Slide Agriculture in Saskatchewan Thursday, December 2, 2021
2:00 - 4:00pm

PROGRAM & SPEAKER BIOS

Welcome Message and Introductory Comments

with Wanda Hunchak

 

Presentation:
Canada’s Agri-Food Market Outlook

with Murad Al-Katib

 

Panel #1:
Saskatchewan’s Importance to Global Agriculture

with J.P. Gervais, Murad Al-Katib and Blair Flavel

 

Presentation:
FCC’s Economic Outlook for Agriculture

with J.P. Gervais

 

Panel #2:
Opportunities in Value-Added Agriculture

with Natasha Vandenhurk, Garrett Ganden and Garth MacDonald

 

Panel #3:
Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

with Blair Flavel, Dan McCann and Garth MacDonald

 

Access to Local Investment in Agriculture with Golden Opportunities

Message from Grant Kook

 

Q&A Session and Closing Remarks

 

 

J.P. Gervais

Vice-President and Chief Economist – FCC

J.P. Gervais is Vice-President and Chief Economist. He has over 20 years of experience analyzing domestic and international agricultural policies and markets, and his insights help guide strategy and monitor risk throughout the corporation. He’s frequently a featured speaker at national and international conferences, addressing global trends and the linkages to agri-food markets. In addition to acting as an FCC spokesperson on economic matters, J.P. provides commentary on the agriculture industry through videos and the FCC Ag Economics blog.

Prior to joining FCC in 2010, J.P. was a professor of agricultural economics at North Carolina State University and Laval University. He also held the Canada Research Chair in Agri-Industries and International Trade at Laval. J.P. is Past-President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University in 1999.

Grant Kook

President and CEO – Westcap Mgt. Ltd. (Golden Opportunities Fund Manager)

Grant Kook is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Westcap Mgt. Ltd., the Fund Manager for Golden Opportunities Fund Inc. Founded over 20 years ago, Golden Opportunities is the first and longest-standing Provincial Retail Venture Capital (RVC) Fund in Saskatchewan. Mr. Kook is the co-founder and President and Chief Executive Officer of Cheung On, an international investor syndicated fund. Mr. Kook has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ramada Hotels since 1992. Mr. Kook was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Directors for SaskTel in February 2008, Chairman of Saskatchewan Blue Cross as of April 2019 and Vice Chairman of the Saskatchewan Health Authority from June 2017 to June 2021. Mr. Kook serves as a director for 3sHealth Shared Services Saskatchewan and is a member of the Investment Committee for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation pension fund. Mr. Kook was a Vice President of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and past Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. Mr. Kook was the Chair of the 2013 and 2014 CIS University Cup Men’s Hockey Championship, and a founding board member of the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame. Mr. Kook is the recipient of the 2013 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and also the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012, and the Commemorative Medal of the Centennial of Saskatchewan, 2005. He is the recipient of the 2014 Saskatoon Tourism Leadership award and has been recognized as the 2013 Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Award for Community Involvement, the 2013 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Volunteer of the Year Award, the 2008 B’nai Brith – We Are Proud of You Award. He has earned the Chartered Director Designation (C. Dir.) from McMaster University DeGroote School of Business.

Murad Al-Katib

President and CEO – AGT Food and Ingredients (Golden Opportunities Board Member)

Murad Al-Katib is the President, CEO and Board member of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. An international agri-food commodity trading strategic business and financial thinker, Murad founded AGT Foods in 2001, building a Canadian start-up into a global billion-dollar value-added pulses, staple foods and ingredient company.  Murad serves as one of ten advisors to the Government of Canada on the Industry Strategy Council, convened to advise the Government of Canada on the Post Covid 19 Industrial Strategy for the country.  He is also Chair of the Government of Canada National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable. Other Board appointments include Chair of the Canadian Special Crops Association, Economic Development Regina, Protein Industries Canada, Plant Based Foods of Canada and Pulse Canada and a number of Canadian Government advisory boards and panels. Murad has been a passionate advocate of entrepreneurs, championing compassionate entrepreneurism and working to expand female, youth and First Nations participation in business startups, advocating the role of entrepreneurs in driving social change and innovation in the new global economy.

Murad is a seasoned player in the Canadian capital markets including leading both the go public AGT transaction in 2007 and leading the capital markets strategy for the company to scale from $40 million in revenue to approximately $2 billion and led the privatization transaction in 2019 in a partnership with Fairfax Financial Holdings.  Murad also actively organized a $625 million 9 bank syndication from AGT and led the issuance of $200 million in unsecured notes for AGT. Murad’s awards include the Globe and Mail CEO Innovator of the Year in 2020, Canadian Western Agribition’s List of the 50 Most Influential People in Agriculture, the 2021 Business Leader of the Year by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce,  2017 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, a U of R Honorary Degree, 2017 “Oslo Business for Peace” Honoree, 2017 EY “World Entrepreneur of the Year”, 2016 UN Association of Canada “Global Citizen Laureate”, PROFITGuide Magazine’s “30 Most Fabulous Entrepreneurs of the Past 30 Years” list, Globe & Mail “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” and the Western Producer “44 Innovators Who Shaped Prairie Agriculture”.

Blair Flavel

President – Degelman Industries

Blair Flavel is the President of Degelman Industries, which has been a local legacy for nearly 6 decades that is widely recognized for the design and manufacturing of premium equipment for the agricultural and industrial sectors. Under Blair’s leadership, the company has experienced several years of double-digit growth, and today has grown to 365 employees with an extensive dealer network located across the world. Blair establishes the overall strategic direction for the company, provides guidance and training for all department leaders and delivers feedback and a line of visibility to Degelman Industries and the Board of Directors. During his 40 year history with the company, Blair has developed a deep understanding of all facets of Degelman Industries and continues to lead company expansions as a result of a continuous increase in demand.

Garth MacDonald

CEO – G-Mac’s AgTeam

Garth MacDonald is the Co-Founder, Majority Owner and CEO of G-Mac’s AgTeam, a crop production company that strives to provide exceptional agronomic services while remaining focused on customers and communities. G-Mac’s AgTeam was founded in 2000 and has grown to 13 retail locations and one distribution facility placed throughout Western Saskatchewan, with the corporate Head Office located in Kindersley. Being a father of three and grandfather of 5, it has always been important to Garth that G-Mac’s AgTeam remains an extended family that live in, and contribute to, the communities in which they exist.

G-Mac’s AgTeam is focused on increasing productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner and as a result, supplies customers with leading edge service, emerging science and proven technology. They credit their success to being built on customer relationships that are based on knowledge and services including CrOptics, a year-round agronomy and crop production service; SoilConnect, a custom variable rate fertility prescription program that optimizes growing acres; and SprayConnect, a variable rate spray application prescription that treats only necessary acres. These are just a few of the services offered through the G-Mac’s AgTeam iFarm (Intelligent Farming) platform that allows G-Mac’s AgTeam to continually be committed to growth and improvement both in their knowledge and in practice on the farm.

Garrett Ganden

President and CEO – Rocky Mountain Equipment

Garrett Ganden was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain Equipment (RME) on February 2, 2015.  RME is Canada’s largest independent agriculture equipment dealer with branch locations across the Canadian Prairies, and is also the largest dealer of Case New Holland agriculture equipment in the Canadian Prairies. The Company provides local farming communities and construction companies with agriculture and construction equipment, after sales support and financing.  Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Mr. Ganden had served as the Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer since May 9, 2011, and, prior to that, had served as Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation since its IPO. Mr. Ganden has a long history in the heavy equipment business, serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Hammer Equipment Sales Limited since October 23, 2007 and, prior thereto, was the Corporate Controller at Hammer Equipment Sales Limited for five years. Mr. Ganden attended the University of Lethbridge and received his Bachelor of Management in 1997. Prior to joining Hammer Equipment Sales Limited in 2002, he worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Chartered Accountants in Calgary, Alberta where in 2000 he earned his Chartered Accountant designation.

Natasha Vandenhurk

CEO and Founder – Three Farmers Foods

Natasha Vandenhurk is CEO and one of the initial founders at Three Farmers Foods, a Saskatchewan-based, value-added food processing company that produces sustainable, quality food from locally grown products using innovative manufacturing with its proprietary dry roasting process. Natasha studied Economics at the University of Saskatchewan before partnering with three farmers from Southeast Saskatchewan to realize a dream of taking healthy wholesome foods to the marketplace.

Being CEO of a growing, natural foods brand has set Natasha on a journey of continuous learning and leadership. Her passion, dedication and tenacity has grown Three Farmers Foods from a young start up to a thriving international brand. As Three Farmers Foods continues to evolve into an established Consumer Packaged Goods brand, Natasha is adamant about building high performing teams throughout the organization that are dedicated to excellence, accountability and continual learning in this dynamically changing industry.

Daniel McCann

CEO – Precision AI

Daniel McCann is the Founder and CEO of Precision AI, an agriculture technology company with proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology that uses real time identification and precision spraying of weeds to help farmers protect their crops while reducing wasteful broadcast spraying, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and sustainability. Daniel is passionate about how technology shapes the future of global food security. A three-time start-up founder with over 25 years in technology within diverse industries such as artificial intelligence, fintech, security, and agriculture, he provides a unique perspective on how technology impacts our world. Daniel was a finalist in the 2013 ABEX Young Entrepreneur of the Year and personally holds six patents. Precision AI is accelerating AI spraying to grow more sustainable food.

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