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Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum October 18 & 19, 2017

What's Possible & How to Create an Enabling Environment for Agriculture

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Country Heritage Park (Gambrel Barn)
8560 Tremaine Rd., Milton, Ontario (external link)
Hosted by Halton Region and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

This is an opportunity for those involved in municipal and local economic development or planning who have agriculture and food (farming, food processing, agri-tourism, agri-business sector, and agri-entrepreneurship) in their portfolio to network, share successes and experience agriculture in Halton Region. Learn about the resources targeted to the agricultural sector.


Day 1 – Wednesday, October 18

9:00 a.m.

Registration opens for the bus tour

9:45 a.m.

Bus Pick Up ― Gambrel Barn at Country Heritage Park

Enjoy a full day premium Bus Tour where you will explore a number of different farming operations across Halton Region including:

  • Terre Bleu Lavender Farm
  • Springridge Farm
  • Gordon Food Services
  • Chudleigh's
  • Monaghan Mushrooms

The bus tour will be followed by dinner at Country Heritage Park.

Day 2 – Thursday, October 19

8:00 a.m.

Registration and Networking

8:15 a.m.

Tour of Country Heritage Park's Commercial Kitchen provided by Jamie Reaume

9:00 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:10 a.m.

Keynote Presentation – Agriculture: A Key Economic Driver in Ontario
Rene Van Acker – Dean of Ontario Agriculture College, University of Guelph

10:00 a.m.

Where are the Investments being made in Agriculture?
Pierre Robitaille – Director & Group Lead for Agricultural Banking, Scotia Bank

10:25 a.m.

Break and Networking

10:40 a.m.

Young and Farming
Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air Farmer

11:20 a.m.

Enabling Agriculture in Your Community – Panel Presentation

  • Anna DeMarchi-Meyers, Agricultural Liaison Officer, Halton Region – Halton Agriculture Advisory Committee (HAAC), Rural & Agriculture Strategy and Agriculture Community Development Fund
  • Cara Finn, Director of Economic Development, Middlesex County – Middlesex Agriculture Strategy
  • Dr. Bronwynne Wilton, Wilton Consulting Group - York Region Agricultural Strategy

12:30 p.m.

Lunch and Networking Break

1:15 p.m.

IGNITE Style Presentations – Supporting a Thriving Agriculture Sector - Resources, tools & supports

  • Alexandra Coccari, Analyst, Food and Food Systems - BioEnterprise
  • Susan Laing, Director, Sales & Customer Support, Agriculture Commodity Council
  • Alex Barlow, Business Development Executive - Mentorworks
  • Jessica Kelly, Direct Farm Marketing Specialist, OMAFRA – Recap of Tours Day 1
  • Danielle Collins, Ontario Federation of Agriculture & Ryan Deska, OMAFRA - Community of Practice

1:45 p.m.

Agriculture as an Economic Development Opportunity
Ryan Deska, Agriculture & Rural Economic Development Advisor, OMAFRA

2:00 p.m.

Lightning Talks – Agriculture Style

2:45 p.m.

Break and Networking

3:00 p.m.

IAC Incubate, Accelerate, Commercialization : Incubation Agri-food Collaborative
Franco Naccarato, Program Manager, Greenbelt Fund

3:15 p.m.

Tactics to Increase Local Food Procurement in Government Owned Facilities

  • Soni Craik Christie, Local Food Procurement Manager, Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming Alliance
  • Marianne Katusin, Manager of Food Services at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital