The Prairie Flavours Ranch, owned and operated by Nathan and Megan Maier, welcomed 13 guests for a one-day Open Gate Learning workshop on September 28.
Blaine Hjertas, a holistic management professional certified educator, was a special guest
"The day was beautiful and the people were great," said Hjertas.
"We had 13 guests who attended from Yorkton and the local area," he said.
The day started out with Hjertas introducing what holistic management means. Al Foster, a forage specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, gave a talk about grazing principles.
"We went on to the pasture and moved cattle. It’s a nice walk with many questions asked and species identified," Hjertas said. "We returned to the yard for a delicious meal served by our hosts. The entire meal was grown on their farm.”
In the afternoon, the Assiniboine Watershed group talked about the programs and services available to producers in the area, he said. Megan and Nathan spoke about how they made the decision to come to the farm.
“Nathan is from Ontario and not from a farm,” he said. “They talked about the financial challenges of operating a small farm and how they make decisions with their family in mind.
“We toured their poultry operation,” he said. “They produce 4,000 broilers annually plus 100 turkeys and have 300 laying hens all on an outdoor system.”
"Hjertas dug out several soil plugs and talked about healthy soil and how carbon is sequestered into the soil," said Megan Maier.
Kathleen Smith, Cameron Hanson-Preece and Jesse Nielson, representatives from the Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association gave a presentation on the Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program regarding the cost-sharing incentives available to eligible producers for agricultural-related projects.
"We discussed the funding program side and other program funding available," said Hansen-Preece.
"The group returned to the yard for another round of questions and answers, Hjertas said, adding that at the conclusion, many of those who attended had said that it was one of the best field days they had attended.
It was a very positive, young and energized group, he said. The people from the Ministry and the Watershed Association were impressed with the holistic management program and what it had to offer.
“Hopefully more opportunities will occur to work together in the future as a result of this day," said Hjertas.
The workshop was a great day with a lot of information shared," said Megan Maier.