Niagara College’s Kimberley Cathline announced as one of the 2024 Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture

Kimberley Cathline

 

Annex Business Media’s Agriculture group has named the seven honourees of the 2024 Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture (IWCA) program. Included in the group is Kimberley Cathline, Research Program Manager at the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC) at Niagara College. These seven women were nominated by friends, colleagues, mentors and mentees, and their nomination packages were among dozens of accomplished, influential women whose nominations were submitted.

“I’m incredibly honoured to be among the 2024 Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture honourees,” said Kimberley. “It’s not just a recognition of individual achievement, but a celebration of the collective dedication and resilience of women in shaping the future of agriculture. This program provides an amazing opportunity to shine a light on the inspirational female role models across the country, and I’m humbled to have been selected as one of them.”

As HESIC’s Research Program Manager, and a member of the Science and Innovation Advisory Committee at Bioenterprise Canada, Kimberley has been a driving force in steering agricultural research towards innovative directions and program expansions. Her role in fostering innovation through industry-driven applied research is part of her leadership and a cornerstone of it. By managing and expanding the research program at HESIC, she is actively contributing to advancing agricultural practices and ensuring that the research has practical, real-world applications. This involves overseeing projects that bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and its application in the field, leading to innovations that can significantly enhance productivity, sustainability, and environmental stewardship in agriculture.

“Kimberly’s recognition as one of the 2024 Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture is a testament to her unwavering dedication and profound impact on the agricultural landscape,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, Niagara College’s Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Strategic Enterprises.  “Her innovative approaches and commitment to pushing research to the next level have not only transformed the industry but also inspired countless others, including students, to pursue excellence Kimberly’s leadership embodies the spirit of equity, diversity and inclusion, driving forward a brighter, more resilient future for agriculture in Canada.”

Kimberley holds a Master of Science in Biological Sciences, specializing in Plant Sciences, from Brock University, and was the 2017 Winner of the Distinguished Graduate Award for the highest overall program average. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Science, with Distinction, in Plant Biology from the University of Guelph, and was awarded the Sharon Marshall Memorial Prize in Plant Biology for the highest cumulative average. She has more than 18 years of experience working in an applied horticulture research environment. Kimberley was a 2022 Women in Business Awards finalist and also holds a Governance Professionals of Canada Designation (GPC.D). She has served as Corporate Secretary for several Niagara-based corporations and is Past Chair for local charity Community Crew, which provides healthy lunches to children across Niagara.

Kimberley’s unwavering commitment to education and mentorship sets her apart. Students who have an opportunity to work on a project with HESIC have received first-hand, real-world experience, which helps them become innovative, forward-thinking employees who, in several cases, have been hired by the supported companies.

She has also led applied research initiatives that directly impact agricultural practices; the goal is to facilitate the commercialization of these innovations, enhancing efficiency and productivity across the agricultural value chain, from input supplies to farming practices and postharvest processes. This includes collaborations with companies such as SoilOptix® and International Zeolite Corp. (IZ), which are at the forefront of agricultural technology. SoilOptix’s precision soil-mapping technology and IZ’s development of NEREA®, a product designed to improve traditional growing systems, exemplify how Kimberley’s leadership fosters innovation that can enhance productivity and sustainability on farms. 

Kimberley’s advocacy for diversity and inclusion within STEM and agriculture further amplifies her positive impact on Canadian agriculture. By encouraging the participation of women and underrepresented groups in these fields, she fosters a more inclusive, dynamic, and innovative agricultural community. Overall, her comprehensive approach to leadership in agriculture—spanning technological innovation, education, community service, and advocacy for diversity—has profoundly influenced Canada’s agricultural sector’s growth, sustainability, and social responsibility.

Throughout the summer, these seven women will be sharing their stories, insights and advice through the AgAnnex Talks podcast series. In the fall, all seven will also participate in the live, half-day virtual IWCA Summit.

Congratulations to the other winners:

  • • Sabine Banniza – Saskatchewan
  • • Chris Brown – Ontario
  • • Kendra Donnelly – Alberta
  • • Mel Luymes – Ontario
  • • Liz Robertson – Manitoba
  • • Cheryle Warkentine – Manitoba