Presenters

Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell, known online as the Fresh Air Farmer, milks Holsteins and grows corn, soybeans, wheat and hay with his family outside of Strathroy, Ontario. Andrew is committed to telling the real story of Canadian agriculture and helping consumers develop a closer connection to where their food comes from. His work has been profiled on CBC, CTV and media outlets across the country. When he isn’t farming or travelling, you’ll likely find him spending time with his family, curling at the local club or just enjoying the view from his front porch.

Anne Wasko

Anne has spent over 30 years as a market analyst focusing on the Canadian cattle industry. Currently the market analyst for Gateway Livestock Exchange based in Taber, Alta., and president of Cattle Trends Inc., Anne consults for companies and individuals in the cattle business and makes numerous presentations at conferences across the country every year. Her professional expertise comes from 21 years as senior market analyst with Canfax, where she provided members with marketing information and analysis. She’s a past board member of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, sat on the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Agriculture, and volunteered with the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede for 20 years. Anne works alongside her husband at their ranch in Eastend, Sask.

Brian Voth

A grain marketing expert, Brian was a grain buyer and marketing advisor for two different firms before going independent in 2016. He has a diploma in agriculture finance and a degree in agribusiness from the University of Manitoba, and is committed to helping farmers make informed and strategic decisions to improve the bottom line of their farms.

Chris Koch
Founder, If I Can…

Chris was born without arms or legs, yet his greatest fear isn’t failure – it’s regret. Through his company, If I Can, his focus is on fundraising and motivational speaking when he’s not working on the family farm. Born and raised in Nanton, Alta., Chris grew up like any small-town kid, playing road hockey and baseball with his friends, and attended university in Calgary and Ottawa after graduating high school.

Curtis Weber

Curtis Weber comes from Battleford, Sask., where he has been inspiring and influencing change in safety behaviours across Canada and the U.S. for over 10 years. Working in safety as a trainer, consultant, officer and speaker following a near fatal workplace incident, Curtis has been able to develop a unique way of challenging audiences to change the way they perceive safety. Curtis believes that before we can develop or change a safety culture, first we must understand and influence human behaviours towards safety.

Dr. David Gray
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie

Biologist, researcher, lecturer and academic principal, David has spent years refining his leadership ideals. He leads by example, tackles all challenges head-on, and believes that experiencing engagement and interaction in the classroom is essential . David is passionate about agriculture and is an administrator who teaches and maintains a research program.

Dr. Georges Sabongui
Psychologist and Stress Expert, Inspirational Speaker and Author

Dr. Amir Georges Sabongui has worked closely with some of Canada’s largest corporations to develop and implement organizational leadership solutions, crisis response and mental health training programs. His passion is developing long-term relationships with organizational clients to improve cohesion and engagement, helping teams reach optimal performance and inspiring employees to achieve their full potential. He is a director at the Alpha Medical Clinic and SOS (Sabongui Organizational Solutions).

Georges specializes in human resilience and organizational leadership solutions. His presentations help audiences rekindle their energy and passion, take back control of life, and transform stress into a potential ally.

A retired lieutenant-commander of the Canadian Navy, Georges was recognized for outstanding leadership for close to 14 years of military service commanding operational crews, including a crisis response team during international NATO operations. His doctoral research was conducted with the Canadian Armed Forces and focused on developing high-impact teams that could perform under extreme operational conditions.

Today, Georges is a sought-after public speaker highly regarded for his dynamic style and sense of humour, and is often featured in national television and print media. Recipient of numerous professional awards and distinctions – including prestigious federal (SSHRC) and provincial (FCAR) government fellowships – he’s a past recipient of the award of excellence from the Canadian Psychological Association for his work on resilience and public awareness campaigns about mental health.

Dr. John Fast
President, Family Enterprise Solutions

John is one of Canada’s leading experts on family business, leadership development and communicating for results and a sought-after inspirational speaker. He’s founding partner and president of Family Enterprise Solutions, a management consulting and training organization. His book The Family Business Doctor: Ensuring the Long Term Health of Your Business Family has received wide acclaim for its ability to communicate the deepest issues facing business families in a hopeful and practical manner. He has also co-authored numerous books and curriculum used by professionals and family firms.

The Family Business Doctor

Dr. Tom Deans
Intergenerational wealth expert

An award-winning speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Deans inspires audiences to look to their own futures as he makes a powerful case for audiences–regardless of their wealth–to live extraordinary and purposeful lives in the service of others. He’s the author of Every Family’s Business and Willing Wisdom, has been featured in numerous magazines and is a frequent guest on CBC, MoneyLine and BNN on succession planning, intergenerational wealth transfers and philanthropic giving.

Elaine Froese

Elaine Froese (pronounced phrase) is a professional speaker, writer and coach who specializes in helping farm families work through issues surrounding succession, business or that family favourite – communication. She’s been a Grainews columnist for 20 years, a succession coach for 10 and is the award-winning author of two books. Elaine grew up on a farm and is a partner in Froese Family Farms near Boissevain, Man., so she understands agriculture from the ground up.

Graham Sherman
Co-owner, Toolshed Brewing Company

A self-professed “high level geek,” Graham has used his love of technology to help him master the craft of brewing artisan beer. Together with his partner, Graham launched the Tool Shed Brewery four years ago and has never looked back. Speaking on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, Graham’s passion comes through in every talk.

J.P. Gervais
FCC Vice-President and Chief Agricultural Economist

J.P. has over 20 years of experience analyzing domestic and international agricultural policies and markets, and his insights help guide strategy and monitor risk throughout the corporation. He’s often asked to speak on global trends and the linkages to agri-food markets, and comments on the agriculture industry through video and the FCC Ag Economics blog. J.P. has a Ph.D. in economics and is past-president of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

@jpgervais

Jeremy Plesman
Owner, Valley Nutrition

Owner of, and independent nutrition consultant for, Valley Nutrition. Has been an independent nutritionist and economic consultant for the past seven years based out of the Fraser Valley, working in British Columbia, Alberta, Montana and Washington state. He’s focused on dairy nutrition and economic consulting as his core business model, but has a growing clientele in the beef industry specializing in cow-calf mineral and nutrient nutritional balancing. Jeremy was formally trained in bovine nutrition by a progressive nutritional company in Brookville, Ohio.

Kelsey Ramsden
Entrepreneur and business powerhouse

In Kelsey’s world, imagination and play are powers greater than knowledge. Once ranked Canada’s top female entrepreneur, she founded and ran businesses as diverse as a construction company and a children’s play subscription service. Kelsey credits the grit and determination she inherited from generations before her for earning her MBA from the Ivey School of business and overcoming a devastating cancer prognosis.

Kevin Hursh
President, Hursh Consulting & Communications

Kevin is one of the country’s leading agricultural commentators. He is an agrologist, journalist and farmer. He and his wife Marlene run Hursh Consulting & Communications, based in Saskatoon, and operate a farm in southwest Saskatchewan.

In addition to being the editor for AgriSuccess magazine, Kevin writes a weekly column for The Western Producer. He also serves as executive director for the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission and the Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC).

@KevinHursh1 Hursh Consulting and Communication

Kevin Stewart
Founder, AgVision

Kevin founded AgVision in 1997 with the objective of utilizing emerging media platforms to better share information for advancing agriculture and better serving farm managers.

During AgVision’s 13 years on-air with CTV, Global and CityTV, Kevin delivered over 300 half-hour television programs and received 15 industry awards including Best of Show in Public Relations (CAMA 2008) and honorary lifetime membership with the Institute of Agrologists for contributions to education in Canadian agriculture. Kevin is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS).

Kevin now focuses his energy on delivering farm management knowledge and advice through presentations, online videos and audio podcasts – including FCC Edge.

Lance Stockbrugger

Lance is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in public practice working directly with agriculture producers. Lance uses his knowledge and experience in tax and estate planning for high-net-worth agribusiness operators to assist producers with succession planning, intergenerational transfers and tax reorganizations implementing partnerships, corporations and trusts. Along with his wife Marie and his brother Lane, Lance is living his life ambition to own and operate LD Stockbrugger Farms, a 4,000 acre cereal, oilseed and pulse farm at LeRoy, Saskatchewan.

Lance has been doing public speaking for FCC and other groups for 15 years and brings an excellent balance of professional and practical experiences to his presentations.

@lstockbr

Léona Dargis
Producer and Succession Expert

Léona and her four younger sisters took over their family farming operation in northeastern Alberta in 2007, at the sudden passing of their much-loved parents and grandmother. They were able to make a success of the operation even while each continued to pursue her education. An agribusiness graduate of Olds College, Léona has developed her leadership skills and gained knowledge, as well as connections, within the agriculture industry around the world. She leads by example, and will share experiences that exemplify how to take unimaginable change, adapt to it and succeed.

Mark Robinson
Meteorologist and storm chaser

Mark Robinson, Canadian adventurer, storm chaser and meteorologist, was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Explorers by Canadian Geographic. He’s chased countless ice storms, blizzards and snowstorms since his career began in 2005 – plus hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Sandy – co-hosts Stormhunters and hosts Unearthed for The Weather Network. Mark is a sought-after speaker, helping Canadian producers understand how weather trends and forecasts could impact their operations. He’s also active on social media and has more than 18,000 followers for his Twitter account, @StormhunterTWN.

@StormhunterTWN

Martin Latulippe
Bestselling author, Ten Needles

An acclaimed inspirational speaker, Martin was blessed to receive a second chance at life after surviving a dramatic hockey accident at the 2001 World University Games in Poland, when he was team captain and Canada won the silver medal. Since then, he has dedicated his life to helping individuals, teams and organizations create and master transformational thinking.

Martine Deschamps
Succession management consultant

Martine founded SynerAction Management in 2003, a consulting firm that helps agriculture entrepreneurs enhance their human resources management strategies and facilitates smooth farm transitions. A lecturer and author, advisor and coach, Martine builds bridges between owners and successors. She has over 20 years of experience and specializes in succession challenges, communication and human resources management – the subjects of her recent book.

Marty Seymour
Director, FCC Industry and Stakeholder Relations

Marty engages with national associations, government officials and industry influencers exploring partnerships that add real value to Canadian agriculture. Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he served as CEO of Canadian Western Agribition and was honoured as a CBC Future 40 recipient for contributions to the community. Marty also sits on the board of Four Horse Developments – a corporation working to advance economic prosperity for Sakimay First Nations.

@martyseymour1

Merle Good

Merle focuses on identifying and adapting financial management and tax-related strategies with unique business structures to help farmers meet their business and personal goals. GRS Consulting was created by Merle, his wife Peggy and their daughter Annessa. Their company motto is “Succeeding in Succession.”

Prior to GRS, Merle worked for over 30 years as Alberta’s provincial farm tax specialist after earning a degree in agriculture economics from the University of Alberta. His expertise, combined with his practical experience of owning and operating a multi-generational farm, has created a unique combination of skills and insights.

Merle works with top accountants and lawyers throughout Canada, speaks at over 20 public seminars annually and advises over two hundred farm clients per year. Merle and his family continue to reside on the family farm near Cremona, Alberta.

Michael Hoffort
FCC President and CEO

Michael’s passion, commitment and depth of knowledge in agriculture, finance and economics is evident every time he stands before an audience. His business knowledge and genuine interest in people has helped FCC become an indispensable partner to everyone involved in agriculture, agribusiness and agri-food. He’s a professional agrologist with a science degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and for the first nine years with FCC worked directly with customers as a Relationship Manager in various field offices.

Mike Bossy
President, Bossy Nagy Group

President of Bossy Nagy Group Chartered Professional Accountants, Mike has served the agriculture industry for more than 30 years. The Bossy Nagy team of 46 employees provides accounting, taxation and business advisory services to primary producers and agri-businesses. His specialty is farm and business transition planning as well as trust and estate planning.

Mike is a graduate of Western University, Ivey School of Business and a Chartered Professional Accountant. He is also a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP), Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) and Certified Agricultural Farm Advisor (CAFA). A Kolbe™ Certified Consultant as well, Mike teaches teams about conative strengths and how they fit jobs, relationships and teams. He’s a national director for the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, a speaker for the Advanced Farm Management Program, past president of the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

Rob Hannam
President, Synthesis Agri-Food Network

Rob draws upon his deep agri-food knowledge to provide farm and agri-business clients with practical solutions that work in the real world. Rob’s passion for agriculture began while growing up on a large farm operation in Ontario, and has developed into a successful consulting business with local, national and international clients.

Rob has real life, practical experience and a proven track record providing strategic business advice to his clients. Facilitating groups and strategic planning sessions are his specialties. Rob leads workshops and gives presentations on agricultural business management topics across Canada, including his Advanced Farm Management Program – a five-day educational program for Ontario farmers. He also developed the RoadMAP Management Action Plan® strategic planning process for farm businesses and food and beverage companies.

Terry Betker
President & CEO, Backswath Management Inc.

Terry Betker, President & CEO Backswath Management Inc. Backswath originated in 1992 as a company that provides business management expertise to farmers on strategic business planning, succession planning, financial analysis, benchmarking and human resource management.

A professional agrologist, certified agricultural consultant and certified management consultant, Terry teaches at the University of Manitoba and has delivered presentations on farm business management to agriculture organizations throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands. He has completed the executive program for agricultural producers at Texas A&M University and is the 2015 recipient of Farm Management Canada’s Wilson Loree award, recognizing his contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada. His credentials include certification in mediation theory and strategic planning and an agriculture degree. Terry was actively involved in the family grain farm, now entering its third generation, for nearly 20 years.