Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
New president for OSCIA


March 3, 2009
By Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

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March 3, 2009, Guelph, Ont. – Murray Cochrane, an Algoma District beef
producer based near Thessalon, Ont., has taken over as the president of
the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) for 2009.

March 3, 2009, Guelph, Ont. – Murray Cochrane, an Algoma District beef producer based near Thessalon, Ont., has taken over as the president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) for 2009.

Cochrane and his wife Norma operate a beef and cash crop farm in Central Algoma called Scattered Acres, a third generation family farm established in 1916.

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“I am very keen to engage our local and regional associations in working closely with research and extension to advance new market opportunities at our doorstep”, says Cochrane. “OSCIA has been in regular contact with the new dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, Dr. Rob Gordon, and we share his vision of expanding scientific work to fully engage producer members through OSCIA’s provincial network of associations.

“Our farm community is eager to contribute to the sustainability of our rural communities”, says Cochrane. “We have the resources to produce food, fuel and fiber and OSCIA’s rural network is constantly seeking out new opportunities.”

OSCIA’s annual meeting was an opportunity to explore technology that is on the horizon. Dr. Chris Young, vice-president of fossil projects with Ontario Power Generation, outlined the future vision of replacing coal with renewable and cleaner burning fuel stock supplied by Ontario forests and farms. Dean Tiessen of Pyramid Farms Ltd., a greenhouse operation located near Leamington, Ont., is already well on his way to heating his greenhouses with biomass production, and screening the most suitable varieties of Miscanthus as a biomass source for Ontario.

OSCIA works closely with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) extension staff to conduct on-farm applied research trials, field days, conferences and workshops. The Environmental Farm Plan and Growing Your Farm Profits are two key training and awareness programs delivered by OSCIA in cooperation with the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition and Agricultural Management Institute with funding provided by both OMAFRA and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.