February 20 & 21, 2013 | Scotiabank convention centre | niagara falls | ontario
Speakers are listed alphabetically by last name and are subject to change.
Dr. Susanna Acheampong has been working with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture as the entomologist for the BC interior since January 2008. She holds a Ph.D. in entomology from Washington State University and a Masters degree in entomology from the University of Alberta. Before joining the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on an aphid biological control project at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Research Centre in Agassiz.
Cindy provides auditing and guidance services in all areas of Human Resources including, Recruitment & Selection; Employment Standards; Human Rights; Health & Safety; Employee Training; Employee Management; Mentoring & Succession Planning; HR Policies, Procedures and Best Practices; as well as Employee Relations. Cindy is passionate about her profession and enjoys helping companies ensure their legislative compliance, assisting with current issues and becoming proactive to avoid future conflicts and concerns.
Jan Bechard, cert. PR, Market & Event Coordinator for the City of St. Catharines, is charged with building and maintaining relationships within the community and fostering awareness about the St. Catharines Farmers’ Market which is located in the downtown core. This includes working with like-minded parties to strengthen our regional food economy, organizing Market education initiatives, and planning food celebration events throughout the market season. A native of St. Catharines, Jan has accumulated a wealth of public education, sales and administrative experience over 25 years of tenure with the City and is currently enrolled in the Food Security program at Ryerson University.
Dr. Robert Blenkinsop
Dr. Robert Blenkinsop is the Horticulture Food Scientist in the Food Inspection Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Robert provides scientific and technical support to a wide range of ministry projects relating to the safety of foods of plant origin. He leads the development and implementation of scientific studies assessing food safety risks at both the farm and processor level. Prior to joining OMAFRA in 2007, Robert worked as an R&D scientist for a global food manufacturer. During that time he led a number of North American product and process development initiatives, including the successful launches of innovative retail meal solutions and an award-winning foodservice entrée. Robert holds a PhD in Food Science from the University of Guelph.
Chris Boccinfuso is a Regional Program Co-ordinator with the Ontario Ministry of Labour for the Hamilton East and Niagara offices. As RPC, Chris is responsible for providing technical expertise to both field inspectors and to clients. He undertakes Quality Assurance functions regarding inspector’s work. He joined the MoL in 2004 as a Health and Safety Inspector. Prior to working for the Ontario Public Service, Chris held positions in both industry and retail as a Human Resources Manager. He graduated from Royal Roads Military College with a degree in Military and Strategic Studies. Chris lives in Niagara Falls with his wife Jody and children, Milo and Maya.
Dr. Amy Bowen
Dr. Bowen is a Research Associate in Sensory and Consumer Science at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. She obtained her PhD from Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute through the department of Biological Sciences. Her responsibilities are to develop and manage sensory and consumer studies as part of research programs conducted within the Consumer Insights and Product Innovations team and to respond to the Canadian wine and horticultural industries’ need for sensory and consumer research. Since joining Vineland in 2009, she has studied consumer perception and the sensory attributes that drive preference on a number of different horticultural products including wine, cut flowers, mushrooms, tender fruits and vegetables.
Christine is a nutrient management lead with the field crops unit of OMAFRA out of the Woodstock Resource Centre. She has worked with manure and other organic amendments for many years, looking for opportunities to maximize nutrient and organic matter value. She lives with her family on a small cash crop farm near Belmont.
Dr. Michael Brownbridge
Dr. Brownbridge joined the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre as Research Director in Horticultural Production Systems in July 2009 after working in Israel, Kenya, the US and New Zealand. He presently manages a broad portfolio of programs and projects carried out by a team of 14 research staff. In addition to other duties in greenhouse and nursery crops, he maintains active projects in turf grass and manages Vineland’s flagship “World Crops” program which seeks to help Ontario vegetable growers diversify production to meet the demands of an evolving consumer market.
Matthew lives on a farm with his wife Siobhan (Shevon) and son Iain. Currently he is the Executive Director/Manager of The Aberfoyle Farmers' Market Association Inc.; Board Member, Legal Clinic of Guelph Wellington; Member of Municipal Committee of Adjustment; Member of Wellington County Accessibility Advisory Committee and Member and Past President Optimist Club of Puslinch. He is a Graduate of Leadership Guelph Wellington Program and was a municipal councilor for 10 years.
Kristen has a master’s degree in weed science from the University of Manitoba and an honors bachelor of science degree from the University of Guelph. As OMAFRA’s Weed Management Program Lead for Horticulture crops, she leads the development, coordination and implementation of various programs related to weed management issues in Ontario. She is a past recipient of the Deputy Minister's Award for her work as a provincial vegetable specialist. She previously spent several years with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers and in the private sector coordinating research trials in support of new product registrations.
Kathryn Carter is the Tender fruit (stone fruit) and Grape Specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and works with growers, researchers and industry to provide them with information on production issues. Previously she was the Pome fruit IPM Specialist for OMAFRA. Kathryn has a MSc. in Environmental Biology from University of Guelph, and a BSc. from Brock University.
Josh joined the food bank team in May 2011 as the coordinator of the Community Harvest program. In January 2012 he became a full time member of the staff with added responsibilities of volunteer management and food acquisition.
Catherine has been involved with Farmers’ Markets Ontario since 1992. She currently is responsible for Membership & Outreach for the organization and is Project Lead for FMO’s signature program called “MyPick® Verified Local Farmer®” with 245 members. Catherine works closely with the vendors, market managers and leaders for 166 member farmers’ markets. She owned and operated a small farm and previously was an Office Manager with OMAFRA in Sault Ste. Marie.
Katelyn Congreves is a Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, working with Dr. Laura Van Eerd. Her research is focused on soil nitrogen and carbon cycling, with an overall objective to reduce soil nitrogen losses and environmental contamination.
Dr. Jeanine Davis
Dr. Jeanine Davis is an associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Science with NC State University stationed out of a research and extension center in the western mountains of North Carolina. For over 25 years, her program has been focused on helping farmers improve the profitability of their farms by growing new crops, transitioning to organic agriculture, and adopting more sustainable practices. Medicinal herbs are a specialty of hers and she shared her knowledge on the topic in the book “Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals”. Her current efforts are focused on woodland botanicals, Chinese herbs, hops, truffles, broccoli, and organic heirloom tomatoes. Jeanine is passionate about what she does and enjoys sharing her information at numerous conferences and workshops.
Kevin R. Day
Kevin specializes in cultural practices of stone fruit, including training and pruning systems, fruit growth and development, nutrition, improving fruit quality and storage potential, and fresh market stone fruit varieties. He has been with UC since 1985 and serves growers in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. He was raised on a family farm producing peaches, nectarines, plums and grapes, and he continues to manage that farm. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar, fly fishing, and raising dachshunds.
Dr. Jennifer DeEll
Dr. Jennifer DeEll is the Fresh Market Quality Program Lead with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), located in Simcoe. She is currently studying the use of anti-ethylene technologies to retard fruit ripening and control physiological disorders during storage, investigating methods to improve handling and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables, and developing optimum postharvest practices for new apple and pear cultivars. She was one of the first to receive the Agri-Food Innovation Award from the Government of Ontario for previous work on fresh-cut apple slices. Dr. DeEll has published over 70 scientific papers, as well as review articles, book chapters, and books, on these topics and other subjects pertaining to postharvest physiology and the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. She is on the editorial board for the international scientific journal Postharvest Biology and Technology.
Matthew Deir is a software engineer with Dragonfly I.T. Inc., a software development company in Kingston, Ontario. First started in 2005 with Dragonfly, OMAFRA and industry experts, Fruit Tracker™ began as a spreadsheet for field record keeping. Over the years it has grown from the spreadsheet, to a desktop application, and finally to a web-based system.
Jason S.T. Deveau
Jason holds an MSc and PhD in plant cell electro-physiology and has published a number of journal articles. He worked for five years as a planning consultant, specializing in developing academic research facilities in North America and the Middle East. In 2008 he joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) as the Application Technology Specialist. His current focus is on developing educational materials for airblast sprayer operators, and teaching practical methods to optimize spray effectiveness and reduce spray waste and drift.
Shawn DeVree is relatively new to the Farmers’ Market scene, but not to small business and small business promotion. It was a passion for local food that pushed her into applying for the job of Market Manager for the Horton Farmers Market. The Horton Farmers’ Market is rich in local history, and under Shawn’s direction has flourished back to its original glory days. With wall-to-wall vendors and customer traffic, it’s a weekly event for local people of all ages.
Dan is currently operating DeVries Fruit Farm with his father, Leo and brother, Mark. DeVries Fruit Farms has 200+ acres of stone fruit and apples. Dan is a graduate of Ridgetown College (2003). In 2010, they installed their first wind machines and currently have 6 in their orchards. Dan is married and a busy dad of three children.
Janet Dorozynski has worked in various capacities in the Canadian and international wine industry for over fifteen years, during which time she has also written and taught about wine and the wine business. Janet is a Certified Educator and holds the Diploma in Wine and Spirits from Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is a Professional Affiliate of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). She currently works at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, to educate and assist Canadian representatives abroad to serve and promote Canadian wine and alcoholic beverages, and with the industry on international market development and trade issues. Janet is also a principal critic and writer for Wine Align and been judging at wine competitions across Canada, the US, Europe and South America since 2001.
Hollis English is co-owner of Murphy’s Farmstead, a farm market and bakery in Alliston, Ontario. She has her degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph. After graduating she decided to continue the agricultural traditions of her family, partnering with her siblings to run their family farm market. The farm market was renovated in 2010 to include a scratch bakery that has become an integral part of their business. Working with her sisters, they have continued to expand the handcrafted products they make in their bakery including bread, pies, tarts and cakes. In the last few years, she has had the opportunity to travel to New York City and California to tour several bakeries, learning a great deal from these established businesses. She has been a board member for Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association since 2011.
Braden Evans is a PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. His research efforts focus on organically acceptable management strategies for the swede midge in cole crop production systems, with emphasis on entomopathogenic nematodes as potential biological control agents. Working at the University of Guelph agricultural research station in Elora, as well as through collaborations with organic producers in southern Ontario, the current research program also evaluates physical barriers, organic insecticides and planting dates in swede midge management. Braden also holds an MBA in Finance and Economics from York University’s Schulich School of Business as well as a BSc in Biology from the University of Guelph.
Ray and Jim Ferri
Ray and Jim Ferri are the second-generation owners and operators of Al Ferri & Sons, established in 1945, a PYO orchard with an onsite farm market. Located in the GTA, they are able to sell all their production direct from the farm with Pick Your Own and The Country Apple Store being open year round. Cider making started on the farm in 1975 and has continued since with all the cider produced sold directly through The Country Apple Store.
Dr. Melanie Filotas
As the Integrated Pest Management Specialist for specialty crops with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in Simcoe, Ontario, Melanie is responsible for identifying pests and pest management solutions for specialty crops in Ontario, including sweet potatoes, lavender, herbs, tree nuts, hops and low acreage fruits and vegetables. Dr. Filotas has a BSc in environmental science from Carleton University and a PhD in entomology from Cornell University. Prior to joining OMAFRA in 2006, she worked as a researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture looking at the use of biopesticides, natural enemies and other reduced risk products to control insects in commercial greenhouses.
John has acted as a Verifier for MyPick® for the past four years. MyPick® is a verification program developed by Farmers’ Markets Ontario® to celebrate and market those vendors who sell only produce, meat, eggs, maple syrup, honey and baked goods produced on their own farms. When customers attend a farmers’ market they assume they are buying from real farmers. MyPick® provides the marketing materials to effectively communicate with consumers and the assurance of where the product originated. John enjoys the interaction with approximately 110 farmer vendors on their farms. Previously, John had a 34-year career with OMAFRA, in a variety of locations and roles. In retirement he also operates a small cash crop farm and raises Jersey heifers. He is located in East Central Ontario in the Municipality of Brighton.
Pam Fisher is the berry crop specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, based in Simcoe, Ontario. She works with growers, researchers, industry, and other OMAFRA specialists to bring new technology and information to producers. She is editor of the Ontario Berry Grower newsletter, and Ontario Fruit Production Recommendations. Pam delivers pest management training to berry crop scouts in Ontario, and is involved in field research and demonstration projects. She works closely with the Ontario Berry Growers Association, and the North American Strawberry Growers Association. She graduated from the University of Guelph, where she studied agriculture (BSc. Agr. 1981) and entomology (M.Sc. 1988).
Andrew Fleet is an avid gardener and local food enthusiast. As the founder and Executive Director of Growing Chefs! Ontario. Andrew has designed, implemented and coordinated several successful food education programs. The Classroom Gardening Project has been offered in 50 classrooms in 25 London schools to over 1,000 students since 2008. Over the past 15 years Andrew has worked as a restaurant manager, cook, server and bartender in several National award-winning restaurants in London and Vancouver B.C.
Leslie Forsythe operates Forsythe Family Farms 2009 Inc. with her husband Jim and their two sons. Located in Markham, Ontario since 1972, their business began as a roadside stand and pick-your-own but a change in location in 1986 changed their focus to agritourism. Along with a market and pick-your-own crops, they offer a variety of fun family farm activities, a bakery and school tours. Leslie is currently a board member of Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association.
Paul is a graduate of the University of London. After time spent in the apple industry in Australia and Michigan, he has managed Sugar Apple Orchards for nearly 20 years. Most of the orchard is high-density plantings of Gala, Ambrosia, Fuji and Golden Delicious using irrigation, hail netting and frost fans.
Hannah has been the provincial entomologist for horticulture with OMAFRA since 2000. She works with teams of crop specialists and researchers to optimize pest management solutions for sustainable crop production, and to transfer new information and technology to the Ontario agricultural industry. Hannah is responsible for monitoring provincial insect pest issues, including threats to production posed by invasive alien species. Recent efforts include the development of monitoring networks and outreach for the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in Ontario. Hannah is member of the National Technical Working Groups for BMSB (Chair) and SWD, both of which have been developed to address research, extension and regulatory needs for the agricultural sector. She is the co-editor for OMAFRA’s HortMatters, an electronic publication delivering timely information to agri-business and growers in Ontario since 2001.
Hugh is an Extension Agricultural Engineer with OMAFRA at Vineland. He teamed with others on a 4-year research project investigating wind machines used to protect crops against cold injury. He co-authored a factsheet on wind machines and has given field demonstrations and spoken numerous times on wind machines. Hugh grew up on a dairy farm, and has worked with horticultural growers across the province for 25 years.
Pete owns Birnam Orchards Ltd., with Bert and Rita Veens and his wife, Debbie.
He grew up on a dairy farm but started working for a local orchard at age 19 and enjoyed it. Bert and Pete bought their first farm in 1985 and started planting apple trees in 1986. Presently, Birnam Orchards Ltd., runs 92 acres of apples, 13 acres of fresh market peaches, 7 acres of sweet cherries, and 4 acres of plums. They also grow sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers that are sold at their fruit stand and some local grocery stores. Debbie and Pete have 3 children – Christopher, Mitchell, and Rachel, all currently in university.
Elnian Gilbert is a native of the Ann Arbor area and began working in the service industry while still in high school. Since 2006, Elnian has shared Zingerman’s approach to business in ZingTrain’s 2-day seminars and workshops for clients all over the country. She also teaches several internal Zingerman’s staff classes, including The Art of Giving Great Service, Train the Trainer, Finance 101, and Great Games in the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses.
Angela Grant Saunders
Angela Grant Saunders is the Director of Beauty & Flavour at Saunders Farm. Before meeting her husband Mark, Angela was a music teacher who had traveled for three years with the acclaimed international youth program “Up With People”. Angela has had a love affair with food since she can remember, nurtured by her mother's delicious home cooking. She believes passionately in growing and preparing good "food", as opposed to "edible food-like substances". Angela now oversees food services at the farm, and keeps a hand in staffing, strategic planning, live shows, gift shop, training, retreats and design. In 1995 Angela created her alter ego, the Green Queen, and has been making people laugh ever since.
Kristy Grigg-McGuffin is the Pome Fruit IPM Specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in Simcoe, ON. She works with apple growers, researchers and industry to provide them with information on managing insects and diseases in Ontario orchards, including resistance management, new or emerging pest issues, predictive models and spray timing, and development of sustainable IPM practices. Kristy received her MSc in Environmental Biology and Toxicology from University of Guelph, where she studied codling moth susceptibility in southwestern Ontario apple orchards to currently recommended insecticides. Prior to her MSc, Kristy worked with OMAFRA in Guelph as an acting vegetable crop specialist.
Dr. Beth Gugino
Beth Gugino is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at The Pennsylvania State University located at University Park, PA. Her extension and research program focuses on the identification, epidemiology and management of vegetable diseases important to the Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. She received her B.S. in Horticulture and M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from The Pennsylvania State University. She was a post-doc at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station with Cornell University working with diseases of vegetable crops and soil health for 4 years before returning to Penn State in June 2008.
Rebecca Hallett is an Associate Professor in the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Sciences, having joined the UofG faculty in 1998. Dr. Hallett’s research interests include the ecology of invasive alien insect species, the chemical ecology of insect-host plant interactions, impacts of climate change on agricultural pests, and the development of integrated pest management programs for insect pests of vegetable and field crops. A major goal of her research is the development of pest management programs that help to reduce pesticide risk. She has conducted research on the ecology and management of the swede midge for the past 12 years.
Heather Hargrave’s family runs a cow-calf purebred Angus operation near Maxwell that she has been involved with her entire life. As a young adult she travelled across Ontario and Canada exhibiting her family’s cattle as a part of the 4-H and the Canadian Junior Angus Association programs. Heather graduated in 2007 from the University of Guelph and started full time with Farm & Food Care Ontario shortly thereafter.
As a Workplace Safety and Prevention Services Consultant, Kristin assists firms with the development and maintenance of effective health and safety programs. Kristin’s years of experience includes hazard identification, assessment and control activities and dynamic training for firms. Kristin serves firms across Hamilton and Niagara Region. Kristin achieved her Bachelor of Kinesiology Degree at Brock University and Occupational Health and Safety Certificate at Ryerson University. Kristin’s family operates a horse boarding facility in St. Anns, Ontario.
Tracy Hueppelsheuser is a provincial entomologist for the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, based in Abbotsford. Her work centers on biology and pest management of established and invasive insect species that impact BC agriculture. This includes insect identification, outreach and extension activities, policy and regulation development, and some surveillance. The Ministry works closely with other organizations with similar mandates and goals, including Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, other provincial Ministries, and industry and grower organizations.
John and Laura Hughes along with their daughter, Amy and son, Tom run Springridge Farm in Milton, Ontario. The farm has been in the family for 50 plus years and has seen lots of changes. John has a degree in Hort., Science from the University of Guelph and after working with OMAFRA for 27 plus years "retired" in 1999. Now he is working on "Freedom 85" at Springridge. In 2012, John received a producer of the year award from the International Farm Show and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award.
Cate Henderson farms north of Kingston, Ontario, and is the “Gardener and Seed Saver” for the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. Cate’s motivation to save seeds has been the recognition that her ancestors saved locally adapted and heirloom seeds that provided the food they ate and so she, and her daughter in turn, should be able to do so as well. Cate was raised on a beef farm in Peterborough County. She attended university for a BAH in International Development Studies and as part of her studies, worked on a Sustainable Agriculture project in Ecuador. She returned to study Horticulture at U of Guelph. A strong spiritual quest leads her repeatedly back to the garden and seeds for answers to the bigger questions in life.
Andrew has 10 years of experience working as an agricultural engineer with OMAFRA and AAFC, developing and delivering technical information related to water management (drainage, irrigation, and water supplies). He leads a team of engineers focused on developing practical, sustainable irrigation and drainage practices that will assist farmers in managing risks associated with severe weather events.
Jim has been an Extension educator in the Integrated Pest Management Program at Ohio State University for 20 years. Trained as an entomologist, he has a B.S. in Biology from Western Michigan University and a M.S. in Entomology from Michigan State University. Jim has conducted numerous research and Extension programs on vegetable IPM, especially cucurbit IPM, for well over a decade. In 2005, he co-founded and currently leads the Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group, a group of Extension educators and research specialists dedicated to solving pest management issues.
Peter and Ellen Jennen
Peter and Ellen operate a combination of mostly grain, vegetable and berries farming over 700 acres. Staying diversified has always been their key to helping them stay competitive in agriculture. They presently have 12 acres of high tunnel structures growing mostly day neutral strawberries, which they started in 2007. Their family operates an on-farm market as well.
Chris graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1992 with a B.Sc. (Agr.) majoring in Plant Science (Horticulture). In 1994, he received his M.Sc. (Agr.) from the NSAC where he studied production management systems in wild lowbush blueberry. His employment with the PEI Department of Agriculture & Forestry began in the fall of 2000 as the Agriculture Information Officer. He then accepted the position as Berry Crop Development Officer (2001) where he is now responsible for all berry crops including blueberry, cranberry, strawberry, and raspberry. Tree fruits also fall under his portfolio. His complementary role as Provincial Apiarist fits well with the work associated with berry crops and tree fruits. Currently, Chris is the secretary/treasurer for the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA).
Connie Kehler is a master gardener and was the owner/operator of the first commercial organic greenhouse in Saskatchewan. The Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Herb and Spice Coalition and the Canadian Herb, Spice and Natural Health Products Coalition, and Program Manager for the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety program, is also an active member of numerous agriculture, health and special crops organizations and committees. Connie has written the Herb and Spice Production Manual and has been published in a scientific journal of safety and quality for herbs and spices. Connie is educated in Business Administration and Communications, and has completed training in ISO quality management systems, on-farm auditor, project management, master garden program and taxonomy. She is regularly consulted at the regional, national and international levels as an industry expert.
Dr. John Kelly
Dr. John Kelly is currently the Vice-President of the Erie Innovation and Commercialization with the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association. The mandate of this initiative is to diversify agriculture and food opportunities for the sand plains area of the South Central Ontario Region (SCOR). He has a wealth of experience in the private and public sector and has held various executive positions with start-ups and multinational companies, including KeliRo Company Inc., MaRS Landing, Land O’ Lakes, Ralston Purina, Rhone-Poulenc Canada Inc., and Aventis CropSciences Inc., as well as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Throughout his career, he has been focused on innovation development and implementation, actively advancing products and technologies in agriculture, food, biotechnology, pharma and the bioeconomy sectors. John holds a B.Sc. (Agr.) and Ph.D. from the University of Guelph and a Master of Science from the University of Alberta.
Christoph is the Nutrition (Horticulture) Program Lead with OMAFRA. He works with industry associations, researchers and ministry colleagues to improve crop fertility management in horticultural crops through research projects, demonstrations and workshops. After graduating from the University of Guelph, he worked in the nursery industry before joining OMAFRA as the Nursery Crops Specialist. He is a Certified Crop Advisor, an honourary member of the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, and a recipient of the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association Past Presidents’ Award.
Working within the law enforcement community has long been a career path that Chad wanted to travel, and is grateful to have the opportunity to do so as a Transportation Enforcement Officer (TEO). There are many rewarding aspects of his job; however the most important is knowing that he takes an active, ongoing daily role in keeping the roads safe for all travellers that live in, or visit, the great Province of Ontario! Often times, law enforcement can be a role that is reactive in nature. Within his role as a TEO, he has the privilege of being proactive each day by inspecting various types of commercial vehicles, finding defects and violations and preventing them from travelling on Ontario roads until they have been fixed.
Dr. David Liscombe
David Liscombe completed the Honours Biology and Pharmacology Co-op program at McMaster University in 2003. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biochemistry from the University of Calgary in 2008, where he used genomics approaches to understand how plants make important medicinal natural products. David continued work on medicinal plant genomics and enzymology as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2011, he began a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute studying genomics and structural biology of natural product enzymes. David joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in May 2012, specializing in trait development as a Research Associate in Applied Genomics.
Ann Lofgren hails from East Lansing, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Political Science. In 1998, Ann joined Zingerman’s as temporary holiday help and enjoyed herself so much that she couldn’t leave. Over the years, she has held various positions within Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and is presently a consultant at Zingtrain. Her particular area of interest and passion is Open Book Management – she teaches ZingTrain’s Fun, Flavorful Finance seminar and has guided entire businesses from their CEO’s to the front line staff all over the country, through the implementation of Open Book Management.
Mark Longstroth is a Small Fruit Extension Educator for Michigan State University Extension. He has 30 years of experience in both small and tree fruit production. He has served Southwest Michigan fruit growers since 1993. Mark’s focus is to maintaining a healthy Michigan fruit industry, helping growers remain profitable and adapt to changes in agriculture. Most of his work deals with horticultural and pest management. Mark has degrees in Biology and Plant Science from Boise State University and the University of Idaho. Before coming to Michigan, Mark worked for the University of Idaho from 1976 to 1988 as a Research Technician and Orchard Manager.
Sarah Marshall began her career in the tree fruit industry in 2007 as a Production Research Analyst. After being promoted to Director of Marketing for the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board in 2011, Sarah was selected to take over as manager in February 2012. Sarah thrives on the fast pace of the horticultural industry and greatly appreciates all the support she has received in her transition to manager.
Gordon McBean is a Professor with the Centre for Environment and Sustainability and Institute for Catastropic Loss Reduction at Western University, London, Ontario. He was previously a Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences at University of British Columbia and from 1994 to 2000, Assistant Deputy Minister in Environment Canada responsible for climate, weather and air quality sciences and services. He is President-elect of the International Council for Science; Chair, Ontario Regional Climate Change Consortium; and Chair, Canadian Climate Forum. He has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. As an author, he shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC. He is also a Fellow of Royal Society of Canada.
Wendy is the Tender Fruit and Grape Integrated Pest Management Specialist with OMAFRA in Vineland. She has been involved in pest management in tree fruit, grapes and small fruit for the past 22 years. She is an adjunct professor and lectures in the Department of Biological Sciences and a professional affiliate of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University. Wendy also lectures in the Oenology and Viticultural Technician program at Niagara College.
Eileen Miller is the Soil Health Specialist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in New Jersey. As a Soil Health Specialist, Eileen works with NRCS field office staff, farmers, plant material centers, soil conservation districts, cooperative extension services, universities, school teachers, students, urban and community gardeners and others to help them further their understanding of what it means for a soil to truly function. Eileen has been a presenter and organizer of many workshops, field days, and twilight meetings where she shares with others her commitment and passion for the health of our soils. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies from Stockton College of NJ and is a graduate of the NJ Agricultural Leadership Development Program.
Nate Nourse is currently the Sales Director for Nourse Farms. Nate is the Past President, North American Strawberry Growers Association, Past President, North American Raspberry Blackberry Growers Association, Production Committee Chair, National Berry Crops Initiative, Executive Board Member, New England Vegetable Growers Association and Executive Board Member, National Clean Plant Network Berries.
Dr. Ivan O’Halloran
Dr. Ivan O’Halloran obtained his B.Sc. (Chemistry) and M.Sc. (Soil-plant Relationships) degrees from the University of Guelph, and his Ph.D. (Soil Science) from the University of Saskatchewan. His research efforts have recently been primarily focused on the impact of agricultural practices on nitrogen and phosphorus in agro-ecosystems and potential losses of these nutrients to surface and ground water. He has also had considerable experience studying the spatial variability of crop yields, soil properties and fertilizer requirements in attempts to devise better methods for managing crop inputs.
Marion started with OMAFRA as a vegetable crops specialist in July 2010. In this position, Marion is involved in vegetable research projects and transferring IPM and production information to growers and delivery personnel. She worked as a summer student with OMAFRA for 2 years and was involved in scouting cole and root crops across southern Ontario and developing pest identification keys for Ontario Crop IPM. Marion received her B.Sc. (2007) and M.Sc. (2010) from the University of Guelph in integrative biology. She is currently the chair of the Vegetable Technical Working Group for Ontario and editor of Publication 838. Vegetable Crop Protection Guide.
Larry Perrine was born and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated with a BS in Soil Science from Cal Poly, did an MS program in Soil Microbiology at the University of Minnesota, and an MS program in Viticulture and Enology at Cornell University. In the mid-1980s, Perrine developed the first viticulture research program on Long Island, working out of the Long Island Horticulture Research and Extension Center in Riverhead under the auspices of the New York State Agriculture Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. His work centered on Botrytis bunch rot control and prevention of bird depredation. In the late 1980s, he helped found Gristina Vineyards as a winery on the North Fork, where he made wine for 7 years. He was a consulting viticulturist on Long Island and the Northeastern US for 15 companies until 1996 when he settled into a partnership with Walter Channing and founded Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton. Perrine and his partners have grown the winery from 1,000 cases in 1997 to 12,000 in 2012, specializing in field-blended white and red wines, skin-fermented white wines (orange wine), and varietals made from Blaufrankisch, Lagrein, Refosco, Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Wallace is a former award-winning broadcast journalist who has worked with the farm sector over the past decade. Wallace brings a unique perspective with over 20 years of experience as a broadcast journalist, producer, press secretary, media relations director and consultant.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and a Master’s degree in Science, Hubert Philion is the fifth generation to operate the family farm. In 2004, Hubert launched his first ice cider production and Friga 2005 was the first vintage. Vergers Philion owns apple and pear orchards on more than 100 hectares in Hemmingford, south of Montréal. There are more than 4,500 trees aged from 1 to 80 years, growing over 15 varieties of apples and three varieties of pears. The land is well suited for production due to its mix of soil, gravel and rocks. The Adirondacks, the Saint-Lawrence and Richelieu rivers as well as Lake Champlain, all have an influence on creating a microclimate with exceptional conditions for the growing of apples and pears.
Philip Powell was born and raised in the Ottawa Valley. He had a brief career in banking before replying to a newspaper ad offering “an unusual and stimulating opportunity for a hands-on manager” with the City of Ottawa. He landed that job and has managed Ottawa’s famous ByWard & Parkdale Markets for over 25 years. Philip was a founding member of Farmers’ Markets Ontario®, the association that represents the provinces 160 farmers’ markets, and is presently serving as its chair. Philip was also involved in getting Savour Ottawa, the Capital and areas “buy local” culinary initiative off the ground in 2006. He continues to sit on the Savour Ottawa steering committee. In 2009 he assumed responsibility for the city’s business licensing and enforcement sections in addition to the markets program. Known for his passion for markets and local food, Philip is often called upon to share his expertise and stories.
Elisha Proietti is a 27 year old from Hamilton, Ontario. She studied French at Brock University and worked and lived in Paris, France for a year. She returned home to get a diploma in the Event Management program at Mohawk College. Elisha works for the Ottawa Street Business Improvement area as the Event Coordinator, organizing the National and Provincial Award winning event, Sew Hungry. She has also been the Market Manager for the Ottawa Street Farmers' Market for the past 2 years.
Farmer Phil is the second generation to head up the family farm near Montreal, where after a few bad years in the late 80s & trouble retaining staff, they planted Christmas trees to diversify and lengthen the season. 30,000 trees, 7 different species and nearly 20 years later, customers can still choose and cut the perfect center piece for the season's celebrations.
Conrad Richter is President of Richters Herbs. He has been involved with Richters since its inception in 1967 when he was still a child, helping in the greenhouses and in the fields after school and on weekends. His interest in herbs took flight when he helped his father prepare the first Richters herb catalogue in 1970. He has a primary responsibility for research and development. Through his efforts, herbs new to gardeners in North America have been introduced for the first time. Conrad is responsible for the introduction of Richters varieties such as Orange Spice™ Thyme and Profusion® Chives. He served on the boards of the Ontario Herbalists Association, the International Herb Association, and as chair of the International Herb Association Foundation. He has a Master of Science degree in botany from the University of Toronto.
Gavin Sacks received his B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia, and his PhD in Chemistry from Cornell in 2005. He started his current position in the Department of Food Science at Cornell in 2007. His current research interests are in identifying key flavor compounds or their precursors in cool climate grapes and wines using mass spectrometry and other analytical methods; and determining how growing, production or storage conditions affect these compounds. He also teaches courses on Wine Flavor Chemistry and Wine and Grape Analysis as part of Cornell’s undergraduate enology and viticulture major.
Catarina Saude obtained her MSc (1998) and PhD (2003) in plant pathology from Oklahoma State University, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant (2003-06) under Dr. Mary Hausbeck in the Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University studying several fungal pathogens of asparagus, carrots and parsnip. She joined Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald’s team at the University of Guelph, Department of Plant Agriculture in 2007 and worked as a research associate at the Muck Crops Research Station (2007-09) and at Simcoe Research Station since 2009. Her main focus is to diagnose fungal pathogens of vegetable crops, conduct research on plant pathogens and their management on vegetable crops and herbs and to investigate the interaction between plant nutrition and disease development.
Dr. Joachim Schmid
Professor Dr. Joachim Schmid was born March 1st, 1958, in Stuttgart, Germany. After finishing his studies of Viticulture and Enology at the University of Applied Sciences, Wiesbaden (1982 Dipl. Ing.) and completing his studies in Enology at Justus Liebig University, Gießen (1988, Dipl. Oen.), he graduated as PhD at the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelm University, Bonn, 1998. His professional practical trainings include: 1982 Wiemer Winery, Dundee, NY; 1983–84 Institute for Grapevine Breeding, Geilweilerhof, Germany; 1986–87 Grapevine Nursery PLANSEL, Montemer-o-Novo, Portugal. Since 1990, he has been working as the chief researcher at the 'Grapevine Breeding and Grafting' Institute of the Geisenheim University focusing on Detection and Maintaining Genetic Diversity of wild Vitis-species for Rootstock Breeding, Breeding of Phylloxera Resistant Rootstocks for Grapevines and Adaptability Screening of Rootstocks for different soil types.
After graduating from the University of Guelph in 1987, Kevin worked at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural affairs for 13 years as a pest management and fruit and vegetable specialist. Kevin also worked at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as a commodity specialist in Ottawa for 3 years. For the past 13 years, Kevin has worked with fruit and vegetable growers in the Ottawa area as an on-farm consultant and since 2004 has acted as the Executive Director of the Ontario Berry Growers Association and since 2006, as the Executive Director of the North American Strawberry Growers Association.
Paul has been employed with Mustard Products and Technologies (MPT) for the last 4 years working on the development, research, registration and commercial-ization of the MustGrow Product line that includes Crop Bio-pesticides, Turf Bio-fumigants and Organic Fertilizers. Paul retired from Dow AgroSciences after almost 30 years of sales, sales leadership, product development and marketing experiences. Before moving to Canada, he worked in the South African Sugar Industry and graduated with an MSc from the University of Natal, SA.
Multicultural Marketing and Milind seem to be synonymous. With over 12 years in diversity marketing across the globe, the past 10 years being in Canada, Milind is well positioned to provide thought leadership on this subject. Milind is the founder of Ethos Communications, a multicultural marketing strategy, media, PR and event management company. Milind was selected to be one of the 14 recipients of the “Outstanding Asian Canadian Award” by the Canadian Multicultural Council, Asian’s in Ontario, in May 2010. In 2011, Milind was invited by the CMA to join the Brand council – for thought leadership on multicultural marketing. Since then he has co-authored a white paper on building brand equity with new Canadians for the CMA and now conducts a full day workshop for the CMA on multicultural marketing.
Rebecca Shortt is the irrigation/water management engineer with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Her role with the Ministry involves helping Ontario producers improve their production by providing irrigation and water management expertise to the province. Rebecca is the co-author of many OMAFRA irrigation publications including the Irrigation Best Management Practices book. Most recently, Rebecca has developed demonstrations and presentations on water efficiency and soil moisture monitoring. Her specialty includes water permitting and drip irrigation. In addition to irrigation, Rebecca develops solutions for other agricultural water uses such as fruit and vegetable washing. Rebecca holds a M.Sc. and B.Sc. from McGill University in Agricultural Engineering and has been active in water and irrigation associations across Canada and the U.S.
John (Jay) Scott received both his BS and MS degrees from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He is a Professor of Horticulture at the University of Florida. Awards include the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Research Award, the Gamma Sigma Delta International Faculty Award of Merit, Fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science and ASHS Vegetable Breeding Working Group Award of Excellence. He works on tomato breeding and genetics specializing in disease and insect resistance, tolerance to genetic disorders, genetic and environmental effects of fruit flavor and color. He has released 35 varieties and breeding lines, published 14 book chapters, 90 refereed publications, and 146 non-refereed publications. His recent work emphasizes discovery of molecular markers linked to traits of interest.
Michelle Seaborn and her husband are the owner/operators of Silmaril Farm where they raise chickens for meat and eggs, sheep, goats and alpacas as well as an apple orchard. Each spring they host Fleece & FibreFest, a one day free educational event that invites the public to visit an established farm and see how fibre bearing animals are raised and the process of turning raw wool and fibre into yarns and garments. Michelle is the Market Manager of the Grimsby Farmers’ Market that started in 2008 as a small market set up in a church parking lot, and moved to Main Street Grimsby in 2010. As a member of the Grimsby Town Council, Michelle sits on many committees that work toward making Grimsby a great place to live, work, play and do business. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph where she earned her Master degree in agricultural science in 1999.
Dan loves taking care of the land. His great grandfather built the original pine log cabin which is still part of the farmhouse today. Dan and wife Maureen returned to the farm in 1987, undertaking a labour of love to restore the homestead and reclaim the soil. What began as a hobby growing and selling potatoes blossomed into a thriving business the Sheedy’s grew in accordance with customer requests, making wonderful friends along the way. Dan is a MyPick® Verified Local Farmer® and a Board member of Farmers’ Markets Ontario®.
Christine Scheer is the farmers’ market manager at London’s Covent Garden Market. She is also a chef and a community food advisor, food writer, and cooking class teacher. As she is married to organic farmer John Wilson, she basically lives and breathes food. Christine has been an advocate of local sustainable food for many years. As manager of the farmers’ market, she has had many questions, challenges, successes and a few failures! Through sharing of experiences, ideas, trials and tribulations with the farmers’ market manager community by means of a round table discussion, she is hoping that all markets can become stronger through confident, positive and creative management.
Barbara Smith is the Retail Services Supervisor for the Foodland Ontario program. She works with Ontario’s retail groups, Farmers’ Markets and On-Farm market groups to increase market opportunities and prominence of Ontario grown foods. Barbara has been with OMAFRA for over 15 years in various marketing and program roles.
Steve Smith is Director of Agriculture at Red Gold, Inc., the largest privately held canned tomato processor in the world and has been active in all phases of the company. In this position he works closely with their 52 growers in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan as well as participating in Red Gold’s variety development program. Steve earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, with Distinction, from Purdue University in December 1975 and has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 1994. Born and raised on a livestock and grain farm in eastern Indiana, he is married and the father of three children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys his small farming activities, has been a pilot for 35 plus years, and is an active member in his local church.
Ted grew up helping his parents work large market gardens in Southern Ontario, and later on Manitoulin Island. After several years and a number of different careers, Ted returned to Manitoulin Island and his love of gardening. His farm, Gypsy Family Farm, is a polycultural blend of plants and animals where organic principles come first. Currently, Ted is serving on the Board of Directors for Farmers' Markets Ontario®. He also writes a weekly newspaper column where he strongly advocates for family farms and ethical farming practices. Ted is also a MyPick® Verified Local Farmer®.
Amy Strom is Director of First Impressions at Strom’s Farm in Guelph. She attended Penn State University, majoring in Health Policy and Administration, where she met her husband Channing. In 1994, she became part of the Strom Family and in 2000, joined Strom’s Sweet Corn Farm. During the past twelve years, she has learned to plow, disk, cultivate, manage crops, design corn mazes, coordinate and lead school tours, facilitate ‘From the Ground Up!’ (corporate team building events), coordinate birthday parties, partner with community businesses, market creatively, payroll and manage a bakery… just to name a few of her jobs around the farm. When people ask her what she does in the winter, she usually responds with ‘SLEEP!’
Dr. George Sundin
George W. Sundin is a Professor of Plant Pathology and runs the Tree Fruit Pathology Lab at Michigan State University. He has been at MSU since 2002 and has Extension responsibilities in tree fruit disease control. His research includes field and lab studies covering management of fire blight, fungicide resistance in apple and cherry pathogens, and the evaluation of new bactericides and fungicides for disease management in apple, cherry (sweet and tart cherry), and peach. Main diseases covered include apple scab, bacterial canker, brown rot, cherry leaf spot, and fire blight. The goals of Sundin's Extension program are to provide timely information and recommendations on management of tree fruit diseases to growers in Michigan and in other fruit-growing regions.
Joseph Taylor grew up in Preston, England. Upon finishing College he immigrated to Port Dover, Ontario with his parents and siblings. He started an apprenticeship at Norfolk Tractor Co., in Simcoe, Ontario as a farm equipment technician. After completing his training, he continued to work for the business for several years. While working at NTC, he met his wife Miriam, whose father, Werner was farming chickens and apples. Joseph showed interest in the apple growing and began to work on the farm on Saturdays and some holidays. After 2 years of part time farm involvement, he decided to join the family operation full-time. In 2011, he started a new company, TAZU TECHNOLOGY with his father-in-law, who has training in fruit and vine production. Presently, they import and distribute equipment for fruit and berry harvesting, mulching and wood shredding. Joseph continues his fruit growing apprenticeship with Werner.
Phil Tocco has served as Extension Educator in Jackson County with Michigan State University for the past 8 years. He serves as an educator in food safety for both growers and processors. He has functioned as the state coordinator in Good Agricultural Practices since 2009. He currently serves on several of the state’s working committees of the National GAPs Program’s Produce Safety Alliance. Phil has a Masters Degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management from the University of California-Davis and Bachelors Degree in Biology from Western Michigan University. He has training in field crop, vegetable and fruit production.
Cheryl Trueman joined the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in July 2009. As a College Professor of Vegetable Pathology and Entomology, her duties include teaching and research in areas of crop protection and integrated pest management (IPM). Cheryl graduated from the University of Guelph (M.Sc. Hort.) in 2006, during which time she studied integrated crop management of septoria late blight on celery, and worked as the Coordinator for U of G’s Muck Crops Research Station IPM Program. Prior to her appointment at Ridgetown Campus, Cheryl worked as the Research Coordinator for the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) for two years. She was raised in southeastern New Brunswick on a dairy and wild blueberry farm.
Dr. George van der Merwe
Dr. George van der Merwe received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Hennie van Vuuren from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His Ph.D. research on the nutrient adaptation of yeast was performed at Stellenbosch University, the University of Memphis, Brock University (CCOVI) and the Wine Research Centre at UBC. As a Research Associate in the Wine Research Centre, he developed an interest in using systems biology approaches to investigate the response of wine yeast to fermentation stresses. In 2002, he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph where he is currently an Associate Professor. His research focuses on understanding the molecular responses of yeast to its environment using wine fermentations as a model system.
Laura (Kowalik) Wegrzyn is the Operations and Marketing Manager at Peach Country Farm Market, the retail division of the family farm owned by her parents Chester and Phyllis Kowalik. She is a graduate of Brock University where she developed her passion for marketing and consumer behaviour. Laura and her husband have 2 children with whom she and her parents proudly work with in the operation of the family business.
Tim Welsh is a Horticulturist and Variety specialist for Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc., of Wenatchee Washington. He was raised on a farm, educated at Washington State University and has been working at Columbia Fruit Packers for 25 years. He is currently developing orchards with new varieties and training systems that are management friendly to new technologies. The goal is to provide a worker friendly environment and use biologically friendly inputs to create the highest quality fruit and production levels possible in Washington State. Tim has been married for 32 years is the father of 4 and grandfather to 6.
Ildi Wiley is President of Results Continuum Incorporated, a consulting and training firm specializing in business development, leadership and team development. The three areas of consulting in which Ildi and her team specialize are human resources solutions, managing and enhancing the customer experience, and marketing your business for growth. Ildi combines her BA in Sociology with 20 years of practical experience in the training and educational development field to bring her clients the best content and most advanced practices. Ildi was awarded the Top 40 Under 40 for her entrepreneurial and community accomplishments recognized as a runner-up in the 2008 Niagara Women in Business Award and nominated for the RBC/Women of Influence’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.
Dr. Tony Wolf
Tony Wolf is professor of viticulture with Virginia Tech, where he has been employed since 1986. His graduate education included a MS at the Pennsylvania State University and a PhD at Cornell University. Research interests include aspects of cold stress physiology, adjusting vineyard management to optimize grape and wine quality, cultivar and clone evaluations, and various aspects of grape pathology. He has authored over 50 scientific papers and was senior author of the Mid-Atlantic Winegrape Growers Guide (1995) and principal author and editor of the Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America (2008).
Denise Zaborowski is the Manager of OMAFRA’s Domestic Marketing’s Foodland Ontario program. She is a local food advocate who encourages the public to ask for, purchase and care about all of the “good things that grow in Ontario”. She is also the 2011 recipient of the Visionary Award from the American Agri-Women Association for leadership. The Foodland Ontario program has also been a recent recipient of an Innovation Award for Social Media and a North American Agricultural Marketing Excellence Award. Denise has been in the Ontario public service for over 12 years and has held a number of roles including Client Services Officer, Executive Assistant to the ADM, Food Services Supervisor and Healthy Eating Team Lead. Denise also has experience in leading marketing communications in the food industry with M&M Meat Shops, Canada’s largest specialty frozen food retailer and Weston Bakeries, a large commercial bakery operation. Denise holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree from Guelph in Consumer Studies.
Werner Zurbuchen grew up in Switzerland and after finishing secondary school completed apprenticeships in fruit and vine production. As a part of that training, he went to the fruit and vine technology school in Waedenswil, Switzerland. After some years of experience on the fruit farm operation with his dad, he left farming for a time and took courses in the field of insurance. For 2 and a half years he worked successfully for an insurance company in sales. After that, he decided to go back to fruit and wine grape production. In the spring of 1993, he immigrated to Canada with his wife and 5 children and settled in Waterford, Ontario. He established his own apple farm including budding and grafting for the first plantings. In 2011, he started a new company called TAZU TECHNOLOGY with his son-in-law Joseph Taylor, who is a trained Agricultural Equipment Technician. Presently they import and distribute equipment for fruit and berry harvesting, mulching and wood shredding.
Kate and her husband Mark own Great Country Farms located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in scenic Bluemont, VA. Great Country Farms is a 200-acre working farm that offers produce through its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and pick-your-own fields, as well as a “fun on the farm experience” for the whole family with its fourteen annual festivals, educational and special events. The CSA turns 30 this year and Kate has a lot of information to share about gaining longevity in this industry and understanding what customers are looking for from a CSA. Under Kate’s guidance, Great Country Farms has been awarded Loudoun’s Agribusiness of the Year award in 1994 and 2006 and the Forum for Rural Innovation’s Award in 2008. The Stable at Bluemont Vineyard has been awarded The Knot’s and Wedding Wire’s Award for Excellence in both 2011 and 2012.