MEETING THE CHALLENGE: SUCCESSFUL ORGANIC FARMING
CORNWALL, ON, January 23, 2014 – The organic sector continues to grow steadily, with sales reaching nearly $3 billion in 2012. Recent news reports about pesticide residues found in organic produce have sparked a wider conversation about what organic agriculture has to offer to safety-conscious consumers seeking healthy food for their families. This conversation is welcomed by those in the organic industry as an opportunity to highlight the real and proven reasons to choose organic food at the grocery store. It is also a call to action – it is more important than ever for farmers to produce the healthy organic food that consumers continue to demand.
Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais Chapter (COG OSO) presents Eco Farm Day 2014, the annual farming conference dedicated to enabling farmers to achieve agricultural, environmental and economic success on their farms using organic methods. This year’s theme is titled “Getting to the Roots: Successful Organic Farming” and is designed to provide useful and practical information for experienced organic producers as well as those interested in applying organic methods on their farms. The program will include researchers, farmers, and the audience in interactive sessions on livestock, field crop, and market farm production.
COG OSO is excited to be working this year with other regional organizations that are sponsoring portions of the program:
– Organic Meadow is presenting forage specialist Guy Forand, an expert in profitable forage production for field crop rotations, and Dr. Susan Beal, a holistic veterinarian who will discuss organic herd health management.
– From the University of Guelph’s Alfred Campus, we welcome Drs. Renée Bergeron and Eva Vasseur on organic animal welfare, and Dr. Peter Kevan on promoting pollinators for organic field crops.
– Ecological Farmers of Ontario are assembling a market grower panel on the planning tools and methods available for improving profitability; panelists include Jean-Martin Fortier (Les Jardins de la Grelinette), Ian Stutt (Patchwork Gardens), and Tim Noxon (Vicki’s Veggies).
– The Organic Council of Ontario is presenting Jodi Koberinski on communicating the health benefits of organic food to the public.
– The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security is presenting a session on the considerations for growing heritage grain varieties.
Other program highlights include:
– Matt Holmes of the Canadian Organic Trade Association on the organic market outlook and a response to recent press on organics and pesticide residues
– An in-depth session with Jean-Martin Fortier, author of “le jardinier-maraîcher” on building a successful market farming business on small acreage using bio-intensive methods.
– Ken Taylor on choosing and developing perennial genetics for agroforestry
– A screening of the new National Film Board documentary Island Green, which examines the push to transition Prince Edward Island completely organic.
Eco Farm Day is an excellent networking opportunity, with a trade show exhibiting associations, farm inputs and equipment, marketing companies, and farm produce. Our program is designed to provide opportunity to interact with presenters, panelists, and other audience members.
This year’s event will take place on February 22, 2014, at the Ramada Inn on Brookdale Ave in Cornwall, ON. Doors will open at 8 AM and the program will run from 9 AM until 4 PM. The registration fee for the event, including an organic lunch, is $50 by February 10th, or $60 at the door. A $10 discount is available with membership in Canadian Organic Growers or Organic Meadow.
For more information and program details as they are confirmed, visit the Eco Farm Day 2014 website at www.ecofarmday.ca.
About Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais (COG OSO): Our mission is to lead local and national communities towards sustainable organic stewardship of land, food and fibre while respecting nature, upholding social justice and protecting natural resources. Over the last 30 years we have been delivering programs and services for farmers, gardeners, educators, and folks who care about healthy food and healthy environments. We continue to develop these resources and invite everyone to benefit!
COG OSO’s membership base extends from the St. Lawrence River to the Outaouais in Western Quebec, and encompasses all of the Ottawa Valley.
As a regional chapter of a registered national charity, COG OSO focuses its work on providing primarily educational services. We are not a trade association, nor are we a lobby organization, although we certainly are glad to get involved and contribute to public discussions around healthy food production systems. For example, COG was one of the many organizations involved in advising the federal government on the development of the Canadian Organic Standards.
Simon Neufeld, Conference Chair
Bill Barkley, Trade Show organizer
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