Grains in Action

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Grains in Action is a three-day course for agricultural leaders to grain knowledge, new experiences, and build relationships. The 2018 Grains in Action course will be held from Monday, January 29 to Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Agenda (click to expand)

Monday January 29, 2018

2:30 – 3:30 PM Registration open
Arrive and check in to hotel, Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre
LOCATION: 50 Stone Road West,Guelph N1G 0A9
3:45 – 4:05 PM Program starts ROOM: Gryphon room Welcome and Objectives – Steve McCabe and Maegan MacKimmie
 · Participant introductions
 · Explain how participants will be introducing speakers
4:05 – 4:20 PM Opening remarks
 · Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario
 · Mark Brock, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario
4:20 – 4:30 PM GROUP PHOTO
4:30– 5:30 PM Industry Partner presentations
 · Agricorp
 · Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
 · Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs
 · Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission
5:30 – 7 PM Meet and Greet Mixer with Spirits Canada with Jan Wescott
ROOM: Flanders Room
7 PM Dinner
ROOM: John McCrae

Tuesday January 30, 2018

7:00 – 7:45 AM Breakfast at Delta Guelph Hotel
8:00 – 8:40 AM Market Development
Nicole Mackellar, Manager of Market Development, Grain Farmers of Ontario
Paolo Santangelo, SGS Canada, Grains Innovation Laboratory
8:45 – 9:00 AM Check out of Delta Guelph Hotel and board bus
9:00 – 9:20 AM Travel to Harvest Hop & Malt
9:30 – 10:40 AM Tour and talk with Harvest Hop & Malt
10:45 – 1 PM Travel to Sarnia Grain Terminal, Sarnia ON,
1 – 2:30 PM Tour of Sarnia Grain Terminal, Sarnia ON
2:30 – 4:30 PM Travel to Windsor, Ontario
4:30 PM Check in to hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Windsor (Ambassador Bridge)
6:00 - 7 PM Dinner at hotel
ROOM: Grill 55 Windsor
Guest Speaker:
Brendan Byrne, Director District 1
Involvement with Grain Farmers of Ontario

Wednesday January 31, 2018

7:00 – 8:30 AM Breakfast at Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites
ROOM: private dining room beside restaurant
8:30 Check out of hotel and board bus
8:30 – 8:45 AM Travel to ADM, Windsor, ON
8:45 – 10:50 AM Bus tour of ADM and meeting, Windsor, ON
Exit bus for conference room at ADM
10:50 – 11:20 AM Board bus and travel to Hiram Walker, Windsor ON
- Lunch on bus
11:20 – 2 PM Tour and tasting of Hiram Walker
2 – 3:30 PM Board bus and travel to Ridgetown, ON
3:30 – 5 PM Ridgetown : Meet and Greet with Researchers U of G
5 – 6:30 PM Board bus and travel to Quality Hotel and Suites Woodstock
6:30 – 7:15 Check in to hotel
7:15 – 8:30 PM Dinner at East Side Mario’s
Special guests:
Amy Matheson (TENTATIVE)
8:30 PM Return to hotel

Thursday February 1, 2017

7:00 – 7:50 AM Breakfast at Quality Hotel and Suites Woodstock
8:00 AM Check out of hotel and board bus
8:00 – 9 AM Travel to Wallenstein Feed Mill
9:00 -11 AM Tour and Presentation Wallenstein Feed Mill
11:00 – 11:50 AM Board bus and travel to Springfield Golf and Country Club, Guelph, ON
12 – 12:20 PM Research & Wheat Marketing
Josh Cowan, Manager of Research, Grain Farmers of Ontario
12:20 -12:40 Government Relations and Communications
Debra Conlon, Manager of Government Relations, Grain Farmers of Ontario
12:40 – 1 PM Communications
Manager of Communications, Grain Farmers of Ontario
1 – 2 PM Lunch
Room: Pines room
2 – 2:45 PM Closing remarks
 - Awards, Valedictorian Speech
2:45 – 3 PM Board bus and travel to Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre,
Program end
 - Pick up vehicle at hotel

The Grains in Action Experience


Over four days in February, I had the opportunity to spend time with 30 peers from assorted backgrounds from across the grain industry. We toured Southwestern Ontario learning about the grain production process and how it moves from farm to fork or a variety of other end uses.

We were given in-depth tours and presentations at Ontario grain elevators, port terminals, an ethanol plant, and a flour mill. I currently work in agribusiness in grain merchandising, so the information presented was highly relevant to understanding how my role fits into the bigger picture of the grain industry.

Most interesting to me was the flour mill in Cambridge, owned by Parrish & Heimbecker. We were given a top-down tour of the 200 year old mill, explaining the processes the kernels of wheat go through in order to be ground into a usable product for industrial, retail, and food service customers. I also learned about the various market classes of wheat within Ontario. Each of these classes have a unique set of traits that affect their milling characteristics Some are great for cakes and pastries, while others are more suited for crackers and flatbreads.

The most entertaining stop of the tour was undoubtedly Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. in Windsor. Master Blender, Dr. Don Livermore took us through a fascinating and lively presentation on the history of whisky and how Canadian farmers contributed to the rise in popularity of this beverage. He explained how Canadian grains are perfectly blended to create a flavour profile that is unique from other countries' version of this drink.

Want to learn more?

Do you want to learn more about Grains in Action? Do you want to participate in a future offering of the course? For more details, contact:

Maegan MacKimmie

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