Mike was born and educated in Manitoba. He moved to Alberta in 1972 and spent 32 years with
Alberta Agriculture where besides his role as Provincial Entomologist was involved in vertebrate
pest management, apiculture, plant pathology, and eventually organic agriculture. He retired in
2004 and immediately joined Agri-Trend as a Senior Agri-Coach where he began his new career
in plant physiology and nutrition. Over the last 18 years, he has amassed a library of amazing
photographs to support his presentations on how plants grow including plant reproduction, root
growth, nodulation, adaptation to stress, plus general plant physiology, and anatomy. He has
worked on many of the crops grown on the Prairies including, wheat, canola, peas, lentils,
chickpeas, and soybeans.
The Peace Region of northern Alberta and BC is unique from an agronomic perspective. To be successful and achieve top yield requires an in-depth understanding of the environmental factors that set this area apart (such as climate, soil and a shorter growing season). Brett draws on over 17 years of experience serving regional growers as a grain buyer, retail ag supply manager and retail account manager.
Canola Staging + Utilizing Technology on your Farm
Jason has 15 years of working with Canola Agronomy as a Certified Crop Adviser, he has Permit to Practice
Agrology from the Alberta Institute of Agrologists RTAg, Diploma in Farm Management Technology from
McGill University, and currently is the Agronomy Specialist in the Peace for the Canola Council of Canada
Byron is currently based out of Dawson Creek. Originally from small town in South Africa, Byron comes to AgSafe with a host of experience from around the world. Previously, Byron worked in the United States for several years as a college instructor for Unmanned Systems (aka drones), GIS, and Geography. His US experience also includes having led a Search & Rescue unit in Washington State, working as an Agricultural Field Research Technician for The Climate Corporation in Missouri, and being a Ranch Hand and Commercial Herbicide Applicator in South Dakota. Before moving to the USA, Byron and his wife lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and his native South Africa where much of his family is still involved in agriculture today.
Since arriving in British Columbia Byron has worked for local ranchers, continued his work in GIS and Unmanned Systems, and continued his education. Byron’s educational background most recently includes the Sustainable Ranching program at Thompson Rivers University, previously a Masters in Geography from South Dakota State University, and a Bachelors in Public Administration & Geography from Stellenbosch University.
Outside of AgSafe, you might find Byron spending time with his family, enjoying the outdoors, working on one of his vehicles, or messing with a piece of technology.
Bussines Risk Management and Crop Insurance Update
Glen Mielke, Crop Risk Specialist
During my career within the Ag Industry, I have had the opportunity to wear a few different hats. I spent several years in the Co-operative Seed Cleaning facilities then branched away into my own Forage Seed Business. After farming forage seed, grain and oilseeds for about 10 years in Dawson Creek, in 2003 a new direction pointed me to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Business Risk Management. I’ve valued getting to know the regional producers and their farms through the various programs BC has to offer.
Tim Pigg MSc, BA, Cert Ed.
Early in my career I owned and operated a small abattoir and butcher shop in the UK. After further studies, I spent 11 years as a senior lecturer, primarily on food safety and related studies. Coming to Canada in 2008 amongst other opportunities I worked as Operations Manager for a salad and vegetable processor. Joining BC public service in 2013, I became Operations Manager for the Province’s Meat Inspection Program and for the last six years, I have been Director of Production Insurance and AWP.
Ministry Of Agriculture Update
Brenna Schilds was born and raised in Dawson Creek. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture with a major in Crop Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Her final thesis was a research project on Clubroot Management in the Canadian Prairies. After graduating, she worked for an independent crop consulting firm in Southern Alberta for a couple of years, before moving back up to the Peace Region for her current position as Regional Development Agrologist for the BC Peace with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries in November 2020. She is also currently filling the position of Grain and Oilseed Specialist for the Province of British Columbia.
Pest Monitoring and Weather Update
Since 2016, Keith has been employed as the BC Pest Monitoring and Weather contractor for the Peace Region. Currently, the project monitors Canola, Peas, Cereals, and Forages either grown for seed or not, while attempting to maintain 21 weather stations gathering seasonal data during the growing season. More recently, the project has also expanded into monitoring an assortment of berry crops and apples in the region. Keith is working toward achieving both RP Bio and P.Ag designations and in his spare time, he enjoys spending quality time with his young family and playing various sports.
Peace Region Living Labs
Nadia Mori earned her Master of Science at the University of Saskatchewan. She has been a forage extension specialist for over 10 years working with the Saskatchewan and BC provincial government. More recently, Nadia has taken on the coordinator role with the Peace River Forage Association of BC and the extension coordination for the Peace Region Living Lab, a five-year producer-led research project. She is also a trained actor and among other credits has produced several audiobooks and two podcast series. When Nadia wears a farmer hat, she produces microgreens and fresh vegetables at SquigglyThings to bring local and nutritious food to northern communities.
GIDC How The Levy Works
Maria was born and raised as a farm kid in Manitoba, living the good life on the Prairies. She moved to Fort St. John in 2006 and two years later began a 12 year career with the provincial oil and gas regulator. For the past nine years she has been working directly with farmers and landowners impacted by oil and gas activity. Maria continues that work as well as supporting the work of the Grain Industry Development Council in her relatively new role as the Coordinator. “I’ve been working alongside Council members as they have made decisions on projects that are so valuable to our communities. I look forward to sharing about the work of the BC Peace River Grain Industry Development Council.”
Check back tomorrow for another presenter highlight!
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