MBFI Welcomes General Manager

Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) is pleased to announce the hiring of Mary-Jane Orr as general manager.

Orr will oversee all aspects of the three MBFI research and demonstration sites near Brandon at Brookdale Farm, First Street Pasture and Johnson Farm, as well as the new MBFI Learning Centre. The field sites and MBFI Learning Center are key resources to support agricultural producers and the general public to learn with and from producers, researchers, and experts on the subjects of forage and livestock production and innovation in Manitoba and Western Canada. MBFI is a partnership between Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association.

“The competition for our general manager’s position was really intense and we congratulate all the candidates who interviewed for the position,” said Ramona Blyth, MBFI chair. “Mary-Jane’s areas of expertise and experience were a really great fit for MBFI. We are thrilled to have Mary-Jane on board.”

Orr comes from a background of mixed farming, growing up on a small cow-calf operation near Carberry, MB. Throughout Orr’s career, she has had strong interests in the intersection of agricultural industry and environmental stewardship, including recent work with David Rourke in Minto, MB to initiate development of an on-farm research & learning hub, targeting regenerative practices for annual crop production with livestock integration. Orr also gained Manitoba agricultural industry perspective working as a Nutrient Management Specialist for Hylife Ltd.

Academically, Orr received a Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Agronomy (Soil Microbiology), from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana U.S.A after graduating with Bachelor of Science, with honors, Major in Botany from Brandon University. Orr also worked as a postdoctoral associate at Purdue University on sustainable bioenergy and conservation cropping systems before returning to Manitoba.