AgScape – Stefan Szeder
There is no report currently available.
Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show 2022 – Steve Sickle
OSCIA was pleased to return to the live version of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in 2022. The three-day event was very well attended after a couple years of not having a show. OSCIA worked with OMAFRA again this year to develop demonstration plots and displays both inside and outside our tent. Of course, the soil pit is always a popular part of our demonstrations, and in 2022 we had the added benefit of the Mobile Soil Technology Suite (MSTS) LED trailer with in-pit camera to show what was happening down in the pit up on the large screen for everyone to see easily. The on-board sound system provided great audio for the audiences as well. OSCIA staff had the opportunity to showcase the equipment and our demonstrations and displays for Senator Rob Black; our Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honorable Lisa Thompson; as well as her Parliamentary Assistant, Trevor Jones, during the show.
OSCIA and OMAFRA staff were kept busy all three days with producer questions and interest in our demos, displays and opportunities available to producers. Over 600 members participated in the free member-only breakfast event held daily. Soils at Guelph participated with a display in our tents as well, and the soiled undies certainly drew a great deal of attention!
Thanks to everyone who helped plan, set up and deliver three great days with producers.
Farm & Food Care Ontario Year in Review – Eleanor Renaud
Supported by members like the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), Farm & Food Care Ontario (FFCO) brought together farmers, food producers, agribusinesses and their urban and suburban neighbours in ways that were both educational and entertaining in 2022. FFCO especially appreciates the continued support of OSCIA’s continued silver membership as members are foundational to FFCO’s successes, and allow us to continue working to build public trust in Ontario agriculture.
2022 was a monumental year for FFCO and our partners as the organization celebrated the tenth anniversary of FFCO’s founding, and made its return to in-person events in a significant way.
Breakfast from the Farm
Partnering with the Paris, Grand River, and Milton Agriculture Societies, three walk-through Breakfast from the Farm events were held on fairgrounds, where visitors had a chance to see farm animals and equipment, and talk to farmers and ask questions about where their food comes from. Each event had good weather and strong attendance from local communities. In each case, visitors enjoyed breakfast and left with bags packed with pancake mix, maple syrup and valuable information about agriculture in Ontario.
2022 marked FFCO’s return to on-farm tours. The six tours included a tour of horticultural operations with a migrant-labour focus for Toronto based food-influencers, to a grains-focused tour for dietitians, to four tours for culinary students from colleges across the province. Participants were surveyed on their knowledge about and perception of Ontario agriculture before and after each tour. When asked about their impression of Ontario agriculture before their tours, 68% responded good or excellent, while the post-tour survey had 94% responding their impression of agriculture was good or excellent. Survey results also showed that participants went from 62% stating they think the food system in Canada is going the right direction to 82% agreeing that it is.
Many public-facing events resumed in 2022. FFCO hosted an ‘Ask-a-Farmer’ video booth at the CNE, greeted friends at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and spent the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair sharing FarmFood360 virtual tours with the public. FFCO also worked with the Royal to host the first in-person Food & Nutrition Forum since 2019. Public events offer an opportunity for FFCO to facilitate invaluable conversations between farmers and their urban and suburban neighbours about how farms in Ontario make food for us all.
In 2022, in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, FFCO undertook an initiative called Source Local to highlight the importance of buying local food, flowers and fibre. Fourteen county-level federations took part with projects ranging from ‘Source Local’ night at drive-in theatres, to producing a colouring book, to ‘meet-a-farmer’ night, to trail signs and video production for online distribution. Provincially, Source Local hosted four pop-up food-truck events in Thunder Bay, London, Ottawa and Milton that gave farmers a chance to talk directly to consumers about the importance of looking for local when buying food.
Digital outreach is a strong component of FFCO’s work. Faces Behind Food continues to highlight the diversity of people and career opportunities within the Canadian agri-food system on Facebook and Instagram. Profiles were posted twice per week in 2022, with 56,000+ likes, share and comments on the across accounts.
FarmFood360.ca now hosts 25 Virtual Reality farm tours, with the addition of three new tours in the fall of 2022. The new tours, featuring white beans going from field through processing, potatoes going from field to potato chip, and behind the scenes at a broiler-breeder farm and a broiler hatchery, offer new glimpses of agriculture behind the scenes, which Canadians can access from the comfort of their own homes.
The Real Dirt on Farming 5th edition was published in 2020, with both paper and digital editions. In 2022, FFCO started using paid search ads to amplify the reach of the website. For example, when looking for information on GMOs, visitors were directed to ads promoting www.RealDirtonFarming.ca, to access the information they are looking for.
FFCO and AgScape continued a successful partnership in 2022, offering 12 livestreamed farm tours reaching an audience of 72,944. These field trips gave viewers, including students and teachers, the chance to connect with farmers in real-time. FFCO and AgScape will continue to offer these tours throughout 2023 and are looking for farmers interested in hosting them.
Training and workshops
FFCO continues to offer media and Speak Up training and commodity-specific updates, with 62 sessions taking place in 2022. Other virtual training sessions provided advice on how to protect farm properties from unwanted visitors.
Additionally, FFCO worked on environmental stewardship in the areas of manure stewardship and winter manure spreading; soil health and strip tillage for field crops and vegetable production. A new manure stewardship video series was produced in 2022 to highlight best practices and new technology in manure storage and application systems to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas production.
TO LEARN MORE
To learn more about all of FFCO’s initiatives, visit www.FarmFoodCareON.org and subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter. Comments and questions can always be directed to FFCO staff directly at email@example.com
Ontario Certified Crop Advisors Association – Warren Schneckenburger
There is no report currently available.
Ontario Forage Council – Birgit Martin
The Ontario Forage Council’s mission is to provide leadership in the province’s forage industry. As such, it hosts events and is the home of the hay marketing network. Find out more at their website: https://onforagenetwork.ca/ontario-forage-council/
The OFC had a busy year in 2022 with it’s annual events and some new programs.
Profitable Pastures (evening e-webinar series) occurred March 8 – 10, 2022. Guest speakers were Pam Iwanchysko on Planned grazing – making the cows work for you; Mark Souldice from Bib Rock Bison on his Mapleseed Pasture Award; and Ryan Boyd, Nuffield Scholar, on Grazing ruminants – the original soil builders.
The Forage Expo was on July 14, 2022. This was a very successful, well attended event organized in conjunction with the Waterloo Soil and Crop Improvement Association. It consisted of forage equipment demonstrations and a trade show held at the farm of Scott and Darlene Martin and family at St. Jacobs.
The Advanced Grazing Systems training program began August 17, 2022 and is ongoing until February 21, 2023. The program was delivered in three separate series of seven online sessions to train producers in rotational grazing. Each series is hosted by a grazing mentor and is based on a curriculum developed by the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association with funding from Farmers for Climate Solutions. There was also an infield AGS Workshop and Pasture Walk in Carp on October 11, 2022 where the group saw grazing under the panels of a solar farm with Lyndsey Smith and Chris Moore.
Forage Focus (lunchtime webinar series) occurred November 22 – 24, 2022. Guest speakers were Dr. Debbie Cherney on Grass in dairy rations; Luiz Ferraretto on Connecting the dots – fibre, digestibility, animal performance and feeding behaviour; and an OMAFRA panel, Tracey Baute and Christine O’Reilly with Tom Wright on Bt resistant corn rootworm and sustainable corn silage production.
Ontario Professional Agri-Contractors Association (OPACA) – John Poel
The Ontario Professional Agri-Contractors Association represent and support Ontario’s agri-contractors. Its members are committed to environmental and social responsibility, leading the industry in best business practices and the adoption of technology. The association works with government, farm lobby and commodity organizations, and act as a representative for specific concerns related to transportation, labour & environmental regulations, and agricultural support programs. It advocates for OMAFRA’s Custom Rates Survey for Ontario contractors and developed its own to help gauge the ongoing needs of its membership.
OPACA also hosts events for agri-contractors across the province to meet each other, learning and sharing experiences to improve their own businesses as well as promoting members to farmers at trade shows and conferences, and with the online business directory to link members to potential customers.
On March 9th there was held a panel discussion on workplace safety & compliance with Wayne Metzger (Highland Custom Farming), Jonathan Giret (Elite Agri Solutions), Walter Grose (Husky Farm Equipment) and Sheila James (WSPS). The recording and some useful resources are on the website at opaca.net/safety.
A car tour was held on August 25th to Marcrest (Bale Baron), Bearclaw trailers, Royalmar (lunch) and Marhaven (Chinook hay dryer) and Clean Field Services. Those who participated were reported to be quite pleased with the day.
On December 14th, a tire event was held at Treadright in Ingersoll. It featured a compaction and CTIS Panel discussion with Kevin Barnim (TreadRight), Alex Barrie (OMAFRA), John Gingrich (Agribrink), Bert Roos (Roos Seven Hills Custom Work), and Sebastian Hinsen (PTG). There were updates presented from Kubota and also OSCIA funding opportunities. After lunch there was a tour of the equipment followed by a ”Tour the shop” at the Tirecraft Ontario Support Centre, also in Ingersoll. Afterwards there were presentations on the latest in tire technology and inflation systems as well as an unveiling of the ‘cupwheel’ for agriculture.
OPACA has a few projects in the works including running a manure workshop series through the province, the making of a new promotional video for their association, and ongoing work to build on and communicate changes to the custom farm work rates survey.
Planning for upcoming events include a London Farm Show breakfast on March 9th discussing labour issues and business development and a 2-3 day bus trip in mid March to include the Ottawa Valley Farmshow, meeting with Eastern contractors as well as some interesting tours yet to be finalized.
Ontario Agricultural Conference Committee – Mary-Margaret Mcdonald on behalf of John Poel
The 2023 ONTARIO Agricultural CONFERENCE was another HUGE success!
We had approximately 1959 participants registered over the two days of the conference attending
virtually and In-Person at Kemptville, Waterloo and Ridgetown. Joining us on the Virtual LIVE STAGE we
had an AMAZING average of 965 viewers through-out the two days!
Based on all the positive feedback we received from participants through the chat room, social media,
direct messaging, etc., the new hybrid-virtual format experience again hit the mark! The conference
was a BIG TEAM effort with many challenges right up to broadcast, but the team adapted and ensured
we delivered the best virtual and in-person experience possible.
Our Sponsors have been a critical partner in the #OAgC23 success and frankly without them, the
conference would not have been possible, or the experience would most certainly not have been the
“TEC Talk Tuesdays” returned on January 10 and again will provide 7 evenings of hot seat discussion!
Conference participants have the opportunity to visit, discuss, and ask questions on conference sessions
and topics. Each Tuesday evening will focus on a specific topic area addressed in the conference lineup.
Speakers and experts in the field will be on the hot seat with Peter Johnson as moderator. Sessions to date have been well attended with approximately 180 – 200 people joining the discussion.
For those who may have missed the LIVE Days, registration is still open. All 53 live and on-demand
sessions are now available, as is the Exhibition Hall and Resources for viewing until March 31, 2023.
Planning for the 2024 Conference is well underway and evaluations will aid in the conference evolution.
82% of attendees indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the event.
86% of attendees indicated they agree or strongly agree that the event improved their understanding of
80% of the attendees indicated they agree or strongly agree that the information they received will
influence their work within the next one/two years.