Faculty Members - Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

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Werklund School of Agricultural Technology Faculty Members

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

James Benkie B.Sc

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 780.902.1820
✉ jbenkie@oldscollege.ca

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James Benkie is currently the Dean of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology at Olds College. He is an experienced business leader with a demonstrated and measurable history of working in the Information Technology and Services and Agriculture industries. Before joining the Olds College Team in 2018, James worked in the technology sector with global tech company Fujitsu as well as with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation where he led, developed, and supported several different business areas. While pursuing his career at Olds College, James also partners and manages the family farm in central Alberta. James is an alumni of the University of Alberta, Mount Royal University, NAIT, and the ADR Institute of Alberta.

Bertrand Bickersteth M.A., B.A.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.4778
✉ bbickersteth@oldscollege.ca

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Bertrand is a Communications instructor who has been teaching since 2000 (full-time since 2003) and has taught in the US, UK, and Canada. He has a BA in English from UBC and an MA in Comparative Literature (African/Arabic) from the University of London (SOAS) in the UK. He currently teaches in multiple programs across Olds College. Outside the class he leads the Black Canadas Scholars, a mentoring and empowerment group for Black students. In addition, he contributes to several College committees such as the Indigenous Advisory Circle and the Gay/Straight Alliance. He is also a writer and researcher with a focus on Black history in Canada and Alberta. He has been published in or featured by CBC, The Canadian Encyclopedia, and The Sprawl, as well as many literary journals. His collection of poetry, The Response of Weeds, was nominated for several awards. He lives in Calgary but graduated from Olds High School!

Noah Bradley

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

✉ nbradley@oldscollege.ca

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Noah is a Communications instructor who joined Olds College in 2020. He grew up near Sundre before attaining his BA in world languages & cultures from Trinity Western University in 2017, as well as his MEd in language teaching and research at York University in 2019. Noah has a broad range of research and teaching interests, including communications, languages, innovation, ethics, and research methods. He is currently developing a course on innovation in agricultural technology. Noah is a member of Heterodox Academy and the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship. He is passionate about both indoor and outdoor education; you can usually find Noah reading a research article, teaching a class, or hiking mountains in the Ya Ha Tinda.

Brad Dowell

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

Larry Couture Ed. D.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.8345
✉ lcouture@oldscollege.ca

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Larry was born and raised on a mixed farm in southeastern Saskatchewan. After completing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Saskatchewan, Larry joined Olds College teaching Business and Agribusiness classes. Since being at Olds College, he has demonstrated his lifelong learning perspective by completing a Master of Education degree and recently a Doctor of Education credential from the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. After being an active sports dad for his two sons and joining several community sport organizations in support of their activities, Larry is now returning to some of his own sport and hobby pursuits. Larry was also President of the Olds College Faculty Association from 2012 - 2016. He is currently scanning for additional opportunity to contribute to community organizations or through new research activities in support of the academic environment.

Nikki Cook BFA, PhD

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.8229
✉ ncook@oldscollege.ca

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Nikki has been a full time instructor in the Land and Water Resources Program at Olds College since 2013, specializing in soil science and reclamation. Nikki grew up in Montreal and obtained her Ph.D in environmental soil science from McGill University. She went on to do post-doctoral work at Cornell University (Deparment of Crops and Atmospheric Sciences) and CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in Adelaide, Australia. She also has a BFA in Film and Photgraphy from UOttawa. Nikki is a member of CLRA and the AIA. Soils and teaching are her passions.

Dustin Farr BSc, P.Ag.

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology


Dustin was born and raised west of Crossfield on a mixed farming operation and currently lives SW of Olds with his wife and two daughters. Dustin received his diploma in Land Resource Management from Olds College and his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Lethbridge. Dustin also holds his professional designation through the Alberta Institute of Agrologist’s. With a working background that includes Oil & Gas Reclamation, Ag Retail and Sales, small business owner/operator along with years of hands on farm experience, Dustin brings his diverse knowledge and passion for agriculture into the classroom as parts of the Olds College team.

Mark Fournier

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.8343
✉ mfournier@oldscollege.ca

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Mark Fournier is a full-time instructor with the Olds College Agriculture Management and Agri-Business Applied Degree programs. Mark holds a Chartered Professional Accountant / Certified Management Accountant designation, along with a Masters Degree in Conflict Management. Mark's experience includes assisting rural businesses and not-for-profit organizations with their development and expansion plans, and working with different groups to develop organizational-specific conflict management policies and procedures.

Keith Friedlander PhD.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

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Keith Friedlander lives in Calgary with his wife and two cats. He has been teaching post-secondary for the past 15 years, having taught courses on English literature, writing skills, and business communication. At Olds College, he teaches business communications in a variety of programs, including Hospitality and Tourism Management, Veterinary Medical Receptionist, Business Management, Farrier Science, and Agriculture Management. As an academic, his research focuses on labour culture and organization in the modern comic book industry, as well as representations of sexuality and gender in North American comics. He is currently the president of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics.

Christine Fulkerth MSc., P.Ag.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.507.7914
✉ cfulkerth@oldscollege.ca

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Dan is an ecohydrologist who started his education at Olds College in 2006 and returned to the college 15 years later with a MSc in Integrated Water Resource Management from McGill and a PhD in Geography from the University of Saskatchewan. Water has been the central theme of Dan’s career, working in private industry (both domestic and international), non-governmental organizations, and academia. In addition to teaching, Dan is engaged in applied research with the Olds College Smart Farm and Center for Innovation, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance.

George Gaeke

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.8373
✉ ggaeke@oldscollege.ca

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George Gaeke is a Land Use Planning and Geographic Iinformation Systems (GIS) instructor at Olds College. He has been teaching there since the fall of 2013. Prior to that, he was a surveying, civil engineering and GIS technologies consultant and instructor.

Profile image Kris Hans
Kris Hans BComm, BA Hons, MBA

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

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Kris is an ideas generator capable of turning dreams into reality and truly a social entrepreneur. He continues to undertake diverse roles and responsibilities that bring his skills and experience to serve Calgary’s many communities — a testament to the value that he places on civic participation and social enterprise. Currently, Kris is Co-Founder and Strategist at Market Grade, an interdisciplinary consultancy focused on marketing, design, innovation, and strategy. Kris teaches a wide range of courses at Mount Royal University, Olds College, and the University of Calgary. Also Kris served as the first-ever Entrepreneur in Residence at W21C in the O’Brien Institute of Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Kris continues to work with students and start-up ventures to help grow their businesses and diversify the Alberta economy.

Bob Hoffos

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.506.2602
✉ bhoffos@oldscollege.ca

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Bob is passionate about mapping technologies. Since starting with Olds College in 2002, Bob has taught hundreds of Land and Agricultural Students how to navigate and collect data with GPS, create maps, analyze spatial information and perform statistical analysis. He has a B.Sc. in Geography and Environmental Studies (Double Major, 1992). a Certificate in GIS from NAIT (1998) and is a graduate of the Chair Leadership Academy (2007). Bob currently serves as the Program Curriculum Chair of the Land & Water Resources Diploma Program with the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology, is a sitting member of the Academic Council Committee, was a previous Program Coordinator for both the Land Information Systems Diploma (2004-2010) and the Land & Water Resources Program (2015-2018) and also held the position of University Transfer Officer for Olds College. Apart from teaching full time at Olds College, Bob is currently involved in multiple Drone and Ag Research Projects with the Olds College Smart Farm and performs some consulting in GIS and remote sensing. Bob is currently working on obtaining his Advanced Drone Pilot Certificate.

Nicola Millions-Hollamby BA, BEd

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.4753
✉ nhollamby@oldscollege.ca

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Nicola Millions-Hollamby is a full-time instructor within the Land and Water Resources Program at Olds College. Nicola holds both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Alberta in addition to a Land Agent Diploma and is a licensed land agent. Nicola is a member of CAPL and AASLA and has been in the teaching profession since 2000.

Tom Jensen

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 587.575.6978
✉ tjensen@oldscollege.ca

Tom is a Soil Scientist, Agronomist, Professional Agrologist, and Certified Crop Adviser. He has taught at Olds College as a sessional instructor in Werklund School of Agriculture Technology since 2019. He grew up on a mixed irrigated farm in the Coaldale-Lethbridge area of Southern Alberta, studied agriculture at the University of Alberta: BSc Agronomy 1979, MSc Soil Science-Soil Fertility 1986, and PhD Agronomy 2006. He worked the first third of his career in agronomy research and extension with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, the second third as an agriculture industry agronomist with Agrium (now part of Nutrien) and the International Plant Nutrition Institute in western North America, and now in his thrid career phase as an instructor of agronomy and soil management at Olds College. His research insterests are in acidic and problem soil management, soil fertility and balanced crop nutrition, and no-till cropping systems. He has served on the exam committees of both the Prairie Provinces Certified Crop Adviser Board (PCCA) and International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) group. He enjoys immensely instructing and training the "new crop" of students to work in cropped agriculture and environmental management.

David Johnson

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.507.7911
✉ djohnson@oldscollege.ca

David grew up in rural Sask and Alberta on a mixed farm and later operated his own registered seed potato business. Five years of overseas development work (water supply, agriculture) led him to pursue his passion for water resource management at the U. of Oxford (M.Sc) in 2006. In 2019 an M.Sc. was completed (U. of Loughborough) with a focus on cyanobacteria and risks to drinking water. Happily, personal and professional interests combine as he enjoys exploring the natural world, especially our waterways, with his wife and two young boys.

Michele Langmead M.Ed.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.556.4655
✉ mlangmead@oldscollege.ca

"Michele joined Olds College as a Communications instructor in 2020 and is part of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology. She received her undergraduate degree in Applied Social Science at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec followed by a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology at McGill University also in Montreal, Quebec. Teaching is Michele’s second career after having spent over 3 decades working as a psychotherapist in Montreal, Vancouver, and Central Alberta. Michele is a life-long learner who is passionate about mental health, building connections through compassion, pursuing ethical leadership, and developing a curiosity-based openness to self and others. "

Luke Laurence M.Sc.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology


Luke's background is in Soil Science from Lakeland College (Diploma), the University of Alberta (BSc, MSc) and currently at Dalhousie University pursuing a PhD. He has been working in the “soils biz” (consulting and teaching) since 1998 and brings that experience to the classroom to provide a practical, hands on, and applied look at soils, soil health, and soil fertility. When Luke isn't playing in the dirt, he's hanging out with family or playing the guitar, banjo, or bagpipes (...never all at once). Luke's background is in Soil Science from Lakeland College (Diploma), the University of Alberta (BSc, MSc) and currently at Dalhousie University pursuing a PhD. He has been working in the “soils biz” (consulting and teaching) since 1998 and brings that experience to the classroom to provide a practical, hands on, and applied look at soils, soil health, and soil fertility. When Luke isn't playing in the dirt, he's hanging out with family or playing the guitar, banjo, or bagpipes (...never all at once).

Daniel Karran PhD, P.Ag.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

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Dan is an ecohydrologist who started his education at Olds College in 2006 and returned to the college 15 years later with a MSc in Integrated Water Resource Management from McGill and a PhD in Geography from the University of Saskatchewan. Water has been the central theme of Dan’s career, working in private industry (both domestic and international), non-governmental organizations, and academia. In addition to teaching, Dan is engaged in applied research with the Olds College Smart Farm and Center for Innovation, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance.

Ali Keyhani

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 647.248.1486
✉ akeyhani@oldscollege.ca

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Ali is an academic teacher, researcher and administrator with more than two decades of experience. Ali's B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees are in Mechanical Engineering of Agricultural Machinery from University of Tehran. He received his Ph. D. in Agricultural Engineering from University of Saskatchewan and immediately, joined the University of Tehran (UT) the largest university in Iran as a faculty member. After 22 years with the rank of full Prof. Ali immigrated to Canada to join his family. While in UT, Ali taught many courses in B. Sc., M. Sc. and Ph. D. levels such as Thermodynamics, Numerical Methods, Internal Combustion Engines, Heat Transfer, Agricultural Mechanization, Renewable Energies and Energy Audit. In the meantime, he acted as onsultant and supervisor for many M. Sc. and Ph. D. students' theses resulted in numerous published articles in very well-known journals. Ali has served many administrative positions in UT including Head of the Central Library, Associate Dean (Finance), Associate Dean (Academic), Dean of the Faculty of Biosystems Engineering. After immigrating to Canada, Ali found the programs in Olds College (OC) the best fit to his background. He joined the OC in September 2020 and hopes to continue his neverending teaching and learning story as long as he has the potentials.

Simon Knutson M.Sc., B.Sc.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology


Prior to joining Olds College in 2020 I worked in the Canadian precision ag-tech industry as a consultant, business owner, entrepreneur, and senior manager for over 13 years. Through this journey I’ve seen how technology, GIS, science and agronomy, and farm business management come together to allow producers to grow more food more efficiently and sustainably. I have been privileged to be part of the advancement our industry has seen during the past decade, and am excited to share my knowledge with the next generation that will push these boundaries even further.

Laura Mills BASc (Ag), MSc Mkt

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

✉ lmills@oldscolege.ca

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Laura was born and raised on family farm in ON that originally consisted of a dairy operation and commercial apple orchard, and later shifted into a Morgan horse farm. Laura obtained a Diploma in Equine Science, majoring in Production Management (reproduction), followed by a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Agribusiness from Olds College, a Master of Science Degree in Marketing from Roehampton University (UK), and a Higher Education Teaching Certificate from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Olds College instructional team in 2015, Laura spent over a decade gaining industry experience in business management, sales, and marketing. Laura has voluteered promotional and communication services to national and provincial equine associations. Laura is passionate about brand management, consumer behaviour, and the urban-rural relationship in a marketing context. In 2019, Laura and her husband, a former cattle and crop farmer, established a boutique horse farm in Rocky View County, where they own, breed, and train show and sport horses.

Profile image Andrea Mix
Andrea Mix M.Ed, B.Ed.

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎403.507.7746
✉ amix@oldscollege.ca

Andrea Mix was born and raised on a small farm in southwestern Saskatchewan and started her post-secondary education at the University of Regina, where she gained her Bachelor of Education, majoring in Chemistry Education. She began her teaching career as a high school science teacher in 2001. Andrea then transitioned into adult education a few years later with the completion of her Master's of Education in Workplace and Adult Learning from the University of Calgary. Andrea started at Olds College in 2008 in curriculum development and instructor training and later moved into a faculty role where she now teaches career preparation in the Agribusiness, Horticulture, and Golf Course Management Bachelor of Applied Science programs. She recently gained her Certified Résumé Strategist designation. Andrea still loves chemistry and teaches an Environmental Chemistry course in the Land and Water program.

Tomas Nilsson MSc., PhD.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

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Tomas Nilsson has been on the faculty at the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology since 2020. In the agricultural technology programs, he teaches courses in global development, business and entrepreneurship. At the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology, he is starting a research program on the adoption of precision agriculture technologies, and the financial and economic returns on investment in research and education. Following the completion of a Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, Tomas started working for the University of Alberta in 2005. In 2009, he joined the provincial government and took on increasingly larger projects related to economic development policies and land use regulations. In late 2018, Tomas joined an economic development organization in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. During this period, he set up the business and market intelligence arm of the organization and co-created the Edmonton Global data warehouse, the key feature included sourcing and implementing a Customer Relationship Management system for the organization and its stakeholders. When Tomas is not working, he can be found adventuring the province with his two school-aged children.

Brendan Richardson

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.507.7742
✉ brichardson@oldscollege.ca

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Brendan started teaching Communications at Olds College in January 2017 and has been teaching full-time since September 2019. He is currently teaching Workplace Communications and Workplace Professionalism.classes in a selection of programs throught the College. Brendan is particularly interested in interpersonal communications, persuasive writing, media, public relations and advocacy. He loves watching students adapt their writing skills for a variety of audiences and to use these skills to develop positive and long-term relationships in their careers. He is passionate about working with and creating opportunites for diverse leaners.He is currently finishing his Master's in Interdiscipinary Studies at Athabasca Univeristy and is slated to gradute in 2023 with specializations in Adult Education and Writing and New Media. He has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism (then Bachelor's now Master's) from Ryerson University (Toronto, 2002) and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing with a minor in Political Science from Concodia University (Montreal, 1996). He also has a Level 1 diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Vancouver Community College (2008). His first teaching job was in 1997 when he was a Visiting Professor and Head Teacher at Seowon University in South Korea.

Rav Singh B.E.

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

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Rav is a Professional Engineer, with Majors in Mechanical Engineering. He also has a solid background in Electro-Mechanical Engineering. Rav joins us with over 12 Years in the Industrial Experience, in Application Engineering and Business Development. He is also an expert in Fluid Power (Hydraulic and Pneumatic Control Systems), and is well known in the industry as a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist (CFPHS), Certified Fluid Power Electronic Control Specialist (CFPECS) and Certified Fluid Power System Designer (CFPSD). Rav is also a Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at a Startup Venture, TRS Systems, and provides consultation in Cloud Integration, and Remote Monitoring.

Nicole Zukiwsky B.Sc, M.Sc

Olds College

Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

☎ 403.507.7791
✉ nzukiwsky@oldscollege.ca

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Nicole Zukiwsky joined Olds College in 2020 as a livestock production instructor in the Agriculture Management program. Nicole completed her post-secondary education at the University of Alberta, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Animal Science, and a Master of Science in Animal Science specializing in poultry science and precision feeding technology. During her time at the University of Alberta, Nicole developed an incredible passion for poultry. Now commonly known around Olds College campus as “the chicken lady”, Nicole enthusiastically brings her experience in animal science, precision livestock technologies, and production and management of various livestock species to Olds College.