Henry Denotter, a grain producer from Kingsville, has taken over as the President of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) for 2013. Henry and his wife, Kathy, along with their family, operate Denotter Farms, a grain and oil seed operation marketing corn, soybeans and wheat, located two miles west of the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Essex County.

“I look forward to working with the many members in each of the counties across the province who represent our grassroots innovation. I am honoured to be among the many leaders of this organization, and will encourage thinking outside the box when discussing our association’s goals and actions for this coming year.”

OSCIA held its annual meeting recently, bringing together delegates from across Ontario. OSCIA’s annual meeting was an opportunity to reflect on what was learned in 2012 and hear from leading-edge experts on the industry. Summaries of the presentations will be published throughout the year in the OSCIA newsletters; as well the presentations are available on our website.

A few highlights from the 2013 OSCIA annual meeting were that “the social license to operate is about getting and keeping access to valuable business resources like markets, financing, talent, raw material, infrastructure sites, and legal permits by winning acceptance and approval from communities.” Discussion on how to build a food system based on healthy soil, clean water, minimal waste and regenerative energy, emphasizing the need to preserve soil health, the biological infrastructure of farmland; and the importance in seeing the humor in even some of the more serious aspect of life.

OSCIA’s mission is to Facilitate Responsible Economic Management of Soil, Water, Air and Crops through Development and Communication of Innovative Farming Practices. Henry pointed out that “I’ve always strived to do what is right for the soil and the surrounding environment, but you also have to pay the bills so we make every effort to combine the best of both worlds.” Denotter Farms supports many conservation projects including rock chutes, grassed waterways, shelter belts and no-till farming methods. They conduct trials in corn and soybeans every year for yield and profitability. Henry believes that “Keeping the land alive and the soil organisms thriving leads to a greater productivity and maintains it for future generations.”

OSCIA works closely with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in the delivery of the Environmental Sustainability and Farm Business Development for Farm Businesses components of Growing Forward Best Practices suite. These provide producers opportunities associated with the Environmental Farm Plan, Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program and Growing Your Farm Profits business development assistance.

For more information, please contact Amber Van De Peer, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. amber.vandepeer@ontariosoilcrop.org

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