When we caught up with the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative’s (POGI) Iris Vaisman at Farmtech in January (interview included below), the organization was still gauging levels of interest in a year-long agronomist training course. As of last week, dates have been made available and registration is open.
The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI), housed under Organic Alberta, received $1.2 million from the federal government last May, with the goal to increase both the quantity and quality of organic field crops in the prairies.
“While the Canadian organic food market has tripled since 2006 from $1 billion to $3 billion, organic production has not kept pace,” said Becky Lipton, Organic Alberta’s executive director, in a release. “This project will support expansion of Canadian organic grain and field crops while simultaneously building resiliency and stability in the sector. By achieving increased quantity and quality we will not only meet the demand but be leaders in continued market expansion.”
One of the means by which the POGI hopes to address these opportunities is by offering training programs to provide agronomists with the knowledge and resources they need to provide advice to organic producers.
The year-long training programs will be put on by the POGI and the University of Manitoba, and are intended to train agronomists (and anyone else who is interested) in “the art and science of organic grain production.”
The program begins with an in-persion session, and is followed by support throughout the year, then another in-person meeting in 2017. The cost to register is $159.60, and includes both in-person training sessions (with lunch) and a full year of online support.