Organic Grain Industry Teleconference

June 14, 2019

Organic Grain Industry Teleconference

Growing the Organic Community through Exchange

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM MST.

The goal of the calls will be to build community and grow capacity through exchange and learning. The who’s who in the prairie organic sector will be on this call. Don’t miss it!

Dial-In Number:
Access Code: 9817492

Organic Market Update
David Becker of The Jacobsen will discuss how Canadian organic wheat and corn markets are impacted by US domestic demand and imports. Specifically, by looking at the current and future supply and demand of US domestic organic corn and organic soybean/soybean meal in the US for the balance of the 2019 season, and the beginning of 2020. Building off of David’s presentation, Sam Raser of Grain Millers will provide information on how this relationship impacts Canadian prairie organic grain farmers. Including the opportunities and challenges this presents and what prairie farmers can expect moving forward.

David Becker is a senior commodity analyst at The Jacobsen, covering organic and non-GMO grains, oils and proteins. Prior to joining the Jacobsen in 2011, Mr. Becker worked as a portfolio manager for 3- hedge funds and two investment banks over a 20-year period. Mr. Becker has a BA in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College.

Sam Raser is currently the manager of Organic Procurement for Grain Millers. He is from Chaska, MN. He grew up on a small dairy/crop/beef farm. Sam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Agriculture Education. He started my career with Cargill Animal Nutrition for 3 years of service, and has been with Grain Millers Inc. since 2008. With Grain Millers Sam has spent his tenure in the organic procurement side of the business, mainly working with our mills. Sam have a wife and 3 kids all ages 4 and under!

Organic Agriculture on the Prairies – 2018 Data Report
Tia Loftsgard and Diana Zeidan of Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) will be presenting new 2018 Organic Agriculture in the Prairies data. Knowing how many farmers are producing different organic crops allows organic stakeholders to be proactive and resilient by being able to adjust their programs accordingly. The data also allows businesses in the organic sector to plan, take advantage of opportunities, and prepare for future challenges.

Tia Loftsgard is the Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association. Tia has worked in the field of organic and international agricultural trade for over 20 years. She got her start in the business by founding the first ever Fairtrade organic chocolate company (Camino) and has held senior roles with Fairtrade International, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of Fairtrade America. Tia is currently a voting member of the Organic Standards Technical Committee; the Organic Value Chain Roundtable and holds leadership positions on several committees and task forces that advance the organic sector. Tia joined COTA in 2016.

Diana Zeidan joined COTA in 2018 as a volunteer and is, since, 2019 working part-time as Special Projects Coordinator. Diana is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and holds a MA in Comparative Development Studies from the same university. Diana’s academic work focus on questions related to the deployment of development policies and aid in the Middle East. She is also currently working as a service delivery consultant for the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program funded by IRCC to give pre-arrival support to approved immigrants to Canada.

Prairie Organic Grain Initiative Evaluation Results
Join Robyn McLean of Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy as she shares the results of Tapestry’s evaluation of the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. Learn how the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative impacted farmers and the organic sector on the Prairies as well as next steps for further improvements.
David Becker

Robyn McLean from Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy has been working in the field of evaluation, research and strategy for more than a decade. She focuses on working with programs that involve collaboration and partnership and programs trying to make meaningful changes to complex systems and sectors. POGI started working with Robyn after hearing of her work with the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.

Stakeholder conference call tips:

  • Tell us what you’ve been up to related to transition, marketing and organic production best practices and/or
  • Tell us what you’ve been hearing in the field and/or
  • Tell us what you’re excited about in the organic world!


  • Be shy – we want to hear from you!
  • Forget to dial in to the call the second Wednesday of every month