Guelph, ON – Gord Green, a dairy producer from Oxford County, has taken over as the President of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) for 2016. Gord, his wife Laura and their son, operate Greenholm Farms Limited, a dairy and cash crop operation north of Embro where they use strip-till in corn and no-till in soys, wheat and forages.
Green reflected on what his involvement with the Association has meant to him. “Ontario Soil and Crop has provided me with the inspiration and motivation to try new practices that I have adopted over the years. An Oxford County Soil and Crop Bus Trip down to some Conservation Farms in the U.S. in 1994 gave me the stimulus to try no-till in a serious way.” More recently, Green says, “Soil and Crop has shown me examples of people using cover crops very successfully to further improve their land. Our farm is currently trying different cover crop options to improve soil health and provide sources of alternate feeds for our livestock.”
OSCIA has a long history. Green remembers in his pre-teen years going to local county meetings with his Dad. “This is an organization with a rich history that can provide a great many opportunities to those willing to grasp them.”
OSCIA’s annual meeting earlier in February showcased a number of different regional and county projects; some reported on cover crop trials and others on nutrient use efficiency. Other topics included utilizing Lystegro (a sewage treatment byproduct) in crop production, fungicides on corn silage, and innovative soil sampling technology. Guest speakers from Ontario and Michigan brought their own experiences with cover crops and challenged delegates to invest the time to research options and economics just like they would for every other crop in their program. Lake Erie phosphorous issues were front and centre in technical presentations by Dr. Merrin Macrae from University of Waterloo and Dr. Tim Harrigan from Michigan State.
OSCIA annually supports two different production awards, and both drew considerable attention at the annual meeting. First was the new Ontario Forage Master, Chris Brown from Lennox and Addington County, who gave an excellent presentation on forage production on his farm. Secondly, was the naming of the 2016 OSCIA Soil Champion, Tyler Vollmershausen from Oxford County, who was introduced by the previous Soil Champion, Dean Glenney from Haldimand. Overall, an excellent and well attended annual meeting that covered a broad range of subjects.
Summaries of the presentations will be published throughout the year in OSCIA newsletters, in Crop Advances, and in Country Guide, as well as on the OSCIA website.
All indications point to another busy year at OSCIA. In addition to applied research projects and a long list of educational activities for members, Green pointed out the surge in recent interest expressed by the farm community in programs such as Growing Forward 2 and the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative. “Much has been accomplished by this organization working collaboratively with our member associations and a long list of partners, and we have another exciting year ahead of us,” states Green. “I eagerly accept the challenges as the 2016 President.”
OSCIA’s mission is to Facilitate Responsible Economic Management of Soil, Water, Air and Crops through Development and Communication of Innovative Farming Practices.
Amber Van De Peer, OSCIA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-826-3152
Gord Green, President OSCIA, at email@example.com or 519-475-4690