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Organic HeroesCelebrating the Organic Sector on the Prairies

alfred-galarneau-s

Organic Pioneer

Honoured at Organic Connections 2008

Alfred Galarneau of Radville Saskatchewan has farmed chemical free for 30 years. In the early 1980’s he marketed his first load of grain to a premium market. Alfred began looking for reliable independent 3rd party certification that would assure his customers that his product was everything he said it was. Alfred was pivotal in forming the first Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) chapter in Western Canada to meet this need. By the late 1980's, Alfred and his family built a cleaning plant and began working with other farmers to meet the growing consumer demand. They eventually installed a full cleaning line so they were able to offer mill-ready grain. By the mid 1990's, they formed Prairie Heritage Seeds. Today the company markets grain from more than 50,000 acres, and Alfred remains an integral part of the operation.

stewart-brandt-s

Organic Researcher

Honoured at Organic Connections 2008

Stu Brandt initiated the Alternate Cropping System study, a long term rotation study including three organic rotations in 1994, long before studying organic systems was a safe career move.  Organic farmers were consulted on approach and methods for the organic system. Meaningful organic rotations were established, and a variety of organic techniques were incorporated in a flexible management system. Stu applied a truly innovative approach, considering organics not simply as the absence of specific treatments, but as a whole system. The ACS has helped to develop expertise in organic among the research community and provided a focal point for communication between organic farmers and researchers. He has been a valued mentor in the scientific community, and valued resource in the organic community.

 

Organic ConsumerJoan Harrison

Honoured at Organic Connections 2008

Joan Harrison came into organics as a consumer in the 70's. She worked with others to create organic food co-ops first for Magpie and then Steephill. She was actively involved in the groups that eventually evolved into the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD), served as a SOD board member and secretary and volunteered her services with the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund, and the Organic Product Information Service, with Synergy magazine and the SOD newsletter. Joan served on the Organic Connections board for each of the conferences in 2004, 2006 and 2008, helping to source organic food, developing a sessions on composting, and highlighting the consumer farmer connection. Joan has given of herself to better the organic community. Her work is valued and her efforts respected.

Organic Pioneer CommunicatorPaul Hanley

Honoured at Organic Connections 2006

Paul was the founder of Earthcare, a dynamic discussion group interested in organic and biodynamic agriculture. This organization evolved into Earthcare Connections in 1998. Paul also organized a series of ‘alternate’ agriculture conferences in conjunction with the University of Regina’s Extension Division, Sask. Agriculture and other organizations. In 1980 Paul edited Earthcare: Ecological Agriculture in Saskatchewan. This was the first book published that addressed organic agricultural production on the Canadian prairies. It combined scientific research, farm profiles and anecdotal information. From the establishment of an information centre in Wynyard in 1978 to his work with EarthCare, Paul has been one of the key sources of Organic information for this province.