Material from the 2022 Winter Course program is still available for purchase. Please contact info@greyagservices.ca to receive a $15.00 course recording.

Please contact info@greyagservices.ca to receive a recording from any of the courses listed below. 

Course 2 - Resilient Fields: Soil Management, Economic and Environmental Considerations, 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 will then 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

Course 3: Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Animal Products, with Robin White, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech University, USA. In this course, we will discuss the environmental impacts of animal products. We will review why there are notable differences in the environmental impacts reported for animal products, and explain how factors like geographical scale, temporal scale, and production type influence environmental impacts of livestock production. We will also address the importance of units in understanding and comparing the environmental impacts of animal products. Finally, we will discuss the environmental challenges and opportunities associated with livestock production. 

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. UPDATE: This course has been postponed to a future date TBD. 

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.  UPDATE: This course was postponed to a future date TBD.

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.  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.  Course fee for Strip-Till Parts 1 & 2 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! 

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 learn the tools that are used to assess barn conditions and will come away from this course with an understanding of what good air quality means. 

Course 9: Planning the Management Cycle for Small Ruminant Producers, with Delma Kennedy of OMAFRA. This webinar will talk about 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. 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! Have your calendar on hand to work through the same management cycles with that.  

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Course 15 - Beef Course Part 1: Understanding Cattle Prices and an Outlook for the Coming Year with Steve Duff  of OMAFRA Farmers are faced with a wide range of market information and opinions on market prices. These sources of market information and opinion often offer conflicting views which can make marketing decisions for individual farmers quite difficult and stressful. This course will provide a general understanding of how prices are both determined and discovered.  The course will also provide an overview of the current beef and cattle market situation and what the outlook is for the coming year. And: Preparing your Cattle for Grazing this Spring with James Byrne of OMAFRA. Do you know the importance of putting cattle to pasture at the correct body condition score and body weight to maximize performance? Learn how of weight and body condition score at turnout can impact cattle performance at pasture. Learn how to feed your cattle prior to spring turnout to ensure top performance at pasture. Learn how your winter feeding regime can effect the profitability of cattle at pasture.  

Beef Course Part 2: What Does it Take to be a Profitable Cow-Calf Producer? With John Molenhuis of OMAFRA What makes a successful farm?  The Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network benchmarked cost of production for different cow-calf production systems across Canada.  This session will showcase what we learned from producers through the COP Network. And: Calculating the Net Benefit of Grazing Cover Crops for your Farm with James Byrne of OMAFRA. Growing and grazing cover crops is very rewarding. But do you know how much it really costs to grow a cover crop and how to calculate the benefit of grazing a cover crop. In this hands on training session learn about all the costs associated with growing a cover crop, the economic returns of grazing a cover crop and learn how to calculate the net benefit. The course fee for parts 1 & 2  together (all four presentations) is $25.00

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. 

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. 

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). 

Course 20: Horse Night - Colic & First Aid with Dr. Tee Fox, and Dr. Marika Van Schaik, both of Markdale Veterinary Services. Dr. Marika presented on basic first aid for horses, bringing with her examples of items to keep in a basic first aid kit. Dr. Tee presented on colic, and included a visual representation from 'The Glass Horse' to better show the impact of different types of colic on the GI tract. 

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.  

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.