Selection Committee

A big thank you to the committee of sustainability experts from across the country who examined each submission for the Award! The judges from diverse backgrounds brought expertise in a broad range of sustainability issues to the selection of the award winners.

Karen Beauchemin, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Karen Beauchemin is a senior research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre and an adjunct professor at three universities in western Canada. Before her career in research, Karen spent several years as a ruminant nutritionist with a large feed manufacturer in western Canada. Dr. Beauchemin obtained a PhD in ruminant nutrition at the University of Guelph, an MSc in animal nutrition at Université Laval, and her BSc in agriculture at McGill University. Dr. Beauchemin’s research focuses on improving feed utilization by beef and dairy cattle, while reducing environmental impact. She is a leading international researcher in the area of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from dairy and beef production. Throughout her career, Dr. Beauchemin has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and review papers.

Shabtai Bittman, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Dr. Bittman is a researcher at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Agassiz, BC, specializing in forages and field crop management. Much of his research has focused on the environmental impact of different cropping practices, such as relay crops, crop rotation, and cover crops, and the development of sustainable cropping systems through improved nutrient management. Other areas of interest include the reduction of nitrogenous gases and particulates to the atmosphere and the improvement of water quality through strategic manure use.

Drew Black, M.Sc.

Director of Environment and Science Policy, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

Drew has worked on environmental policy analysis for the past five years at the federal level on a wide range of files with sustainability implications. He sits on a number of different federal advisory committees and value-chain roundtables which seek to address environmental issues in agricultural production and improve sustainability. Drew works to ensure that producers’ perspectives are heard and considered in the development of federal environmental legislation, regulation and policy and is currently involved in seeking greater recognition for the voluntary actions that producers are taking to limit their impact to the environment and improve sustainability. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture represents over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families and strives to provide a single voice for farmers at the federal level.

Jean-Michel Couture, M.Sc.

Associate & Projects Director in CSR, Groupe AGÉCO

As an agricultural economist, Mr. Couture has worked in Switzerland and Canada, where he has gained experience in the fields of agricultural policy, international legislation and trade analysis. His professional interests also include monitoring changes in Canadian supply management systems. He is also actively involved in the methodological development of social life cycle assessments (S-LCA). In addition to contributing to theory, Mr. Couture has been a pioneer in the methodology application, primarily for analysis of the agricultural and agro-food sectors, including the Canadian dairy sector.

Andrew Graham

Executive Director of Operations, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA)

Andy has worked with the farm organization for more than 24 years, engaged in all phases of project development, delivery and management, with an emphasis over that time on environmental programs. OSCIA is a unique non-profit farm organization with dedicated membership representing virtually all commodity groups and has a significant presence in all major agricultural areas. The organization facilitates responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops through development and communication of innovative farming practices. In his new role as Executive Director, Andy accommodates a broad suite of management activities that encompass the four strategic directions of the Association, while tending to the day-to-day operations in the Guelph office.

Ralph Martin, Ph.D.

Professor and the Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production, University of Guelph

Ralph Martin grew up on a beef and hog farm in Wallenstein, Ont. He learned about agriculture in his early childhood, crediting his grandfather who died when Ralph was seven. Ralph has a B.A. and an M.Sc. in Biology from Carleton University and a Ph.D. in Plant Science from McGill University. His love of teaching grew unexpectedly when he began teaching at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, in 1990, and realized how students teach him too. In 2001, he founded the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada to coordinate university research and education pertaining to organic systems, across Canada. In 2011, he was appointed as Professor and the Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production at the Ontario Agriculture College of University of Guelph.

Ron Maynard

Board member, Dairy Farmers of Canada

Ron Maynard is actively involved in the dairy industry at the provincial and national levels. He has been President of the P.E.I. Dairy Producers and Chair of the P.E.I. Milk Marketing Board. At the national level, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Dairy Bureau of Canada. He served as member of the Board of Directors of Dairy Farmers of Canada in 1995 and was re-appointed in 2000. He served on the Executive Committee from 2008 to 2013.

Mr. Maynard has also been actively involved at the community level with the 4-H Council and with various health services organizations.

Marina von Keyserlingk, Ph.D.

Professor and NSERC Industrial Research Chair, University of British Columbia

Dr. Marina A.G. von Keyserlingk holds an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of British Columbia and is recognized internationally for her research on care and housing for dairy cows and calves. Dr. von Keyserlingk’s studies have focused on the under-researched areas including behaviour, housing and management and how these contribute to animal health and welfare of dairy cattle. Marina's love of animals began while growing up on a farm in Western Canada. She completed her undergraduate in Agricultural Sciences at the University of British Columbia, her M.Sc. at the University of Alberta and Ph.D. in Animal Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Dr. von Keyserlingk has published over 100 refereed research publications during her career as a scientist and recently co-authored The Welfare of Cattle (Springer Verlag, 2008), a definitive scholarly text in her core area of research. Because of this work as an educator on farm animal care, the impact of her research can now be seen on farms around the world.

Members of the selection committee score applications on the basis of the criteria established under the program to address environmental sustainability, financial viability, social impacts and reproducibility of best management practices. They collectively review and discuss each submission, and establish a final score.

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