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INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND AGRIBUSINESS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION

IFAMA 2022 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Robert D Saik

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - FORUM KICKOFF

In 2021 Robert was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 Most Influential Agriculture Leaders and was named one of Canada’s Top 10 Ag Mentors. ROBERT SAIK has forty years of experience as a Professional Agrologist, entrepreneur and an international consultant who's worked with a wide variety of agriculturalists from Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture to Bill Gates. He was one of only 3 private citizens to address the October 2020 FAO_UN High Level Special Event (Rome) organized by the Committee for World Food Security to address agriculture sustainability. His latest book, “FOOD 5.0 How We Feed the Future” is a pragmatic look at the five iterations of agriculture, culminating in an examination of how technology convergence is reshaping the farm and the consumer. Robert, an outspoken champion of agriculture, is a Distinguished Agrologist, Professional Agriculture Consultant, a veteran entrepreneur and has been hailed as an agriculture futurist with unparalleled insight into where the industry is headed. He has leveraged these strengths to found over 15 companies in the areas of Farming, Agri-Retail, Distribution, Media and Ag Tech including He was the founder and CEO of The Agri-Trend/Agri-Data Group of Companies which was acquired by Trimble. He also served as CEO of DOT Technology Corp (Autonomous Farming) through the acquisition of DOT by Raven Industries. Robert is the founder and CEO of award-winning AGvisorPRO, a technology platform that connects those seeking agriculture advice with trusted experts who can provide answers now. The goal is to leverage knowledge to increase agriculture sustainability using AGvisorPRO to shrink time and space. Through Saik Management Group Inc he facilitates the PowerFARM peer group for progressive farmers. His first book, “The Agriculture Manifesto – Ten Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the Next Decade” was a 2014 Best of Amazon Books and this TEDx Talk “Will Agriculture be Allowed to Feed 9 Billion People?” has been viewed over 170,000 times. Robert is a passionate keynote speaker and is executive producer of the Know Ideas Media a science based multi-media company addressing issues such as GMO’s and their use in food production. He has financed both the Rob Saik Bar None Scholarship at the University of Alberta that provides support for two rural first year students entering the faculty of agriculture and the Robert Saik Ag Tech Award that supports two urban students entering the Ag Tech program at Olds College. He serves on several Boards including the Canadian Agri-Food Autonomous Innovation Network (CAAIN) as well as Proteum Energy. Rob is an advisor to Olds College, is a member of the A100 (Alberta Tech Entrepreneur Network), a student of Strategic Coach and Singularity University and a member of Abundance 360. As a partner in Perigro Venture Partners he participates in early-stage technology investments. He has been recognized for agriculture leadership by the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (Provincial Distinguished Agrologist of the Year 2006) and in 2016 was awarded Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

Dr. James French

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - SYMPOSIUM KICKOFF

Dr. French was educated in the United States and Canada with undergraduate and master's degrees in economics and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in Agricultural Economics specializing in Production Economics, with a specialization in Statistics. He has more than 35 years of international experience in research, education and development as Professor-Researcher at the Center for Tropical Research and Higher Education (CATIE), as Academic Vice President of EARTH University and as Director of Technical Cooperation at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation for Agriculture (IICA) where he directed technical cooperation among its 44 member countries. At EARTH University, he led the creation and development of an innovative, student-centered, and globally recognized educational system from its inception and during its first 15 years of existence, and was a member of the steering committee of the SEMCIT project, whose objective was to share the EARTH educational model globally. He was envisioned and led the development of the entrepreneurship program at EARTH University.  His professional career and his life working in international communities at CATIE, EARTH University, and IICA have allowed him to partner with people and leaders of educational institutions and the public sector around the world, as well as with global public institutions such as FAO, the World Trade Organization, and the International Research Centers among others. Dr. French currently leads the "Transforming Higher Education" Project on behalf of the American University of Beirut in partnership with GCHERA, EARTH University and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is Secretary General of the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA).  He serves on the Board of Directors of the CRUSA Foundation in Costa Rica since 2019 and chairs its Investment Committee.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Fundetropics Foundation which oversees the management of a trust fund on behalf of CATIE and is also a member of the CATIE Board of Directors since February 2022.   






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