Dr. George Powell, AgForInsight.com
George is consulting Agrologist and principal at AgForInsight.com, specializing in providing planning, research and development support for sustainable agriculture, agroforestry and other integrated resource management. He has a PhD from the University of Alberta in agroforestry, as well as degrees from the University of BC in agronomy and range management. George is a recognized Environmental Farm Planning advisor and prior to launching a full-time consulting business in 2004 he worked as a scientist and program manager at the BC Ministry of Forests, and was a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta.
Graeme Finn, Southern Cross Livestock
Graeme Finn is a dedicated and lifelong learner in the agriculture sector. His passion for forage and livestock began in Australia where he grew up on the family purebred cattle station in Queensland. He went on to receive an Ag degree from CB Alexander Agriculture College in New South Wales. Despite living in Canada for the past 18 years he has not given up on his Australian lingo!
Graeme and his wife, Heather, and their two young daughters, Claire and Morgan currently run a beef operation near Madden, Alberta. They manage a cow calf operation and run yearlings with a focus on grassing them. They have been successful in incorporating intensive rotational grazing and winter grazing strategies into their management system.
Graeme was introduced to the Foothills Forage & Grazing Association (FFGA) by Doug Wray 11 years ago. He has been an active director on the FFGA board for six years, taking on the position of Chairman for some of that time. He has been and continues to be a knowledgeable, energetic force that has been a crucial part to many initiatives and changes the association has under taken. His approach to new ideas resulted in the launch of FFGA’s first international agriculture tour to Brazil in the fall of 2010. This trip was a great success and he looks forward to another trip this fall and more in the coming years.
Graeme is currently Vice President on the ARECA (Agricultural Research Extension Council of Alberta) Board and the sits on the board of the Canadian Beef and Forage Research Council. His passion for looking at new ways to do things and finding ways to be profitable both by cutting the bottom line as well as looking outside the box to improve profit margin has made him keen on all of the ARECA associations and getting more people involved in them. He is always willing to lend a hand and keen to talk anything grass to producers.
This conference was held February 20-21 in 2015. Conference proceedings will be available sometime in 2016.
Brian Minter, Horticulturist, Entrepreneur and Businessman
Brian Minter began sharing his passion for plants with British Columbia's gardners when, in 1970, he and his wife Faye purchased Country Garden Store, a garden shop that had been part of Chilliwack's community since 1957. In 1977, the Minters discovered a piece of land nestled beneath Mt. Cheam and by 1980, that passion for plants was transformed into 32-acre, world-famous Minter Gardens, which closed in 2013.
Brian, a University of British Columbia graduate (BA) and Master Gardener, quickly became BC's go-to garden expert through his experience at both the garden centre and the display gardens. As such, he has hosted countless radio and television shows, is a frequent gardening columnist and is the author of Canadian Best Seller, 'Brian Minter's New Gardening Guide - Fresh Approaches for Canadian Gardeners'.
Brian and Faye are co-owners of Minter Country Garden Store and operate it along with their family.
Dr. Arthur Bomke, Professor Emeritus University of British Columbia
Art was raised on a small farm in Illinois, did his university education in that state at Southern Illinois University (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.) and immigrated to British Columbia almost four decades ago. Art’s educational background is in Agronomy, specifically soil and crop management; and he taught courses and conducted research on soil fertility and management throughout his UBC career.
Art has also had opportunities to explore social dimensions of agricultural systems through his teaching in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems’ Land, Food and Community core curriculum. Since coming to UBC, he has conducted research on both inorganic and organic fertilization, nitrogen cycling, on-farm composting, agroecology and cropping systems. The latter subject included two studies of small grain management within vegetable rotations. Most of his work has been done in partnership with farmers and other participants in food systems. Art officially retired to Associate Professor Emeritus status in 2011 and continues to pursue interests in sustainable soil management and supporting farmers and farm communities.