Owned by Glacier FarmMedia, the Discovery Farm located in western Canada is an innovative agricultural event and demonstration site designed to connect with Canadian farmers and research partners.
Every year, the Discovery Farm staff works with partners to facilitate independent research and learnings that matter to Canadian farmers.
Kaitlyn Kitzan, Business Development and Operations Specialist for Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm, says, “During the global pandemic, Glacier FarmMedia realized that there are two great outdoor farm shows that have quite a few acres involved. And the question was how do we make these sites have more production instead of relying on a three-day show to utilize the sites.”
The Saskatchewan location was first launched in 2019 and the Discovery Farm in Woodstock was launched last fall.
Kitzan works together with Blake Weiseth, Applied Research Lead, on projects, outreach and education.
“In a lot of respects, we’re operating and running a commercial farm along with running an applied research and demonstration program,” Weiseth says. “In the types of projects we do, we’re often times using commercially available technologies and commercially available equipment based on strong industry partnerships.”
Addressing current challenges for farmers is the Discovery Farm’s goal. Managing three large shows, however, is a daunting task for the team.
“One of things that is critically important to us is knowledge transfer and research dissemination,” Weiseth says. “On one end of the grounds is where the Ag in Motion show takes places and then we have the opportunity to go to the field to see things in action.”
With technology advances, the Discovery Farm team says they also have the ability to bring field results into the show as well.
Research, demonstration verification and knowledge transfer are the three pillars the Discovery Farm is intentionally working on.
“This is where our social media, webinars and outdoor farm show comes into place,” Kitzan says. “In my opinion, if you’re not getting it into farmer’s hands or getting into the right people’s hands, it may be a waste of your money.”
In 2021, the Discovery Farm launched VIP Farmer Days. With the VIP Farmer Days, Kitzan says they brought 60 farmers together a day and grouped them into groups of 10. Within the groups, they would visit 12 interactive stations for 20 minutes each.
Additionally, Weiseth and his team are continually conducting research and looking for new research studies that farmers are wanting.
“In Canada, we’re arguably coming out of the worst drought since 1936, so water efficiency is at the top of everyone’s mind,” Weiseth says. “Along with nutrient use efficiency.”
To work through projects efficiently, the Discovery Farm also partners with universities — including the University of Saskatchewan, particularly Dr. Jeff Schoenau. Students is also a large part of the mission of the farm, including agriculture education, knowledge and research understanding.
“We’re building this movement together and we need all the help we can. I encourage you to reach out and let’s have a conversation,” Kitzan says. “Stay tuned for what’s coming and look forward to 2022, I can promise you there are some cool things in the works.”
To learn more about the Glacier FarmMedia, Discovery Farm visit discoveryfarm.ca or reach out directly to Kaitlyn Kitzan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Blake Weiseth at email@example.com.
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