Programs, Grants & Awards
Andrew and Jennifer Lovell of Keswick Ridge, N.B. and Dominic Drapeau and Célia Neault of Ste-Françoise-de-Lotbinière, Que. have been named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2016. The two farm families were chosen from seven regional farm couples across Canada between the ages of 18 and 39 at Outstanding Young Farmer’s (OYF) national event last week in Niagara Falls, Ont.

“It was extremely difficult for the judges to make their decision, but ultimately our winners stood out for their state-of-the art thinking and commitment to the future of Canadian agriculture,” says OYF President Luanne Lynn.

Although the Lovell’s didn’t grow up on a farm, four years ago they purchased River View Orchards (with roots tracing back to 1784), and created a diversified u-pick farm market operation. Although they suffered $100,000 in damage in 2014, they adapted their plans until they were able to begin full production again. Fence and trellis construction services and building attractions brought over 1,400 visitors to their farm.

Drapeau and Neault are third-generation dairy and field crop farmers. When Drapeau was 16, he was performing artificial insemination on cows and developed his management skills by taking over the herd and feeding responsibilities. In the barn, Drapeau and Neault use genomic testing on young animals, motion detectors for reproduction, a smart scale on the mixer-feeder and temperature probes close to calving. In the fields, the farm uses a satellite navigation system for levelling, draining, seeding, fertilizing and spraying. With these technological innovations over the last four years, they have enabled the farm to increase overall yields by five to 10 per cent each year.

For more information on Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s program, visit

Published in Corporate News

The Canadian Weed Science Society (CWSS) recently honoured several individuals for their extraordinary contributions to the field of weed science. The awards were presented during the organization’s 70th annual meeting, held this year in Moncton, N.B.

Fellow Award (sponsored by CWSS)
CWSS presented the Fellow Award – its highest recognition – to Eric Johnson, who was until recently a researcher employed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Scott, Sask. Johnson now works at the University of Saskatchewan. He is recognized internationally for his research on weed management, including his work on mechanical and chemical weed control. He is also active in the areas of organic production systems and cropping systems/agronomy. Johnson has been an author or coauthor on more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, seven book chapters, and multiple conference proceedings. He has maintained an active collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan where has taught a pesticides course, given more than 30 guest lectures, and has served on the supervisory committees of several MSc students. He has also served in various capacities within the CWSS/SCM, including as a board member for over 10 years, and as president in 2015. 

Excellence in Weed Science Award (sponsored by Dow AgroSciences)
CWSS honored Dr. Robert Gulden, an associate professor with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Gulden's research focuses on weed biology and management. Dr. Gulden has served on the board of directors for CWSS/SCM and currently serves as an associate editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science. Gulden has published more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts, several monographs and book chapters, and supervised or co-supervised nine graduate students. In addition, he has received multiple awards for teaching excellence at the University of Manitoba.

Excellence in Weed Extension Award (sponsored by Valent)
CWSS honored Dr. Peter Sikkema, who has been involved in applied weed research and extension in field crops for the past 20 years at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. Sikkema has published more than 250 manuscripts in various national and international peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has presented more than 450 oral extension presentations in the province of Ontario, more than 50 extension poster presentations, written more than 70 popular extension articles, conducted more than 325 extension/research tours of weed management plots and has obtained more than 137 minor-use registrations through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. He has also served in various capacities within the CWSS/SCM, including as president in 2011.

Outstanding Industry Member Award (sponsored by CWSS)
CWSS honored Al McFadden, research scientist with Dow AgroSciences, based in Guelph, Canada. McFadden has a strong track record of interaction with CWSS, CropLife Canada, and the Ontario Weed Committee (OWC), through various presentations at various scientific meetings. Al has served as the industry representative on the CWSS Board of Directors, the Ontario Provincial Council Chair of the Technical and Education and National Biology sub-committees of CropLife Canada, and was the industry representative for the Ontario Weed Committee. In addition to the various presentations he has given at various scientific society meetings, his name appears in peer-reviewed journal manuscripts based on his willingness to involve himself in graduate student training.

Presidential Award (sponsored by CWSS)
CWSS honored Dr. Rory Degenhardt, research scientist with Dow AgroSciences, based in Edmonton. His primary responsibilities are as biology team leader for Canadian Cereal Herbicides. Degenhardt has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts, and has served as principal biologist for discovery of herbicides such as Arylex, as well as for nitrogen stabilizers. He has a strong track record of interaction with CWSS since becoming a member in 2002, including his most recent appointment as local arrangements chair for the CWSS annual meeting held in Edmonton in 2015. Degenhardt played a key role in the co-ordination of this meeting, and his strong leadership abilities were a tremendous asset to the society and to the local arrangements committee. He remains an active member of the CWSS. 

Student Scholarships and Travel Awards

Travel Award for PhD student (sponsored by Monsanto) was presented to Charles Geddes from the University of Manitoba. Geddes' research covers optimization methods in canola to reduce populations of volunteer canola in subsequent soybean crops. He works under the direction of Dr. Rob Gulden.

Travel Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by Monsanto) was presented to Moria Petruic from the University of Saskatchewan. Petruic's work focuses on expanding weed management options in flax. She works under the direction of Dr. Christian Willenborg.

Travel Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by Syngenta) was presented to Felix Marsan-Pelletier from Laval University. Marsan-Pelletier’s work focuses on herbicide resistance in wild oat and common ragweed. He works under the direction of Dr. Anne Vanasse.

Travel Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by Dow AgroSciences) was presented to Taiga Cholette from the University of Guelph. Ms. Cholette's work focuses on the interaction between cover crops and herbicides. She works under the direction of Dr. Peter Sikkema and Dr. Darren Robinson.

Travel Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by CWSS) was presented to Meghan Grguric from the University of Guelph. Grguric’s work focuses on management of giant hogweed in Ontario. She works under the direction of Dr. Francois Tardif and Mike Cowbrough.

Travel Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by CWSS) was presented to Mike Schryver from the University of Guelph. Schryver's work focuses on the distribution and control of glyphosate-resistant waterhemp. He works under the direction of Dr. Peter Sikkema and Dr. Darren Robinson.

Published in Corporate News
Seven winners of the DuPont Pioneer Seed for a Season will each receive up to $25,000 in Pioneer brand products through the Seed for a Season contest that is aimed at providing opportunities to its customers to improve the profitability of their operations.

A complete list of the Early Bird winners follows:




Lloyd Frey, Frey Farms Inc.



Ralph Haverkamp



Paul Pearson, Pearson Farms



Todd Rhodes, Robert Rhodes Farms Inc.



Roger Brisson, Ferme BRG Inc.



Ferme Guillaume Tell.



Donald Laroche, Ferme Telefils Inc.



To enter the Seed for a Season contest, purchase any Pioneer brand corn or soybean product to be automatically entered for a chance to win one of many grand prizes. Double entries are earned with the purchase of DuPont Lumivia insecticide seed treatment. A total of 13 more prizes are available to be won. Three more draws will take place on Dec. 9, 2016, Feb. 3, and March 24, 2017.

Published in Corporate News
CN and 4-H Canada have announced the 2016 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.) recipients, four exceptional senior youth members from across Canada who exemplify leadership excellence and academic achievement. 

This scholarship recognizes four community leaders each year, outstanding 4-H’ers who epitomize 4-H youth empowerment, and who demonstrate personal and community impact, and leadership excellence in each of 4-H Canada’s four Leadership Development Pillars. The 2016 4-H Canada L.E.A.D. recipients are: 

Community engagement and communications L.E.A.D. recipient: Joshua Power (NL) 

Science and technology L.E.A.D. recipient: Erinn Jones (AB) 

Environment and healthy living L.E.A.D. recipient: Eveline Juce (MB) 

Sustainable agriculture and food security L.E.A.D. recipient: Jessica Mayes (MB) 

L.E.A.D. recipients each benefit from a $20,000 scholarship towards their four-year post-secondary studies. They are also matched with a high-impact mentor who plays a leadership role in their industry and community. This mentorship relationship is an important component of the award program and helps L.E.A.D. recipients as they forge their careers. 
Published in Corporate News

Nominations are now open for the title of Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmer. The Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) Program is a unique program designed to recognize farmers and farm couples who exemplify excellence in their profession. Any organization or any person can nominate a young farmer or couple for the regional recognition award as long as the nominee meets the following program eligibility requirements:

•    must be between the ages of 18 and 39,
•    must be farm operators, and
•    must derive a minimum of two-thirds of their income from farming.

Each region across the country holds an event where five or six nominees are judged on the following criteria: 

•    progress in agriculture career
•    extent of soil, water and energy conservation practices
•    crop and/or livestock production history
•    management practices, and
•    contribution to the well-being of the community, province and nation.

The Ontario Region OYF will be holding their next annual event in September 2017 in London, in conjunction with Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. The regional winners will represent Ontario at the annual national event where they compete to be named Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers. 

Nominations for the 2017 award are now being accepted by Dianna Forth, regional co-ordinator via email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it More information and nomination forms can be found on the website. Nominations close on January 15, 2017. 

Published in Business & Policy
Do you know someone who has made an extraordinary contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada?

Farm Management Canada is seeking to honour individuals or groups with the 2016 Wilson Loree Award. This award was established over fourteen years ago, to honour those that have made an extraordinary contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada.

FMC encourages the nomination of individuals or groups that
  • have made significant contributions in the area of business management regionally or nationally;
  • have demonstrated innovation in areas such as turning research into practical management tools, adapting best practices from other sectors to agriculture, and finding new ways to deliver training, information and resources to farm managers;
  • have served as a role model and a mentor to colleagues, partners and clients, inspiring them to achieve their full potential;
  • have demonstrated the ability to network and develop partnerships to include others in furthering the shared goals and vision of the agriculture industry.
Nominations are required by Oct. 14. FMC staff and board members are not eligible for the award. The winner will be revealed during the Agricultural Excellence Conference on Nov. 23. All are welcome to attend.

Visit for more information on the award and the conference.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 15, 2016 - 4-H Canada recently announced the launch of a new 4-H alumni program. The new initiative, dubbed Club 1913, is an online community for the more than 350,000 4-H alumni across Canada, who were at one time a youth member in Canada’s longest standing rural youth organization and who are looking to get back to their roots.
4-H Canada is encouraging alumni across Canada to register online at, the URL being an online hub for 4-H alumni who are interested in re-connecting and networking with other alumni, and finding unique opportunities at the local and national level, while celebrating their pride in being part of the 4-H Canada community.

“I often speak with individuals, both within agriculture community and beyond, who are excited to tell me about the profound and positive impact 4-H had in their lives,” says Donna Bridge, president of 4-H Canada’s board of directors. “For most, 4-H served as the foundation for their success, no matter how they define the word.”
Since 1913, 4-H Canada has been empowering young Canadians to become responsible, caring and contributing leaders who are passionate about making meaningful contributions to the world around them. Across Canada, 4-H alumni continue to use their heads, heart, hands and health to make a difference as community champions, Olympic athletes, industry leaders and politicians at every level of government.
Being a member of 4-H’s Club 1913 also represents an opportunity for 4-H alumni to help grow future generations of leaders, by volunteering, becoming mentors and engaging in knowledge and skills transfer opportunities with 4-H youth.

“Our wide network of 4-H alumni are proof that 4-H programming builds strong leaders, who are equipped with confidence, positive values, decision-making abilities and other invaluable skill sets,” says Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada. “In the Canadian economy, and in the Canadian agriculture sector, we see a growing demand for these skills, and our alumni can play an instrumental role in addressing these gaps. There is no greater time than now for 4-H.”

4-H alumni are encouraged to register today and share their stories of the positive impact 4-H Canada has had in their lives, using #4HClub1913.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 13, 2016 - The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has announced the new Soil Health Improvement Program (SHIP) for agricultural producers in the Lake Simcoe, Nottawasaga, and South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds.

With funding by Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund, SHIP offers financial support for implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) that improve soil health and reduce edge of field phosphorus loss.

SHIP, which has a similar structure to the Farmland Health Incentive Program, requires producers to complete an on-farm soil health assessment by working with a participating Certified Crop Advisor (CCA). Free of charge to producers, the Soil Health Check-Up and the Muck Soil Health Check-Up offer producers a unique opportunity to develop BMPs that are tailored to the specific needs of their operation.

“This isn’t a one-size-fits-all program," says Christine Schmalz, environmental program manager at OSCIA. "Through working one-on-one with a CCA, producers gain an in-depth understanding of their operation’s Soil Health Challenges and work to develop BMPs that will benefit their farm and the health of the greater watershed.”

The Soil Health Improvement Program offers up to 50 per cent cost-share to a maximum of $20,000 in funding to producers in the Lake Simcoe, Nottawasaga, and South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds who implement BMPs after completing a Soil Health or Muck Soil Health Check-Up. Eight BMPs are eligible for cost-share under SHIP: cover crops, crop nutrient plans, buffer strips, windbreaks and windstrips, equipment customization, erosion control structures, fragile land retirement, and water runoff management.

This program will begin accepting applications on Sept. 28, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. and funding will be allocated to eligible projects in the order in which applications are received. Producers interested in the program are encouraged to complete their Soil Health Check-Up in preparation. Program materials are now available online as well as a list of participating CCAs who are keen to complete Check-Ups in the eligible area.

For more information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and program deadlines visit the OSCIA website at  or contact OSCIA directly at 226-706-8671 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Published in Soil
Sept. 12, 2016 - Alberta Barley, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley), the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) and the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) have announced a commitment of over $2.4 million to the barley variety development program at the University of Saskatchewan's Crop Development Centre (CDC).

“Producers have played an important role in funding barley variety development,” says Dave Sefton, WGRF chair. “Since 1995 producers have invested almost $15 million into barley variety development through the Western Grains Research Foundation. Renewing our agreement with the CDC and having all of the prairie barley commissions and associations investing together is an important step to ensuring producers continue to get good value for their check-offs.”

CDC has released more than 70 malt, feed and food barley varieties since 1971, including Harrington, CDC Copeland and CDC Austenson. In the past five years alone, the program has released new malting varieties, including CDC Clear (2011), CDC Bow (2014), CDC Platinum Star (2014) and TR12135 (to be named CDC Fraser), in 2015.

We are extremely pleased to have the three provincial commissions joining WGRF in supporting barley breeding at the CDC, demonstrating continued producer support for research targeting improved yield, disease resistance, and malt quality,” adds Kofi Agblor, managing director of the CDC. “This funding provides stability to the program for maintaining long-term, highly qualified technical staff, as well as resources for marker development and use in the breeding program.”

Published in Cereals
Sept. 12, 2016 - Agriculture More Than Ever has launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging people in the agriculture industry to lend their voice to the food conversation in Canada.

“Be somebody-Be an agvocate” is a multi-faceted campaign that encourages everyone involved in the agriculture industry to be an agvocate by joining social media and having in-person conversations to shape people’s relationship with agriculture.

“Being an agvocate is about adding your voice to the food conversation in positive, engaging and relatable ways,” says Candace Hill, manager of Agriculture More Than Ever. “The campaign is about helping everyone involved in agriculture to connect with the public by sharing their story.”

Surveys continue to show that farmers are one of the most trusted voices when it comes to providing information about farming practices and food production, so it makes sense they be the face and voice for agriculture, according to Hill.

A recent survey by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity showed 93 per cent of consumers know little or nothing about Canadian farming practices, and a majority (60 per cent) of those respondents indicated they want to know more about farming practices.

“The campaign focuses on showing the real faces of people in agriculture with a strong call to action for everyone in the industry to get involved in the food conversation, no matter how big or small their contribution,” Hill says.

As part of the campaign, individuals who work in various sectors of agriculture submitted video clips of themselves reading a script encouraging others to get involved in telling the real story of Canadian agriculture. Those clips were compiled into a video.

“The video features people from across the country who have come together to add their voice to the food conversation,” Hill continues. “Everyone in agriculture is “somebody” and has a role to play. Watching and sharing the video is just one way individuals can get involved, but there are many ways for people to show their love, pride and passion for an industry.”

Agriculture More Than Ever has attracted over 470 partner organizations and 2,500 individuals committed to creating positive perceptions of agriculture. Launched more than four years ago, Agriculture More Than Ever’s goal is to encourage those involved in agriculture to speak up and speak positively about the industry.

To view the new Agriculture More Than Ever video and learn about other ways to participate, go to, or follow the conversation on Twitter @AgMoreThanEver
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 9, 2016 - Farm Management Canada (FMC) is seeking to honour individuals or groups with the 2015 Wilson Loree Award. 

The award was established over fourteen years ago, to honour those that have made an extraordinary contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada.

FMC encourages the nomination of individuals or groups that:
  • Have made significant contributions in the area of business management regionally or nationally;
  • Have demonstrated innovation in areas such as turning research into practical management tools, adapting best practices from other sectors to agriculture, and finding new ways to deliver training, information and resources to farm managers;
  • Have served as a role model and a mentor to colleagues, partners and clients, inspiring them to achieve their full potential;
  • Have demonstrated the ability to network and develop partnerships to include others in furthering the shared goals and vision of the agriculture industry
Nominations are required by Oct. 14, 2016. FMC staff and board members are not eligible for the award. The winner will be revealed during the Agricultural Excellence Conference on Wednesday Nov. 23rd.  All are welcome to attend.

Visit for more information on the award and conference.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 8, 2016 - The University of Guelph (UofG) has received $76.6 million from the federal government to start a “digital revolution” in food and agriculture.

The government is investing in UofG’s Food From Thought research project, which will use high-tech information systems to help produce enough food for a growing human population while sustaining Earth’s ecosystems.

The funding, announced by Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph, on behalf of Kirsty Duncan, minister of science, will come from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), which supports world-leading research at universities and colleges.

It’s the largest single federal research investment in UofG history.

“This will position Canada as a leader in sustainable food production,” says UofG president Franco Vaccarino, adding the project will help farmers produce more food on less land using fewer inputs.

“Our faculty, staff and students will have opportunities to participate in innovative discovery and to play a role in tackling one of the world’s greatest challenges: how to sustainably feed our growing population.”

“The University of Guelph has a long history of collaborating across Canada and globally to contribute to understanding complex challenges," Longfield adds. "The global food supply will require the University’s unique leadership skills that bring together agricultural expertise, big data, environmental science, business and civil society. Today’s funding announcement will give Canada a huge step forward to become a global leader in food.”

Food From Thought will create novel tools for producing more and safer food while also protecting the environment.

“It is not just how much food we produce but also the way we produce it that will be key in the next century,” says professor Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research), who is the institutional lead for Food From Thought and a plant genomicist in the department of molecular and cellular biology.

New technology and agricultural practices must enhance biodiversity, produce safe, nutritious food, and improve animal welfare and human health, he said.

U of G is well-placed to lead this project, Campbell says. “We are Canada’s food university, with a 150-year legacy in agri-food and a reputation for innovation and commitment. We also have the capacity, with world-class researchers and facilities, and strong partnerships with government and industry.”

Geography professor Evan Fraser, scientific director of Food From Thought and director of UofG’s Food Institute, said launching a digital revolution will require improved understanding of the complex interplay between farming practices, the genetic potential of our crops and livestock, and the environment.

“This is essential if we are to realize the potential offered by our emerging ability to collect vast amounts of data and to develop information management systems,” he said.

Food From Thought will bring together experts to generate and commercialize knowledge, and to inform agri-food policy-makers and practices from farm management to global conservation planning.

The initiative will offer new teaching and research opportunities, and will focus on training the next generation of agri-food leaders through fellowships and graduate student positions.

More than $1 million will be available for annual research awards and competitions intended to develop innovations for sustainable food systems.

Within Food From Thought, researchers will work on key scientific missions including:

Expanding use of DNA barcoding technology developed at U of G to identify food fraud, food-borne ailments and invasive pests, and to improve environmental impact assessments;
Using “big data” on farms to reduce pesticide use, monitor watershed health and identify crops suited to the effects of climate change; and
Using information management systems to help track emerging infectious disease threats to livestock and control pathogens in the food supply.
Food From Thought includes partnerships with academic institutions around the globe, numerous government agencies, and industry and innovation centres.

One key partner is IBM Canada, which will be involved in everything from research collaborations to cognitive and data analytics tools and training to secure cloud-based storage.

“IBM shares the scientific vision of Food From Thought: ensuring that we sustainably, resiliently and safely increase production while enhancing ecosystem services and livestock health and welfare using data-driven approaches,” said Sanjeev Gill, research executive at IBM Canada.

Food From Thought will be one of U of G’s largest and most inclusive research projects, spanning all seven colleges. It will be led by 10 principal investigatorsfrom across campus.

Today’s funding announcement was part of a $900-million competition lasting several months and involving a review panel of Canadian and international scientific experts. This is the second CFREF competition since 2014.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 8, 2016 - In this free, one-day commodity-specific workshop, an experienced veterinarian or certified crop advisor will show you the benefits of having an on-farm biosecurity program, and identify key practices, which will help you improve biosecurity on your farm.

The workshop is open to new and established producers, and is a requirement to apply to the Animal and Plant Health Focus Area, under the Growing Forward 2 cost-share program for producers.

Bee Biosecurity
Oct. 15      Chelmsford        10:00a.m. – 3:00p.m.
Nov. 17      Kanata              10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.

Beef Biosecurity
Oct. 25      Clinton              10:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.

Crop & Horticulture Biosecurity
Sept. 20      Leamington     1:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.
Oct. 28      Brodhagen       10:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.

Dairy Biosecurity
Oct. 14      Woodstock      10:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Oct. 19      Elora              10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.

Generic Livestock Biosecurity (beef, sheep, goat)
Sept. 14   Kars                6:30p.m. - 9:30p.m
Oct. 4      Brighton          6:30pm - 9:30p.m
Oct. 6      Powassan        10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m
Oct. 7      Verner            10:00a.m - 3:00p.m
Oct. 13    Casselman       10:00a.m - 3:00p.m *FRENCH
Nov. 1     Port Perry        6:30pm -9:30p.m
Nov. 1     Mount Forest    10:00a.m -3:00p.m
Nov. 2     Earlton             10:00a.m - 3:00p.m

Poultry Biosecurity
Oct. 27    Markdale  10:00a.m. - 3:00pm

To register, click here.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 7, 2016 - Dominic Drapeau and Célia Neault of Drapeau & Bélanger Farm have been selected as Quebec’s Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) for 2016. The winners were announced at the CentreExpo Cogeco in Drummondville, QC, on September 2.
Dominic and Célia are third generation dairy and field crop farmers who are not afraid to make changes and embrace new technology. Their 625 cows are milked three times per day and the results speak for themselves; in ten years, the herd average has increased significantly from 8,295 litres per cow per year to 11,136 litres.
“The Quebec OYF region received three amazing nominations this year,” says Michel Robert, Regional Chair for Quebec OYF. “All of the finalists had exceptional accomplishments and performance and the judges were faced with a difficult decision, but ultimately Dominic and Célia stood out as this year’s Outstanding Young Farmers.”
Raised in a farming family, Dominic got involved in the family business at a young age. When he was 16, he was performing artificial insemination on cows and developed his management skills by taking over the herd and feeding responsibilities. He met Célia, an ambitious woman working in marketing at the time, and together they started their family now comprised of four children.
In the barn they use genomic testing on young animals, motion detectors for reproduction, a smart scale on the mixer-feeder and temperature probes close to calving. In the fields, the farm uses a satellite navigation system for leveling, draining, seeding, fertilizing and spraying. With these innovations over the last four years, they have enabled the farm to increase overall yields by five to 10 per cent each year.
Dominic and Célia’s passion for agriculture gives them energy and they plan on quadrupling the capacity of the current buildings over the next 20 years. This passion for agriculture is balanced with family time, which includes dancing, soccer, hockey and family gatherings. The fourth generation of Drapeau & Bélanger Farm will be welcome when the time comes.
Celebrating 36 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2016 will be chosen at the National Event in Niagara Falls, Ontario from Nov. 29 – Dec. 4, 2016.
Published in Corporate News
September 7, 2016 - The University of Guelph Ridgetown Campuswill continue to offer the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) course for corn and soybeans free until April 30, 2017. The course is now required for anyone to buy and use neonicotinoid-treated corn or soybean seed.

The course covers corn and soybean pest identification, planting best management practices, the new regulatory requirements for Class 12 pesticides, and pollinator protection from neonicotinoid exposure. The course is taught by experienced instructors, many of whom are farmers.

“Everyone in my classes has learned a great deal from this course through the variety of learning activities we use to support the material covered in the manual," says Bryan Brodie, a course instructor. "That has furthered their understanding of the regulations relating to Class 12 pesticides.”

Courses can be taken as a half-day in-class program, or over two days online where participants enjoy the convenience of learning at their own pace. Upcoming course dates will be posted on Courses will be offered in English and French, both in-class across the province and online. To register, go to or call 1-866-225-9020.

For more information, contact:

Denise Lesy or Kirsty Moore
University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 1, 2016 - After one of the driest growing seasons on record, are you wondering what options there are to manage through anticipated future droughts? Water is the most limiting input into crop productivity and, as a result, impacts the use efficiency of all your other crop inputs.

Join other interested farmers and advisors on a tour of Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) installations for grain crop production. Tour three installations that show the potential of these systems to mitigate the impacts of dry weather on crop production.

What are the opportunities and obstacles that SDI systems might offer Ontario grain farmers, regardless of their soil types?

Come and explore with us and have an opportunity to see installations and speak with farmers and who have made this investment, and advisors who have answers to common questions:
  • Is it paying off?
  • How difficult is it to manage? How big is the installation job?
  • Where can I find resources and people who can advise me?
If you have any of these questions, join the tour on Sept. 7th in the Simcoe/Delhi area.

Arrive 1pm at Judge Farms (97 Windham Road 9, La Salette [42.892686, - 80.499290]), for the first part of the tour to view a row crop installation. At approximately 2:30pm, you will travel on your own to Vanden Bussche Irrigation in Delhi (about 20 minutes away), for more info and to view technical equipment. At about 4pm, we will board busses to travel to the final stop in the tour to view another farm installation and discuss farmer ingenuity approaches to SDI. The bus will return you to your vehicle at Vanden Bussche Irrigation by 4:45pm.

While there is no charge for this tour, due logistical constraints space is limited, so you must preregister to attend.

Registration and information can be found here or by calling 877-424-1300.
Published in Corporate News
August 25, 2016 - Time is running out to apply under Growing Forward 2 (GF2) for organizations and collaborations. The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) is seeking short-term, GF2 projects that fit the program criteria, as outlined in the GF2 Program Guide.
There are four remaining intake deadlines and tentative board review dates for the GF2 program:

Intake Deadline*                Tentative Board Review*
October 13, 2016                   December 6, 2016
December 13, 2016                February 2017
February 16, 2017                  April 2017
April 20, 2017                        June 2017
*dates are subject to change/cancellation (visit the AAC website for up-to-date intake deadlines and board meeting dates)
Contact a program coordinator to discuss your project ideas today. The time frame for completing GF2 projects will continue to shorten as the final board review date approaches. Projects cannot start incurring expenses until after the board review date, and must be completed by October 31, 2017.
If you have a project idea, AAC encourages you to submit a pre-proposal prior to completing the full application. Pre-proposals must be received at least ten days before an intake deadline if you would like a response for that intake.

Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists with the delivery of GF2 programming in Ontario.
Published in Corporate News
August 23, 2016 - Even when you do all the right things, there are no guarantees that everything will go as planned. That’s certainly been Tyler Vollmershausen’s experience in this tough cropping year.

The young Oxford County cash cropper and his family were named the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s (OSCIA) 2016 Soil Champion at the organization’s annual meeting this past February. The recognition is handed out annually for excellence in soil management.

They won the award for their strip tillage practices, implementation of Greenseeker technology for variable rate nitrogen application, and innovative use of cover crops on their operation near Innerkip. But despite all good intentions, Mother Nature is still in charge - and when there’s no rain, plans can change quickly.

“We only had small amounts of rain in May and June - one tenth to two tenths of an inch at a time mostly - which stunted the growth of our early edible beans,” says Tyler, adding that a crop-saving rain of an inch and a half finally fell on about two thirds of their crops during the last week of July.

In ideal conditions, Greenseeker uses sensors to detect where additional nitrogen should be applied to corn, but the Vollmershausens’ corn was so stressed and wrapped from drought this year that they weren’t able to use the technology for a variable rate nitrogen application. Instead, they opted for a very conservative flat rate application.

The lack of rain has also brought other challenges this year. Their corn stands suffered from considerable insect pressure in early May, and western bean cutworm problems in their corn and edible beans are the strongest they’ve seen. In fact, provincial insect experts will be coming to the farm in August, according to Tyler, a delegate with the Ontario Bean Growers, for some work to help establish edible bean thresholds for cutworm to help growers better manage the pest in their crops.

Although cover crops did nothing to alleviate extreme drought stress for the Vollmershausens this year, their biggest benefit actually comes when there is rain as they help the soil absorb and retain moisture. And by coincidence, the large rainfall at the end of July helped illustrate that benefit and validate the Vollmershausens’ cover cropping and strip tilling approach to soil management.

“A piece of one of our fields was plowed this spring for a Union Gas project, essentially destroying everything we’ve been doing with strip tillage and cover crops in bringing up weeds and creating a pan in the soil that impacts drainage,” explains Tyler. After the heavy downpour, the water hadn't yet drained from the plowed ground after two days, whereas a field a couple hundred meters down the road that had been strip tilled and cover cropped was nicely drained – and shows less weed pressure too.

The Vollmershausens preferred cover crop continues to be cereal rye as it grows well and is excellent at choking out weeds; they’ve had less success with ryegrass and oats. “Rye works well for us and we’re comfortable with it; it’s not an expensive cover crop,” says Tyler, adding that they’re now experimenting with thinner stands and using fewer seeds so the crop is easier to burn off in the spring.

Although Tyler is very active on social media and had previously done a bit of speaking about his soil management approaches, the Soil Champion award garnered him more speaking invitations this past winter than he’d ever had before, including being part of Farm & Food Care’s Soil Health Road Show. Sharing knowledge is something he enjoys and says is important for continued progress with cover crops and tillage strategies.

“Others are doing interseeding now too and I’m looking forward to seeing other growers’ results this year,” he says. “It’s better for success when people share their results and use a collaborative approach.”

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is accepting nominations for the 2017 Soil Champion Award until September 1, 2016. More details concerning eligibility and how to make a nomination are available here.
Published in Corporate News
August 23, 2016 - Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Inc. (CYSA) has unveiled its new website, which allows participants to easily register online. The bilingual site also showcases an extensive photo gallery that media will find useful to showcase their respective provinces' participants and winners post-competition as well as the CYSA promotional video.

Participants wishing to compete in CYSA 2016 are reminded that the deadline to register is September 30, 2016 at midnight.

The topics for 2016 are:

  • What is the impact of public opinion on Canadian farmers?
  • How would you explain a GMO to a non-farmer?
  • What does the next generation of agriculture bring to the table?
  • How can we improve the media's perception of Canadian agriculture?
  • Old MacDonald had a farm...but what about Mrs. MacDonald?
Each year the renowned public speaking competition is held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The competition is open to youth ages 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city.

CYSA is a national, bilingual competition that gives participants an opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agri-food industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech.  For more information about CYSA visit
Published in Corporate News
August 15, 2016 - The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is seeking a worthy receipient for the 201 "Soil Champion" award. Nominees must be residents of the province, and continually contribute to soil management in a way that directly influences improved soil health and crop production sustainability in Ontario.

Sustainable soil management practices may be defined as those that:

  • Make the most efficient use of nutrients
  • Support systems with no net loss of organic matter and soil aggregate ability
  • Build the population and diversity of soil organisms
  • Effectively manages surface water to support reduced tillage systems

Click here to retrieve a nomination form.

The deadline for all nominations and supporting documents is September 1, 2016.
Published in Corporate News

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