This informal collective of like-minded innovators has come together to amalgamate our knowledge, build on one another’s unique expertise, and to offer broad-based solutions around climate action in food systems.
BRENDA TJADEN, FOUNDER & CEO, SUSTAINABLE GRAIN
Brenda Tjaden spent her career helping western Canadian farms respond to emerging profit opportunities in growing and marketing their crops. She has spent the last three years researching the organic value chain and pursued an education in soil health and regenerative agriculture. Her vision in hosting this inaugural Summit is to showcase and further explore the vital link between soil health, human wellness and climate change. Proceeds from the Summit will be reinvested into developing online learning tools and regional workshops to educate and support landowners to implement new nature-based, regenerative food production practices.
Previously, Brenda worked as a professional grain marketing and policy analyst, educator and farm management expert in her work founding and leading FarmLink Marketing Solutions. Brenda has always been an active volunteer in her local community, a nature enthusiast and a keen follower of global economic trends. Brenda is currently working with a small number of farms, First Nations reserves and commercial organizations.
ANAnDA FITZSIMMONS, PRESIDENT, REGENERATION CANADA, CO-FOUNDER, INOCUCOR
Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons is an out-of-the-box thinker, visionary and environmentalist, with a passion for soil and growing food. She has had lifelong interest in sustainable food production and land management as well as social change and personal empowerment.
She spent many years experimenting with microbial potions based on naturally occurring microbes extracted from plants, composts and soil. In 2008, she teamed up with Dr. Margaret Bywater Ekegard and they founded Inocucor Technologies. The company, now called Concentric, commercializes products for agriculture based on consortia of naturally occurring beneficial microorganisms. She now works as a consultant promoting soil health and regenerative land management practices.
BROOKS WHITE, farmer
Brooks and Jen White along with their two young children own and operate Borderland Agriculture in the extreme southwestern corner of Manitoba.
“At Borderland, we focus on Regenerative Agriculture by incorporating bison into a highly diverse cropping system. Our bison are the key component to our vision of improving soil health, and we use their natural hardiness in our #graze365 program. 90% of the annual production in 2019 included the use of intercrops, companion crops, and cover crops. As these cropping practises have been adopted, there is an improvement to the biology of the soil and a reduction to the need for inputs. With our vision, we were recognized in the 2018 Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s Program.”
Visitors are welcomed to the farm at any time.
Emma Weston, CEO & Co Founder, AgriDigital
Emma is the CEO and a Co Founder of AgriDigital, one of Australia’s leading emerging agtech and fintech companies.
In December 2016, AgriDigital achieved the world’s first settlement of a physical agri-commodity on a blockchain between a farmer and a buyer in New South Wales, Australia and this was recognised by Fintech Australia presenting AgriDigital the Excellence in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology award for 2017 which was again awarded to AgriDigital in 2018. AgriDigital continues to work with blockchain and other novel enabling technologies to bring efficiency and transparency to global supply chains. AgriDigital was awarded most innovative supply chain tech company series A+ at the 2018 global Agfunder awards in San Francisco and is named in the 2018 KPMG Top100Fintech List.
ERIN CRAMPTON, Prairie Pasture Hub founder
Erin grew up on a mixed farm in Manitoba in the 1980’s and has spent the last 20 years working on the periphery of agriculture through her store Crampton’s Market.
She is passionate about both conservation and farm advocacy and believes the two naturally go hand in hand. After working with hundreds of farmers she started to see a subset of producers that were making their farms better over bigger. They were layering enterprises to make space for the next generation to stay, creating life and vitality in their rural communities, and creating diversity and abundance on their land and local ecosystems.
She has recently sold her store to focus on blending her conservation and farm advocacy work into decentralized Savory Hubs.
For 12 years, Gillian and her husband have owned and operated a small-scale, organic farm that supplies some of the best restaurants in Canada. She sits, among others at the forefront of the good food movement in Canada. Gillian's talk explores the current agricultural model's role in climate change and the exciting opportunity for agriculture, through regenerative practices, to be part of the solution. She will change your view on carbon and climate change, and open your eyes to what we are doing wrong, and how we can fix it when it comes to farming.
TEDx Talk: We can eat our way out of this mess
Joel Williams, WORLD RENOWNED PLANT & SOIL HEALTH EDUCATOR
Joel Williams is an independent plant and soil health educator and consultant based in Ontario. Joel integrates soil chemical & biological assessments, along with plant nutritional analyses as a joined-up strategy for managing crop production. He has a keen interest in managing plant diversity, soil microbial ecology and plant & soil nutrition to optimize soil function and crop immunity. He has a passion for teaching and sharing both scientific and practical information on soil health and agroecology and has lectured to farming audiences internationally.
TAMARA MCLELLAN, FOUNDER, WILD BREATH
Wild Breath’s mission is to protect and nourish quiet and wild spaces starting with the most vital one: the space within. Tamara will speak on mindfulness and deep nature connection. Recently she did a TEDx talk on feeling our way to freedom and for her, climate action means the ultimate freedom for all of us. It’s time for our food systems to change, and with knowing that change must start within, Tamara will lead interactive mindfulness sessions throughout the conference.
Tamara is most comfortable outside and feels the call to protect her homeland - the expansive prairies - through community and celebration of the regenerative agriculture movement that is happening quietly in Canada right now as we speak.
Shane Paterson, Paterson Grain
Shane Paterson is active as a fourth generation member of his family business, Paterson GlobalFoods Inc. (“PGF”). PGF was founded in Fort William, Ontario in 1908 by Shane’s great grandfather, Norman M. Paterson. PGF is the owner of Growers International Organic Sales Inc. which is one of the largest organic grain trading firms in Canada.
Shane was immersed in the grain industry from a young age; working in PGF's elevators receiving and shipping grain, and in PGF's construction company building grain elevators and related infrastructure during his adolescence. Shane currently manages PGF’s grain trading and transportation related functions, and has a wide breadth of understanding of both conventional and organic grain supply chains within Canada and internationally.
WENDY WECKER, saskatchewan farmer
Wendy is a prairie girl, raised in Alberta who, along with her husband Joe and their three children, operate a certified organic grain farm in the Regina Plains. After many years of conventional farming, the Weckers saw the damage that was being done to the soil and ecosystem and made the choice to work alongside nature in an organic cropping system.
Currently, they use a system of Nutrition Farming where they strive to optimize the health of their plants by applying micronutrients as needed. They also use organic soil amendments, such as compost extract, fish fertilizer, kelp, molasses and humates to stimulate the biology in the soil. They have a diverse crop rotation that includes up to 13 different crops, many of which are intercropped. They use companion crops and cover crops on nearly the entire farm.
Wendy has a personal interest in human nutrition and food policy that developed when her children were very young. Recognizing that component is often overlooked in our current food production system, it is important to her to produce high quality, nutrient dense grain that is free of chemicals, while having a positive impact on the surrounding ecosystem. She is currently a board member with SaskOrganics.
WE ARE also THRILLED TO welcome SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS
Our guest speakers will include leading regenerative and organic Canadian farmers who will answer burning questions about the industry and describe the broad range of 'regenerative' , 'organic’ and ‘sustainable’ farming practices happening in our country. Hear directly from those on the ground what’s working and what’s not on commercial farms and food businesses.
Other key takeaways from this event will come from thought leaders in Indigenous cuisine and food philosophy, who will be asked to discuss differences between indigenous food philosophy and the modern food system, limitations to expanding aboriginal cuisine options in Canada, and to share stories through case studies of successful reconciliation efforts.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Anyone interested or involved in food production
Innovators and entrepreneurs
Farmers, golf courses, land owners interested in spraying less chemicals
Soil health advocates + activists
Conscious food consumers
Opening reception: Sunday, Oct. 20th 7 - 9 p.m.
Monday / Tuesday workshops: Oct. 21st-22nd from 9 a.m - 5 p.m.
Monday: Building Community reception Oct. 21st 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Gala Dinner by Celebrity Chef 7 - 10 p.m.