Wellington County’s Simon Signer has been named the Ontario Forage Master for 2014
Simon Signer was named Ontario Forage Master for 2014 at a recognition event at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on November 12. Signer and wife Kristina operate Sigview Farms Limited near Drayton in Wellington County. He credits high quality forage as the foundation for their 47-head Brown Swiss milking herd.
The annual Ontario Forage Master competition is an annual event sponsored by PICKSEED Canada Inc., SGS Agri-Food Laboratories, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. There were over 200 entries this year representing 24 different counties and districts. Local winners are declared based on field judging of forage quality. From there, winners have the opportunity to move to the public speaking portion of the competition, staged at the provincial level. Participants present how forages are selected, grown, harvested, stored and utilized for top production on their farms. Judging is done by a panel of experts.
“All of our four finalists in this year’s Ontario Forage Masters competition were dairy producers that had no difficulty expressing their views on the role of forages in their cropping and feeding programs,” says Allan Mol, OSCIA President. “That made the judges decision difficult, but Simon Signer’s presentation had just a little extra polish that made him this year’s winner.”
“As a sponsor of the Ontario Forage Masters competition, SGS AgriFood Laboratories wants to congratulate Simon Signer as the successful winner,” declares Nelmy Narvaez. “It was my pleasure to serve as a judge. There were four excellent speakers from different counties, and all of them took special care to create a presentation that conveyed their experiences on the best forage management practices and the benefits forages bring to their farms. Simon was an excellent speaker providing a clear and organized presentation with techniques easily applicable and transferable. He demonstrated that the real value of forages is given by farming practices focusing on producing quality forage with proper management.”
Signer took over management of the dairy farm from his parents in 2011. “We aim for top quality forage without sacrificing yield or plant health,” declares Signer, “Quality never lets you down.”
“Why do we go to all this trouble?” asks Signer rhetorically, “Because it makes sense, lots of cents!”
Signer now qualifies to compete in the 2015 American Forage and Grassland Council’s Forage Spokesperson Competition to be held January 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is a grassroots farm organization committed to facilitating responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops through development and communication of innovative farming practices.
PICKSEED Canada Inc. is a leader in the development, production and distribution of turfgrass and forage crop seed. Since its beginning in 1947, PICKSEED has built a trusted and proven reputation for quality, agronomic advice and a commitment to research and technology. PICKSEED currently has locations across Canada and Oregon operating under the PICKSEED, Mapleseed, Seed Research of Oregon, and TurfOne brand names.
SGS Agri-Food Laboratories Inc., is the largest independent agriculture testing lab in Ontario based in Guelph. SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification and certification services. Founded in 1878 in Europe, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity.