Farm Management Canada Speakers:

Risk Management

Heather Watson

Farm Management Canada

Speaker Bio

Heather Watson is the Executive Director of Farm Management Canada. Heather obtained her Bachelor’s from the University of Guelph, and went on to obtain her Master’s degree from the University of Warwick in Coventry, England.

Heather’s passionate about education and committed to enhancing efforts to encourage better business management practices for a sustainable and truly remarkable agriculture industry in Canada. Before joining Farm Management Canada, Heather was a project coordinator within the Business Development Centre of the University of Guelph Kemptville Campus.

Heather grew up in South-western Ontario and now lives in Ottawa, Ontario.


Derek Brewin

University of Manitoba

Speaker Bio

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.


Stephen Duff

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Rural Affairs

Speaker Bio

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.

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.


Stuart Person


Speaker Bio

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.