Chief Executive
Marina Commodities Inc.

Part of the Marina Group based in Toronto, Canada; Marina Commodities Inc. was established in 2002 and is engaged in trading and exporting pulses from all over the World including oilseeds, sugar and various other commodities. Marina Group is involved in Textiles Distribution, Real Estate Development and Agri-Exports.

As the CEO, Farhan oversees the commercial and administrative activities of Marina Commodities including research and development of new markets and products both for origination and sales. Having a Global presence, it gives a unique advantage as a one stop shop for all customer’s needs providing them with different origins and products at the same time. Prior to joining the Agri-export business, he graduated from the University of Toronto with an honors specialist degree in finance and economics.

President and CEO,
AGT Food & Ingredients

Murad Al-Katib, President, CEO and Board member of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. A strategic business and financial thinker in an international agri-food commodity trading business, Murad founded AGT Foods in 2001, building a Canadian start-up into a global billion dollar value-added pulses, staple foods and ingredients company.

Murad serves as Chair of the Government of Canada National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable, on the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Board and as the Economic Development Regina Board Chair. Past Boards include the CSCA, Pulse Canada and a number of Canadian Government advisory boards and panels.

Murad has received a number of prestigious awards including the 2017 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal in 2018, an Honorary Degree from the University of Regina, the 2017 “Oslo Business for Peace” Honouree, 2017 EY “World Entrepreneur of the Year” after being named National and Prairie Region “Entrepreneur of the Year”, 2016 UN Association of Canada “Global Citizen Laureate”, PROFITGuide Magazine’s “30 Most Fabulous Entrepreneurs of the Past 30 Years” list, the Globe & Mail “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” and the Western Producer “44 Innovators Who Shaped Prairie Agriculture”.

Sessions

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.

Vice President – Farm Divisions
AGI

Originally from Saskatoon, Mr. Brisebois graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996, while playing 4 years of University hockey with the Huskies. In his 20+ years in the agri-business industry, Paul has led several successful brand and product launches, rebranding initiatives and significant business development growth initiatives across North America. Prior to joining AGI in 2012, Paul held senior positions with Monsanto and Richardson International. Since joining AGI in 2012, Paul has been involved in marketing, sales, business development and operations. As the Vice President – Farm Divisions, Paul has been an integral part of tripling AGI’s business over the past 6 years. Since August 2014, Paul has served on the Brett Young Seeds Ltd. Board of Directors.

Director of Weather and Markets 
Glacier FarmMedia

Bruce Burnett has been living and breathing Western Canadian agriculture for over 30 years. The combination of practical experience gained by growing up on a farm in western Manitoba and years of monitoring global weather and markets for the Canadian Wheat Board gives Bruce a unique perspective on the agricultural markets. His specialty is the analysis of weather conditions and their impact on global agricultural markets. Bruce is an enthusiastic speaker who will deliver an authoritative perspective on markets for crops grown in Western Canada.

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.

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.

Director of Logistics
G3

Mark is the Senior Director of Logistics for G3 Canada Limited. Mark has been involved in Grain Logistics since 1998. His major responsibilities include overseeing the movement of G3 grain from elevator to port, and working with G3 Engineering on the construction of state of the art Grain Terminals. He is responsible for managing G3’s relationships with the railways. Mark is also responsible for east coast and west coast vessel operations, lake freight chartering and trade execution. Mark is the Chairman of the Board of Great Sandhills Railway, a 195 KM short line railway in Saskatchewan and sits on the G3 - Algoma Bulker Pool Management Committee which oversees the management of a pool of eight gearless bulk carriers including G3’s own vessel, the G3 Marquis. He has previously held positions with the CWB as Senior Manager, Rail Logistics and as a Transportation Analyst. Mark received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba, majoring in Agricultural Economics. Mark was raised in Headingley, Manitoba, where his family operated a farm.

Partner
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Adrienne is a partner at Michael Best and chair of the Privacy & Cybersecurity practice group. She counsels clients on the many complex aspects of privacy and data management matters, with an extensive background that includes experience with issues relating to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as privacy programs and cyber security issues.

Prior to joining Michael Best, Adrienne served as the in-house lead attorney in privacy and data protection at CUNA Mutual Group. She previously served as Associate General Counsel at Land’s End, Inc.

A noted thought leader, Adrienne has spoken on topics relating to methods and practices for managing and sharing data across various business lines and affiliates. She has also shared her experience and insights as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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).

President
Acumen Corporate Development Inc.

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.

Director
Navico Chartering Ltd.

Richard graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1983 and then moved to the UK to commence his career in trading and broking of physical oil and energy derivatives before returning to Vancouver in 1990. As a shipbroker it’s list is long, not just assisting clients chartering ships to carry bulk cargoes worldwide, Richard also provides guidance on freight markets, negotiates vessel charters, assists in resolving operational or legal issues, and advises clients on chartering strategy. Richard is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) and member of the Baltic Exchange. He has served various industry committees including the Executive Committee of the ICS and is a past Director of the Vancouver Grain Exchange.

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.

President
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.

Co-Founder and CEO
FarmLink Marketing Solutions

Mark grew up on a grain and oilseed farm in the Red River Valley in Manitoba. Since helping out on the farm at a very early age, he has been actively involved in agriculture his entire career. Mark saw a need for growers to have someone who could provide not just unbiased, expert opinion, but who would also understand the specific business and cash flow requirements of their farms, and FarmLink was born. Today he leads his group with the purpose to make things easier and more profitable for farmers. A key belief of Mark’s is that technology can bring growth opportunities to ag industry partners in the areas of market analysis, grain origination and collaboration.

Medical Director
STARS, Winnipeg Base

Dr. Martin has been the Medical Director of STARS’ Winnipeg Base since 2011. He received his medical degree from Queen’s University in 1999 and completed postgraduate training at Dalhousie University, and attained specialist certification in Emergency Medicine by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2004. Dr. Martin received a postgraduate diploma In Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport from the Wellington School of Medicine at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2010. He has nineteen years of experience in Emergency and Transport Medicine, and has worked as a Transport Physician in both the fixed-wing and rotor-wing environments both in Canada and internationally. He is currently an Emergency Physician and Trauma Team Leader at HSC Winnipeg, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba.

Managing Partner
Canpulse Foods

David Nobbs grew up on a farm near Lancer, Saskatchewan. Like most farms kids, this love of farming pushed him to attend the University of Saskatchewan for 70% of a decade where he studied socializing and agriculture. He actively farms now with his brother, Lindsay, on 3500 acres and has grown lentils, chickpeas, canaryseed, coriander, maple peas, durum wheat and canaryseed. After university, he worked in the ag chemical industry as a Agronomist for 7 years with a unique interest in pulse crop production.

David was chair of Pulse Canada and in the Board of Directors for Sask Pulse Growers. He currently sits as a Director of the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan. For the last 16 years, David has been the Managing Partner of Canpulse Foods, a special crop processing and exporting company with facilities at Kindersley, Zealandia and Lajord, Saskatchewan. His main trading focus has been lentils and canaryseed, but he also works in the pea and mustard markets. David currently resides in Saskatoon.

Director of Marketing - Grain
CN

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.

North American Supply Chain Manager
Cargill

Lorelle grew up on a mixed farm near Holdfast, Saskatchewan. Her early aspirations were to be a Veterinarian, but she quickly realized that she liked numbers better than anatomy. After spending a few summers working in country elevators in Saskatchewan during her University days, she moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1999. For a dozen years, she worked at the Canadian Wheat Board, holding roles in farmer relations, policy, sales and grain marketing. For the past six years she has worked at Cargill, and is currently the North American Supply Chain Manager for Cargill Malt. Lorelle is married, with a twelve year old son who keeps her busy with bike races and outdoor adventures.

Assistant Deputy Minister
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Frédéric Seppey is Assistant Deputy Minister of the Market and Industry Services Branch at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). His responsibilities include agriculture and agri-food sectoral competitiveness, trade negotiations and the department regional operations.

Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Seppey held several management positions (most recently as Canada’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator) with AAFC and at the Canadian section of the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council. During his 25-year career in the Public Service, Mr. Seppey also worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as the Privy Council Office, the Department of Finance and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Senior Manager of Sales and Marketing for Specialty Crops
CN Rail

As Senior Manager of Sales and Marketing for Specialty Crops at CN Rail, Hamath Sy is responsible for the development and growth of the “Grain in a Box” supply chain solution at CN, which capitalizes on the available capacity of intermodal units. In addition to the hopper-car supply chain, this intermodal supply chain solution is used by many grain companies to efficiently move grain and grain products in containers from the Prairies to export markets. In the 2017-18 crop year, CN moved over 1 MMT of grain in containers off the Prairies.

Hamath has been with CN Rail for 24 years. Starting out in Marketing, Hamath was responsible for pricing canola seed, meal, and oil. He subsequently moved over to Sales and was responsible for managing CN’s grain traffic to Mexico. In 2004, Hamath moved to Monterrey, Mexico as Director of CN de Mexico. After the creation of CN Worldwide, a freight forwarding division, he was appointed Director of CN Worldwide Latin America in 2006. Hamath came back to Canada in 2010 to manage the newly created Specialty Crops Group at CN. Hamath Sy has an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and BSc from the University of Arizona, USA.

Lawyer
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.

Senior Market Analyst
FarmLink Marketing Solutions

Neil Townsend acquired his Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba in 2002. He has spent his career writing market commentary for farmers over the last twenty years through his work with CWB, Cargill, G3 and his current role as Senior Market Analyst at FarmLink Solutions. Neil’s explorations of insights from around the world took him to live and work with farmers in Thailand for three years to see global impacts first hand. He now resides in Winnipeg with his wife and three sons.

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.

Analyst/Reporter
The Western Producer

Ed White has been with The Western Producer for 24 years as both reporter and columnist, specializing in agricultural markets. He was born and raised in Regina, went to the University of Regina and the University of Western Ontario, then worked for weekly community newspapers in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta before joining the Producer in 1994. He covered farming across the Prairies before moving to Winnipeg in 2001. In 2010 he achieved the Derivatives Markets Specialist designation from the Canadian Securities Institute. He has won many awards for both his reporting and his columns, most recently winning the Canadian Farm Writers Federation’s Gold award for Weekly Press Reporting in September. He was president of North American Agricultural Journalists from 2016-18. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife and three daughters, but still cheers for the Riders.

President
InterPOC Inc – International Point of Commerce.

Zentner is an experienced international trade professional with more than twenty years of intergovernmental affairs, global trade and business development expertise. His skills include government relations, economic and political affairs, and trade consultation and negotiation for market expansion.

He represents Mexican companies in Canada, and is former Director of the NASCO Secretariat, Province of Manitoba. He assisted with industry and governments in consultations with Mexico, United States, and Canada. Previously, he worked with the government of Manitoba to enhance business relations with Mexico.

Gustavo is a Director at Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and is the Chair of the Exporters Executive Council (EEC) in Manitoba. Currently, Gustavo serves in two national boards in Canada and has served as a member of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) Mining Taskforce and is the Founding Chairman of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) in Manitoba.