About Us

Our Vision

Soils At Guelph is an initiative within the University of Guelph that envisions science-backed sustainable soil management practices becoming the “norm” across the agricultural landscape.  

We work to increase awareness of research initiatives

We support opportunities for knowledge exchange

We work in collaboration with others whenever possible

Who we are:

SOILS Team:

Executive Co-Directors and Staff

Our Executive Co-Directors reflect the multidisciplinary and collaborative approach that Soils At Guelph envisions in Ontario.

Dr. Kari Dunfield – Soil Microbiologist

Dr. Laura Van Eerd – Soil Health and Agronomy

Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle – Agrometerologist

 

Staff

Knowledge Mobilization and Communications Coordinator – Heather White brings a practical and academic background in Environmental Science, Community Engagement, and Communications and experience on Ontario Farms.

We also strive to give University students an opportunity to become involved in the work of Soils At Guelph.  If interested in a Co-op placement or have another idea for involvement, please reach out to our team and we can explore opportunities. 

SOILS Strategic Advisory Board:

Drawn from the broad community of stakeholders, representing soil health interests in Ontario

Farmer-producers

  • Bob Kerr, Ontario grain and vegetable Farmer
  • Don Lobb, Ontario grain Farmer
  • Brian Rideout, Ontario apple grower
  • Michael Schouten, Ontario grain grower
  • Marty Vermey, Grain Farmers of Ontario

Broader soil health community stakeholders

  • Sharon Bowes, AgScape
  • Ataharul Chowdhury, Capacity Development and Extension, U of G
  • John Cranfield, Associate Dean, Ontario Agricultural College
  • Mel Luymes, Ontario Soil Network
  • Ian McDonald, OMAFRA
  • Lillie Anne Morris, Glacier Farm Media
  • Jo-Anne Rzadki, Conservation Ontario
  • Angie Straathof, Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association
  • Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA
  • Bob Willcox, President Glacier Farm Media

 

If you’d like to be part of our Strategic Advisory Board in the future, please let us know.

SOILS Collaborations:

SOILS believes in working with others to achieve common goals.  We serve on committees, task forces, and in collaborative initiatives that advance the vision of science-backed sustainable soil management practices becoming the “norm” across the agricultural landscape.  Some of these collaborations include:

  • CREATE-Climate Smart Soils Program
  • Ontario Cover Crop Committee
  • ONFARM Stakeholder Engagement Working Group
  • Ontario Soil Action Group (SAG)
  • Ontario Soil Health Marketing and Communications Working Group
  • Ontario Soil Health Education Initiative
  • Ontario Soil Network
  • The Greenbelt Foundation

SOILS History: Grounded and Evolving

We began as a $500,000 donation from citizen activists with a passion for soil care and conservation to mark World Soil Day in 2018.

The Donation was amplified by support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and their Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance partnership. We continue to build new collaborations.

We are part of a longer tradition of soils extension and knowledge mobilization at the University of Guelph; from its early days (circa 1874) in the Ontario Agricultural College’s Department of Field Husbandry to the modern day, technologically sophisticated Soil Health Monitoring Station at the Soil Health Interpretive Centre, located at the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Elora.

SOILS Donors and Financial Supporters:

This initiative is made possible through contributions from Lillie Ann Morris, Bob and Moira Kerr, Glacier FarmMedia, The Butt Family Memorial Soil Knowledge Mobilization Fund, and a gift made in memory of Dick and Flora Heard.

This initiative is also funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario Government and the University of Guelph.

If you’d like to support the work of Soils At Guelph, please let us know.