Seonaid MacDonell, recent MREM graduate, as featured in a recent issue of DalNews.
Excited today to see this DalNews profile on Seonaid MacDonell. I was Seonaid’s MREM advisor during her summer working with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, and supervised her fall project. During the fall she did a systematic literature review of an issue that has been interesting me since my trip to Alberta last spring. Most research assumes that farmers are more likely to adopt a new practice if their neighbours do. This assumes that if a farmer looks over the fenceline and sees something better, they’ll be moved to do the same. But this ignores lots of the interpersonal stuff that happens over a fenceline, and has happened over years. Great to have Seonaid confirm that this is a research gap.
Carolyn won’t be wielding any test tubes with us.
Great to have Carolyn Mann joining our sustainable grazing team, working remotely from Ottawa. Carolyn is finishing up her Masters at Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus in parallel with this part time research contract. Her Masters sees her combining soil testing with farmer interviews about soil quality. She won’t be wielding any test tubes in her work with me, however. Carolyn will be launching the third stream of our Reconciling HM SSHRC project: talking to HM trainers to understand whether HM farmers are born, or made. Welcome aboard.
Don Ruzicka, the sage, explains what he does and why to colleague John Parkins and U of A grad students.
Great to be here in Alberta and finally getting boots on the ground at some Canadian farms using Holistic Management or its variants. Tuesday we met farmers Steve and Amber Kenyon at Greener Pastures near Busby, at their custom grazing operation, as well as their farming friends from Athabasca, Rusty and Agnes. Steve calls what he does ‘sustainable grazing’ and combines ideas from a range of thinkers including Allan Savory, as well as running his own training. Later that day we met former HM trainer Noel McNaughton, and the next day one of his star students, Don Ruzicka at Sunrise Farms, over near Wainwright. The weather is apocalyptic, but there is nothing like getting into the field, talking to people and looking at landscape to help you shape research so it really matters.
Wood Turtles are a species at risk in Nova Scotia.
Two SRES grads were in the news together last week. Simon Greenland-Smith, MES and now working for the NSFA (though he still sits down the hall), is launching his new Wood Turtle Strides farmer incentive program for species at risk, with the help of Katie McLean, MREM and now Clean Annapolis River Project. Another recent MREM grad, Mhari Lamarque, is also working on the Wood Turtle Strides project doing program evaluation.