Global Agriculture Columnist
Thomson Reuters

As a columnist for Reuters, Karen focuses on all aspects of the agriculture market, including weather, at the global scale. Prior to becoming a columnist, Karen was a crop production analyst and was also responsible for short and long-term agriculture weather forecasting. Karen has a great deal of boots-on-the-ground experiences, as she has led crop tours through the United States, Ukraine, Russia, France, and Serbia. She holds degrees in Atmospheric Science and Meteorology from Cornell University and the University of Oklahoma.

Director of Agronomy
Fall Line Capital

For almost 25 years Scott was an Ag Rep and Crop Diversification Specialist for Manitoba Agriculture. In 2011 he helped start an Agricultural Investment and Management firm. Fall Line Capital invests in Farmland across the USA and new Ag Technologies. Scott has direct farming experience across North America, in Australia, Europe & the Former Soviet Union. Scott has won numerous awards for his ag extension work and promotion of conservation agriculture including Canada’s “Zero-till Farmer of the Year” and “Conservation Farm of the Year”. Scott is a regular speaker at international ag conferences such as “AgriTechnica” in Germany, “Crop World” in England, and the “World’s Fair” in Italy. Recently, he spoke at Ag Days and other events in North America.

Scott is also a contributing author to the reference books: “The Search for Sustainable Agriculture” and “Rainfed Farming Systems Around the World”. Currently, Scott is contributing to a book on Conservation Agriculture being coordinated by the FAO/UN. Scott received a BSc hons in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba and is a Professional Agrologist.

Director of Export Trading
Paterson Grain

Prior to joining Paterson Grain, Rhyl worked for almost 20 years with the Canadian Wheat Board looking after approximately one billion dollars a year of annual sales to Latin America and the Caribbean before becoming Vice President of Trading and Sales overseeing worldwide sales for all commodities. Before joining the Canadian Wheat Board, Rhyl spent four years with Cargill Limited as a Wheat Merchant and Foreign Exchange Trader. Rhyl has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba.

Senior Market Analyst
FarmLink Marketing Solutions

Jonathon Driedger grew up on the family farm near Grunthal, MB. He attended the University of Manitoba where he obtained a BSc in Agribusiness and an MSc in Agricultural Economics.

Prior to joining FarmLink Marketing Solutions, Jon spent time in the livestock feed industry, and then came to the grain industry as an Economist for the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and later as a Commodity Risk Management Consultant with a major U.S.-based futures brokerage firm. He currently leads up the HedgeLink program and is often seen around western Canada giving market outlooks or conducting workshops on hedging and futures.

Assistant Chief Economist
Royal Bank of Canada

As Assistant Chief Economist, Paul is responsible for the analysis and forecasting of macroeconomic and financial market developments in Canada, the United States and key overseas economies and is a regular contributor to a number of RBC publications.

A graduate of Queen's University and the University of Manitoba, Paul joined the Economics Department of RBC in 2007 after working for twenty years at another major financial institution where he was responsible for generating the macroeconomic outlook for the United States, Canada and Canadian regional economies. Paul started his professional career as an economist in the Research Department at the Bank of Canada.

Paul is a member of the Economic Policy Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and former member on the Editorial Board of Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politiques. Paul is also past President and Director of the Toronto Association of Business and Economics (TABE).

Managing Director
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS)

Gil is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 15 years of experience in corporate finance and operations. He has in-depth experience in multiple industries  with a focus on financing, restructuring, merger and acquisition advisory services, due diligence support and strategic execution of business strategies. Gil focuses on the strategic and finance side of transactions including valuation, financial modeling and capital structure optimization.

Gil is actively involved in the community. He is on the Boards of Pan Am Place, a non-profit organization that provides health and positive “lifestyle” for youth-at-risk and Rossbrook House, a non-profit organization that provides a safe place for children and youth to belong, play, learn and become who they are meant to be. Gil volunteers as a coach at Pan AM Boxing club working with members and youth at risk.

Managing Director
Navico Chartering Ltd.

Thomas started his career as a shipping merchant in Hamburg in 1987 at Toepfer, he moved to New York gaining broad experience in chartering and operations before relocating to Hong Kong in 1989, where he played a vital role working a chartering desk for Asia. In 1991 Thomas transferred to Singapore as Freight Director where he headed the company’s chartering activities for Asia and the Pacific. In 1998 he became a founding partner of Navico International, Singapore, providing in-depth freight solutions and market knowledge to its clients in the grain, fertilizer and steel industry. In 2002 Navico extended its reach into Europe, and Vancouver in 2008.

Today Thomas lives in Vancouver where he continues to develop Navico’s worldwide activities.

Vice President
Advanced Economic Solutions

Knox Jones is vice president of Advanced Economic Solutions. Knox is a 2005 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University with a B.A. in English, and a 2008 graduate from the Creighton University School of Law with a J.D. He was admitted to the Nebraska Bar and the United States District Court of Nebraska in 2008. Since joining Advanced Economic Solutions in 2008, Knox has developed expertise in a broad array of commodity markets including, beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs. He uses his analytical skill and extensive understanding of these markets to provide clients with comprehensive market outlooks and price forecasts, as well as to advise clients on effective procurement and risk management strategies. Knox has been a presenter at a variety of industry conferences and events, including the Industry Outlook Conference, National Restaurant Association, Wells Fargo Food Symposium, and the Jefferies Restaurant Industry Expert Summit.

Kostal Ag Consulting

Greg Kostal started Kostal Ag Consulting 14 years ago and Greg is an independent analyst and consultant that provides fundamental guidance on agriculture trends, conducts market analysis and supplies consulting and advisory services. Prior to starting his own company, Greg worked for Sparks Companies, Continental Grain, ProFarmer and UGG. He also grew up on a family farm south of Winnipeg.

President and Founder
Advanced Economic Solutions.

Lapp graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1979 with a B.A. in Mathematics, and from Purdue University in 1981 with a M.S. in Agricultural Economics. Lapp has over 25 years of experience in analyzing and forecasting economic conditions and commodity markets. He has been a featured speaker at numerous national forums, including the restaurant industry’s Supply Chain Management conference, Sosland’s Annual Purchasing Seminar, the Canola Council of Canada, and the USDA Annual Outlook conference. 

Lapp was Chief Economist for ConAgra Foods. He has served on numerous boards, including the Kansas City Board of Trade, the Center for the Study of Rural America, the Farm Foundation, and the Food and Agriculture Committee of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Lapp is a former member of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Advisory Board, and participates on the Harvard Business Industrial Economists’ Round-Table.

Director of Marketing - Grain

David Przednowek is responsible for carload pricing of grain and processed grain products for Canada and the U.S., as well as related marketing activities.  Prior to joining CN, David was with the Canadian Wheat Board in a number of different roles including crop forecasting and market analysis, trading, management of marine logistics, vessel chartering, and management of the grain pools under the single desk and open market. David has a Master of Science from the University of Manitoba and grew up on a livestock and grain farm near Beausejour, Manitoba.

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS)

Doug Tait is an experienced business lawyer focusing on corporate and commercial matters with an emphasis on information security (including cybersecurity and data protection), commercial transactions, business sales and acquisitions, real estate conveyancing, leasing and development.

Doug advises a wide range of clients in a wide range of industries including developers, landlords and those in the energy sector.

Douglas joined the firm as an articling student in 1981. He remained with the firm as an associate after being called to the Bar in 1982 and became a partner in 1990.

Managing Director
Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre

Using its pilot-scale malting and brewing facilities, the role of the CMBTC is to ensure Canada is a leader in supplying high-quality malting barley to the global malting and brewing industries. This is achieved by providing technical services, marketing support, training and education as well as applied research services to the Canadian malting barley value chain.

In his role as Managing Director, Peter oversees the operations and financial management of the CMBTC. In his past life, Peter worked with Pulse Canada as Director of Market Innovation and as a Market Analyst with the Canadian Wheat Board.  He holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Laval University.