A Vision for the Future - Organic Connections Conference 2012
November 2 & 3 at Conexus Arts Centre, Regina
by Marion McBride
A Vision for the Future! What is your vision and does it include anything ORGANIC?
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 health 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 is designed to point you in the direction of those opportunities and also to provide tools to help you 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. This year, special additional features will do the same for consumers and youth. The Saskatchewan Science Centre in Regina is partnering with Organic Connections to provide an educational banquet for 150 students on either of the two program days. Consumers are encouraged to participate in an informative and fun evening at the University of Regina’s Education Auditorium on Thursday, November 1st at 7:30 p.m. featuring Dr. Donald Huber. His discussion of the effects of glyphosate (Roundup) on our health promises to be controversial, thought-provoking, and informative. A mini trade show beginning at 7:00 p.m. will give businesses an opportunity to meet their audience with samples and information. Registrations for this evening are $12 at the door.
The conference program on Friday and Saturday will feature plenary sessions, as well as three concurrent streams focusing on Agronomics, Healthy Lifestyles, and The Future of Farming. There is truly something for everyone, whether you want to learn how to make your own face cream, manage your weeds, or market your crops, or take part in a discussion on what is happening to our global food supply and what trends should we be watching for. Have you ever wondered about permaculture or homeopathy or how to throw a healthy party? These will all be there, too!
Keynote speakers, recognized “gurus” in science and in practice, will address the impact of current farming practices including the use of genetically-modified (GM) crops. Dr. Donald Huber states that “Glyphosate (Roundup) is the single most important agronomic factor predisposing some plants to both disease and toxins. These toxins can produce a serious impact on the health of animals and humans.” Dr. Huber will be addressing impacts on health at the consumer event on November 1st at 7:30 p.m. and will then expand the discussion at the conference on Nov. 2nd and 3rd.
Another giant in the organic movement, Dr. Fred Kirschenman, started organic farming in the late 70s in North Dakota, and now lectures and writes about sustainability. In a recent article, Dr. Kirshenmann notes, “As long as we regard food and food production as a commodity, we are unlikely to develop the social capital necessary to evolve the kind of ‘ecological conscience’ required to make the necessary commitments to sustain the system.” We will hear much more from Dr. Kirschenmann and our other speakers.
The largest organic trade show on the prairies also happens in conjunction with the conference. In addition to organic brokers and suppliers, there will be booths featuring consumer products.
Of course, as anyone who has been to an Organic Connections event can attest, fun is an important component. More than anything, the Organic Connections Conference and Trade Show is a celebration of organic food and farmers. We will celebrate the contributions of organic pioneers for getting us to where we are now, we will celebrate the producers and consumers who are continuing the tradition, and we will celebrate the challenges and opportunities that are waiting for us on the horizon. A recognition banquet and related festivities are planned for Friday night, Nov. 2nd. 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 or call (306) 543-8732.