Hear from industry experts at the London Farm Show!
Meet our Speakers:
Speaker bio’s will be added as confirmed.
Dr. George Charbonneau
George Charbonneau graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1981. Since then the veterinary practice has focused on providing swine health and production management in South Western Ontario. In 2010, the practice was amalgamated with South West Ontario Veterinary Services, based in Stratford, Ontario. George received the Outstanding Veterinarian Award from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association in 2008. In 2012 he received the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Swine Practitioner of the Year Award. George has served as President of the Ontario Pork Congress and was the founding Chair of the Ontario Pork Industry Council. He has served as President of the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians, Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians and most recently the American Associations of Swine Veterinarians. George and his wife Ann are currently based in White Lake, Ontario and he primarily focuses on disease surveillance projects.
Zack Smith, Farmer & Owner of Smith Seed and Agronomy
Zack Smith is a farmer and agricultural entrepreneur from Lake Mills, Iowa. He operates his family’s 5th generation farm which has an emphasis on conservation practices like strip till and cover crops. In 2020, he developed and tested an alternative regenerative production system called Stock Cropping on his farm that combines livestock and row crops. He also owns and operates Smith Seed and Agronomy; a seed, chemical, fertility consultant and cover crop retail business.
Jonathan Giret, Elite Agri Solutions
Growing up on a beef farm near Springfield, followed by 5 years in the Alberta Oilfields has given Jonathan a unique perspective on starting a farm. Returning home in 2016 and starting his business: Elite Agri Solutions, while also building a barn through CFO’s new entrant program rounds out that experience. Through his business, Jonathan and his team provide nutrient management plans, grant writing and business support and farm safety training to farmers. But the learning does not stop there. Jonathan is very focused on professional development and having a plan, a mantra he shares with his farm customers, and one he will be speaking to at this year’s event. Based on his experiences and those of many he has worked with, Jonathan will be sharing his perspectives with starting a career in agriculture, and tips for those looking to be involved in agriculture – either with a farm, or working in the industry. Jonathan has a Bachelor of Bio Resource Management from the University of Guelph and is a Nationally Certified Safety Officer by the Alberta Construction Safety Association.
Jodie Aldred, Jodie Aldred Photography
Growing up on the farm, there were always moments that Jodie wanted to freeze. The beauty of these moments included the natural beauty of natures views, the sights of the family working together during the busy season and everyday moments. These moments and sharing them with others slowly turned from a hobby to a gift Jodie could share with others, and Jodie Aldred Photography was born. It wasn’t a career that Jodie initially planned out for herself, with some challenges and sceptics along the way, but in the end the blend of a farming background and new perspective created a lasting impact on those she worked with – and a unique new business in Canadian Agriculture. Jodie looks forward to sharing her story with others who may be looking to create a niche for themselves off the farm, while still staying true to their Ag roots.
Greg Stewart, Maizex Seeds
Greg Stewart was born and raised on a farm near Peterborough, Ontario. He attended the University of Guelph and completed an M.Sc which focused on tillage and soil compaction. He worked eight years as a research associate at the University on projects involving tillage, crop rotations, corn planter performance, and fertility management.
Stewart farmed and worked in the farm equipment industry for four years before joining OMAFRA as the Corn Specialist in 1998. With OMAFRA Stewart participated extensively in corn research and demonstration projects across the province. Greg has been particularly active in investigating nitrogen strategies that are environmentally and economically sustainable.
Stewart joined the Maizex team on March 23, 2015 and he looks forward to working with Maizex customers to help them capitalize on a host of exciting opportunities in the years ahead.
Dr. Helen Hambly, University of Guelph
Dr. Helen Hambly is a Professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development in the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph. Her research focuses on information, knowledge and communication for agricultural, environment and rural development. Dr. Hambly works with various technologies and institutions in multi-stakeholder communication processes and community-based technological change. Her research efforts support innovation among farmers and other stakeholders. Dr. Hambly leads the Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) r2b2project.ca, which is Canada’s largest action research project focused on agricultural and rural broadband infrastructure. She is also a member of university research teams addressing climate-smart soils, digital media and agri-rural resilience.
Internationally, Dr. Hambly has professional work experience with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), The World Bank, United Nations and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Telecommunications, communication and learning, Dr. Hambly believes, are rarely central but entirely fundamental to agricultural innovation, socio-economic and environmental well-being and ultimately, the sustainability of the planet.
John D. Goudy, Partner, Scott Petrie LLP
John’s litigation practice focuses on property disputes, including real estate, environmental and commercial litigation, condominium law, expropriation law, energy regulation, and regulatory offences. John has a particular interest in agricultural land matters – outside the office, he lives and works on his family’s cash crop farm northwest of London, Ontario with his wife and three kids.
Since his call to the Bar in July, 2005, John has acted as counsel in matters before all levels of Ontario courts, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario Energy Board, the National Energy Board (now the Canadian Energy Regulator Commission), the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, and various other regulatory tribunals. John is a Policy Advisor with the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations (CAEPLA), and assists landowners across Canada in dealing with energy projects on their lands.
John is the author of Agrilaw, a monthly publication in The Rural Voice, and of the Law of the Lands – Farm, Energy and Enviro Law blog, which provides legal information to farmers and landowners.
Josie Van Lent, Lakeland College
Josie feels privileged to have been involved in the agriculture industry her entire life, very much enjoying the industry and its people. She spent the first half of her career working for Alberta Agriculture, Food & Rural Development as a District Agriculturist and Livestock Specialist. Following she was employed in the crop service industry as an Agronomist with Webb’s Crop Services in Vermilion and then moved on to manage the Crop Input Division in NE AB for the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA).
For thirteen years Josie has been the Dean of Agriculture Sciences at Lakeland College and as of July 2020 Josie moved into a new position at Lakeland College becoming the Dean of Agriculture Technology and Applied Research. In her role Josie provides leadership and direction to academics, research, extension and the College’s Student Managed Farm.
Josie and her husband, Phil Staden, along with their sons, also manage and operate a commercial livestock and grain farm which includes beef, bison, and crop enterprises. In her spare time you can usually find her on a horse herding cattle on their ranch or competing in cow horse events, taking pictures or gardening.