Keynote Speaker Lesley Kelly

A marketer by trade and entrepreneur, Lesley farms with her family on their grain farm at Watrous, Saskatchewan and is the head and heart behind the alias High Heels & Canola Fields where she dispels myths about agriculture and brings consumers and farmers together. She learned of the disconnect while building a snack food company using the grain grown on her farm. Lesley’s goal in being
involved in agriculture beyond the farm is to build community and connection that help both the industry, farmers and consumers.

Lesley has been a leader in advocating for mental health in agriculture. She has been part of Bell Let's Talk that has raised over $149 million dollars for mental health community initiatives across Canada and co-founded the Do More Agriulture Foundation, a Canadian registered charity solely focused on mental health in agriculture, whose mission is to break barriers, support all Canadian
farmers in taking care of their mental health and bring much needed resources to the industry. Since its inception in 2018, the foundation has trained thousands of farmers across Canada in mental health.  She was recognized by the Regina YWCA with the Women of Distinction award for this work.

Plenary Speakers

Graeme Crosbie, FCC

2024 global farming outlook

Graeme Crosbie is a Senior Economist at FCC.
His focus areas include macroeconomic analysis
and insights and monitoring and analyzing Canada’s
food and beverage industries. Having grown up
on a dairy farm in southern Saskatchewan, he
occasionally comments on the health of the dairy
industry in Canada.

Markus Weber

Smart Farming: The Future of Agriculture

Markus has a passion for applying technology and data to improving farm management, both for profitability and sustainability.  Markus grew up on a large mixed grain and cattle farm near Camrose, Alberta, where he implemented electronic tagging of the cow-calf herd and early adoption of variable rate fertilizer.  He earned agriculture, law and MBA degrees from the University of Alberta.  He is an agricultural consultant at Serecon, a mid-size independent agricultural consulting firm in Edmonton. As a Professional Agrologist, he has completed projects for a large variety of clients, often with emphasis on sustainability and modelling/quantification.  For the past two years, he has leveraged his networks in agribusiness and passion for precision farming to establish LandView Drones.  LandView, originally farm management software, now combines sensor technologies for crop health imaging with unmanned robotic aircraft and necessary software. While actively bundling today’s technology for immediate use on farms, Markus is a realist and sees some of the current limitations of the technology, in addition to its huge opportunities.

Roxanne Doerksen, T.R.A.D. Worm Industries

Panel Speaker

Being raised in Southern Alberta ag, I saw my parents find solutions in the most improbable places. Did it drive me nuts to straighten nails, you bet it did, but did I try and circumvent just doing the work by hiding them? Sure did! Now looking back I can see that those were the times I looked for innovative solutions.
Ag now isn't much different. We are looking for solutions that help to increase yield and reduce cost, all while honoring our core fundamentals of being good stewards of the land we are entrusted with. I believe this is paramount to innovation. I am so grateful that worms and modular vermicomposting is how we are utilizing on farm organic waste to ament soil.
T.R.A.D. Worm Industries Ltd is committed to providing the best natural products for your growing needs. Our micro-biologically diverse castings are lab tested to ensure that your plants are getting everything they need while safeguarding local pets and children.

Martyn O'Donnell, MALT Media

Panel Speaker

Born in the UK, I earned a Bachelors of Science from MHC and found my passion in remote-controlled vehicles. Obtaining my drone license in 2014, I joined MHPS in 2015, leading the development of their drone program. Recognizing the widespread need for drones, I now focus on a research program introducing multispectral mapping for agriculture. My ambition is to innovate through "swarm technology," enabling faster analysis and precise mapping, as well as introducing precision spraying in the near future. I am keen to share my expertise and contribute to advancements within the drone Ag industry.

Blaine Cash, Cash Cattle Co.

Panel Speaker

Blaine Cash farms with his family just outside of Seven Persons, AB. Cash Cattle Company dabbles in many different areas including: grains, forages, export timothy, cow calf, small feedlot and is beginning to expand their pure-bred collection. Blaine oversees the crop side of things along with irrigation and is a heavy duty mechanic. He is trying to improve the soil health through balanced nutrition and implement cover/grazing crops which also helps livestock health and feed efficiency.

Tracy Stroud, APEX Alberta

Panel Discussion Facilitator

Tracy has worked in Economic Development for various organizations over the past 15 years, but always helping business owners in
some capacity. Currently, she is the Manager of APEX Alberta, the Regional Innovation Network for SE Alberta. APEX is an alliance of local organizations focused on helping regional innovators and tech companies start and grow.
This past year, Tracy has also enjoyed working with economic
development and innovation stakeholders across the province to build the drone ecosystem in Alberta. Being born on a farm in Saskatchewan, she is excited about the opportunities for drones to increase productivity in agriculture practices, and she encourages everyone to check out for more information.

Breakout Session Presenters

  • First 48 Hours of a Calf's Life

    Dr. Krista Dayman

  • In-Bin Grain Storage & Management

    Dr. Chandra Singh, Lethbridge College

  • Panel: Farm Direct Marketing

    Nichole Neubauer, Neubauer Farms

    Deerview Meats

  • Smart Irrigation

    Dr. Willemijn Appels, Lethbridge College

  • Farm Financials: Bookkeeping, Succession Planning & More

    Tara Schafer, MNP

  • Forage Blends for Southern Alberta

  • Trends in AgTech

    Olds College

  • Solar on the Farm


First 48 Hours of a Calf's Life

Dr. Krista Dayman

Dr. Krista Dayman is a livestock veterinarian who is
passionate about bovine medicine, and has a special interest in herd health, theriogenology and pathology. While she was born and raised in Southern Saskatchewan, Dr. Dayman settled in Medicine Hat in 2016 with her husband John. She founded her mobile practice, Badlands Veterinary Services in 2020, and has
been working alongside her clients to raise the best beef in the world.

In-Bin Grain Storage & Management

Dr. Chandra Singh

Dr. Chandra Singh is Senior Research Chair in Agricultural Engineering and Technology at the Lethbridge College in Alberta, Canada. He recently founded Advanced Postharvest Technology Centre at the college. He conducts research on postharvest storage and handling of grains, sugar beets and otatoes, natural air drying, aeration, mathematical modelling, sensing, automation, machine learning, and non-destructive quality evaluation of agri-food products using NIR hyperspectral imaging.
Prior to joining Lethbridge College, he was Associate
Professor of Stored Grains Facilities at the University of South Australia. Earlier he worked as a Principal Engineer-Grain Management with a Calgary-based world-leading advanced grain management technology company. Dr. Singh obtained his Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba. He completed his masters in Postharvest Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and bachelor in Agricultural Engineering from G.B Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India

Panel: Farm Direct Marketing

Nichole Neubauer

As a passionate agriculture educator and industry advocate, Nichole has been welcoming teachers and students to their family farm since 2005. The purpose: to gain a first-hand account of agriculture and the agri-food system.
Neubauer Farms grows pulses, cereals, oil seeds, forage and runs a cow-calf operation on both dryland and irrigated acres. In 2013, Neubauer Farms offered the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in the Cypress County region. Since then, the Neubauer’s have been providing hyper-local, farm-fresh produce, free-range eggs, and ground beef to a loyal contingent of customers. This has been an incredibly meaningful opportunity to connect the farm with families who are interested in purchasing locally grown food while supporting the farms that grow it.


Perry Deering

Deerview Meats

Smart Irrigation

Dr. Willemijn Appels

Dr. Willemijn Appels is Senior Research Chair at Lethbridge College, leading the Mueller Irrigation Research Group since 2016. Trained as a hydrologist and soil physicist at Wageningen University (the Netherlands), her expertise is in measuring and modeling water flow and solute transport above and below the soil surface. The scientists and staff of the Mueller Irrigation Research Group investigate how new scientific findings in the field of agricultural water management can be translated into practical applications for producers in the irrigated agriculture sector of southern Alberta. Willemijn currently works on projects regarding the use of new soil moisture sensors in irrigation scheduling, the optimization of water and nutrient management with subsurface drip irrigation, and the regional potential for adoption of site specific
irrigation management.

Farm Financials: Bookkeeping, Succession Planning & More

Tara Schafer

Tara Schafer, CA, is a Partner with MNP’s Agricultural Services team in Medicine Hat. Tara provides business
advisory services to ranchers and producers in Western Canada, helping them remain competitive and
 Raised in a small farming community in Manitoba, Tara’s first-hand experience with agricultural operations and her thorough understanding of the agricultural industry provide her with in-depth knowledge and insight to advise clients. Tara graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2002 and earned her Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in 2006. She is an AgExpert Certified Advisor. Actively involved in her community and a dedicated athlete, Tara is involved in many sports, including basketball, volleyball and equestrian.


Tracy O’Donnell

Tracy O’Donnell, CPA, CA is a Partner with MNP’s Tax Services group in the Cypress Region. Tracy helps her clients navigate complex tax issues and restructure their business and personal affairs to achieve their
business, financial, tax and succession goals. A problem solver and strong communicator with more than a decade of experience in public practice, Tracy takes the time to provide the highest level of service to her clients and deliver tailored, practical solutions.
Tracy focuses on tax, succession, estate planning and tax reorganizations for a wide range of businesses and their owners and shareholders. She brings considerable experience working with clients in a wide range of industries to her role.
Tracy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, major in accounting, from the University of Regina. She also has a Finance diploma from SIAST.  She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2009.  She has also completed the In-depth Tax Course from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (2012). Tracy also likes to give back to the CPA profession and is currently a facilitator for the In-depth Tax Course.

Drought Proofing Our Forage Supply

Vern Turchyn

Vern had the great privilege to live and learn on the family farm in Eastern Manitoba and experienced the numerous successes and challenges associated with agriculture. With a plant science degree from the University of Manitoba, Vern developed his competence through a series of industry leading forage seed companies including Northrup King, Proven Seed, as well as being the founder of Union Forage.
Performance Seed is the culmination of his life’s work in an effort to bring not only the industries best , locally tested, and innovative forage products to growers in Western Canada, but also pair this offering with the best agronomic service and technology available.

Trends in Ag Tech

Jay Steeves

Jay Steeves was raised and is now raising his young family in central Alberta with long standing family roots in central and southern Saskatchewan involved in the agriculture sector. As a long time western Canadian, he is passionate about promoting agriculture and the purpose that it serves to the greater population of the world. As the Dean of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology at Olds College in Olds, AB, he is leading a group of innovative faculty and cutting edge programming as they look to educate the next generation of agricultural stewards to help feed a growing world population.

Solar on the Farm


Marcus Campbell joined Terralta in the company’s third year of business. He understood the importance of renewable energies and could see what Terralta was capable of. He also knew how to successfully shift the company to offer economically feasible solutions with the client’s best interests in mind.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan,
Marcus moved to the Hat in 1997 and married his wife Michelle; they have 3 beautiful children together. Marcus volunteers as a coach for the Medicine Hat Softball Association, is a board member for the Economic Development Alliance of Southeastern Alberta - Energy Committee, and was recently inducted as the newest Board President for the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce. He also loves the Edmonton Oilers, camping, and a good afternoon nap on the weekend.

Digitization in the Ag Industry and Why its Important

Laurier Poirier

Laurier Poirier is an AgExpert Product Specialist and is passionate about agriculture. He grew up and still farms part time with his family on a grain and oilseed farm in South Eastern Saskatchewan. Laurier holds a master’s degree in professional accounting and has been with FCC for just over 15 years. Being bilingual, a farmer and an accountant, Laurier takes great pride in representing FCC AgExpert at tradeshows, speaking events and Universities across the country.

Keeping our Eye on the Prize: Managing Rotations in a Dry Cycle

Jenny Seward

Jenny (Cronkhite) Seward, PAg, grew up in Southern Alberta farming and ranching. After spending a year working in Australia, she obtained a BSc in Agricultural Studies from the University of Lethbridge after completing a diploma in Land
Classification & Reclamation from Olds College. 
She worked in Agricultural inputs and retail for nearly 10 years before starting her own Independent Agronomy consulting service providing full scale agronomic support to dryland farmers in Southeast Alberta, with Cronkhite Ag Consulting Ltd. 
She also farms alongside her husband south of Foremost. 
Jenny spent 6 years on the Provincial board of the
Alberta Institute of Agrologists and is passionate about building a strong network of support and knowledge sharing for both farmers and those working in
the Agriculture industry. She is currently an Advisor with the Alberta Pulse Growers commission for Zone 1. 

Business Wide View: Connecting Farmers and Ranchers

Bj Fuchs

The father (founder) has been working/running a beef-oriented operation since his early teen years, involved in feedlot operations, fieldwork, animal health and pasture management. Coming with years of experience and having been in this industry for such an extended period, experienced farmers and rancher appreciate simplicity, and extraordinarily minor change. His key role is to bring in past experiences with being an entrepreneur in the tech industry and inspire BWV with beneficial ideas that he believes would help him and fellow agriculture businesses grow and thrive.  Agriculture, arguably the most important industry in the world, and the industry my family has contributed to for over 5 generations, in my opinion, needs help. Approximately 97% of farms/ranches in Canada are family owned and operated, including ours. Farmers and ranchers are individuals not big corporations that have resources at their fingertips, BWV is designed to bridge this gap.

Business Wide View: Connecting Farmers and Ranchers

Skyler Vander Velde

The daughter (founder) was brought up on the back of a horse and has done close to every step of both ranching and farming. She has experience in leadership including being the President of District 3 Alberta High School Rodeo Association and is the founder of an agriculture-based blog called “The Rancher”. She possesses a broad knowledge of the old school ways, but being part of the younger generation, also understands the industry her and her family are in is far behind others. She is passionate about this endeavor because it has exciting potential to benefit and enhance the agricultural industry and enlighten others along the way.  


Lisa Galecki

Lisa Galecki (she/her), Marketing Specialist with APEX Southeast Alberta – Regional Innovation Network and Tourism Medicine Hat. Lisa’s experience spans brand
marketing, design, communication, and network building, currently providing strategic and tactical input across program promotion, product development and
stakeholder engagement. From corporate experience to solo entrepreneurship and back again, Lisa strives to keep people and relationships at the heart of her work.