Scholar Profiles & Reports

Gayl Creutzberg 2013 

Wroxeter, ON (Twitter: @gumbootgourmet)
Since moving to rural Ontario, Gayl Creutzberg has never looked back. After managing a flock of sheep for six years, she redirected her focus to researching models for accessing and distributing local food. Since then, she has owned and operated a local food shop and gourmet deli, coordinated training for direct market farmers, worked with rural local food organizations, and launched a local food brand, all resulting in Gumboot Gourmet, an online farmers’ market.
Throughout her Nuffield studies, Gayl will look at whether traditional food growing practices can help re-balance our diets, strengthen local economies, build relationships between food and culture, and create quality jobs on the land and in the kitchen.
Gayl anticipates that the information and experience she will gather will feed into the community – building aspect of Gumboot Gourmet suggesting that community-based agriculture can help treat food-related diseases such as diabetes and malnurition.

Clayton Robins 2013 

Rivers, Manitoba (Twitter: @ClaytonRobins)
Clayton Robins owns and operates a fourth-generation mixed family farm in Rivers, Manitoba with wife Rebecca, son Quinn, and parents Brian and Arlene. The operation, which for many years also included a sheep enterprise, and now focuses on cow/calf, back-grounding, and custom grazing of grasser steers.
Clayton’s Nuffield topic is “Improving the performance of beef cattle by optimizing the intake of plant water soluble carbohydrates.” He chose this topic based on years exploring the potential of forage-feeding and forage-finishing production systems in yearling cattle. Information learned during a fact-finding mission in Argentina, in 2008, resulted in an updated perspective on the use of high-sugar or “dense-energy” forages.

E. Blake Vince 2013 

Merlin, Ontario, (Twitter: @blake_vince)
Blake is a fifth generation farmer from Southwestern Ontario. Working with his wife, father and uncle, the farm, which produces corn, soybeans and winter wheat is focused on soil health and water management. Blake is a sales representative for Pioneer Hi-Bred and is also a director for the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario.
“Conserving farm land with cover crops and the risks of cellulosic energy” will be Blake’s Nuffield topic. “My intention is to improve the condition of my farm for future generations,” says Blake. “The main reason I chose my Nuffield topic is due to the return of full surface, conventional tillage. Soil sediment, carrying manure, fertilizer and pesticides into the Great Lakes effects people in Canada and the US.”

Ryan Bonnett 2012 

Airdrie, Alberta
Ryan Bonnett from Airdrie, Alberta is a Marketing Advisor for Farmlink Marketing Solutions. Ryan originally hails from a grain farm where his father still operates just outside Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan.
Ryan is interested in looking at grain marketing and production risk management strategies around the world, something very timely with the dissolution of the national single desk wheat marketing board. Ryan will look at how grain farmers in other countries market their grain. He hopes his findings can be used to develop new marketing and management practices for Western Canadian grain growers.

Crosby Devitt 2012 

Guelph, Ontario
Crosby Devitt, from Guelph, Ontario, Canada, will be investigating grain research partnerships involving farmers and the structure of farm organizations. He will examine ways that private and public entities form partnerships with farmers to better meet the growing demand for increased grain productivity.
Crosby works for the Grain Farmers of Ontario, managing the Research and Market Development Departments. With his wife, Carie, and their two young children, he also owns and operates a grain farm in his hometown of Ripley, Ontario, near the shores of Lake Huron, where he grows corn, soybeans, winter wheat and white beans.
His travel plans include investigating research partnerships in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Crosby hopes the outcome of his study will help farm organizations partner with government and industry to improve farm productivity and efficiency.

Brenda Schoepp 2012 

Rimbey, Alberta
Brenda Schoepp owns and publishes BEEFLINK TM, a national newsletter on the strategies of beef and beef cattle marketing and has co-authored beef cattle marketing and feedlot production publications in Western Canada. Brenda is known as an industry mentor for youth and new entrants to agriculture and coaches corporate executives in production agriculture, research and agribusiness. She is also a professional speaker and along with her husband, owns and operates a ranch in central Alberta.
Brenda will study the needs and successes of women in agriculture and agribusiness and use this information towards the implementation of a Canadian mentorship model for women in agriculture. She will travel to Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Cuba, the USA and Ireland.

Kelvin Meadows 2011 

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
For the past 20 years, Kelvin has been both a grower of pedigreed seed and the owner/operator of a seed cleaning and export business in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. During this time, Kelvin spent ten years as Director and Chairman of the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, an organization he credits with exposing him to the food processing industry.
He is currently an investor and Chair of Avena Foods Inc., a Regina based gluten free oat milling plant where his post-farming career has him learning the challenges of dealing directly with the logistics of food processors, consumers and government regulatory agencies.

Leona Dargis 2011 

Saint Vincent, Alberta
At a very young age, Leona Dargis, from St. Vincent, Alberta learned to love both agriculture and life. Her parents, the late Jean & Joanne Dargis, taught her, and her four younger sisters how powerful combination of education and enthusiasm can be in moving not only the agricultural industry forward but truly living life to its fullest.
A graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Science – Agribusiness Major at Olds College in Alberta, Leona has quickly become known across Canada as an exceptional young leader. She was elected as a board member on the Canadian Young Farmers Forum in 2006, an organization that promotes the exchange of ideas, while fostering collaboration between young and future farmers of Canada. She is also a Next Generation (NG) trustee for the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC) and was asked to present a paper at the 2008 biennial RASC conference in New Zealand where she had the honour of speaking with Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.

Raymond Loo 2011 

Springfield, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Raymond Loo was a sixth generation farmer from Springfield, Prince Edward Island. Since 1996, Springwillow Farms has been a certified organic farm growing fruit, garden vegetables, grains, forages and livestock.
In 2005, he set out to market organically produced Island products in Japan. Currently the resulting operation, Annespei Farm, markets products from 24 PEI farmers. Crops exported include black currants, non GMO and organic canola seed and oil, organic soy beans, organic buckwheat, organic rhubarb and other fruit. Visitors to Raymond’s farm were often surprised to see fields of dandelions – the roots of which are used by the Japanese in the production of a specific coffee.
Raymond had been working very hard to develop the organic industry on PEI. He felt strongly that the Island could one day be fully organic and become a world renowned producer of high quality products. He is the past-president of the Certified Organic Producers COOP, a founding director of the Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network, was a board member of the PEI Agrifood Alliance and Vice Chair of the PEI ADAPT Council.
With his Nuffield Scholarship, Raymond hoped further develop his value chain as well as share his experience and learn from other farmers involved in similar initiatives.
Sadly, Raymond passed away in September, 2013.

Shane Eby 2010 

Millgrove, Ontario, Canada
Shane is a Certified Organic Market Gardener in Hamilton, Ontario. He operates a 50 acre farm with 10 acres devoted to vegetables, cut-flowers, herbs and fruits alongside 30 acres of annual field crops.
His Market Garden serves several Farmer’s Markets in downtown Toronto as well as supplying for restaurants and small scale grocery stores.
He has also established a Hop Yard on the farm growing over a dozen types of hops for sale to Ontario Craft Beer Brewers and Home-brewing enthusiasts. The hops are 30 year perennials and he is working at expanding as his careful optimism doesn’t see a drop in demand for beer in the near future!

Sarah Megens 2010 

Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Sarah grew up on a vegetable farm near Stratford Ontario until attending University of Guelph to study International Development and Political Science. After a period of employment as project manager for “Hamilton Eat Local” she returned to the world of academia to do her Masters in Rural Planning. As a Nuffield scholar she is proposing to study models and policies supporting Greenbelt agriculture in European Union.