2019 Leadership Summit

November 26 & 27, Fairfield Inn, St. John's

Download Meeting Book with Agenda Here!

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Local Dinner with Chef Ross Larkin!

Join us for an off-site dinner on the 26th!

We've got Chef Ross Larkin lined up to prepare us a dish featuring local products!

Ever since Ross Larkin showcased Newfoundland on a plate to winning results on the sixth season of Top Chef Canada, he’s made quite the name for himself in the Canadian culinary scene.


Even before entering the Top Chef Canada kitchen Larkin was impressing the culinary community as the chef de cuisine at one of the country’s top restaurants, Raymond’s. Jeremy Charles’ world-class spot draws in tourists from all over (the late Anthony Bourdain even visited it on his series, No Reservations). These days though, it’s not just Jeremy Charles that tourists are seeking out: diners have been increasingly asking to meet Ross, too, ever since his big win.

Over the past year, Ross has traveled extensively, bringing his culinary expertise to places like Calgary, Winnipeg, PEI, Vancouver and Montreal, where he’s shared unique ingredients and techniques with other chefs and patrons. One of the coolest things he says he’s done was participating in Winnipeg’s annual Raw Almond event last February alongside Jeremy Charles and the rest of the Raymond’s team.

Cedric MacLeod

Cedric MacLeod operates Local Valley Beef, a 105-acre beef farm which provides local, sustainable beef in New Brunswick, as well as his agronomy business, MacLeod Agronomics.

Although he wasn’t raised on a traditional farm, Cedric loved animals from an early age and opted to attend Nova Scotia Agricultural College to take pre-veterinary medicine after graduating from high school. However, his first-year introductory agriculture course set him on a completely different path. After attending a lecture on soil erosion, Cedric realized agronomy was where he needed to be. He set his sights on soil conservation and soil health.

Cedric went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Soil Science from the University of Manitoba, graduating in 2002. After a three-and-a-half-year stint in Ottawa with the Canadian Pork Council, Cedric returned home to New Brunswick, where he established both his farming operation, Local Valley Beef, and his agri-environmental consulting business, MacLeod Agronomics.

MacLeod Agronomics specializes in the analysis and integration of sustainable agricultural practices for the Canadian agricultural sector. Cedric works one-on-one with producers, focusing on greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy projects.

Cedric very much practices what he preaches, using sustainable production methods and renewable technologies on his beef farm. A few years ago, Cedric installed a deep-well and solar powered pumping system for his cattle, allowing the animals to have unrestricted access to clean drinking water at all times. This watering system means cattle can be kept on pasture year-round, minimizing the need for large equipment, feed storage and energy-intensive fertilizer inputs.

Cedric works tirelessly to increase awareness and adoption of these beneficial management practices on Canadian farms, and particularly with young farmers. His passion, enthusiasm and generosity towards the farming community is unmatched.

As a farmer, agrologist and consultant, Cedric has a unique ability to connect with and engage fellow farmers, bringing enhanced insight and demonstrable relevance to the farming community – showing farmers how they can overcome the vast challenges presented by an ever-changing and increasingly complex sector.


Chris Lester


Chris Lester is a proud 6th generation farmer with Lester's Farm Market. 

For more than 160 years, the Lesters have been farming on Brookfield Road. During this time, they've supplied St. John's and the surrounding area with high quality fresh products. Milk, eggs, poultry and a great variety of fresh vegetables and small fruit have all been produced here on the farm.


In the 1980s, the farm split into two sections to accommodate growth; the farm market being one, and the dairy farm being the other. Despite the division, both families have stayed close, helping each other out when they can.  Chris is with the vegetable and market side of things. 


Currently, the sixth generation of Lesters are working on the farm. This is a tradition they hope to continue for many years to come.

Tom James

Tom James has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1982, and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants since 1981. Tom has been a guest speaker at professional events in Canada, the United States, and in Asia, lecturing about taxation and legal matters. He has also been very active in business. Tom is a seasoned entrepreneur, as well as a lawyer.


Hotel Bookings

Fairfield Hotel, Kenmount Road, St. John's

The Fairfield has a block of rooms held for NL Young Farmers at a rate of $139.


Please make bookings by Monday, October 30.


For reservations, please call (709) 722-5540.

Tentative Agenda

DAY ONE - Tuesday, November 26, 2019



9:00 a.m.                          Welcome – Chair


9:15 a.m.                            “Leadership and Best Management Practices”

                                              Cedric MacLeod


10:30 a.m.                        Nutrition Break


10:50 a.m.                         Breakout Session:

                                                Room A: “BMPs for Livestock” - C. Macleod

                                                Room B: “Plasticulture, Greenhouse Growing”,                                                  Chris Lester


12:00 p.m.                        Lunch


1:00 p.m.                           Young Farmer Panel                                


2:00 p.m.                          “Virtual Farm Tour – Exploits Meadow Farm”,                                                     Rodney Reid


2:25 p.m.                           “Update from Canadian Young Farmers,” 


2:45 p.m.                           Nutrition Break          


3:00 p.m.                          Presentation TBD


4:00 p.m.                          “Young Farmers Initiative Update”


4:20 p.m.                          Adjourn day sessions and Closing Comments 


5:15 p.m.                            Bus Departs for Lester’s Market


6:00 p.m.                          Local Dinner on the Farm

                                                Chef Ross Larkin to address group


7:30 p.m.                           Bus Returns to Hotel, NLYFF AGM to Follow

DAY TWO - Wednesday, November 27, 2019



9:00 a.m.                          Welcome – Chair


9:10 a.m.                           “Understanding Taxation, Business Structure,                                                   and Succession”, Tom James (Presented by FCC)


10:40 a.m.                        Nutrition Break


11:00 a.m.                         “Virtual Farm Tour  - N. Fagan Meats”, Nelson                                                    Fagan


11:20 a.m.                         Virtual Farm Tour 3


11:40 a.m.                         Safe Pesticide Use

                                                Susanne Tilley             


12:00 p.m.                        Lunch


1:00 p.m.                           Room A: “Succession Planning” – Tom James                                                     (Presented by FCC)

                                             Room B: “New Entrants” - TBD


2:15 p.m.                            Closing comments


2:30 p.m.                           Adjourn