WHO WE ARE

An umbrella for farm business management, Farm Management Canada is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to the development and delivery of leading-edge resources, information and tools to support farm business success. With over 25 years’ experience, Farm Management Canada has the expertise and experience to support your needs.

 

Our Vision

A resilient and prosperous Canadian agricultural industry that prioritizes farm business excellence.

Our Mission

To be the national champion of farm business management by connecting industry partners, facilitating learning opportunities, and providing valuable resources.

Board Members

Andrea Gal

Chair – ON

Andrea Gal, Chair – ON
Member at Large

Andrea M. Gal is a consultant at Wilton Consulting Group (WCG) and she farms with her family in Oxford County, Ont.

At WCG, she supports innovation and sustainability in the Canadian agri-food industry and rural communities. The WCG team collaborates with stakeholders throughout the agri-food value chain to address and overcome industry challenges.

Andrea and her family operate Morning Glory Stream Farming. They run a cash crop and cow-calf operation, as well as seed and fertilizer dealerships. The Gals work closely as a team to manage the family business. Eight years ago, the Gals launched a research farm. They conduct field-sized trials focused on identifying environmentally responsible crop nutrition programs that feed the needs of the plants while providing a strong return on investment.

Andrea is experienced at contributing to organizations within the not-for-profit sector, having served on both rural and agricultural boards.

For two years, 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’s producers and processors strengthen their business management skills. After the organization’s cessation in 2019, the AMI board and executive director transferred the organization’s farm business management tools to Farm Management Canada so that producers can continue to benefit from these resources.

In 2017, Andrea started volunteering with the Ag Women’s Network, which cultivates and connects agricultural leaders. Initially, she served as the organization’s Facebook moderator. In January 2019, she moved onto the leadership team as the content manager.

Andrea completed her Ph.D. with a focus on rural Ontario history at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016. She completed the Advanced Farm Management Program in the winter of 2018-19.

Andrea is passionate about the development of sound business management practices and is eager to continue to advance work in this field.

Stephen Duff

Vice-Chair – ON

Stephen Duff, Vice-Chair - ON
Farmer

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

Secretary/Treasurer – MB

Derek Brewin, Secretary/Treasurer – MB
Academic

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.

Terry Aberhart

Director - SK

Terry Aberhart, Director – SK
Farmer

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.

Brad Barton

Director – YK

Brad Barton, Director – YK
Government

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.

Julia Buckingham

Director - ON

Julia Buckingham, Director – ON
Member at Large

Julia Buckingham is passionate about the power of food and the people who produce it – to connect us to the land, to bring us together, and to propel us forward. She holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Food Systems and is a Certified Sustainability Consultant.

Julia first engaged with Farm Management Canada while completing her master’s research, which focused on the factors influencing young farmers in their decision to take over the family farm. She consulted Farm Management Canada to identify key issues to consider in her research, interviewed former participants from the Bridging the Gap program, and shared the results to inform future programming.

In her current role as the lead advisor on Dairy Farmers of Canada’s sustainability strategy, Julia is working closely with farmers and value-chain stakeholders to develop the industry’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions from farm-level dairy production by 2050.

Prior to this, she worked for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the Beef Cattle Research Council. Julia has experience in government relations through her current role as well as prior work with a federal cabinet minister and two members of Parliament, and in non-profit growth and development through prior work in community engagement and donor relations in a variety of non-profit settings.

Julia believes in the harmony of environmental, social, and economic sustainability. She is excited to bring her positive disposition and experience in strategic planning to Farm Management Canada’s Board of Directors to advance the sustainable growth of agriculture and farming in Canada.

Harsh Khela

Director – BC

Harsh Khela, Director – BC
Young Farmer

Harsh Khela is Chief Operating Officer at Northern Cherries Inc., a family operated cherry exporter in Kelowna, British Columbia. His family has been growing fruits and vegetables in the Okanagan Valley since 1993 and have a diverse land portfolio that has been expanding ever since.

In 2014, the operation started specializing in cherries and invested in a packing facility for its 350+ acres of cherries and 500 acres of fruit from other small producers in the Okanagan.

Harsh considers himself the “Swiss army knife” for the family business from pre- to post-harvest, managing the picking operation, packing house, and 400 employees.

Harsh is also responsible for planning and preparing for future expansion of the family business.

Harsh has a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia and is proficient in computer programming. He designed and implemented a custom Warehouse Management EPS Software to help manage spray records and packing house logistics.

Harsh has spent his entire life working on his family farm. He is seeking an opportunity to become more involved in Canada’s agricultural sector to share his experiences and insights and learn from others to support farmers across Canada and within his local farming community.

“I believe young farmers like myself who want to stay in the industry and continue our farm legacy face unique challenges. I want to serve on Farm Management Canada’s Board of Directors to bring these unique challenges to light and help find solutions. It would be a true honour to be elected to the Board and bring my unique experience and ideas to help support the future of farming in Canada.”

Stuart Person

Director – AB

Stuart Person, Director – AB
Corporate

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.

Jim Selman

Director - BC

Jim Selman, Director - BC
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.

Staff Members

Heather Watson

Executive Director

Heather Watson, Executive Director

Heather Watson is the Executive Director of Farm Management Canada (FMC). 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.

Heather can be reached by phone at (613) 237-9060 ext. 31 or by email at heather.watson(at)fmc-gac.com.

Mathieu Lipari

Program Manager

Mathieu Lipari, Program Manager

Mathieu joined the team in 2010 as a Project Manager and brought with him an excellent grasp of the challenges of agriculture in Canada and overseas. He manages a variety of successful projects at Farm Management Canada that provide farmers with business management tools and resources. Prior to joining the team, Mathieu worked in similar roles for the International Development Research Centre and for Guelph University and has managed agriculture projects in North and Central America, Europe and Africa.

Mathieu holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Québec in Montreal, Québec and a Technical Degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.

Contact Mathieu by phone at (613) 237-9060 ext. 24 or by email at mathieu(at)fmc-gac.com.

Heather Oakley

Project Manager

Heather Oakley, Project Manager

Drawing from her practical experience, growing up on her family’s Red Angus cow-calf operation and currently being involved in their agri-tourism ventures, Heather brings a realistic perspective to business management. A broad knowledge of happenings across Canada related to farm business management along with a national network of experts allows Heather to coordinate connections and identify learning opportunities for Canadian producers.

Heather can be reached by email at heather.oakley(at)fmc-gac.com.

Denise Robertson

Project Manager

Denise Robertson, Project Manager

Denise Robertson joined Farm Management Canada in February 2018 as a Project Manager. Denise comes to us with broad expertise on Federal and Provincial policy. Denise graduated from the Event Management Post-Graduate program at Algonquin College in August 2014 and brings a vast knowledge of project and event management skills.

Denise spent two years with the Federal Government working in communications for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), supporting the Federal Ministry of Science and research at post-secondary institutions across the country. Denise then spent two years at the Public Policy Forum, a non-profit think tank in Ottawa. At PPF, she was a Project Administrator, supporting and managing projects and initiatives ranging in topics from Indigenous Issues to Agriculture sector specific engagement. In this role, Denise managed and oversaw many federally-funded projects involving a variety of stakeholders from private and public sectors.

Denise grew up in rural Ontario, a small town called Russell, just outside of Ottawa. Denise is eager to join the team and contribute to a resilient agriculture sector in Canada

Contact Denise by phone at 613-237-9060 ext. 32 or by email at denise.robertson(at)fmc-gac.com

Nick Oakley

Business Development Lead

Nick Oakley, Business Development Lead

Nick joined the FMC team in 2019 as the Business Development Lead, while also building an Agri-Tourism business just outside of Perth, Ontario.

Nick is dedicated to building partnerships and connections within the agriculture industry to help meet the needs of farmers from coast to coast. He is also passionate about reaching the next generation of farmers to help foster business management practices as they graduate and join the work force.

Nick is also a proud graduate from the University of Guelph.

Nick can be reached by phone at (519) 217-4601 or by email at sponsorship(at)fmc-gac.com.

Administration, Membership & Product Distribution

For questions and concerns regarding membership, ordering products, or other general inquires, please contact us at (613) 237-9060 or via e-mail at info (at) fmc-gac.com.

Annual Reports

Farm Management Updates