March 1

Aaron McPherson, Roland Kroebel and Sarah Pogue

Roland Kroebel, Researcher, Sarah Pogue, Physical Scientist (Model developer), and Aaron McPherson, Computer Programmer, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Holos model is AAFC's whole-farm model developed to allow farmers to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions from their farms, and to explore which management practices can be used to lower those emissions. AAFC's Holos team consists of three core members, where A. McPherson (computer science) writes the software code, S. Pogue (PhD ecosystem services) makes sure that everything in the model works as intended, while R. Kroebel (PhD agricultural science) works on tying in partners and setting the longer-term development goals. Of course, in such a small team, everyone undertakes all tasks at some point (with the exception of actual coding), and there is a tremendous amount of time spent improving the model interface to make its use easier and more straightforward. This is also where you, our potential 'fourth team member' will play a role, by testing our setup and the assumptions we built in, and by providing feedback that we can incorporate to make the model more usable. Please join us in our morning workshop to run a test version of the model, and (if you are familiar with version 3) what novel features we have included.

Yvonne Lawley

Yvonne Lawley

Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba

Yvonne Lawley's area of research is agronomy and cropping systems and involves both small plot and on-farm field scale agronomy research. The focus of her research has been on several crops including soybeans, corn, and wheat and a range of management practices from residue management, strip tillage, to cover crops. She enjoys communicating the results of her research to a wide range of audiences including farmers, agronomists, scientist in a range of disciplines, and especially in the classrooms where she teaches at the University of Manitoba.

Martin H. Entz

Martin Entz

Professor of Cropping Systems and Natural Systems Agriculture, University of Manitoba

Martin Entz received his PhD from the University of Saskatchewan in 1988 and worked as a farm manager and research agronomist before embarking on his academic career. Martin teaches three courses including “Organic production on the Prairies”. He has an active graduate student program and hosts a “Summer institute for development agronomists” at the U of M Carman campus.

“The goal of my program is to discover new ways of farming ecologically, and to empower farmers with knowledge and other tools required to design organic farming systems adapted to where they live. Farmers are active partners in many of my graduate student’s projects”. He leads the Glenlea Long-Term Rotation Study – Canada’s oldest organic vs conventional farming systems experiment, which is entering its 30th year. Since 2011, Martin has involved Canadian organic farmers directly in the development of crop varieties for organic production in partnership with USC Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He has led projects in Central America, Zimbabwe, East Africa and North Korea and is a member of the “Prairie Food Vision Network”, winners of the 2020 Rockefeller Foundation Food System Vision Prize.

Jill and Clarice Martens

Jill and Clarice Martens

Martens Charolais and Seed

Jill (left) and Clarice (Right) Martens enjoy working with their parents, Ben and Ellen on a mixed farm just north of Boissevain, MB. They are both alumni of the University of Manitoba. Clare graduated with her BSc (Agriculture) in 2018 and Jill graduated with her Ag. Dip. in 2020. Their farm, Martens Charolais and Seed includes a purebred Charolais herd and annual field crops. They also grow certified seed with a focus on black bean seed production.

Melissa Atchison

Melissa Atchison

Poplarview Stock Farm

Melissa Atchison was raised in the Interlake region of Manitoba on a purebred charolais operation. She graduated in 2007 from the University of Manitoba with a BSc Ag (Animal Science). During and after university, Melissa worked for the CFIA as a primary products inspector and soon after graduating university she began an 8 year career with Manitoba Agriculture as a livestock specialist. She is currently the VBP+ Provincial Coordinator and the District 6 director for Manitoba Beef Producers. Together with her husband and his family, they own and operate Poplarview Stock Farm consisting of a 700 head cow herd, backgrounding lot and approximately 600 acres of crop. Melissa is married to Trevor and they have 2 children: Reese and Wyatt.

March 2

Erl Svendsen

Speaker Earl Svendensen

Senior Environment Resources Specialist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Science and Technology Branch

Erl Svendsen, PAg, MSc, is a knowledge transfer specialist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In this role, he works with scientists and development specialists in many disciplines, helping them communicate their findings to non-specialists like agrologists, producers, land managers, program managers, agriculture service providers and other scientists. His background in horticulture science and plant physiology gives him a good background in agricultural sciences, while being a popular science writer has strengthened his skills to translate sometimes complex and jargon-filled scientific concepts into plain language. In communicating with varied audiences, Erl employs the most appropriate tool(s) including conventional print tools as well as new media options.

Twitter: @ErlSv

Timi Ojo

Timi Ojo

Agricultural Systems Modeler, Department of Agriculture and Resource Development, Province of Manitoba

Timi Ojo is the current Agricultural Systems Modeler with the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development, Province of Manitoba. Prior to his current position, he was the Provincial Agrometeorologist between 2015 and 2019 where he led the expansion of the Manitoba Agriculture Weather Program from a network of 46 to 108 weather stations. Timi obtained his PhD from the Department of Soil Science, University of Manitoba where he conducted research on how weather impacts agriculture. He specifically focused on in-situ, proximal and remote sensing soil moisture determination, soil moisture sensor calibration, measurement and modelling.

Marcos Cordeiro

Marcos Cordeiro

Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba

Marcos Cordeiro holds a PhD in Biosystems Engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Manitoba. He has extensive expertise in agro-environmental modeling, statistical analysis of large datasets (i.e., big data), spatial analyses using geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS), and dataset development. His multidisciplinary expertise enabled him to work on relevant research at national scale, such as the recent Water Footprint assessment of the Canadian beef industry, which empowered producers to use science-based evidence to garner public trust with regards to the environmental sustainability of the industry. Building on his previous experience with remotely sensed datasets, big data statistical analyses, and computer methods, Dr. Cordeiro envisions the use of air-born hyperspectral images to aid agricultural water and nutrient management at sub-field level.

Meghan Vankosky

Meghan Vankosky

Research Scientist, Field Crop Entomology, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research and Development Centre

Meghan Vankosky, PhD, is a field crop entomologist at the Saskatoon Research and Development Centre. Her research program focuses on studying the biology and population ecology of insect pests and their natural enemies in order to inform pest management programs. She is the Chair of the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network, a group of entomologists on the prairies that coordinates and conducts annual surveys of key insect pests of cereals, oilseeds, and pulses and provides weekly updates and annual risk and distribution maps to farmers, agronomists, researchers and other agricultural stakeholders. She is also interested in invasive species and biological control; in 2015 she worked on a postdoc project that focused on the release of a biological control agent of Asian citrus psyllid in California. Dr. Vankosky is a member of the AAFC Prairie Biovigilance Network, the AAFC Biological Control Working Group, and the Surveillance Working Group of the Canada Plant Health Council.

Twitter: @vanbugsky

David Wiens

David Wiens

Vice President, Dairy Farmers of Canada, and Chair, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba

David has been the Chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba since 2006. He was first elected to the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba board in 1995. He has also been a Director with the Dairy Farmers of Canada board since 2009 – and in 2011, he was elected to the position of Vice-President. During his time on the board, David has been the Chair of the Promotion Committee and is currently serving as the Chair of the proAction committee and of the Canadian Dairy Research Council. David also chairs the committee that is reviewing and updating the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle. David appreciates the opportunity he has been given to shape policies that make it possible for dairy farmers in Manitoba and across Canada to have viable farms.

David has a Bachelor of Theology from the Canadian Mennonite University. He is married to Denise and they have two grown children, Jasmine and son-in-law Nick, and Elizabeth. David farms with his brother Charles near Grunthal, Manitoba, where they milk 240 cows and have 1500 acres of cropland.

March 3

Karen Haugen-Kozyra

Karen Haugen-Kozyra

President, Viresco Solutions

Karen Haugen-Kozyra is President of Viresco Solutions Inc. – a network of leading advisors making sustainability real for public and private clients in the agriculture, bioenergy and sustainable food sectors across North America and globally. Our team of experts enables clients to meet their environmental, social and economic sustainability objectives by leveraging our knowledge and experience in environmental policy, markets and economics. On the Sustainability front, Karen and her firm help companies navigate the nexus between lowering their carbon footprint and developing an overall sustainability strategy. Karen has over 30 years of experience in agricultural greenhouse gas measurement and modelling and climate change/environmental policy development – spanning her tenure at the provincial Department of Agriculture, Climate Change Central and now in the private sector.

Fardausi (Shathi) Akhter

Fardausi (Shathi) Akhter

Research Scientist - Agroecosystems, Indian Head Research Farm, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Fardausi (Shathi) Akhter joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2018 and leads the agro-ecosystems health program. In the past, diversified farming systems were the norm in Canadian agriculture; however, with increased farm size, higher inputs, and an aim to maximize crop profitability, agro-ecosystems have been simplified, resulting in highly modified landscapes compared with 50 years ago. Dr. Akhter investigates the impact of modern agricultural systems and practices on biodiversity, habitat ecology, wetlands, water quality, soil quality, and soil health. She is interested in developing farm-level management practices that support crop yield & quality and biodiversity & other ecosystem services.

Dr. Akhter obtained her PhD in Biology and Environmental Sustainability from the University of Western Ontario, and holds an MSc from the University of Manitoba Department of Soil Science, and a second MSc from the National University of Singapore in Environmental Management.

Tim Faveri

Tim Faveri

VP Sustainability & Shared Value, Maple Leaf Foods

Tim Faveri is Vice President, Sustainability & Shared Value at Maple Leaf Foods. In this capacity, Tim leads the development and execution of the strategy and initiatives that deeply embed sustainability and shared value into Maple Leaf's culture and business. Sustainability and shared value provide the framework for Maple Leaf's purpose - Raise the Good in Food.

Tim is a seasoned business and sustainability professional and his specialties include sustainability strategy development and implementation; carbon management; corporate reporting / disclosure; stakeholder engagement; and supply chain and environmental risk assessment and verification. Prior to joining Maple Leaf, Tim was Director, Sustainability and Responsibility at Tim Hortons Inc., one of North America's largest publicly-traded restaurant chains and iconic Canadian companies. Tim holds a Bachelor's degree (Biology) from Queen’s University and a Master's of Health Science degree from University of Toronto.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (“Maple Leaf Foods”) employs approximately 12,000 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).

Calvin Booker

Calvin W. Booker

Managing Partner, Feedlot Health Management Services by TELUS Agriculture

Dr. Calvin W. Booker received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 and his Master of Veterinary Science in 1992 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatchewan. He became part of the Feedlot Health team in 1992 as an epidemiologist, data analyst and production consultant and is currently a Managing Partner, with responsibilities that include managing the Feedlot Health production consulting business, directing research and development activities, and building the company growth and development plan.

Dr. Booker was the recipient of the 2006 American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ Merial Preventive Medicine Award – Beef and the 2010 recipient of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants’ Consultant of the Year Award. In addition, he is an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University, and an Adjunct Professor in the Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and VERO at Texas A&M University.

Feedlot Health provides comprehensive veterinary and production consulting services to feedlot and calf grower operations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. In addition, Feedlot Health has extensive research capabilities that focus on applied technologies in commercial feedlot and calf grower production systems.