Second Annual Northern Ontario Ag Conference a Success
The Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) held its second annual Northern Ontario Ag Conference in Sudbury on February 12 and 13, 2020. The event drew some 130 attendees for two days of speakers and workshops aimed at improving agriculture in northern Ontario. The goal of the conference is to provide an opportunity for farmers, market gardeners, and agricultural professionals from across northern Ontario to learn from knowledgeable speakers, as well as to network and share valuable experiences in a peer-to-peer fashion.
Topics addressed at the conference included foreign investment in northern Ontario agriculture, hydroponics and market gardening, cash crop management, soil health, carbon sequestration in agricultural land and much more. A particular highlight was a panel discussion on the role of women in agriculture in northern Ontario. The panel was composed of Anna Regele, a dairy farmer from Earlton; Peggy Baillie, an organic farmer from Warren; Mikala Parr, a farmer from St Joseph’s Island and Research Technician for Rural Agri-Innovation Network; and was moderated by Emily Potter, NOFIA’s Executive Director and beef farmer from Earlton. It addressed the challenges women face in agriculture and shared lessons and advice for how to overcome those challenges and be successful.
NOFIA would like to thank all of the speakers, sponsors, and attendees who took part. Particularly, the conference would not have been possible without the generous support of the Northeastern Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and its component local associations.
The previous 2019 conference was a one-day event and interest in that event drove the expansion to this year’s two-day conference. NOFIA sees a demand for a uniquely northern Ontario-specific conference as agriculture in northern Ontario faces important differences and unique challenges compared to the rest of the province. The success and positive reception of the second Northern Ontario Ag Conference ensures that there will be a third!