This past weekend, Farms at Work made its debut at the 32nd annual Guelph Organic Conference. Along with partners Just Food, the Northeastern Ontario New Farmer Network, FarmStart and Everdale, Farms at Work helped to represent the provincial network for new farmer training and support, better known as the FarmON Alliance.
Attendance at the conference allowed our partners to speak with new and experienced farmers, landowners and consumers about the importance of farmer training, community and partnership building and the need to support agricultural stewardship across the province. Given the Alliance’s provincial reach, we were able to connect conference-goers with the appropriate regional Alliance partner for direct, local support on issues ranging from farmland access to skills development and business management training.
Farms at Work was also proudly featured in the Conference’s workshop series over the weekend. Susan Chan, our resident pollination biologist and manager of the Rusty-Patch Bumble Bee Project, took the floor in two different workshops at the Organic Conference. The first was a forum called “Pollinating the World”, which featured beekeepers from across the industry in a lively discussion on issues related to pollination and saving bees. The second was a Sunday afternoon workshop called “Attracting Wild Pollinators to your Farm”.
Both sessions were well-attended, which allowed Susan to raise further awareness about the decline of native bee populations, as well as how to promote and increase forage and nesting habitats for pollinators on farm properties. The workshops also allowed Farms at Work to promote our new handbook, “A Landowner’s Guide to Conserving Native Pollinators in Ontario”, jointly produced by Farms at Work and the Peterborough County Stewardship Council. We hope to be able to release the guide on our website shortly. Stay tuned for details!
You can catch us next month with the Kawartha Farm Stewardship Collaborative at the east Central Farm Show in Lindsay on March 6 and 7! We hope to see you there!