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Organic HeroesCelebrating the Organic Sector on the Prairies

Organic Farmer and On-Farm Researcher

Honoured at Organic Connections 2010

Kirby was passionate about organic farming and enthusiastic about research, especially on-farm research. He championed the idea of researchers and farmers working together to solve local problems. Kirby developed a demonstration project to look at possible green manures and termination options and quickly saw possibilities such as the benefits of grazing forage legumes used as a green manure. As a member of the OCIA International Research and Education Board for several years, he was instrumental in developing the Outstanding Organic Farmer of the Year program to honour individuals and to promote exemplary farming practices around the world.

Pioneer Organic Processors

Honoured at Organic Connections 2010

Jim and Maggie have been farming organically since the 1970s. Their farm is located near Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, and the warehouse is a few miles away in the village of Parkside.
 
Jim & Maggie started farming, by "going back to the land" in the mid 1970's. They had milk cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, honey bees, leafcutter bees, and a big garden. Almost everything they consumed was grown on their farm. One of the main field crops they grew on their small organic farm was alfalfa seed, which they started to sell for sprouting seed. Jim & Maggie have always been very experimental farmers, and soon they were trying unusual seed crops like broccoli raab, arugula, daikon radish, and fenugreek, and so they were able to diversify their sprouting seed line.
 
Their little sprouting seed business kept growing and growing and by the mid 1990's they had hired full-time staff to help. In 2000 they moved their sprouting seeds and office from the farm to an old curling rink in the nearby town of Parkside and 5 years ago added a warehouse expansion that more than doubled their capacity. They now have been selling high quality certified organic sprouting seed for almost 40 years, have 21 staff and sell enough seed in a year to grow over 3 million kilograms (26 million servings) of fresh organic sprouts!

Organic Standards and Regulation Pioneer

Honoured at Organic Connections 2010

Organic ResearcherMartin Entz

Honoured at Organic Connections 2012

For over 30 years, Dr. Martin Entz has been contributing valuable research to improve organic farming systems.  Dr. Entz is a highly regarded researcher at the University of Manitoba who actively studies organic cropping systems, including crop rotational benefits, green manure termination methods and timing, intercropping and long term organic versus conventional production systems. He is the founder of the Natural Systems Agriculture at the University of Manitoba, which explores cropping systems based on processes found in nature-specifically the natural grassland ecosystem of prairie Canada.