From a news release
The public is welcome to attend the National Farmers Union-Ontario (NFU-O) annual convention and AGM from Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5 in Ridgetown, Ont.
The convention kicks off with a discussion panel for students and potential new farmers made up of legal and financial advisors. Attendees will have the chance to learn from experts in order to get a leg up in starting their farm business. Held at the Pioneer Lecture Theatre at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph, and beginning at 1:30 p.m., there is no charge for this event. The convention itself will provide unique perspectives on accessing land as new farmers as well as provide a forum for discussing current agricultural issues.
The convention officially opens Friday evening with a public event featuring the film Living in a Food Desert. The presentation will be held at the Pioneer Lecture Theatre at Ridgetown College and begins at 7:30 p.m. Food deserts are areas of the country with little to no access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas, and are largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers. This documentary, produced by Virginia State University as part of a study on food insecurity in the College of Agriculture, chronicles the experiences of those who live in food deserts and their daily struggles to feed their families. Following the film, there will be a discussion regarding the impact of food deserts in Canada.
Saturday morning, panelists Sally Miller and Tony McQuail will focus on enterprising ways to plan for the future. Whether you’re a new farmer just starting out, or you’re an experienced farmer looking to pass your land to the next generation, this discussion will prompt creative thinking about access to land and options for creating successful farm businesses.
NFU-O members will also conduct NFU Region 3 and NFU-O business, including reports from Regional Council and National officials, elections, and debates on policy resolutions.
Saturday’s events are open to the public and will be held at the Pioneer Lecture Theatre, Rudy H. Brown, Rural Development Centre, at the Ridgetown Campus. Cost, including lunch, is $30 per person or $20 for youth ages 25 and under. Please RSVP at nfuontario.ca or call Sarah Bakker, General Manager, at 1-888-832-9638. Tickets are also available at the door.
Farm tours conclude the convention on Sunday morning. Learn how Willow Springs Hydroponics grows their own biomass to heat their greenhouses for growing peppers, and check out the Munros’ honey operation and learn how they make mead – a honey-based wine. Convention attendees will leave from Ridgetown Inn (21198 Victoria Rd, Ridgetown) promptly at 9:30 a.m. You must provide your own transportation.
More info is available on the NFU Ontario website.