Farm Management Canada Celebrates Success,
Welcomes New Directors at Annual Meeting
Farm Management Canada would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM was held virtually July 12th and was a great success, welcoming members and stakeholders from across Canada to celebrate Farm Management Canada’s 2022-23 accomplishments and hear the results of Director elections.
Among its many accomplishments, Farm Management Canada highlighted the success of its skills development programming including the Agricultural Excellence Conference, Farm Financial Fluency Training Program, National Farm Leadership Program, Bridging the Gap Farm Transition Program, AgriShield Risk Assessment and Planning Platform and Roots to Success Risk Management Training Program, and research endeavours including Acquiring Environmental Allies: How to Increase the Adoption of Environmental Stewardship Practices by Ontario Landowners, and Building Farm Financial Resilience to Manage Farm Risk. Farm Management Canada’s reach and impact was further demonstrated through contributions to industry events, popular press, and industry consultations on agricultural policy and programming.
“The Annual Meeting is an occasion to not only share our accomplishments over the past year,” says Heather Watson, Executive Director, “but also recognize those who have helped us along the way. I want to thank our Board, staff, members and partners for helping us continue to create and deliver innovative programming and services to meet the ever-changing needs of Canada’s agricultural industry.”
Farm Management Canada’s Annual Report detailing the organization’s accomplishments is available online at www.fmc-gac.com.
This year, Farm Management Canada received 7 nominations for 3 Board positions.
Two new Directors were elected to the Board: Curtis Boyd and Rob Cox, and Andrea Gal was re-elected to the Board for a second term.
Andrea Gal is a 4th generation farm manager in Oxford County, Ont. She also works as a consultant at Wilton Consulting Group (WCG). Andrea and her family operate Morning Glory Stream Farming. They run a cash crop operation, as well as seed and fertilizer dealerships. They also have a small cow-calf herd. The Gals work closely as a team to run the family business. The Gals also operate a research farm focused on environmentally responsible crop nutrition programs that provide a strong return on investment. Andrea holds a PhD in History from Wilfrid Laurier University with a focus on rural Ontario.
Curtis Boyd is a fourth generation farmer in Fairview, Alberta along with his parents, wife, and three young children. Curtis previously worked with the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) for nearly 15 years, most recently as Senior Manager of the Corporate Risk Oversight department. Curtis has a passion for lifelong learning, having obtained a Masters in Agriculture Economics from the University of Alberta, as well as completing Level 3 of the CFA program and being a Professional Agrologist.
Rob Cox is a 5th generation farmer from Uxbridge, Ontario. Rob was raised on the same dairy farm that he now manages with his dad, Murray and brother, Trevor. His great-grandfather purchased the home farm in 1927 as a mixed farm. Today, the farm business has grown to a 90-milking cow herd, cropping over 2000 acres of owned and leased land, providing custom work, commodity trade work and a trucking operation. Rob holds a diploma in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and received the Farm Business Planning award in 2001.
Farm Management Canada, its members and Board extended a sincere thank you to its outgoing Board members Julia Buckingham and Harsh Khela. They were both elected to the Board in 2022.
Following the Annual Meeting, Andrea Gal, was re-elected as Chair. Stephen Duff, a farmer from Ontario was re-elected Vice-Chair, and Derek Brewin, Head of the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba was re-elected Secretary/Treasurer.
“I appreciate the extra time the board devoted to Farm Management Canada through our strategic planning process in 2022-23,” says Andrea Gal. “I look forward to continued collaboration with the board, staff, industry partners, and our supporters over the next year as we champion farm management excellence and drive towards our new strategic priorities.”
Meet our 2023-2024 Board of Directors
Member at Large
Andrea M. Gal is a farm manager in Oxford County, Ont. She also works as a consultant at Wilton Consulting Group (WCG).
Andrea and her family operate Morning Glory Stream Farming. They run a cash crop operation, as well as seed and fertilizer dealerships. They also have a small cow-calf herd. The Gals work closely as a team to run the family business. The Gals also operate a research farm focused on environmentally responsible crop nutrition programs that provide a strong return on investment.
At WCG, Andrea supports innovation and sustainability in the Canadian agri-food industry and rural communities. The WCG team collaborates with people and organizations throughout the agri-food value chain.
Since 2021, Andrea has served as the Chair of Farm Management Canada. Previously, she held the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
Prior to her election to Farm Management Canada’s Board of Directors, Andrea served on the Board of Directors of the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI). This organization created and delivered programs and resources to help Ontario producers and processors strengthen their business management skills.
Since 2019, Andrea has served on the Policy Advisory Council of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. For four years, Andrea volunteered with the Ag Women’s Network as the Facebook moderator and then the content manager.
Andrea completed her Ph.D. with a focus on rural Ontario history at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016.
Andrea is passionate about the adoption of best practices for farm management and is eager to continue to advance work in this field.
Coming from a dairy and beef background in Ontario’s Northumberland county, Steve is an Ontario Agricultural College ‘94 grad who completed a Masters in Ag Economics from the Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics (FARE) department at the University of Guelph in 1996. Steve joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in late 1997 after a year as a policy researcher within FARE for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. Starting as an agricultural economist with OMAFRA, Steve worked on a variety of projects that culminated with him leading the development of the Ontario Whole Farm Relief Program in 1998.
Over the course of 13 years as OMAFRA’s lead on business risk management programs, Steve lead provincial and national development of programs including the BSE recovery, Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program, AgriStability and the Ontario Risk Management Program.
During this time Steve chaired several federal-provincial-territorial committees including the Business Risk Management (BRM) advisory committee, the BRM administrators committee and is currently the co-chair of the Farm Income Forecasting Committee. Steve is currently OMAFRA’s Chief Economist. Since 2011, Steve has been an Adjunct Professor in the FARE department teaching 4th year Agricultural Policy analysis. In 2016, Steve was the recipient of the first FARE distinguished alumnus award. Steve and his wife Robyn operate a beef and cash crop farm near Colborne, Ontario.
Derek Brewin began his agricultural career as a farmhand on his family’s mixed irrigation farm near Purple Springs, AB. In 1986 he graduated with a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Alberta and began a position as a Credit Advisor to farmers with Farm Credit Corporation (FCC). In 1989 Derek took educational leave from FCC to pursue a MSc in Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. After that he worked for Agriculture and Agri-food Canada as a Policy Economist and then worked a stint at the Canadian Wheat Board before returning to academics. In 2000, he moved to State College, PA, to pursue his PhD in Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics at Penn State University.
Since 2003, Derek has been working as a teacher and researcher in the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba. Starting in January 2017, he has served as Head of that department.
His recent research has focused on the economics of rotations, grain and oilseed markets, grain transportation and innovations in plant breeding. He is an award-winning teacher of agricultural finance, marketing and risk management. Derek has served on numerous boards and committees. He is a Past President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. He has served as a Senator at the University of Manitoba, as a member of Manitoba’s Agricultural Risk Task Force and as a director of the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council.
Growing up on his family farm cultivated Terry Aberhart’s passion for agriculture and entrepreneurial growth. He worked in the agricultural industry before returning to manage farm and custom spraying operations in 2000. In 2005, Terry founded Sure Growth Technologies, a professional independent agronomy consulting company, affiliated with Agri-Trend. In 2009 Terry received the Business Builder of the Year award and was voted Canadian Agri-Coach of the Year from Agri-Trend from 2011-2012.
In 2015, Terry, along with his brother Dan and father Harvey, founded Aberhart Ag Solutions Inc. The marketing and distributing company has helped bring BioSul Premium Plus, a unique recycled sustainable elemental sulfur product to the agricultural market. Aberhart Ag solutions continues to see network expansion, innovative and sustainable solutions. In 2017 Terry and his wife Lichelle were nominated for the Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmers competition and were honored to participate as runners-up in the program.
Terry has a strong focus on advancing agronomy with precision agriculture through developing and leveraging new technologies. He constantly continues his professional development attending, and often speaking at, various conferences in North America and through attending training programs like The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers out of Texas A&M through 2015-2017, and Strategic Coach business program for entrepreneurs since 2017. Terry has worked extensively to develop precision technologies, farm research, and data management.
Terry, with his wife Lichelle, children Sarrikah, Asceline, Holden, Rydar, Haliee, and Octavia, and father Harvey, operate Aberhart Farms, a progressive 15,000ac grain farm. Aberhart Farms Inc. is committed to their mission of “Growing the Future”, guided by their core values of innovation, family, passion, culture, and sustainability for future generations. Terry ensures the farm’s mission is upheld through his willingness to push boundaries and through his constant education of agricultural innovation. Terry also continues to be passionate about giving back to those in need through Learn Ag, Canadian Food Grains Bank and charity projects in the developing world. He loves agriculture, working with the farm team, and sharing his success and passion with his family.
Bradley Barton – Program Manager, Yukon Agriculture Business Program. Yukon Government, Energy Mines and Resources, Agriculture Branch.
Bradley Barton has been part of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group providing input to FMC for over ten years. Brad administers the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Yukon Agriculture Business Program for the Yukon Agriculture branch. The program provides support to further Yukon farmers’ business skills and knowledge. Brad also directs Yukon farmers to business management resources. In a territory with a developing agriculture sector and consumers looking for opportunities to support local production, there is a need to support farmers to make educated business decision to assist in the development of a strong and vibrant agriculture industry. In addition to the FMC Working Group, Brad is part of the Federal- Provincial-Territorial Business Development Working Group that shares ideas and information related to business management practices and program development.
Curtis has a passion for lifelong learning, having obtained a Masters in Agriculture Economics from the University of Alberta, as well as completing Level 3 of the CFA program and being a Professional Agrologist.
Curtis attended Farm Management Canada’s Agricultural Excellence Conference in Calgary and Canmore and looks forward to continuing to engage with Farm Management Canada.
Rob Cox is a 5th generation farmer from Uxbridge, Ontario. Rob was raised on the same dairy farm that he now manages with his dad, Murray and brother, Trevor. His great-grandfather purchased the home farm in 1927 as a mixed farm. Today, the farm business has grown to a 90-milking cow herd, cropping over 2000 acres of owned and leased land, providing custom work, commodity trade work and a trucking operation.
Rob played Major Junior and Tier 2 Junior hockey serving as Captain on several teams. This experience taught him many life skills and led Rob to coach at the Junior level and donate to the local hockey teams and events.
Rob received an Associate Diploma in Agriculture from University of Guelph and received the Farm Business Planning Award in 2001. Rob has also served as a Gay Lee Delegate Body.
Coxlyn Farms Ltd. received the Environmental Stewardship Award from Watershed Advisory Committee in recognition of our environmentally conscious farming practices from the Lake Semico Watershed Committee and Rob presented at several meetings for the OSCIA on their practices.
As a proud father of three children, farmer, and community member; Rob believes we play an important role in advancing our industry with the proper toolbox to make us successful.
Stuart Person, CPA, CA, is the Senior Vice President of MNP's Agricultural Services and National Leader of Crop Services, located in the Edmonton office.
Stuart has more than 25 years of experience in agriculture, specializing in the grain industry. Passionate about the industry, he grew up on a grain farm and continues to participate as a producer himself. This experience and knowledge allows Stuart to relate first hand to what Canadian Agriculture producers face in their operations—and gives him greater insights on how to help producers overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Stuart works with many agriculture producers, associations and other industry stakeholders on a daily basis, providing advice into the complex issues that affect the industry. He has extensive experience as an Agriculture Business Advisor with MNP and has helped clients from coast to coast.
In his role as Senior Vice President, Stuart leads a national team of more than 700 Agriculture professionals who serve more than 21,000 clients. He is also a member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors (CAFA).
Stuart earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2003.
Member at Large
Jim Selman is a seasoned business manager and advisor who is passionate about serving Canada’s farmers and the Agricultural industry in general.
Core to Jim’s broad industry exposure is his experience as Director of Stakeholder Relations, reporting to the National Board of Directors of the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC). Jim advised the Board on strategic issues and drove critical business growth initiatives such as the market launch and processor acceptance of the Blue Cow DFC Logo, the program design and the promotional partnership period of NAFTA re-negotiation, Canada’s Food Guide redesign and member challenges to the DFC federated model.
Jim currently serves as Head of Business Development for Trendi. His focus is working with farmers, processors and packers to address food waste solutions. Prior to joining Trendi, Jim held senior management roles in leading Canadian marketing services agencies and built and managed his own consulting agency advising corporations and brands on business building tactics and organizational strategic planning.
Jim’s diverse background and passion for Agriculture in Canada combined with his experience with the governance challenges and operational realities of a national volunteer board of directors, positions Jim well to be a valued voice and contributor to Farm Management Canada’s board of directors.
To learn more about our Board of Directors, visit www.fmc-gac.com.
About Farm Management Canada
A national umbrella for Canadian farm business management activity, Farm Management Canada is the only organization devoted exclusively to the development and delivery of advanced business management information, tools and resources to position Canada’s farmers for success. Our programs and activities are made possible through support from generous sponsors and supporters including Government, private industry, the non-profit sector and academia.
For more information contact:
Andrea Gal, Chair
Heather Watson, Executive Director