News Releases

Soil Conservation Council names Donald Lobb, honorary member

Indian Head, Sask., April 15, 2013:

Don Lobb, conservation leader, innovator and farmer, has been named an Honorary Life Member of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC). "Don has been a leader on many fronts and his efforts are an example of how soil management on farms anchors all of agriculture and food production," says SCCC president, Don McCabe in making the announcement.

Lobb was born in Huron County, Ontario and graduated from the agriculture program at the Western Ontario Agricultural College, Ridgetown Campus in 1960. From 1962 to 1997 he farmed in central Huron County and was heavily involved in agricultural research, providing his land for more than 50 university, government and agri-industry research projects.

"These sites were invaluable to researchers," says Glen Shaw, executive director of SCCC. "Studies included monitoring groundwater levels and water quality under no-till and conventional tillage, effect of tillage on relocation of soil on slopes, water erosion, evaluation of cover crops, no-till planter modifications for no-till corn and integrated pest management."

In 1981 Lobb began to convert his cash crop land from conventional tillage to no-till. He established windbreaks, reforestation and a modified terrace system with drop inlets connected to subsurface drains and grassed waterways. The farm became a model for sustainable land use for agriculture and the environment, hosting visitors from six continents at "Conservation Days" tours.

The Lobb farm was presented as a case study for conservation in Senator Sparrow's report "Soil at Risk, Canada's eroding Future," says Shaw. In that 1984 report Lobb concluded "The no till system will effectively control soil erosion on his farm and sustain the productive potential of the land. It will also maintain crop yields and reduce his production costs."

As a leading conservationist Lobb was a founding director of SCCC in 1987 and served as a director from 1996 to 1998. In 1992 SCCC inducted Lobb into the Conservation Hall of Fame.

Lobb has authored, co-authored or served as a member of the editorial team for a number of reports, including Best Management Practice (BMP) manuals "Field Crop Production;" "No-Till, Making it Work for Agriculture;" and "Cropland Drainage." He has presented at numerous meetings in Canada, the United States and in the Ukraine on agronomy practices, no-till, land drainage, nutrient management and erosion control.

Throughout his career education has been a high priority. He was a lead proponent and provided technical support for the Ontario Ag in the Classroom production of the teaching module "Food Production and Soil Management." From 1985 to 2000 he was a guest lecturer at the University of Guelph on conservation cropping systems and at Centralia College of Agricultural Technology on conservation cropping systems, conservation tillage economics and farm business management.

He participated in the development, promotion and delivery of the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan and an evaluation of the National Soil Conservation Program.

In 1986 Lobb was co-organizer and chairman of the first Ontario No-Till / Ridge-Till workshop. The success of this farmer led workshop led to the creation of the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario which provides a forum where farmers can exchange ideas and experience on adoption of sustainable agriculture practices.

Lobb's contributions to conservation and the environment have been recognized locally and nationally by many groups: The Soil and Water Conservation Society Honour Award; Conservation Hall of Fame; the Ontario Institute of Agrologists Honorary Life Membership; the University of Guelph Outstanding Service Award; the Environment Canada Environmental Citizenship Award; the A.D. Latornell Conservation Pioneer Award; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and the L.B. Thomson Conservation Award by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Alumni.

"I believe that each of us came into this world with a responsibility to leave it a better place than we found it. And I believe that those land managers who practice conservation will prosper and enjoy great satisfaction in fulfilling that responsibility," says Lobb.

Currently Lobb is involved with the installation and management of sports fields and equestrian facilities. He maintains a keen and active interest in agriculture and an active supporter of SCCC.

For more information, contact:

Glen Shaw, Executive Director
Soil Conservation Council of Canada
Ph: (306) 972-7293

Don McCabe, President
Soil Conservation Council of Canada
Ph: (519) 331-6175
Jean-Louis Daigle, Executive Director/Directeur général
Eastern Canada Soil and Water Conservation Centre/
Centre de conservation des sols et de l'eau de l'Est du Canada
Saint-André (Grand Falls), NB
Ph: (506) 475-4040