Kostal Ag Consulting

Greg Kostal is President of Kostal Ag Consulting, the company started 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.

Karen Braun
Global Agriculture Columnist for 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
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.

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
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.

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.

Fifth generation farmer from Deloraine, Manitoba.

For almost 25 years Scott was an Ag Rep and Crop Diversification Specialist for Manitoba Agriculture focusing on sustainable food production. He then left the government in 2011 to help start the Agricultural Investment and Management firm called Fall Line Capital. Fall Line invests in Farmland across the USA as well as new Ag Technologies and they also take an active role in the management of all their investments. Scott has direct farming experience not only across North America but also in Australia, Europe & the Former Soviet Union. Scott has won numerous achievement 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 and has spoken at “AgriTechnica” in Hannover, Germany, “Crop World” in London, England, and the “World’s Fair” in Milan, Italy. Along with recent speaking opportunities at Ag Days and other events in North America.

Scott has also been a contributing author to the advanced ag reference books: “The Search for Sustainable Agriculture” and “Rainfed Farming Systems Around the World”. Scott is also currently contributing to a book on Conservation Agriculture being coordinated by representatives from the FAO/UN. Scott received a BS in Agriculture with honours from the University of Manitoba and is a Professional Agrologist. Scott is currently Director of Agronomy for Fall Line Capital based in San Mateo, California, but he also continues farm, with the help of his family, specifically at Dand Manitoba, in the very heart of the Canadian Prairies.  His winters are spent in California with his wife Ann and their summers are spent back home at the farm.

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.