8:30 – 9:00 am


9:00 – 9:15 am

Welcoming remarks – Introduction to Greenhouse Technology Network

Speaker: Rita Sterne, PhD (Mgmt), Greenhouse Technology Network

Meet the day’s moderator, Rita Sterne, and learn more about the work of the GTN as well as collaborative funding opportunities available.

9:15 – 9:45 am

Greenhouse predators: The new and the notable

Speaker: Rose Buitenhuis, PhD, Vineland Research & Innovation Centre

Learn about the latest greenhouse predatory generalist to join the IPM toolbox and discover other exciting biocontrol agents in the pipeline.

9:45 – 10:15 am

Handling plant stress like a pro

Speaker: Michael Brownbridge, PhD, BioWorks

There are stressful moments and conditions in a plant's life that can make it hard to produce the brightest blooms or the tastiest of fruit. From nutrition to biostimulants, here's how to best prepare your plants for the road bumps ahead.

10:15 – 10:45 am

Networking break

Enjoy a coffee, tea and treat while meeting vendors and networking with industry peers.
10:45 – 11:30 am

There’s something in the water

  • Fadi Al-Daoud, PhD, OMAFRA
  • Thomas Graham, PhD, University of Guelph
With the many water treatments available for filtration and disinfection, how can you make an informed decision? Learn about key options available on the market and the importance of water testing, then hear about the latest research on new technologies for disinfection.

11:30 – 12:00 pm

Growing on auto-pilot

  • Niki Bennett, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers;
  • Ronald Hoek, Blue Radix
a Growers have heard about the values of artificial intelligence and autonomous greenhouse cultivation, but how do they translate into real world results? See the latest updates from collaborative trials conducted by Blue Radix and OGVG with small, medium and large greenhouse operators.
12:00 – 1:30 pm

Lunch Networking Break

Enjoy a full hot lunch while networking with exhibitors and peers.
1:30 – 2:00 pm

The least energy-efficient areas of your greenhouse and what to do about them

  • Chevonne Dayboll, PhD, OMAFRA
  • James Dyck, PEng, OMAFRA
Making upgrades for energy efficiency can be a daunting task. In this presentation, OMAFRA specialists will help you pinpoint the areas using the most energy, where best to make investments and how to prioritize them.

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Adapting to a different mix

Speaker: Brian Cantin, Berger

Making changes to your growing mix? Whether its water, nutrition or other factors, learn how to adapt your production practices to different media components and blends.

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Networking break

Enjoy a coffee, tea and treat while meeting vendors and networking with industry peers.
3:00 – 3:30 pm

Poinsettia Culture 101

Speaker: Gary Vollmer, Selecta North America

Sometimes it's best to start from basics - then revise them. Go through best production practices from start to end, and get ideas on how to grow the best poinsettia possible.

3:30 – 4:00 pm

The future of dynamic LED lighting

Speaker: Rose Séguin, Sollum Technologies

What has supplemental lighting allowed growers to achieve? What might it achieve? Learn about the applications for dynamic LED lighting and dive into case studies where light intensity and spectra impact both floral and vegetable crops.


Awards presentation and closing

Celebrate the winners of this year’s Grower of the Year and Top 4 Under 40 awards.

Thank you to Paul Boers and Prins for their support of the Top 4 Under 40 program.
8:30 – 9:00 am


9:00 – 9:15 am

Welcome remarks

9:15 – 9:45 am

Keynote: Where business and cultivation come together

  • Rick Dykstra, director and assistant head of security, Dykstra Greenhouses
  • Bart Brouwer, vice-president, Dykstra Greenhouses
  • Peter DeVries, general manager and head of processing, Dykstra Greenhouses
  • Natalie Van Hoffen, manager of communications, Dykstra Greenhouses
At any successful cannabis company, the key ingredients are good people and teamwork. Join us for this panel discussion featuring four key members of Dykstra Greenhouses, a family owned and operated licensed producer in St. Catharines, Ont.. The chat will be a free-flowing one in which the Dykstra team explains how they work together on a daily basis to build their brand and grow quality cannabis in their 40,000 square-foot grow space.

9:45 – 10:15 am

Waste Audits for LPs

Speaker: Mika Unterman

Cannabis LPs produce an unsustainable amount of waste. Packaging often gets the most publicity, but most waste occurs at the manufacturing level. This session will explore how much of your precious and scarce capital ends up in the garbage, or down the drain because you’re not examining your waste. You will also learn why a waste audit is "low hanging fruit" from a sustainability perspective — it does not require capital, only time, and the benefit of finding additional revenue streams in your waste has a very quick ROI and long term impact.

10:15 – 10:45 am

Network Break

10:45 – 11:30 am

What Canadian Budtenders Can Teach LPs

Speaker: Katie Pringle, CEO, Marigold Marketing & PR

In celebration of Budtender Appreciation Week this past March, Tether surveyed 300+ cannabis retail workers from across Canada to learn more about what they want from cannabis brands and their role in the industry. Katie Pringle, CEO, Marigold Marketing & PR, will share insights from this survey, which was specifically designed for cannabis marketers, sales reps and brands who are looking to develop marketing campaigns, consumer brand preferences and product recommendations to assist both budtenders and consumers alike.

11:30 – 12:00 am

Owning the Channel: Becoming the Preferred Retail Partner in the Canadian Cannabis Space

Speaker: Mariah Macfarlane, Territory Manager, Tantalus Labs

This session aims to answer the question: How does a cannabis LP become the preferred cannabis partner to retailers in Canada? Learn how this is done through developing a strong and trusted brand, leveraging your existing infrastructure, and maximizing your reach.

12:00 – 1:30 pm

Lunch break

Enjoy a full hot lunch while networking with exhibitors and peers.

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Cultivation KPIs for LPs

Speaker: Jayson Goodale, Consultant

Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) are metrics that aid operations on how efficiently cultivators are using assets and processes available in production. KPI's fundamentally let us know when growers are doing it right and where things may be going wrong. In this session we will discuss what it takes to effectively establish KPI's that increase cannabis productivity, drive growth and profit.

Note: Agenda is subject to change


Bart Brouwer
vice-president, Dykstra Greenhouses

Bart brings a wealth of plant growth knowledge and greenhouse expertise to the company and has worked in the greenhouse industry since the age of 10, assisting his parents in their greenhouse operation in the Netherlands. After immigrating with his family to Canada from the Netherlands in 1997, Bart began working at the Dykstra family business at the age of 18 and became a partner in 2015. Bart studied horticulture at Humber College and is responsible for all cannabis cultivation and harvesting in the facility. He oversees all the growing in Dykstra’s 40,000-square-foot space.

Brian Cantin
Senior Grower Advisor - Berger

A graduate of the University of Guelph, Brian majored in Plant Physiology, with a minor in Plant Protection. He took on a greenhouse research position with the Brooks Horticultural Research centre in Brooks, Alberta, where he continued his post-graduate studies, majoring in soil sciences and substrates at the University of Alberta and Texas A&M University. After his studies, Brian took a position with the R&D division of the Alberta Gas Trunk line, designing and developing waste heat greenhouses that could harness the energy from pumping stations. Once greenhouses in Princess and Joffre Alberta were built, he continued to manage two waste heat projects. Brian then joined Yoder as Head Grower and Manager of Technical Support, which eventually turned into a consulting business, Applied Techniques. Today, Brian is a senior grower advisor at Berger. He helps customers resolve their cultivation challenges and improve their growing practices.

Chevonne Dayboll, PhD 
Greenhouse Floriculture Specialist - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 

Chevonne Dayboll is the greenhouse floriculture specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Chevonne works to connect growers with up-to-date information on floriculture crop production, nutrition and related issues. In addition, she is involved in a wide variety of collaborative research and demonstration projects related to the floriculture sector.

Fadi Al-Daoud, PhD 
Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Fadi Al-Daoud, PhD, is the greenhouse vegetable specialist at the Ontario Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). His portfolio includes vegetables and cannabis grown in controlled environments, such as greenhouses, warehouses and vertical farms. After earning his doctorate from the Department of Biology at McMaster University with a specialization in molecular plant pathology, Fadi worked at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph, Ontario. He has conducted both applied and fundamental research of horticultural and field crops, and has experience communicating his research to the scientific community and producers. Today, he works in collaboration with producers, researchers and industry partners to advance controlled environment agriculture in Ontario.

Gary Vollmer
Product Manager & Technical Support - Selecta North America

Gary has been product manager and technical support at Selecta for the past 12 years. He’s also co-owner of J-n-G Blooms in Mount Vernon, WA, a greenhouse business focused on retail and commercial sales of large combination planters. Prior to that, he was the planning and production manager of wholesale grower Smith Gardens for over 15 years in Bellingham, WA.

James Dyck, PEng
Engineering Specialist for Crop Systems and Environment - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

James Dyck is the Engineering Specialist for Crop Systems and Environment with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), based in Vineland Ontario. James was raised on a cash crop and hog farm in the Niagara Region, and completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo. He has a particular interest in energy use and efficiency of farm production processes. His work at OMAFRA focuses on best practices, innovations and environmental impacts of grain drying and storage, field equipment, precision agriculture, and greenhouse gas reduction.

Jayson Goodale

Jayson Goodale is a cultivation and sustainability consultant, who studied Horticulture at Niagara College. He possesses a strong horticultural background to the cannabis industry with more than 25 years of experience in the commercial horticulture industry. Jayson’s experience has also aided in achieving many years of commercial cannabis industry experience while working through Health Canada’s various regulations since 2011 (under the MMAR regulations) and in 2013 (under the MMPR-ACMPR regulations) as Head Grower with Canopy Growth Corporation at their Tweed Farms location. In 2017, Jayson joined Cannabis Compliance Inc. a global leading cannabis consulting firm where he provided industry support and guidance from inception of a project right through to harvest. In 2019, CCI was acquired by Deloitte where Jayson spent 2+years performing market analysis, process improvement, facility due-diligence assessments and sustainability initiatives.

Katie Pringle
co-founder & CEO of Marigold Marketing & PR

Katie Pringle is the co-founder & CEO of Marigold Marketing & PR. She has a deep understanding of the social and digital landscape and traditional media mix. She has extensive experience in lifestyle & entertainment, with a focus on brands that speak to women. Katie is also the co-Founder of event platforms Canndora and WWC Conference, globally connecting and promoting women in cannabis and emerging industries as well as Tether, a community for Canadian budtenders.

Mariah Macfarlane
Territory Manager, Tantalus Labs

Mariah Macfarlane is a driven, creative leader with proven success in high-growth, start-ups and established organizations. Currently a territory manager at Tantalus Labs, she has built a motivated sales team focused on retailer and consumer education, along with the strategy of Owning the Channel. The core mission of Tantalus Labs is “Small-batch sustainable cannabis, crafted in BC”, which aligns closely with Mariah’s love for all things unique. She has a passion for growth and development, and self-identifies as a “nerd.”

Michael Brownbridge, PhD
Biological Program Manager – Disease Control, 

Michael Brownbridge, PhD, has over 30 years of industry experience in production systems, biological control and integrated pest management – with an extensive research history. He previously held positions at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Canada), AgResearch Ltd. (New Zealand), and the University of Vermont among others. Michael joined BioWorks in 2019, as the Biological Program Manager – Disease Control. In this position, he is responsible for accelerating the adoption of current and new biological products while providing expert advice and guidance to customers and partners

Mika Unterman

Mika Unterman is a global citizen, having lived, worked, and educated in Israel, the United States, and Canada. This global citizenship has helped shape her perspective and knowledge of the cannabis industry. Before joining and launching Apical, she excelled as a community manager and cannabis educator, normalizing the widespread use of cannabis recreationally and medicinally. She has been responsible for product innovation and business intelligence for cannabis producers, launching over 60 SKUs . In 2019, she founded Apical, a company born from passion, advocacy, and business values. Apical is an ethical cannabis collective, focused on advancing a more inclusive, sustainable, and socially responsible cannabis industry

Natalie Van Hoffen
manager of communications, Dykstra Greenhouses

Natalie’s responsibilities include communications with various LPs, Health Canada, retailers and communications within the company. She oversees the processing facility, license applications, medical client registration, and assists in Quality Assurance. Natalie earned an undergraduate degree in English Language & Literature at Brock University, published a young adult novel, and has worked in the greenhouse her entire life.

Niki Bennett
Innovation, Adaptation & Plant Protection Lead, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) 

Niki has been with OGVG since 2014 and oversees research projects on behalf of over 200 member-greenhouses who grow cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes in Ontario. Niki is also active in seeking out crop protection solutions, promoting plant health, advocating for increased research funding and involved in many provincial and national initiatives. The Ontario greenhouse vegetable sector represents approximately 3000 acres and an annual farm gate value of more than $1 billion

Peter DeVries
general manager and head of processing, Dykstra Greenhouses

Peter’s responsibilities include ensuring that day to day operations flow efficiently at Dykstra Greenhouses, with his main focus being in the processing facility. In addition, he works alongside the grow and sales teams to support the growth of the company’s high-quality small batch cannabis that is sold across Canada. Peter has been at Dykstra full time for eight years and became a partner in 2021; previously his time was spent attending Brock University where he achieved a B.Sc. Hon in Health Science with a minor in Biology, a B.Ed and a Master’s in Education.

Rick Dykstra
director and assistant head of security, Dykstra Greenhouses

Rick’s responsibilities include government and public relations, marketing and business development. He oversees all efforts relating to cannabis licensing, retail, medicinal and licensed production. His background goes back to the original start of the family business. He also spent two decades working within the public sector at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. He has an undergraduate degree from Brock University and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University. 

Rita Sterne, PhD (Mgmt)
Project Manager
 - Greenhouse Technology Network

Rita Sterne is the Project Manager for the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), a Niagara College-led consortium of academic research institutions supporting the research needs of greenhouse and related technology businesses through applied projects. Rita has managed businesses and research labs and has applied her management knowledge as a business strategy consultant to small businesses and social enterprises. She earned her MBA and PhD (Mgmt) from the University of Guelph. She was introduced to the greenhouse industry as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2017 where she researched value creation opportunities from the adoption of robotics in Ontario’s vegetable greenhouses.

Ronald Hoek
CEO - Blue Radix

Ronald Hoek has worked for more than 10 years in energy transition and the last eight years on data-driven solutions for the international greenhouse industry. He has broad experience in marketing, product development, operations, and technology. As the CEO of Blue Radix, he works with industry partners as well as his team to enable growers to meet their daily challenge: produce more food and flowers with fewer resources.

Rose Buitenhuis, PhD
Senior Research Scientist, Biological Control - Vineland Research & Innovation Centre

Rose Buitenhuis, PhD, is the Senior Research Scientist in Biological Control and the Program Leader of the Biological Crop Protection Program at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. She is responsible for the development and implementation of biological control technologies for the management of arthropod pests, supporting sustainable crop management practices for ornamental and production horticulture. Rose received her MSc in Biology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 1997, and her PhD in Entomology at Laval University, Québec in 2003. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Harrow (2004-2007) and at the University of Guelph (2007-2009) on biological and cultural control of western flower thrips in greenhouse flower crops. Current projects in greenhouse ornamentals and vegetables address the whole spectrum of IPM—from plant resistance, environmental factors and biological control strategies—and how to integrate pest management strategies in the production system.

Rose Séguin
Agronomist - Sollum Technologies

Rose Séguin is an agronomist specializing in controlled environment agriculture, with previous experience in indoor agriculture, agricultural innovation systems, and agricultural development in remote areas of Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agro-environmental sciences and a master’s degree in bioresource engineering from McGill University, during which she published several peer-reviewed articles and technical reports pertaining to controlled environment agriculture and sustainable agriculture. In her role as an agronomist at Sollum Technologies, Rose works with growers to implement dynamic lighting strategies over various greenhouse crops, analyze production data and track progress towards production targets.

Thomas Graham, PhD
Assistant Professor and PhytoGro Research Chair in Controlled Environment Systems - University of Guelph

Thomas Graham is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences and holds the PhytoGro Research Chair in Controlled Environment Systems at the University of Guelph. Thomas completed a prestigious Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center before returning to UoG where he continues to develop a broad-based, interdisciplinary controlled environment agriculture (CEA) research and teaching program. His research activities encompass many international and domestic collaborations covering such topics as CEA water remediation, bioregenerative life support for human space exploration, northern and remote community food insecurity, high intensity urban and peri-urban agriculture, medical crop migration and standardization, and plant-environment interactions and optimization. Thomas is also active in STEM outreach activities through such programs as Tomatosphere, and he sits on several journal editorial boards and is an active peer reviewer.


St. Catharines

Holiday Inn & Suites Conference Centre

327 Ontario St. – St. Catharines, ON
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