Mobilizing Knowledge in Ontario’s Agri-Food Sector and Rural Communities

Date and Time


Abstract illustration of people icons connected by lines with the title Mobilizing Knowledge in Ontario's Agri-Food sector and Rural communities a U of G OMAFRA Knowledge Exchange Event on the left side.


Join us for a two-and-a-half hour event to build capacity around Knowledge Translation and Transfer and mobilizing knowledge to achieve impact in Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities. The first hour of the event will feature our keynote speaker with the second hour-and-a-half profiling current Alliance-funded 'KTT Mobilization' and 'Mobilization Initiatives' projects by U of G researchers.

The first session of the event will feature our keynote speaker with the second session profiling current Alliance-funded KTT research projects by U of G researchers.

Agenda: Mobilizing Knowledge in Ontario’s Agri-Food Sector and Rural Communities

Session 1

Time Agenda Item Speaker(s)
1:30-1:40 Welcome and Intro Host: Nicole Rabe, Senior Research Coordinator, OMAFRA
1:40-2:10 Keynote Speaker

Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air Media, "Ensuring Knowledge Transfer is both Effective & Engaging"

View Andrew Campbell's Presentation Slides

2:10-2:25 Q&A All

Session 2: Alliance-funded KTT Research Projects

Time Agenda Item Speaker(s)
2:30-2:40 Session 2 Introduction Host: Dr. Alison Duncan, Office of Research, University of Guelph
2:40-3:00 Profile of Mobilization Initiative Projects
3:05-3:40 Profile of KTT-Mobilization Projects



3:40-400 Q&A All

Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker

Andrew Campbell standing in a field with Holstein cows behind him.

Andrew Campbell is a farmer, award-winning communicator & passionate farm advocate. With the farm, he and his family milk cows as well as grow corn, soybeans, wheat & hay in Southern Ontario’s Middlesex County. On top of farming, Andrew has become a familiar voice for farmers and agriculture issues in the mainstream media, conference halls & online, pushing the positive stories that farmers across Canada have to share with their non-farming neighbours. He’s received awards that have named him a Leader in Innovation, Champion, Game-Changer & Top Agriculture Influencer for his work through the written word, photographs, videos and podcasts.



U of G Researchers

Headshot of Dr. Dave Renaud

Dr. Dave Renaud is an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph. He received his DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College and a PhD in epidemiology from the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. His research focus is on identifying factors associated with calf health, specifically in the veal sector. He also works on identifying alternative management strategies to reduce the level of antimicrobial use in calves. Dave is a practicing veterinarian working with dairy and veal producers around the Guelph area. He focuses on preventative medicine to improve the health and welfare of dairy cows and calves.

Headshot of Dr. Leith Deacon

Dr. Leith Deacon is an Associate Professor in Rural Planning and Development in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. He is a full member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and a Registered Professional Planner (RPP). Leith’s research examines concepts of sustainability, governance, and resiliency. Leith uses mixed methodologies to gather local data (qualitative and quantitative) that can inform local policy and program decisions.

Headshot of Dr. Charlotte Winder

Dr. Charlotte Winder receiver her DVM from the University of Guelph in 2008 and worked in private practice for six years.  She obtained her DVSc from the University of Guelph in 2017, was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Population Medicine and joined the faculty in 2018.  Her research focuses on improving the health and performance of ruminant species, primarily dairy cattle and small ruminants.  She is a clinician with the University’s ruminant ambulatory practice and teaches in the DVM program.  She currently sits on the board of the Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners.

Headshot of Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald

Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald is a professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. She started her career as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist for onions and carrots with OMAFRA and has continued to conduct research on many aspects of disease and insect pest biology and management with a focus on vegetable crops. Her research program provides integrated pest management scouting and information for growers of onions and other vegetables in the Holland Marsh.  This has been operating since 2004 and allows for rapid identification of crop protection problems and rapid integration of research results into the IPM program.  She received the International IPM Award of Excellence from the International Pest Management Symposium in 2015. 

Headshot of Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly has managed the Honey Bee Research Centre since 1987. His primary role at the centre is to manage 300 honeybee colonies for research and teaching purposes. He provides research support for hive health science, training for students and beekeepers, coordinates and teaches beekeeping courses, conducts facility tours and develops apiculture educational materials. His role includes managing production and sale of hive products and educational materials.

His apiculture interests include bee breeding, beekeeping equipment design and manufacture, promoting bee forage plantings, beekeeping video production (, medicinal use of hive products, and hive management techniques.  

Headshot of Sara Epp

Dr. Sara Epp is an Assistant Professor of Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph. She received her BA and MA in Geography from Brock University and completed her PhD in Rural Studies at the University of Guelph. Sara has worked extensively with rural communities in southern and northern Ontario, examining issues related to farmland loss, agricultural viability, land use conflicts and social aspects of rural life. Her current research interests include planning for rural land uses, agricultural systems, migration, and cannabis.


Headshot of Nicole Rabe

Nicole Rabe is a Senior Research Advisor in the Research and Innovation Branch at OMAFRA.

Joining OMAFRA in 2011, Nicole is recognized as a leader who supports solution-based collaboration, having served in multiple roles across divisions where she has advanced key Ministry priorities. Earlier in her career as a Land Resource Specialist, Nicole contributed to the development OMAFRA’s Soil Health & Conservation Strategy and the related launch of the Soil Action Group. She has also provided her knowledgeable insights to advance environmental stewardship programs and expertise in the application of precision agriculture technologies.

Throughout her time with OMAFRA, she has supported research priority development and investment advice. Nicole’s skills are strengthened by her experience teaching at OAC Ridgetown Campus in her spare time. She has also taught previously at Assiniboine Community College (Agriculture & Environment) and worked previously for Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) to support learning and research activities.

Nicole holds a B.A. in Geography Environmental Resource Management and a M.Sc. from the University of Lethbridge in Geography (technology-based crop monitoring).

Headshot of Dr. Alison Duncan

Dr. Alison Duncan is a Professor and Associate Director of Research at the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit, in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Alison’s academic training is all in nutrition with BASc in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph, training to become a Registered Dietitian at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, a M.Sc. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Minnesota. Her teaching and research relate to the biological effects of functional foods on chronic disease-related endpoints evaluated in human intervention studies, with a particular focus on the agri-food-health continuum. Alison is currently serving as the Research Program Director for the Knowledge Translation and Transfer program of the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. Alison currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Nutrition and as President of the Canadian Nutrition Society and was recently named a Fellow of the Dietitians of Canada.


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