We are pleased to welcome Dr. Richard Donald, Lyndsey Smith, Editor of Realagriculture.com, Dr. Steven Roche, Dr. Martha Crago, and Greg Connell to Ag. Connect 2015.
Dr. Richard Donald is an experienced researcher and educator in the fields of agronomy and the environment. He has led a diverse career that has taken him across the globe. Born and raised in Montreal and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Richard first did a B.Sc. at Mount Allison University. Growing up in rural Quebec instilled in him a lifelong passion for agriculture and food and he went on to do a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in agriculture and soil science at the University of Guelph and the University of Saskatchewan.
Since then, Richard has worked as an agriculturalist across Canada and in over 23 countries around the world, including several years as a CUSO volunteer in Central America, early in his career. Richard has consulted in agriculture and the environment for the United Nations, the World Bank, CIDA, USAID, the International Finance Corporation and many other Canadian and international institutions.
Most recently, Richard served as Vice-President of Research and Extension at Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC), and Associate Dean Research upon the merger of NSAC with Dalhousie University. As part of those positions Dr. Donald was also President and CEO of Perennia Inc, a Nova Scotia crown-owned company with the responsibility of knowledge translation and transfer to the agriculture and food sector. Richard retired from his post at Dalhousie in July of 2014 and continues to consult in the environment and agriculture domain.
Lyndsey Smith is the editor of RealAgriculture.com — a web-only agriculture media company specializing in video and audio coverage of the Canadian farming sector.
Originally from a small mixed farm in southeastern Manitoba, Lyndsey has an insatiable thirst for learning about the production side of agriculture, and spends her days chasing down whatever it is she finds fascinating (which is most things), so she can share what she learns with farmers.
Having started out in print media, Lyndsey’s role in ag media has evolved in-step with the move to the digital and social side of communications. Keen to get in front of a crowd, Lyndsey often shares through speaking engagements what she’s learned and observed in this move to social media and how it applies to how agriculture connects with consumers. She also spends too much time on Twitter as @RealAg_Lyndsey. Lyndsey currently lives in the wilds of suburban Ottawa, where she’s raising two kids and zero goats (this last statement, re: goats, makes her sad).
Dr. Steven Roche received his PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. His doctoral research focused on the development, implementation, and mixed-methods evaluation of novel communication and extension approaches, which were aimed at improving the adoption of on-farm management practices to control Johne’s disease in the Ontario dairy industry.
Steven is passionate about conducting research and communicating with stakeholders to improve health and prevent disease in both human and animal populations. His interdisciplinary skill set blends agricultural extension, communication theory, and epidemiological methodologies to address health problems by changing stakeholder behaviour. He is now the Founder and Principal Consultant of Agricultural Communications and Epidemiological Research (ACER) Consulting, where he continues his work on these themes through various projects with academic, governmental, and industry collaborators.
Dr. Martha Crago is the Vice-President (Research) and Professor in Human Communication Disorders at Dalhousie University. Her previous university administrative positions include Vice-President of International and Governmental Relations at the Université de Montreal, the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Associate Provost (Academic Programs) at McGill University. Martha Crago is the Vice Chair of the Vice Presidents (Research) of the U15 group of Canada’s research intense universities.Dr. Crago is founder and Chair of the Board for the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise. She is also presently the Canadian academic member of the federal government’s Joint Canada-Brazil Committee and of the boards of the Network of Centres of Excellence in Marine Environment Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) as well as the Ocean Network Canada. In addition, she has been on the Advisory Councils of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the National Research Council – Institute of Marine Biosciences.At Dalhousie University, she chairs a variety of other research institutes governing councils and committees such as the Brain Repair Center Coordinating Committee, the Life Sciences Research Institute Governing Council and the Ocean Tracking Network Council. She has been an active researcher in language acquisition. Her work has been published extensively in scientific journals and books and she is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Psycholinguistics published by Cambridge University Press. She was Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Child Language from 2007-2010. Dr. Crago was named Chevalier de l’ordre des palmes academiques by the government of France in 2009 and Femme de Merite de Montreal in 2000. She is also the recipient of the McGill University Prize for her contributions to research.
Gregory Connell is the Director of Product & Innovation with Turleaf. Gregory Connell brings 30 years of diverse grocery-sector and product marketing experience to TruLeaf’s market development activities. His career has spanned store management, category management, produce management, and consumer product marketing, and brings deep expertise in the grocery value chain. Gregory is a member of the Atlantic Canada Food Executive Club, Horticulture Nova Scotia, the Canadian Horticulture Council and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Greg has served as a National Director on the board of CPMA and continues to serves on CPMA’s national marketing committee along with key executives from leading Canadian retailers and wholesalers.