Tony McQuail bought a farm near Lucknow, Ontario in 1973. He and his wife, Fran, ran a diversified organic farm raising livestock, a small apple orchard and operated a community supported garden. McQuail was an early adopter of rotational grazing and has decades of experience in pasture management and fencing systems. They have been using Holistic Management principles and tools for over 25 years. At Meeting Place Organic Farm they raise grass fed and finished beef, pastured pork and pastured poultry and have done some experimenting with cocktail cover crops. They do some of their farming with work horses. They took a played-out crop farm from approximately 1.5% soil organic matter to 3.5 to 7% organic matter moving CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil. The McQuails have transferred the farm operation to their daughter Katrina and continue to be actively involved in it.
McQuail has an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and is a certified educator with Holistic Management International. He was instrumental in founding the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training. He has been president of both the Huron County Federation of Agriculture and the Huron Local of the National Farmers Union.
He has a long-standing interest in renewable energy including wind power, live horsepower, solar heating and photovoltaic systems. The McQuails designed and built a passive solar home in the mid 1970’s. The McQuails put up the first modern grid interconnected wind generator on the Ontario Hydro Grid in the late 1970’s. They annually produce more photovoltaic electricity from their microfit solar array than their home and farm business consume.
McQuail was the executive assistant to the Ontario Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs in the early 1990’s. During that time, he was involved in the process that developed Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plan Program which continues to this day. He is currently on Holistic Management Canada’s Board of Directors.
Measuring soil carbon and health on rangelands: A how-to webinar
October 27 | 11:00am MT
When we think about regeneration we need to think broadly about interconnection. Regenerative agriculture is about land, but it is also about human and economic relationships. If we are going to be regenerative we have to look after the Land AND the People AND the Finances.
Do you struggle with wondering what is the right decision to make to help you farm or ranch more regeneratively? Learn how to use HMI’s Holistic Management(R) Decision-Making Matrix and the 7 testing questions that have helped thousands of farmers and ranchers improve their on-farm/ranch decisions. With these questions you can learn how to test decisions towards a whole farm/ranch goal so you take into account social, ecological, and economic factors and address the root cause of problems you are facing.
Another element of being regenerative is being adaptive and responsive to our situation, be it ecological, social or financial. That is where Holistic Management’s (R) monitoring and replanning can be of great help.
During the workshop we will explore these tools and share some stories of how they have worked in our lives at Meeting Place Organic Farm.