Optimizing Nitrogen Fertilizer Use in Western Canada

Thursday, February 22nd, 12-1 ET online webinar

Join Rigas Karamanos, PhD Soil Scientist from Alberta, for this free webinar on how economic and environmental goals can come together to reduce volatilization of urea-based fertilizers. Topics covered will include urease inhibitors, irrigation and how nitrogen Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEFs) fit within 4R Nutrient Stewardship. NOTE: This webinar offers CEUs for CCA/PAgs. This webinar is free for anyone but you do need to create a free account with the American Society of Agronomy to access the webinar link.

New Grazing Mentor Training

February 23rd, online

Interested in becoming a Mentor for the FaRM program? Join CFGA for this introduction to Advanced Grazing Systems mentorship opportunity. Deep dive into cell design and development of mentor-producer relations. If you missed day 1, you can still register for day 2.

Partner Event: OSCIA- Environmental Farm Plan Workshop

Nov - March - various options

Choose from several two-day, in-person workshops which offer the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable OSCIA staff to help assess your soils, walk you through the process, and learn about cost-share funding opportunities. This workshop also offers networking opportunities with fellow farmers.

Meet your Mentors

Jennifer Doelman

Cover Crop and Nitrogen Mentor - ON

Jennifer farms with her husband and children on their first-generation farm in Douglas, ON. They are beekeepers as well as grain and oilseed producers, growing a diverse crop rotation which includes corn, wheat, and soybeans as well as barley, canola, flax, oats, triticale, peas, forages and sunflowers. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Guelph, an independent Ontario Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) with a 4R Nutrient Management Specialty and an alumna of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP). Jennifer is heavily involved in local and provincial organizations that emphasize environmental stewardship, community, and agricultural development. Currently, she is a professor at the Algonquin College Agricultural Business Diploma Program and; serves in a supportive capacity to the Ontario Canola Growers, Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Soil Network, Renfrew County 4-H Association, Renfrew County Soil and Crop Improvement Association, the Renfrew County Agricultural Economic Development Committee, the Renfrew County Bonnechere River Watershed Project, the Upper Ottawa Valley Beekeepers Association.

Charlene Whattam

Nitrogen Mentor - ON

Charlene Whattam is a grains, oilseeds & goat farmer from Douglas, ON working alongside her family to leave the land better than they found it. Charlene uses technology and precision techniques to put nutrients where they need to be. They use crop rotation to maximize yields and keep their soils healthy and productive. Charlene has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

Patrick Verkley

Cover Crop Mentor - ON

Patrick Verkley raises broiler chickens and grows grain and oilseed crops in Middlesex County. In 2018 he bought a farm from his parents, built a broiler barn, and started raising chickens and field crops under a new operation, Kleijdale Farms. Patrick graduated with Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of Waterloo. Since returning home, Patrick has been focused on how to reimagine agriculture in a fiscally prudent yet compelling way. Patrick started an agricultural design firm, Verkley Design and Modelling, which works with farmers to help create farm buildings which elevate the importance of process, workflow, labour efficiency, as well as creating a design aesthetic which conveys the pride and dedication that farmers have to their work. Patrick also became a director on the board of the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture and sits on the Policy Advisory Committee of the OFA. On his own farm, Patrick designed his broiler barn to include natural light for the chickens. Patrick has also been experimenting with multi-species cropping methods such as relay wheat and soybeans, as well as 60” corn within season cover crops.

David Cousens

Cover Crop and Nitrogen Mentor - ON

David Cousens farms alongside his wife in Kinburn, ON. They produce corn, soybeans and wheat using reduced tillage and crop rotation. David utilizes soil tests and precision technology on their equipment as he believes that you can’t fix what you can’t measure.

Norm Lamothe

Cover Crop, Nitrogen, Rotational Grazing Mentor - ON

Norm Lamothe has been involved in the operation of Woodleigh Farms Ltd. which is a multi-generational family run business with a diverse set of offerings. These include maple syrup, a large vegetable market garden, greenhouse operation (plants, seedlings, perennials) as well as a diverse crop production including the harvest of firewood, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, straw and hay. Woodleigh Farms Ltd. is committed to ensuring that all environmental impacts are considered when making decisions in their operation, following organic and sustainable practices in their market garden, greenhouse, and maple syrup operations. In recent years the operation has shifted away from traditional methods of agriculture to what they feel are more sustainable practices including more diverse crop rotations, less commercial fertilizers, cover crops, managing inputs, no-till, and use of clean energies. At Woodleigh Farms Ltd. they are dedicated to soil health and ensuring both their owned and rented lands are in better shape than they received it for future generations.

Katrina McQuail

Advanced Grazing Systems - ON

Katrina McQuail, with assistance from her husband Ben and support from other family members, owns and operates Meeting Place Organic Farm. They raise certified organic pastured pigs, grass-fed cattle, meat chickens and laying hens. They farm with Suffolk-Punch draft horses, have a few quail, some ducks and an old apple orchard from which they make their apple butter. They also have a pet pig named Pickle. They are committed to experiential and practical education for prospective farmers. Katrina is excited to be raising animals and growing food, contributing to regenerative agriculture, providing more nutritious and local food for her community and creating less unnecessary plastic waste

Ken Laing

Cover Crop Mentor - ON

Ken Laing has farmed with his wife Martha near St.Thomas, Ontario since 1979 when he graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc in Agriculture. He has grown a wide variety of organic crops including strawberries, raspberries, vegetables and field crops. Cover crops have been used extensively for all their different purposes such as erosion control, weed control, preventing the loss of nutrients, fixing N etc. Our farm enterprises have included PYO, CSA, cash crops and custom grazing.

Need help connecting with a Mentor?

Let us know what province you are in and the topic you are interested in discussing and we will get you connected with a Mentor in your region who can help you implement your BMPs.

Ontario Calendar of Events

Are you interested in listing your upcoming event on the FaRM calendar?

If your event supports the same Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) as the FaRM program, we will happily promote it. Use the linked form to provide details.