Experimental Acres

The Experimental Acres Farm Pilot

Apply now for the 2023 Experimental Acres Pilot

                            

We know that farmers are interested in Regenerative Farming practices but there can be barriers to getting started. In the spring of 2022, 15 local farmers joined the Experimental Acres Pilot, which provides supports for the first year of trying  new farming practices on a small scale. The goal of the pilot is to backstop any risk, develop a community of support, and assist in capturing the business cases that can demonstrate what will be worth repeating. 

The Experimental Acres Pilot will:

Banner with three sections with small emoticons. The first block says "encourage regenerative farming practices on a small scale". The second says offer monetary and educational supports to producers interested in applying regenerative practices. The third block says provide social support group to help producers adopt regenerative agriculture practices

 2022 Pilot Hosts

Farmers know their land best, which is why our farmers, better known as Pilot Hosts, design their own Experimental Acres. Each farm has a unique question they are trying to answer, based on their interests and goals. In addition to financial support, we offer soil testing and community building events. We sorted each project into one of three funding streams. 

1. Crop/Planting (up to $1000.00 in funding available): Maintaining soil cover helps reduce soil erosion from wind and precipitation. Example practices include cover cropping, intercropping and introducing new crops into the rotation

2. Innovation (up to $2000.00 in funding available)The innovation stream is for projects that have the potential to benefit soil health, and do not fit into other categories. Example practices include tarping to reduce tillage intesity, winter crop rotation, and planting tall grass prairie. 

3. Animal/Grazing (up to $3000.00 in funding available): Integrating animals on the farm can have many benefits to soil health and promote carbon storage in cropland soil. Example practices include rotational grazing, silvopasture, and bale grazing.

See samples of current Experimental Acres projects below.

Download accessible and printable version of Experimental Acres Farm Plans eBook

Apply Now to participate in Experimental Acres 2023!

Events

Up-Coming Events

Check back soon for more up-coming events!

 

 Past Events

Does Soil Health Pay? Understanding the Costs and Benefits of Agricultural Soil Management

Join experts from the Greebelt Foundation, University of Guelph and local farmers to discuss the economic highs and lows of soil health practices. The event will include information about the Greenbelt Report "Towards a Business Case for Soil Health". Practices discussed will include tillage intensity, cover cropping, crop rotation, nutrient management, organic amendment use and rotational grazing. The event is co-sponsored by The Greenbelt Foundation, Our Food Future and Erin Common Ground. Light refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is required. Registration details can be found on EventBrite.

 

Event Date: November 23, 2022, 7:00pm

Location: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 442, 12 Dundas St E, Erin, ON, N0B 1T0

 

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair - Education Symposium

Stop by the Education Symposium hosted by the University of Guelph to hear Our Food Future Sustainability Programme Coordinator Jordan Grigg speak about regenerative agriculture, the importance of soil health and the future of food. The Education Symposium runs from 10:30am-3:30pm. Admission to the Education Symposium is free, however tickets for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair must be purchased. 

Event Date: November 10, 2022

Location: Exhibition Place, 100 Princes' Blvd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3

 

OSCIA Harnessing the Power of Soil Health

Along with Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and the Grand River Agricultural Society, Our Food Future co-sponsored a field day about soil health. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs' Soil Health Team demystified the soil pit, compaction and the important of soil microbiology. 

Event date: July 21, 2022 

Soil Webinar

 

We held a webinar discussing soil health and livestock nutrition. Sessions included:

  • Growing your Herd from the Ground Up. Gary Zimmer of Midwestern BioAg, in conversation with Janet Harrop of Harrcroft Acres and Jonathan Zettler of Fieldwalker Agronomy.
  • Local Resources. A brief review of how and where to find support.
  • Getting started. A panel discussion with local farmers sharing the hurdles and supports they have encountered as they shift practices. Moderated by Mel Luymes of Headlands Ag-Enviro-Solutions
  • Closing remarks. A message from Senator Rob Black.  

 Event date: March 4, 2022

Current Opportunities

The Experimental Acres Pilot is recruiting for 2023! Applications will be open from November 14, 2022 until Janaury 3, 2023. Applicants from Wellington, Dufferin and Grey Counties will be considered. Successful applicants will hear back in late January 2023, and all applicants will hear back by February 2023. Please contact us with any questions. 

Apply here


 

Our Food Future

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The County of Wellington and the City of Guelph are working together on the federally-funded Our Food Future project, which envisions a smart Circular Food Economy for our region. For details about the entire project, please visit www.foodfuture.ca

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