Organic Connections

Organic Connections

Organic Connections

Organic Connections

Organic Connections

Organic Connections

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About Us

Misson

Our Mission

To organize conferences and trade shows for the prairie organic industry and to facilitate activities that enhance and promote the organic sector through education and awareness.

Vision2

Our Vision

A vibrant connected organic community from the producer to the consumer.

Organic Connections is a non-profit organization established to organize conferences and trade shows
for the prairie organic industry. We celebrate organic food and farmers through activities that connect and
educate at every level from the farm through to the consumer.

Board of Directors

Marla Carlson

Marla Carlson BA, BSc

President

Marla Carlson has worked in the organic sector in Saskatchewan since 2006 and has been eating organic food for longer than she wishes to admit!  Her passion for organic food and farming has grown as her involvement in the sector deepened.  Marla’s day job is with SaskOrganics’ as their Executive Director.  In this leadership role, she is always looking for innovative ways to fulfil the organizations mission to cultivate a healthier world for the benefit of all through organic food and agriculture.  Marla’s favourite project to help further this vision, hands down, is Abundance magazine, a quarterly opportunity to tell the good story organics has to tell in Saskatchewan, from seed to fork.

Marla is also Secretary to the Prairie Organic Development Fund and is an observer on the Organic Value Chain Roundtable.  She also serves as a director on two food related community initiatives in Regina – Every Bite Project and Food Regina.  Marla has been a director with Organic Connections since 2011 and President since 2015.

Jennifer Bromm

Jennifer Bromm

Vice-President

As the daughter of an organic farmer I spent a big part of my childhood on a tractor or in a grain truck. After leaving home I completed a degree in Environmental Sciences and struggled to find work that was meaningful to me. In 2005 I secured a job with Brenda Frick at the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada doing organic research. It was during my time with Brenda that I first became a part of the Organic Connections board. I took a break from working in 2007 after having my first child. It wasn’t until 2012 that I rejoined the work force as a client services representative for Ecocert and now a mother of 2 children. Shortly after starting back to work I was asked to sit on the board for Organic Connections. I enjoy all the work I do for organics in Saskatchewan and I am very thankful for the organic childhood I was provided on our family farm. It really influenced me to become the person I am now.

Janet Galarneau

Janet Galarneau

Secretary/Treasurer

Janet Galarneau is passionate about everything organic. Together with her husband, they manage an organic farm operation. She has worked in the agriculture industry for over 25 years. With an accounting background, she started off becoming involved in the agriculture industry working at an agriculture lender. As of now, Janet works at Prairie Heritage Seeds as the Organic Liaison Officer. Prairie Heritage Seeds is a Canadian family run business, promoting the benefits of organic food and agriculture for the last four decades. Prairie Heritage Seeds has a state of the art processing facility, offers logistics and quality assurance with their lab. Supplying grain for the domestic and international market place, Prairie Heritage Seeds main commodity is Kamut®.  The company also supplies lentils, flax, peas, and feed grains. Janet sits on a few boards the Prairie Organic Development Fund for the Prairie’s and Organic Connections.

Arnold Taylor

Arnold Taylor

Director

I was born and raised on a farm east of Kenaston Saskatchewan. We started farming conventionally in 1972. We have an organic grain and beef operation since 1992 with our son, his wife and family. I have been involved with the organic industry in the following Capacities:

  • Former National President of Canadian Organic Growers
  • Past President of Saskatchewan Organic Directorate
  • Chair of SOD/Organic Agriculture Protection Fund
  • Former Saskatchewan Representative on Organic Federation of Canada
  • Former Vice President of the Organic Federation of Canada
  • Voting member of the C.G.S.B. Expert Committee on Organic Agriculture
  • On the SOD Food Miles Committee
  • Founding Board member of Organic Connections Conference
  • Twice Past President of the Kenaston Lions Club
Denis Brodner

Denis Brodner

Director

Denis and Vonnie live in the Dysart area near where Denis grew up on a mixed farm.  They have three grown children and one granddaughter.

Since purchasing the farm in 1974 Denis has managed it organically.  It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s when we first certified the land as organic.  After working in the retail industry for 23 years he decided to further his education and took Inspector training through the distance education course at the Assiniboine College.  Since 2000 he has been an Independent Organic Inspector inspecting throughout Canada for a number of Certifying bodies.     

During his years involved in the organic industry, Denis has served on various organic boards including Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, OCIA, and is currently on the OCIA Research and Education Board.

Denis always looks forward to seeing every one at the Organic Connections Conference.

Lisa Mumm

Lisa Mumm

Director

Lisa Mumm was raised on her family’s organic seed and sheep farm, and is a fourth generation farmer. She is passionate about everything organic, from seeds and soil to education and awareness. Together with her parents, Jim & Maggie Mumm, she runs the family farm and business, Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds. When Lisa isn’t growing seed in the field, selling seed from the office, or sprouting seed into sprouts and microgreens, she loves gardening, and wild harvesting, and spending time with her horses.

She works with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network in its efforts to stop GM Alfalfa, and is a member of the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund Committee of SaskOrganics. Lisa is also a member of the Organic Value Chain Roundtable, serves on the board of the Canada Organic Trade Association, and sits on the Plant Breeder’s Rights Advisory Committee. She has served on the Organic Connections board since 2012, and loves helping to put on fun, educational, and inspiring events.

mark gimby

Mark Gimby

Director

Mark Gimby was raised on a mixed farm at Marsden, SK. He graduated from the School of Agriculture, U of S., in 1977 and began work at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) in 1978 as a technologist. Mark worked on projects that looked at energy use on organic farms and the viability of organic agriculture techniques.
In 1989 Mark went was licensed by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) as an organic inspector.
He headed the Development of the Organic Producers Information Service (OPIS) which included a data base and a newsletter aimed at linking producers with International buyers.
Mark worked with Indigenous groups in Central America with CUSO & CIDA to help develop markets for the crops they produced.
Mark left the SRC in 1980 and joined Growers International Organic Sales, Inc., the largest exporter of organic grains in Canada. Mark is the exclusive grain buyer for the company.
Mark has contributed greatly to the growth of the organic sector on the Prairies and has sat on many boards and committees. He is a founding Board member of Organic Connections.

Wend Ziehl

Wendy Ziehl

Director

Wendy joined Organic Connection’s board in 2016. Her and her husband have been actively farming organically since 2004. She has also been organic inspector for nearly 15 years. Wendy completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (with Honours) in 1995 and a Master of Science in 2000, both at the University of Saskatchewan. After completing these degrees, Wendy worked for several research groups including the Native Fruit Development Program and the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. She managed a variety of value-added research projects for innovative Saskatchewan companies, working with cereal grains and specialty crops. Teaching has also been Wendy’s passion having been a sessional lecturer for the University of Regina and instructing laboratories at the University of Saskatchewan. As a producer, educator, and inspector Wendy has enjoyed promoting the organic industry. She looks forward to continued involvement with Organic Connections as the organic industry evolves.

Advisors

Marion McBride

Marion McBride

Advisor

Marion with her husband Ray, have farmed at Moosomin since 1991 where they own a third generation farm. Since being involved in agriculture and organics in particular, Marion has served in a variety of capacities on Boards, Committees and Task Forces in addition to various positions promoting and supporting the organic industry after she retired in 2009 from working in Regina Public Schools as an Educational Assistant for 19 years.

She is currently an independent auditor for Agricultural Justice Project (AJP) and she is a member of the Organic Value Chain Round Table (OVCRT) and Grains Round Table (GRT). Since 2010 Marion has held the position of Municipal Rep for Moosomin RM for the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and works on 3 Committees there in addition to having been involved in mentoring for APAS for two years and for TransCanada Organic Certification Services (TCO) last year where Marion had been Past President and Chair.

McBrides have four grown children and four grandchildren. Past positions of note for Marion are Media Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate where she helped to create Dining with the Stars, a 13 part television series, a half time position with Farmer Direct and the Event Coordinator for Organic Connections from 2011- 2015.

Dunling Wang

Dunling Wang, PhD, PAg

Advisor

Dunling is the Provincial Specialist, Alternative Cropping Systems and works at the Crops and Irrigation Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture in Regina. His major responsibility is to provide advice and technical supports to alternative cropping systems, particularly, the growth of organic agriculture in Saskatchewan. His expertise includes soil fertility management, crop rotation, and organic crop production.

Dunling was raised in China. He obtained his BSc degree in soil science from Nanjing Agricultural University, and received his MSc and PhD from Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Previously, Dunling worked as a research program manager at the Research Branch and managed the research work in areas of soil, environment, horticulture and alternative crops. Before that, Dunling was a research scientist at the National Research Council Canada, where he led a water research group to study water treatment and quality monitoring in municipal infrastructures, including drinking water distribution systems, storm water retention ponds and wastewater treatment facilities.

Trina Waronek

Trina Waronek

Advisor

Trina and her husband Troy have an organic grain farm at Rockglen, SK. She grew up in the area and attended the University of Saskatchewan receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree and the University of Regina where she received a Bachelor of Education degree. Trina lived and taught school in northern Alberta for two years, she and Troy then returned to Rockglen to farm and decide organics was the best choice for them. They very much enjoy the farm lifestyle and see many exciting possibilities in organic farming. Trina is a substitute teacher which enables her to spend more time at home with her three young children. This is Trina’s third year on the Board of Directors you can meet her at the Organic Connections Booth.

Staff

Carla Borsa

Carla Borsa, PAg

Event Coordinator

Carla has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. She serves on the Agribition Board of Directors and has chaired the Education, 4-H and Scholarship areas, currently she is chairing the livestock file. As a past 4-H member she enjoys giving back to the program through judging and volunteering.

Carla has a complementary part time contract with the Saskatchewan Young Ag Entrepreneurs as their General Manager. Carla also has her own company - Prairie Ag Business Management specializing in project, event and administrative management services in the agriculture industry. She resides near Waldheim, SK where her and her husband have a small herd of cattle. Carla looks forward to planning the 2018 Organic Connections Conference and Tradeshow.

Nadine Collison

Nadine Collison

Development and Communications Coordinator

Nadine started her career working for environmental nonprofits, as her passion grew, it became the focus of her Masters of Environmental Studies as she concentrated on Nonprofit Management and Community Involvement. She has worked with many nonprofits and has a lot of experience working with large events and volunteers. In her previous position, she was the Executive Director of the Compost Education Centre where they taught children and adults how to compost and grow their own organic food in urban settings. In 2015, her family was posted to Moose Jaw, and she was able to learn about the prairies and meet the amazing organic farmers that have made the land their home for generations. This will be Nadine’s second conference with Organic Connections, as she served as the Event Coordinator for the 2016 conference. She is thrilled to continue working with Organic Connections for another conference, even after moving back to Victoria, BC. She loves to spend her time with her family shopping at farmers’ markets, creating delectable dishes her kids probably won’t eat anyhow, and enjoying the outdoors with her two small children.