BeefTech

November 8 & 9
BeefTech November 2016

Join us November 8 & 9 for BeefTech — a interactive beef industry learning event.

Explore and experience emerging technologies and innovative management practices. Learn how to implement technology in your beef operation to improve production and increase profitability.

  • Hands-on workshops and labs
  • Technology demonstrations
  • Technical learning sessions

Featured Keynotes

Robert Saik, Agri-Trend – “The Agriculture Manifesto”
Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air – “Stand Up for Your Industry!”

BeefTech

#BeefTech

Registration now open.
See below for further details.

Contact us!

Phone: 780.471.7300 or email

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in Beeftech Sponsorship Opportunities?

Email or call 780.471.7300

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Registration

Full Conference Registration $305

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Student Registration $205

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Farm Registration (2 attendees) $570

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Farm Registration (4 attendees) $1140

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Feature Partners

*Note: Schedule, sessions, and speakers are subject to change.

BeefTech Event Schedule

Wednesday, November 8

8 – 9 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
9 – 9:05 a.m. Welcome to BeefTech & Housekeeping Items
9:05 – 9:10 a.m. Sponsor Speaking Opportunity
9:10 – 10:10 a.m. Keynote Address – Robert Saik, Agri-Trend – “The Agriculture Manifesto” See keynote details
10:10 – 10:35 a.m. Coffee & Networking & Travel
10:35 – 11:20 a.m. Session 1 See session details / See speaker bio
Christine Su, PatureMap – “Making Technology Work For You – PastureMap, Drones & Satellites”
Sandy Russell, Spring Creek Consulting – “The Business of Beef – Avoiding the Bogs & Quicksand”
Deborah Wilson, BIXSco – “BIXS Unlock the Value of Data – Reflect Pride of the Industry”
Don Miller, Sundown Livestock Transplants – “Timed Breeding – How the Protocols Work”
11:20 – 11:25 a.m. Travel
11:25 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Session 2 See session details / See speaker bio
John Church, TRU – Managing Cattle From Above: Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Precision Ranching
Troy Drake, HerdTrax – “Hertrax Cattle Management Program – Much More than Just Software!”
Jasper Munro, BIO – “Tell The Story of Food – It’s What Consumers Want”
Oscar Lopez-Campos & Manuel Juarez, Lacombe Research Station – “The Value of Beef Carcass Information”
12:10 – 1 p.m. Lunch & Networking
1 – 1:45 p.m. Session 3 See session details / See speaker bio
Deborah Wilson, BIXSco – “BIXS Unlock the Value of Data – Reflect Pride of the Industry”
Mary Drisdale, Consultant – “Keeping Track of Information – Data Management”
Vicky Horn, Spring Creek Ranch – “The Benefits of Being a Part of a Beef Program”
Rod Wendorff, Windy Ridge Ultrasound – “Predicting Carcass Traits Using Ultrasound”
Amanda Van De Kerckhove, MSc, PAg – “Managing Mycotoxins”
1:45 – 1:50 p.m. Travel
1:50 – 2:35 p.m. Session 4 See session details / See speaker bio
Christine Su, PatureMap – “Making Technology Work For You – PastureMap, Drones & Satellites”
Jasper Munro, BIO – “Tell The Story of Food – It’s What Consumers Want”
Troy Drake, HerdTrax – “Hertrax Cattle Management Program – Much More than Just Software!”
BIXSco, VBP, CRSB Panel
2:35 – 3 p.m. Coffee & Networking
3 – 3:45 p.m. Session 5 See session details / See speaker bio
John Church, TRU – Managing Cattle From Above: Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Precision Ranching
Oscar Lopez-Campos & Manuel Juarez, Lacombe Research Station – “The Value of Beef Carcass Information”
Mary Drisdale, Consultant – “Keeping Track of Information – Data Management”
Melissa Downing, Alberta Verified Beef – “Livestock Biosecurity”
3:45 – 3:50 p.m. Travel
3:50 – 4:35 p.m. Session 6 See session details / See speaker bio
Sandy Russell, Spring Creek Consulting – “The Business of Beef – Avoiding the Bogs & Quicksand”
Ryan Copithorne, Cows in Control – “Building a Risk Management Program for Your Cattle Operations”
Rod Wendorff, Windy Ridge Ultrasound – “Predicting Carcass Traits Using Ultrasound”
Dr. John Basarab, “Genomic Tools for Beef Production: Keep Your Herd Vigor Up” & Michelle Miller, Livestock Gentec – “Made in Canada Genomic Tools for Commercial Cattle: Envigour HX”
4:35 – 6 p.m. Happy Hour Reception – Appetizers and Cash Bar
7:30 p.m. CFR Performance – Optional

Thursday, November 9

8 – 9 a.m. Breakfast
9 – 9:05 a.m. Morning Welcome and Housekeeping
9:05 – 10:05 a.m. Keynote Address – Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air – “Stand Up for Your Industry!” See keynote details
10:05 – 10:10 a.m. Travel
10:10 – 10:55 a.m. Session 7 See session details / See speaker bio
John Church, TRU – Managing Cattle From Above: Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Precision Ranching
Jasper Munro, BIO – “Tell The Story of Food – It’s What Consumers Want”
Kathy Larson, Western Beef Development Centre – “Cow-Calf Cost of Production – Calculator Tool”
Don Miller, Sundown Livestock Transplants – “Embryo Transfer 101”
Oscar Lopez-Campos & Manuel Juarez, Lacombe Research Station – “The Value of Beef Carcass Information”
10:55 – 11 a.m. Travel
11 – 11:45 a.m. Session 8 See session details / See speaker bio
Melissa Downing, Alberta Verified Beef – “Livestock Biosecurity”
Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air Media – “Tools to Talk To Consumers”
Vicky Horn, Spring Creek Ranch – “The Benefits of Being a Part of a Beef Program”
Mary Drisdale, Consultant – “Keeping Track of Information – Data Management”
11:45 – 11:50 a.m. Travel
11:50 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. Session 9 See session details / See speaker bio
Christine Su, PatureMap – “Making Technology Work For You – PastureMap, Drones & Satellites”
Kathy Larson, Western Beef Development Centre – “Cow-Calf Cost of Production – Calculator Tool”
Troy Drake, HerdTrax – “Hertrax Cattle Management Program – Much More than Just Software!”
Rod Wendorff, Windy Ridge Ultrasound – “Predicting Carcass Traits Using Ultrasound”
Amanda Van De Kerckhove, MSc, PAg – “Managing Mycotoxins”
12:35 – 1:45 p.m. Closing Lunch

Keynotes

Robert Saik – Agricultural Manifesto – Wednesday Morning Keynote

Agri-Trend
Agriculture is no longer Murray McGlaughlan’s “dusty old farmer bent over the tractor wheel” but a full-fledged modern business integrating all the tools available to it. We will look at how Science and Technology are being integrated with modern agricultural practices relating to the beef industry to provide society with a safe, reliable food supply in an environmentally sustainable manner AND we will look at some of the threats that could potentially erode our ability to feed the people on the planet. There are major technology currents pulling on all of humanity. We can choose to fight the current or be aware of their strength and swim in the same direction…and be ahead of the competition. Rob will take you on a quick journey showing how farmers are integrating technology to feed a growing world population. He will touch on exponentially, robotics, artificial intelligence, sensor integration, bio synthesis (GE and GMO), data systems and environment sustainability. Finally, we will look at HOW we could integrate all these technologies to best serve our farmer customers through new business opportunities offered by our dealerships. And lastly, you will walk away with a sense that, in spite of what the media reports, things are actually pretty good and getting better all the time.

Andrew Campbell – Stand Up For Your Industry – Thursday Morning Keynote

Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air Media
The world is more connected than ever before. But with that connection, comes a barrage of information that is hard to sort through from fact & fiction. In agriculture, we’re starting to see what that information can do to public trust, as more regulations & buyer demands are implemented, some of which aren’t any safer, but merely a nod to misunderstood public pressure. Something can be done. Something needs to be done. Public outreach through social media, dinner conversations, grocery check-out line thank yous and more can all help. But you’ve got to step up and do it.

Sessions

Andrew Campbell – Lessons in Advocacy – Tips to Help You Speak Up

Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air Media
Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to find some successes & some failures when it comes to advocating on behalf of agriculture. Some are easy lessons. Some are more subtle. All of them, you can learn from. Whether it be dealing with activists, engaging with media, or building a following in the thousands, we’ll cover it all so you can help speak up on behalf the most important industry in the country.

John Church – Managing Cattle from Above: Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Precision Ranching

John Church, Associate Professor/Cattle Research Chair – Thompson Rivers University
We will demonstrate the utility of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for routine animal handling and inspection, and their ability to reduce labor. Robust, multi-rotor UAVs equipped with both high definition visual cameras, alongside thermal and multi-spectral cameras, will be highlighted to demonstrate livestock monitoring while either on range or in the yard. UAVs can be further used to monitor subtle changes in the near-infrared and infrared spectrum that both plants and animals reflect; which enables us through remote sensing to spot plants under stress, monitor plant growth, find lost cattle, and perform dozens of other functions in managing the ranch.

Mary Drisdale – Keeping Track of Information – Data Management

Mary Drisdale, Consultant
By reviewing the principles of organized data managements, electronic filing, and ways to digitize files, attendees will learn tips and tricks when working with their data and how to protect their information.

Oscar Lopez-Campos & Manuel Juarez – The Value of Beef Carcass Grading

Oscar Lopez-Campos, Livestock Carcass Merit and Market Competitiveness Scientist & Manuel Juarez, Livestock Phenomics Scientist
Beef carcass grading and classification systems will be explored in order to understand the potential applications of this information for selection and management decisions. This session will include hands on activities relating to beef carcass grading.

Kathy Larson – Cow-Calf Cost of Production: Calculator Tutorial

Kathy Larson, Research Economist with Western Beef Development Centre
Western Beef has been working with cow-calf producers since the late 1990s on calculating cost of production. Over the years they have shifted from spending time at ranchers’ kitchen tables collecting production and financial records to generate provincial benchmarks to providing the tools and training for producers to calculate their own cost of production. In this session, learn why it’s important to calculate your own cost of production and work through an example to get comfortable with using the Excel-based calculator that you can take home and modify with your own numbers.

Sandy Russell – Business of Beef – Avoiding the Bogs & Quicksand!

Sandy Russell, Partner with Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting
The business of beef production is complex and challenging. Today’s extremely dynamic cattle marketplace combined with increased innovation and technology advancements has provided ample opportunities for profitable beef operations to thrive however there remain considerable risks that producers must maneuver through. Learn how to create a successful business model for your operation that is responsive to cattle market opportunities yet provides long term stability through focused planning that optimize your resources.

Deborah Wilson – BIXS Unlock the Value of Data – Reflect the Pride of the Industry

Deborah Wilson, Sr. Vice President, BIXSco Inc.
Canadian Producers must start to utilize new technologies to prove and verify what their production practices are. This will allow them prove things like carbon footprint, keep better records, become more profitable, to provide verification and chain of custody for public trust and sustainable beef production. Learning new technologies will allow producers to be more efficient as far as record-keeping and better able to accumulate more important information.

Vicky Horn – Meeting Consumer Demands: Benefits of participating in a branded beef program

Vicky Horn, Spring Creek Ranch
The marketplace is changing. Claims of “hormone free”, “antibiotic free”, and “raised without” can be found on various forms of advertising and discussed rampantly on social media. But what do they all mean and what is required for ranchers to make these claims? Join Vicky Horn from Spring Creek Premium Beef as we discuss rancher requirements and the benefits of participating in a branded beef program.

Christine Su – Making Technology Work For You - PastureMap, Drones & Satellites

Christine Su, Founder & CEO – PastureMap
How can you use technology to help you save time on the ranch, instead of adding tasks? We will demonstrate how to use apps on your phone or tablet to manage your ranch from your pocket, even without cell reception. There are apps that help you plan fencing in the field, keep animal and grazing records, and take GPS photos of forage and infrastructure. We’ll also discuss how to get value out of drone and satellite imaging. Aerial imaging can help you with tracking forage growth, invasive plant control, and seeing stressed areas. After the demo and Q&A, you can play around with mapping, photos, and imaging layers using our phones and iPads.

Ryan Copithorne – Building A Risk Management Program for Your Cattle Operations

Ryan Copithorne, Owner/President – Cows in Control Inc..
Working with cattle producers to assess the market over the last year, and develop a simulated annual marketing and risk management strategy for the future sale of your marketable livestock.

Japer Munro – Tell The Story Of Food – It’s What Consumers Want!

Japer Munro, BIO
By identifying important data collection tools on the farm, this session will show how value-added information can help producers grow their herds and improve their bottom lines. The conversation will continue with the story from pasture to plate and the available bioLinks products, which can help the producers make their next business decision.

Rod Wendorff – Predicting Carcass Traits Using Ultrasound

Rod Wendorff, Windy Ridge Ultrasound
Learn about the current uses of ultrasound and how the modern ultrasound technology works and why it is important in the cattle industry, especially on live cattle. This session will provide a hands on opportunity to try the ultrasound equipment on a live animal.

Dr. John Basarab & Michelle Miller – Genomic Tools for Beef Production: Keeping Your Herd Vigor Up & Made in Canada Genomic Tools for Commercial Cattle: Envigour HX

Dr. John Basarab & Michelle Miller

Genomic tools have made another breakthrough into industry application in the commercial beef cattle industry. John will discuss how SNP parentage, genomic breed composition, and genomic hybrid vigour on individual cattle can now be readily determined, as can their impact on cow-calf and feeder cattle profitability. But this is just the first step. Genomically enhanced breeding values (e.g., gEPDs in beef cattle) and multi-trait value indices are also being improved upon to perform better in commercial crossbred cattle, that have up until now been largely limited to purebred cattle. Use of these genomic tools will also improve the sustainability for beef production by lowering the carbon footprint, improving profitability and improving the animal’s ability to adapt to changing environments. John’s presentation will outline how the research was conducted, the potential benefits to those using the technology as well as some of considerations that need to be taken when deciding when and where to use these new tools.

In February 2017, Delta Genomics released the first made in Canada genomic tool for Canadian crossbred cattle producers, EnVigour HXTM, which provides parentage, breed composition, and a Vigour Score that measures hybrid vigour. Michelle will be discussing how these three features enable producers to design crossbreeding strategies that will maximize hybrid vigour in their cows, thus increasing fitness traits such as fertility, stayability, adaptability, and lifetime productivity. Fertility in particular is critical to environmental stewardship by maintaining a smaller cow herd that generates less carbon waste but still meets market demands, and also to financial sustainability by reducing costs with fewer animals and increasing the pounds weaned per cow exposed. Additionally, the parentage results from EnVigour HXTM will identify those bulls that are producing high performing calves, or alternatively, not producing calves at all. For the calves that match to a sire, EnVigour HXTM can also back-calculate the estimated breed composition and Vigour Score of the dam even though she was never tested at the laboratory. This session will present why EnVigour HXTM may be the tool to use in selecting replacement heifers that are more fertile and productive over their lifetimes.

The BIXS, VBP+ and CRSB panel

The BIXS, VBP+ and CRSB panel

Understand how the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Verified Beef Production Plus and Beef Info Exchange System support one another in the production of sustainable beef. These three organizations continue to work together to bring the reality of a Sustainable Canadian Cattle Industry producing Sustainable Canadian Beef.

Amanda Van De Kerckhove – Managing Mycotoxins

Amanda Van De Kerckhove

An overview of common moulds and mycotoxins that impact beef cattle in Western Canada and solutions for dealing with contaminated feedstuffs.

Troy Drake – Herdtrax Cattle Management Program – Much More than Just Software!

Keynote description coming soon

Don Miller – Timed Breeding – How Protocols Work

Keynote description coming soon

Don Miller – Embryo Transfer 101

Keynote description coming soon

Melissa Downing – Livestock Biosecurity

Keynote description coming soon

Keynote Bios

John Basarab

John Basarab received his PhD in Animal Genetics and Biochemistry in 1981 from the University of Alberta. As Senior Research Scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, he has over 25 years of experience in beef cattle production and management. His current areas of work include improving feed efficiency, delivering genomic and production technologies to the beef industry, and investigating greenhouse gas mitigation in beef cattle.

John is an Adjunct Professor at the universities of Alberta and Manitoba, member of the senior management team of Livestock Gentec, and former Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Animal Science. He is also the author or co-author of over 300 scientific and extension articles and the winner of the 2010 Canadian Animal Industries Award in Extension and Public Service.

Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell is a farmer, with a passion for agriculture advocacy, social media and new technology. With the farm, known as Bellson Farms, he and his family milk holsteins and grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in Southern Ontario’s Middlesex County. With all kinds of information available about modern farms, and not all of it being true, Andrew is keen to make sure people get the full story on what farmers do on a daily basis, why they do it and what they care about. He’s been featured on CBC, CTV, and other media outlets across Canada for his work in opening up his farm with pictures on social media as the FreshAirFarmer. When he isn’t farming or travelling, you’ll likely find him spending time at home with his young family, curling at the local club or just enjoying the view from his front porch.

Oscar Lopez Campos

Dr. Óscar López-Campos was born and raised in León, Spain. Óscar completed his undergraduate studies in Animal Science in 2002, he then entered into graduate studies and received a Ph.D. in Animal Production in 2007 at the University of León (Spain). Once finished his Ph.D., he continued working as a contract researcher at the Mountain Cattle Institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). In 2009, Óscar came to Canada and since then he has completed a 3 year NSERC post-doctoral fellowship and over 2 year term as a Research Associate at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lacombe Research Centre. Since April 2015, Óscar is a Livestock Carcass Merit and Market Competitiveness research scientist at Lacombe Research & Development Centre (AAFC). Óscar has undertaken intensive training in meat quality and carcass evaluation and is a Certified Beef and Bison Grader by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency. Óscar’s main research focus is on objective and subjective carcass merit assessments of economically important yield and muscle quality attributes, and has participated in numerous beef, bison, sheep and pork studies, and in several collaborations with the Canadian Cattle and Bison Industry Associations. Results of Óscar’s research have been published in 33 journal articles, 22 extension papers, 59 abstracts and conference proceedings and 5 book chapters

John Church

Dr. John Church is currently an Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University as well as the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Cattle Industry Sustainability. John is a former ranch manager with direct industry experience, along with eight years of service with the Alberta provincial government as the animal welfare specialist. Dr. Church earned his PhD in Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science from the University of Alberta in 1997, studying the effects of production practices on the behavior of ruminant animals. He holds an M. Sc in Biology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia (1993), and a B. Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Alberta (1991). In July 2008, John accepted the new position as the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Cattle Industry Sustainability at Thompson Rivers University. The Chair now leads a multidisciplinary research team dedicated to the exploration and invention of innovative practices and technologies leading to the sustainability and enhancement of the cattle industry, rangelands, and meat production and related products. The scope of the research program encompasses production of the grazing animals through to harvesting, raw and value added meat products, and the preservation of the natural resources on which these industries depend.

The focus of Dr. Church’s research program is on new emerging opportunities for beef producers in the areas of value-added and branded beef production, which includes human and environmental health. In addition, Dr. Church’s research program is now using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for Precision Ranching, with a goal towards improved management of both the land base as well as the animals.

Ryan Copithorne

Ryan Copithorne is president and founder of Cows in Control Inc, a marketing and risk management company for the cow calf sector, as well as owner of 100X Ranches Ltd., a 1500 cow ranching operation in the foothills west of Calgary. Ryan has 25 years’ experience in the cattle industry ranging from management of the historic CL Ranches, his family’s operations, to managing a large corporate cattle operation of 8500 mother cows, involved throughout in cow/calf production, backgrounding and finishing. He has a business degree, MBA and 15 years of risk management and cattle hedging experience. Ryan both personally and through Cows in Control seeks to advance and promote the interests of the cow calf sector through sound marketing management.

Mary Drisdale

With a Bachelor’s Degree Agricultural Economics, UBC – Beef Production as well as a Master’s Degree in Animal Science – population genetics-statistics Washington State University – Pullman, Mary is passionate about the beef industry, data management and embracing technology to capture accurate data, striving to make users’ experiences better and more productive in whatever software system they are using. She has worked in cattle industry for 25+ years in almost all capacities in the cow-calf, purebred, and feedlot sectors. Mary is also an experienced facilitator for adult learners.

Vicky Horn

Vicky Horn has been with Spring Creek Premium Beef since 2008. Working in evolving roles including logistics and shipping, sales and marketing, processing and protocols has provided her a keen understanding of beef value chains and valuable insight into branded marketing. Currently in her role as producer liaison, Vicky maintains communication and relationships with ranchers, oversees protocols and assists in sourcing cattle for the Spring Creek program.

Manuel Juarez

Dr. Manuel Juárez completed his Ph.D. in Animal Production at the University of Seville (Spain) in 2007. Prior to his PhD, Dr. Juárez completed an MBA and a MVSc at the University of Cordoba. Dr. Juárez has worked as a production manager in Finland, in research labs in Italy and Ireland, and developing meat quality brands in Spain. Nowadays, Dr. Juárez coordinates the Livestock Phenomics program at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lacombe Research and Development Centre, linking livestock genomics and phenotypic research focused on meat production. Dr. Juárez applies a holistic approach to evaluate the interactions between genetic and environmental factors, being able to quantify their contribution on animal performance, carcass and meat quality traits. His goal is the optimization of livestock production systems to maximize profitability while maintaining or enhancing carcass and meat quality. Dr. Juárez has published 90+ research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous extensions papers, conference contributions and book chapters.

Amanda Van De Kerckhove, MSc, PAg Ruminant Nutritionist from Co-op Feeds

Amanda was raised in Moosomin, SK. She received her BSA in Animal Science and MSc in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan. Amanda joined Co-op Feeds in 2010. As a ruminant nutritionist, Amanda is responsible for product development, ration formulation, ingredient standards and quality control, and compliance with CFIA regulations. She provides technical support for producers and sales people. Amanda also has a role in research. Outside of work, her interests involve horses, goats, and travel.

Kathy Larson

Kathy Larson joined Western Beef as their Research Economist in April 2010. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan. Her research is focused on getting producers to understand the value in measuring – both costs and production – in order to manage and increase their profit potential. Her research and extension interests include: tools and training on cost of production, the management and marketing practices of cow-calf producers, and the reasons behind management practice adoption. She provides economic analysis and training to support the forage and cow-calf research conducted by her colleagues, Dr. Bart Lardner and Dr. Paul Jefferson, and their students. Originally from a purebred cattle and grain farm near Tyvan in southeastern Saskatchewan, she now resides with her husband and children at Prince Albert where she works from a home office.

Michelle Miller, CEO Delta Genomics

Michelle Miller is CEO of Delta Genomics, a national, not-for-profit biobanking, genotyping, and sequencing company that serves the livestock industry and the research community. Michelle completed her BSc in Molecular Genetics at the University of Alberta and MSc in Human Genetics at McGill University. During her studies, Michelle participated in a 16-month internship at the Alberta Research Council (now Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) and a one-year student exchange program at the University of London. Previously, Michelle worked in Canada and the United States looking at various genetic conditions that affect human health. While at Delta Genomics, Michelle completed her MBA at the University of Alberta.

Jasper Munro, BIO

Jasper Munro, is a Business Development Associate at BIO, Beef Improvement Opportunities, a non-for-profit producer cooperative focused on making animal recording from birth to plate easy for producers using innovative software’s. He is also involved in his family’s beef, corn, soybean and cereal farm in Bruce County, Ontario. Jasper has a passion for the beef industry, particularly how technology can be used to improve its viability which lead him to complete a MSc focused on using technologies to improve beef cattle feed efficiency. He continues to have an interest in livestock innovation, is a board member on several local agricultural organizations and is also a sports fanatic.

Sandy Russell, MSc, PAg

Sandy Russell has spent her entire life involved in agriculture. She was raised on her family’s ranch in central Saskatchewan and remains active in the cattle business residing with her family on the ranch near Outlook, Saskatchewan. Sandy received both her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan focusing on animal science, economic analysis and information management within the beef industry. Following her formal education, Sandy worked for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture for six years as the Provincial Beef Economist.

In 2008, Sandy left public service to become a partner in Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting. During this time Sandy has worked with numerous clients and partners on an extensive list of projects within agriculture. Her interests and expertise include policy and market analysis, cost/benefit assessments, strategic planning and project management. Sandy has worked with industry associations, private business, provincial and federal governments and universities across Canada. She has become recognized for her market analysis of the beef industry and is respected for her in-depth knowledge and understanding of the ever-changing dynamics of the beef cattle business. Sandy has been an invited speaker to numerous events over the past decade sharing her knowledge and passion for the Canadian beef industry.

Robert Saik

Robert Saik, Founder of The Agri-Trend® Group of Companies (now part of Trimble Navigation) is a Professional Agrologist and a Certified Agricultural Consultant. In his capacity as Founder and now Global Business Development for Agri-Trend, Robert has been involved in the development of many new business processes and spearheaded several advancements in technology integration in agriculture including the development of The Agri-Data® Solution which was a winner of Alberta’s 2002 E-business of the Year for on-line farm data management as well as 2015 Ag Innovation of the Year Award by Agri-Trade Show.

In addition to being a keen entrepreneur, Rob’s technical strengths lie in soil chemistry, plant physiology and crop nutrition. Robert was awarded the 2014 Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Agricultural Marketers.

Robert is also the author of an Amazon 2014 Best of Books, “The Agriculture Manifesto” – 10 Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the next Decade and the publisher of The AgADVANCE Journal, 2014 Western Trade Journal of the Year. He is a passionate keynote speaker addressing audiences on the importance of modern agriculture, His 2014 TEDx talk, entitled “Will Agriculture be ALLOWED to feed 9 Billion People” is a popular on-line reference and has been viewed over 90,000 times. He is also the Executive Producer of KNOW GMO the MOVIE a full feature movie project looking at the advancements of technology use in agriculture. This global, film festival quality documentary will be “an uplifting discussion about food” and is currently being filmed with planned release for 2017.

Rob serves on several boards and is a member of many professional associations. In 2006 he was recognized as Distinguished Agrologist of the Year by the Alberta Institute of Agrology.

Christine Su

Christine Su is the founder of PastureMap, a grazing management software platform. Christine started building PastureMap in 2014 with local cattle ranchers on the California coast, to help family farms and ranches who are the backbone of the food system get more productive and profitable. Christine grew up in Northern California and came to know her local farmers and ranchers through buying direct from them. She has worked on farms and ranches in four continents, including California, New Zealand, and Japan. She built the operations reporting platform for the largest hazelnut nursery in the world. Christine has 3 degrees from Stanford, including an MS in Land Use and Agriculture and an MBA. Prior to founding PastureMap, she worked at McKinsey and at KKR Capstone.

Rod Wendorff

Born and raised in southern Alberta and currently living just outside Raymond.
Married my childhood sweetheart, Sherri Palmer, and together we have 6 children and 15 grandchildren.

From 1983 to 2014 raised purebred Charolais and Black Angus.

Have been ultrasounding beef cattle since September 1994 which makes Windy Ridge. Ultrasound the longest running beef cattle ultrasound business in Canada and top 5 in North America. I was trained to ultrasound at Kansas State University by John Brethour who was a great pioneer in carcass ultrasound.

In 2006 my wife and I traveled to Peru with our children for a family vacation and saw a need for helping street kids and orphanages so we started a charitable organization Southern Alberta Society for High Andes Relief. Last year our group purchased land and buildings for an Orphanage outside of Cusco, Peru and we are in the process of completing a shelter for young girls that have been rescued from sex trafficking.

Deborah Wilson

Deborah Wilson is Senior Vice President for BIXsco Inc., which operates the Beef Info Xchange known as BIXS. Her role includes business development, industry partnerships, marketing and communications (printed and digital), as well as public speaking in the beef and cattle industry.

During her 30 plus years in the livestock (cattle) and Agri-marketing industries, Deborah has become known for her industry leadership and mentorship, business acumen and sales achievements. She has been a livestock producer for over 30 years, and is well-known throughout western Canada in the cattle industry, both purebred and commercial, cow-calf and feedlot. Deborah believes that the value of data collected by all sectors of the industry has not been exploited for the advancement and improvement of the industry. She feels that BIXS is the answer to the problem of unlocking the value of data and leveraging the power of data.

Deborah’s background includes livestock production, sales, marketing and communications. She feels it is important for the Canadian beef industry to unlock the value of the Canadian Beef brand reflecting the pride of the industry, by utilizing the tools and new technologies available to producers. Engaging with the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and Canadian Livestock Traceability Systems (CLTS) is important, as well as age verification. The industry must demonstrate the value of the Canadian beef production and sustainability practices to the retail industry, to maintain market share in the protein market.

Industry Advisory Group

BeefTech was developed based on the needs of the industry and Northlands has been working with an Industry Advisory Group to ensure the programing meets the needs of the industry and connects current technology advancements with producers. The members of the 2017 BeefTech Industry Advisory Group are:

Ryan Copithorne, Cows in Control
Melissa Downing , Alberta Provincial Coordinator for the VBP+ Program, Alberta Verified Beef
Brad Dubeau, Marketing & Education Manager, Alberta Beef
Andrea Hanson, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Beef Extension Specialist
Jim Harbidge, Regional Sales Manager, Merial
Sean McGrath, Ranching Systems
Dawn Trautman, Project Manager & Technology Translator, Livestock Gentec
Deborah Wilson, Sr. Vice President, BIXSco

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