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November 16 - 16th, 2008
Debbie Miller is the manager of the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) Canada, a Division of OCIA International. The Canadian headquarters is located in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. She is also the Foreign Affairs Director for OCIA International, a non-profit, membership based organic certification organization operating in 19 countries. Debbie is the Administrator of one of the seven OCIA chapters located in Saskatchewan. She serves as President of the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) Accredited Certifiers Association, and serves on the Canadian Organic Value Chain Roundtable. Debbie is finishing her term on the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate Board and is also an Advisor to the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund committee. Debbie has delivered presentations and workshops on various aspects of the organic food system at conferences around the world and also to smaller groups of students, producers or consumers.
Debbie and her husband Ian moved to the Miller family farm at Lisieux, in the rolling hills of Southern Saskatchewan, in 1979. By 1990 they had come to the realization that not only were they poisoning their land and themselves with their intensive chemical use, but they were also slowly going broke in the process. There had to be a better environment in which to raise their two children, Dustin and Nancy. They bit the bullet and began the transition to organic production. By 1993 all 1100 acres were 100% OCIA certified. Debbie is a founding member of Organic Connections and has held the post of president since its incorporation as a non profit organization.


Arnold Taylor and his wife Sharon have six children and eight grandchildren. He is 64 years old and raised at Kenaston Saskatchewan, farming north east of Kenaston since 1972. They have an organic grain and beef operation since 1992 and farm their son and his wife and family.

He is involved with the organic industry in the following capacities:
• National President of Canadian Organic Growers
• Past President of Saskatchewan Organic Directorate
• Chair of SOD/Organic Agriculture Protection Fund
• Chair of the Organic Federation of Canada
• Voting member of the Canadian General Standards Board Committee on Organic Agriculture

He is employed by OCIA Canada, a division of Organic Crop Improvement Association International (OCIA INT) as the Business Development Co-ordinator, and is President of the Kenaston Lions Club this 2007-2008 term.



Connie Kehler is a master gardener and was the owner/operator of the first commercial organic greenhouse in Saskatchewan, a Columnist for the weekly Regina Sun, the current field editor of Birds ‘N Blooms, and is a field writer for Grainews, the Star Phoenix, the Canadian Gardener and the Western Producer.
Connie is currently the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Herb and Spice Association and the Canadian Herb, Spice and Natural Health Products Coalition. She has managed a number of projects including the Interprovincial Aster Yellows research project, National Conference – Guelph, Annual Provincial Conferences, Annual Research update workshops, Strategic Plan Study, Canadian On Farm Food Safety Program, Plant Identification Project, Research Networking Committee­ Saskatchewan, and the AFIF Research working group.
In 2000 Connie managed and hosted the International Herb Conference and Festival. She has successfully completed projects through Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Fund, Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food­ Agri-food Innovation Fund; Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food­ Agriculture Development Fund; Western Economic Diversification; Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development (CARD) and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
Connie has edited and/or authored numerous publications such as the Saskatchewan Herb and Spice Production Manual – 2000. She has published numerous articles and research summaries and has authored an industry needs study and crop profiles. She is internationally published on Good Agriculture and Collection Practices. Connie has made presentations in all of the Provinces, the Yukon and the NWT and is consulted internationally as an industry resource.
Connie is a founding director on the Organic Connections committee. She is also a member of a number if organizations and committees including the Natural Health Products Research Society, Natural Health Products Directorate Industry Liaison Committee and Management Advisory committee, Saskatchewan Nutraceutical Network, Crop Development Centre Minister appointed advisory committee, National Special Crops Value Chain AAFC, Farm Leaders and Food Safety Leader Committee, Special Crops Advisory Committee, U of S Dept of Agriculture Advisory committee, Herb research advisory committee, Regional Rural Development Advisory Committee, Canadian Spice Association technical, the Can Trace Project steering committee, Team leader NHPD botanical GMP working group, the international crop groupings working group, Agriculture Sector council development and the Crop Development Centre Minister appointed advisory committee.
Since the inception of the Canadian Herb, Spice and Natural Health Products Coalition Connie has worked tirelessly supporting this industry which includes many organic producers.


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 first year on the Board of Directors you can meet her at the Organic Connections Booth.


Brenda Frick is the Senior Research and Extension Associate with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at the University of Saskatchewan. Her responsibilities include research, extension and networking in Saskatchewan. She is currently working on an update to "Organic Farming on the Prairies" and needs assessment process for organic producers in Saskatchewan. Brenda attends a variety of organic field days, and gives presentations on research and production at organic producer meetings. She also writes a regular column on organics for the Western Producer. Although Brenda has only been with OACC for 5 years, she has been acting as an informal liaison between the research and organic communities for nearly 20 years.

Brenda has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Regina and a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario. Her expertise is in weed ecology. She also has a Teaching Certificate for Saskatchewan, and is a Professional Agrologist. She has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate weed science, ecology, biology and range management courses in the Departments of Plant Sciences and Biology, and through the Certificate in Agriculture Program and the Centre for Continuing and Distance Education at the University of Saskatchewan. She has conducted research with the Crop Development Centre and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and written extension material for the Saskatchewan Pulse Crop Development Board and the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate. She has authored or co-authored 14 refereed journal articles and more than 200 technical reports, newspaper articles, posters or conference presentations.


Joan Harrison was raised on a farm in southeastern Saskatchewan and has been interested in a more biologically sophisticated approach to agriculture since high school. She originally trained as a high school biology teacher but most of her employment since that time has focused on working with adults. She returned to University as an adult student to study the living part pf soil and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Biology in 2005. At various points in the last thirty years, Joan has helped organize and operate a storefront energy conservation information centre, contributed to a book on solar greenhouses, sold high quality wood stoves and garden tools, and was a partner in a small market garden. She currently works on a part-time basis as a compost educator for the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. She is very interested in fostering rural-urban connections. Joan’s volunteer time is directed, in part, towards environmental and organic organizations. She is currently on the board of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. She was a voting delegate of the first CGSB organic standing committee and was the consumer director on the Sask. Organic Directorate from 1998-2004 and has been a member of Canadian Organic Growers since 1981. Perhaps most importantly for herself and her family, she has been a member of an organic food co-op since 1984. Joan is married and she and her husband, Mike, have raised three children. They divide their time between Saskatoon and rural property near Loon Lake.

Mark Gimby
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.

Chantal Stumborg
Chantal Stumborg is the Provincial Organic Crop Production specialist in the Ministry of Agriculture.  Chantal joined Saskatchewan Agriculture in 2004 after completing her M. Sc. in soil nutrient management at the University of Saskatchewan.  She has since worked at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre providing production information related to soil and cropping management.  In 2006 she moved into the role of Program Manager at the Agriculture Research Branch, and was involved in evaluating research initiatives related to soil, environment, alternate cropping, and organic management areas.  She currently lives in Regina and is looking forward to working with the organic community into the future.

Daphne Gottselig

Daphne Gottselig (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture) is an Intern Agrologist at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw, SK. Daphne’s current profile includes organic production, environmental stewardship and working with the Saskatchewan Young Ag-Entrepreneurs (SYA). She received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the University of Saskatchewan in the spring of 2007. Daphne and Dwayne are farming with family (organic) at Stalwart and Findlater, as well as renting pasture and crop land themselves.

Lorraine Beaudette was raised on a diversified family coop farm in NE Saskatchewan and has been employed in the agriculture sector for over 20 years; she holds a certificate in Adult Education from the University of Saskatchewan and a certificate in Community Development from Mahidol University, Thailand. She started Sage Management Services in November 2005, carrying out the “Saskatchewan Organic Sector Training Needs Assessment” in 2006, a project which looked into the training needs of organic farmers and the barriers that they face in achieving their educational goals.
Lorraine and her husband, Shaun Gardner, have 2 children and reside on 80 acres in the RM of Corman Park. They raise & board horses, have free range laying hens, and produce hay, fruit and vegetables, incorporating composted manures. Lorraine is committed to sustainable food production and organic systems and continues to build her knowledge and understanding of these methods.


Organic Connections Board of Directors wishes to thank Laurie Berube for her six years of dedicated service and wishes her the best of luck as she undertakes a cross country tour.  The Board is pleased to welcome Loretta Bors (picture to come) to the team as she will take over Laurie’s Bookkeeping duties.
Organic Industry Tradeshow and Conference - November 16 - 18, 2008
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