2019 Speaker Bios

Kathy Collier Bates

Hello, my name is Kathy Collier Bates and I’m from the Lake of the Ozarks area in Missouri. Having lived on a farm growing up, when the opportunity came to move and have livestock once again, my desire to learn more about caring for them was refueled. I’ve been married for 38 years to a wonderful man, have two great kids and 5 awesome grandkids that may not totally understand my passion for animals, but are all willing to help me out when I need an extra set of hands and/or eyes. God, family, camping and fishing, taking care of my animals and helping others keep their animals healthy are my passions in life.

As there aren’t any ‘goat or sheep knowledgeable’ veterinarians locally, I began doing more research on the internet, joining livestock specific groups, speaking with other farmers in the area about their husbandry practices and delving into books to increase my knowledge of how to take care of the wide array of animals that I’ve either had or have now.

Because of making friends locally and through the internet, I began to be asked for my input more and more. Now, I’m a part of a very passionate and dedicated team that volunteers their time and extensive knowledge on a continuously growing Facebook group that was created to help other farmers care for their livestock. Because of my willingness to do research and the knack for discerning reputable and accurate resources, I create the majority of the files for our members to learn from. My wish is that because I was asked to be a speaker for this Association that you take a bit of that passion home with you after my presentation.

Dianne Finstad

Dianne Finstad specialized in rodeo and agriculture coverage for decades. She began her career in 1981at CKRD-TV and Radio in Red Deer. Her award-winning TV programs “This Business of Farming” and “Makin’ 8" were enjoyed by many Western Canadians. Dianne regularly covered the Canadian Finals Rodeo for TV, radio, and print, as well as the Calgary Stampede for CBC Television and reported from the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. She co-hosted Shaw’s broadcast of the Ponoka Stampede for five years. Dianne was a regular contributor to Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine, Canadian Rodeo News, and the Red Deer Advocate.

Dianne was born and raised on a southern Alberta ranch near Manyberries. She watched rodeo events from a young age and her interest in the sport and agriculture set the foundation for her broadcasting and writing career. Dianne attended Lethbridge Community College and graduated in 1981 with a Diploma in Radio Arts and Broadcast Journalism. She continued to perfect her trade at CKRD Radio and TV, where she worked for 25 years. As a news anchor and a reporter, Dianne covered stories of urban and rural news and life in Central Alberta. As the Ag Director, her coverage of Western Canada's rural community was second-to-none.

On the show “This Business of Farming”, Dianne travelled and interviewed countless individuals and families with professionalism using her knowledge of agriculture which endeared her as a host. Dianne also hosted seven seasons of “Makin’ 8” at CKRD-TV, which aired the first televised coverage of the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR). A constant on the rodeo circuit, Dianne covered the stories of the cowboys, the infield events, and the chuckwagon races.

Terri Mason with Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine wrote, “Her personable, upbeat interview style, deep knowledge of rodeo and chuckwagon racing and pure enthusiasm has won her a legion of fans.”

Dianne joined Newcap Radio from February 2007 to May 2012 as the Agriculture and Rodeo Director were she provided daily farm reports and regular rodeo coverage. She was well known for providing behind the scenes interviews of the rodeo cowboys behind the chutes.

“Her knowledge of each event is vast and she seems to know everyone in the field which made her reports factual and informative […] She gives the cowboys and cowgirls a chance to talk about their sport and get some of the spotlight reserved for the mainstream sports.”
- Jim Claggett, Freelance Sports Writer & past Producer with Shaw TV Red Deer

Dianne became a Freelance Reporter/Writer in 2012. Her focus remained on agriculture and rodeo projects and she continued to be a regular contributor to numerous publications such as Horses All and Canadian Rodeo News. She has written for the Calgary Stampede for many years and in 2012, began providing daily rodeo highlight blogs for the Stampede’s website. She was also a regular part of the crew for the CFCW live radio broadcasts for the CFR.

Throughout the years, Dianne has been a Master of Ceremonies and a sought-after guest speaker for many agricultural and rodeo functions, including the Advancing Women in Agriculture conferences.

Dianne received the Bill Kehler Award in 2010 from the Ponoka Stampede Association for her dedication to promoting the sport of rodeo. In 2009, she was awarded a trophy buckle from the Daines Ranch Pro Rodeo. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Lethbridge College in 1995, was made an honorary member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists in 1997 and the Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association in 2010. She was also active in the Alberta Farm Writer’s Association and strongly supported 4-H for the development of agriculture in youth. Dianne became a member of the Red Deer Westerner Board in 2018, when the CFR moved to Red Deer’s Westerner Park.

Liesl Lockhart

I grew up on the beautiful prairie of Bigstone, Alberta on a large mixed ranch. I developed an appreciation for water and trees because both were in short supply. Liesl was raised on an acreage in Prince George, British Columbia where from an early age she aspired (her parents were likely hoping it would pass) to marry a rancher. We met when we were studying at Briercrest College in Saskatchewan and married soon after. After I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and Liesl with a Masters in Human Resources, we moved to Red Deer, Alberta. I owned a construction company for several years, completing renovations and several homes which we lived in and then sold. After the birth of Lucy, we both felt a ranch was the best place to raise our children.

We worked for a few years in partnership with my parents, Darcy and Linda Lockhart, moving to our present ranch in 2010. Soon afterward, we had the opportunity to purchase the ranch from my parents and surrounding neighbours. It is still incredible that of all the places we could have ranched, we arrived in one with a strong sense of community, many young families and a great support network of progressively minded ranch producers. We are living our dream of raising our kids on a ranch while caring for the land that is the source of our wealth. It is a paradise of grass, sunshine, and water. As a friend says, 'Life is good and it is only going to get better!'

Agriculture is a very difficult business to enter. Our parents, Marvin and Shirley Barg and Darcy and Linda Lockhart have helped make this venture possible. Thanks for your trust and support! It never ceases to amaze me the great people we encounter in agriculture!

Dr. Hernan Ortegon

Dr. Hernan Ortegon graduated as a veterinarian from the University of the Oriental Prairies in Colombia, South America, where he performed as mixed practice veterinarian working with different species of livestock. In 1997 he moved to Canada with his family and registered to the Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph where the completed a Masters in Biomedical Pharmacology and Toxicology, and then he pursued and completed a doctoral program in animal reproduction with emphasis in epidemiology.

In 2006 he joined the government of Alberta as Program Veterinarian and for a number of years he coordinated TSE surveillance programs. In 2010 he became a senior manager and took over BSE surveillance, CWD and scrapie surveillance programs in Alberta  promoting these programs provincially and helping improving its delivery and efficiency. Dr. Ortegon represented the province in several nationals scenarios to address and improve BSE surveillance. Also, he was a member of a subject matter expert committee who developed the national biosecurity standards for farmed cervids. Dr. Ortegon was invited to participate in a team that developed a strategy for eradication of scrapie from Canadians flocks, which became part of the National Scrapie Eradication Program. Also, Dr. Ortegon was a member of the core team who developed the Centre for Emerging  and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD), which has grown to almost 400 members in Canada, the US and other countries

 

Currently, Dr. Ortegon manages the Veterinary Pathology and Toxicology Unit of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry with laboratories in Airdrie, Edmonton, Fairview, and Lethbridge. This Unit is the first line for detection of diseases that are reportable under the Alberta Animal Health Act, or diseases that cause a significant impact in animal health or public health.

Dr. Madhu Ravi

Dr. Madhu Ravi is a Board Certified Veterinary Pathologist with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists with over 15 years of experience as a veterinary pathologist and as a veterinarian. He began his career in veterinary medicine in Andhra Pradesh state Animal Husbandry department, India, after graduating from ANGRAU University (presently SV Veterinary University, Tirupathi). Following immigration to Canada, he successfully completed veterinary licensing examination and obtained a Master’s degree in veterinary pathology in 2006 from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon fallowed by residency training in veterinary anatomic pathology at Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon. Dr. Ravi worked as a Veterinary Pathologist for the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine before joining Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in 2012. He is a published author in multiple journals and invited speaker at various meetings. He has particular interest in diagnostic pathology and medicine of food animal species with special emphasis on pathogenesis of infectious diseases. He currently resides in Edmonton with his wife, and two daughters and a canine companion.

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