Brant County farmer Steve Sickle has been named president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) for 2023.
Sickle has been involved in the Brant Federation of Agriculture, Brant Beef Farmers, Ontario Soil Network, and the agriculture advisory council for the county. His OSCIA involvement stretches back many years, and he’s also worked on the Golden Horseshoe Regional Board for more than a decade.
Sickle and his family grow corn, soybeans, edible beans, winter wheat and hay and follow either a no-till or plant green system to keep topsoil in place. Their 25-cow beef herd helps to utilize cover crops as feed. Cattle are grazed for upwards of ten months, which saves hay costs and machinery start-ups.
“I have been mentored by many Soil and Crop members over the years,” says Sickle. “What I’ve learned has helped to improve my operation financially and environmentally. I’m honoured to be named president for 2023 and look forward to working with others to introduce new ideas that will serve the needs of our members and keep the organization moving forward.”
OSCIA is a unique, not-for-profit grassroots farm organization with a network made up of more than 50 county and district associations encompassed by 11 designated regions. With more than 4,000 members, OSCIA’s mandate is to facilitate responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops through development and communication of innovative farming practices. Its farmer members actively seek, test, and adopt optimal farm production and stewardship practices.
OSCIA announced its 2023 slate of provincial directors earlier this month at its annual meeting. The full list includes:
- Steve Sickle – President (Golden Horseshoe)
- Phil Oegema – 1st Vice (Thames Valley)
- Eleanor Renaud – 2nd Vice (Ottawa Rideau)
- Andy Van Niekerk – 3rd Vice (Georgian Central)
- Warren Schneckenburger – Past President
- Birgit Martin – Northeastern Ontario
- Chad Quinlan – St. Clair
- John Poel – Heartland
- Gord Speksnijder – Quinte
- Ian McDonald – Honorary President 2023
- Dave Schraa – Northwestern Ontario
- Alan Kruszel – Eastern Valley
- Brady Jones – East Central
- Allan Thompson – Golden Horseshoe