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2017 Speakers & Presentations

Nancy Ames, Ph.D.

Dr. Nancy Ames is a cereal Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), located at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dr. Ames focuses her research program to integrate the needs of the various stakeholders along the agri-food value chain, providing an important link between consumer health interests, industry development of value-added agricultural products, and genetic resources for Canadian-grown grains. Her research work is primarily focused on nutrition and quality of cereals and pulses, and factors that affect overall value.

Currently, she is developing analytical and in vitro methods to predict nutritional quality characteristics of the raw and processed product. She collaborates closely with plant breeders, other AAFC and university researchers as well as a number of industry stakeholders. Dr. Ames acted as scientific lead in researching and preparing a petition for a therapeutic health claim Barley Beta-Glucan Soluble Fibre and Reduction of Blood Cholesterol, a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease, which was approved by Health Canada in 2012. She is an adjunct Professor in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences as well as the Department of Food Science at the University of Manitoba and is a scientific advisor to the Healthy Grains Institute and the Quaker Centre of Excellence.


Matthew Bernard AAg

Matthew is the Provincial Specialist, Oilseed Crops with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Matthew is a farm boy from Trossachs, Saskatchewan. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Master of Science from the University of Saskatchewan in plant biotechnology, focusing on molecular events underlying the biosynthesis of omega fatty acids (the “healthy oils”) in oat seed. His previous industry roles involved research and development in crop protection, as well as breeding. He began his career with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture in October 2016

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Jesse Bruce

Jesse Bruce was raised on a mixed farm near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Passionate about agriculture since childhood, he attended the University of Saskatchewan, achieving a Master’s degree in Plant Science and Agronomy, focusing on prairie pulse production. Jesse has had the pleasure of utilizing his education in the region where he grew up. He has had the opportunity to serve the agriculture industry of southern Saskatchewan in various capacities including ag retail, regional agronomy, and crop nutrition planning prior to his current role as an independent agronomist. Jesse currently farms and operates a seed cleaning business with his parents, wife, and four young farmers-in-training. He proudly serves the agriculture industry as owner of Advance Ag Consulting Inc., focusing on cereal and oilseed production, with a special passion for pulse agronomy.



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Dr. Syama Chatterton

Dr. Syama Chatterton is a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Lethbridge. Syama obtained a PhD in plant pathology at Simon Fraser University (2010), a Master of Science in environmental biology at the University of Guelph (2002), and her Bachelor of Science in biological sciences at Simon Fraser University (1999). Her research in special crops pathology at AAFC focuses on management of root and foliar diseases of pulse crops, and molecular diagnostics and identification of soil-borne pathogens. She currently leads research on several diseases that are impacting sustainable pulse (peas, lentils, dry beans, and faba beans) production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. She was the chair of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta in 2015, is the current chair of the Disease Evaluation Team of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Pulse and Special Crops, and the secretary for the Western Committee on Plant Diseases. She also serves as Section Editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology and is an active member of the Canadian Phytopathological Society. She has presented her research at numerous national and international scientific conferences and has published 14 peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters.  

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Glenda Clezy

Glenda Clezy is an agronomy specialist with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, bringing her experience in agronomic communications, training, technical marketing, application technology, and research project management to the role from her experience in previous roles with Dupont Pioneer, E.I. DuPont Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Glenda has a biology degree from the University of Western Ontario and a degree in agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. She is a Professional Agrologist and a Certified Crop Science Consultant.

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Rachel Evans, M.Sc., P. Ag.

Rachel has been working with the Flax Council of Canada since September 2015. As the Extension Agronomist, Rachel performs numerous extension related activities not limited to field days, conferences, print material, and social media. A significant portion of Rachel’s time is spent coordinating various Flax Council research programs. She also manages the Minor Use Pesticide Registration file for the flax industry. Rachel has a Master of Science (M. Sc.) degree in Plant Science from the University of Manitoba. Her research focused on reduced tillage management of cereal cover crops in dry bean production. Prior to pursuing her M.Sc., Rachel completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Agroecology and minor in Soil Science. Previously, Rachel worked as a project manager for Native Plant Solutions, a fee-for-service division of Ducks Unlimited Canada, which constructs and installs a variety of native tall grass prairie/wetland reclamation projects throughout Canada. Rachel is a member of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists.

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Kenric Exner

Kenric Exner is the Merchandising Manager responsible for barley, oats, rye and by-products trading for Viterra North America. Kenric has been employed by Viterra and heritage companys for more than 11 years.

Kenric is a graduate of the University of Regina, from which he received a Bachelor of Business Administration.


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Dr. Joe Feyertag

Dr. Joe Feyertag is a Senior Economist at LMC International, one of the world’s leading economic consultancies for the agricultural sector. Based in Oxford, England, Joe is a member of the oilseeds team, where he specializes in the value-added protein dimension of agricultural commodities.

Given the growing demand for plant protein around the world, Joe has managed projects covering anything from the production of soybeans in the Argentine Pampas to the cultivation of faba beans in the Canadian Prairies. He has also worked on the demand side in protein deficit areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia.

Before joining LMC, Joe completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford as well as working in public policy at the European Parliament in Brussels.

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David Frum

David Frum worked as a journalist before taking a job as a speechwriter for George W. Bush. He is currently a senior editor at The Atlantic, and the author of New York Times Bestseller The Right Man, and the novel Patriots, among numerous other titles.

Whether it is the latest foreign policy debate or the inner workings of the White House, David offers refreshing and clear insights of complicated issues of the day. The Wall Street Journal dubbed him one of the leading politician commentators of his generation for his work in The Atlantic, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and CNN. He has been called one of the top 100 public intellectuals in America.

In his quest for the truth, David has been a long-time voice for shaking up the polarized U.S. political system. He provides fascinating insight into what political outcomes mean for specific audiences around the world.

As a speaker, David has the rare ability to engage audiences at a deeper level: that of their belief systems. Audiences appreciate his thought-provoking style and ability to boil complex subjects into digestible bites. David captivates audiences as a speaker, but isn’t afraid to interject humour.

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson works as a Research Assistant for the Weed Research Program in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. He was born and raised on a grain farm northeast of Eston, SK. Eric received both his Bachelor and Masters of Science in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. He 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. Eric has led and collaborated on studies in cultural, chemical, and mechanical weed control and Pesticide Minor Use. He joined the University of Saskatchewan in 2015. 

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Mike Jubinville

Mike Jubinville is currently Lead Analyst and President of Pro Farmer Canada, a market analysis and advisory service for farm commodities based in Winnipeg. Mike was formerly employed as a cash merchant with the former United Grain Growers (UGG). Previous to that he was a senior market analyst with Growers Marketing Services of UGG. He also worked as an analyst with Manitoba Pool Elevators, and as a market reporter with Resource News International and DowJones Newswires out of Winnipeg and Chicago.

He started Pro Farmer Canada in 1997 to provide independent market analysis and commentary for Prairie farmers. He can be found on the Internet at and on DTN.


Clinton Jurke

Canola agronomist explored blackleg resistance through variety rotation and new recommendations for optimizing plant populations to improve the bottom line.

Clinton Jurke is the Agronomy Director for the Canola Council of Canada. He works in Lloydminster, where he also helps out on his family farm. Previously, Clint has worked for Advanta Seeds in Winnipeg and Monsanto in Edmonton in various roles, such as canola breeding, product development, and marketing. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Science from the University of Manitoba.

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Peter Johnson

New record wheat yields! The world record of 246 bu/ac in England, a new provincial record in Ontario, new all-time high wheat yields for some growers in Western Canada. Can Western Canadian growers apply these techniques? The strategy: set up for high yields, without betting the farm on getting that moisture, but still have the opportunity to go MAXIMUM if the rains come.

Peter is an agronomist for that loves to talk wheat!  His weekly update, “Wheat Pete’s Word”, gives timely tips and answers to questions that growers ask. He is also the lead research agronomist with Veritas, an independent crop scouting/advisory company in Ontario. Strip tillage, phosphorus management, and big data analysis are the current focus in this effort. Peter is a University of Guelph graduate where he received a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Agriculture. He and his family operate a farm near Lucan, Ontario.

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Dr. Randy Kutcher

Fusarium head blight of wheat has become a frequent disease of wheat across western Canada in recent years.  The disease is difficult to control because highly resistant wheat varieties are not available and fungicides do not provide complete FHB control.  This presentation will highlight the environmental conditions conducive to the disease, review FHB disease management strategies, and discuss current research aimed at improving varietal resistance and making the most effective use of fungicides.

Dr. Randy Kutcher is an Associate Professor of Cereal and Flax Pathology with the Crop Development Centre/Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. Randy conducts research to mitigate cereal and flax diseases using integrated pest management (IPM) solutions. His areas of focus include: stripe rust and fusarium head blight of wheat, crown rust of oat, and fusarium wilt of flax.

Randy has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from the University of Manitoba, as well as a PhD in plant pathology from the University of Saskatchewan. He has worked as a research scientist/plant pathologist, with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Melfort, studying the mitigation of plant diseases in sustainable cropping systems, with an emphasis on broadleaf crops, particularly canola.


Steve Larocque, B.Sc., CCA

Steve is an independent crop advisor based out of Three Hills, Alberta. As owner of Beyond Agronomy, he supplies crop production strategies for clients across Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Kenya. He also publishes The Spark, a weekly newsletter that focuses on innovations in arable agriculture.

Steve is a first generation grain farmer and runs a no-till, controlled traffic, and fencerow farming system. He plants canola, wheat, barley, peas, and faba beans in rotation. He is a 2007 Canadian Nuffield Scholar and international speaker.

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Jason Lenz

Jason Lenz is the region three director and vice-chair of Alberta Barley. Lenz farms 2,500 acres of canola, wheat, barley, and faba beans and operates a small cow/calf commercial herd southwest of Bentley in west-central Alberta.

Lenz first joined Alberta Barley as a delegate in the fall of 2009. Since then, he has served on Alberta Barley’s research, policy, and governance committees, the GrainsWest magazine board, and was the Alberta Barley representative for the Barley Council of Canada for two years.

Lenz is passionate about the barley industry and knows very well how the crop works from an agronomic and marketing perspective. His input and leadership around the board table has helped raise the profile of barley in Alberta. Lenz has long advocated for barley and provided renewed optimism about this grain as a valuable option in both the feed side through livestock and the malt side with macro- and micro-breweries.


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Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall has been in the grain and food industry for 15 years. He started Marshall Gluten-Free Milling in 2015 with the unique premise of creating a gluten-free organic farm supply chain with the intent of milling and marketing all crops grown in a sustainable crop rotation. Marshall Milling entered into a joint venture agreement with Avena Foods to validate Marshall’s organic gluten-free oat business model. 2016 was a year of significant growth for both Avena Foods and Marshall Gluten-Free Milling that required additional resources to meet the growing demands of the organic gluten-free oat market. Mike grew up in Tisdale, SK and resides with his wife Julianne and five children in Saskatoon.

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Sherrilyn Phelps PAg., CCA, MSc

 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.

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Dr. Grant N. Pierce

Dr. Pierce completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles before returning to Canada where he is Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital, and a Professor of Physiology and Pathophysiology at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He has published over 225 peer reviewed research manuscripts and eight textbooks on metabolism, nutrition, and cardiovascular health. He has been cited over 8,000 times with a Google Scholar H index of 53. He just completed a 13-year term as the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. He recently received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada, and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest distinction for a scientist in Canada.

Derek Tallon

Derek Tallon completed his Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from the University of Saskatchewan in 2009. Upon completion, he returned to the family farm near Lafleche in southwestern Saskatchewan. Together with his father, he grows cereals, pulses, and oilseeds.





Dr. Bunyamin Tar'an

Dr. Bunyamin Tar’an is a Chickpea Breeder and Associate Professor at the Crop Development Centre/Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan. He completed his Master’s and Doctoral degrees majoring in plant breeding and genetics at the University of Guelph. His research focuses on genetic improvement and variety development of both Kabuli and Desi chickpeas for Western Canada. Bunyamin Tar’an and his team have released several varieties of chickpeas for Canadian growers, and have published more than 80 articles in refereed journals. He is currently leading several research projects in genomics and breeding of chickpeas.

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Joey Vanneste

Joey Vanneste is an Operations Supervisor for the Canadian Grain Commission Saskatoon Service Centre. Joey has 23 years of experience in the grain industry and has held various positions of responsibility with the Canadian Grain Commission since 2001. The Canadian Grain Commission works in the interests of grain producers. Guided by the Canada Grain Act, the Canadian Grain Commission works to establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain, regulate grain handling in Canada, and ensure that grain is a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets.






Dr. Christian J. Willenborg, Ph.D.

Dr. Chris Willenborg is as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. He leads several research projects that focus on better understanding the ecology and management of weeds in the agroecosystem.

Chris publishes in the areas of weed science and agronomy, and has been author or coauthor of over 40 peer-reviewed research publications in various international journals. For his contributions to research, he was awarded the Outstanding Early Career Agronomist Award in 2013 from the Canadian Society of Agronomy. He also received the Dean’s New Researcher Award of Excellence in 2015 from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan.

Chris has served as an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science since 2011, where he is now Editor-in-Chief.


Barb Ziesman

Barb Ziesman is the Provincial Specialist, Plant Disease, with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. She grew up near Edmonton, Alberta where she attended the University of Alberta and received a PhD in Plant Pathology with a focus on sclerotinia stem rot of canola. Barb moved to Regina in 2015 to begin her career with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and has been in her current position since May 2016. 

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