Join us for an evening about integrated beneficial management practices you can use on your farm. Cover cropping and rotational grazing can help to build soil, sequester carbon, improve pastures and animal health, increase crop yields and create a diversified ecosystem where plants and animals can thrive.
Cover cropping is a sustainable agricultural practice that involves planting crops specifically to improve soil health, increase climate adaptability and promote climate mitigation. Cover crops are grown primarily for the benefits they provide to the soil and the ecosystem and, when carefully chosen and managed, can be hugely beneficial to farmers. Benefits include protecting the soil from erosion, suppressing weeds, reducing soil compaction, increasing soil organic matter, improving soil structure, increasing soil water-holding capacity, and enhancing nutrient cycling. In addition, cover crops can provide a habitat for beneficial insects, such as pollinators and predators of pests.
Rotational grazing is a set of techniques used to control the time aspect of grazing that typically leads to overgrazing in a continuous grazing system. Livestock are moved into a defined area, typically called a paddock, where they have access to graze the plants in that area. They are then rotated to a new paddock while grazed plants have a chance to recover. The livestock are not moved back to that paddock again until the plants there have fully recovered.
We invite farmers to join us online, watch a virtual tour of Fresh Valley Farm and participate in a Q&A with our farm host, Steve Meggait, and Executive Director of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association, Julia Smith. Julia and Steve are grazing mentors with the Farmers for Climate Solutions and Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association Advanced Grazing Systems mentorship program.
About the Farm
Fresh Valley Farms is a fourth-generation, certified organic farm in the North Okanagan selling nutrient-dense, pasture-raised, and certified organic meats and garlic throughout the North and Central Okanagan Valley. Steve Meggait and Annelise Grube-Cavers raise certified organic beef, chicken, turkey, and heritage pork on pasture. The farm uses all-natural, regenerative systems, with an emphasis on animal welfare.
Guest Speakers and Q&A
Steve is a fourth-generation farmer in Armstrong, BC. He’s the owner of Fresh Valley Farms, a family run farming and direct marketing business that produces Certified Organic, pasture-raised beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Steve manages over 375 acres of crop lands and mountainside pasture, produces pork from farrow-to-finish, grass-finished beef from cow/calf, and broiler chickens and turkeys, in a rotational pasture system. Steve and his partner Annelise run a Provincially Inspected chicken abattoir and a Farmgate Plus pork abattoir, as well as butchering and direct marketing everything they produce. Steve is a founding member of and current Vice-President of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association.
Julia is a grazing mentor with the Farmers for Climate Solution’s Farm Resilience Mentorship (FaRM) Program. She has been raising a wide range of livestock including cattle, sheep, poultry and pigs over the past 12 years. Range riding, grazing sheep and working to preserve critically endangered Red Wattle hogs keep her busy these days at Blue Sky Ranch in Nlaka’pamux Territory near Merritt, BC. She is a founding member and Past-President of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association, where she now serves as Executive Director. Julia is on the board of directors of Farmers for Climate Solutions and was Vice-President of the National Farmers Union, where she continues to be active on the livestock committee.