Conference 2021

Conference details will be posted soon!

Conference 2021 dates...Feb 16, 17,18, 2021

The 2021 Innovative Farmers Conference will be virtual

Although we will miss the energy of our in-person conferences...

going virtual is going to have its advantages too.

In addition to an exciting speaker line-up (to be announced soon)

 there will be chat rooms and opportunities to

to meet and share experiences and ideas with farmers, researchers and speakers. 

At the IFAO 2020 conference a group of Ontario soil health researchers

shared their research with our conference attendees.

It was a great success for both participants and the researchers.

Student Researchers

Comment from Student Researcher Alex Sanders...
I would first like to say thank you for the opportunity to present my poster
at the IFAO conference. The major value for me was presenting my research findings
directly to growers, which provided a very different atmosphere than what I have experienced at purely scientific meetings. I knew I had to mold my results into a format
presentable to growers and retailers, and I know that going through this exercise
will prove useful when I begin working. In addition to these benefits, 
I was able to secure a farmer cooperator interested in performing trials this summer!    

Alex Sanders

University of Guelph

Mike Belan chosen as

2020 Innovative Farmer of the Year

Every year, the Innovative Farmers of Ontario chooses a farmer who exemplifies great soil stewardship, progressive thinking,

and a drive to explore ways to improve their farming practices. 

We are pleased to announce Mike Belan

as our 2020 Innovative Farmer of the Year recipient.

Mike Belan is a 3rd generation farmer in Lambton County,

 presently farming over 1,000 acres with his father and uncle.

In 2012 the Belans began to assess the merit of moving their goals from yield to profit per acre and consistency. They had been practicing no till for years but began to incorporate cover crops mix and add heifers to graze cover crops.

The Belans have seen a beneficial impact from these changes including

reduced soil erosion, increased water infiltration and reduced compaction.

They are pleased with the results they have seen

and now say they wouldn't farm any other way.


Please Note — it's important to read both documents below to correctly interpret the data results.

Thank you to Matthias Stettler, Shawridge Farms,  Ian McDonald, the amazing OMAFRA soil team,

our soil pit session speakers, the sponsors,the equipment drivers, and all who participated. 

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

Innovative Farmers of Ontario wins Regional Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence 

The Innovative Farmers of Ontario

were the original instigators of the 

Soil Your Undies 

campaign to encourage and demonstrate

healthier soil management practices.

Our campaign went viral, with international media attention,

adoption by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and a

Premier's Award from the Ontario provincial government.

Our Soil Your Undies campaign challenges farmers to bury a pair of white 100 % cotton briefs and then dig them up 8 weeks later.

The concept is if the briefs are eaten away and left in tatters, that shows healthy biological activity in their soil. If not, farmers could benefit by considering cover crops and other conservation methods to ramp up biological activity, increase soil organic matter and give their soils a healthy boost.