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2016 Speakers & Presentations

Sina Adl 

Professor Adl received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, as well as his PhD, from the University of British Columbia. He became an Assistant Professor in 2002, was Associate Dean, Academic and Department head, and is now a full Professor.

Professor Adl also holds a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant in rhizosphere ecology, with a focus on interactions between the soil food webs and root nutrient uptake. He is currently developing techniques for synchrotron imaging and quantitation of interactions between roots with soil organisms. He has seminal synthesis papers and book chapters in soil biodiversity that are now standard material in text books. Professor Adl has participated on grants with the United States Department of Energy, NSERC strategic grants, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, industry funded research, and international development grants. Current activity includes collaborative and interdisciplinary research in Ethiopia, Japan, China, Alberta oil sands remediation and biomonitoring, cyclotron plant-PET scanner pilot research, forest fertilization with municipal solid waste, and rhizosphere nutrient uptake.

Professor Adl has published 64 papers in international reviewed journals, including reviews and book chapters. He has presented at 23 national and international conferences over the past 5 years, and is the Editor-in-Chief of a new Elsevier journal called Rhizosphere. He is also an editor (Zootaxa), and subject editor (Soil Biology Biochemistry), and reviews for many journals.

A Balanced Diet: The Importance Of Biodiversity For Maximum Yields
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Helen Baulch

Dr Helen Baulch works on issues of water sustainability in Canada – with a focus on understanding the consequences of nutrient pollution and addressing the effectiveness of potential solutions.  Her recent work has looked at the effectiveness of landowner driven programs, such as the installation of headwater dams, to reduce nutrient transport and flood risk.  

She received her training at the University of Waterloo (BSc Biology), University of Alberta (MSc Biological Sciences) and Trent University (PhD, Environmental and Life Sciences) before pursuing postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She has received multiple awards, including a Governor General’s academic gold medal.  Her earliest training though, was growing up spending summers on the lake, catching bugs, and watching the ecosystem change. 

Helen works within the Global Institute for Water Security.  This institute, based at the University of Saskatchewan, tackles research to protect and enhance water security – safeguarding against water-related hazards, and conserving the services provided by water, upon which we all rely. 

Better Water Management For The Future of Agriculture
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Wade Barnes 

Wade Barnes’s roots began in rural Manitoba, where his passion for agriculture started at an early age. He has a strong drive to bridge the gap between technology and agronomy; the motivating force behind starting Farmers EdgeTM. Wade is a strong advocate for the industry with a desire to assist growers across the world to improve their farming practices, increase profits, and create more efficient cropping systems. He is an industry leader winning Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) of the Year and is recognized as one of the foremost agronomists in Western Canada. Wade is an inspiring speaker presenting at events across Canada and globally as an expert on the impact of technology on agribusiness and particularly the utilization of Variable Rate Technology by growers, investors, and industry players. Some of his speaking engagements include Master Seeders, Global AgInvesting Conferences, and Tedx.

Sorting the Numbers From the Noise: What To Do With Your Data
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Marlene Boersch

Since obtaining her Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1983, Marlene Boersch has been actively involved the agriculture industry. She traded and exported Canadian crops internationally for 20 years while working for Cargill Grain, XCAN Grain Ltd., and Berdex Canada Ltd. She was also the driving force behind creating Berdex Canada Ltd. and served as Executive Vice President of the company for eight years.

Currently, Marlene is the Co-owner and Managing Partner of Mercantile Consulting Venture Inc. (MCV), a professional services company specializing in private label market intelligence, risk management solutions, and project consulting. Marlene cofounded MCV in 2003, and the company has grown to be active in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Marlene speaks German, English, and French.

Cash, Stash or Dash: Market Outlook For The 2015 Crop
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Michael Brophy 

Michael Brophy’s tenure with the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI) began in August 2008. In his role as President and CEO, he is responsible for leading BMBRI’s activities that support breeding of new malting barley varieties and related evaluation and research.

Michael holds a Master’s degree in Crop Production and a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science both from the University College in Dublin, Ireland. Michael’s experience in the Canadian and international malting barley industry spans over 30 years. He managed barley and malting barley research and product department activities at the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) from 1995 to 2008. He was also the CWB’s Western Europe grain market analyst and international malting barley market analyst from 1993 to 1995. Before moving to Canada from Ireland in 1992, Michael worked in his native Ireland on research and production contract issues for malting barley and other grain growers.

Transitioning to New Malting Barley Varieties
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Faye Dokken Bouchard

Faye Dokken Bouchard is the Provincial Specialist, Plant Disease, with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. She grew up on a mixed farm near Cabri, in southwest Saskatchewan. Faye graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and worked in plant pathology research at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatoon before moving to Regina to pursue her current position with the Ministry in 2008. 






New Approaches to Disease Management 
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Richard Gray 

Dr. Richard Gray is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

After completing his Master’s degree, Richard worked for five years as a grain market analyst for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. After completing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, Richard was hired as an Assistant Professor at the U of S. His research has examined many aspects of agricultural policy including innovation and research funding, grain transportation, and agricultural marketing. From 2003 to2013 he led the Canadian Agricultural Innovation Research Network.

Richard remains actively engaged in the family farm at Indian Head. Since 2013, he has been studying the impact of limited grain handling on export basis levels.

Planning For Excess: The Future of Export Basis For Prairie Grains
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John Groenewegen

John operates JRG Consulting Group, an agri-food sector consulting firm that provides consulting services in the agriculture and food sector in a number of areas including business strategy, feasibility analysis, economic analysis, competitiveness reviews, sector profiles, regulatory analysis and policy. John has provided consulting services in most commodity sectors to a diverse range of clients and has consulted on a variety of issues in the Canadian grain and oilseed sector.

Through the Western Grains Research Foundation, JRG Consulting Group was recently commissioned to assist the Wheat and Barley Variety Working Group in exploring options for producer involvement in wheat and barley variety development.

Before consulting, John was an agricultural economist at Agricultural Canada and at the United States Department of Agriculture. John is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and received his PhD from University of Minnesota in agricultural and applied economics. His other degrees are from the University of Guelph. John lives in Guelph, Ontario, and grows corn and soybeans through a share-crop arrangement on a few farms in southwestern Ontario.


Exploring Options for Producer Involvement in Wheat and Barley Variety Development 
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Scott  Hartley 

Scott Hartley has been the Insect and Vertebrate Pest Specialist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture since 1998. Prior to this Scott was involved in insect research with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Saskatoon. Scott received his formal education from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). His specialty in insects was developed from studies at the U of S, AAFC, and private industry.



Future of Flea Beetles: Effective Control With Changing Populations
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Murray Hartman

Murray joined Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 1993 as a Regional Crop Specialist, and has been the provincial Oilseed Specialist since 2001. His previous work experience includes managing an applied research association and service with United Grain Growers. Murray has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agronomy and a Master’s of Science degree in Soil Fertility.  




Choose Your Own Adventure: Best Practices for On-Farm Research
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Kristjan Hebert 

Kristjan Hebert is the managing partner of Hebert Grain Ventures, a 12,000acre grain and oilseed operation in southeast Saskatchewan. In addition to his farming background, he is a chartered accountant and has worked for MNP. Kristjan is also Chairman of Global Ag Risk Solutions and is a graduate of the Executive Program for Agricultural Producers through Texas A&M University.



Baby Steps to Bigger Profits: The 5% Rule And The Effects of Incremental Improvements on Your Bottom Line
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Jesse  Hirsh

Jesse Hirsh is a cyber space guru with a passion for helping people adapt to change, while educating on both the benefits and perils of technology.

An internet strategist, researcher, and broadcaster, Jesse has a weekly nationally-syndicated column on CBC Radio, explaining and analyzing the latest trends and developments in technology, using language and examples that are meaningful and relevant to everyday life. As a freelance journalist, Jesse has been doing radio and television work for a decade and a half. He has worked for organizations such as CFRB, Jazz FM, TVO, Global TV, CityTV, Rogers, OMNI, and MuchMusic.

Jesse owns and operates Metaviews Media Management Ltd., which focuses on research and consulting around new media business models, big data, and the strategic use of social media. He is a co-founder of the Academy of the Impossible, a peer to peer life-long learning facility. Jesse is also actively involved with MacLaren McCann, one of North America’s most successful multi-disciplinary advertising agencies, as a member of their Idea Council, which serves as a combination advisory board and think tank for the company.

Key Innovations and Opportunities: How Technology is Changing Agriculture
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Chris Holzapfel 

Chris was raised on a small mixed farm in southeast Saskatchewan and has over 15 years of experience with field crop research, starting with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2000 and having worked as Research Manager with the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation (IHARF) since 2005.

Chris has a diploma from Olds College (2000), a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Lethbridge (2005), and a Master’s of Science degree in Soil Science from the University of Manitoba (2008). He also holds memberships with various professional organizations, has served as an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science, and was awarded the provincial Outstanding Young Agrologist Award in 2014. His activities with IHARF cover a broad spectrum of agronomic issues for most major crops, with a focus on applied research and helping growers come up with practical solutions to today’s farming challenges.

Fast Facts About Flax: Agronomy Matters
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Stan Jeeves

Stan and his wife Peggy farm south of Wolseley, Saskatchewan. They produce canola, wheat, soybeans, barley, and grazing corn and also have a beef herd. They operate with an environmental farm plan and are Verified Beef Producers.

For many years, Stan delivered marketing training throughout rural Saskatchewan as part of the extension division of Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Agriculture Institute of Management in Saskatchewan Inc. consultant workshop program.


What's In a Future's Market? Basics of Selling Your Grain
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Eric  Johnson 

Eric Johnson is a Research Assistant at the University of Saskatchewan. Eric has over 30 years of research and technology transfer experience, working as a Weed Biologist and Officer-In-Charge for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Scott, as well as an Extension/Soils and Crops Agrologist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

He has published or co-published 75 scientific manuscripts and four book chapters, contributed to 255 conference or workshop proceedings, and participated in 350 technology transfer/media events in his research career.

Eric has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan and is a Professional Agrologist.

The Other Side of Weed Management: Rotation, Integration and Predation
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Laura Johnston Monchuk

Laura Johnston Monchuk is the owner and editor of a Saskatoon-based blog called Thousands of parents consult her website and social media platforms for local family-friendly events, resources, and news.

Although she primarily writes about urban family life these days, Laura originally grew up far from the city on a 400-head registered Angus ranch in rural Oklahoma. After obtaining a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Oklahoma State University, Laura handled media relations for the Oklahoma Farmers Union. In 2001, she moved to Washington, D.C., to lead the U.S. National Farmers Union’s communications department. She also has led membership and education projects for National Farmers Union. 

While in Washington, she met a Canadian farm boy who eventually led her to the beautiful Saskatchewan prairies. While they live and work in Saskatoon, Laura and her husband Clinton are active partners in the 4,000-acre Monchuk Farms grain and cattle operation in Lanigan, Saskatchewan, which they feel allows their six-year-old and two-year-old the best of both worlds.

"Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?" Responding to This and Other Non-Science-Based
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Rex Newkirk 

Dr. Rex Newkirk is an Associate Professor and Research Chair in Feed Processing Technology in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). As research chair, he assists the feed processing industry, crop commodity groups, livestock industry, and government in developing programs to create new value-added opportunities for the agri-food sector. He is also the scientific leader of the Canadian Feed Research Centre, a new $13.3 million facility located in North Battleford. Prior to joining the U of S in November of 2015, Rex worked for 12 years at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi). He initially held the position of Director of Feed Technology but most recently was Vice President of Research and Innovation. In this role, he led a team that provides technical marketing support to buyers and processors of Canadian Field Crops around the globe. Rex received his PhD from the U of S in 2002 and has been in a leadership role within Cigi since 2003.  

Rex has provided technical support to buyers and conducted applied research around the globe, in countries such as the United States, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Brazil, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain, England, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. He has extensive experience in feed processing, animal nutrition and utilization of wheat, barley, pulses, flax, distillers’ grains, soybean, and canola.

What's Your Beef? Opportunities In Feed Grain Markets
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Chuck Penner

Chuck Penner started LeftField Commodity Research in 2010 to provide market analysis and economic research for Canadian agricultural markets, including special crops and small grains which tend to be overlooked by mainstream analysts. Chuck’s nearly 25 years in the Canadian grain business have included 15 years in various roles at United Grain Growers and Agricore United, followed by five years at Informa Economics as a Senior Consultant. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Ag Economics and an Agribusiness Diploma from the University of Manitoba. Chuck grew up in the Red River Valley of Manitoba, where the family farm continues to operate.

Thinking Outside The Farm With Market Analysis
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Sherrilyn Phelps 

Sherrilyn Phelps PAg., CCA, MSc, Agronomy and Seed Program Manager, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers

Sherrilyn manages the pulse agronomy and variety commercialization programs with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG). She has expertise in pulse production and agronomy, combined with experience in extension, and research experience from small plot to field scale projects. Previous to SPG she was a Regional Crop Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture out of North Battleford. During this role she was involved in initiating the Western Applied Research Corporation at the Scott Research Farm and managed numerous research and demonstration projects, as well as played a large role in the extension of the results. Sherrilyn’s other career experiences include financial management, program and policy development, biotechnology, and research with inoculant development.  Sherrilyn’s passion for agriculture began on the family farm and continued throughout her education and career. She obtained both her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan and currently resides south of Battleford on the farm with her husband, daughter, and son.

Faba Bean Agronomy: We Don’t Quite Have All the Answers Yet
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Nicole Philp

Nicole graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture, majoring in Plant Sciences. During high school and university, she worked for multiple wheat and canola breeding programs. After university, she spent two years in Southern Ontario doing account management for an agriculture chemical company, then moved back to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to work for Agricore United in the Corporate Communications group. Her career took her to Regina, Saskatchewan, where she worked for an agriculture retailer in the seed department in various capacities, including canola product development and support, managing on-farm trials, and coordinating other research activities.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Best Practices for On-Farm Research
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Kristen Podolsky

Kristen Podolsky has been the Production Specialist with Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (MPSG) since 2013. In this position, Kristen uses her experience from countless hours in the field, and on the research farm, to develop and deliver production knowledge to farmers and the industry. Kristen has also developed MPSG’s research strategy, which aims to ensure relevant production questions are being addressed and knowledge is being transferred to improve production and profitability for soybean farmers.

Kristen brings both technical and practical experience to the industry as she strives to bridge the gap between production and research. She is involved in grain and beef production on the family farm in eastern Manitoba, including soybeans of course. Kristen holds a Master’s of Science degree in Plant Science, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture, and a General Agriculture Diploma, all from the University of Manitoba. She is also a Professional Agrologist.

Soybeans: Production Knowledge for Western Canada
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Jeff  Rubin

When Jeff Rubin speaks, people listen.

A chief economist at CIBC World Markets for nearly 20 years, he was one of the first economists to accurately predict rising oil prices in 2000. Considered one of the world’s leading energy experts, Jeff now has a surprising, and in some ways rosier, forecast for the future. His bestselling book, The End of Growth…But is That All Bad? argues that the end of cheap oil means dwindling oil supplies for the future, but that it could lead to emergence of local economies and actually stimulate North American economy as well as helping the world’s climate-change problem. Jeff penned the best-selling 2009 book Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization, winner of the Canadian Business Book of the Year award.

Also a blogger for the Globe and Mail and Huffington Post, Jeff does not shy from controversy, offering a different opinion about the world’s economic landscape. He has correctly predicted fluctuations of interest rates and the value of the Canadian dollar.

Keynote Speaker
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Jeff Schoenau 

Dr. Jeff Schoenau is a professor of soil fertility and a professional agrologist who works in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan. He holds the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Soil Nutrient Management Chair in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

Jeff was born in Saskatchewan and completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. His research, teaching, and extension activities deal with soil fertility and fertilizer management, conservation, and nutrient dynamics. He owns and operates a grain farm with his wife Lynne near Central Butte in south-central Saskatchewan. 

Fate Of Sulphur Fertilizers In Prairie Soils
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Reg Shandro

Reg has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Alberta, is a professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, and is a Qualified Mediator and a member of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada.

In 1991 he joined a chartered bank and spent the next 12 years in numerous lending and management positions throughout Alberta. In 2002 Reg joined Meyers Norris Penny LLP and managed their Agricultural Advisory department in Red Deer, Alberta.

Reg’s passion and compassion for people motivated him to establish his own advisory practice in 2006. Reg has a keen interest in the area of inter-relatedness between business technical components and human dynamics. He uses a no non-sense approach to assist clients in a way that is multi-faceted and is effective and efficient. He has developed tools and processes that make a difference in reducing the suffering of business owners and families that are engaged in conflict or are lacking direction in managing their business.

His combination of technical and soft skills in the area of business advisory gives him the flexibility to assist his clients in a broad range of issues. Reg has dedicated his career to assisting clients on a one-on-one basis with their business needs, helping owners prosper.

Reg has conducted numerous public speaking engagements throughout Canada and he enjoys the task of taking the topics of Business Planning, Succession Planning, Financial Statement Analysis, Conflict Management, Communication, and numerous other topics and adding flavour to them so that they are more palatable for his audiences.

Reg and his wife Wanita (who is a pharmacist) have five children ages 20, 19, 14 & twin boys that are 11 years old and they live in Lacombe, Alberta.

Create a Positive Farm Culture for Your Pre-K Children: Successful Farm Transfers
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Dr. Stuart Smyth 

Dr. Stuart Smyth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), where he holds the Industry Research Chair in Agri-Food Innovation. His research focuses on sustainability, agriculture, innovation, and food. Dr. Smyth publishes a weekly blog on these topics at

In 2014 Dr. Smyth co-edited Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development with Peter Phillips (U of S) and David Castle (University of Victoria). He also co-edited Socio-Economic Considerations in Biotechnology Regulation with Jose Falck-Zepeda (International Food Policy Research Institute), and Karinne Ludlow (Monash University, Australia).

"Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?" Responding to This and Other Non-Science-Based Consumer Questions
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Sheri Strydhorst

Sheri Strydhorst is an Agronomic Research Scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF), based out of Barrhead, Alberta. Sheri joined Alberta Agriculture in January 2013 and is conducting agronomic research on cereal crops and plant growth regulators. Prior to joining AAF, she was the Executive Director of the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission. Sheri completed her PhD in 2008, with her thesis focusing on the rotational benefits of field pea, faba bean, and lupin, and her Master’s of Science degree in 2003, with her thesis focusing on tannin-free faba bean production in north central Alberta, both from the University of Alberta. Sheri and her husband and daughter have a grain farm in the Neerlandia, Alberta area.

Plant Growth Regulators: Behind The Scenes
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Peter Watts

Peter graduated from Laval University in 1996 with a Master’s degree in International Relations. After interning with the Canadian Grain Commission he worked as a Market Analyst at the Canadian Wheat Board for nine years evaluating global grain markets. In 2005 Peter moved to Pulse Canada as Director of Market Innovation helping Canada’s pulse industry develop new markets. He took over the position of Managing Director at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) in the summer of 2014. With 18 years of experience in the international agriculture sector, Peter brings skills in agribusiness, marketing, research, and strategic planning.



Transitioning to New Malting Barley Varieties
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Neil Weyland

Neil is the RBC Royal Bank Equipment Finance Specialist for northern Saskatchewan. Born and raised on a family farm just north of Bruno, Saskatchewan, Neil is currently involved in the family farm with his three brothers in a grains and oilseed operation. Having been with RBC for 14 years, Neil has maintained various commercial and agricultural portfolios in Saskatoon and Weyburn locations. Previous to RBC, Neil worked in the transport industry with CustomTruck Sales Inc. as Parts Manager, and obtained his Business Administration degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

To Lease Or Not To Lease: That Is The Question
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Tom Wolf 

Tom Wolf grew up on a grain farm in southern Manitoba and maintains strong ties to the farming community. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture in 1987 and Master’s degree in Plant Science in 1991, both from the University of Manitoba. He later obtained his PhD in Agronomy, in 1996, from Ohio State University, where he specialized in spray application technology.

Tom is a professional agrologist, a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and a member and past president of the Canadian Weed Science Society.

Tom’s expertise is spray drift, pesticide efficacy, and sprayer tank cleanout. He has published and spoken extensively on national and international stages on these topics.  

How to Choose the Right Spray for Your Needs
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