November 24, 2015 – Lennox & Addington County’s Chris Brown has been named the Ontario Forage Master for 2015

Chris Brown was named Ontario Forage Master for 2015 at a recognition event hosted by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on November 11th. Chris and wife Brianne operate Beslea Farms Limited near Yarker in Lennox & Addington County. He credits high quality forage as the foundation for their 100- head dairy herd (25 Jersey and 75 Holsteins).

Brianne and Chris Brown with OSCIA President, Allan Kruszel

Brianne and Chris Brown with OSCIA President, Alan Kruszel

The Ontario Forage Master competition is an annual event sponsored by PICKSEED Canada Inc., SGS/ Agri-Food Laboratories, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF), and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). There were close to 200 entries this year representing 22 different counties and districts, with fourteen 4-H participants. Local winners are declared based on judging of field management and forage quality and storage. From there, local winners have the opportunity to move to the public speaking portion of the competition, staged at the provincial level. Participants present how forages are selected, grown, harvested, stored and utilized for top production on their farms. Judging is done by a panel of experts.

“All of our five finalists in this year’s Ontario Forage Masters competition were dairy producers that had no difficulty expressing their views on the value of forages in their cropping and feeding programs,” says Alan Kruszel, OSCIA President. “That made the judges decision difficult, but Chris Brown’s presentation had just a little extra polish that made him this year’s winner. Chris is an excellent speaker and provided a clear and organized presentation detailing techniques in forage production that are easily applicable and transferable. He demonstrated that the real value of forages is realized by farming practices that focus on producing quality forage with proper management.”

“SGS/Agri-Food Laboratories wants to congratulate the 2015 Ontario Forage Master Competition winner, Chris Brown and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association for such a great event,” states Nelmy Narvaez. “I would also like to congratulate all the participants for their effort and dedication in putting together their presentations and demonstrating the importance of forages in their operations. As a judge, I am grateful for being given the opportunity to have the participants share their experiences and how they deal with all challenges that the Dairy Industry faces today.”

“Pickseed Canada wishes to thank all participants that competed in this year’s Ontario Forage Masters competition and a special thank you to this year’s winer, Chris Brown,” states Paul Wight. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the county/district coordinators and judges for their commitment to such a wonderful program.”

“We aim for top quality forage without sacrificing yield or plant health,” declares Chris, “Quality never lets you down. In today’s dairy industry it is more important than ever to produce top quality forages. As margins tighten and input costs continue to rise, top quality forages can help to reduce feed costs and increase animal health, helping your bottom line.”

Chris now qualifies to compete in the 2016 American Forage and Grassland Council’s Forage Spokesperson Competition to be held January 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The OSCIA is a grassroots farm organization committed to facilitating responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops through development and communication of innovative farming practices.

PICKSEED Canada Inc. is a leader in the development, production and distribution of turfgrass and forage crop seed. Since its beginning in 1947, PICKSEED has built a trusted and proven reputation for quality, agronomic advice and a commitment to research and technology. PICKSEED currently has locations across Canada and Oregon operating under the PICKSEED, Mapleseed, Seed Research of Oregon, and TurfOne brand names.

SGS/Agri-Food Laboratories Inc., is the largest independent agriculture testing lab in Ontario based in Guelph. SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification and certification services. Founded in 1878 in Europe, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes place every November in the City of Toronto, with its inaugural event dating back to November 22, 1922. The Royal is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. With over one million square feet of displays and competition facilities, The Royal today draws in some 300,000 visitors annually. It is where Canadian and international breeders, growers and exhibitors are declared champions and where hundreds of thousands of attendees come to learn, compete, shop and have a great time with friends and family.

For more information contact:
Paul Wight, Pickseed 1-519-717-2226
Nelmy Narvaez, SGS/Agri-Food Laboratories 1-800-265-7175 Alan Kruszel, President, OSCIA 519-826-4214

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