Topic: Biochar, Compost, and Agroforestry – Three Keystones of Soil and Climate Resilience for Alberta
Date: May 4th at 1:00PM
Presenter: Rob Lavoie of AirTerra
Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that is made by burning organic material from agricultural and food wastes. It is a technology that is showing promise in improving soil quality, reducing waste, and even producing energy as a byproduct. But what exactly is biochar and what is it made of?
Join Young Agrarians and Rural Routes to Climate Solutions to learn about some exciting developments in Biochar in Alberta. Rob Lavoie of AirTerra will be joining us to talk about AirTerra’s plans to build a large-scale commercial biochar production facility in Alberta. The facility will produce 5,000 tonnes of biochar made from several available wood feedstocks including residual wood from the forest industry, clean organic residual construction and demolition wood, arborist cutting from the urban forest canopy, and wood harvested from agroforestry. The long-term goal will be to source virtually all the feedstock from wood harvested on farms participating in an agroforestry practice involving short rotation coppice harvesting of fast-growing willow, poplar, and aspen trees.
Rob Lavoie, a farm boy initially, founded his company AirTerra in 2009 after learning how biochar can enhance soil fertility while drawing carbon out of the atmosphere. Up until 2009, he worked for nearly 30 years in the oil and gas industry as a chemical engineering graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, piloting methods of sequestering CO2 while enhancing oil recovery. So, it was a pivot from enhancing oil recovery to enhancing soil “re-covery” that motivated his career change. Now, 13 years later, AIrTerra is finally in the planning and development stages of a commercial biochar production facility for Alberta.
This webinar is a great opportunity to ask Rob some of your “burning questions” about biochar and how you can benefit from it on your farm. We hope to see you there and feel free to invite your friends! Want to prepare for the webinar? We recommend listening to our podcast on agroforestry, Alley Cropping .