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Farmer Led Research – Highlights & Tips

Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Workshop Description

Farmer-led research is a flexible and rigorous tool to answer questions, overcome challenges and fast track to new practices. In this workshop, we will explore the basics of farmer-led research: when it works well, and how to maximize the results from a trial.

The bulk of the session will focus on highlights of 3-4 farmer-led research trials in cooperation with Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, including vegetable, livestock and field crop trials. We will also draw on farmer-led research trials in cooperation with Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and Practical Farmers of Iowa in the USA.

These highlights will demonstrate the process of farmer-led research and potential for high-impact research outcomes.Topics covered will include:

Topics covered will include:

  • When to use farmer-led research to help answer questions for your farm
  • Highlights of results from farmer-led research trials in Ontario
  • Highlights of results from farmer-led research trials from other regions
  • Opportunities for farmer-led research in Ontario

Photos show below left to right…

  • Two farmer-researchers pose in their pepper patch, where they are growing sweet peppers as part of the farmer-led Southern Ontario Pepper Breeding project.
  • Replicated blocks of garlic that were either mulched with straw, cover cropped or cultivated as part of a research trial testing green mulch for organic garlic production.
  • Example Research Report of a trial comparing two methods for organic cabbage seed production.
Two farmers posing
research trial testing green mulch for organic garlic production
Sample report

Speaker: Sarah Hargreaves

Sarah holds a PhD in soil microbial ecology, with experience designing and teaching undergraduate courses, graduate seminars and outreach programming.

Since 2016, she has worked with Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario – training and supporting farmer-members to conduct research.

As Director of Research, she gives regular workshops and designed researcher trials on over 20 farms, all either certified organic or using organic practices.

Sarah Hargreaves