Upcoming Prairie Organics: Think Whole Farm Conference and Trade Show in Brandon

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The second Prairie Organics Conference and Trade Show will reprise its successful 2016 format of pairing leading edge science with the best organic farmers in Canada. With 26,000 square feet of exhibit space, the free trade show features its own Ag Innovation Stage, the largest organic trade show in western Canada and free customized meetings for buyers and growers of organic grain. Below are some of the highlights from the conference stream.

Gillian Flies and Brent Preston Building a Profitable Organic Vegetable Enterprise Brent and Gillian share valuable lessons learned the hard way over a decade spent building their Ontario organic market garden into a profitable and environmentally viable farm enterprise. These lessons are detailed in Brent’s new book The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution published by Random House in 2016.

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren Putting the Diversity back into Organic Jonathan Lundgren is an insect ecologist from South Dakota. Jonathan’s talk will help farmers to better understand the role of insects in ecosystem functioning and how they can benefit the Whole Farm.

Jay Fuhrer What’s on your Landscape? Jay is a Conservationist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bismarck, North Dakota. He will cover foundation principles to restore and maintain life in the soil, including resource concerns such as erosion, salinity, plant and animal diversity, carbon and water quality.

Ian Cushon, Loic Dewavrin and Steven Snider Producer Panel: Managing Perennial Weeds Long time organic producers from Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta will share what they have learned over the years about how to manage perennial weeds in an organic farming system.

Dr. Martin Entz and Ryan Boyd Integrating Crops and Livestock for Optimal Production Martin is one of Canada’s leading researchers with an organic and natural systems focus. He runs Canada’s longest running organic-conventional cropping system trial. Ryan is a young farmer from Rapid City, Manitoba who is putting leading edge thinking on crop-livestock integration into action.

The conference and trade show will take place in the Keystone Centre in Brandon. Visit www.prairieorganics.org for the complete program and to register.