2007 OCIA Farmer of the Year
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Awards - Outstanding Farmer of the Year Award

Marc_LoiselleThe Organic Crop Improvement Association Research and Education, Inc., a charitable organization founded by OCIA International members, named Marc Loiselle, a Vonda, Saskatchewan, Canada area farmer as Outstanding Organic Farmer of 2007 at their annual meeting. OCIA International is one of the world’s foremost organic groups, with offices in Canada, the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. The OCIA Research and Education board developed the Outstanding Organic Farmer of the Year award to honor and showcase talented producers who excel in cropping and livestock practice, who are good stewards of the natural environment and who are committed to the organic community.

The Loiselle Organic Family Farm has been certified organic since 1985. Marc and his family grow heritage wheat, barley, oats, peas, flax, fall rye, alfalfa, yellow mustard, sweet clover, and red clover. They also raise goats, roasting chickens and laying hens. electing crops with lots of biomass to increase soil organic matter and tilth. He carefully manages composted manure, placing it on saline areas, hilltops where soil is thin or in other areas where soil fertility is low.

Weeds are managed with timely cultivation and frequent green manuring. Green manures give good control of perennial weeds like quack grass and Canada thistle. Cultivation, post emergent harrowing, hay cutting and crop harvesting are timed as much as possible using the biodynamic method of lunar scheduling. Marc finds that this optimizes his cultivation and reduces the amount of tillage that is needed. He claims that timely cultivation helps to control grasshoppers and sawfly as well as weeds.

Marc is the 5th generation of the Loiselle family to farm their land. This year their farm celebrates its 100th anniversary under Loiselle family management. Marc and Anita recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They have 4 children proud to be raised on an organic farm. Marc and Anita are mentors for other farmers transitioning into organic farming. They truly embody their motto, Holistic Stewardship for Abundant Life.

Honorable Mention

Prince Edward Island, Canada farmer, Raymond Loo received a certificate of merit for the 2007 Outstanding Organic Farmer of the Year. At Springwillow Farm near Breadlabane, Prince Edward Island, Raymond Loo is finding ways to produce healthy food with the smallest possible environmental impact. He grows mixed grains, potatoes, vegetables, legume hay, pasture, and small fruit. He also raises beef that are sold directly to consumers.

Mike and Karen Ostry from Bruno, Nebraska also received a certificate of merit. At Wagon Wheel Farm, Mike, Karen and their nine children farm over 230 acres organically and raise certified organic livestock. They grow corn, beans, oats, wheat, peas, barley, alfalfa, cane molasses and mixed vegetables. Mike and his family are very involved in their community and travel throughout Nebraska presenting Czech programs that include music, dancing and acting.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 February 2011 13:42