About the Program
The Mackenzie County Organic Success Program is a two-year, $330,000 program led by Organic Alberta, in partnership with the Mackenzie Applied Research Association. It is funded through the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) Program, supported by the Mackenzie County Council and the Regional Economic Development Initiative for Northwestern Alberta, and is sponsored by companies involved in the organic agriculture sector. The program, which started November 1, 2017, was originally scheduled to end October 31, 2019, but was extended until November 20, 2020.
The goal of the program is to support local agricultural and agri-food entrepreneurs as they diversify their production by pursuing and organic operation. The Mackenzie County region is home to over half of the organic producers in Alberta.
The Mackenzie County Organic Success Program will increase the support offered to the farmers in this isolated part of the province by hiring an agrologist/consultant who will, among other deliverable, provide on farm agronomic and business advice/consultations.
Also part of the Program is a needs analysis of the region and the development and implementation of a learning program aimed at two cohorts of producers – those in transition and new to organic growing, and those who are experienced organic growers. Each cohort will go through a separate incremental learning program introducing them to key organic business and agronomy best practices. The learning program will be delivered via an annual conference, field days, farm clubs and workshops.
The Mackenzie County Organic Success Program also includes research trials that will enhance knowledge around best practices in organic production in the region, and a trade and marketing component.