Banner Image

Speaker Program - Thursday

2017 Program Highlights

The 2017 Canadian Greenhouse Conference is bringing expertise from around the world to Niagara Falls.




Neil thornton picture


Neil Thornton

Wednesday, October 4
"Creating a Culture of Engaged Teams"

Thursday, October 5
"Roadmap to Excellence - Drive Your Career"


Sponsored by: Farm Credit Canada  



carson arthur picture


Carson Arthur
Host of HGTV's "Home to Win"

Thursday, October 5
TV Gardening Shows - On the endangered list?


Thursday, October 5th

Click here to view the program in a printable, easy-to-read chart format.




ROOM 201/202

9:30 - 11:00 AM





A.J. Both
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ


Many growers are considering switching to LED lamps, but are faced with substantial investment costs and limited information about the impact on plant growth and development, crop management strategies and the all-important return on investment. This presentation will summarize the differences between HPS and LED lighting systems, highlight some of the benefits of either lighting system, and attempts to provide information growers can use to determine whether switching to an LED lighting system makes sense for their specific operation.


PANEL – moderated by T. Blom, University of Guelph, ON

Marco de Leonardis, Freeman Herbs, Beamsville, ON

Lasse Schulze, Peace Naturals, Stayner, ON
HPS vs LED Indoor Cannabis Cultivation 

Ruben Houweling, Houweling Group, BC



ROOM 204


9:30 AM - 11:00 AM




Jeanine West
Flowers Canada (Ontario), Guelph, ON

Implications of new CFIA regulations for Floriculture Exports

Do you export greenhouse-grown plants to the United States, or supply facilities who do? The CFIA has developed new regulations that are harmonized with the USA for exporters, and the transition to this program has begun. This program represents new opportunities for facilities, including allowances for associated articles (e.g. bamboo stakes), and plants that have a portion of their crop cycle grown outdoors. The presentation will include details on the new requirements as well as an introduction to the training program that FCG has developed to assist facilities in transitioning to the new Greenhouse Certification Program (GCP). This project is funded by Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada.


Michael MacLeod
Westbrook Greenhouses
Jordan, ON

What You Need to Know About the New CGP: Implementation from grower’s perspective

Learn the differences between the new and old Canadian Greenhouse Programs. In this session, Mike MacLeod will share how Westbrook Greenhouses Ltd is navigating CGP implementation, what they’ve learned, and how it applies to other greenhouse operations. Emphasis will be on the importance of uniform CGP implementation, as well as avoiding predicted pitfalls and probable challenges, from the grower’s perspective.




Michelangelo La Spina
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, ON

IPM Wars, Episode 1: The Foxglove Menace

Foxglove aphid (Aulacorthum solani (Kaltenbach)) is one of the principal aphid pests of greenhouse ornamental crops in North America. Increasing pesticide resistance, regulation and limited availability of pesticides that are compatible with a biological control program have increased the importance of developing efficient biological control for this aphid.

As part of a 3-year research project on biocontrol of foxglove aphid, VRIC has developed an IPM strategy to give a solution to growers for control of this aphid. The strategy gathered all the research done during the project including the evaluation and improvement of existing and new biological control agents, biopesticides and their integration with selected chemical pesticides.


ROOM 207/208



9:30 AM - 11:00 AM




Carson Arthur
Host of HGTV’s “Home to Win”

TV Gardening Shows – on the endangered list?

Understanding why gardening is no longer prominently featured in the media and how this impacts current client sales and development while looking towards the next generation of buyers.



Will Heeman
Heeman’s Garden Centre, Thorndale, ON

 Social Selling – Doing Social Media Right to Win Customers & Grow Sales

Done right, social media can help you develop a network around your brand, deepen loyalty and drive sales. Don’t wrong, it can be an absolute time suck and waste of valuable resources. A fresh look at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help you sell more and grow your audience in 2018. Learn why ROR is really important, how to work with latest changes to algorithms and mine your insights to further craft your messaging and what the heck those things actually mean from the perspective of a millennial!

Debbie Foisy
Deb’s Greenhouse, Sturgeon County, AB

Succulents: Leading the DIY Craze

Succulents are hot! In this quick presentation, Deb will teach you some of the key things she does to lead the DIY craze. Be a leader in your area –become the go-to place for newest, trendiest plants and attract your ideal customer and then sell them more once they’re in store.




9:30 AM - 11:00 AM



Chevonne Carlow
OMAFRA, Vineland


Sarah Jandricic
OMAFRA, Vineland



Martha Oner
Grant Thornton, Kitchener, ON

On-Farm Research: Getting Answers to Your Toughest Problems is Easier Than You Think

If you’re like many modern farmers, you want answers to your toughest pest and production problems quickly.  Unfortunately, solutions that work for growers in other countries – or even a few farms over – aren’t necessarily applicable to conditions on your farm or to your production practices.  Or, you may have an issue that’s so specific to your farm that on-farm research is the only answer.  This workshop will walk you through examples of local growers who’ve found their own solutions to some of their biggest issues by conducting on-farm research trials. We’ll show you how to set up basic experiments so you can have confidence in their outcomes, and how to interpret results.  Sources of funding on-farm projects will also be explored.


Financial Incentives in R&D for Growers & Processors

As the national leader of the R&D and Government Incentives group, Martha assists clients across all industries on SR&ED, OIDMTC and tax incentive advisory and compliance matters.  Oner will be on hand to address the financial credit questions that invariably come up during the workshop.


9:30 AM - 11:00 AM



David Gadoury
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY


Opportunities to use Light to Suppress Plant Pathogens and Pests in Greenhouses

Plants, pathogens and pests coevolved over millions of years amidst natural day and night cycles that are reflected in a battery of interdependent processes that are only now being revealed and understood. This presentation will focus upon exciting new developments in visible and UV light, circadian rhythms, new lighting technologies as they pertain to pest and disease management in controlled environments such as greenhouses and high tunnels.

Rose Labbe
AAFC Harrow, ON

Pollination & Artificial Lights  

Bumblebee activity in Canadian greenhouses is directly affected by seasonal changes to light quality and quantity, as well as to the use of supplemental lighting.  The increasingly common use of HPS and LED lights under short-season greenhouse conditions has the potential to affect the duration and intensity of daily bee activity, as well as the longevity of hives.  In this seminar, we will discuss what we have learned about the impacts of HPS and LED lights on greenhouse pollinator activity and offer tips for maintaining optimal bee activity on a year-round basis.

Amanda Tracey
OMAFRA, Harrow

 Natural Pollinators in Ontario Greenhouses 

Greenhouse pollination has been commercially dominated by the bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) however, there are many other species naturally present in greenhouses that may be providing these services as well. A survey conducted in greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers identified a number of species, including other bee species, butterflies and syrphid flies that are naturally entering commercial greenhouse. These species may also be providing additional benefits to greenhouse growers in the form of added pest control. Their potential in IPM programs will need to be researched further.


ROOM 201/202


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


Ten-minute presentations update growers with progress reports and outcomes of current research. The varied topics will interest and inform while providing an excellent overview of what is happening in the industry.

 This session generously sponsored by  university of guelph logo

William Sutton
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency of Potted Chrysanthemums Grown in Sub-irrigation Systems

Dave Llewellyn
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Developing Feedback Control LED Lighting Systems for Greenhouse Crops

Amy Bowen
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre
Vineland, ON

New Floral Opportunities at Vineland,

Youbin Zheng
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Using Biocontrol Agents to Control Pythium in Potted Gerbera Production

Valerio Primomo
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre
Vineland, ON

New Tomato-on-the-Vine Hybrids for Ontario Greenhouses

Jasmine Mah
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Light as a Growth Regulator: Producing compact bedding plants using LEDs

Michael Brownbridge
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre
Vineland, ON

See Through the Fog: LVM sprayer for application of microbial biopesticides

Deron Caplan
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Medical Cannabis Production: Starting from the root zone





ROOM 204

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


 This session generously sponsored by:  farm credit canada logo




Neil Thornton

The Thornton Group


Roadmap to Excellence – Drive your career

Are you 1-5 years into your career in the horticulture industry? - This workshop is for you!   

Learn how to set goals, meet challenges and excel in the workplace.  Our Young Grower Panel shares their experiences, insights and optimism for the future.




ROOM 207/208

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


A continuation from the morning workshop

Andrew Capogna
Capogna Flowers
Leamington, ON

Utilizing Retail Advantages at the Wholesale Level

Capogna Flowers has its feet in both the retail and the wholesale worlds. Find out what Andrew has learned in his retail operation that impacts how and what he grows for wholesale.


Debbie Foisy
Deb’s Greenhouse Sturgeon County, AB

Selling Plant online:  Carve out your niche, increase sales & gain loyalty

Deb has figured out a way to sell plants online through her website, using various social media platforms to advertise it. Find out the successes and challenges she’s faced the last 2 years with this exciting venture. Why sell plants online? How hard is it to make a website? What did it cost? What about shipping? The answers to these questions and more will be answered and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.




2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


This session generously sponsored by:  meteor systems logo



Chieri Kuboto
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Greenhouse Strawberry Production – Physiology, Technology & Opportunities

The strawberry has the relatively complex physiology and production technologies need to be optimized based on cultivars, growing systems, and climate conditions. Supporting technologies such as high quality transplant production as well as growing systems, light management and substrates need to be co-developed to support the emerging industry as the whole.  In this presentation, selected key information will be presented, regarding the crop physiology (flowering and photosynthesis), site selection and technologies to maximize the crop productivity under controlled environment.



Bert Meulenbroek
Fresh Forward Breeding BV
The Netherlands

The Ideal Strawberry Plant: traits and development

Producing good strawberry plants is a unique challenge and requires special skills. The nurserymen need to have knowledge of the physiology of the plant, excellent phytosanitary company regulations/treatments, advanced growing skills and proper facilities and equipment.

This presentation will focus on several aspects of this process: the main characteristics of a good plant, the tools required to improve the quality of strawberry plants in general and developing a good tray plant.



Koen Lavrysen
Proefcentrum Hoogstraten VZW


Strawberry Production in Belgium – the importance of climate control and water management

In Belgium, over 70% of the strawberries (+50000 tons/year) are grown on substrate in greenhouses or plastic warehouses. Producing consistent high-quality fruit crops year-round requires a well-equipped greenhouse with superior climate control equipment and constant monitoring.  This presentation provides an overview of key parameters:  temperature settings, CO² levels, importance of rH, light, use of screens and water management.




Looking for a presentation from our past conference?  Please note that not all speakers allow their work to be posted.

2015 Canadian Greenhouse Conference Presentations

2016 Canadian Greenhouse Conference Presentations