Big ideas grow here.
From foodies, policy wonks, and research scientists to small-scale hobbyists, commercial farmers, and multinational agribusiness giants, everyone seems to be talking about regenerative agriculture.
The aim of regenerative agriculture is to manage soil and water resources, improve soil fertility with fewer inputs, and produce better output relative to conventional practices. It is based on some timeless principles to prevent degradation in soil, water and air quality, by enhancing soil ecosystems through agro-ecological management. As more firms adopt this method of production, proponents are making bigger claims about what it can accomplish. They say it can not only increase farmers’ profits but can also improve soil health, produce more nutritious crops and maybe even solve climate change. Others are less sanguine: It is just a rebranding of organic farming but with more grandiose claims. It’s a social movement, an ideology; a marketing scheme more than a science.
Join Dr. Danny Le Roy and panellists Dr. Michele Konschuh of the University of Lethbridge and Scott Gillespie, CEO of Plants Dig Soil Consulting as they discuss regenerative agriculture.
Moderator - Danny Le Roy
Danny Le Roy is an associate professor of economics at the University of Lethbridge. He received a BA (Honours) in economics from Carleton University, and his MSc and PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Guelph. He teaches courses in agricultural systems modeling, commodity marketing, agricultural policy and micro-economics. The focus of his research is on livestock production, marketing and trade, emerging markets for irrigation water in southern Alberta, and the impact of renewable energy policies on Canadian agriculture. He has been involved in numerous studies involving systems modelling of farms in Canada and assessments of agricultural policy and trade alternatives.
Researcher - Dr. Michele Konschuh
Dr. Michele Konschuh is an Irrigated Crop Scientist with the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge. Michele earned a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 1995 studying Developmental Plant Physiology in the Biological Sciences Department. Dr. Konschuh worked on potato and other irrigated crops with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for over 20 years, first as a Research Scientist with the Cropping Systems section and more recently with the Irrigation Management section. The focus of her irrigated crop research will be maintaining competitive production of specialty crops, while increasing irrigation efficiency, especially crops with value added processing in Alberta.
Producer - Scott Gillespie
Scott Gillespie is a Regenerative Agriculture Consultant with Plants Dig Soil Consulting Ltd. He has fifteen years experience in dryland and irrigated specialty crop agriculture in Southern Alberta, Canada. Starting out in conventional agriculture with an interest in regenerative practices, he focuses his time on helping farmers integrate proven and profitable regenerative practices into their operations. Scott has his B.Sc (Agr.) with a focus in Agronomy from the University of Guelph and his M.Sc. with a focus in Plant Science from the University of Manitoba. Along with Certified Crop Advisor status he is also registered with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists as a Professional Agrologist.
Impacs of the Alberta government's new RDAR initiative
Dr. Danny Le Roy and panelists Dr. Dena Martin and Dr. Mark Redmond discuss the essential roles research institutes and universities play in agriculture.
The importance and resiliency of agri-food supply chains
Learn about supply chain logistics and sustainability in Canada from uLethbridge researcher Dr. Mehdi Jourabchi and CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge Trevor Lewington.
GIS & Smart Farming
Featuring uLethbridge researcher Dr. Craig Coburn and producer Remi Schmaltz on how drones, robots and other technologies have significantly increased commercial production, making farms more efficient, profitable and sustainable.
Why the health of agriculture depends on keeping honey bees alive
Featuring uLethbridge researcher Dr. Shelley Hoover and Kevin Nixon, who operates Nixon Honey Farm in Red Deer County, Alberta.
Modern Crop Production: Challenges and Solutions
Featuring uLethbridge researcher Dr. Tom Jensen and Autumn Barnes, agronomy specialst with the Canola Council of Canada's Crop Production & Innovation team.
Can we save the planet by directing cattle feed to people?
Featuring uLethbridge researcher Dr. Kim Stanford and Mr. Leighton Kolk of Kolk Farms in Iron Springs, Alta.
Regenerative Agriculture: A Marketing Scheme or Soil Saviour?
Dr. Michele Konschuh
Producer panelist: Scott Gillespie
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