 2019, and holds a bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University. Liam has been working in the wine industry since 2016 at wineries such as Inniskillin, Stratus and Hidden Bench. He has also worked harvest at Bethany Winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region. Liam is passionate about sustainable winegrowing, with the goal of producing the highest quality wines possible. During his time at Stratus, Liam has had the opportunity to explore new methods of sustainability in the vineyard, ensuring both the land and the wines will last for years to come.

MICHAEL REINKE Michael is the Michigan State University Extension V iticulture S pecialis t located in Berrien County. He received his PhD in Entomology from MSU and has several years of industry experience in insect monitoring, pheromone-based insect management, and insect behavior in agricultural systems. In his role as viticulture specialist, Mike assists grape growers in all aspects of production for


both wine and juice processing. When not focused on his extension activities, his research work revolves around incorporating tools and techniques from various production systems with the goal of improving grape growers’ resilience and future sustainability. One avenue of research is looking at the potential for highprecision crop spraying using unmanned aerial spraying systems (spray drones) in temperate specialty crops like grapes and other small fruits.

JUSTIN RENKEMA Dr. Renkema is a Research Scientist in Entomology with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Vineland, Ontario. His research program focuses on developing integrated pest management strategies in vineyard, tree fruit, berry and specialty crops. Justin has a PhD from Dalhousie University (20072011), was a post-doctoral researcher at University of Guelph (2012-2015) and an Assistant Professor of Entomology at University of Florida (2015-2018). His primary current projects include biological control of spotted wing drosophila in berries, cyclamen mite management in strawberry, leafhoppers and vectors of grapevine red blotch virus in vineyards, mites in hops, and ambrosia beetles in tree fruit.

ADRIAN RIVARD Adrian is the President and Operations Manager of Drone Spray Canada Inc. Founded in 2019 in ChathamKent, the company has a strong focus on drones and agriculture. Adrian grew up near Chatham, spent 15 years coast to coast to coast as a professional pilot before returning to the family farm in 2017. This background has been a pairing of experience to understand and foster the industry.

EL AINE RODDY Elaine is involved in field research trials and extension. She specializes in asparagus, cucurbits, legume vegetables and sweet corn. Her responsibilities include all


aspects of crop production and integrated pest management.

JANICE ANNE RUDDOCK Janice is a veteran of creating businesses and managin g n o n - p rof i t associations in the Canadian food and beverage sector. For 10 years Janice was the Executive Director of Taste of Nova Scotia, a nonprofit association devoted to building the businesses of Nova Scotia owned food processors, producers and restaurants. During the same time Janice led the Winery Association of Nova Scotia during a period of intense growth for the Nova Scotia wine industry. As well Janice has also built two, multi-million-dollar private corporations servicing the needs of Canadian food and beverage companies. Janice joined the Ontario Craft Cider Association as their Executive Director in January 2021. Janice is recognized by friends, business associates and industry as being an avid supporter of business owners who take the chances, go against the odds and pursue their passion of bringing quality beverage and food products to their communities.

RUST Y RUMLE Y Rusty was born and raised on a ranch in Cogar, Oklahoma. After law school, Rusty earned his LL.M in Agricultural Law at the University of Arkansas and began working at the National Agricultural Law Center. He is licensed to practice law in the states of Oklahoma and Michigan. His primary areas of interest are in estate planning, taxation, business organizations, landowner liability, leasing and agritourism.

JESSE RUSSELL Jesse oversees sustainable development at Canadore College. As a proud signatory to the SDG Accord, the college is focused on embedding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals within the institution and broader community and achieving carbon neutrality by 2031. In his role, Jesse has led initiatives aimed at mitigating the impact that campus operations have on the

environment and improving the well-being of employees and students. Most recently, he has led three nationally recognized projects. The first is focused on working with Indigenous communities to improve access to clean water. The second two, funded through Colleges and Institutes Canada, aim to obtain Forest Council Stewardship (FSC) certification for land at their College Drive Campus, while the second uses an off grid grow pod to research solutions to improve food security for Indigenous and rural communities.

BERNARDITA SALL ATO CARMONA Bernardita is Assistant Professor, Tree Fruit Extension Specialist at Washington State University with a Master’s degree on plant physiology and fruit production, with 15 years of career focussed on soil and nutrient management in orchards.

MARK SAUNDERS Mark, the Director of Fun and President of Saunders Farm, studied histor y and economics at University of Guelph. In 1992 after travelling the world, Mark returned to his family’s strawberry farm to help his parents take the farm in a new direction becoming pioneers in agri-tourism in North America. Together with his amazing wife Angela, Saunders Farm produces Haunting Season, Frightfest, A Christmas in the Country, Farm Camp, farm to table dinners, weddings, corporate events and its first off-site festival – Sawmill Haunt at Lansdowne downtown Ottawa. Mark also owns Saunders Cider, a beverage company started in 2021 and can be found at over 100 locations including the LCBO but is best enjoyed in the Ciderhouse tap room at Saunders Farm.

CL AUDIA SCHMIDT Claudia is an assistant professor of marketing and local/regional food systems at Penn State. Her research focuses on diversification options for small-scale agricultural producers and processors. Before joining

Penn State, she worked in the Canadian private agricultural research sector for over ten years. Claudia leads the Penn State Agritourism program and is a member of IRENA – an international agritourism research network, and GAN, the Global Agritourism Network.

AMY FANG SHI Amy has been the research associate of the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association since 2015. She is a plant pathologist focusing on identifying pests and pest management solutions for Ontario ginseng growers. Amy has an MSc in Plant pathology from the University of Guelph and is currently finishing up her PhD degree. Prior to joining the ginseng growers, she worked as a plant pathologist with the University of Guelph, identifying pests and assessing the efficacy of pest control products on ornamentals, vegetables and specialty crops.

ELLEN SINCL AIR Ellen is the Executive Director of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI). She supports a board of directors who represent a wide range of the province’s rural and agricultural interests. Ellen also manages a strong, professional team that runs ROI’s many programs and services. These include the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP), the Rural Change Makers program and ROI’s popular Rural Ontario Facts - factsheets and dashboards that tell the story of Ontario’s rural way of life. Ellen has been a lifelong champion of community and economic B:3.4375" development and speaks first-hand to the T:3.4375" critical role of the volunteer board.

LYNN SOSNOSKIE Lynn is an Assistant Professor of Weed Management in Specialty Crops at Cornell University. Her crop responsibilities focus on processing vegetables, apples and grapes, hemp, and hops. She conducts traditional herbicide trials, screens for herbicide resistance, and is evaluating novel weed control technology such as precision sprayers and cultivators, autonomous robotic systems, and electrical weeders. She is New York’s IR-4 Liaison and works closely with WSSA colleagues to address and understand the EPA’s new herbicide strategy for the protection of threatened and endangered species.

TOM STE VENSON Tom tills about 130 acres and his main crop is strawberries. He fruits 13 to 15 acres of short-day berries and one acre of long day berries. Along with the berries, they grow peas, sweet corn, melons, pumpkins and hoop house tomatoes and about 60 acres of oats and or winter rye that we use as straw for the berries.

JAY SUBR AMANIAN Jay has over 25 years of experience in horticulture, especially fruit crop improvement in India, US and Canada. He has worked with diverse crop species and for the past 18 years has been working with tender fruits - both using conventional and contemporary approaches. He has developed and released 14 improved varieties in India and Canada. He is an investigator in several provincial, national and international grants such as




DARIEN TEMPRILE Darien is the first Executive Director of the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN-RCCV). She started with CGCN-RCCV as Project Manager back in 2019 through 2021, then took some time away to complete a Master of Business Administration at McMaster University before returning as Executive Director in 2023. Darien is also the Project Manager of Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc. and sits on the CCOVI Advisory Council in this role. Darien has been involved in the Canadian grape & wine industry in various administrative and associate roles for 5 years and is excited to continue in the industry to advocate for continuous investments in R&D initiatives and promote grapevine certification standards.

DANA THATCHER Dana, a school teacher by trade, left the education field to farm and to establish an on-farm market, butcher shop and bakery. Together with her husband and their three children



Registered for apples and other crops. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Bayer, Bayer Cross and vayego® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. Used under license. Bayer CropScience Inc. is a member of CropLife Canada. ©2023 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.

IDRC and has obtained over 10 million dollars in grants as PI or Co-PI. He has invited to present his work at several national and international organizations including the UN General Assembly’s Market Place in New York and at the Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa. He is a member of the editorial board in three International Journals and has reviewed manuscripts for over 20 International journals. He has published over 130 research articles, co-edited 3 books, has 8 patents and 20 PBRs.





they operate the market, raise livestock, cash crop and most recently have incorporated a new on-farm event space. When not farming (which is a rare occurrence), the family enjoys campfires down by the stream in their back field and eating together daily, as a family. Growing and eating food is at the heart of the Thatcher Farms’ family business.

NEIL THORNTON As President of The Thornton Group and author of his new book ‘Presence, Impact and Influence’, Neil brings 20 years of experience to business and management development, strategic planning, executive coaching, and team culture. A hands-on consultant, he’s met clients everywhere from job sites to shop floors, boardrooms, remote teams and everywhere in between. Neil is well known for his highly energetic, dynamic speaking style and in-depth knowledge on topics ranging from strategic execution to the new reality of business development, branding, speaker and leadership development, body language and communications.

RON TITE Relevant, engaging, and interactive, Ron exceeds expectations every time he takes the stage. Named one of the “Top 10 Creative Canadians” by Marketing Magazine, he’s an award-winning advertising writer and creative director who has worked with some of the world’s most respected brands, including Air France, Evian, Hershey, Kraft, Intel, Microsoft, and Volvo. Addressing a variety of topics surrounding leadership, corporate strategy, and creativity, Tite’s presentations are not only information-packed but also infused with his unique humour. Tite is the founder of Church+State, a content marketing agency based in Toronto. His work has been recognized by The London International Advertising Awards, The New York Festivals of Advertising, The Crystals, The Extras, The Canadian Marketing Association, and The Marketing Awards, to name just a few. He also hosts Church+State’s Canadian Podcast Award-winning series, “The Coup”. Tite is also a bestselling author of two books: Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least

They Should Be) and Think. Do. Say.: Building Personal and Organizational Momentum in a Busy, Busy World.

DOUG TRIVERS Doug owns and operates D ay s o n Agricultural Ventilation Ltd., which specializes in the design and installation of turn-key ventilation systems for vegetable storage. Prior to joining Dayson, Doug worked as an Agricultural Engineer for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. During his 10 years with OMAFRA he served as an Energy Specialist developing and promoting efficient energy management and control strategies in agricultural heating and ventilation systems. Doug is a graduate of the University of Guelph , School of Engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in the Province of Ontario.

Time for Accede PGR.








Visit the Nufarm booth to learn more.

An easy-to-use crop load management system to

increase profit per acre. Learn how we can help you gain efficiencies in your orchard.

647-962-4345 sales@vivid-machines.com www.vivid-machines.com

Trusted Canadian wholesaler of outdoor fruit and vegetable crop protection products, working with the established distribution and retail channel and their grower customers to service all key markets.

855 888-4655



DENNIS VAN DYK Dennis is a vegetable crop specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs based out of Guelph. His portfolio of crops includes potatoes, carrots, parsnips and the brassica root vegetables. With an MSc in Plant Pathology from the University of Guelph, Dennis is passionate about helping growers find solutions through on-farm research and new technologies.

STE VEN VAN TIMMEREN Steven is a research technician in the Berry Crops Entomology and Pollination Ecology laboratory at Michigan State University. He conducts research on economically important insect pests of berry crops with a focus on species relevant to commercial blueberry and grape growers. Steven has been studying spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) since it was discovered in Michigan in 2010. Research on SWD spans a wide

range of topics including insecticide efficacy, cultural control methods, and more recently investigations into biocontrol options.

MOISES VASQUEZ Moises is a Community Health Worker at Quest Community Health Centre, bringing his experience as an internationally trained physician to the forefront of his work. Fluent in Spanish, Moises specializes in primary care services, health education, and promotion and prevention, always striving to promote evidence-based knowledge and its translation into practical, communityfocused health solutions. Moises’ passion for healthcare extends beyond his professional life. He is a certified First Aid and CPR Instructor with the Canadian Red Cross and has volunteered with multiple organizations, including Niagara Health and Juravinski Hospital. His commitment to health, education, and community service, combined with his diverse skills and

experiences, make him a valuable asset in the field of community health.

BEN VERMEULEN Vermeulen Farms Limited is located in Canning, Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley. Ben owns and operates the second-generation family farm with his father Andy and wife Lindsey. Together with a team of 72 foreign labourers and 5 local employees, a diverse selection of fruits, vegetables and cut flowers are produced including asparagus, lettuces, strawberries, field cucumbers, bell peppers, winter squash, zucchini and soon apples. Ben has a background in biology and chemistry from Acadia University that has helped him bring new growing techniques to the operation including hydroponic production, as well as soil and fertility management. Using these techniques, they strive to innovate and continuously improve their growing practices to produce high quality fruits and vegetables to consumers in the maritime region and beyond.

UPL offers a broad portfolio of reliable products to protect your fruit and vegetables from a wide range of pests and diseases. From fungicides that provide protection against fungal diseases to biostimulants that can boost stress tolerance and yield, we’ve got the tools you need for a healthy, profitable crop. To learn more, visit uplforfruit.ca

Always read and follow label directions. UPL, the UPL logo and OpenAg are trademarks of a UPL Corporation Limited Group Company. ©2022 UPL Corporation Limited Group Company. HORT-2115A


Hard work deserves reward We’re giving away a pair of Trek e-bikes and helmets to one lucky horticulture grower through the Pedal to the Metal Contest. Register between January 8, 2024, and May 17, 2024, for a chance to win! Scan the QR code to get started!

Set your wheels in motion Accelerate toward your fruit and vegetable production goals and navigate the season’s twists and turns with trusted top-tier products backed by industry-leading service from Syngenta.




S te p ha nie is th e Sustainability Specialist for Horticulture Crops with the OMAFRA based in Vineland, Ontario. She works with growers, industry, and researchers to assess new practices and technologies that improve sustainable production in Ontario’s horticulture sectors. Her current work focuses on soil management, cover crops, and efficient nutrient use. She also has a keen interest in understanding how “sustainable agriculture” policy/programs affects growers (and what to do about it). Prior to joining OMAFRA she worked at Sebastian Farms, a vineyard operation growing 1500 acres of premium wine grapes in the Okanagan Valley, BC. Stephanie received her BSc in Environmental Science and MSc in Soil Science from the University of Guelph.

Dr. Weber is a professor in Cornell University’s School of Integrated Plant ScienceHorticulture Section at Cornell AgriTech at the NYSAES in Geneva, New York. He was born and raised on a small dairy farm in east central Illinois where his family still farms. He attended the University of Illinois for a BS in Agricultural Science and received an MS in genetics and breeding of peach and a PhD in genetics of cold hardiness in Citrus hybrids, both at the University of Florida. His program focuses on variety development of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry and the genomic analysis of disease and morphological traits. He has released 10 patented strawberry and raspberry varieties and has published more than 40 refereed journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and dozens of extension/outreach articles on berry production practices and related topics targeting growers and the general public.

Sean has served as Ginseng and Herbs Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 2008. He received BSc (Agr.), MSc, and PhD degrees in Horticulture from the University of Guelph. His primary role in OMAFRA is to support the Ontario ginseng, lavender and herb industries through technology transfer and to provide input into provincial and federal policies that may affect the industry. He has also led numerous research projects on ginseng and lavender. Sean is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph.


GAIL AND PHIL WINTERS Gail and Phil Winters started their farming journey in 2009 by purchasing a 30 acre farm in Caledon. As craft beer enthusiasts they decided to grow hops and sold these to micro breweries for years. In 2017 they embarked on an on-farm diversified use strategy and created GoodLot Farm & Farmstead Brewing Co - a regenerative farm plus solar powered brewery focussing on using 100% Ontario hops.

DUST Y Z AMECNIK Dusty, General Manager of EZ Grow Farms Ltd. in Norfolk County, Ontario, is a soft fruit plant propagator for commercial berry producers across the continent and beyond for all growing systems. Dusty and team take pride in their continual innovation to be partners in propelling the berry industry forward.

E H T E SAV DATES FEB 19–20, 2025 MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR OFVC 2025! Niagara Falls Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Stay up-to-date & follow us! @ofvc1 #ofvc2025


Poster Display and Student Competiton


Don’t forget to visit the Poster display in the pre-function space in the Main lobby.

Join us for breakfast, networking and a featured speaker.

The display highlights research on fruit, vegetables and alternative crops in Ontario allowing growers and members of ag-industry to see the excellent work that you do in support of the many commodities they grow. There are two categories: Regular and Student Competition.

Thursday, February 22 in The Lounge 8:00 am – 9:15 am FEATURED SPEAKER: Alison Robertson SPONSORED BY:

STUDE NT COMPE TITION E NTR A NTS Eradication Dilemma: The Virus Transmitting Nematode Xiphinema Diversicaudatum Resurfaces to Ravage Ontario’s Fruit Production Authors: Jerry Akanwari, Qing Yu and Tahera Sultana Use of Mixed Covers: A Preferred Approach to Manage Plant-parasitic Nematodes Under Spinach Cultivation Authors: Elyse Aubry, Tahera Sultana Evaluating the Potential of Cannabis Tissue as a Repellent Against Colorado Potato Beetles Authors: Andrew Colton, Margaret S. Mantel, Angela E. Gradish, Rebecca H. Hallett Who is Killing your Ginseng? Maybe you? Authors: Amy Fang Shi, Sean Westerveld Determining the Role of the 5 Isoforms of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Enzymes During Icewine Fermentation Authors: Nadine Ott-Peon and Dr. Debbie Inglis Testing the Application of Novel Technology for Assessing Grape Maturity Using Spectrometry Authors: Bronwyn Riddoch, Dr. Myroslava Khomik, Dr. Richard Petrone Developing Disease Forecasting Models for Stemphylium Leaf Blight of Onion Authors: Julia Scicluna, Bruce D. Gossen, Mary Ruth McDonald CRISPR Cas13a as a Diagnostic Tool for Grapevine Leafroll Associated Virus 3 Authors: Lucy Teminski, Sudarsana Poojari


REGUL A R E NTR A NTS Does the Winter/spring Differential Thermal Analysis Reflect the Actuality of Bud Survival and Subsequent Yield Grapevine Rootstock Studies? Author: K. H. Fisher Identifying and Detecting Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) in Canada Authors: Adele Julien, Karen Castro, Sandra Flores-Mejia, Kristen Obeid and Mike Cowbrough The Effects of Fulvic Acid on Marketable Characteristics and Yield on Fruits and Vegetables in Southwestern Ontario Authors: Jarrod Psutka, Breanne Black, Salha Bathawab, Adesile Ajayi, Avery Ungar, Maria Derkacz, Mohammad Rahbari Integrated Pest Management of Delia Radicum Root Maggots in Ontario Authors: Ian Scott, Roger Murray, John Hodkinson, Anne-Marie Fortier Container Production of Highbush Blueberries Using Ready-to-use Bags Authors: Philippe Sylvestre, Rémi Naasz Automated 3D Vision System for Caliper Measurement and Enhanced Farm Management Decision Making for Fruit Tree and Ornamental Nurseries Authors: David Weales, Cole Tarry, Dr. Medhat Moussa Testing Three Alternative Technologies for Control of Powdery and Downy Mildews on Wine Grape, Greenhouse Cucumber, Field Cucumber, Zucchini and Strawberry Authors: Andrew C. Wylie, Irina Perez-Valdes and Rose Buitenhuis

YOUNG FARMER LUNCH & LEARN New Format Lunch & Learn with one-on-one conversation with industry experts. Engage in one-on-one conversations and gain valuable insights into strategies for advancing your agricultural business. Thursday, February 22 12:00 pm – 1:30 in The Lounge Open to OFVC registered attendees only. Seating is limited. Requires preregistration. SPONSORED BY:

TheGrower_OFVC2023.qxp_Layout 1 2023-01-06 11:22 AM Page 1






Canada’s premier horticultural publication is available 12x/year. First of every month. Always on time.

You’ll find our most­ read stories on Twitter and Facebook with award­winning photography & links to deeper analysis.

Digging deeper on the month’s cover story, we interview the industry’s leaders. The Grower Calling podcasts are on ourwebsite & Soundcloud.

Your one­stop source for Canadian horticultural news.


Every Tuesday a.m., start your day with the most newsworthy stories of the week. Join the service that’s already read by 3K+ subscribers on their phones & laptops.







visit www.thegrower.org


THE CLOSEST HOTEL TO NIAGARA FALLS • 42 storeys high with 613 spacious Two-Room Suites • Fallsview and Presidential Suites • 100 yards from the Brink of Niagara Falls • Located beside Niagara Fallsview Casino and Theatre 1 block from the Niagara Falls Convention Centre • Over 20,000sq.ft. of flexible meeting/banquet space • Professional meeting planners to assist with on-site/ off-site arrangements and activities • In-house sound, lighting and audio/visual services provided by Encore • High-speed wireless internet

You produce it We finance it 1.866.766.5218 embassysuitesniagara.com sales@embassysuitesniagara.com 6700 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON

Partner with the only lender 100% invested in Canadian food. DREAM. GROW. THRIVE. | FCC.CA/FOOD


Food Rescue Charity Offers New Home for Unwanted Grower Produce BY LILIAN SCH AER

A new face in the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention exhibit hall at this year’s show is Second Harvest – Canada’s largest food rescue organization. The charity redistributes nutritious but unsold food through school programs, seniors’ centres, shelters, food banks, regional food hubs and more. The goal of the organization’s participation at OFVC is to make connections with the grower community to help them redirect their surplus food. “We’re the food bank to food banks – we will manage your food and get it to the organizations that need it,” says Second Harvest CEO Lori Nikkel. “We focus on perishable healthy food, whether its produce, dairy, or protein; it could be as small as a sandwich from Starbucks or multiple fields from a farmer and we’ll issue tax receipts for the value of donated food.” Although based out of Toronto, Second Harvest provides its free food redistribution service to charities, non-profits and Indigenous communities in every Canadian province and territory. Its mission is a simple one: to grow an efficient food recovery network to fuel people and reduce the environmental impact of avoidable food waste. Its vision is even simpler: no waste, no hunger.

year, with 11.2 million tonnes of edible food going into landfill annually. At the same time, 5.6 million Canadians or close to 15% of the country’s population is food insecure. Food donations to Second Harvest from businesses support a network of over 4,400 social service organizations across Canada, providing healthy snacks and fresh food for community initiatives, from snacks for after school programs and meals for seniors to food for shelters, drop-in centres and food banks. In 2018, Second Harvest moved into the digital arena with the launch of its food rescue app, which has helped rescue 94.6 million pounds of food valued at $286 million and saving 301 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions in the process. “Donating food keeps it out of landfills where it would otherwise produce methane and contribute to our greenhouse emissions,” says Nikkel. “Our app is a connector – think of it as the E-Harmony of food.” “The app is ideal for smaller donations but will also work for larger donations that don’t come through our warehouse if a charity wants to work directly with a local partner to keep food in the region and not have it travelling long distances,” she adds. “We want to make sure we’re supporting your brand properly and we like to give the organizations who support us what they need, whether that is marketing benefits or a tax receipt.”

The statistics around food waste and hunger in Canada are startling. According to Second Harvest, 58% of all food produced in Canada is lost and wasted every One of Second Harvest’s trucks making a delivery.


Making a delivery of fresh Ontario fruit.

Businesses with food to donate create and log into their profile on the app and put up a posting of what they have available. Nearby non-profits also on the app are notified about available donations, can claim those that they’re interested in and pick them up directly from the business. In Ontario, Second Harvest has its own warehouse and fleet of trucks to manage collection and redistribution of rescued food and works with third party logistics providers to get food to the right spot. According to Nikkel, this means ensuring whether a recipient has coolers available for product requiring refrigeration and making sure donations are food safe for both donor and recipient. Second Harvest also offers education on safe food handling to recipients and provides a digital paper trail for all donations so they can be traced if needed.

“We’re the food bank to food banks – we will manage your food and get it to the organizations that need it,” Currently, Second Harvest works with just over 70 growers in Ontario, partnering with farms and greenhouses of all sizes to redistribute their unusable produce, and its an area Nikkel is keen to expand, seeing benefits for both farmers and food recipients. She cites the example of Pfenning’s Organic from Waterloo Region, a farm that provides surplus produce to Second Harvest in large bins. Volunteers sort it and anything that can’t be used by the food rescue is returned to the farm where it is used for compost and ultimately returned to the soil.

“We already work with a lot of growers, but we need more of them to become involved, and this is a great opportunity to come on board, divert food from landfill and receive tax credits for donations,” she says. “Farmers feed cities and people need to know where their food comes from and value it. Part of what we do well is education and training, so help us help you do that.” In addition to its food rescue activities, Second Harvest provides training and education about food and food waste to social non-profits, businesses and Canadians. For more than 20 years, the organization has run its Harvest Kitchen program to create nutritious and delicious meals from rescued food which are then donated to non-profits who aren’t able to produce meals themselves. And its Feeding our Future program is active during the summer months, offering healthy lunches to children at summer camps across Toronto. Along with food donations, the organization also always welcomes financial support that is used to pay for a range of activities. For the last two years, for example, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association has donated $25,000 in cash to Second Harvest annually, which Nikkel says helped support things like paying for transportation of donations from farms and to recipients. “We’ve worked with OFVGA for many years, and they’ve been a great partner to us,” she says. Growers wishing to get involved with Second Harvest can visit secondharvest.ca or call the organization directly at 416-408-2594. The Second Harvest food rescue app is also available for those wishing to be matched with a recipient in their local areas.



Drone Spraying in Canadian Agriculture


Drones are not new to Canadian farms. They’ve become part of the modern precision agriculture toolbox and are increasingly used for a variety of applications, including crop monitoring. What’s captured the attention of Canadian fruit and vegetable growers recently, however, is their evolution into Remote Piloting Aerial Application Systems (RPAAS) or drones used for spray applications. Early adopters are using them to spread fertilizer or seed cover crops, but the biggest potential use – aerial pesticide application – is not yet permitted in Canada. “Interest from growers is very high and there is a lot of attractive information out there from a number of sales and distribution companies,” explains Dr. Jason Deveau, Application Technology Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and chair of a session on drone spraying on day two of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Although two dry formulation pesticides and a liquid mosquito control product have received federal approval from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for drone application, no provinces have yet given the go-ahead to allow their use. “Our federal government needs confidence and comparative data before they can expand a label,” notes Deveau, adding that some U.S. states, including Michigan, have given approval. “We don’t know about drift from drones, efficacy, exposure for operators or


bystanders or how to calibrate them and we don’t have federal rules or regulations on how we would educate an operator on how to use them safely.” The other challenge, he adds, is that drone technology is evolving so rapidly that it is difficult for regulators to keep up. “Research is ongoing worldwide, but science is slow, and it is hard to gather everything when it keeps moving – but we’re working on it,” he says. “We are trying to protect people, the environment and their investment.”

“We are trying to protect people, the environment and their investment.” An early adopter participating in drone spraying research is Adrian Rivard of Drone Spray Canada, a grower, professional pilot and licensed aerial applicator. He’s been involved with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on residue trials in orchards and vineyards and is also part of global spray drift study in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Australia. “We currently do a lot of fertilizer application where

Dr. Tom Wolf, owner of Agrimex Research and Training, between two sprayer drones.

fields are too wet or where growers want to minimize compaction risk or damage to their crops, but the big interest is in pesticide application,” Rivard says, adding the big opportunity is for fruit and vegetable crops requiring multiple applications a year.

aviation in an environment of continuously evolving technology,” Haughton adds. “RPAS offer a different risk when things go wrong in the sky, so we have to worry about not just what is below the RPAS but above it too.”

More work needs to be done to get better spray quality and more precise application, he believes, and drones will need to become more efficient with better productivity per unit for the industry to really embrace adoption. He doesn’t expect any PMRA label approvals before 2025 at the earliest but is also focusing on training to help ensure the industry is ready when the time comes.

Dr. Michael Reinke, Extension Viticulture Specialist at Michigan State University, focuses his research on the use of tools and techniques that can improve the resilience and sustainability of grape growers, with a particular interest in the potential for high-precision crop spraying with drones in grapes and small fruit crops.

And while PMRA supplies the product use approval, it’s Transport Canada that regulates drone operation as it falls under the jurisdiction of civil aviation. In 2023, the agency released proposed changes to the rules for Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), which have been in place since 2019. A public consultation period ended in September and submitted comments are now being reviewed with the goal of new regulations coming into force in 2025. Current regulations apply to RPAS from 250 g to 25 kg that are relatively low risk and flying within visual line of sight (VLOS); operators with RPAS above 25 kg and flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) must apply for an SFOC.

“What I found when I started looking into this space is a lot of people are doing efficacy studies using recommendations from manufacturers or made for corn or soybeans and those don’t work in speciality crops,” he says. “What I look at is what are the challenges to using these and how can we change the way drones are used to overcome them.”

Drones offer fast, high precision application and Reinke estimates they were used on approximately 100,000 acres in Michigan this past year. And although the state allows aerial pesticide application, the process to get the necessary permits Spraying on a research day in Michigan. is long and complicated, he notes, leaving many growers looking to custom applicators.

“The new regulations would allow a lot of operations that currently require a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC),” says Cindy Haughton, a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector with Transport Canada’s Flight RPAS Centre for Expertise. “Right now, there is a lot of process involved in getting an SFOC, so the proposal is to make it more seamless for operators with fewer constraints.” Transport Canada is working on integrating low risk RPAS operation into the newly proposed regulations. For example, agricultural applications like seeding or spraying with RPAS above 25 kg, which currently require an SFOC, could be allowed without the need for the special permit. Higher risk operations will still require an SFOC. “We are trying to develop a program that mitigates risk and ensures the safety to Canadians and Canadian

“Early data are showing that drift is less of a problem with drones than a ground-based system on average and we are seeing more effective timing because we can get out there more quickly to do faster application instead of spraying when it’s not ideal,” he adds. His two big takeaways for growers: Spray drones aren’t toys. Even though they can fit in the back of a pick-up truck, they are complex pieces of equipment just like an air blast sprayer, tractor or harvester that need to be carefully set up, calibrated, and optimized. Drones are a tool for now, not the future. There is added responsibility for safety since they operate in the air, but they’re being used effectively in the U.S. and other countries. Join the Drone Spraying in Canada educational session on Thursday, February 22, starting at 2 pm in Room 203.


The new pod, 8 times larger than the original, under construction at Canadore College in North Bay, ON.

Innovation Offers Food Sovereignty for Indigenous and Remote Communities BY LILIAN SCH AER

Lack of availability, particularly for fresh produce, has always been a challenge for Indigenous and remote communities in Canada. Lack of all-season roads increases procurement costs, and product that is available is generally very expensive, lacking in variety and of reduced quality due to its long trek north, impacting nutrition and health of people in these regions. New technologies that support food production close to home could be a game-changer for these communities – and North Bay’s Canadore College is working to bring those innovations to them. Using an off-grind grow pod purchased in 2019, Canadore launched an ImpAct-Climate Campus Living Labs project in 2021 with funding from Colleges and Institutes Canada to research opportunities on how this technology could improve food security for Indigenous and remote communities. “Our project had a few primary goals, like using pods


as a climate resistant solution to reduce fossil fuel use associated with procurement in our culinary arts school and improving fresh produce access to rural and Indigenous communities,” explains Jesse Russell, Project Leader in Sustainable Development at Canadore’s Living Sustainability Centre. “Instead of trucking in lettuce, arugula and basil, for example, we are now growing them in a pod in front of the campus restaurant.” As part of the project, the Canadore team consulted with the community of Moose Factory, part of Moose Cree First Nation, to learn more about their food needs and struggles. The resulting report, notes Russell was sobering and helped fuel successful grow pod research into growing strawberries, tomatoes and spinach. Follow up research is evaluating the nutritional value of pod produce, which is grown hydroponically. “Part of the reason we are doing that is that Indigenous cultures have a traditional view of food that is rooted in the land and unless it is from the land, it is not nutritious,” he adds. “The goal of our research is to demonstrate that hydroponically grown produce is equally nutritious or potentially even more so because

we can control the growing conditions very precisely in a grow pod.” Part of the research has also been experimenting with the types of crops that can be successfully grown in the pod. The team has learned, for example, that although cucumbers grow well, they use a lot of water which impacts the performance of other plants nearby; they’re also still working on trying to grow blueberries. At the same time, a white strawberry native to Japan and a Latin American plant called Jaltomato that is high in peptides and proteins, are growing well in the pod environment. The original research project was considered a great success and was featured on social media as well as covered by CTV News and the Globe and Mail, resulting in communities as far away as Nunavut reaching out to the Canadore team with interest in the technology. “We’re not looking for this to replace traditional farming, although in southern regions it could be an opportunity to support traditional farming,” Russell says, adding that the North is where the technology can have the biggest positive impact. Although the project officially ended in April 2023, research inside the pod is ongoing, and Canadore has invested in a second pod that is eight times larger than the original one. With eight separate grow areas, it will allow for more diverse and complex research, including experimenting with new crops and different types of inputs to see if they will enhance growth.

factor is that it runs off solar energy. As well, it features a battery energy storage system that collects energy during daylight hours and stores it to run the pod after hours. Another important piece that is currently under development is the ability to offer remote support to future pod operators in remote communities.

“Instead of trucking in lettuce, arugula and basil, for example, we are now growing them in a pod in front of the campus restaurant.” Using RealWear goggles, Russell and his colleague, grow pod manager Angela Proudfoot, will demonstrate the system to OFVC session participants on Thursday, February 22 by providing a tour of the facility. Wearing the goggles, she’ll be inside the North Bay facility and the audience will see what she sees as she walks through the pod. At the same time, she’ll be able to hear and answer questions from participants in Niagara Falls – similar in many ways to the Teams or Zoom calls that have become a common way to interact since the pandemic. The ultimate goal, according to Russell, is being able to interact with pod managers or operators in remote communities virtual through the goggles to troubleshoot problems – minimizing downtime and impact on food availability, as well as reducing travelrelated costs.

“This will let us get more specific like growing different proteins. We’ve grown over 30 species so far, but largely lettuces and greens, and we want to look at growing more calorically dense items, for example,” he says.

Construction on the new pod is expected to be completed in winter 2024 with new research starting in the spring.

The new pod on campus is a collaborative project between Sustainable Development at Canadore, its First Peoples Centre and its research centre, with a greater focus on sustainable practices and outcomes.

Canadore was one of 10 colleges nationwide selected by Colleges and Institutes Canada for funding through the ImpAct-Climate project, a five-year national initiative supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The college isn’t producing or selling pods, and although other grow pod systems are commercially available already, Canadore’s biggest differentiating

Join the Food Sovereignty for Indigenous Communities: Virtual Tour educational session on Thursday, February 22, starting at 10:30 am in Ballroom A.

Crops growing inside the pod at Canadore College, North Bay, ON.


Never Underestimate the Power of Your Story BY LILIAN SCH AER

Farmers have long been told that they need to tell “their story”, but for many that’s easier said than done. Canadian marketing expert and comedian Ron Tite has developed what he calls an operating system for growth, based on three simple words: think, do and say. Great people and organizations are successful because of: WHAT THEY THINK they have a sense of purpose WHAT THEY DO they behave in ways that support their purpose WHAT THEY SAY how they communicate about their purpose and their behaviour It all comes down to building trust, which is long-haul commitment but will pay off in the relationships built with customers. “Look at what is going on in the world. There is a general angst around things that people have no control over and that’s the overall consumer mindset,” Tite says, adding this is where farmers in particular have some advantages that they can apply to building trust with their consumers. “Growers can provide a sense of comfort and simplicity that doesn’t exist in the world, and they can be very direct in their communications on how they are different, how they are the anti-grocery story, for


example, to the Metros and Loblaws of the world,” he explains. Growers can also speak directly and credibly about how local food matters, how what they do is sustainable, and how, in agri-tourism for example, they can provide a simple, wholesome family experience

Growers can provide a sense of comfort and simplicity that doesn’t exist in the world, and they can be very direct in their communications on how they are different, how they are the anti-grocery story, for example, to the Metros and Loblaws of the world. that many consumers are craving. At the same time, he notes, growers still have to win the battle for consumers’ time, so the key is to also be entertaining and relevant. “For example, when it comes to freshness and sustainability, you can talk about the long haul your corn had to come from your field to the story – all 680 feet of it,” he chuckles. “That’s a funny dynamic when people are used to talking about length of transport in days – you can have a lot of fun with that.” It can be hard to know where or how to get started with marketing activities or engaging consumers online, but instead of viewing that as a barrier, Tite suggests

The smallest difference leads to the greatest change Explore Enza Zaden

When it comes to agriculture, we get it. Ron Tite photo by: Cheetah Dallas Steven Cosby | Director, National Accounts Canadian Agriculture 905.401.0264 | steve.cosby@scotiabank.com

harnessing that authenticity and making it part of the story and the brand. This means, for example, being comfortable with imperfection and telling the ups and downs of daily life, whether that’s shooting a quick video while fixing a piece of equipment or scouting a crop, for example. In fact, if there’s a piece of equipment you’re always fixing, it presents a great opportunity to use that as a regular catalyst for an online post or update – sharing a reality that many can relate to increases both credibility and believability. “You don’t need to be Shakespeare to tell your story; in fact, if something is too perfect and polished, it’s not believable. Imperfection leads to trust so feel free to use that,” he says. “And never forget, if you do amazing things for amazing people, the stories will take care of themselves – and consumers will tell your stories for you.” Join the Your Stories Are More Powerful Than Your Data educational session on Wednesday, February 21, starting at 9:30 am in Ballroom D.

Get broadspectrum disease control that lasts. Always read and follow label directions. MERIVON is a registered trademark of BASF, used under license by BASF Canada Inc. MERIVON fungicide should be used in a preventative disease control program. © 2024 BASF Canada Inc.

3107-2_Merivon_OFVC_Small Ad_v1.indd 1 Client: BASF Hort

File Name: Merivon_OFVC_Small Ad_v1 Project Name: Merivon_OFVC_Ad

2023-12-12 2:00 PM . DESIREE PRINT



Docket Number: 3107.2 Trim size: 3.4375 x 2”

















Newmarket Farmers’ Market


When Cathy Bartolic first began selling flowers from her farm at the Newmarket Farmers’ Market 23 years ago, she was one of 10 vendors at a small market in its second year of existence. This past year, the market ended its season with 46 vendors and is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2024. It makes the news that the market has been named Farmers’ Market of the Year by Farmers’ Markets Ontario even more welcome and timely. “I’m just thrilled with the news,” says Bartolic, who has just ended her second year as president of the market. “I work with an amazing team of people who have stepped up to help and we are over the moon at having been chosen as the winner.” The market’s vendors are at least 51% farmers, with the balance a mix of food vendors and artisans, and management works hard to offer a variety of farm fresh products beyond just fruits and vegetables, including flowers, aquaculture and bee-based items. It runs Saturdays from early May to the end of October, with a special indoor Christmas market at the end of November. The venue itself is a popular one at downtown Newmarket’s Riverwalk Commons with nearby Timothy Street closed on market days to accommodate vendors and shoppers. The area is also home to a permanent stage as well as a water feature that serves as a wading pool for kids in the summer and a skating rink in the winter. “On a nice day we get at least about 1,000 people out and to watch the market evolve from the year I started as a vendor to what it is now has been amazing,” adds


Bartolic. “Our market manager is extremely good and very community conscious with lots of good ideas to make the market more friendly, which has helped bring in more people.” It’s been so successful that the market has reached the limit of its growth at its current location, and following the difficult COVID years, the market is now larger than it was before the pandemic. During the first summer of the pandemic, the market was moved to the parking lot of a nearby community centre that was closed due to COVID, and although it returned to its longtime downtown location in 2021, ongoing restrictions continued to pose challenges for both vendors and shoppers that year.

“We have excellent support from the community here and there is an upbeat vibe and community feeling,” “It was a very confusing time, but the town has been great to work with and we have great support from the mayor, who is at the market almost every week,” she notes. “For the last two years, we were also able to get a full-page cover story in the local paper for opening weekend which has helped tremendously.”

There is a musical line-up every week on the stage and the market works much more closely now with the Newmarket Food Pantry to collect food and funds, such as through this year’s “Stuff the truck” event. Another highlight this past year was working with the local Lions’ Club to offer sweet corn sampling from all vendors and vegetable farmers at the market during different times of the day and accepting donations for the food bank. Bartolic attributes at least part of the market’s winning formula to its welcoming vibe, and the demographic evolution of Newmarket’s population that has brought in new product offerings like micro greens and freeze-dried fruits. “We have excellent support from the community here and there is an upbeat vibe and community feeling,” she says. “We have a core group of vendors, and they’ve developed real relationships with the customers, who are now bringing their own kids to the market as that next generation of shoppers.” The Farmers’ Market of the Year award will be presented on Wednesday, February 21 at 9:30 am in Ballroom D.


The Future of Agriculture: All Hands on Deck BY LILIAN SCH AER

Alison Robertson has always been a strong believer in the “work-life juggle” and the idea that women can have it all, as the saying goes – just not at the same time. She’s had a varied career in the horticulture industry and since 2016, has served as the Executive Director of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA). She’s passionate about the future of horticulture and supporting and mentoring the next generation of industry leaders, whether male or female. Women have a lot to bring to the table, she believes, but as society evolves, men are increasingly facing a similar juggling act – and the industry’s future needs everyone’s contributions to be successful. “I am the mother of two young men, and I work with a number of young men on my team and I see a lot of the challenges that women commonly talk about affecting them as well, from running kids to events and supporting spouses and family members to helping to look after elderly parents,” she says. “In this current and next generation, we are all juggling many responsibilities – but I also see it as an opportunity for women to throw their hats in the leadership ring and participate in new challenges.” Alison Robertson Executive Director, OFVGA

In her presentation, she’ll address what she sees as four common myths facing women in horticulture:

We need more women in leadership roles The industry is already very capably served by many female board and staff leaders, and the key for the industry’s ongoing success is not to bring more women to leadership roles simply because they are female. At the same time, women aspiring to leadership roles should feel confident in the skills they can bring to the table.

If I work hard, people will notice It’s important to step forward and express interest in available opportunities, rather than simply hoping your efforts will be recognized. This applies to a wide range of situations, whether putting your name forward for a volunteer board position or asking your employer for a raise or a promotion.

Achieving work-life balance This is a myth that puts unrealistic expectations on people – men and women – to try to have it all when it comes to family, career and volunteering. Life is more of a juggle than a balance and people will be much more accepting of themselves and their lives if they are able to accept this concept.

You can have it all It is possible to achieve all of your goals and dreams, just not at the same time (see point above!). The Women in Agriculture networking breakfast is on Thursday, February 22 at 8:00 am in The Lounge.



NPF & VGA Award of Merit F P N & A G V


I T • AW A R












After working in and around Ontario’s fruit industry for 37 years, Mary Jane Combe is marking her transition towards retirement as winner of the 2024 Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association Award of Merit. WA R D O F

Most recently the Market Analyst at Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO), Combe began her career with a job in animal genetics before moving to the Niagara region when she married her husband Ron. After working in central sales at the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board, she joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) in 1986 working in farm management. “I was interested in science (in high school), and my biology teacher said go to Guelph – the ag program gives you all the sciences. That’s what got me started and I fell in love with everything about it,” recalls Combe. “I’m not from a farming background but I don’t feel like I was ever not involved in agriculture.” At OMAF, she supported government program delivery as well as working in horticultural economics, succession planning and farm financials. A key accomplishment was working with colleague Ken Slingerland on developing a cost of production model for Ontario tender fruit and grapes that is still used today. She was also involved in developing several business-focused publications for the fruit industry, including one about starting a winery that was just recently updated by GGO. “A highlight for me was being able to feel like you did something that made a difference for somebody, like working with a family on succession planning and seeing the younger generation taking over successfully – that’s incredibly rewarding,” she says.


After 14 years with the ministry, Combe was a private consultant from 2000 to 2008 before being hired by GGO as their Market Analyst. As a marketing board, GGO negotiates grape pricing with processors every year on behalf of its grower members, a process Combe supported by preparing background information the board team needed to participate in the negotiations. In 2008, she was involved in development of plateau pricing, a separate, lower price structure designed to help growers move unsold grapes. And most recently, she supported the GGO team that spent several years working with the Ontario government to modernize alcohol sales in the province, including offering wine, beer, cider and ready-to-drink cocktails in convenience and grocery stores starting in 2026. “So much of what I’ve worked on was background analytical work to support the activities of the board and the organization,” she says. “In such a small office, you very much work as a team.” In the early days of her career, she notes, it was unusual for women to hold the kind of roles she did at the ministry, and she’s proud of having been able to forge her own path. “I’m pleased that I’ve been able to do what I’ve wanted to do even though it wasn’t a traditional role for women in agriculture at the time – and I rarely encountered a farmer or a co-worker who treated me differently during my time in the horticulture sector,” she says. She officially retired from GGO in June 2023, and she’s looking forward to dedicating more time to family, sports she enjoys, and continuing her volunteer involvement in the ag sector. “What drives me has always been trying to do something that will make somebody’s life better, and this award means a lot,” she says. “Farmers have integrity, a genuineness and community values that make them great people to work with – and that’s where I feel I’ve been rewarded.”

Visit us at

BOOTH # 421

this week & celebrate 70 years of business with us!

info@vandenbussche.com 1-800-387-RAIN (7246) 2515 Pinegrove Road Delhi, ON N4B 2E5 www.vandenbussche.com

AT VIS BO IT U OT H# S 14 26


Intake for new projects is ongoing. Contact us today to see if you qualify for project funding: David DiPietro, Manager, Business Development ddipietro@niagaracollege.ca

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.