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The full conference program is now available online! Click here to download the pdf and explore the conference lineup, speaker bios and presentation summaries below.


Day 1
Monday, April 24, 2017
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Registration Opens

Opening Reception
Guest Speaker
Hon. Ralph Eichler – Minister of Agriculture, Government of Manitoba

Day 2
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Conference Opening

Theme 1
Transforming Challenges into Opportunities:
How can innovation minimize agriculture’s contribution to climate change?

Discovery Talks: Climate Change and Air Quality
Dr. Steven Frey – Senior Scientist, Aquanty Inc. & Lead Scientist, Assiniboine River Basin Research Project
“Evaluating the role of forages and grasslands on flood and drought resiliency with advanced simulation technology”

Dr. Brian McConkey – Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Swift Current Research and Development Centre
“Carbon sequestration in Prairie soils and their potential for climate change mitigation”

Dr. Karin Wittenberg – Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba
“Innovation is driving climate change mitigation in Canada’s beef sector”

Panels & Forum: Climate Change and the Agricultural Sector
Dr. Mario Tenuta – Professor, Applied Soil Ecology, University of Manitoba
“Research Innovation and Opportunity”

Dr. Hank Venema – Planning Director, Prairie Climate Centre, International Institute for Sustainable Development
“Precision infrastructure for climate change mitigation and adaptation on the agricultural landscape and prospects for large-scale investment: a Manitoba case study”

John Wilkinson – Senior Vice President, Sustainability, GreenField Specialty Alcohols Inc.
“Capitalizing on the carbon cycle in the 21st century”
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.


Theme 2
Building the Future on our Strengths:
What support is available to advance Canada’s agricultural clean technologies?

Discovery Talks: Agricultural Biotechnology and Genomics
Ian Affleck , Executive Director – Plant Biotechnology, CropLife Canada
“Plant breeding innovations: Supporting sustainable agriculture”

Dr. Simon Potter , Director of Operations, Genome Prairie
“Genomics: Changing what we know today and how we will live tomorrow”

Dr. Donald Smith , Scientific Director and CEO, BioFuelNet Canada, McGill University
“Development of environmentally friendly inputs for the agricultural industry, in biofuels, feedstock and food crops”

Panels & Forum: Opportunities for Clean Technology Innovation in the Agricultural Sector
Dr. Naveed Aziz – Director, Technology Programs, Genome Canada
“Towards Environmental Sustainability – The role of Genomic technologies in building a low-carbon, climate-resilient Ag-sector bioeconomy”

Rattan Gill – Analyst, Agriculture and Regulatory Affairs, Bioenterprise Corporation
“Commercializing Agri-technology: Bringing innovation to market”

Dr. Abdul Jalil – Assistant Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification
“Agriculture Innovation in a Changing Setting: A Government Perspective”

Day 3
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.


Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Crops: Carbon Life Cycle Assessments of Major Field Crops
Guest Speaker
Dr. Karen Churchill – Director of Research & Market Support, Cereals Canada

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Theme 3
Shaping a Path Forward:
How can we ensure the adoption of environmentally sustainable innovations?

Discovery Talks: Agro-Ecosystem Productivity and Health
Dr. Dilantha Fernando – Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Manitoba
“Innovative Environmentally Friendly Methods to Manage Diseases of Field Crops”

Glenn Friesen – Industry Development Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture – Livestock Industry Branch
“Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives: A Partnership to Inform and Support Adoption At The Farm”

Alison Sunstrum – Co-CEO, GrowSafe Systems
“The Last Mile – Commercializing Disruptive Ideas”

Panels & Forum: Cross-Sectoral Dialogue on the Adoption of Environmentally Sustainable Innovations
Sean Goertzen – Climate Initiative Coordinator, Keystone Agricultural Producers
“Farmers’ Perspective on Carbon Taxes and Climate Change”

Dr. Mohammad Khakbazan – Research Scientist (Ag. Economist), Prairie and Boreal Plain Ecozone, Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Brandon R&D Centre
“Agricultural Practices to Improve Input and Resource Use Efficiency in Cropping Systems”

Jolene Noble – Extension Coordinator, Alberta Farm Sustainability Extension Working Group (AFSE)
“Sustainability in Agriculture: The Big Picture”

David Wiens – Vice-President, Dairy Farmers of Canada and Chair, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba
“Assurance and innovation: Building blocks to a sustainable dairy industry”
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Conference Wrap Up

An on-site Virtual Tradeshow will be ongoing throughout the Conference.  If you would like to become a virtual exhibitor sign up here.

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