* Selection for 2022 participation is closed. If interested in future mentorships, please reach out to a program contact.*
THE 2022 PARTICIPANTS
The One-on-One Mentorship is a division of the Researcher Mentorship Program, with researchers chosen by the host commissions.
Researchers are strategically matched with farmers in their geographical area for hands-on learning throughout the growing season. The mentorship will include opportunities to observe and absorb the intricacies of large-scale crop production in Alberta.
The program runs for one growing season. In subsequent years, new scientists and farmer mentors will be selected.
Dr. Haley Catton is a Research Scientist in Field Crop Entomology with AAFC at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Dr. Catton studies the impact, biology and management of pest and beneficial insects with a focus on cereal crops. Her expertise includes plant-insect interactions, population biology, biological control (using insects to control other insects), and integrated pest management. Dr. Catton holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia Okanagan (Plant-Insect Interactions), and a M.Sc. (Plant Science) and B.Sc. (Agriculture – Plant Systems) with Distinction from the University of Manitoba. Her current projects focus on wireworms, cereal leaf beetle, wheat stem sawfly, and beneficial insects.
Kevin Serfas is a grain farmer and feedlot operator from Southern Alberta. He has both dryland and irrigation acres. Kevin has been part of numerous agricultural organizations over the years. He grew up in the Lethbridge area where he continues to live and raise his family.
Dr. Hiroshi Kubota originally came from Japan with his MSc, and obtained his PhD in Plant Science at the University of Alberta. After completing his degree in 2018, he accepted a role with AAFC. Dr. Kubota's research program focuses on developing agronomy practices that improve economic and environmental sustainability in both conventional and organic cropping systems. He is currently focusing on three research areas: 1) cropping system diversity - to improve resilience to biotic and abiotic stress in fields; 2) cropping practice diversity - to provide tools for producers whose goals are improving/maintaining yield while reducing negative impacts on the environment; 3) integrated crop management - to optimize usage of natural resources for crop production in an environmentally and economically sound manner. Dr. Kubota is very excited to participate in this One-on-One Research Mentorship Program to acquire new farming knowledge, experience, and connection with producers.
Justin Bell grew up on a family mixed family farm in the Sylvan lake area. They milked 140 cows, 200 range cows, in addition to 3,300 acres of crop land. In 1997, Justin graduated from the Olds College heavy duty Agricultural Mechanics program. He then attended Walla Walla University in Walla Walla Washington for a year, taking business administration. Justin then returned home to farm with his family for the next 10+ years. In 2011, Justin married his wife and moved down to her family’s farm in the Rosebud area, where he works with his wife, mother and father in-law. The Bells farm 9,000 acres of hard spring wheat and canola.
Dr. Linda Y. Gorim's research interest lies in the development of novel cropping systems that are resource efficient, profitable and sustainable in the long term. She is also interested in the training and experiential exposure of agronomy students so they are equipped to handle the plethora of challenges currently and in the future, will be faced by crop producers. Her career began when she was awarded a scholarship to do a master’s degree in Agriculture, Food security and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart Germany by the Stiftung Fiat Panis, Ulm Germany. Her background growing up in challenging conditions in West Africa and education in the West is the driving force behind her research work geared at impacting lives.
Wayne Schneider is a director with Alberta Canola. He is a fourth-generation farmer with Great West Farms. Wayne grows Canola, Wheat, Barley and Yellow peas on his farm. His farmyard is in the City of Edmonton and mostly farms in Leduc County. He farms with his beautiful wife, Tara, and they have two children, Ethan and Liezel. Wayne is interested in new agricultural technology and has taken farm tours in California, Florida, and Central America. He regularly does his own on-farm research when testing new products or theories. Wayne has been a NASCAR fan since he attended the Daytona 500.
The Researcher Mentorship Program is proudly hosted by: