Mantioba Potato Production Days, Conference and Trade Show, Jan 29, 30, & 31, 2019
Keystone Centre, Brandon, MB

A Great Canadian Potato Show



Peter VanderZaag, PhD

Peter VanderZaag, PhD PicturePeter is both a farmer and a recognized international practical potato scientist. Dr VanderZaag has worked intensively on potatoes with the International Potato Center(CIP) both as a scientist in many countries and as a Board member including 4 years as the Chair of the Board.

Peter opened the CIP work in China back in 1986 and since then has seen an incredible transformation in all aspects of Chinese society and economy. Potato production has increased 6 fold since that time. Dr VanderZaag presently serves as a Visiting Professor at the Joint Academy of Potato Science located at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, SW China. Peter has received the highest Honour given to a foreign specialist for his contribution to the potato revolution in China by the Premier of China in 2014; the National Friendship Award.

Peter along with his wife Carla, daughter Ruth and son in law Nick own and operate Sunrise Potato, a large chip potato operation in Alliston Ontario Canada. Details are available on the farm website:


David Phillips
Senior Climatologist,
Environment and Climate Change Canada

David Phillips PictureDavid has been employed with Environment Canada's weather service for 50 years. His work activities relate to the study of the climate of Canada and to promote awareness and understanding of meteorology. He has published several books, papers and reports, including a book on The Climates of Canada, and two bestsellers: The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry and Blame It On The Weather. He is the originator and author of the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar, the most popular calendar sold in Canada. David frequently appears on national radio and television as a commentator on weather and climate matters. He has been awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and has twice received the Public Service Merit Award. David is the recipient of three honorary doctorates from the universities of Waterloo and Windsor and Nipissing University. In 2001, David was named to the Order of Canada.

spuds & suds entertainment

Sean Watson

Sean Watson PictureSean Watson has perfected his skills as a magician, but moreover as an ‘entertainer’ ‘ a real crowd pleaser. Sean Watson has won great acclaim at venues such as the Las Vegas Hilton, the renowned ‘Carnival’ in Brazil, various casinos, state fairs, corporate events and product launches. Sean Watson has also received many accolades for his close-up entertainment in a wide variety of settings. As with most successful entertainers, Sean Watson ‘works his audience’, and ‘involves’ them in on-stage and close-up entertainment that elicits that wonderful combination of amazement and laughter. Whether your audience requires his talents from feet away with unbelievable up-close-and-personal tricks and hilarious comedic interaction, full stage theatrics and pyrotechnics, or any combination thereof, Sean Watson will custom-tailor the show to fit your type of event. Sean Watson starts the show with a bang by performing his award winning dove act done to high-energy music. Doves will come from nowhere, candles from everywhere, canes, silks and more. The audience won’t want to blink their eyes. Some audience members will become part of the show as they are invited up on stage to participate in various new age magical entertainment designed to generate hilarious fun and excitement. While audience participation is exciting for those on stage, it’s even better for friends and co-workers. Sean Watson will amaze and mystify everyone with a wide variety of magical events such as levitation, guests’ personal effects disappearing and re-appearing. Sean Watson’s grand finale generates tremendous amazement from the audience as they witness an unbelievable disappearing act. Sean Watson’s show involves audience interaction in good clean fun and excitement, and combines comedy, mystery and amazement to win over any crowd.

Technical Speakers

Zachary Frederick

Dr. Zachary Frederick PictureZack Frederick came from the United States to Canada with an interest with in-field agricultural research and fostering cooperative extension – specifically the exchange of information between growers, industry, and universities to build up farmers and their commodities.
Zack is employed as an applied potato research agronomist by the Manitoba Horticulture Productivity Enhancement Centre Inc (MHPEC). Zack was hired to conduct research to identify and remediate places of variable yield within fields and connect this research and other ideas between stakeholders in the potato industry.
Zack recently completed a Ph.D in Plant Pathology from Washington State University with a specialty in soilborne potato disease management for growers in Washington’s Colombia Basin.

Darin Gibson

Darin Gibson PictureDarin Gibson is a Research Agronomist and the President of Gaia Consulting Ltd, located near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Gaia Consulting conducts potato and other vegetable research trials, contracting with crop protection, fertilizer and seed companies as well as grower organizations, processors, universities and government. Darin is a member of the Potato Association of America and the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants. Darin holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Plant Science) degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Science from North Dakota State University.

Dr. Ian MacRae

Dr. Ian MacRae PictureDr. Ian MacRae has a PhD in entomology from Oregon State University and has been a professional entomologist for over 30 years. He has extensive experience in Integrated Pest Management of field and row crops, potatoes, small grains, oil seed crops, sugarbeet, and tree fruits. Dr. MacRae’s lab has an active program studying the spatial and temporal distribution of insect populations, remote sensing, and insecticide resistance in insect Minnesota and North Dakota cropping systems.

John Edmonds

John Edmonds Picture Technical/Development Manager (Potato), Europe
• Gowan Company (Jan 2009 - Present)
• Technical/Development Manager (Potato and Cereals), Europe

• Dow AgroSciences (July 2001 – Oct 2006)
• Global Technical Manager – Zoxamide (molecule)
• European Technical Manager, Potato Fungicides, (Zoxamide, Electis & Dithane)
• Global Technical Expert - Potato Fungicides

• Rohm and Haas UK Ltd. (Sept 1996 - July 2001)
• European Regional Technical Manager (1999 –2001)
• Zoxamide, Electis, Dithane (Potato & Vegetables)

John Edmonds is European development/technical manager for Gowan Company with specific crop responsibility for Potato for ten years. He has been with Gowan since early 2009, following the acquisition of the zoxamide molecule and all the associated product brands and mixtures from Dow AgroScience.

Whilst at DAS, his roles over the six years were European Technical Manager for the potato fungicides including Gavel (known in EU as Electis and Dithane), also as the global technical manager for the zoxamide molecule and as global technical expert for the potato fungicides.

John Edmonds has been a member of EuroBlight ( which is a group of leading researchers, specialists and industry representatives for over 15 years and presented several papers and posters at the annual meetings as well as various posters and presentations at other industry events in Europe.

Amanda Gevens

Amanda Gevens PictureUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, she serves as an Interim Director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program. Gevens develops integrated and innovative disease management programs for potato and vegetable crops during production and post-harvest. She addresses many fundamental disease questions with research programming in the focus areas of pathogen ecology and management. She earned her BS in Biology from Muhlenberg College in PA, her MS from Purdue University, and her PhD from Michigan State University. Before joining the faculty at UW-Madison, she was an assistant professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Andrew McGuire

Andrew McGuire PictureAndrew McGuire is an Irrigated Cropping Systems Agronomist working for Washington State University Extension. Since 1999, he has been helping farmers build soils in the Columbia Basin of Washington through high residue farming and cover cropping. His work with mustard green manures has facilitated the use of the practice on 25-30,000 acres each year in the Columbia Basin.  He thinks, then writes, about agriculture at and lives in Ephrata, WA.

Dan Robinson

Dan Robinson PictureDan Robinson is the Agricultural Sustainability Manager for the JR Simplot Company in Boise, ID. Dan is involved in sustainability issues within the Food Group of Simplot, which includes MRL’s, crop protection and nutrient records, sustainability reporting and represents Simplot in the Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI).

J.R. Simplot Company is one of the largest privately held food and agribusiness companies in the nation. Simplot continues to address innovating ways to meet their food service customer’s sustainability goals. Today, less than 2% of the population works in the agriculture industry, yet, more than ever, consumers want to know more about how and where their food is produced.

Dan has been in the food processing industry for 27 years. All of those 27 years were in field operations. 17 of those years were in the frozen potato industry and the other 10 were frozen vegetable.

Dan grew up on a dry land wheat farm in state of Washington, USA. He graduated from Washington State University with a B.S. degree in Agronomy. He held multiple positions in Field Operations in the Columbia Basin before relocating to Boise, Id in 2018.

Jodi DeJong-Hughes

Jodi DeJong-Hughes PictureU of M Regional Extension Educator

M.S. Agronomy: Soil Science (Soil Fertility). Iowa State University. 1995.
B.S. Agronomy: Soil Resources and Conservation. Colorado State University. 1992.

Jodi DeJong-Hughes has been a Regional Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota Extension for over 21 years. Her area of specialization includes tillage management systems, soil compaction, and soil health management. She has published many factsheets, articles, and peer reviewed journal articles and has presented at numerous state-wide and regional meetings. She has organized the Conservation Tillage Conference and Strip Tillage Expos throughout Minnesota. She works primarily with producers, Ag business, government agencies, and crop consultants in Western Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Carl Rosen

Carl Rosen PictureCarl Rosen is a Professor and Extension Soil Scientist in the Department of Soil, Water, & Climate at the University of Minnesota and currently serves as Department Head. He received his MS degree in horticulture from Penn State University and a Ph.D. degree in Soil Science from UC Davis.  Since 1983, his research and extension programs in Minnesota have focused on optimizing nutrient management for a variety of crops with particular emphasis on irrigated potato cropping systems.  He has authored or coauthored numerous publications and extension bulletins on the subjects of nutrient management, soil fertility, plant nutrition, and beneficial use of by-products for crop production.

Richard J. Bishop, P.E.

Richard J. Bishop, P.E. PictureProfessional Engineer, Certified Fluid Power Specialist

Richard is Owner of BishTec LCC, a solutions company dedicated to "Getting it Right" by helping to resolve any desing problem whether mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic or automation related.

Work Experience:

3 years Owner at BishTec LLC in Blackfoot, Idaho
6 years Greentronics integration experience, Presently the Western US area representative
8 years Design/Mechanical & Hydraulic Engineering/Engineering Management/Product Management with Spudnik Equipment Company, Blackfoot, Idaho
6 years Product Test & Evaluation/Drivetrain Engineering with John Deere Product Engineering Center, Waterloo Iowa

Born and Raised in Chester, Idaho and worked for Rip & Tear Logging family sawmill business through college

Education and Certifications:

Professional Engineer Mechanical - State of Idaho
BS Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering - Utah State University
CFPS - Certified Fluid Power Specialist - International Society of Fluid Power

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