Plenary Session

Todd Ormann

Olds College of Agriculture and Technology


Todd Ormann, recognized as one of the Top 50 most influential people in Canadian Agriculture, is a pioneer in the agriculture marketing and technology space, supporting the introduction of agricultural brands, and most recently, the development of TELUS agriculture.

Throughout his career with AdFarm, Syngenta, Farmers Edge, TELUS Agriculture and now Olds College he has succeeded in launching solutions that have influenced how Agribusiness and Farms interact with technology.

Todd began in marketing and created campaigns for products, such as Nexera and Frontline. He led the global launch of FarmCommand, a Farmers Edge product that underpinned their IPO launch. This product was transformed from an agronomic toolset that supported internal agronomists to a farm management platform. At TELUS, Todd was the first agriculture hire supporting the development of strategy and the implementation of the new division. Today TELUS Agriculture & Consumer goods employs over 1600 team members operating in 50 countries world wide and is one the worlds largest Ag tech companies.

At Olds College, Todd is the Vice President of Development that leads the advancement, partner and marketing teams that implement the promotion of the college and the strategic relationships with industry, donors and sponsors. Many of those which are Ag Tech companies that participate and support one of Canada’s most well known and active Smart Farms.

Dr. Brian Arnall

Oklahoma State University


Dr. Arnall’s extension, teaching, and research efforts are focused on precision technologies and nutrient management in all of Oklahoma’s cropping systems with an emphasis on site specific techniques. He works closely with extension educators and industry personnel to improve nutrient management practices in Oklahoma that will lead to increased profitability of Oklahoma producers. He currently has several ongoing studies focused on Precision Ag technologies, nitrogen fertilizer timing and placement, increasing nutrient use efficiency, improvement of phosphorus and potassium fertilizer recommendations, and the application of biologicals in the central plains. In addition, Brian has a crew of developers producing iOS and Andriod applications.

Dale Cowan

AGRIS Co-operative Ltd.


Dale Cowan is the Agronomy Strategy Manager and Senior Agronomist for AGRIS Cooperative in Southwestern Ontario. His responsibilities involve training and supporting customer facing staff in utilizing our Digital Ag Strategy of technology, agronomy, knowledge transfer in key areas of stewardship and effective product positioning. Preparing the company and employees to operate in a mobile digital connected environment is a key part of the strategy. Technology is readily available, however training and supporting staff with new technology, new processes is as important as the tools we use.  Data is all around us. The volume, velocity and variety of data coming at us requires an organized integrated approach to optimize the relationship we have with our channel partners and customers. Transitioning from an analog world to a digital one will not happen by accident. It takes a strategy to make it happen.

Emile deMilliano

Retired - Nutrien Ag Solutions Canada


A University of Alberta graduate, Emile has spent over 40 years immersed in agronomy.  After a brief stint in the Peace Country with Elanco (Corteva), he spent 14 years in the Edmonton area with Alberta Agriculture in various roles (D.A., Commodity Development Officer, Pulse Specialist) before joining Westco Fertilizers in 1996 as one of 5 Regional Agronomists in western Canada. In 2014, Emile took on the role of Training and Development Manager for Nutrien Ag Solutions Canada.  In 2021, he moved on from Nutrien to enjoy more personal time but maintains an active interest in all things agronomy (and agronomists).  

Pest Management Session

Dr. Brian Jenks

North Dakota State University


Ph.D. in Weed Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 1996

NDSU Weed Scientist (1997-present)

Research and Extension appointment

Area of focus: In 26 years with NDSU, Dr. Jenks has conducted research in 24 crops investigating crop tolerance to herbicides, and control of annual and perennial weeds, with particular interest in kochia, wild oat, green foxtail, Canada thistle, foxtail barley, and milkweed.  In recent years, Dr. Jenks has conducted a state-wide screening of wild oat and green foxtail for resistance to Group 1 and 2 herbicides. 

Fiona Jochum

Blue Diamond Farms



Fiona Jochum is a third-generation grain farmer from St. Francois Xavier.  She is an alumnus of the University of Manitoba, having earned her Diploma in Agriculture and Bachelor’s Degree in AgriBusiness.  After spending a few years working in various sectors of agriculture, from research and development to ag policy, Fiona saw an employment opportunity on her family’s farm and set her sights on a career in farm management.  At Blue Diamond Farms Ltd. Fiona co-manages the production of wheat, oats, canola, and soybeans. This fall marked her 5th harvest.

Reid Mazinke


My name is Reid Mazinke and I’m from Morris Manitoba. I’m 25 years old and I grew up working on the family farm just south of Morris. I’ve been full time on the farm for about three years. Before I was full time on the farm, I was primarily helping out during harvest time to combine or grain cart. The last three years have been very exciting. I look forward to continuing my career in farming while learning about the many different aspects there are, and implementing them into the operation.

Tyler Menold


Tyler Menold lives near Carman, Manitoba where he runs a grain farm with his family. They produce soybeans, corn, canola, flax, perennial rye grass, wheat, oats, peas and other crops.

Dr. Michael Wunsch

North Dakota State University


Michael Wunsch is a plant pathologist with North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center.  His research and outreach efforts are primarily focused on addressing disease management problems in broadleaf crops grown in North Dakota, with an emphasis on improving the management of white mold in dry edible beans, soybeans, and sunflowers and improving the management of root and foliar diseases of field peas, chickpeas, and lentils.  Michael obtained his B.S. from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. from Cornell University, and he commenced his employment with the NDSU research center in Carrington in 2010.  Michael is originally from Montana.


Marcie Schultz

Pesticide Compliance Program, Health Canada


Marcie Schultz is a Regional Pesticide Officer with the Pesticide Compliance Program of Health Canada.  In her role, she is responsible for regulating the Pest Control Products Act through inspections with various industries and pesticide sectors.  Marcie grew up on a small family farm in the Interlake region of Manitoba.  After high school, she attended the University of Manitoba where she received her Bachelor of Agricultural and Food Science degree in 2007 and now calls the Red River Valley home.

Dr. Jason Gibbs

University of Manitoba


Jason Gibbs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Manitoba. He completed his PhD at York University studying the taxonomy of sweat bees. He was then a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University studying apple pollination and sweat bee evolution. He was then a Research Associate at Michigan State University conducting research on highbush blueberry pollination. His current research focuses on bee taxonomy, phylogenomics, and the effects of landscape management on beneficial insects. He has published >100 scientific papers on various aspects of bee taxonomy, evolution, and ecology.

Crop Management Session

Dr. Peter Sikkema

University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus


Peter Sikkema is responsible for weed management in field crops and teaches “Crop Diagnostics and Recommendations” and “Herbicide Physiology and Biochemistry” at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. Peter and his colleagues conduct research on weed management in corn, soybean, dry beans cereals. Of particular interest to local farmers, however, are the current investigations on herbicide resistance. Peter is an excellent source of both practical and innovative solutions for local farmers and he readily shares his knowledge with primary producers. Peter maintains a busy speaking schedule sharing his most recent research results at grower meetings and agricultural conferences.

Horst Bohner

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Horst Bohner has been the provincial Soybean Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs since 2001. He collaborates with producers and other researchers to address soybean production issues. His responsibilities include field research, validating production techniques, and providing leading edge information to Ontario growers.


Horst is past chair of the Ontario Oil and Protein Seed Crop Committee and the OMAFRA representative for the Heartland Regional Soil and Crop Improvement Association.


Dennis Lange

Manitoba Agriculture


Dennis Lange is the Provincial Pulse and Soybean Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture. He has been with the depart since 2011 and has been involved in the pulse & soybean industry for the last 27 years working with soybeans, peas, dry beans and various other pulses. Dennis is also an avid photographer and also enjoys listen to vinyl (his collection is greater than his Hawaiian shirt collection). Dennis is also known for his collection of almost 170 Hawaiian shirts and counting.

Dr. Amy Delaquis

Manitoba Canola Growers


Amy is the Research Manager with Manitoba Canola Growers Association a Certified Crop Advisor and 4R Designated Agronomist. She completed her PhD at the University of Manitoba (U of M) with Dr. Yvonne Lawley focused on spring wheat agronomy, MSc at the University of Alberta in Weed Science and BSc in Agronomy from U of M. Previously, Amy has worked as a research technician in the soil fertility lab at the U of M and as an Agronomist with Pembina Coop.


Scott Chalmers

Manitoba Agriculture


Scott Chalmers grew up on a mixed beef & conventional tillage farm near Carroll, MB in the 80s & 90s. He earned an honours degree in Botany and Chemistry from Brandon University in 2004 while assisting the plant pathology crew at the Brandon Research Centre for a couple summers.  After his graduation at BU he managed the South East Research Farm in Redvers, SK for 3 years then took a Diversification Technician position with Manitoba Agriculture in 2007 until 2012.  In 2012, Scott moved into the Applied Research Specialist position where he has worked since managing the Westman Agriculture Diversification Organization (WADO) in Melita, MB.  At WADO, Scott and his trusted team have grown over 60 crops in a multitude of trials ranging from mainstream and novel crop trials.  Scott’s presentation will be on Crop Diversification: What has worked and What Hasn’t providing insight into the successes, failures and challenges of crop diversification.

Chris Holzapfel

Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation


Raised on a small mixed farm near Odessa SK, Chris Holzapfel has a farm background and nearly 25 years of experience with field crop research. This began as a field technician with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and continues as Research Manager with IHARF, a non-profit producer group who he was been with since 2005. Chris’s education includes a Diploma from Olds College, Bachelor of Science from the University of Lethbridge, and a Master's degree with the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba. Chris holds memberships to numerous professional organizations, previously served as an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science and received the Outstanding Young Agrologist Award in 2014. While soil fertility issues are his primary research interest, Chris's activities with IHARF cover a broad range of agronomic issues and crops, with a focus on applied research and helping develop practical solutions to today’s farming challenges. He takes a hands-on approach to his research / demonstration activities, spending most of the growing season in the field and winter months working through data and trying to fit in extension work whenever possible.


Soil Management Session

John Heard

Retired - Manitoba Agriculture


John Heard arrived in  Manitoba as a refugee from Ontario in 2006 and toiled with MB Agriculture as soil fertility extension specialist until April 2023.  He was schooled at the University of Guelph and Purdue University, but educated through working with farmers for 40+ years. He is a proud CCA and was recognized as International CCA of the Year in 2014. On his Almasippi sand he grows the sweetest sweet corn in Manitoba and is the perennial winner in the Maple Syrup class at the Carman fair. In retirement he continues working with past colleagues to deliver soil fertility training. He has served on MAC committees since its resurrection in 2000 and is delighted to still be included in the fun.


Dr. Patrick Brown

University of California-Davis


Dr. Patrick Brown is the Distinguished Professor of Plant Nutrition at the University of California, Davis - USA. He received his B.Sc. in 1984 from Adelaide University, Australia and Ph.D. from Cornell University, USA in 1988.  Dr. Brown has authored more than 260 scientific journal articles and numerous books with contributions to basic and applied plant biology, agricultural policy development and agricultural extension. He has served as a member of numerous scientific and technical committees for governmental agencies and has received many national and international awards including the Norman Borlaug Science Award and the Dennis Hoagland Award for excellence in research and agricultural extension.


Lyle Cowell



Lyle Cowell is the new Senior Canadian Agronomist with Nutrien Wholesale and supports the agronomy and sustainability of the N, P, K and S fertilizers that are manufactured by Nutrien. His previous career was as a regional agronomist in northeast Saskatchewan where he extended agronomy research to the farm gate.

Lyle has always had the goal of connecting the three points of good research, agronomy extension and farm gate advice and application of soil fertility principles. 

Dr. Tom DeSutter

North Dakota State University


Dr. DeSutter received his PhD in 2004 from Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS). After completing a Post-Doc with the USDA-ARS (Ames, IA) he was hired in 2006 as an Environmental Soil Scientist by the Department of Soil Science at North Dakota State University (Fargo, ND). His primary research interests are saline and sodic soils, reclamation of energy-extraction impacted soils, and instrumentation for measuring soil physical and biological parameters.  DeSutter teaches Introductory to Soil Science, Soil and Land Use, and Environmental Field Instrumentation and Sampling and is the current Editor of Agricultural & Environmental Letters.


Contact Us

School of Agriculture
236 Agriculture Building
66 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada