Thursday, November 6, 2008

Focus on Farmlands - November 27th

The Farmlands Project is holding a one day conference on farmlands in the this region. If I have time, I am going to go out to the conference and see if people are serious or not. The cost is only $20 for the day, a very good deal.

Where our food comes from and how we produce it is something that is very important to me, though as always my views are not in sync with the food security crowd.

I believe people should grow their own food so that they remain connected to what it takes to produce food and so that they remain connected to the environment around them. I fully advocate a lot more back yard veggies gardens and would love to see more schools grow some food so the kids are connected to the food. I also try to process some of my food to remain connected to the idea of the labour and materials that go into a jar of tomato sauce.

When it comes to agriculture on the ground as a business, I believe we need to view it from the business viability aspect. If the economics do not work, it will not succeed.

I may take along one or more of my sons.

The fact that Corky Evans is speaking is one very good reason to go. There are few politicians out there that can speak as well as he can.

The Program for the day:

Our Farmlands, Our Foodlands, Our Future Conference Program

Welcome!

The farmland in our region is critical to our food supply – today and in the future. With an increasing demand for local food and concerns around sustainability and food security in the CRD, how do we ensure our farmlands are producing food for the region, and farming is a viable enterprise?
The conference program is designed to bring a wide range of players in the Capital Region together to hold an important conversation.
The agenda means to bring to the forefront issues, ideas, strategies and tools that are currently, and could potentially, be employed to deal with the challenges and opportunities related to our farmlands and foodlands. But this conference is about more than talking – it is about action. You are invited to “get beyond the talk”
  • Know the issues
  • Hear and contribute ideas – chew on them!
  • Identify who needs to be involved
  • Find out and connect with who can make it happen
  • Build support for and motivate action – let’s get going!

Program Summary

Opening Plenary: Niels Holbek: Farmer; Agrologist; Environmental Farm Program (BC Agriculture Council)

Ideas on the Table:
  • Planning for Food: Tools and Strategies for Local and Regional Governments
  • From Ideas to Action: Farmers and Eaters taking action on Farmland issues
  • Leasing and Land Sharing Agreements: Models for Land Access
  • Carrot and Stick: A Look at Farm Status and Assessment Tools
  • Creative Partnerships: Emerging Models for Farmland Access
  • Focus on Farmland Trusts: The What, Why & How
  • Our Regional Food Basket: Looking Beyond “Farmland”

Each session will be held with a panel of resource people actively involved in the issue with ample time for discussion and identification of some key findings to take forward

Nuggets and Opportunities: We will close the day with a Call to Action. Looking at what we learned, we will highlight opportunities and set some priorities to build momentum around.

Closing: MLA Corky Evans a Call to Action.



Program Overview


8:30 – 9:00 am Registration

9:00 – 10:00 am Welcome

Opening Plenary – Niels Holbek: Farmer; Agrologist; Environmental Farm Program (BC Agriculture Council)

10:15 – 12:15 pm Morning Sessions

  • Planning for Food: Tools and Strategies for Local and Regional Governments
  • Leasing and Land Sharing Agreements: Models for Land Access
  • Our Regional Food Basket: Looking Beyond “Farmland”

12:15 – 1:00 pm Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 pm Afternoon sessions

  • Creative Partnerships: Emerging Models for Farmland Access
  • From Ideas to Action: Farmers and Eaters taking action on Farmland issues
  • Focus on Farmland Trusts: The What, Why & How
  • Carrot and Stick: A Look at Farm Status and Assessment Tools

3:00 – 3:30 Break / Information Tables

3:30 – 5:30 Strategy Session – Findings and Where do we go from here?

Closing Plenary – Corky Evans: MLA – Nelson-Creston

5:30 – 6:30 Wine & Cheese

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