Sustainable Grain is excited to offer a brand new educational opportunity this winter. “AgroEcology and the Economics of Organics” is a course in knowledge-based field crop management for advanced farms and business agronomists. The inaugural event will be held in Winnipeg, February 11-12, 2019.
Topics covered relate to the business opportunity for conventional farms to move into the organic space, starting with the macro-economic setup for western Canadian acres, which are strategically very well-located to fill the growing gap in North American and global organic food crop demand. Critical to managing the transition and long-term sustainability is the agronomy.
Sustainable Grain is partnering with Joel Williams of Integrated Soils to deliver the latest knowledge in revitalizing soil biology, soil chemistry and plant management techniques. Joel Williams is an independent plant and soil health educator. Joel studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in Australia specialising in plant and soil dynamics and he has a particular interest in managing soil microbial ecology along with crop & soil nutrition to optimise plant immunity, soil function and soil carbon sequestration. More recently he’s been working with both conventional and organic farming systems integrating soil chemical & biological assessments, along with plant nutritional analyses as a joined-up strategy for managing crop production. He has been fortunate enough to educate farming audiences in Australia, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Latvia, South Africa, Kenya, Canada and the US.
Brenda Tjaden has spent her career helping western Canadian farms respond to emerging profit opportunities in growing and marketing their crops. In the process of founding Sustainable Grain, Brenda spent 3 years researching the organic value chain, it’s opportunities and vulnerabilities. She has found and developed solutions for the standard roadblocks that may be encountered by organizations throughout the value chain in converting their businesses from conventional into regenerative organic. She will present the relevant facts around cropping choices, farm restructuring, market dynamics, policies and pricing structures in the organic sector. Sustainable Grain will also provide templates and support for course attendees to develop and execute long-term strategic plans for growth in the organic space.
This course will include workshops and panels as well as traditional lecture-based presentations. Pre-work is recommended and will be provided ahead of time. Post-workshop, there will be the option to join a formal, professionally-moderated peer group made up of like-minded individuals designed to provide continuous, independent business support and networking.
Key Learnings and Take-aways: