A long-time government soil specialist, Anne Verhallen, and Jim Denys, a Middlesex, Ont. farmer, were the recipients of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s 2019 Soil Champions award.
Anne Verhallen, soil management specialist for horticulture crops with the Ontario ministry of agriculture, food and rural affairs (OMAFRA), first joined the ministry in the late 1980s to deliver the Land Stewardship Program in Essex and Kent Counties.
Active in farmer outreach, Verhallen is a long-time advocate for soil health, played a key role in launching the popular annual Southwest Ag Conference and more recently helped get the “Soil Your Undies” campaign off the ground as part of her passion for extension and ongoing efforts to help people visualize soil.
“I’ve had the best job. I’ve been able to work with researchers and farmers—the best day for me is to be out on the farm soil sampling and talking to farmers,” Verhallen says.
Nominations for the 2020 Soil Champion can be submitted any time up to November 1, 2019 at ontariosoilcrop.org OSCIA is a unique, not-for-profit grassroots farm organization whose mission is to facilitate responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops through development and communication of innovative farming practices.
Source: Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, February 11, 2019 news release