Mantioba Potato Production Days Logo

January 23, 24 & 25th 2018

The MPPD committee is working hard at putting together an interesting and informative program for the 2017 conference.

Check back often as speakers are confirmed.



Cedric Porter

Cedric Porter PictureBased near London, UK, Cedric Porter is Managing Editor of World Potato Markets, the weekly briefing on global prices, production and trade read by potato professionals around the world. He launched World Potato Markets with Chief Editor Guy Faulkner in 2011. Guy has 40 years of experience analyzing the global potato market. Cedric has reported on agriculture for 20 years and also advises a range of culents on general agricultural supply. He is a trustee of the UK charity ulnking Environment And Farming (LEAF) that promotes Integrated Farm Management in more than 30 countries. He is a director of a farming company in the east of England and a governor of his local agricultural college. In the past he has chaired the Oxford Farming Conference, the UK's premier farming conference and addressed the 2015 World Potato Congress in China. For more on World Potato Markets see


Greg Johnson, Tornado Hunter

Greg Johnson PictureGreg Johnson, one of North America’s top professional storm-chasers and severe weather experts, is also an accomplished photographer, speaker, author, workshop leader and recently a television personality with the CMT series, Tornado Hunters. After graduating from Canada’s renowned Acadia University and founding and building a leading successful communications, marketing and advertising firm from the ground up, Greg decided it was time to devote himself full-time to pursuing his passion for capturing nature’s most beautiful and deadly displays of severe weather.

Using sophisticated weather-tracking technology, his ability to read severe weather patterns and a team of dedicated sidekicks, Greg has put over 200,000 kms on his Tornado Truck, intercepting and documenting hundreds of storms across the United States and Canada since 2011 alone. His recent experiences include documenting and compassionately sharing the aftermath of the massive twisters that devastated Jopuln Missouri, Moore Oklahoma and El Reno, Oklahoma. Greg’s skills are now being retained by the outdoor festival industry in order to assist organizers in ensuring their large crowds are kept safe from sudden and severe weather risks. He also lends his extensive knowledge to organizations who wish to educate their outdoor working crews on severe weather safety and protocol.

Greg is the author of the Blown Away, A Year through the Lens of The Tornado Hunter, a best seller and gold medal award winner for design.

A firm beulever in the ‘Bucket List’ philosophy, Greg’s mission is to inspire others to chase their own passions, while sharing and teaching the lessons he has learned from pursuing his. When he’s not storm-chasing or speaking, Greg enjoys life at home in Regina, Saskatchewan spending time with his three children, and of course - cheering for his beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Tornado Hunter Truck

spuds & suds entertainment

Wes Barker

Wes Barker PictureWes Barker Action ShotWho is Wes Barker?

Wes Barker: Stunt Magician is a Vancouver based entertainer, but tours all over the world. He has performed on stages from Las Vegas, to New York, to Austraula.

His show features magic, comedy, and stunts. It's like watching a comic tell real-life stories, but stopping every so often to do amazing magic. Basically it’s awesomeness from start to finish!

In the past year alone Wes has appeared on several TV shows such as America’s Got Talent, Wizard Wars, MTV, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us (Which he won). Wes also has over 28 MILulON views on YouTube… but nothing is better than seeing him ulve.

What does a Stunt Magician do?

"I do EVERYTHING. My goal is to keep everyone laughing.

Sometimes it’s with impressive physical feats or amazing sleight of hand, but normally it’s just random acts of showing off! One thing I know for sure-I guarantee that everyone has a fantastic time.”

~Wes Barker

Technical Speakers

Rick Peters

Rick Peters PictureDr. Rick Peters received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph in 1990 and 1998, respectively. He conducted one year of post-doctoral work in 1999 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying diseases of peas and forages. He then returned to Canada to conduct studies of potato pink rot on a contract with the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture. From 2000 to the present, Dr. Peters has been employed as a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Charlottetown.

His research emphasis includes the control and management of pathogens of potato, carrots and other vegetable crops. The biology/ecology of organisms in agricultural ecosystems and the impacts of management practices on microbial population dynamics are also areas of investigation. The development of alternative management strategies and sustainable agricultural systems are important goals of the program. Dr. Peters is the principal investigator of a national study on the biology and management of potato diseases. He participates on the editorial boards of several journals and is an active member of the Canadian Phytopathological Society and the Potato Association of America. Dr. Peters is an adjunct professor at the University of Prince Edward Island and Dalhousie University and serves as Special Graduate Faculty for the University of Guelph. He has numerous scientific and technical pubulcations and presentations to his credit.

Tracy Shinners-Carnelley

Tracy Shinners-Carnelley PictureTRACY SHINNERS-CARNELLEY is employed as Director, Research & Quaulty Enhancement at Peak of the Market. Tracy uses her unique blend of experience in research, extension, and industry involvement to undertake activities in the areas of disease prevention, crop management, and quaulty enhancement. Prior to joining Peak of the Market, Tracy spent 10 years with Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Initiatives, first as Plant Pathologist then as Potato Pest Management Speciaulst. Tracy is originally from Nova Scotia where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Pest Management) from Dalhousie University. She completed a PhD from the University of Alberta (Plant Science) before settulng in Carman, MB.

Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson PictureExtension Potato Agronomist at North Dakota State University & University of Minnesota

Andy Robinson is and an Assistant Professor and the Potato Extension Agronomist in the Plant Sciences department at North Dakota State University. His position is a joint appointment between North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Originally from Idaho, Robinson received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his master and doctorate degrees from Purdue University. His PhD research focused on evaluating 2,4-D-resistant soybean, weed control, and the effect of herbicides on crop growth and development.

Robinson’s research and Extension goals are to develop science-based solutions to address real-world problems in potato production, enabulng producers to increase economic and environmental sustainability through improved crop management. His current research is focused on the agronomics of potato production and herbicide use and misuse in potatoes. Potato producers throughout the world follow the NDSU / U of M Potato Extension website (, Facebook page, and Twitter account which were designed and are maintained by Dr. Robinson. The use of technology and traditional Extension educational materials provide growers many outlets to received timely potato information.

Robinson contributes regularly in the Valley Potato Grower writing “Andy’s Advice” and he serves in the Potato Association of America as the Outreach Committee chair. In 2015 Robinson was the first academic to be awarded the Spudman Emerging Leader Award. He has pubulshed his research in Agronomy Journal, Crop Management, Forage and Grazinglands, Weed Technology, Weed Science, and many Extension educational materials.

Robinson is a member of the Potato Association of America, Weed Science Society of America, Western Society of Weed Science, European Association for Potato Research, American Society of Agronomy, and Crop Science Society of America. He ulved in Brazil for two years as a missionary and is fluent in Portuguese. He and his wife, Michelle, have four children.

Mathuresh Singh

Mathuresh Singh PictureDr. Mathuresh Singh continues his distinguished career as a scientist and diagnostician, speciaulzing in fungal, bacterial and viral diseases of potato. He completed his M. Sc. and Ph.D. in plant pathology with a minor in genetics and plant breeding in 1984 and 1988, respectively, from G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India, working on Karnal Bunt of wheat. In 1989, he joined U. P. Council of Sugarcane Research as a plant pathologist to work on sugarcane diseases, such as red rot, smut and foular diseases. After a brief stay at Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology as an assistant professor in 1992, he joined Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick, as a post-doctoral scientist to work on potato viruses with emphasis on PVY. His research was focused on characterization of potato viruses and viroids, and the development of detection techniques. In 1996, he joined Agricultural Certification Services Inc. in Fredericton, NB, as a senior technologist and has continued as Director since 1998. This laboratory is owned and operated by New Brunswick potato growers and managed by Potatoes New Brunswick. The lab is accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to perform diagnostic services on potato diseases, such as bacterial ring rot, late bulght, and potato viruses and viroid. He is recipient of several research grants and continues his research on development of diagnostic techniques for potato diseases particularly on detection and management of PVY.

David McInnes

David McInnes PictureDavid McInnes is President and CEO of the Ottawa-based Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI), an independent, non-partisan organization focused on advancing a national dialogue on emerging issues facing Canada’s agri-food sector (

Previously, David was Vice-President, International Relations at MDS Nordion, a major life sciences company, and has worked for the Canadian Bankers Association, the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada. David is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Dalhousie University in Halifax.

David is also the Chair of WaterAid Canada, an affiliate of WaterAid International, a global charity dedicated to improving access to clean water and sanitation in the developing world. He has been a director of the Greater Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the Ottawa Life Sciences Council, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation and the U.S.-based Council of Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals. In addition to producing many published articles, David authored the book "Taking It to the Hill - the Complete Guide to Appearing Before Parliamentary Committees" (2nd edition).

Amy Charkowski

Amy Charkowski PictureAmy Charkowski joined the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University in October, 2016, where she works as a professor and serves as department head. Her research has focused on understanding molecular plant-microbe interactions and on managing potato diseases on conventional and organic farms. Her current work is focused on bacterial soft rot and blackleg pathogens of potato and Potato virus Y management.

Charkowski gained considerable experience in potato production and management of potato diseases while serving as a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2001-2015. There, she was also the administrative director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program, which provides early generation seed potatoes to Wisconsin farmers and for certifies Wisconsin seed potato lots. Prior to working at UW-Madison, Charkowski was a research scientist at a USDA-ARS food safety laboratory. Her efforts have been recognized with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Grower of the Year Award, the American Phytopathological Society Syngenta Award, the Friday Chair for Vegetable Production Research at UW-Madison, and as an American Phytopathological Society Fellow.

Mary LeMere

Mary LeMere PictureMary LeMere is the Manager of Agronomy for the Midwest region with McCain Foods and oversees the Agronomy programs in Manitoba and Wisconsin.  She began her career with McCain Foods managing storage operations for over two million hundredweight of potatoes at the Plover location.  Mary served as the Storage Research Manager of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility and as Interim Superintendent at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station with the University of Wisconsin-Madison prior to joining McCain Foods.  She also gained experience in chip manufacturing with Kettle Foods.  Mary is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  She holds a M. Sc. in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel

Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel PictureCherilyn Nagel along with her husband and family, are farming in Mossbank, Sk. They are proud parents of 2 young farm girls.

In 2004, Cherilyn was elected as President of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and after a successful 5year term she remains a director on the current board.

In 2011, Cherilyn was featured in SaskBusiness Magazine as one of Saskatchewan’s Most Influential Women. Cherilyn enjoys speaking on agriculture related topics to a wide array of audiences.

Cherilyn has gained experience in media relations and enjoys promoting positive stories of agricultural successes. Cherilyn was interviewed in the new documentary License to Farm, which is meant to encourage other farmers to share their own stories with the public. Cherilyn and her family have been featured with Canadian Chef Michael Smith in a video to promote Saskatchewan Lentils. The video can be found at She has also been featured in an episode of Canadian Better Living on the topic of Pesticide use and promotion of Plant Biotechnology

Cherilyn is currently working with Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan to facilitate training sessions for other farmers on the topic of sharing a positive message about the sustainable food grown in her home province and across the country.

Sponsored by