Our Food Future going beneath the surface in webinar on regenerative agriculture

Webinar runs from 1 to 3pm on March 4

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future program, funded by the federal government, is hosting a free webinar focusing on regenerative agriculture.

County Smart Cities Project Manager Justine Dainard, who oversees local Our Food Future programming, said the webinar will mark the first convening around soil health in Wellington, kicking off the program’s on-farm Experimental Acres Farm Pilot.

Dainard said the pilot will help local farmers dabble in regenerative farming practices on a small scale and provide information and know-how to scale practices.

Running from 1 to 3pm on March 4, the webinar will include agricultural pros and the less experienced, exchanging knowledge on soil health to support new pilot participants, farmers and the wider public interested in regenerative agriculture practises.

The first panel, including Gary Zimmer of Midwestern BioAg, Jonathan Zettler of Fieldwalker Agronomy, and Janet Harrop of Harrcroft Acres will discuss growing herds from the ground up.

Harrop, who is also the president of Wellington Federation of Agriculture, said the ground at Harrcroft Acres forms the foundation of the business.

Around 14,000 glasses of milk per day are produced from 120 Holsteins at the farm, and the 350 acres of alfalfa, corn, soybean and wheat grown on the land to feed the herd, are reliant on healthy soils.

Keeping those soils healthy is a big focus at the farm, where what’s grown on the land eventually ends up back on it in the form of fertilizer byproduct from the cows — a full circle Harrop says grows the healthiest soils.

A second panel, moderated by Mel Luymes of Headlands Ag-Enviro-Solutions, will feature Experimental Acres participants from Wellington and Dufferin counties.

Concluding the webinar, Canadian Senator Rob Black will talk on his advocacy in the Senate for better soil health.

“I’m delighted to see the Our Food Future team expanding their work to include such webinars that touch on soil health,” Black said in an emailed statement, adding that the health of Canadian soils requires a collaborative approach across the nation.

“It’s clear that soil health will play an integral role in Canada’s future.”

To register, visit: https://onlineforms.wellington.ca/Economic-Development/Wellington-Soil-Webinar-2022.