& Trade Show 

2014 Soil and Weed Workshop

On Thursday, November 6, please join us for a Soil and Weed Workshop.  The morning will be devoted to discussions about the latest research, our best understandings and treatments of SOIL as it relates to organic agriculture.  The afternoon will be filled with the latest research, experiences and methods dealing with WEEDS.

Our passionate presenters will share their wisdom and answer your questions as we enjoy a day devoted to in depth presentations on these two subjects.  There will be an overview or summary of some of the material shared in the workshops at the conference but many farmers may find that they want the depth a full workshop on these topics provides.

Workshop Program

9:00 a.m. Coffee and Registration    
9:30 a.m.  SOIL Workshop
Presenters: Dr. Andy Hammermeister, Dr. Myriam Fernandez, Dr. Brian McConkey, Wallace Hamm, M.Sc., P.Ag.
12 noon  Organic Lunch    
1:00 p.m.

WEEDS Workshop
Presenters: Dr. Steve Shirtliffe and Dr. Brenda Frick


Many other experts are likely to join the sessions as they find these subjects fascinating!

Cost: $175.00 as a stand-alone event or
  $100.00 added to the following 2 day conference.


Venue:     CONEXUS Arts Centre (Conference Venue)

The Soil & Weeds Workshop may be enjoyed as a stand-alone event or it may be combined with your full Conference package. 

Register for Workshop and Conference

Andy-HammermeisterAndy Hammermeister

Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada

Presentation Topic

The soil is trodden upon, tilled, and excavated as part of our daily lives yet very few understand what soil is and where it comes from. How did soil come to be? What factors shaped the formation of the soil giving it the characteristics it has? Why do different soils have different properties? By understanding how soils form, and their inherent properties, we can better manage the soil in sustainable fashion.


Dr. Andy Hammermeister is the Director of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Andy grew up on a mixed beef and grain farm in southeast Saskatchewan. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a specialization in Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan. He completed his Master’s degree in land reclamation and PhD in Applied Ecology from the University of Alberta. Andy has worked with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada since 2002, conducting or collaborating in research on grain and vegetable cropping rotations/systems, soil amendments, pesticide risk reduction in soybean, variety trials of soybean, low-till organic production, wheat, lupin and flax, oilseed pumpkin production, wireworm control, dairy production systems, landscape biodiversity, and most recently black currants management. As Director of the OACC Dr. Hammermeister also overseas Canada’s Organic Science Cluster, the coordinated national research initiative for organic agricultural research in Canada. Visit www.dal.ca/oacc for more information.

STEVE-SSteve Shirtliffe


I was raised on a grain and oilseed in Manitoba and after completing my BSc in Agronomy I returned home to farm for the next five years. Following this I returned to the U of M where I received my PhD in 1999. Currently, I am a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan where my responsibilities include teaching, research and extension in the area of crop agronomy. The central theme of my research is using agronomy to control weeds. Past and current projects have focused on the control of volunteer canola, oat agronomy, pulse crops controlling herbicide resistant weeds and weed control in organic agriculture.

brendafrickDr. Brenda Frick

Bluebur Fluent Organics;
Resilient Solutions Consulting


Brenda Frick is a freelance organic specialist, an organic inspector, an avid community gardener, a K-12 substitute teacher, a Western Producer columnist and a partner in Resilient Solutions Consulting. She has a PhD in weed ecology and teaches an online organic weed-management course. She has worked with the organic community for over 20 years, acting as a liaison between scientists and farmers.

McConkeyBrian G. McConkey


Dr. McConkey is a Research Scientist at the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Swift Current. He recently returned to research after a four-year assignment to working on science policy for Agriculture Canada. He has broad experience in soil science and cropping systems. He started including organic systems into his studies in 1994. His current focus is leading a national project on measuring environmental sustainability.


Presentation Topic

Can Western Canadian Soils supply on an indefinite basis, the essential nutrients needed to sustain organic food production and for that matter the human race? A holistic overview of the 16 (?) essential nutrients and their supply under organic management or “Organic Soil Fertility, Tilth, and Productivity 101”.


Mr. Hamm, a native of southern Manitoba and now a permanent resident of Saskatchewan, brings some 45 years of agricultural experience as a professional agrologist and grain farmer to the organic industry. In 1990 he founded Pro-Cert Organic Systems, a well-known North American certifier. The Hamm family farm was converted to organic production in 1996.

He obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba and completed course work towards a Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan. He was highly active in initiating government regulation of the organic food and fibre industry in Canada. Mr. Hamm takes an ongoing interest in the activities of the Canadian (CGSB) Committee on Organic Agriculture which is responsible for the maintenance of the Canadian Organic Standard.

He was the Director of the Saskatchewan Soil Testing Laboratory and a soil fertility specialist at the University of Saskatchewan for 12 years. He was an agricultural/environmental consultant specializing in soil, crop and water damage assessment for a subsequent 20 year period. He is convinced that the economic, environmental and social advantages of organic over conventional agriculture will persist well into the 21st century and beyond.

In his leisure time, he flies a Piper Cherokee out of Hanger #16 at the Saskatoon airport. Retirement is not an option.

fernandez1Dr. Myriam Fernandez


Dr. Myriam R. Fernandez obtained a BSc (Honours) from York University and an MSc and a PhD from the University of Toronto. She has worked as a research scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at SPARC, Swift Current, SK for over 26 years. The main objectives of her research have been to gain a better understanding of important crop diseases; to determine the impact of management practices, such as cropping sequence, tillage method and glyphosate use, on crop development and nutritional status, disease development and pathogen populations; to devise and improve disease control strategies; and to help in the development of wheat cultivars with improved disease resistance.

Research she conducted under organic methods in other regions of Saskatchewan led to the establishment of the first multidisciplinary organic research program in the Brown soil zone to investigate the effectiveness of reducing tillage and benefits of diversified crop rotations under organic management in this region. This organic research program has also included disease assessment of registered common and durum wheat cultivars under organic conditions, in addition to evaluation of bread wheat breeding lines developed for organic production by breeders in the three Prairie provinces.

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