Speaker Bios - 2019

 Jeff AnsellWEB

Jeff Ansell - Jeff Ansell & Associates

Jeff Ansell is an internationally renowned communications trainer, bestselling media communications author, and executive leadership presence coach at Duke University.

With 40 years of experience as an investigative journalist, media and presentation trainer, and issues management advisor to CEO’s and political leaders, Jeff advises on how best to communicate with media and manage relationships with stakeholders and the general public.

Throughout a distinguished career, Jeff has counseled leaders during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, advised PG&E in the Erin Brockovich case, and trained White House spokespeople. 

Jeff’s LinkedIn Learning video series, Communicating with Confidence, is among the top 5 online courses for 2018. The program has been viewed over 1.3 million times and is now available in Japanese, with other languages to follow.

Jeff has been an instructor in the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program “Dealing with an Angry Public,” and annually lectures Harvard Business School MBA students on principles of crisis communications.

Jeff’s previous book, When the Headline Is YOU: An Insider’s Guide to Handling the Media, has been an Amazon PR bestseller, has been translated into multiple languages, and is on the curriculum of many universities and colleges. 

Formerly an award-winning journalist, Jeff was nominated for Canada’s Governor-General’s Award for Public Service in Journalism for his year-long undercover investigation into drug-pushing doctors.

As creator of a unique and proven process to be a compelling communicator, Jeff was ranked top speaker at the International Association of Business Communicators convention in Chicago.


Geneviève Berthiaume - Centre de developpement du Porc du Quebec (CIDPQ)


Sue Burlatschenko - Goshen Ridge Veterinary Services

Ken Engele 

Ken Engele - Prairie Swine Centre

Ken currently serves as the Manager of Information Services at the Prairie Swine Centre.  His position is one focused on extension, specifically focused on bringing research results to the Canadian pork industry.  Responsibilities include delivering communication programming through multiple forms including: print, personal, electronic and on-farm demonstration, in addition to developing and optimizing an economic model which estimates the economic benefit of adopting research to the producer.  Overall Ken has spent 20 years in the Canadian pork industry in the areas of research and commercial production, he is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, and continues to operate a grain and beef operation, with his family near Carmel, Saskatchewan.

 Chantal web

Chantal Farmer - Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

Dr. Farmer is a research scientist in sow lactation biology working at the Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She obtained her B.Sc. from McGill University (1980), her M.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan (1982) and her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University (1986).

Dr. Farmer’s research goal is to increase sow milk yield, hence piglet growth. She was a pioneer in studying mammary development in gilts and sows and identifying factors affecting it. She published 143 scientific manuscripts and is the sole editor of a recently published book entitled “The gestating and lactating sow” that was also published in Chinese. Her expertise is recognized internationally as evidenced by her being guest-speaker on numerous occasions in 13 European countries as well as Canada and the USA.

In 2003 she received the Award for Technical Innovation in Enhancing Production of Safe Affordable Food from the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) and in 2017 she received the most prestigious award from this society, namely the CSAS Fellowship Award. Dr. Farmer was on the executive of CSAS for 12 years (president in 1998-99), and on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of animal Science for 11 years, being its Editor-in-Chief from 2006 to 2010. She is currently a board member of the American Society of Animal Science.

 Billy Flowers 01WEB

Billy Flowers - North Carolina State University

Dr. William L. (Billy) Flowers received his B.S. in Animal Science from Virginia Tech (1982) and his M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1987) degrees in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Missouri. In 1987, he joined the faculty in the Animal Science Department at North Carolina State University where he currently is a William Neal Reynolds and Alumni Distinguished Professor with a teaching and research appointment. He teaches undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary classes in reproduction and swine management. His research program focuses on improving male and female fertility. Dr. Flowers has published over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and more than 450 popular press / extension articles dealing with swine reproductive physiology and artificial insemination.         


Geert Geene - Producer

 Lee AnneHuberWEB

Lee-Anne Huber - University of Guelph 

Lee-Anne was raised on a mixed farm of beef cattle and pigs just north of Guelph, ON. She decided to attend the University of Guelph with the intention of becoming a large animal veterinarian but soon discovered the world of swine nutrition research instead. After her BSc, she continued with a MSc and PhD, also at the University of Guelph, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Lee-Anne is now the swine nutrition researcher at the University of Guelph and her research program focuses on improving the sustainability of pork production using nutrition as a tool. Currently, she is examining low-environmental impact feed ingredients, identifying means to improve the value of feed ingredients, and using precision agriculture to  better predict and meet the nutrient requirements of lactating and gestating sows. Lee-Anne still enjoys helping on her family's farm (anything from shoveling manure to combining) and spending time with family and friends.


Jean-Michel Laurin - NATIONAL

Jean-Michel Laurin is Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs in NATIONAL Public Affairs’ Ottawa office. Recognized for his expertise on international trade and industrial policy issues, his analytical skills and his advocacy experience, he advises clients looking to solve complex public affairs issues.  Jean-Michel  has testified before Standing Committees of the House of Commons and Senate of Canada, been invited to comment on economic and business issues in the media, and was asked to advise the government in its trade negotiations with the European Union, India, the United States and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Scott Leystra - Producer


Graeme McDermid - South West Ontario Veterinary Services

 molenhuis john2017

John Molenhuis - OMAFRA

John has been with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as the Business Analysis and Cost of Production Specialist for the past 18 years. He has led several benchmarking projects with Ontario dairy, beef and sheep producers and the Towards Increased Profits (TIP) report, a benchmarking report for AgriStability participants using the Ontario Farm Income Database.

Before joining OMAFRA, John worked in agricultural lending with the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board.   John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Guelph. John grew up on a farrow-to-finish hog operation outside of Strathroy, Ontario.

 michelle headshoWEB

Michelle Painchaud - Painchaud Performance Group

Michelle is CEO and president of Painchaud Performance Group. She grew up and worked on a Manitoba farm, and is recognized as one of Canada's leaders in behavioural science and human-performance development. She has helped organizations shift employee behaviour and performance to high levels of productivity, engagement and overall satisfaction. 

Michelle is an acclaimed international speaker and regularly praised for her good-humoured style, and engaging, compelling delivery. She challenges farm business owners and managers to not only improve their business’ performance, but also their own.

She has spoken at agricultural conferences, including FCC Forum Speaker Series, Large Farm Management: HR Organization and Strategy International Conference in Ukraine, and Canadian Certified Crop Advisors Conference. 

In her presentation, Michelle will push you to take ownership and leadership of the behaviours and changes that drive and impact your employees. Be prepared to open your mind to new, thought-provoking leadership ideas. 

 B. Predicala web
Bernardo Predicala - University of Saskatchewan

AsResearch Scientist in charge of the Engineering research program at Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon, SK, Dr. Predicala is engaged in research activities with the main goal of addressing the sustainability and environmental concerns associated with pork production. Bernardo obtained his Ph.D. from Kansas State University and joined the Prairie Swine Centre in 2004. Since then, he has conducted research projects mainly aimed to improve air quality inside hog barns to reduce odor and gaseous emissions to the environment, to ensure health and safety of barn workers and pigs, and to develop housing and management systems that optimize pig welfare and productivity. Concurrently, Bernardo is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan.

Yolande Seddon - University of Saskatchewan
Joanne Selves - South West Ontario Veterinary Services

Jay SquireWallenstein Feed & Supply

 stein hans170302 18 b

Hans Stein - University of Illinois 

Hans H. Stein is a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois. He currently directs 5 PhD students, 7 Masters students, 2 post-doctoral research fellows, 2 research managers, a communication specialist, and 3 visiting scholars. His research focusses on energy and nutrient digestibility in humans and pigs as well as mineral nutrition in pigs. Dr. Stein has published more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and he has delivered invited presentations in 38 countries around the world. He has also served as the external examiner on Graduate Student Defense committees in Canada, Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Norway, and Denmark. He has also been an external evaluator of the undergraduate Animal Science Program at the National University of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia, and of the Graduate Animal Science Program at the University of Sao Paolo, Pirassununga, SP, Brazil. He was also a member of the committee that was invited by the National Academies to write the 11th revised edition of Nutrient Requirements of Swine.

Kevin jean jacket.001 copy 2 Copy  

Kevin Stewart - The Forward Factors

Kevin Stewart shares a passion for leadership in agriculture.

As a professional speaker, he draws his insights from growing up on the family farm near Chatham, Ontario, visiting hundreds of farm operations across the country and investing over twenty-five years in the national news media.

In 1997, Kevin created AGVISION Media. Over the past 21 years his company:

- Produced the Olympic Winter Games in Norway for the CTV Network.

- Created thirteen seasons of the AGVISION television series which aired across Canada and the U.S.

- Created and produced five seasons of the award-winning leadership podcast called The Edge.

- Developed many national advertising campaigns.

In 1999, AGVISION became the first agricultural program in the world to broadcast live on television and online. In recognition of these entrepreneurial efforts, Kevin was made an honourary life member of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists.

As a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, Kevin has delivered keynote addresses on leadership to more than five hundred audiences across North America.

Today, he is here to discuss: “The Forward Factors – Disruptive Ideas that Drive Innovation.”


Sebastein Turcotte -  Centre de developpement du Porc du Quebec (CIDPQ)


 micheal Young

Michael Young - Canada Pork International 

Michael Young has worked in the Canadian red meat industry for over 37 years specializing in pork and beef sales, marketing, product development and education in both the domestic and export marketplace.  He joined Canada Pork International (CPI) in 2007 and currently manages both CPI (export) and Canada Pork (domestic) marketing programs and services for the Canadian pork industry.

Prior to joining CPI, he served as Vice President, International Programs for Canada Beef Export Federation and held senior management positions with the Beef Information Centre, Sunterra Meats and Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation.

Young learned primary processing, fabrication and sausage making skills in the late seventies and completed a retail meat cutting apprenticeship in 1981. Post-secondary marketing and business administration studies were completed at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1993 and he achieved Master Cutter certification from the Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association in 1994.

During his professional career Young has promoted Canadian pork and beef in more than 25 countries and conducted over 300 carcass cutting, merchandising and cooking seminars. He has also authored numerous technical cutting manuals, buyers’ guides, merchandising resources and financial analysis/yield performance tools for the Canadian red meat industry.

Michael Young and his wife Karla live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and have four grown children.