Last Year’s Agenda

View the Draft Agenda for the Symposium

MONDAY, April 10

  1. 6:00pm to 10:00pmWelcome Reception and Registration

    1. 7:30 – 7:45 pmWelcome

        Kevin Auch, Chairman, Alberta Wheat Commission, Carmangay, Alberta

        Mark Brock, In-Coming Chair, Canada Grains Council, Guelph, Ontario

        Al Driver, President & CEO, Bayer CropScience, Calgary, Alberta


    1. 7:30 – 8:30 amBreakfast

      1. 8:30 – 8:35 am Opening Message

          Tyler Bjornson, President, Canada Grains Council, Ottawa, Ontario

      2. 8:35 – 9:15 amWhat the Future Holds in Crop Development

          James Blome, President, Bayer CropScience, Raleigh, North Carolina

      3. 9:15 – 10:00 amGlobal Grain Supply and Demand: Assets for Future Dominance

          Gary Blumenthal, President, World Perspectives, Inc., Arlington, Virginia

          Upward sloping demand is no guarantee of future success unless policies and practices are properly aligned.

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      4. 10:00 – 10:30 amNetworking Break and Coffee

        1. 10:30 – 11:15 amAgriculture’s Consolidation Remains a Constant

            Stephen Nicholson, Vice President, Food & Agriculture Research & Advisory, Grains & Oilseeds, Rabo AgriFinance, St Louis, Missouri

            Consolidation in agriculture from the farm to the table is not new. It has been a long-term trend that shows no signs of abating. The presentation will look at those trends, differences in current trend from previous periods of consolidation and the implications.

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        2. 11:15 – 12:00 amCanada’s Trade Agenda for Agriculture

            Frédéric Seppey, Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Market and Industry Services, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

            An overview of Canada’s priorities and approaches to protect and expand Canadian agriculture and agri-food trade in international markets.  This presentation will encompass Canadian engagement within the multilateral institutions, priority markets, and on trade negotiations.

        3. 12:00 – 1:00 pmLunch

          1. 1:00 – 1:45 pmGrain Logistics: Looking Forward

              Panel will provide its perspective of what the grain logistics system of the future needs to look like to be successful, considering the expected changes to the Canadian Transportation Act.



              Mark Hemmes, President, Quorum Corporation, Edmonton, Alberta



              Joan Hardy, Vice-President, Transportation, Richardson International Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba


              Kent Erickson, Producer, Alberta Wheat Commission, Irma, Alberta


              Woody Galloway, Director, Canadian Supply Chain, Bunge Canada, Oakville, Ontario

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          2. 1:45 – 2:15 pmGlobal Economic & Financial Landscape

              Aaron Goertzen, Senior Economist & Vice President, BMO Capital Markets, Toronto, Ontario

              Aaron will discuss the recent developments and outlook for the global economy and Canada, with implications for the agricultural sector.

          3. 2:15 –2:45 pmNetworking Break and Coffee

            1. 2:45 - 3:30 pmCRSC Sustainability Platform: Part 1. A National Carbon Cycle Study

                Don O’Connor, President, (S&T)2 Consultants, Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia

                The carbon footprint is an important aspect of sustainable crop production. The presentation will provide an overview of recent work, the Canadian Round Table for Sustainable Crops Sustainability Platform: Part 1. A National Carbon Cycle Study – looking at regional carbon footprints for the major Canadian crops.

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            2. 3:30 – 4:00 pmCan Western Canada Be a Global Leader in Plant-Based Proteins and Specialty Food Ingredients?

                Dennis McKnight, President, The Innovators Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia

                World demand for plant-based proteins and ingredients is skyrocketing and Western Canada is supremely positioned as the world’s largest grower and exporter of pulses, and a major producer of canola, cereals (wheat, barley, oats) and, now, hemp. But, unlike the past, we want to do more high-value processing right here on the Prairies, helping to create new industry with quality jobs focusing on human food, health and animal feed.

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            3. 4:00 – 4:45 pmWhat Makes the Consumers Tick?

                Carman Allison, VP Consumer Insights, Nielsen, Markham, Ontario

                Consumers are proceeding with caution in 2017 and value remains a key motivator and driver of sales. More than ever, each dollar counts with increased retail competition all while the consumer path to purchase continues to evolve. Connecting and understanding how todays savvy consumer is shopping, redefining health and wellness and embracing technology to make purchase decisions is critical to keeping the sale.

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            4. 6:00 pmBanquet

              1. 7:30 pmValues, trust and science – building public trust in an age of radical transparency and unbridled social media

                  Charlie Arnot, CEO, Center for Food Integrity, Kansas City, Missouri

                  Agriculture is increasingly frustrated that science is not definitive in building public support. Science tells us if we can do something, but society tells us if we should. In this session, Arnot will examine the relationship between science, values and trust and how agriculture can engage in new ways to build public trust.

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              WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12

              1. 7:30 – 8:00 amBreakfast

                Plenary Session

                1. 8:00 – 9:00 amPolitical and Policy Landscape

                    Andrew Coyne, Political Journalist, Toronto, Ontario

                    A nationally syndicated columnist with Postmedia, Andrew Coyne’s journalism career has included positions with The National Post, Maclean’s, and the Globe and Mail. In addition, he has contributed to a wide range of other publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and The Walrus. He is also a long-time member of the CBC’s popular At Issue panel on The National.

                    With the Trudeau government in Ottawa still finding its feet, and a volatile new president in the United States adding fresh uncertainty, the outlook is highly unpredictable. Coyne offers insights on the policy challenges facing the country, and how well governments are facing up to them.

                2. 9:00 – 9:45 amNew Plant Breeding Innovation: Opportunities and Risk

                    The panel will discuss new plant breeding technology and the following three factors: regulatory risk, social license and value sharing.



                    Wilf Keller, President and CEO, Ag-West Bio Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan



                    François Eudes, Director, Research, Development and Technology, Alberta, Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Alberta


                    Ron DePauw, Senior Research Advisor, SeCan Association, Swift Current, Saskatchewan


                    Van Ripley, Healthy Oils Breeding Leader, Dow AgroSciences, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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                3. 9:45 – 10:15Networking Break and Coffee

                  Concurrent session 1 – Room 1

                  1. 10:15 – 10:45 amThe Past, Present and Future Sources of Feed Ingredients to Meet the World’s Demand for Protein

                      Rex Newkirk, Associate Professor, Research Chair in Feed Processing, Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

                      The world is demanding more and higher quality animal protein but at the same time, there is increasing demands for grains and oilseeds for the growing population. Will there be enough feed ingredients in the future and where are they going to come from?

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                  2. 10:45 - 11:15 amSustainable Bioeconomy to Marketplace: Biorefinery Advancement of Corn Ethanol Industries.

                      Jim Grey, CEO, IGPC Ethanol Inc., Aylmer, Ontario

                      Jim will discuss the future of corn based ethanol facilities and the corn market over the next 10-20 years.

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                  3. 11:15 – 11:45 amMyths and Truths about Grain-Based Foods

                      Julie Miller Jones, Professor Emerita, Food Science and Nutrition, St. Catherine University, Arden Hills, Minnesota


                      The ‘Staff of Life’ is under attack from many circles, yet it is the base of dietary guidance around the world. This talk will look at the various myths and facts, who should be gluten free and who should not be, and the nutritional importance
                      of enriched and whole grain foods when eaten in the right balance.

                  Concurrent session 2 – Room 2

                  1. 10:15 – 10:45 amMore Beans! What is on the Horizon for Canadian Soybeans

                      The panel will discuss Canada’s soybean production – it is way up over recent years, and bean acres continue to move west. What does the future hold for soybean farmers and the industry over the coming decade?

                      Jim Everson, Executive Director, Soy Canada, Ottawa, Ontario


                      Bo Hallborg, Grain Merchandiser – Oilseeds, Viterra Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan


                      Francois Labelle, Executive Director, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, Carman Manitoba

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                  2. 10:45 – 11:15 amThe Next Generation of Innovation in Canola

                      Willie Loh, Vice President, Market Development, Global Edible Oil Solutions – Specialties, Cargill, Hopkins, Minnesota


                      An industry perspective on where innovation in canola is headed over the next 10-20 years and new avenues for the crop that we might see on the horizon.

                  3. 11:15 – 11:45 amAg Innovation to Create and Capture Value – Looking Beyond Efficiency Gains

                      Lee Moats, Chair, Pulse Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba

                      All businesses in the food value chain work to increase profitability through efficiency gains in their existing business model. Innovation will be needed to create and capture value in a market where both consumers and society constantly redefine how they define ‘value’. This presentation will look at why the ‘business as usual’ approach won’t keep the Canadian agri-food sector competitive in the decade ahead.

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                  Plenary Session:

                  1. 11:45 – 12:30 pmTrump Effect on Canadian Food

                      Sylvain Charlebois, Dean, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

                      An overview of possible repercussions on the Canadian Food System and international trade, as President Trump begins his mandate.

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                  2. 12:30 – 12:35 pmClosing Remarks

                      Tyler Bjornson, President, Canada Grains Council, Ottawa, Ontario