Organizers of Prairie Canada’s top conferences around soil health, grazing and regenerative agriculture are joining forces to work with, promote and celebrate each provincial group’s event and organizational activities with the launch of the Prairie Region Soil Health Network.

Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing (Alberta), Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) have all connected their annual events and organizational activities via a jointly-signed Memorandum of Understanding to work collaboratively and together to make sure the interests of Prairie Canada farmers and producers are front and center via the connectivity of the Prairie Region Soil Health Network.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted producer-focused conferences all across North America, and we know first-hand how that impact has influenced our ability to plan, host and engage producer audiences via gatherings and conferences across Canada’s Prairies,” said MFGA Executive Director Duncan Morrison. “Our agriculture conferences are critical lifelines for each of our smaller-sized groups. We need them for the attendance gate and financial reasons, but most of all, we need them as a place and opportunity for producers to network and learn and share knowledge among each other.”

According to Morrison, the new agreement broadens the collective wingspan for all three of provincial groups to amplify the producer opportunities and promote the conferences and the work each are doing in whatever format, from online to in-person events to webinars around our various projects and platforms. MFGA drew more than a combined 1,000 online viewers to four Thursday night webcasts over the month of November 2020 after the pandemic switched conference plans from in-person to virtual. MFGA’s plans this year are circling a hybrid of online and a smaller gathering in-person November 15-17, 2021 in Brandon. Exact details are still being worked out in respect to provincial health orders and forecasts.

The group also plans to accelerate their shared dialogues and support the regional interests of each other via collaboration, possible project alignments with regional focus and integrated communications via each group’s regular communications channels.

“Prairie Canada is a very unique and vitally important agricultural region of Canada that has a rich and robust history of producer connections, organizational synergy and farmer-based networks between our three provinces,” added Morrison. “We feel that in many ways, like many groups out there, the pandemic has forced us to regroup and rethink how we can go forward as a regional-focused network that works for Prairie producers with conferences and project collaborations aimed specifically at their core interests around soil health, regenerative agriculture and grazing systems on their Prairie farms.”