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Wendy Bennett
Executive Director, Ag Safe

Thursday, March 1st  | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Friday, March 2nd | 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Wendy Bennett is the Executive Director for AgSafe in BC, and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.

Wendy has been a Health and Safety professional since 1995. Successfully earning her Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation in 2004, Wendy uses her knowledge as a course tutor with BCIT’s Occupational Health and Safety Certificate program and is currently working on her Executive MBA in Health and Safety Leadership. Her experience in designing and delivering training and education coupled with her leadership skills have benefited AgSafe since she started in 2013. Ensuring agriculture producers have the resources they need to ensure a safe and healthy working environment has been her goal with AgSafe and with CASA. She hopes to continue leading change in the agriculture industry toward a Canada where no one is hurt farming.


Mark Brandsma
BBA (Hons), CFP, Birkman Certified Professional, Relationship Manager & Financial & Estate Planner

Thursday, March 1st  | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

As a Relationship Manager and Financial and Estate Planner with Covenant, Mark Brandsma is a client favourite. With Mark, what you see is what you get, and his consistent and conscientious outlook comes across in everything he does. He values establishing strong, trusting client relationships and following through on recommended solutions.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) with a minor in Political Science from Trinity Western University and is certified in The Birkman Method®. While attending university, he was also a key member of the varsity soccer team and represented TWU in Model United Nations Conferences.

Mark began his financial planning career in 1997, working for an independent firm and building his own practice. He earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 2002 and, in 2004, accepted a position with Covenant.

As a Relationship Manager, Mark guides clients on their journey of holistic financial and estate planning. He coordinates his knowledge with that of the team to deliver counsel to those he serves. Mark's personal vision for working at Covenant is to make a positive, practical and long-term impact.

When not at Covenant, you can find Mark spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys playing soccer and golf and tending to the chickens on their hobby farm.


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois

Thursday, March 1st  | 7:30 AM - 9:00AM

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is nationally acclaimed as a leading specialist in food distribution and policy. He’s also known as ‘’The Food Professor’’.

Since July 2016, Dr. Charlebois is Dalhousie’s Dean of the Faculty of Management, where he also holds a cross-appointment as Professor at Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture. Previously, he had been Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph between 2010 and 2016 where he co-founded the University of Guelph's Food Institute in 2011 and also served as acting dean of the College of Business in 2011-12. He is a former director of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in Regina and a recipient of multiple federal government research grants.

Highly proficient researcher, he has published over 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals, professional publications and conference proceedings. His most renown research are University of Guelph Food Retail Price Report (2011 to 2016) and the World Ranking Food Safety Performance Report (2008, 2010, 2014). His research and op-ed have been featured in a number of publications, including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Maclean's and La Presse, as well as on the Business News Network, CBC Radio and CBC Television, Global, CTV, TVOntario and TVA.

Dr. Charlebois is an appointed member of the National Scientific Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency since 2011. Since 2013, he is also a member of the Global Food Traceability Center's Advisory Council. He also sits on numerous company boards, and supports many organizations as a special advisor.


Dr. Bill Cox

Thursday, March 1st  | 9:15 AM - 10:15AM
Friday, March 2nd  | 3:15 PM - 4:15PM

Bill is a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine with post graduate training in pathology from Ontario Veterinary College. After several years working in the Animal Health Industry with Elanco and Pfizer Animal Health, he returned to his home province of BC to start Canadian Animal Health Management Services, practising in poultry medicine and later expanding to include aquaculture medicine. He also provided research and project consulting services to the Animal Health Industry. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and specifically the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, was one of his clients where, for a time he was designated as a visiting researcher working with poultry scientists including Dr. Tom Scott, Dr. Fred Silversides, and, finally, Dr. Moussa Diarra.

In 2007 Bill joined the BC Ministry of Agriculture as a poultry extension veterinarian and worked closely with the poultry industry through challenging topics including Avian Influenza, ILT, SE, and Antimicrobial Use. He finally retired in 2015 spending some time consulting with the poultry industry, including Chicken Farmers of Canada. Otherwise, he is quietly living in Chilliwack, BC spending as much time as possible with his wife, kids, and 4 grandchildren.


David Dyble

Thursday March 1st  | 9:15 AM - 10:15AM

David Dyble MSc PAg completed his BSc (Agr) in 1983 and his MSc in 1991 at the University of British Columbia. David has worked in the feed industry since 1983 and was Chairman of the Nutrition Council of the Canadian Feed Industry Association (later called the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada or ANAC) in 1995/96. David was a member of the National ANAC Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013. David has been a director of ANAC (BC) for the last 15 years and chaired the board from 2003-2007.

David’s interest in poultry nutrition started as a university student in 1981 when he worked at Agriculture Canada’s Agassiz research station studying tibial dyschondroplasia in broilers. David’s drive to continue to test diet concepts with broilers has allowed David to complete feed trials in a 1000 bird, 24 pen research facility for the last 14 years.

David is currently a Senior Nutritionist working for Trouw Nutrition Canada. David resides in Chilliwack British Columbia.


Steve Leech

Friday, March 2nd  | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Steve Leech has been employed at Chicken Farmers of Canada for over 15 years, first serving as Food Safety Officer, and later promoted to the position of National Program Manager for Food Safety, Animal Care and Research.

Steve’s responsibility at CFC includes reporting to the CFC Production Committee to manage CFC’s On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program, CFC’s Animal Care Program and CFC’s Antimicrobial Use Strategy.

Steve represents CFC on several industry and government committees in the areas of food safety, animal care, antimicrobial use and resistance, processing and biosecurity.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the University of Guelph and a Master of Science in Animal Nutrition, also from the University of Guelph.


Bruce Muirhead

Thursday, March 1st  | 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Bruce Muirhead is Associate Vice President, External Research, and a professor in the department of History at the University of Waterloo. He has written extensively on Canadian trade negotiations since the Second World War, as well as Canadian politics, diplomacy and economic development. His more recent work, which was funded by the Norwegian Research Council, has focused on the evolution of Canadian agricultural policy, and especially dairy and egg supply management. He is the Egg Farmers of Canada Chair in Public Policy, where his research focuses on issues surrounding the relevance and usefulness of supply management by comparing the Canadian system with those found in comparable sectors in Australia, NZ, the UK and the US. 


Dr. Jane Pritchard

Friday, March 2nd | 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM

Undergraduate degree University of Toronto, Doctor Veterinary of Veterinary Medicine – Ontario Veterinary College, Masters in Veterinary Science (Anatomic Pathology) Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
Practice, Alberta Agriculture, International Development with CIDA in China, Public Health Veterinarian in BC.
One daughter in Winnipeg, one son in Harrison, two granddaughters in Harrison. One pug at home.
I did farm for 6 years in the Peace Country in Alberta and I did raise and slaughter my own broilers, and kept layers and ducks (also a couple of pigs and many horses and beef cows). Hobbies have included competitive sailing, horseback riding, tennis and gardening.
Chief Veterinary Officer for BC
Executive Director of the Plant and Animal Health Branch, Director of the Animal Health Centre and Manager of the Dairy, Game Farm and Fur Farm Programs.
Member of the National Farm Animal Health and Welfare Council, Canadian Council of Chief Veterinary Officers, President of the CFIA’s Advisory Group.


Rob Radloff
BCom, CPA, CA, CFP, CLU, Sr. Financial & Estate Specialist

Thursday, March 1st  | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

A Chartered Accountant, Rob Radloff brings many years of broad international experience to his role as Financial and Estate Specialist with Covenant. With a gift for relationship building, Rob is also a talented presenter and writer. He's been published in Business in Vancouver, the Vancouver Sun and gives frequent presentations on tax and succession planning.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Rhodes University, and is a Chartered Accountant, a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Life Underwriter. He is also a Member of the Vancouver Estate Planning Council and a Member of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Rob heads up the financial and estate planning division at Covenant, working with other members of the Covenant team to develop integrated financial plans for clients.

Rob lives in North Vancouver with his wife, Nancy, and their two sons. Rob enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and playing tennis.


Dr. Tony Redford

Thursday, March 1st  | 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Friday, March 2nd  | 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM

Tony is originally from Kamloops, BC, where he was born, grew up, and completed his BSc in Animal Biology at Thompson Rivers University. He then headed out to Saskatchewan to complete the DVM program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, and followed that up with graduate studies in anatomic pathology at the WCVM. During his time at the WCVM, he spent five summers studying and working at the Animal Health Centre, until he became an avian pathologist at the AHC this past September. Tony is excited to be at the AHC and he hopes to be a valuable part of the poultry health team and help to contribute to poultry health and the poultry industry in BC. He is also excited to be back in Abbotsford permanently, where he and his wife, Melissa, live and enjoy the outdoors through hiking, backpacking and snowshoeing.


Dr. John Smith
DVM, MS, MAM, Senior Health Services Advisor, Fieldale Farms Corporation and President, Alectryon LLC commercial broiler health consulting service

Thursday, March 1st  | 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Friday, March 2nd | 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Dr. Smith is a worn-out, used-up cow doctor who decided to get into the chicken business for the easy money.

After serving two years in the US Army Veterinary Corps, he completed an internship in large animal medicine and surgery at Auburn University and a residency in large animal internal medicine at the University of Georgia. He was an Assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at Auburn University and an Associate Professor of Large Animal Medicine at Colorado State University. In 1991 he joined Fieldale Farms Corporation, the 16th largest broiler producer in the United States, as the Director of Poultry Health Services, where he was responsible for poultry health programs for pullets, breeders, hatcheries, and broilers.

Dr. Smith has actively supported numerous professional and industry organizations, including the AVMA, the National Chicken Council, the US Poultry and Egg Association, the United States Animal Health Association, and the American Association of Avian Pathologists, where he is currently President.

He has been recognized for his service to the profession with the US Poultry and Egg Association Lamplighter Award for Industry Service, 2004; the American Association of Avian Pathologists Lasher-Botorff Award, 2006; as an AGHON Honorary Member, University of Georgia, 2015; the American Association of Avian Pathologists Special Service Award, 2016; the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association Workhorse of the Year, 2017; and the American Association of Avian Pathologists Hall of Honor, 2017.