Meet the Speakers

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The 2022 CAAR Conference will move forward as a virtual event February 9th-10th, 2022.

After a thorough review of current and future health risks, advisories to limit domestic and international travel, Federal and Provincial models indicating significant increase of Covid-19 positive tests over the next 3 weeks, consultation with the CAAR Executive Committee Board of Directors and CAAR staff, CAAR has decided to cancel the in-person 2022 CAAR Conference scheduled for February 8th – 10th, 2022 in Edmonton, Alberta.

We are disappointed with the cancellation of the in-person conference for a second year in a row, our industry safety and potential disruption of business operations overrides the benefits associated with hosting an in-person conference.

Registration refunds will be processed in the coming weeks leading up to the conference for the difference of our in-person and virtual fees. Thank you for your patience and your support as we navigate through this situation.

 All times in CST. 

Michael Kirwin | Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

State of Canadian Retail Businesses
Opening Keynote Speaker

Introduction of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
How has Covid-19 disruptions impacted Canadian small and medium enterprise (SME)?
What does the future hold for SME’s?

Michael Kirwin is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). CFIB is the largest independent business association in Canada with over 95,000 member businesses. Mike has been with CFIB for more than 30 years and has held a number of positions including General Manager for Southwestern Ontario and then Senior VP Sales, supervising about 200 CFIB salespeople across Canada. Over the last 10 years, Mike has been working to promote the benefits of CFIB membership to franchise groups and associations.

Chuck Penner | LeftField Commodity Research

2021: Short-Term Impacts & Lasting Effects
Featured Presentation

The disastrous 2021 crop had a cascading effect on the market in 2020/21 but has also triggered spillover effects in Canada and elsewhere that will last well into the future. We will look at how the current environment will influence farmers’ decision-making for 2022 but also how Canadian and global markets are shifting. Added to the “unprecedented” crop situation is a whole host of other factors that will come into play for this year and beyond.

Chuck Penner started LeftField Commodity Research in 2010, providing independent research and analysis for 16 Canadian crop markets in special crops, small grains and oilseeds.

LeftField’s services include weekly market analysis and client-specific research projects. Chuck grew up on a family farm in Manitoba’s Red River Valley and has 30 years of experience in the Canadian grain business, including 15 years in various roles at United Grain Growers and Agricore United, followed by 5 years at Informa Economics as Senior Consultant. He has a B.Sc Ag and Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba.

Josh Linville | Stone X

Fertilizer Outlook
Featured Presentation

A review of the Fertilizer Industry: How did we get to where we are today and where are we going?

Josh Linville is the Director of Fertilizer for StoneX Financial Inc. – FCM Division.

Having grown up in Northwest Missouri on a family farm that raised row crops, tobacco and livestock, Josh brings a unique point of view to the fertilizer markets.
With 20 years of experience in the fertilizer industry, Josh has operated in roles that have given him perspective on the market as a North American logistics specialist, a U.S.-based nitrogen producer, and General Manager of Trade in Melbourne Australia.

Josh and his team, which spans around the world, have been hard at work educating the market on how to use fertilizer futures markets to not only offset price risk but also be able to sell products to farmers well before fertilizer producers release their physical sales programs.

Derek Rolstone | Stone Strategies

Covid and the Workplace - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - a Human Resource Perspective
Featured Presentation

The Chinese have an old saying/curse “May you live in interesting times” - well we are certainly doing that now! Covid has brought all kinds of interesting, weird and tough predicaments to the (already difficult) world of people management. In this interactive presentation, HR expert Derek Rolstone will share best (and worst) practices and talk about what’s working and what isn’t in this (now two year) battle. We will talk about vaccination policy, hybrid work, employee engagement and how to make more money during this challenging time. Come prepared to share some of your experiences and viewpoints.

Derek Rolstone is a dedicated professional with over 25 years of HR/IR experience. He partners with organizations and has a lengthy and proven track record of increasing revenue, enhancing brand and building high performance teams in government, private and publicly traded companies.

Derek has helped many organizations make (and save) money through effective people strategies. He was a former HR Director for Suncor Energy, Bell Canada, Nygard, TransX and Pepsi, plus a former instructor at the Faculty of Business, Red River College. Derek has an MBA from UVIC and a BA from Western. He and his wife and 2 daughters live in River Heights. He loves squash, motorcycles, Duke basketball and (perhaps paradoxically), Broadway musicals

Karen Haugen - Kozyra | Viresco Solutions

Carbon Market Opportunities
Featured Presentation

Karen’ session will cover some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the agricultural sector as various market-based solutions are considered to create a greater role for the agricultural sector in addressing climate change. Discussion will focus on some of the most exciting project types that have been brought to market recently, emerging opportunities, challenges and means to mitigate such challenges, and stakeholders likely to play a key role in facilitating uptake of offset projects and other mitigation strategies in the sector.

Karen has over 25 years of experience in agricultural greenhouse gas measurement, modeling, and climate change/environmental policy development – spanning her tenure at the provincial Department of Agriculture in Alberta, then at the not-for-profit Climate Change Central, and now in the private sector. During her tenure with the province, Karen was part of the cross-governmental team that developed Alberta’s Bioenergy Policy Framework, which was approved by cabinet in 2008. This framework set the stage for Alberta’s Bioenergy Program administered by the Department of Energy. Karen also led ecosystem goods and service policy and program development, in concert with other federal, provincial, and territorial governments under Canada’s Agriculture Policy Frameworks. In her earlier years with the provincial department of agriculture, she conducted research and studies of environmental mitigation opportunities for agriculture in air, water, soil and biodiversity.

Ted McKinney | National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)

UN Food Systems Update
Featured Presentation

Ted shares a wealth of international agriculture experience looking at UN and EU green and sustainability initiatives. Should North America agriculture follow? What is the US perspective, Federal, State, Farmer? Short and long term effects.

Ted serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NASDA, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, a position to which he was named in September 2021. Prior to NASDA, he was also the first U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs from 2017-2021. In that role, Under Secretary McKinney led the development and implementation of the Department’s trade policy, oversaw and facilitated foreign market access, and promoted opportunities for U.S. agriculture through various trade programs and high-level government negotiations. He also oversaw the U.S. Codex Alimentarius staff and functions. 

MRL Panel and Pest Control Product Act (2002) Provisions

Representatives of Canada Grains Council, CropLife Canada, and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PRMA) discuss proposed changes, funding, and the future Canadian pesticide reviews and registrations.


Gord Kurbis | Canada Grains Council

Gord Kurbis is Vice President of Trade Policy and Crop Protection at the Canada Grains Council. Gord’s 20+ years in the Canadian grain industry include market access issues ranging from tariffs to phytosanitary issues to technology use. He has participated in senior roles at government/industry trade forums associated with Codex, NAFTA, WTO, FAO, and the International Plant Protection Convention, as well as technology and market access focused roles at the International Grain Trade Coalition, the Global Pulse Federation, and the International Agri-Food Network. Gord holds an MSc in agricultural economics and resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Terri Stewart | CropLife Canada

MRL Panel: and Pest Control Product Act (2002) Provisions
Panel Presentation

Terri Stewart is the Executive Director, Chemistry at CropLife Canada. In this role, Terri helps lead one of the two main business lines at CropLife Canada and is responsible for science and regulatory priorities related to pesticides. CropLife is a trade association representing developers, manufacturers and distributors of plant science innovations for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

Prior to joining CropLife Canada in 2019, Terri worked for 16 years at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, a branch of Health Canada, in its pre-market and post-market registration programs (2003-2018) and later as the lead of the agricultural stakeholder outreach group (2018-2019).

Terri holds a B.Sc. in Biology from University of Cape Breton and an M.Sc. in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph.


Manon Bombardier | Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)

MRL Panel: and Pest Control Product Act (2002) Provisions
Panel Presentation

Manon Bombardier is Assistant Deputy Minister – Transformation, at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Prior to that, she was the Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister at Health Canada, in the Health Products and Food Branch since September 2020. Previously, she served as Director General of Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate. During her tenure, she played a leadership role in developing policies, programs and tools for the licensing of natural health products and non- prescription drugs and was responsible for advancing regulatory modernization in those areas. She also led the health portfolio’s response to the COVID-19 motion adopted in October 2020 by the House of Commons.

Before joining Health Canada in October 2016, Manon served as Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). From 2000 to 2013, Manon served in several leadership roles at Environment and Climate Change Canada, including as Director General of Environmental Enforcement, where she oversaw the directorate’s environmental surveillance and enforcement functions. Manon holds a PhD in Environmental Toxicology (Université de Metz, FR, 2007) and an (Hautes Etudes Commerciales, 2001).

Dan McTeague | Canadians For Affordable Energy

Emerging Energy Crisis
Closing & Keynote Presentation

A global green energy and net zero emissions ideology has taken over many western countries including Canada. Is it feasible, justified, and sustainable? What are the impacts to Canadian industry and consumers? How is energy security impacted? Answers to these questions and more.

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions.

Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

CAAR Pro-Ag Investments Auction

Stock up on agri-retail essentials at the Pro-Ag Investments Auction! Help support your industry by participating in the exciting Pro-Ag Investments Auction by either donating items to the auction or bidding at the event! All proceeds support the association and a wide range of initiatives that focus on strengthening the Canadian ag industry.

Click here to learn more about this exciting event.