Sessions Schedule Day 1

Day 1 Schedule – Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ballrooms are located on the main level. All other rooms are located on the 2nd floor. Map links are listed beside each room number below. All sessions and speakers subject to change. Some presentations may be live-streamed or pre-recorded.
Session Room Map - 2nd Level
Session Room Map - Main Level
Sessions Day 2

Download the detailed session overview for Wednesday.

Agritourism: Farm Fresh Ontario

Ballroom D, Main Level
Chair: Kevin Vallier, FFO

9:30-11:00 Your Stories Are More Powerful Than Your Data
Ron Tite, Church & State Creative Agency

11:00-12:00 pm Diversifying Your Business To Grow Your Brand
Mark Saunders, Saunders Farm; Melinda McArthur, Heatherlea Farm; Cheryl Peck, Cider Keg

2:00-3:00 Essential Research Before Launching Agritourism Activities
Claudia Schmidt, Pennsylvania State University, USA

3:00-4:00 Diversifying Enterprises
Dana Thatcher, Thatcher Farms Butcher Shop, Bakery & Farm Market


Ballroom B, Main Level
Chairs: Kristy Grigg-McGuffin and Erika DeBrouwer, OMAFRA
Sponsored by:

2:00 Thinning: Expert Panel
Dr. John Cline, University of Guelph; Dr. Todd Einhorn, Michigan State University, USA

2:45 Thinning: Grower Panel
Gerbe Botden, Botden Orchards; Ian Parker, Wilmot Orchards; Leslie Huffman, The Fruit Wagon

3:15 Thinning: Open Panel Discussion


Ballroom C, Main Level
Chair: Erica Pate, OMAFRA
Sponsored by:

9:30 Grower Profile: Stevenson Strawberry Farm
Tom Stevenson, Stevenson Strawberry Farm

10:00 Fertigation and Nutrient Management of Blueberries: Tips for Fruitful Production
Dr. David Bryla, USDA

10:30 Cornell Berry Breeding and Variety Update
Dr. Courtney Weber, Cornell University, USA

11:00 Nursery Panel
C O Keddy Nursery; Lareault Nursery; EZ Grow Farms; Read-Set-Grow

Afternoon Chair: Victoria Buma, BGO
Sponsored by:

2:00 Rebuilding Blueberry IPM Programs for SWD
Steven Van Timmeren, Michigan State University, USA

2:30 Homegrown Innovation Challenge: Future-proofing Canadian Food Production
Dr. Lukasz Aleksandrowicz, Weston Foundation

3:00 Weed Control in June-bearing Strawberries: Covering Windows of Time
Sonny Murray, Perennia

3:30 PYO Pundits Panel
Susan Judd, Heemans; Matt Stetzkorn, Andrews Farm Market & Winery; Tim Alexander, Robintide Farms


Ballroom B, Main Level
Chair: Kevin Montgomery, OMAFRA

9:30 Designing a Brand in the Alcohol Space
Amanda DeVries, Eye Candy Design

10:00 Cidermaking From a Fermentation Perspective
Allison Findlay, Niagara College Food & Beverage Innovation

10:30 What Makes a Bad Cider Apple
Elizabeth Garofalo, University of Massachusetts, USA

11:00 Cider Maker Panel: The Art and Science of Fermentation
Jay Howell, Brantview Orchards & Cider/Howell Road Cider Co.; Janelle Balsillie, Heeman’s Cider/Carolinia Cider; David Couture, West Avenue Cider

11:30 Ontario Cider Competition Award Winners
Janice Ruddock, Ontario Craft Cider Association

Farmers' Markets Ontario

Ballroom A, Main Level
Chair: Deanna Chakarova, FMO Chair

9:30 Market of the Year Award
To be announced

10:00 Enhancing Safety & Managing Risk at Market
Philip Powell, Consultant (Livestream); Paul Moran, Co-operators

11:00 Community Food Partnerships: Public Markets as Tools for Food Security
Cameron Dale, Kitchener Farmers' Market; Julie Hornick-Martyk, The Food Bank of Waterloo

2:00-3:30 – Growth Through Governance Workshop
Ellen Sinclair, Rural Institute of Ontario; Thomas Merritt, Sudbury Farmers’ Market; Jenny Groenheide, Thunder Bay Country Market

3:30 Snapshot and FMO Annual General Meeting
Lisa Cooper, Uxbridge Farmers’ Market

Farming Basics for New Growers

Room 203 Second Level
Chair: Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA
Sponsored by:

9:30 Getting Started: Introduction to Farming
Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA

9:45 Getting Started: Food Safety Basics
Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA

10:00 Financial and Business Planning Tripping Points
John Molenhuis, OMAFRA

10:30 Soil Matters
Danny Jefferies, OMAFRA

11:00 Nutrients in Horticultural Crops: The Basics
Dr. Tejendra Chapagain, OMAFRA

11:30 Pest and Weed Management 101
Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA


Room 207-208, Second Level
Chair: Ryan Brewster, Brewster Crop Services
Sponsored by:

2:00 How to Manage Resistant and Difficult to Control Weeds in Grape
Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA

2:30 Advances in Understanding Grapevine Pinot gris and Grapevine Red Blotch Viruses
Dr. Sud Poojari, Brock University

3:00 Mechanized Fruit-Zone Leaf Removal: Fundamentals and Research Trials
Dr. Michela Centinari, Pennsylvania State University, USA

3:30 Updates on CGCN-RCCV Certification Programming and Cluster Funding
Darien Temprile, Canadian Grapevine Certification Network

Managing Soil Pathogens

Room 203, Second Level
Chairs: Dr. Sean Westerveld, OMAFRA; Amy Shi, OGGA
Sponsored by:

2:00 Prevention and Proactive Management: Lessons Learned from Clubroot of Cole Crops
Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald, University of Guelph

2:30 What is Killing My Crop? Plant Disease Forensics
Amy Fang Shi, Ontario Ginseng Growers Ontario

3:00 Managing the Impacts of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Horticultural Crops
Dr. Tom Forge, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

3:30 Using Fungicides for Soilborne Disease Management
Katie Goldenhar, OMAFRA


Room 207-208, Second Level
Chairs: Erin Panek, OMAFRA; Jennifer Kelly, CCOVI
Sponsored by:

9:30 A Sustainable Winegrowers' Dilemma
Shiraz Mottiar, Malivoire Wine Company

10:00 LCBO: Ontario Wines Business Update
Aaron Pothier, Liquor Control Board of Ontario

10:30 Brettanomyces Control Strategies in the Winery
Dr. James Osborne, Oregon State University, USA (Live stream)

11:00 Reshaping the Direct-to-Consumer Experience
Pete Jones, Shopify (Live stream)

Spotted Lanternfly: What Grape Growers Need to Know

Room 205, Second Level
Chair: Denise Beaton, OMAFRA
Sponsored by:

9:30 10 Years with the Spotted Lanternfly
Richard Blair, Setter Ridge Winery, USA

10:00 Spotted Lanternflies in Vineyards: Research Findings and Management Scenarios
Dr. Michela Centinari, Pennsylvania State University, USA

10:30 SLF Update from CFIA
Carla Cassone, Jamie Maloney, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

11:00 Spotting Opportunities to Stomp Lanternfly
Josh Mosiondz, Hannah Fraser, OMAFRA

Sweet Corn & Cucurbits

Room 201-202 Second Level
Chair: Elaine Roddy, OMAFRA
Sponsored by:

9:30 Cucurbit Casualties: Soil Borne Pathogens and How to Manage Them
Dr. Brenna Aegerter, University of California, USA

10:00 The Art of Growing a High Quality Sweet Corn Crop
Mike Holzworth, Holzworth Farms

10:30 Can You Build Organic Matter on Sandy Soils?
Dr. Zachary Hayden, Michigan State University, USA

11:00 Squash Production and Soil Management
Ben Vermeulen, Vermeulen Farms

Tender Fruit

Room 206 Second Level
Chair: Sarah Marshall, OTFG
Sponsored by:

9:30 How to Manage Resistant and Difficult to Control Weeds in Tender Fruit
Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA

10:00 Quest’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Health Program
Moises Vasquez, Jesslyn Froese, Quest Community Health Centre

10:30 Irrigation and Fertilization in Peaches
Dr. Dario Chavez, University of Georgia, USA

11:00 Planting Peach Orchards for the Future: High Density Grower Panel
Jake Rasch, Rasch Family Orchards, USA; Steve Frecon, Frecon Farms, USA

Chair: Kathryn Carter, OMAFRA

2:00 Optimizing Thinning in Peaches
Dr. Dario Chavez, University of Georgia, USA

2:30 Use of 1-ACC to Thin Peaches and Plums for Improved Labour Efficiencies
Sofia Franzluebbers, University of Guelph

3:00 New Tender Fruit and Fresh Grape Variety Development
Dr. Jay Subramanian, University of Guelph; Sarah Marshall, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers

3:30 Packing Lines for Tender Fruit Round Table
Kai Wiens, Dylan Wiens, Rodney Enns, Jonas Feenstra, Jim Bartkiw Jr., Rodney Enns

Tree Nuts

Room 204, Second Level
Chairs: Sophie Krolikowski, Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA

2:00 The Chestnut Industry in Eastern US: A Generational Perspective
Amy Miller, Route 9 Cooperative, USA

2:30 Producing Walnut, Butternut and Birch Tree Syrup
Todd Leuty, (Retired) OMAFRA Specialist

3:00 The Cooperative Model for Tree Crops: Our Experience with Chestnuts
Amy Miller, Route 9 Cooperative, USA

3:30 Food Safety Considerations for Tree Nuts
Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA


Room 201-202, Second Level
Chair: Dennis Van Dyk, OMAFRA

2:00 Carrot Nitrogen Management and Remote Sensing
Dr. Zachary Hayden, Michigan State University, USA

2:30 Getting the Most Out of Your Vegetable Storage
Doug Trivers, Dayson Agricultural Ventilation

3:00 Stemphylium – The Unstoppable Force
Emily McFaul, University of Guelph

3:30 New Technologies for Crop Protection of Horticultural Crops
Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald, University of Guelph

What's The Deal With Sustainability?

Room 204, Second Level
Chairs: Dr. Alexandra Grygorczyk, VRIC; Steph Vickers, OMAFRA

9:30 What’s Really Driving the Sustainability Push?
Steph Vickers, OMAFRA

10:00 OFVGA Sustainability Survey: The Practices Gaining Popularity with Growers
Dr. Alexandra Grygorczyk, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

10:30-11:15 Grower Panel: Farming for Efficiency
Moderator: Gordon Stock, OFVGA
Dan Oliver, Nortera; Josh Aitken, Cave Spring Vineyard; Brian Rideout, Manitree Fruit Farm; Brian Collins, Collins Farm Produce

11:15 Accessing Program $$ for Hort Growers
Margaret May, Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association