Upcoming events and programs

Upcoming events that may be of interest to Ontario specialty crop producers.

January 26-29 – Guelph Organic Conference.  University Centre, University of Guelph, Guelph.  One of Canada’s premiere organic events, this four day event features international speakers, workshops on a variety of topics and a trade show/tasting fair that is free to the public.  This year’s theme is “Seeds of Cooperation”. Workshops run all four days, trade show is ONLY on Saturday and Sunday.  For more information visit www.guelphorganicconf.ca

February 7-9 – Canadian International Farm Show.  International Centre, Mississauga. ww.canadianfarmshow.ca

February 14 – Online Food Safety Workshop:  Pre- and Post-Harvest Water Use.  This online workshop will help you to evaluate your risks and discuss how to construct and monitor a water sanitizing program.   Free of charge – all you need is an internet and phone connection. For more information or to register, call 1-877-424-1300 or visit http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/foodsafety/foodsafetyprograms.htm.

February 15-16 – Take a New Approach:  Global Perspectives for Growing Farm Profits.  A farm business management conference hosted by the Agricultural Management Institute.  Delta Hotel, 50 Stone Rd., Guelph.  For more information, click here.

February 17 – Ethno-cultural Vegetable Workshop.  This one day workshop will explore opportunities and barriers in the ethno-cultural vegetable market in Ontario featuring presentations by farmers, store owners, representatives from industry, research and other stakeholders.  8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Room 143, Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph.  Register by Feb. 1, 2012 at ecvontario@gmail.com.

February 22-23 – Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention.  Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls. Conference aimed at Ontario  horticulture producers and industry, featuring informative sessions, workshops and a trade show.  Sessions of interest to specialty crop producers include hops. alternative crops, tree nuts, innovation, farmers’ markets and direct farm sales.  www.ofvc.ca

March 5-7  –  Growing the Margins:  Rural Green Energy Conference and Exhibition and Biogass Conference and Exhibition.  Two parallel conferences and trade shows exploring the diverse challenges and opportunities facing the farm, food processing and rural sectors in the realm of renewable energy generation, whether solar, biomass, biogass or wind. London Convention Centre, London.  www.gtmconference.ca/site/

March 6 – Society of Ontario Nut Growers Technical Meeting.  This day-long meeting features presentations by experts and guest speakers on various aspects related to commercial nut growing in Ontario. Members and visitors are welcome. 9:30 am-4:30 pm, OMAFRA-Simcoe Research Station, 1283 Blueline Rd., Simcoe.  Cost $15 includes lunch.  Call Bruce Thurston at 519-740-6220 to register or visit the website for more information http://www.songonline.ca.

March 22 – Avoiding Farm Succession Planning Minefields – A workshop for any farm business owner or manager.  Farm succession planning may present a host of potential difficulties ranging from the emotional to the technical.  This workshop focuses on how to deal with potential communication problems between family members, as well as helping you to understand the guidelines that the Canadian Revenue Agency has in place for the $750,000 Capital Gains Exemption.  9am-4pm. Elgin Business Resource Centre, 300 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas. Workshop limited to 25 participants.  Cost $50 per person.  Register by March 16, 2012.  To register contact Debra, Elgin Business Resource Centre, 519-633-7597 ext 326, email:  dwebster@elginfdc.ca.  For more information, visit the OMAFRA website at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/busdev/conference/buswkshpsuccession.htm

Various dates (Jan-April) – Growing Your Farm Profits Workshops.  In this two day workshop, an experienced leader will help you review your farm management practices and prioritize your business goals. The workshop is open to new and established producers.  Farm families and management teams are encouraged to attend the workshop together.  You will not be asked to share personal or financial details of your operation and there is no charge to attend.  After attending the workshop, you have the opportunity to meet with your workshop leader one-to-one to review and refine your action plan.  This allows you to access cost-share funding for advisory services and skills development opportunities to achieve your business goals.  Qualified Ontario producers can apply for cost-share funding in the following areas:  farm financial assessment, advanced business planning, agriculture skills development, business plan implementation.  For information on dates/locations of workshops, visit the OSCIA website.

Various dates (Jan-April) – Grower Pesticide Safety Course.  Under Regulation 63/09 of the Pesticides Act, Ontario farmers must be certified to buy and use Class 2 or 3 pesticides on their farms or woodlots.  To become certified, a farmer must successfully complete the Grower Pesticide Safety Course coordinated by the Ontario Pesticide Education Program.  Courses and exam-only sessions are offered between November and April.  To register for a course or exam, call 1-800-652-8573 or email opep@opep.ca.  For more information, visit www.opep.ca.

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