OMAFRA REPORT: New vegetable crop specialists introduced to area

A weekly report prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). If you require further information, regarding this report, call the Elora Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm.  For technical information, call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA website:

New vegetable crop specialists

Welcome to our new vegetable crop specialists, Cassandra Russell and Andrew Wylie, to the Horticulture Crops Unit of the Agriculture Development Branch at OMAFRA.

Russell worked in the OMAFRA-UofG Highly Qualified Personnel program. She worked directly with greenhouse and field vegetable specialists to collaborate with growers and industry on research projects to address pepper weevil. As an entomologist, she has taken the reigns to successfully lead the Guelph Bug Day educational event to educate community members about insects. She is completing her M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph and holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Guelph. She can be reached at 519-350-7134.

Wylie has over 10 years experience in agricultural research focused on vegetable production. He grew up growing vegetables and building his family’s specialty mushroom operation. With a passion for vegetable production, Wylie co-founded Heritage Organic Research Co. Ltd. (Herio) in 2007, where he developed novel nutrition and IPM strategies that are being used in organic greenhouses across North America. During his Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, Wylie developed a system to assess microbial biocontrols for organic vegetable production systems.  Heholds a M.Sc. in Plant Science from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Guelph. Andrew can be reached at 519-401-5890.

OMAFRA Crop Specialists

Andrew Wylie 519-401-5890 email  – sweet corn, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash, beans, peas, asparagus.

Cassandra Russell 519-350-7134, email – tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sugarbeets, red beets.

Travis Cranmer 519-835-3382, email – onions, garlic, leeks, celery, head Brassicas, leaf Brassicas, leafy greens, spinach.

Dennis Van Dyk 519-766-5337, email – potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, turnip, parsnips, radish, horseradish.