Keynote Speaker - Tim McAllister

Tim McAllister

Affiliation: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Principal Research Scientist, University of Calgary, and Chair, Livestock – Environmental Assessment Partnership, United Nations

Tim McAllister obtained his M.Sc. in Animal Biochemistry at the University of Alberta and his Ph. D. in rumen microbiology and nutrition from the University of Guelph in1991. He obtained a NSERC postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Calgary where he continued to conduct studies on the relationships between microbial biofilm development and cereal grain digestion in ruminants. After appointments in technical and biologist positions he was promoted to a Principal Research Scientist where he is presently in charge of a diverse research team studying areas of grain processing and quality, silage production, bunk management in feedlot cattle, pasture and feedlot bloat, antibiotic resistance, rumen ecology, GMO feed and strategies to reduce antibiotic resistant bacteria, E. coli O157:H7 in beef cattle as well as characterization and the development of strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants. He began working on aspects of methane emissions in ruminants in the early 1990’s using both animal and continuous fermentation systems. More recently he served as a lead author on the IPPCC 4th Assessment report of GHG emissions from Agriculture and as a Contributing author to the IPCC Mitigation Report on GHG emissions in Agriculture. He presently serves as a special advisor on aspects of GHG emissions in ruminants for New Zealand, and the European Union. His most recent area of exploration is the role that livestock production systems play in maintaining biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. He has given presentations on aspects of sustainability in ruminant production systems around the world including to the African National Congress. He is presently the chair of the Livestock – Environmental Assessment Partnership of the UN and is developing Guidelines for quantitative biodiversity assessments in the livestock sector. His participation on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was recognized by the awarding of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize shared between the IPPC and former Vice President Al Gore. Tim has authored over 750 scientific papers and is a recipient of the Pfizer Young Scientist Award, the Canadian Animal Industries Award in Extension and Public, the Elanco Award for the Production of Safe and Affordable Food and the Shurgain Award for Excellence in Meat Science and Nutrition. Tim spends his free time biking and hiking with his wife Kim and his son Zack and daughter Amy in the Rocky Mountains

Keynote Speaker - Henry Janzen

Henry Janzen

Honorary Research Associate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Alberta.

Henry Janzen is a soil biochemist who has studied the flows of carbon and nutrients through farmlands, looking for ways to sustain their manifold functions. He has written extensively about the role of soils in mitigating climate change, participating in various international forums. Other topics he has pondered include soil nitrogen dynamics, whole-farm greenhouse gas modelling, and restorative cropping systems. More recently, he has contemplated how solar energy streams through our ecosystems, impelling their many and varied functions, ever-renewing their health. In all of these inquiries, Henry has sought a long-term narrative, reaching deep into the past by probing soils' memory, and peering ahead, trying to foresee how today's choices shape the land for all its future inhabitants.

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson - SCAVC 2023 speaker

Living Labs Climate Change Lead, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Since 2021, Kevin has been the Climate Change Lead in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Living Labs Division, where he coordinates greenhouse gas measurement and modelling research from across the national network of living labs. He also leads a team that develops and manages a cloud-based data storage platform for all research streams within the living labs program.

Prior to joining AAFC, Kevin held several positions at Environment and Climate Change Canada since 2010, where he focused on various areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has spent close to two years living and working at ECCC’s Neil Trivett Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory in Alert, Nunavut.

Kevin is a graduate of the University of Victoria (Ph.D., 2011) and the University of Guelph (B.Sc., 2003) and enjoys baseball, golf, cycling, curling, skiing, and two other non-sports activities when he takes time to disengage from climate change research.

Melissa Arcand

Melissa Arcand - speaker SCAVC 2023 speaker

Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Melissa Arcand is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan. She is a soil biogeochemist with a research focus on soil health, carbon storage, and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems. Her more recent interdisciplinary research focuses on Indigenous agriculture in the Prairies and included hosting a Forum on Indigenous Agriculture in Saskatchewan that brought together First Nations, researchers, and members of the agricultural sector. She is currently collaborating with First Nations' lands departments to assess soils on agricultural lands and is developing a new outreach program of community-based workshops on soil health and regenerative agricultural practices to First Nations audiences across the Prairies. Dr. Arcand teaches and is the academic advisor for students in the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy ("Let us take care of the land" in Plains Cree) Indigenous land and resource management certificate program.

Dan Benoit

Dan Benoit - SCAVC speaker 2023

Manager, Indigenous Science Liaison Office, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and farmer, hunter, trapper and fisherman

Dan Benoit is a Manitoba Métis from the Red River area. He has spent most of his life living near his ancestor's Red River Lot in St. Norbert Parish, at the family farm near Seven Sisters Falls, MB, and most recently in the small Metis farming and fishing community of St. Laurent, MB. Like many Métis, Dan has been raised in the traditions and culture of his People including their special relationship and stewardship with the land and water. Dan is a farmer, hunter, trapper and fisherman, and continues to exercise these traditions and pass them along to others. Dan formerly operated his family's traditional, mixed Métis farm. The animals and vegetable crops found on the farm were those that were found in the early Red River Settlement circa 1820s. In addition to being a Metis Traditional Knowledge holder, Dan has more than 10 years post-secondary education and has various degrees, diplomas and certificates in Natural Resources Management, Ecology and water and wastewater management. Dan has worked for both industry and all three levels of government in the natural resources and environment field. He also has 5 years of experience as a consultant to First Nations and Northern Affairs Communities in Manitoba regarding community development, environment and hydro-electric generation issues. Dan was a manager for five years, in charge of the Agriculture, Environment, Hydro, and Natural Resources Portfolios at the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) supervising a multi-disciplinary province-wide team of fourteen staff, including helping create the MMF Metis Law of the Harvest. For the last 13 years, he has worked as an Environmental Scientist with the Government of Canada, and is now the Manager of the Indigenous Science Liaison Office at AAFC for the past year and a half.

Kyle Bobiwash

Dr. Kyle Bobiwash

Assistant Professor and Indigenous Scholar, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba

Dr. Kyle Bobiwash, of Mississauga First Nation, is an Assistant Professor and an Indigenous Scholar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba. At the University of Manitoba, his lab focuses on understanding the ecology of beneficial insects in agro-ecosystems and the greater landscape. Their goal is to better characterize the landscape and resources utilized by insects to understand how land management might affect insect community composition and ecosystem service delivery. In addition to his ecological work, Kyle is also research in residence with the Office of the Chief Science Advisory of Canada, and seconded to the Interdepartmental Indigenous STEM cluster, where he combines his academic work on building Indigenous science capacity with government-wide efforts to build a Canadian science ecosystem that is driven by Indigenous leadership and collaboration.

David Burton

David Burton

Soil Scientist; Dalhousie Distinguished Research Professor; Director, Dalhousie's Centre for Sustainable Soil Management; and Fellow, Canadian Society of Soil Science

Dr. Burton's research examines the role of the soil environment in influencing the nature and extent of microbial metabolism in soil. His focus has been on processes in the cycling of nitrogen in soils and their implications for soil fertility and environmental impact. His current research programs involve an examination of the production and consumption of greenhouse gases in natural and agricultural landscapes, the development of tools for the measurement of soil nitrogen supply to plants, the influence of climate on soil biological processes, and the assessment of the quality of the soil biological environment and its influence on soil health. It is the aim of this work to better understand the factors that control soil microbial processes and to use this information to developing sustainable land management systems in a changing climate.

Ian Cook

Ian Cook

Grassland Conservation Manager, Birds Canada

As the Grassland Conservation Manager for Birds Canada, Ian’s work largely focuses on finding pathways to encourage and incentivize biodiversity in the Canadian agricultural working landscape. Through working towards halting and reversing biodiversity loss in the agroecosystem this work contributes to the resilience Canada’s agricultural system in a changing climate. Prior to his work with Birds Canada he worked as an agronomist in Manitoba for several years helping producers make sustainable economic and environmental decisions on their operations. He received his BSc in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba in 2013, is a Professional Agrologist and Certified Crop Advisor.

Majid Iravani

Majid Iravani

Applied Research Scientist, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, University of Alberta

Majid Iravani has an MSc in Rangeland Ecology and Management (IUT, Isfahan, Iran) and a PhD in Applied Ecology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland). In Jan 2015, he joined the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) at the University of Alberta as an Applied Ecologist and recently as a Research and Development Scientist. Majid has a broad background and strong interest in land and biodiversity monitoring, conservation, and management in agricultural and livestock production landscapes. His experiences primarily focus on tracking changes in biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services in native and cultivated grasslands from different bio-climatic regions. He brings more than 15 years of experience working in a diverse range of livestock production landscapes to support sustainability and profitability of different livestock farming systems under a changing climate and land use. Specifically, he integrates data produced through geospatial analysis and process-based modeling with information obtained from agricultural and livestock producers to determine the ability of different aspects of livestock farming systems to adapt to emerging climate patterns and other anthropogenic stressors such as land conversion and habitat degradation. Currently, he provides analytical and scientific support to applied initiatives related to multi-taxa biodiversity, soil carbon storage, and water management in livestock production landscapes.

Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston

Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston - speaker SCAVC 2023

Special Advisor to Mistawasis Nêhiyawak

"I am from and work for Mistawasis. I aspire to be Nêhiyawak."

Anthony is a member of and works for his Nation, Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, a Cree community north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He returned to his community with the hope of contributing life, work and educational experiences for the benefit of community. He believes that his contribution has been developing and building on partnerships, alliances and friendships with good true people who care. Anthony has worked with federal and provincial governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He has a BA with a History major and Human Geography minor from the University of Manitoba.

Anne Mottet

Anne Mottet

Livestock Development Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations

Anne is a Livestock Development Officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She supports sustainable agricultural development with a focus on climate change and agroecology. She currently leads a program of work on technical assistance to International Funding Institutions, such as the World Bank and IFAD, to increase their investments in resilient and low carbon emissions. She also co-leads the development and use of the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE)

She has over 20 years of experience in supporting policy makers and stakeholders on topics such as agricultural economics and policies, livestock and environment, climate change mitigation and adaptation and agroecology.

Sarah Pogue

Sarah Pogue

Holos Model Developer, AAFC Lethbridge Research and Development Centre

Sarah completed a PhD at the University of Southampton (UK) in 2015, where she used various long-term records to examine multi-centennial human-environment interactions and ecosystem service delivery in a protected area social-ecological system. Prior to this, Sarah gained a degree in zoology from University College Cork, Ireland, and an MSc in ecological management and conservation biology from Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland). After completing her PhD, she moved to Canada to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lethbridge, in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), where she examined the impacts of beef production on ecosystem services in Western Canada. She has worked for AAFC at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre since 2018, initially on projects that investigated changes in land cover and soil carbon across Canada’s agricultural landscape, with a focus on spatial land cover change analysis and soil carbon modelling. In her current position as the Holos model developer, Sarah works with the other members of the Holos team to continually improve and expand the model for the examination of the impacts of agricultural practices on greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon dynamics in Canadian cropping and livestock operations.

Korb Whale

Korb Whale

7th Generation Dairy Farmer, Director of Lactanet, Dairy Farmers of Canada and Cornerstone Renewables

Korb along with his wife Kelly and Korb’s parents, Bruce and Deborah, farm in Wellington County in Ontario. Korb is the 7th generation to farm where his ancestors from England settled in 1845. They currently milk 160 cows with an external rotary parlour on 475 acres at Clovermead Farms. They produce all their own feed and cash crop any surplus. In 2014, they were the winners of the DFC Sustainability Award for their efforts over three generations to meet the three pillars of sustainability. The environment, financial and community all factor strongly in this farm's success.

Korb is currently a director with Lactanet, Dairy Farmers of Canada and Cornerstone Renewables. Korb graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Civil Engineering, and after graduation spent a year working for Environment Canada at the BAPMoN (Background Atmospheric Pollution Monitoring Network) laboratory in Alert at the Northern tip of Elsmere Island. Korb continued as an engineer for 3 more years travelling to New Zealand for a year working in the dairy industry and through Europe. He came home to farm in 2000. Korb and his wife Kelly have three children, Rya (12), Jack (11) and Reagan (8).