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SFGA 2024 Conference and AGM

The Sask. Fruit Growers Association and Sask. Vegetable Growers Association held their 2024 Conference on January 26, 2024 at the Saskatoon Inn in Saskatoon.  A dynamic line up of speakers spoke throughout the day.  Lunch (and snacks) were provided by the Saskatoon Inn and was delicious.

The speakers were:

  1. Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Halifax.  He is also the Senior Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, also located at Dalhousie University.  Known as “The Food Professor”, his current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety. He is one of the world’s most cited scholars in food supply chain management, food value chains and traceability. He co-hosts The Food Professor podcast, discussing issues in the food, foodservice, grocery and restaurant industries and which is the most listened Canadian management podcast in Canada.  Sylvain spoke on “Fruitful Insights: Navigating the vine of food inflation in fruits and vegetables”.  An enlightening and informative speech enjoyed by all in attendance.
  2. Dr. Christine Naronha, Research Scientist (Entomology IPM) at the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, PEI.   Dr. Noronha’s research has focused on developing pest management strategies for major pests on agricultural crops. She invented the NELT™, a solar powered trap for click beetles, and developed a crop rotation strategy for wireworm suppression.  Christine’s presentation was on “Wireworm Management”.
  3. Charles Sudom, Civil Engineering Technologist.  After 37 years in various position in a few companies, Charles retired.  He now owns and operates a Market Garden near Avonlea, where he produces strawberries, raspberries, melons and more.  He is also a Consultant in the areas of inspection services (construction); soil testing; surveying, mapping, and more.  Charles gave his presentation on “Starting a Market Garden”.
  4. Sandra Purdy is the Chief Operating Officer of Prairie Berries Inc.  She has been in the Saskatoon berry business since 1993 when her and her husband made the decision to diversify their grain farm.  Previous to starting the berry orchard she worked as a Continuous Improvement Manager and Sales Manager for SASKTEL for almost 25 years. Sandra is also the President of the Saskatoon Berry Council of Canada.  Sandra’s presentation was on “The Next Steps After Market Gardens”.
  5. Graham Parsons. Graham is the Pollinator Biosecurity Specialist for Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. In this role he supports honey beekeepers through education, extension, and inspection for disease. He also supports the leafcutter bees, bumble bees, both managed and wild, as well as pollination recommendations for field, fruit and vegetable crops.  Graham’s presentation was on “Pollinator Planning for Fruit and Vegetables”.
  6. Karen Dow, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Agronomy.  Karen has been an active member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists since completing her degree and is also a Forensic Agrologist.  Karen has had positions with a few well known agriculture companies, and is currently in her present role with Hello Nature, where she is educating retailers and producers on the value of Biologicals and BioStimulants.  Karen’s presentation was “Answering the 5W’s of Biologicals-The Guide to Successful Use”.

The conference was followed by separate Annual General Meetings for SFGA and SVGA.

We thank our Generous Conference Sponsors:  Prairie Fresh Food Corporation; Early’s; Hello Nature; Southern Irrigation; Sask. Crop Insurance Corporation; Forensic Agrology Services