Glen Rabenberg is an internationally known speaker, soil expert, CEO, and organic farmer. His areas of expertise are soil remediation, high quality crop production, organic farming practices, and animal health. He explains through storytelling and humour how simply correcting the cause can decrease a farmer’s input costs, improve crop quality, build soil resiliency, and restore the agro-ecosystem.
Glen is often called on to speak at industry events to present on the subject of soil compaction, water penetration, organic weed control, crop quality, and animal health.
Prior to becoming involved in soil restoration, Glen’s journey began in the animal pharmaceutical industry. Many of the diseases he was employed to treat were the result of nutritional deficiencies from the grains and forages the animals were consuming. Glen has proven that by increasing the oxygen content of the soil and building the carbon content of the plant, we can correct the cause of most agricultural problems rather than react to their symptoms.
Glen maintains his third generation organic farm in Bancroft, SD. He is CEO of Soil Works LLC, extensively travels the world speaking on soil restoration, and is the innovator behind GSR Calcium.
Dr. Thomas Dykstra
Dr. Thomas Dykstra is the Laboratory Director of his own lab, Dykstra Laboratories in Gainesville, Florida and serves as the scientific advisor for Advancing Eco Agriculture. For 25 years, he has studied bioelectromagnetics (how electromagnetic fields affect life), especially as it relates to insects. He holds entomology degrees from Cornell University as well as the University of Florida and has been awarded seven patents with one patent pending. Dr. Dykstra consults for farmers, agricultural companies, tech firms, attorneys, international governments, and insurance agencies. He has visited three continents and presents lectures on diverse topics covering entomology, olfactory physiology, biophysics, paramagnetism, neurobiology, and biological antennae. In terms of active research, Dr. Dykstra deciphered the insect olfactory code back in 2016 and characterizes chemoreceptors for various medical and agricultural insect pests. He teaches both farmers and agricultural consultants how to raise healthy crops for their families and for profit.
Date of Birth: September 2, 1970
Passion: Cows (Holstein)
I quit my job as a certified hoof trimmer ten years ago to pursue soil biology full time. I have since traveled a lot and worked on various projects. The goal of all efforts is that agriculture must change, not whether it will eventually change. However, these changes should be simple, flexible, and implementable with as little effort as necessary. So, I'm very happy to be able to work with the people from Back to Your Roots Soil Solutions and High Brix Manufacturing teams.
From the town of Canwood, SK, Greg was raised on the family farm where he developed his rural roots and an appreciation for the important work that all farmers dedicate themselves to. After leaving the family farm in his early adult years, he successfully forged his path in several industries where he became well-traveled and well-versed. This variety of experience coincidentally led him back to agriculture where he found the purpose of his work was strongest. He shut down his reputable construction company and diverted all efforts to this new direction.
Greg’s commitment to agricultural business started at the Soil Food Web in the early 2000’s. Working with Elaine Ingham and other big industry names, he often felt everyone he was working with only had a piece to the puzzle and no one had a complete solution to remedying soil health issues that directly affect farmers and their bottom lines. With lack of continuity and support for alternative solutions, Greg began working on a systems-based approach to correcting the cause of soil health concerns. After meeting pivotal people like Glen Rabenberg and Steve Weston, the picture began to become clear. Many years of trials and tribulations that were driven by genuine curiosity and perseverance, resulted in Greg achieving his goal. Providing effective products and philosophies to producers who are looking to regain control of their farms and rejuvenate the health of their soils.
20 years later, Greg lives on a 60-acre Saskatoon berry farm in Leduc County, AB, with his manufacturing business being established on the adjacent land. His goal of building his own manufacturing facility was achieved by January 2021 where he can now concentrate his efforts with the facilities required to ensure its success. He remains passionate about educating producers and pushing the knowledge base forward towards a future where farmers have regained control of their land and its output. With an uncertain future ahead of us, this dedication and knowledge comes at a critical time.
Presentation speaker: Healthy Soil. Heathy Gut. – Not so different
Through Registered Nurses training, in Edmonton, I discovered I enjoyed learning about nutrition and biochemistry. I was intrigued that you could eat plant foods to get all the protein you needed, at least on paper.
When I moved to Prince Albert in 1979, I started an organic sprouting business, and went on to explore foods of the world, study nutrition and grow a garden. I ended up teaching Whole Foods Cooking at SIAST for about 15 years. When I discovered that a vegetarian diet could not satisfy my hunger for any length of time, I began to explore what the right diet for me might be. I stumbled upon Metabolic Typing as a way to find out. I became a Metabolic Typing Advisor and started a practice with the Naturopath, Dr. Lucy Ormerod at Quest Clinic in Prince Albert. At the same time, I sold my sprouting business of 17 years and worked part time at Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds, also an organic business. I am passionate about growing organic food, eating and preserving the fruits of my labor. Back to Your Roots education solidified my understanding of the benefits of feeding the soil and getting its’ microbiome to work for me. It is not surprising that I have become drawn to the exact same thing in my body as new testing tools and science dig us deeper in the diversity, benefits and understanding of our own body’s microbiome.
It is hard to ignore the evidence that the gut microbiome is speaking to us to let us know it is at the seat of many of our health issues. What is the buzz about the biome all about? It can influence how we age, gain weight, how the immune system works, what hormones we make enough of and how different parts of the body communicate. Is it human behavior or microbiome behavior we are exhibiting? My presentation will explore the most recent research and just how much of a difference a healthy gut microbiome seems to make. There are at least 100 trillion bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the microbiome. We are only 10% human DNA when you include them in our body gene totals. Who lives in it? Where do they live? What influences it? How do we change it for the better or worse? How do they talk to us? What do they make and do for us? Why should we care? If we are sick, how can it help or hinder us?
It is not too surprising that ancient, fermented foods have been recently proven to help the gut microbiome. In case you lost the art of sauerkraut making, I will reintroduce it to you. Being as it is winter and variety of plant foods are necessary to feed the microbiome, I will give a quick kitchen garden primer involving how to grow sprouts and microgreens.
Lorne Muller (Conference Emcee)
Lorne Muller grew up in the Swan River Valley of Manitoba and knew he wanted to farm since being a kid. He worked along side his father and grandfather and later, his wife Monica, after their marriage in the late 80’s. As their own family arrived, it was important that everyone helped as they could, to understand where the food supply came from.
Quality of food became an important factor in their family. As their years of farming continued, watching the land they farmed become harder, while plant residues took longer to decompose, it became apparent that the soil was not working like it used to or as it should. The concept of producing quality food on soil that was not working properly was a concern that could not be ignored. ‘Something had to change!’
After almost 2 years of looking and researching what needed to change in their soil, they came into contact with Back to Your Roots Soil Solutions. After much discussion, the decision was made to try their product. The wait time between application in the fall and seeding time in spring was one of apprehension and anticipation. However, after seeing the difference in the soil changing, that turned to excitement. Over the next few years as the soil came back to life, there was a change in passion and working part time with BTYR became part of the farming operation. Telling others what was able to happen in their soil became the focus of their future. Producing quality, nutrient dense food was very possible by paying attention to soil health!
As their family grew up, it became apparent that each child wanted to pursue their own passions. Plans for retiring from farming were put into place. Having used the BTYR program for 12 years, plans for working full time with BTYR became the goal. This involved re-locating into a more central part of the province to be able to serve all of Manitoba better.
The farm is now rented out and the community of LaSalle is where they now call home. Lorne and Monica welcome the opportunity to work with farmers to improve their soil health, just as they themselves experienced.