2005 OCIA R&E Scholarship Recipient
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Awards - OCIA Research & Education Scholarships

Jacqueline Pridham, a second year graduate student at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, was selected as the recipient of the Organic Crop Improvement Association International (OCIA) Research & Education 2005 Scholarship. Pridham, from Stevensville, Ontario, will use the $1,000 award toward research on the suppression of weeds and diseases within organically managed Canadian spring wheat. The study will evaluate strategies to encourage successful organic production, as well as increased genetic diversity. Her research project should be completed by January 2006.

Jacqueline chose spring wheat because of its market value and scale of organic production in Manitoba. The study will be comprised of three trials: a wheat cultivar mixture trial, a wheat with intercrops/cover crops trial, and a late-seeded wheat with intercrops trail. The trials will be located at the University of Manitoba's Carman research station and at a certified organic farm in Clearwater, Manitoba.

“We are excited to present this award to Jacqueline,” said Liz Sarno, a member of the R&E Board of Directors. “Jacqueline has already shown a great deal of initiative on this project, expanding her test trials from 6 to 20. We were quite impressed with the level of her work and commitment,” said Sarno.

In becoming more familiar with the production constraints faced by organic producers, as well as the environmental and health concerns that agricultural production raises, she hope to more capably represent issues in the future as an environmental lawyer. "My research project demonstrates the importance of maintaining diversity within an ecosystem, and how it is essential to designing production systems which attempt to work with nature," said Jacquline. She expects that her scientific background will allow her to better understand environmental concerns and to defend the protection of diversity in the environment.

Jacqueline Pridham's, the 2005 OCIA scholarship winner, research summary entitled, “Influence of cultivar mixtures, cover crops, and intercropping on weed and disease suppression in organically managed Canadian spring wheat (Triticum aestivum)”.

2005 OCIA R&E Scholarship Finalists

The OCIA Research and Education Board was very excited to receive 29 applications from 8 countries, including 12 states of the USA and 4 provinces of Canada. The Board thanks all applicants for applying and for their interest in organic agriculture. The applications were screened down to a short list of five highly qualified candidates with excellent research projects. The Board would have been proud to support any of these projects. The four runners up with their project titles are listed below.

Shauna MacKinnon: “Investigating Opportunities for Rural Development: An Assessment of Socioeconomic Linkages Between Organic Farms and Communities in Ontario”.

Douglas P. Collins: “Soil Community Resilience and Functional Redundancy in Three Agroecosystems”