R&D Project:

Interactive Soil and Forages Course Project


Status: Completed

Project Timeline: August 2013 – December 2015


  1. Take lessons learned from pilot project in fall 2013 to develop case studies / field days where farmers and students can learn the basics of soils id, and forages id (both tame and native) & use these tools to give recommendations for successful revegetation/ rejuvenation/ establishment.
  2. Collaborate with UNBC to organize 2 course cycles of a series of 5 case study/ field day events in the Peace (field day timing to be fall (best time for soils) and early summer (best time for forages).
  3. Organize complimentary workshops, lectures, resource people and tools to assist with the integrative challenges.
  4. Instigate more dialog and effective information sharing between students, forage managers, revegetation consultants, university researcher/ professors, soils specialists, and range ecologists.


  • Project timeline: Aug 2013 to Dec 2015
  • Pilot project launched in fall of 2013
  • First year of 5 session course cycle completed July 2014
    • Note: Links to PDFs for the first year course cycle can be found in Factsheets & Documents section
  • Second year of 5 session course cycle completed July 2015
    • Note: Links to PDFs for the second year course cycle can be found in Factsheets & Documents section
  • Forage members and environmental consultants found the days worthwhile
  • Industry & government funding partners committed to first & second cycle of UNBC-PRFA courses
  • Articles written in Forage First newsletter & Beef in BC magazine

Related Information & Resources:

  • Soils of the Fort St John – Dawson Creek Area, BC by T.M. Lord & A.J. Green, 1986
  • Soils Illustrated Field Descriptions First Edition by Kent Watson, 2009
  • Northern Range Plants by Colin Stone & Donna Lawrence, 2000
  • Guide to Common Northern Rangeland Plant Communities by D. Moisey, C. Hincz, C. Stone and D. Lawrence, 2010
  • BC Rangeland Seeding Manual by Allen Dobb & Sandra Burton, 2013

See This Project on the Project Map

Bill and Alice McGill, Collin Batchelor, Glenn Hogberg, Katie Hill, Marilyn Carroll and Sandra Burton discuss what the soil tells us.
Deryle Griffith quizzing forage ID station master Keith Carroll.Jim Chramosta, Jenn Critcher and Kristin Kendrew (right side) share their perspectives from the oil and gas activities.Tail gate soil texturing with Kayle Watson, Shellie English, Jim Chramosta, Bill McGill, John Kendrew and Tannis Brown.Sandra Burton led a discussion of how we can use 3 tools for success, air photos, soils maps and CLI maps and what we can learn from each.Maja Krzic introduced us to the UBC soils website and online courses.Everyone had fun learning from Bill McGill about microbes and their habitats.Charles Burnett and Allen Dobb demonstrated the use of the new forage seeding web tool.Morgan Webb showed us the importance of seed quality and analysis as a tool for success.Elston Solberg and Julie Robinson shared stories from what the plants are telling us.The Kendrew family hosted a very thought provoking field day. John, his wife Patt and their 2 daughters, Jodi and Kristin, each provided a unique perspective on their management goals for the land, their forage crops, their grazing, their herd and their family.Plant roots and soil layers both have their stories to tell us.Plant roots and soil layers both have their stories to tell us.Iewan Evans and Julie Robinson led a station helping us learn what the plants tell us (left).Forage members of all ages, from Roy the youngest (top left) to the wiser gathering here we enjoyed learning from each other.Asenath and Don Herbison enjoying the day’s first activity.Tim Repas, Scott Schilds and Bess Legault enjoy a morning cup of coffee before the course.Stan Smithard and Murray Clark discussing the upcoming day.Carmen Schneider demonstrates nodulation of red clover plants.Sandra Burton, Xin Yuan, Christina Irvine and Allan Gifford listen at Bill McGill’s station.Talon Johnson, Hailey Wilson and Robert VanderLinden put the soil samples in order of highest infiltration.Gino Morrone, Don Herbison, Matthius Loeseken and Art Siedl chatting.Murray Clark demonstrates the effect of slope on erosion potential.Bill Wilson and Bill McGill facilitate a feedback discussion.Bill Wilson shows Bess Legault and David Miller how different seeds flow or bridge in seeders and broadcaster seeders.Bill Wilson illustrates the important difference between % of seeds in a mixture by weight vs. % by seed count.Bill McGill demonstrates how to measure water infiltration and soil moistureBill McGill demonstrates how to measure water infiltration and soil moistureBill McGill shows Kristin Kendrew how to measure soil compaction and take bulk density samplesRichard Kabzems demonstrates what soil texture and native indicator plants tell us about water dynamics.Lori Vickers, Lynn Norman, Pat Sutherland, Cali Seater, Jim Little and Carmen Schneider learn about weed control strategies from Kari Bondaroff.

Project Cooperators

  • Glenn & Ann Hogberg
    Progress, BC
  • Encana
    Berry Rd, Pouce Coupe, BC V0C 2C0
  • John & Patt Kendrew
    Pouce Coupe, BC
  • Encana
    Bessborough, BC
  • Michael Nimitz
    Sunrise Valley, BC
  • Ron & Karen Buchanan
    Charlie Lake, BC V0C 1H0
  • Shell Canada
    Sanataa Road, Sunset Prairie, BC

Project Contacts

  • Sandra Burton
  • Bill McGill

For more information on older projects, please contact our coordinator.

Funding & Industry Partners