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Courses & Webinars

Winter courses have been a tradition of Grey Ag Services for decades!  The trusted Blue Brochure lands in nearly 11,000 rural mail boxes across the area each December. 

 

It contains courses available from January - April, the Grey Bruce Farmers Week program and is filled with valuable sponsorship ads from local organizations.  These courses are a reflection of what you want to see. Please let us know what you are interested in - send us a message using the box on the right.  Grey Ag strives to produce a variety of materials that appeal and apply to all aspects of agriculture in Grey County.

Please note that due to increasing regulations and concerns arising from the new COVID variant, all courses that are scheduled up to February 15th will now be offered in a webinar format only. We will continue to adapt and adjust as we are able, and apologize for the inconvenience caused by changing formats.

Past Offerings & Materials

Over the past 20 years that Grey Ag Services has been offering courses a significant amount of resources has been generated.  Find listings of past courses and related reference materials here

COMING SOON!

Current Offerings

What's next

is up to you!

It's your call!

Winter 2022 course planning is currently underway. We have 22 topics confirmed, with some being delivered more than once in differing formats, and some being taught in a multi-part format!  

Registrations are received by email to info@greyagservices.ca.  Please include your full name, and phone number. Payment is taken by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or cheque. 

Course 1: In The Know, with Jackie Ralph from the Canadian Mental Health Association of Grey-Bruce. In the Know is a mental health literacy program developed at the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph) created specifically to educate the agricultural community. With support from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, several CMHA branches in rural and agricultural communities offer this training. In the Know is meant for farmers, producers and persons with whom they have regular contact. This may include, but is not limited to, family members, peers and allies in the agricultural industry such as veterinarians, breeders, seed or feed salespeople, financial institutions, accountants or community members who have direct contact with farm owners/operators. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Tuesday January 18th 2022, from 1-5 pm, and IN-PERSON at Grey Ag Services on Tuesday February 15th 2022 from 1-5 pm. Course Fee: $15.00. Please specify which date/format you would like to attend when registering.

Course 2a: Resilient Fields, Part 1: Soil Management, with Paul Bootsma of CFFO and Charles Lalonde, Resilient Fields Developer. An interactive session is offered to walk participants through Resilient Fields soil management modules, explore direct links to other resources and work on participant examples based on field situations encountered. Participants should have access to use the Resilient Fields app during the session.  https://resilientfields.ca/aspx/index.aspx This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Wednesday January 19th 2022, from 1-2:30 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 2b: Resilient Fields, Part 2: Economic and Environmental Considerations, with Paul Bootsma of CFFO and Charles Lalonde, Resilient Fields Developer. This Resilient Fields session will focus on the BMP resources dealing with areas of potential conflict and optimizing choices based on local goals. Nutrient loss management will be explored based on participant examples as well as the impacts of water management on soil compaction. Participants should have access to use Resilient Fields during the session. https://resilientfields.ca/aspx/index.aspx This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Wednesday January 26th 2022 from 1-2:30 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 3: Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Animal Products, with Robin White, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech University, USA. Details to follow. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Tuesday January 25th 2022 from 1-3 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 4: Making Better Bales is Not Just a Job; It’s an Investment! With Nathan Ficzere, General Manager for Tama Canada and Alain Gratton, Technical Manager for Tama Canada. This course is about understanding which factors manipulate how netwrap or twine is applied to the bale and what it means in terms of affecting feed quality and storage of the bale. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday January 27th 2022 from 7-9 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 5: Winter Jamin', with Martha Rogers, Master Food Preserver, Cornell University Extension. When winter is in full bloom, we all get a hankering for the sweet smell of jam bubbling away in the kitchen. And, let’s face it, sometimes by February, the pantry is diminishing in supply. This class will focus on a tour of several winter jam and conserve ideas that are creative, delicious and fun to make. A review of the essential steps of water-bath canning will be demonstrated. Join together and learn, share and get inspired to create winter jams.  This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday February 3 2022 from 10-11:30 am. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 6a: Strip Tillage, Part 1: Getting Started into Strip-Till, with Ryan Benjamins of Benjamins Agronomy Services, Michelle Durnin of Agri-Solve Inc., and moderated by Ben Rosser of OMAFRA. 

Strip-tillage offers a compromise between full-width tillage and no-till and is growing in popularity. In this two-part webinar series, learn how to make strip-till work across a range of conditions. Are you considering trying strip-tillage? There is a wide variety of strip-till equipment for Ontario growers to choose from. Not all perform equally across different soil types and conditions. Whether it’s shank or coulter-only, fall or spring tillage, there is no one-size fits all. In this session, you’ll learn keys to success from two Ontario agronomists, including equipment decisions, tillage timing and planter set-up for strip-tillage. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday February 3 2022 from 1-2:30 pm. Course fee for Strip-Till Parts A & B inclusive is $25. 

Course 6b: Strip Tillage, Part 2: Managing Fertilizer in Strip-Till Systems, with Ben Rosser of OMAFRA, and Jonathan Zettler of Fieldwalker Agronomy, and moderated by Jake Munroe of OMAFRA. One of the biggest benefits of strip-tillage is combining fertilizer application and tillage. There are many different approaches. For example, do you put all your fertility in the strip or keep some on the planter? And where is the best placement for fertilizer within the strip? Hear firsthand experiences and answers to these practical questions from an expert panel. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday February 10 2022 from 1-2:30 pm. Course fee for Strip-Till Parts A & B inclusive is $25. 

Course 7: Beekeeping for Beginners and Bee-yond, with Janine McGowan M.Sc., Owner & Operator of Our Bee Lab - Community Apiaries. This course invites people who want to learn more about apiculture and beekeeping. If you're thinking about getting honey bees in the spring, or have questions about your current operation, please join us! This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Monday February 7 2022 from 1-4 pm and as a WEBINAR on Wednesday March 9 2022, from 7-9 pm, and Course Fee: $15.00. Please specify which date/format you would like to attend when registering. 

Course 8: Calf Housing Considerations, with John Van de Vegte, and Marlene Paibomesai both of OMAFRA. Calf housing air quality and environment is an important part in any heifer rearing program. This workshop will cover the basics of calf housing needs, targets for air quality, and ideas on how to improve barn environment conditions. Participants will have a hands on experience with tools that are used to assess barn conditions. Participants will come away from this course with an understanding of what good air quality means. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Wednesday February 9 2022 from 1-3 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 9: Planning the Management Cycle for Small Ruminant Producers, with Delma Kennedy of OMAFRA. Planning the management cycle for small ruminant producers The webinar will talk about the standard events that happen during the production cycle, how those things relate to each other and how planning ahead can ensure that the most important events happen at the right time.  It will also introduce an excel spreadsheet that you can use to customize and calculate the dates of events for your own operation. Similar to the February webinar, the in-person workshop is designed to talk about planning the production cycle.  But for this hands on version, bring your computer and we will customize the spreadsheet and calculate the event dates for your farm.  You will leave the workshop with the knowledge needed to customize and use the spreadsheet and the experience of having used it yourself. If you are not comfortable working with spreadsheets - not to worry! Please bring your calendar an we will work through the same management cycles with that.  This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday February 10 2022, from 7:30-9 pm, and IN-PERSON at Grey Ag Services on Wednesday March 30 2022 from 7-9 pm. Course Fee: $15.00. Please specify which date/format you would like to attend when registering.

Course 10: Small Ruminant Fecal Egg Counts, with Dr. Chris Buschbeck of Markdale Veterinary Services. Fecal egg counts are a means of monitoring and controlling parasite burden, and anthelmintic efficacy in your small ruminants. This course will look at the theory and best practices around using fecal egg counts as part of your flock or herd management program. We will cover collection and storage of manure, as well as timelines for having fecal egg counts done. How and when to deworm or sheep or goats, how to know if your treatment is working, and what to do if it isn’t. This course will be offered in a HYBRID format - participation is welcome in person at Grey Ag Services or through Zoom on Wednesday February 16 2022 from 7-8:30 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 11: Keeping Pigs and People Safe from Diseases, with Laura Eastwood and Jaydee Smith of OMAFRA. This course will explore practical solutions that can help to keep pigs healthy on small-scale and outdoor pig farms (and protect people from diseases pigs can carry, too). We will discuss how diseases are transferred, provide an understanding of the risks associated with disease to you and your pigs, and how to practically reduce many of those risks on your farm. This course will not cover the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases, but will focus on the big picture of maintaining high herd health, which leads to improved welfare, production and food safety. This course will be offered in a HYBRID format - participation is welcome in person at Grey Ag Services or through Zoom on Wednesday March 2 2022 from 7-9 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 12: Choosing the Right BMPs to Weather-Proof Your Farm, with Dave Bray of OMAFRA. Too wet; too dry. Too hot; too cold. Changes in weather patterns have made it challenging to plant and harvest crops. Livestock health can be impacted too. This session will look at changes in precipitation, temperature and crop heat units and how these changes can have both good and bad impacts on farming. Participants can think about their farming operation and what may be at risk. We will then view some of the Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that can be used to adapt to these wild weather swings. This course will be offered IN-PERSON at Grey Ag Services on Thursday March 3 2022 from 1-3 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 13: Managing Annual Forages, with Jake Munroe and Christine O'Reilly of OMAFRA. Annual forages can play an important role in filling gaps in production throughout the season. Whether it’s fall-harvested oats, rye seeded after silage, or a fast-growing, warm-season grass like sorghum sudangrass, annuals enable you to take advantage of niches in the growing season. In this webinar, you will learn about agronomic basics, such as fertility and stand establishment, management tips to get the best quality forage, and the impact of annual forages on soil health. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday March 3 2022 from 7-8:30 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 14: Improving Garlic Quantity and Quality with Travis Cranmer of OMAFRA. This webinar will review the production practices to improve the quantity of your garlic harvest. The second half will focus on avoiding the common pests of garlic, and choosing clean planting stock. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Tuesday March 8 2022 from 7-9 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 15: Cow Calf Info Session, with Steve Duff, Senior Economist; John Molenhuis, Business Analysis Cost of Production Specialist and James Byrne, Beef Cattle Specialist - all of OMAFRA. Together Steve, John, and James will cover presentations on "Understanding Cattle Prices and an Outlook for the Coming Year",  "Preparing Up your Cattle for Grazing this Spring", "What Does it Take to be a Profitable Cow-Calf Producer?" and "Calculating the Net Benefit of Grazing Cover Crops for your Farm". With a lunch provided in between, and an excellent line up of topics, this will be a program you don't want to miss! This course will be offered IN-PERSON at Grey Ag Services on Thursday March 10 2022 from 9:45-2:30 pm. Course Fee: $30 and includes lunch.

Course 16: Designing Edible Landscapes, with Ben Caesar of Fiddlehead Nursery. Learn how to design a garden that acts like a natural ecosystem, using edible, perennial plants.  Nut and Fruit trees form the canopy, berry bushes and vines form the shrub layer, perennial vegetables and greens act as weed-suppressing ground covers.  Learn how to incorporate fertility-enhancing plants, and how to make a low-maintenance garden that builds soil as it produces food for your household. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday March 10 2022 from 7-8:30 pmCourse Fee: $15.00.

Course 17: Silvopasturing with Sheep, with Sheep with Carrie Woolley. For the past 9 years sheep farmer Carrie Woolley has been integrating her sheep flock into fruit orchards and woodlots in a practice known as silvopasture.  Learn about her challenges & experience in converting farm woodlots into silvopastures where tree, animal and forage management combine to create an environmentally-sustainable system.  Carrie will discuss the planning process and steps taken to converting a woodlot into silvopasture, animal management within the system, environmental benefits and challenges faced along the way.  Carrie will also briefly discuss orchard grazing which itself is another type of silvopasturing that has been a large part of her sheep operation. This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Tuesday March 22 2022 from 7-9 pmCourse Fee: $15.00.

Course 18: Transition Planning Prep: Are you Ready? With Maggie Van Camp and Andrea DeGroot, both of BDO Canada. This course has been planned as a follow up session to the transition planning presentation from Dairy Day at Grey Bruce Farmers Week 2022. Maggie and Andrea will review the 7 steps for transition planning, and discuss possible hiccups and wins. They will also discuss what to do with the information (from the check list) now that you have collected it, and how to manage the data etc. Some examples of conversation starters with family members to help support the transition process will also be shared. This course will be offered IN-PERSON at Grey Ag Services on Wednesday March 23 2022 from 1-2 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 19: How to Have the Garden You Want! With the Grey County Master Gardeners. This fast-paced workshop will provide you with a practical guide that takes you from dreaming about your garden to being done! For whatever type of garden you want - vegetable, annuals, perennials, shade gardens – you will start with their template, and they will help you determine your priorities, make your plan, and consider options. Along the way they will provide you with information, practical exercises and reference information to assist you in achieving the garden that works for you! 

Grey County Master Gardeners are a group of trained volunteers who offer non-biased, science based horticultural information and advice to home gardeners and community groups. Established in 1996, the Grey County Master Gardeners are a member group of Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc, (MGOi). This course will be offered in a HYBRID format - participation is welcome in person at Grey Ag Services or through Zoom on Thursday March 24 2022 from 7-9 pmCourse Fee: $15.00.

Course 20: Horse Night with Dr. Tee Fox, and Dr. Marika Van Schaik, both of Markdale Veterinary Services. More details to follow. This course will be offered on Tuesday March 29 2022 from 7-9 pm.  Course Fee: $15.00.

Course 21: Pressure Canning with Martha Rogers, Master Food Preserver, Cornell University Extension. Low acid foods like vegetables, meats and poultry require pressure canning for safe long-term storage. This session will examine the science underpinning pressure canning, explore the equipment needed, and will demonstrate pressure canning using green beans. If you’ve thought of pressure canning as a novice or would like to review your skills, join us, learn and share. Pressure canning will allow you to expand self-sufficiency for you and your family.  This course will be offered as a WEBINAR on Thursday March 31 2022 from 10-11:30 amCourse Fee: $15.00.

Course 22: Getting Started with Records for Small Ruminant Producers with Delma Kennedy of OMAFRA and Erin Massender. Learn how to use simple online tools or summary forms to calculate basic flock or herd statistics to track performance and improve production. This course will be offered IN-PERSON at Grey Ag Services on Thursday April 7 2022 from 7-9 pm. Course Fee: $15.00.