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2018 Education Special!

Lot of ways ?to learn to grow?

By JANET WALLACE

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Being a successful small farmer requires many skills. For example, you might need to learn how to control weeds in asparagus, weld equipment, deliver twin calves or develop a business plan. Even after you’ve learned the basics there is always more to learn. As market demand and your competition changes, you might want to grow new crops, provide value-added products or modify your marketing methods. Continuing your education can also help improve efficiency. At workshops and conferences, you can discover new tools and innovative approaches, such as the current “lean farming” trend. You can also discover how to adapt your farming methods so you develop resiliency and thrive in the face of climate change.

In past generations, many young people learned from their elders. Living on a farm involved learning while you grew up; farm chores were hands-on education. Today’s farmers are less likely to come from an agricultural background. Many, like myself, grew up in cities. We might be introduced to farming by reading books and magazines, such as Small Farm Canada. Once hooked, we might go to a conference or workshop. Then we move to the country and start the hands-on education via apprenticeships and mentorships, a lot of trial and error and (with luck) helpful farming friends and neighbours.

Now, you don’t even need to leave the city; you can now make a living growing vegetables and raising small livestock within city limits. Just as agricultural methods have changed, so have educational options. Although you can still go to an agricultural college and get a four-year degree (and there are many advantages to this), you can also learn through mentorships, webinars, online courses and conferences.

We have compiled a list of educational opportunities for Canadian small farmers and those who want to become farmers. In past years, we have organized the listings according to the type of education (degree programs, workshops, apprenticeships, etc.). Over time, however, the organizations and institutions have diversified their offerings. A university might offer everything from a one-day workshop on beekeeping to an online course on soil management to a four-year degree in livestock science.

The following guide is a selection of establishments that offer educational resources for farmers. The groups range from small non-profit organizations with a specific focus, such as the Horse Council of BC, to large national charities, such as Canadian Organic Growers, to universities. As you read through the listings keep in mind that location is becoming less of a barrier. You might live off a gravel road in the Yukon, but still be able to take courses at the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada based in Nova Scotia. The opportunity for online learning continues to expand. If you have high-speed internet, your options are endless.

Learning opportunities

4-H Canada bridges generations and builds deep community roots in the agricultural sector. 4H has several elements. With Club 1913, 4-H alumni across Canada can re-connect, find unique opportunities and help grow future generations of leaders (Club1913.ca). CareersOnTheGrow.ca compiles agriculture jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities to help 4-H members find the perfect fit.
www.CareersOnTheGrow.ca, www.4-h-canada.ca

Agriwebinars are presented by Farm Management Canada to provide farmers and agriculture professionals with access to farm business management information from anywhere at any time. Agriwebinars are available from any mobile device or desktop computer using any internet connection.
www.fmc-gac.com 

AgSafe (formerly FARSHA) is the non-profit health and safety association for agricultural producers in British Columbia. AgSafe provides site-specific training, consultation and resources to agricultural employers and associated industries. www.agsafebc.ca


Alberta Distance Learning Centre
has  print, online and blended resources with courses on agriculture, livestock and greenhouse management. www.adlc.ca

Alberta Land-use Knowledge Network recently created and ran a MOOC (massive open online course) about urban agriculture & local food — Growing Insights. Resources from the course are at landusekn.ca.

Algonquin College in Ottawa offers on-campus and online courses on topics including urban farming and large animal medicine. www.algonquincollege.com

Assiniboine Community College, over several campuses in Manitoba, offers part-time and full-time agricultural courses including the Master Gardener program and advanced certificate in Sustainable Food Systems. Find it at: assiniboine.net

Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) is the key organization in Atlantic Canada for information on organic agriculture and eating organic food. From seed to farmer to consumer, ACORN works to bring the whole picture together, making food choices healthier and more environmentally responsible. Learn from webinars, workshops, conferences and the extensive online resource library.
www.acornorganic.org

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in the U.S. The website provides fact sheets, technical guides, webinars and podcasts on many aspects of sustainable farming. Many of the online resources are free. attra.ncat.org 

Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, delivered in partnership by USC Canada, Seeds of Diversity Canada and regional partners across the country, helps organic and agro-ecological farmers increase the quality, quantity and diversity of seed grown on Canadian farms. Reports, tools and webinars are available on their bilingual website. You can also connect online with their cross-Canada team of facilitators for more information about regional training.
www.seedsecurity.ca

BC Association of Farmers Markets helps people learn how to start and run a farmers’ market. www.bcfarmersmarket.org

Biodynamic Association offers a number of learning opportunities ranging from online courses, conferences and two-year apprenticeships. www.biodynamics.com

Camosun College in Victoria, BC, provides certificate, diploma, degree and continuing education programs including a Horticulture Technician program each summer. The college’s Indigenous Plant Garden is a living classroom that is used by a wide variety of departments to teach concepts from soil chemistry to the poetry of plants. camosun.ca

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) provides farmers and farm managers with the skills required to manage staff.
www.cahrc-ccrha.ca

Canadian Angus Association offers a mentorship program for new breeders of Angus beef cattle. cdnangus.ca

Canadian Association of Farm Advisors (CAFA) provides learning and networking opportunities across the country for farm advisors to help them provide better advice to their farm clients. www.cafanet.ca

Canadian Farm Learning Centre presents complex financial topics in an easy-to-understand online format. Course subjects include farm legal/tax structures, financial management, succession planning, business management and wealth management topics.
www.theretiringfarmer.com/canadian-farm-learning-centre/

Canadian Organic Growers (COG) is a national charity working to create a sustainable farming system across the country. Their educational services help gardeners and farmers raise livestock and grow crops using the organic approach. COG offers training workshops and webinars and produces publications on topics related to organic agriculture.
www.cog.ca 

Canadian Organic Growers (COG) Lending Library contains over 1500 titles on organic agriculture and related topics in books, video and audio tapes, DVDs, articles and periodicals. The library is available to the Canadian public for free. Anyone can access the catalogue online, create an account, request item(s) and then the item(s) will be mailed to your door
(along with free return postage). www.cog.ca 

Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management (CTEAM) program takes place over 16 months in 4 modules across Canada. Producers and ranchers use their own farm data to create a strategic plan for their farm operation. Participants also learn about financial management, human resource management, succession and estate planning.
www.agrifoodtraining.com.   

Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum aims “to assist young farmers with information while exchanging ideas that lead to progressive strategies to ensure farming success in Canada.” It does this through networking, workshops and conferences.
cyff.ca

Carlton Trail College offers a variety of farming courses in east central Saskatchewan. www.carltontrailcollege.com.

Cégep-Heritage College offers farming and gardening courses on campuses throughout Quebec. Courses may be full-semester, weekend or evening classes. cegep-heritage.qc.ca

Centre de formation agricole de Mirabel (CFAM) has courses on agriculture and equipment maintenance with an 18-hectare school farm, composting site, sugar bush and production greenhouses in Mirabel, QC. www.cfam.qc.ca

Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) is an umbrella association representing organic certifying agencies in the province. Part of the group’s mission is “to promote organic agriculture and to provide education on organic agriculture and organic foods.” It achieves this through an annual conference and publication of The BC Organic Grower. www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca

Cleanfarms works closely with industry, retail and municipal collection sites and farm organizations to help farmers safely dispose of or recycle agricultural packaging waste.
www.cleanfarms.ca

Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) SW Ontario offers farming internships on ecological farms. craftsouthwestontario.ca

Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ont. provides workshops and online courses on food-related and farming topics.
www.conestogac.on.ca

Cornell University offers 6-week online courses for small farmers. smallfarms.cornell.edu/online-courses

Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture in Truro, Nova Scotia, offers university credit courses and extended learning courses. You can get certificates in Animal Welfare, Integrated Pest Management and Organic Agriculture, or diplomas in agriculture. The Extended Learning Department offers in-class workshops on subjects as diverse as Tractor Safety, Welding, The Modern Beekeeper, The Modern Shepherd and Horticultural Judging. Certificates that are offered online include a Specialization in Organic Agriculture, Nutrient Management Planning, and a Master Gardener course. www.dal.ca

Earth Haven Learning Centre in Thomasburg, Ont., is an independently run organization set up to assist farmers and gardeners to deepen their connection with nature and their use of organic, biodynamic, restorative and sustainable practices. The centre offers workshops, mentorships and publications. earthhavenlearning.ca

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario is a farmer-to-farmer education organization, offering on-farm workshops and events throughout the year, plus an annual conference focused on practical information specific to farmers. efao.ca

eOrganic has free articles and webinars about innovative organic farming practices and current research. eorganic.info

Everdale is a registered charity and a working production farm in Hillsburgh, Ont., that offers a curriculum-based, on-farm, practical course (the Sustainable Farming Certificate) and a farm business planning course taught by farmers.
www.everdale.org

Falls Brook Centre in western New Brunswick centre offers workshops on sustainable living. fallsbrookcentre.ca

Farm Business Resource Centre is the central online database for information, resources and tools related to farm business management. From articles to videos and podcasts, the website allows you to search for information related to any area of farm business management. www.fmc-gac.com 

FarmLINK.net is a national land listing platform that connects Canadian farm seekers, farmland owners and rural regions with a new generation of farmers. FarmLINK provides monthly webinars for Farm Seekers and Farm Opportunities using the (free) site looking to get on land or share the land. FarmLINK.net

Farm Management Canada (FMC) offers various learning opportunities (see Agriwebinars, CTEAM, Pledge to Plan, Farm Business Resource Centre). FMC also offers the Investing in Machinery and Equipment Course at agrifoodtraining.com/investing-in-machinery-and-equipment-course  and the Managing Risk in Agriculture Online Learning Module. canadianfarmlearningcentre.com. 

Farms at Work offers farming courses and business planning for new farmers in Peterborough, Ont. www.farmsatwork.ca

Farm School is a year-long program that teaches forestry, animal husbandry, carpentry, mechanics, business planning and marketing while students work on the school’s farm in Massachusetts. farmschool.org 

Fleming College in Lindsay, Ont., offers a Sustainable Agriculture Co-op program. The one-year college graduate certificate is designed for new farmers seeking an intensive, applied learning experience in sustainable, ecological or natural farming methods. Students learn from experienced farmers and practitioners in class and on farm field days, and develop their own business case and farm plan. The program includes a 21-week, 800-hour, on-farm co-op experience. flemingcollege.ca/programs/sustainable-agriculture-co-op.

FoodWork.ca is a directory of job and volunteer opportunities in the field of sustainable agriculture. Farm apprenticeships and mentorships are listed on the site.
www.foodwork.ca

Gaia College teaches people online, worldwide about organic land care. People learn how to use no chemicals, no pesticides, no fertilizers, and that healthy soil equals healthy plants, and creates healthy ecosystems. Online classes start in January, May and September, lasting 14 weeks long and completed on your time. www.gaiacollege.ca

Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. has part-time and one-day courses on farm business management and farm processing. www.georgiancollege.ca

Home Quarter is an online meeting place for farmers and agricultural organizations to come together to further their knowledge on the issues and opportunities currently facing Canadian Agriculture. www.thehomequarter.ca

Horse Council of BC offers online courses on equine care (all free to members, some free to non-members), as well as providing educational booklets and brochures online.
www.hcbc.ca 

Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ont., provides an intern education program with weekly curriculum and field work, as well as public workshops about gardening and farming. ignatiusguelph.ca

Just Food has a Start-Up Farm Program to support new farmers in the Ottawa region. By offering access to land, shared infrastructure/equipment and workshops, the program aims to enable more people in this region to start their own successful farm. justfood.ca

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in BC hosts the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, the Richmond Farm School and Tsawwassen Farm School. www.kpu.ca/rfs

Lakeland College has hands-on agricultural training at campuses in Vermilion and Lloydminster, Alta. The student-managed farm has both crop and animal components.
www.lakelandcollege.ca

McGill University’s Macdonald Campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC offers agricultural science degrees, majors and specializations in Agro-Environmental Sciences, Animal Production, Ecological Agriculture, Professional Agrology, Agricultural Economics, Agri-business, Environmental Economics, Global Food Security and International Agriculture. Also available is an engineering degree in Bioresource Engineering with agricultural options in Bio-Production Engineering including Agricultural Engineering and Professional Agrology. www.mcgill.ca/macdonald

National Farmers Union (NFU) is a voluntary organization made up of Canadian farm families who share common goals. NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. Chapters throughout Canada hold workshops and meetings. www.nfu.ca

New Brunswick Young Farmers Forum offers professional development workshops throughout the year for young farmers 18 to 40 years of age. www.nbyff.ca

Olds College’s Continuing Education in Olds, Alta. includes short courses, distance learning, evening classes and online programs. Topics include Agronomy, Rural Finance & Entrepreneurship, Veterinary Courses, Animal Welfare & Humane Slaughter and Home Sausage Making and Home Wild Game Cutting. www.oldscollege.ca/ce

Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) provides workshops and free webinars to help farmers improve their operation’s profitability, productivity and sustainability www.ontariosoilcrop.org

Organic Alberta holds workshops regularly across the province to “share advances in organics.” The non-profit group also organizes conferences and their website alone provides a wealth of information. organicalberta.org

Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) is based at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Truro, Nova Scotia.. To stay up to date with the latest developments in the science supporting organic agriculture, subscribe to OACC’s monthly electronic newsletter, Organic Friends’ E-zine. OACC’s website provides links to practical and scientific resources. www.dal.ca/oacc 

Organic Council of Ontario provides a monthly newsletter with organic news, events and educational opportunities in Ontario. organiccouncil.ca

The Plant & Soil Exchange is an online community dedicated to learning more about growing hardy plants and building healthy soil. Use coupon code smallfarm when signing up to get an extra month free at
www.scottcgillespie.com 

Pledge To Plan is a one-stop-shop for farm business planning resources to help complete and/or review and assess your business plan. www.PledgetoPlan.ca 

Prairie Organic Grain Initiative produces Pivot and Grow, a free online guide to making the transition to organic field crop farming. The website guide addresses issues such as weed control, soil fertility and organic certification. This downloadable kit will get you started on your journey to organic farming and walk you through important issues to consider while making the transition to organic production. www.pivotandgrow.com

Rodale Institute offers free webinars on many organic topics including workshops recorded in the field, in addition to a free 15-hour online program designed to help farmers make the transition to organic production. rodaleinstitute.org

Saskatchewan Webinars for Agribusiness, Farmers and Ranchers. The province offers many webinars on topics such as nutrition for ewes, feeding bison and controlling pests in grain crops.  Search for “Webinars for Agribusiness” at
www.saskatchewan.ca

Seeds of Diversity is a charitable organization that helps people find open-pollinated and heirloom seeds and learn how to save seed. Throughout Canada, workshops are held at Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays; many are loosely affiliated with https://www.seeds.ca/

Seneca College offers a Distance Education Certificate on Sustainable Local Food and a course in Organic Land Care. www.senecacollege.ca

School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College offers one- to two-week courses “for agrarians, culinarians, entrepreneurs, and lifelong learners.” sterlingcollege.edu/school-of-the-new-american-farmstead

SPCA Certified is a Canada-wide farm certification program dedicated to improving farm animal welfare. Learn more about how to achieve good animal welfare on your farm and how to apply for certification. 
www.spcacertified.ca 

Stewards of Irreplaceable Land (SOIL) links Canadian farmers willing to take on and train apprentices with people wanting to work and learn on an organic farm, using sustainable practices. https://www.soilapprenticeships.com/ 

Applied Sustainable Ranching Diploma at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake, BC, is a two-year, agriculture and enterprise management program. Using technology-based learning on home ranches or on mentor ranches in BC’s interior, students learn about regenerative agriculture and land management practices with a focus on innovation and reducing stress on livestock, as well as financial and environmental sustainability. tru.ca/williamslake/programs/ranching

Tillers International in Michigan offers classes in farming and logging with draft animals, as well as traditional farm homesteading and artisanal skills. tillersinternational.org

Top Crop Manager offers free webinars on various farming topics with a focus on conventional crop production of field crops. www.topcropmanager.com/webinars

Toronto Botanical Garden has classes on subjects such as urban beekeeping, horticultural therapy and gardening. torontobotanicalgarden.ca

Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School is a collaboration between the TFN and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Within a 10-month semester, students learn about sustainable agriculture and traditional indigenous food systems. The course takes place on traditional TFN lands on a 20-acre farm with a traditional medicine garden, orchard, an organic market garden, farm animals and incubator plots for graduates. www.kpu.ca/tfnfarm

University of BC Faculty of Land and Food Systems offers courses on animal welfare, sustainable agriculture and the responsible use of land and water. www.landfood.ubc.ca

University of the Fraser Valley offers degrees, one-year certificates, two-year diplomas and specialty part-time courses on several campuses in BC. Courses include Agriculture Technology, Horticulture Crop Production, Livestock Production and Bachelor of Agricultural Science.
www.ufv.ca/agriculture 

University of Guelph offers degrees and diplomas in Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary Technology, Equine Science and more at the Guelph and Ridgetown campuses. Ridgetown offers courses on handling horses, growing plants for profit, horticulture and sustainable urban agriculture. Ridgetown’s online courses include Sheep Nutrition, Poultry Science and Nutrient Management. The university also offers an online course for horse owners. www.ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca, www.uoguelph.ca, www.guelphhort.com,
www.equinestudiesonline.ca

University of Saskatchewan offers in-depth courses and degrees in agriculture, as well as online and short courses for the public and many great online resources. gardening.usask.ca. 

U+ Training Portal provides links to more than a hundred learning opportunities in Quebec. uplus.upa.qc.ca

Vista Virtual School is an accredited online school that serves residents of Alberta. School-aged students and adults looking to upgrade their courses can choose from hundreds of courses including agriculture and animal care. vvschool.ca

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) volunteers help in exchange for food, accommodation and learning opportunities in organic farming/growing and sustainable life practices. www.wwoof.ca

Young Agrarians is afarmer2farmer” resource network for new and young ecological farmers in Canada.
youngagrarians.org.


What is a webinar? 

Webinars are online educational videos — seminars on the web. Many are based on talks from conferences — some are simply videos of the speakers, others may show the PowerPoint presentation with the sound of the speaker in the background. There are also webinars of field days, on-farm demonstrations and farming workshops. You can attend a live conference webinar and even ask questions (by typing or by using a computer microphone). Many webinars are later archived. Most webinars are free although there are fees to watch certain webinars, and others are only available to members of an organization.

The quality of the image of a webinar will sometimes depend on the strength of your internet connection. If your connection is poor, adjust the settings to the lowest image quality; this will reduce the amount of time the video stops due to buffering. 


Commodity groups Check out local organizations focused on the crops or livestock you’re interested in. In much of Canada, there are provincial or even national organizations for goats, sheep, beekeeping, organic farming and more. Local groups provide the advantage of networking — you may meet a mentor at a local group and find out more about the local growing conditions and resources. 


Conferences 

July 20: Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Rodale Institute Annual Field Day. 

August 1-2: Swift Current, Sask.  NFU Region 6 (Sask.) Convention. Includes a Young Farmer Panel, speakers on Climate Change Influences & Implications for Farmers. www.nfu.ca 

August 9-10: Vancouver, BC. Place-Based Food Systems: Making
the Case, Making it Happen.
www.kpu.ca/pbfs2018

August 14-16:  London, Ont.  Canadian Beef Industry Conference. The 2018 theme is Driving Demand.  canadianbeefindustryconference.com

September 8-16: Across Canada. Canada’s National Organic Week. A national celebration of organic food, farming and products across the country involving chefs, farmers, retailers, schools and restaurants. organicweek.ca

September 21-23: Unity, Maine. Common Ground Fair. A celebration of rural living with hands-on demonstrations of working with draft animals, fibre arts, rural living skills, scything and much more.
www.mofga.org/TheFair

October 3-4: Niagara Falls, Ont. Canadian Greenhouse Conference. Promoted as “Canada’s foremost event for flower, vegetable and nursery growers, the Canadian Greenhouse Conference is the ultimate connection point for growers, suppliers and research partners.”
www.canadiangreenhouseconference.com

October 15-16: Niagara Falls, Ont. Advancing Women Conference (AWC). A leadership conference for women passionate about agriculture. Open to university/college students, producers, association representatives and corporate agri-business. Meet industry leaders and experts, learn valuable tips on financial management, health and balance of life strategies, and more. Preceded by a
wine tour on Oct. 14.
www.advancingwomenconference.ca 

Late fall to spring. Across Canada. Seedy Saturdays and Sundays. Share, swap and sell seed – and often learn how to save seed at the same time.
seeds.ca/events 

November 1-3. Saskatoon, Sask. Organic Connections. The 2018 theme is “Growing organics to meet the demand.” Full-day soil and weeds workshop and talks from international and local experts.
www.organicconnections.ca

November 19-24: Regina, Saskatchewan. Canadian Western Agribition. Includes “The Retiring Farmer Seminars.” canadianfarmlearningcentre.com,
www.agribition.com

November 26-28: Winnipeg, MB. Agricultural Excellence Conference Steady. Go! Unleash your Potential. Featuring Futurist Nik Badminton and panel discussions on Canada’s growth potential, mental health and resiliency. Connect with farmers and industry providers to share insights and strengthen your farm business management skills. www.fmc-gac.com

November 26-28: Charlottetown, PEI. ACORN Conference & Trade Show. The theme is “Building Bridges: Creating New Relationships in Agriculture.” Nearly 50 workshops on a range of organic farming topics means there’s something for every farmer, aspiring or experienced. With 400+ attendees and a trade show featuring 40+ exhibitors, this event is the networking event of the year for farmers in Atlantic Canada. acornorganic.org

Nov 27-Dec 2: Winnipeg, MB. Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program. The program recognizes young farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession. www.oyfcanada.com

December 4-6: London, Ont. Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) Conference. This year’s theme is “Regeneration: Seeds, Soils and Community Connection!” efao.ca

January 3-4, 2019:Ridgetown Ont. Southwest Agricultural Conference (SWAC). Field crop management conference at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.
southwestagconference.ca

January 14-17:  Saskatoon, Sask.
Crop Production Show
including
“The Retiring Farmer Seminars”
canadianfarmlearningcentre.com,
www.cropproductiononline.com

January 24-27, 2019: Guelph, Ont. Guelph Organic Conference. 38th Annual Guelph Organic Conference & Trade Show with 45+ workshops, and a tradeshow with 165 booths.
www.guelphorganicconf.ca

February 2019: Cornwall, Ont. Annual EcoFarmDay. An annual full-day conference put on by the COG Ottawa-St. Lawrence-Outaouais Chapter with speakers from across the country giving lectures and workshops on various topics related to organic production.
www.cog.ca

February 2019: Toronto, Ont. Annual Organic Consumer Conference. Hosted by the COG Toronto Chapter, this conference includes a line-up of international speakers discussing topics related to food security, organics, consumer choices, GMOs, transparency and human health. www.cog.ca

February, 2019: British Columbia. COABC Conference. Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) holds an annual conference with many workshops and seminars on organic growing.
www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca

February 2019: Saskatchewan.
The Retiring Farmer Seminars
are held throughout the province.
canadianfarmlearningcentre.com

February 20, 2019: Ridgetown, Ont. South Western Pork Conference (SWOPC). Longest running pork conference in Ontario. The conference goal is to provide information on current issues in the industry. bdc.ridgetownc.com

February 20-21, 2019: Niagara Falls, Ont., Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention. Annual conference/trade show for fruit and vegetable growers. www.ofvc.ca

March 11-12, 2019: Calgary, Alt. Advancing Women Conference West. Leadership conference for women passionate about agriculture. Open to university/college students, producers, association representatives and corporate agri-business. Meet industry leaders and experts, learn valuable tips on financial management, health and balance of life strategies and more.
www.advancingwomenconference.ca

Urban agriculture

In cities all across Canada, people are growing food. In community gardens and backyards, on rooftops and front lawns, urbanites are growing vegetables and herbs, raising bees and chickens and tending fruit trees. While many of the city farmers are growing food for themselves, some people are making a living growing and selling food all within the confines of a city.

To learn how to grow in a city, contact your local community garden or check out the following:

Alberta Land-use Knowledge Network has resources about urban agriculture & local food at Growing Insights. landusekn.ca.

Algonquin College in Ottawa offers on-campus and online courses on urban farming, community gardens and urban beekeeping. www.algonquincollege.com

Canadian Organic Growers (COG) has materials for urban farmers in the free mailing library. Also, certain chapters, such as COG-Ottawa, offer urban gardening courses. www.cog.ca 

Gaia College offers 14-week online courses on organic gardening and land care that can be used by urban farmers. www.gaiacollege.ca

Grow Calgary is a 100 per cent volunteer-run urban community farm dedicated to providing fresh, local, sustainable and healthy produce to compassionate food access organizations and vulnerable Albertans. Get hands-on training by volunteering. growcalgary.ca

FoodWork.ca lists opportunities for working or volunteering on urban farms. www.foodwork.ca

Just Food is a non-profit, community-based organization working on rural and urban food and farming issues in Ottawa and the surrounding area. justfood.ca

PACT Grow to Learn Program, Learn about permaculture and organic gardening by volunteering at urban farms in Greater Toronto. pactprogram.ca

Richmond Farm School at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in BC is a 9-month, hands-on program for one day a week designed to focus on small-scale, high production, cost efficient, lean urban farming. Students learn everything from soil health, plant life cycles, vegetable production, water and compost management to ergonomic farming practices in this hands-on program.
www.kpu.ca/rfs

SPIN Farming. Find out how to “make farm-size income from garden-size plots with the SPIN-Farming guide series.” www.spinfarming.com

The Urban Farmer offers consulting, design and education for small farmers, urban food growers and community food security initiatives, including organic agriculture and permaculture tours to Cuba. www.theurbanfarmer.ca

Toronto Botanical Garden has classes on urban beekeeping and gardening. torontobotanicalgarden.ca

Urban Farm School in Calgary offers workshops on urban homesteading, permaculture, raising backyard chickens and more. www.urbanfarmschool.ca

Urban Seedling produces 80,000 vegetable and herb seedlings per year to plant across the city of Montreal. Learn by volunteering in the greenhouse or planting vegetable gardens.
www.urbanseedling.com

Young Agrarians hosts training and networking events for new farmers, including urban growers.
youngagrarians.org.