Mark Burnham has been a steady presence in the OSCIA since joining the Northumberland SCIA in 2007. Mark’s father, Paul, promoted the SCIA to his son as a good organization that had a lot to offer to the local farming community. He also believed that Mark had a lot to offer to the OSCIA in return.
Eager to learn and willing to participate, Mark has been involved in many OSCIA Tier one field trial projects over the years. Field trial projects are funded by the province with the goal of creating information through real applications to help the local farming community. Over the years, Mark brought many ideas to the table, and was always willing to participate, regardless of who’s project was used.
Mark has worked on many different projects in the area, including the Soybean-Wheat Relay field trials and, most recently, Mark has been working with other farmers in the area, in a partnership with Maizex on seed depth trials. He explained it as a simple and easy trial that could give significant information to local producers on the best depth to plant corn for optimal results. Working with Maizex will allow the opportunity to see early data results. Once available, this data will be shared with the Quinte SCIA. If there is something innovative happening in Quinte, Mark is likely to be a part of it!
Mark was nominated to the Northumberland executive in 2010 and accepted the position. He remained a member of the executive for the next several years.
In 2017, the regional director position for Quinte SCIA opened up. Mark had witnessed the value of the organization to his region and seeing a need, offered to fill the position. Mark looked forward to the networking opportunities he could experience as a regional director. Hearing, first hand what others are trying in different areas of the province, along with how they handle different challenges was very appealing. The indirect education you receive through the interactions is very valuable. Mark feels he has become a better farmer from his experiences as the regional director. “You absorb the information from others and apply it to your own farm”
Mark explains that along with the work involved with being the regional director, there has been a lot of fun too. The Provincial AGM in February and the annual summer training meeting are opportunities to network with your peers, hear great speakers, visit other farming operations and see what new things are happening in other regions.
After stepping down as Regional Director, Mark has offered to aid anyone interested in filling the position, though he feels his help will not be necessary as the provincial SCIA offers great support and training.
The position requires the director to act as a liaison between the region and the province. This is achieved through monitoring emails, attending monthly conference calls, attending the local AGM and providing a provincial report at that meeting. Attending the Provincial AGM and the Summer meeting is also required. While this is an unpaid position, the conference calls, all travel and accommodation are covered expenses.
Quinte Region is thankful to Mark for all his contributions as Regional Director!