Economic Development Officer, County of Simcoe
Economic Development Officer, County of Simcoe
Farmer, Green Being Farm
Tarrah Young runs Green Being Farm in Neustadt ON. Green Being Farm produces and direct markets pastured pork, as well as poultry, grassfed lamb and beef, with a mandate of raising animals in a way that does not compromise their diginity, nor that of the environment. Tarrah was one of the first breeders of the rare Kune Kune pig in the country. She holds a degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph and has taught Sustainable Livestock Husbandry at both Georgian and Fleming College.
Livestock Sustainability Specialist, OMAFRA
Christoph received his Bachelor of Science (Nutritional Sciences) and Master of Science (Animal Science – Ruminant Nutrition) from the University of Guelph. Christoph joined OMAFRA in 1998 as the Beef Cattle and Sheep Nutritionist.
He began his most recent work assignment as Livestock Sustainability Specialist in August of 2014, and is based out of the Elora OMAFRA office. His previous technical work in nutrition was focused on economic sustainability including labour reduction, feed and nutrient use efficiency, alternative forages, GHG mitigation and most recently value chains.
Christoph has been on several national and industry-led committees and in 2014 he was appointed an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science recognizing his involvement at the Ontario Agriculture College.
Murray Hunt was born and raised in Wentworth County where he had an outstanding 4H career. Following graduation from University of Guelph (BSc – Ag & MSc – Animal Breeding) he has worked for OMAF (DHI Administrator), Holstein Canadian (Genetic Programs & National Coordination), Canadian Association of Animal Breeders (Market Development & Executive Director), Wellspring Enterprises (project work in livestock improvement in over 20 countries) and The Bullvine (an on-line dairy industry magazine).
Murray is passionate about dairy cattle breeding and a Holstein Master Breeder. As well he has lead in both the phenotypic and genetic aspects of type classification in Canada, the establishment of Holstein Canada’s first Breed Improvement Strategy, national standards for milk recording, privatization of milking recording in Canada, genetic and reproductive research and development for breeds and A.I. and the establishment of CDN. Throughout his career Murray has led in creating the future in livestock improvement.
Murray and Karen (a writer) live in Troy, Ontario and are actively involved in their community. Their children are trained professionals in agriculture (A.I., nutrition, marketing and strategic direction) working in the USA/Canada, as well as globally. They are proud of their nine grandchildren who are students and who excel in both their studies and in various sports.
Filmmaker, Journalist, Urban Orchardist
Creator of OrchardPeople.com’s Online Training in Fruit Tree Care
Susan Poizner is a passionate filmmaker, journalist, urban orchardist and fruit tree care educator. She is creator of the fruit tree care certificate training program at www.orchardpeople.com/workshops, author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards and host of the monthly fruit tree care podcast The Urban Forestry Radio Show on RealityRadio101.com. Susan is also an ISA Certified Arborist.
Perennial Gardener, Fiddlehead Nursery
Fiddlehead Nursery – Edible Landscapes for All!
Ben Caesar was born and raised in Elmira, Ontario. He learned of permaculture and forest gardening through a friend, and got hooked immediately. He has been experimenting with perennial edibles for many years, and opened Fiddlehead Nursery in 2012. He manages (and eats from) an ever-expanding demonstration garden to showcase some of the best plants for edible landscapes. He’s always trying out new edible plants, and is passionate about the idea of gardens that mimic the diversity and structure of natural ecosystems as they build soil and produce food.
In the winter, Ben makes his living as a carpenter. When he’s not building things or growing plants, he can be found walking in the woods or paddling local rivers. He lives near Kimberley with his partner and daughter.
On Farm Programs Lead, Ontario Sheep Farmers
Past Sheep & Goat Specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Anita has since focused primarily on raising meat lambs. Anita farms just outside the small village of Lansdowne in the Thousand Islands area of eastern Ontario.
During her years with OMAFRA, Anita served on several working groups developing national programs, including the Sheep On-Farm Food Safety WG, the Sheep Code of Practice WG and most recently the Canadian Verified Sheep Program WG.
Several years ago, Anita accepted a part-time role with Ontario Sheep Farmers as the On-Farm Program Lead. She is also now coordinating the delivery of the third version of the Master Shepherd’s course.
Farmer, Riverdale Farm and Forest
Owen working career spans over 35 years in arboriculture industry as arborist, mentor, innovator, teacher and consultant. In 2009 Owen left his private practise to pursue a childhood dream of become a farmer and currently lives and farms with nature on 80 acres in the Village of Inglewood, developing an internal nutritional system for his farming needs.
Woodley Dairy Direction
Bill Woodley retired after working for 37 years for a major North American Feed and Nutrition Company. Bill has formed a dairy consulting company, Woodley Dairy Direction, focusing on dairy management and nutrition strategies to improve productivity.
Bill had a variety of roles over the last thirty-seven years but always with a major emphasis on Dairy Nutrition and Management. Bill’s role as Ruminant Technical Manager provided a critical liaison between research and the practicalities of the dairy farm. Bill has written several articles for magazines such as the Ontario Dairy Farmer and Progressive Dairyman.
Bill’s main emphasis through Woodley Dairy Direction is working with dairy operations and dairy specialists to “unlock the potential” on dairy herds. The key strategy is uncovering bottle-necks that are holding back production and developing time-lines for expected production responses.
Bill focuses on what he calls “The Legacy Effect” – understanding management and nutrition decisions made on dairy farms today that will affect future production.
Soil Microbiologist, KRIS Systems Education & Consultation
Dr. Kris Nichols is a leader in the movement to regenerate soils for healthy crops, food, people and a planet. She is the founder and principal scientist of KRIS (Knowledge for Regeneration and Innovation in Soils) Systems Education & Consultation and a sub-contractor with Soil Health Consulting, Inc. Her current focus is to address current and future agricultural needs by building upon a soil health foundation to identify biological methods for agricultural production and tools and practices to reduce pest issues, soil erosion, fossil fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions. These systems are resilient and adapt to climatic uncertainty by increasing nutrient and water use efficiencies; improving pollinator activity and food security; and providing long-term solutions to agricultural economic viability, food insecurity, and the loss of ecosystem services. Kris continues to develop and evolve methodology and tools farmers, home-owners, and students may use to examine and appreciate their soil. Her work on carbon movement from plant to microbes and nutrient and water cycling have led her to also expand her research into exploring the similarities between the soil and gut micro-biomes to improve soil and animal including human health. Throughout her career, Kris has given over 250 invited presentations to a wide variety of audiences, authored or co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications, been cited or interviewed for more than 50 magazine or newspaper articles, highlighted in five books, and has numerous videos on-line.
Dr. Nichols was the Chief Scientist at Rodale Institute for over three years where she oversaw approximately fifteen projects on organic agriculture, including the Farming Systems Trial®, a side-by-side comparison of conventional chemical grain production to organic, biologically based production, and the initiation of the Vegetable Systems Trial. She was also instrumental in obtaining funding for these projects including recently being primarily responsible for the receipt of a ~$6 million, six-year project to explore the impacts of agricultural management practices on water quality in the Delaware River Watershed. Prior to joining Rodale Institute, Nichols was a Research (Soil) Microbiologist with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in North Dakota for 11 years and a Biological Laboratory Technician with ARS in Beltsville, MD for 3 years. During her time with USDA, she focused on mycorrhizal fungi and the investigation of glomalin – a substance produced by AM (arbuscular mycorrhizal) fungi. Glomalin contributes to nutrient cycling by protecting AM hyphae transporting nutrients from the soil to the plant and to soil structure and plant health by helping to form and stabilize soil aggregates. Kris received Bachelor of Science degrees in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota in 1995, a Master’s degree in Environmental Microbiology from West Virginia University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Maryland in 2003. In recognition of her work, Dr. Nichols has received several awards including the 2012 Conservation Research Award from the International Soil and Water Conservation Society.