New funding has come through for the Ontario Soil Network (OSN). The funding, from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, is designated to support 40 farmers’ participation in the 2019 peer-to-peer leadership and learning program.

Following a successful pilot in 2017-18, the OSN 2019 program will be overseen by the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) and is supported by several agricultural organizations. The 2019 leadership challenge will begin with a workshop on January 17-18, 2019, at Kingston, Ont., where participants will learn about agronomy, leadership. RealAgriculture’s own Bern Tobin is one of the guest speakers at the Kingston event.

“The OSN brings together farmers interested in soil sustainability and allows them to support each other by sharing ideas and experiences,” says Laurent (Woody) Van Arkel, a farmer mentor that participated during the pilot of the OSN.

The Ontario Soil Network is designed for farmers who are innovating, using cover crops, reducing tillage, or using amendments and livestock to improve soil. The network connects participating farmers in small groups to learn from each other. Farmers also receive support and training to become better leaders and communicators about agriculture and soil health.

Applications are due by January 11, and can be submitted online at

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