Andrew Campbell, known online as the Fresh Air Farmer, milks Holsteins and grows corn, soybeans, wheat and hay with his family outside Strathroy, Ont. 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 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 Perillat has been manager at Canfax since April 2010. Brian grew up on a mixed farming operation near Duck Lake, Sask., and continues to be involved with the family farm. Prior to joining Canfax, Brian worked as a livestock production economist with Alberta Agriculture and spent more than four years working with MNP as a farm management consultant. Brian worked on farms and stations in Australia and New Zealand, and has spent time on farming operations in north and west Africa.
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.
Craig joined FCC in 2009 as an Agricultural Economist, specializing in monitoring and analyzing the macroeconomic environment, modelling industry health, and providing industry risk analysis. Prior to FCC, he worked in the livestock branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Craig holds a Master of Agricultural Economics degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
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 as a trainer, consultant, safety officer and speaker following his near-fatal workplace incident, he’s developed 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 behavior.
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 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 communicating the deepest issues facing business families in a hopeful and practical manner. He has also co-authored numerous books and curriculums used by professionals and family firms.
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 (pronounced phrase) is a professional speaker, writer and coach who specializes in helping farm families work through issues surrounding farm transition, business or that family favourite – communication. She’s been a Grainews columnist for 20 years, a succession coach for 15 and is the award-winning author of four 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.
Heather Watson is the Executive Director of Farm Management Canada (FMC). Heather obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph and went on to earn her master’s from the University of Warwick in Coventry, England.
She’s passionate about education and committed to enhancing efforts to encourage better business management practices for a sustainable and truly remarkable agriculture industry in Canada. Before joining Farm Management Canada, Heather was a project co-ordinator within the Business Development Centre of the University of Guelph Kemptville Campus. Heather grew up in southwestern Ontario and now lives in Ottawa.
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.
Since his early days with Cirque du Soleil where he worked with world-class artists, Jean François Ménard has become THE authority on mental preparedness in Quebec. Renowned for his high-level expertise in mental preparedness for Olympic athletes, he has coached professional athletes, hockey players, musicians, surgeons and corporate leaders. As a prominent public speaker, Jean-François shares his expertise with internationally recognized organizations. He inspires and trains people to achieve excellence.
Jean-François focuses on the importance of attitude as the key to success. We all have our own continuous inner monologue from morning to night. It’s been estimated that the average person has 60,000 thoughts a day. While certain thoughts will have a positive, constructive impact, others will have more of a negative and destructive effect. Jean-François will demonstrate how you can develop mental resilience, respond well to failure or an unforeseen event, and unleash the power of smiles and laughter.
Jeremy 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.
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 FCC AgriSuccess, Kevin writes a weekly column for The Western Producer. He also serves as executive director for the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission and the Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC).
Kevin founded AgVision in 1997 with the objective of using emerging media platforms to better share information for advancing agriculture and better serving farm managers.
During AgVision’s 13 years on air, Kevin received 15 industry awards plus honorary lifetime membership with the Institute of Agrologists, and is 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.
Kim farms with her parents and brother in northeast Saskatchewan. Despite growing up on the farm, she wasn’t interested in farming or agriculture, and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a an honours arts degree. After her education and a career in insurance, Kim realized that farming and helping shape the industry was in her blood.
In 2012, she co-founded Saskatchewan Women in Ag an ag tech company called Farm At Hand, then launched a t-shirt campaign to raise awareness about mental health in agriculture, but returned to the farm full time to follow her passion for both farming and helping her fellow farmers. Her work in mental health awareness continues with Do More Ag, a foundation that promotes a focus on supporting resources for farmers and breaking the stigma of speaking up.
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 to assist producers with transition planning, intergenerational transfers, and tax reorganizations implementing partnerships, corporations and trusts. Along with his wife Marie, Lance is living his life ambition operating LDS Farms, a 4,000 acre cereal, oilseed and pulse farm at Englefeld, Sask.
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.
Lane is passionate about marketing, branding and image, especially as they apply to agriculture operations. He brings a unique focus on planning and brand management based on his wide-ranging work experience that includes Labatt Breweries, Brown Communications and, most recently, Farm Credit Canada. Lane has now transitioned to focus on the 4,000-acre family grain farm, LDS Farms. He’s also the Vice-Chair for Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission.
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.
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 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.
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 along with his wife and daughter.
Prior to GRS, Merle worked for over 30 years as Alberta’s provincial farm tax specialist after earning a degree in agriculture economics. 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 across 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, Alta.
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.
Monica Wagner is a corporate consultant with a passion for helping individuals and teams at all levels of management achieve their desired outcomes. She brings creative and innovative solutions to her facilitation designs from corporate to non-profit groups.
As well as being a certified professional facilitator with the International Association of Facilitators and having provided facilitation expertise for over 12 years, Monica also works to advance knowledge and connections for Farm Credit Canada’s business relationships. She has been involved in the agriculture industry for almost 30 years. In past roles, Monica led online webinars with external speakers, facilitated events, moderated and managed content and collaboration of online networks while contributing to their strategies and change management efforts.
Peter Gredig is a corn, soybean and wheat producer based near London, Ontario. As a partner in AgNition Inc., Peter is involved in developing mobile products and strategies for agribusinesses, producer organizations and farmers across North America.
A natural educator, Ramona is engaging, enthusiastic and passionate. She is a technology columnist with CBC, principal of a company specializing in multi-platform content and digital topics, a storyteller, researcher and actor. In her presentation she’ll explore our quickly changing world and examine ways Canadians can prepare for jobs and functions that don’t yet exist.
From math and science to problem-solving and creativity, Ramona describes the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow and defines strategies that will help us successfully manage the transition into the age of automation.
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.
Anyone can talk business. But when was the last time you talked life? Stuart will share the four conversations you need to have to put people first and put your company ahead of the competition.
Stuart Knight’s live presentations have been seen by over one million people and his simple lessons will leave a lasting impact.
Backswath provides business management expertise to farmers on strategic business planning, transition planning, financial analysis, benchmarking and human resource management.
A professional agrologist and certified agricultural consultant, management consultant and mediator, Terry teaches at the University of Manitoba and has delivered presentations on farm business management to agriculture organizations throughout Canada and around the world. He 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. Terry was actively involved in the family grain farm, now entering its third generation, for nearly 20 years.
Tonia’s personal journey of building a business from her basement into a multimillion-dollar, Profit 500, Fastest-Growing Company five years running has been no easy task. With humour and humility, Tonia shares how three key ingredients – passion, perseverance and purpose – can help shape personal and professional success. She believes it’s important to inspire those around you with your passion, stay focused on your goals and answer the “why” for your cause. Tonia has been first on the W100 ranking of Top Female Entrepreneurs and was featured on the cover of Canadian Business magazine. In 2014 she was named one of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women and in 2012 successfully pitched her idea to dragons David Chilton and Jim Treliving on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Vanessa earned a business admin degree (great distinction), majoring in finance. She spent a decade of her career as an investment banker at a major Canadian bank. As a Vice-President and Director, she was responsible for helping her clients make important strategic and financial decisions to add value and meet their financial goals.
Vanessa comes from a strong family rooted in Saskatchewan, where she grew up on the family farm. When she was seven, tragedy struck and forever changed how the family would move forward. Her mother’s determination and strength inspired Vanessa in her work helping others become financially engaged and confident.