Byron Beardy–Kimeechiminan (Our Food) – Food Security: Originally from Garden Hill First Nation, raised in Wasagamack First Nation in the Island Lake region of Manitoba. In his 13th season with Four Arrows Regional Health Authority’s Kimeechiminan (Our Food) – Food Secuirty program, Byron founded and visioned the by, for and with indigenous nations’ biennial Indigenous Food Sovereignty Summit and has been instrumental with the inclusion of language and identity within the indigenous food sovereignty movement in Manitoba. He sits on various food security/“foody” committees locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and, most recently, internationally. Byron is frequently requested to speak, plan, facilitate and/or present at schools, universities/colleges, gatherings/workshops and etc. related to indigenous food sovereignty & security. Speaking to audiences from his Anishininew homelands of Island Lake to as far away as Rovaniemi, Finland, Byron shares his learned knowledge of language, cultural protocols, customs, and practices with a focus on Indigenous food sovereignty, security and sustainability.
Ryan Boyd–South Glanton Farms: Ryan is a family farmer from Forrest, MB, who is passionate about soil health, forage efficient cattle and no-till cropping systems. As a 2019 Nuffield scholar Ryan traveled the world investigating different grazing systems and has brought many insights home, including the practice of “Total Grazing”.
Beth Connery–Connery’s Riverdale Farms Ltd: Connery’s Riverdale Farm is a family farm that grows both fruit and vegetables. Connie farms with her son, Chris and her daughter Sam in the Portage la Prairie area. They have a u-pick/pre-pick strawberry farm and choose to market their vegetables through Peak of the Market.
Darren Cormier–Cormier’s Berry Patch: 15 years in and still learning! Darren along with his wife Angie and their 4 children run a strawberry u-pick farm south of Winnipeg near La Salle MB. Darren will be providing a high level summary of strawberry production tasks, timings, and seasonal workloads in order to help you evaluate whether it may make sense for you to diversify your farm with Fruit.
Emily Dowling–Root Radical CSA: Emily(she/her) has been running Root Radical CSA for 15 years on her family farm located near Kingston, Ontario on Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory. Using organic practices, we grow a diverse mix of vegetables on about 2 acres plus a 2400 sq ft greenhouse. We distribute everything we grow through a traditional CSA model to about 250 member households in the Kingston area.
Britt Embry–Hearts & Roots: Britt Embry co-farms Hearts & Roots, a small-scale, diversified farm near Elie, MB on Treaty 1 Territory. Although best known for its certified organic market garden, the farm has put 80% of its land into perennial agriculture and is working toward more animal integration. Hearts & Roots markets over 80% of its goods directly to the consumer.
Marilyn Firth– St. Norbert Farmers’ Market: Marilyn Firth is the Executive Director of Manitoba’s largest farmers’ market, Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market Coop. This market launched an Online Market early in 2020, building on the expertise gained from operating an Online Market option from 2014 to 2017.
Kirk Flaman–Kirk Flaman: Kirk owns and manages a seed potato and a u-pick fruit operation in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Karen Flett–Four Arrows RHA: Karen Flett is the First Nation Provincial Coordinator with Four Arrows Regional Health Authority “Kimeechiminan Program” . She would like to acknowledge and “Thank” Direct Farms Manitoba for this opportunity for the invitation to participate in the conference. Karen is of Metis descent and born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Karen has been with FARHA for close to two years and travels throughout Manitoba sharing her gardening experience with all 63 First Nation communities in Manitoba. Karen looks forward to meeting people and learning new techniques to help families grow their own vegetables.
John Gavloski–Extension Entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development: John has worked as an entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, based out of Carman, since 1997. He has a passion for writing and speaking about insects, both those that provide essential services, and those that are at times our foes. One of John’s goals is to help farmers and agronomists prevent excessive damage from crop feeding insects, while appreciating and minimizing harm to beneficial insects. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, travelling and observing almost any type of wildlife.
Ben Hartman–Clay Bottom Farm: Ben is the author of The Lean Farm (Chelsea Green, 2016), winner of the prestigious Shingo Institute Research and Professional Publication Award. In 2017, Ben was named one of fifty emerging green leaders in the United States by Grist, and published a companion guide toThe Lean FarmtitledThe Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables. Ben and his wife, Rachel Hershberger, own and operate Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Indiana, where they make their living growing specialty crops on less than one acre. Ben has developed an online course in lean farming, which can be found atclaybottomfarm.com,and is a senior consultantfor USAIDon agricultural projects
Jim Lintott–Springfield Cattle Company / www.Manitobabeef.com ltd: Jim farms with his wife Carolyn (who does all the books and worrying) at Cooks Creek, MB on black clay loam. They run 100-125 cows and produce 100% grassfed beef on an intensive daily move grazing system. Part owner of Northstar Seeds Ltd with over 80,000 custom seeded acres of hay and pasture lands in South East Manitoba, he also direct markets their beef at the St. Norbert Farmers Market and to three restaurants.
Toby Malloy–Thirsty Acres: Toby Malloy lives in Nanton Alberta right next to the M.D. of Willow Creek where she and her husband Lance run Thirsty Acres, the family farm. Off the farm Toby is a Master’s level social worker who has been serving her community as a counsellor and resource worker since 2005. Toby is also the Region 7 Representative for the Women’s Advisory of the National Farmers Union. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks in the pasture (usually looking for the fence tester) and writing songs about life, love and livestock.
Katie and Colin McInnes–The Dogs Run Farm: Colin and Katie McInnes are first generation farmers who have been growing and raising food since 2013. They manage 50 acres near Clearwater, Manitoba on Treaty One Territory, raising sheep, pigs, turkeys, laying hens and chickens for sale directly to customers, as well as handmade soap and spray-free garlic. They are committed to a healthy and diverse rural landscape with a focus on agro-ecological principles, community, and good food.
Jonathon Muller–John Ambrose Farms: John is an aspiring/bumbling solo farmer pursuing regenerative, ‘human scale’ practises. He is not dogmatically opposed to debt or mechanization, but tries to do as much as he can with as little as possible of either. That said, if anyone wants to give John free money or equipment, please get in touch!
Asha Nelson–Fireweed Food Co-op: Asha Nelson (she/her) has coordinated the South Osborne Farmers’ Market, a project of Fireweed Food Co-op, since summer 2019. More recently, she has transitioned into a new role with the organization, helping coordinate their newly established flagship food hub, but is still quite involved with the market. In addition to her paid work, she has recently been appointed to the Winnipeg Food Council and supports various grassroots food security projects when possible. In all her work, Asha brings with her a passion for food sovereignty and economic democracy.
Dana Penrice–Young Agrarians: Dana is the Young Agrarians Prairie Program Manager and is working to grow the next generation of regenerative farmers in the prairies. Her and her partner recently moved back to the family farm near Shoal Lake, Manitoba. Dana is active in the regenerative agriculture community and is fascinated with the creative, challenging space of farm, business and land transition.
Philip Ronald–Riverbend Orchards: Philip Ronald was raised in the Canadian prairies and educated in plant breeding and horticulture at the University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan. He received his Ph.D. in 2000 for his research into Saskatoon berry disease response in the Native Fruit Program at the University of Saskatchewan. Philip worked full-time in the nursery industry until spring of 2009, when he and his wife Karen purchased Lindens Berry Farm in Portage la Prairie. Over the last 12 years, the Ronald’s have built Riverbend Orchards into a diverse berry farm specializing in the production of saskatoons, tart cherry and haskap, a new fruit crop for the region.
Easton Sellers–Plum Ridge Farm: After volunteer gardening for two summers through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization, Easton moved to Manitoba in the Spring of 2017 where he took over an old U-Pick fruit farm and orchard, Plum Ridge Farm, and began to re-establish as he learned to farm from square one. Through continued curiosity, commitment, and an invaluable support network, he’s been able to develop a foundation on the farm and work to perfect his craft.
Leona Staples–The Jungle Farm: The Farm’s Mission at the Jungle Farm is to create the best farm experience through exceptional food, education and creating lasting family memories. Leona is passionate about agriculture and connecting families to where their food comes from. In the summer of 2020 they started an online store to allow families another way to get their great produce.
Phil Veldhuis– Phil’s Honey: Phil is a lifelong beekeeper who first learned from his grandmother the thrill of understanding a hive filled with buzzing bees. Phil’s apiary is nestled against the banks of the La Salle River near Starbuck, where it has been producing top-quality honey for Canadians from coast to coast for many generations. Most Saturdays you can find Phil at his booth, Phil’s Honey, at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market, where he has been a vendor for more than 30 years. Phil teaches farm business management at the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture
Chad Wiens–Slow River Gardens: Chad has been farming vegetables for the past 6 years and will be entering into his 7th year of growing in 2021. He grew up on Wiens Shared Farm, which operated for nearly 20 years as a leader in the organic/CSA movement in Manitoba.
Carrie Woolley–Woolleys’ Lamb: Carrie runs a pasture-based sheep operation in Norfolk County, Ontario alongside her husband’s grain and orchard operation. Synergies between the two farm operations include grazing corn stover, cover crops, and orchards. The flock also utilizes silvopastures and permanent pastures for spring lambing.
Jamie Zinn–Zinn Farms: Jamie is from Zinn Farms in Springstein, MB. She manages the accounting and online marketing for the farm, which raises and sells Berkshire pork, chicken, eggs, rabbit and beef. She also works for Pipeline Foods, an organic supply chain management company. Jamie loves eating at local restaurants, biking, camping and playing with her two children, Ronan and Agneta.