Farming for the Future – Organic Connections 2014
November 7—8, 2014 Conexus Arts Centre, Regina
Bonus Weeds and Soils Workshop Nov 6
by Marion McBride
Farming for the Future! 2014 is the International Year of the Family Farm—what does your future hold? Will your farm continue to be sustainable financially and from an environmental perspective into the next generation? Organic Connections President Debbie Miller feels that the organic sector is perfectly positioned to take advantage of a growing list of global, national, and regional opportunities. “I’m excited about emerging local and export markets and the growing awareness of consumers when it comes to their food. Today’s families are not only more knowledgeable about the benefits of organic food but they also want to recover that connection with the farm, they want to know where their food came from, how it was grown and handled, and how it got to their table.” The conference program will not only point producers in the direction of those opportunities but it will provide tools to enable them to take advantage of them now and into the future.
Organic Connections, the biennial Conference and Trade Show for and about the organic industry in the prairies, is experienced at educating, entertaining, and “connecting” interested farmers, brokers, and businesses. Consumers will be interested in the latest facts about the impact on our food of weed killers like glyphosate, brought to us by Dr. Eric Gilles Seralini and Dr. Theirry Vrain. Their discussions of the effects of glyphosate (Roundup) on our health promise to be controversial, thought-provoking, and informative.
The conference program will feature plenary sessions as well as three concurrent streams focusing on Agronomics, Healthy Lifestyles, and The Future of Farming. Those interested in a more in-depth discussion on soils and weeds will arrive a day early for the bonus workshop. There is truly something for everyone, whether you want to learn how to manage your weeds, market your crops, soothe and strengthen that aching “farmer back” in a relaxing yoga session, or take part in a discussion on what is happening to our global food supply and what trends we need to watch for.
Keynote speakers, recognized “gurus” in science and practice, will address the impact of current farming practices and our changing climate. Dr. David Sauchyn will talk about what we can expect in light of his studies on climate cycles. Melinda Carr-Hemmelgarn, the “FOOD Sleuth,” and Chef Jerome Duzelet will address food choices. There will be a strong focus on mentorship, the year of the Family Farm and the entrepreneurial spirit as it impacts farming today.
The largest organic trade show on the prairies also happens in conjunction with the conference. There will be exhibits of interest to everyone from farmers to consumers.
More than anything, the Organic Connections conference and trade show is a celebration of organic food and farmers. We celebrate our pioneers at our annual banquet and award ceremony. We celebrate each other at the Friday night party. This year we also celebrate our local poets and songwriters in a new contest—contact us for details. We also celebrate the challenges and opportunities that are waiting for us on the horizon. Make plans now to join the fun!
For more information on this event, visit www.organicconnections.ca or contact
the coordinator, Marion McBride, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, see the colour display ad on page 29 of the 20.3 September/October issue of the WHOLifE Journal.