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Leap into 2016 with these agricultural meetings and conferences

There are great learning opportunities in the meetings, conferences and information sessions early in the new year, so here’s help to maximize your take-homes

It’s no secret that margins, timing and opportunity are all pretty tight these days. Quite simply, there’s more riding on your performance, both in the office and in the field. That’s why the winter season, with its multitude of offerings for meeting, networking and learning has become so important.

It’s also why Country Guide is offering our annual Meetings and Conferences Schedule for 2016, with events taking place between December 15 and April 6. Note that some of these events require advance registration or admission fees. For more details on each, visit the website links posted with many of the entries.

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DECEMBER

Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario

Marketing Workshop, Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Springfield Golf & Country Club, Guelph, Ont.

  • Included on the agenda are presentations by Mike Mock of the Anderson Group, Steve Kell with Parrish & Heimbecker, Gord Nysteun with Input Capital, Mike Wilson with Thompsons, Craig Drury with Ag Canada and a cost-of-production panel featuring John Molenhuis and Jim Burns.

Website: ifao.com


JANUARY

23rd Annual Southwest Agricultural Conference

Tuesday, January 5 and Wednesday, January 6, 2016
University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, Ridgetown, Ont.

  • The Southwest Agricultural Conference continues its tradition of learning excellence with “Building Tomorrow’s Agriculture,” providing another outstanding lineup of speakers from around the globe. Featured experts include David Sax on the economic and cultural impact of what’s on your plate and in your pantry, and retired General Lewis MacKenzie who will distil 36 years of knowledge into effective leadership lessons that benefit everyone. Plus more than 40 sessions with topics from maximizing yield to marketing, precision agriculture, cover crops and fertility. Complementing this lineup of speakers will be the traditional trade show and Taste Ontario reception.

Website: southwestagconference.ca

Salon de l’agriculture

Tuesday, January 12 to Thursday, January 14, 2016
Espace St-Hyacinthe, St-Hyacinthe, Que.

  • Exhibits and presentations are available during this three-day annual showcase.

Website: salondelagriculture.com

Grain Farmers of Ontario District 15 Meeting

Friday, January 15, 2016, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Earlton Arena, Earlton, Ont.

  • A Grain Farmers of Ontario update will be held in the morning, and a meeting of the Temiskaming Crop Coalition held in the afternoon. Rob Saik has been invited as the keynote speaker.

Website: gfo.ca

Annual Convention of the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario (LICO)

Wednesday, January 20 and Thursday, January 21, 2016
Best Western — Lamplighter Inn, London, Ont.

  • The convention brings together those involved in farm drainage in Ontario — drainage contractors, tile and equipment suppliers, engineers and municipal drainage superintendents and agency officials. Conference details and registration are available at the LICO website.

Website: drainage.org

YieldSmart

Friday, January 22, 2016
Manulife Financial Sportsplex and Healthy Living Centre, Waterloo, Ont.

  • The theme for this year is “Optimize Your Crop Production System” with Dr. Jerry Hatfield, plant pathologist with the USDA-NRCS, based in Ames, Iowa, who researches the interaction of soil, air and water in the row-crop production system. The day will focus on how principles of production impact practical production outcomes and decision-making, in an effort to capture the genetic yield potential of that seed is in the bag.

Website: farmsmartconference.com

FarmSmart Ag Conference

Saturday, January 23, 2016
Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont.

  • This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Temple Grandin, of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Grandin has had a profound impact on the livestock industry globally, in terms of animal welfare and bringing agriculture to non-farmers. There will be more than 50 sessions, including a look at field crops, livestock, soil management, environment, business management, marketing and others. Again this year, the Beef Symposium is an important part of the program that brings farmers from across Ontario.

Website: farmsmartconference.com

Ontario Canola Growers Association Annual Meeting

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Nottawasaga Inn, Alliston, Ont.

  • Keynote speaker will be Rob Saik, chief executive officer of Agri-Trend, speaking on the film project “Know GMO — An Uplifting Discussion about Food” focusing on the need for open discussion and understanding in urban populations concerning the controversial topic of GMO products. Other topics will include “Fine Tuning Your Cost of Production” and presentations from our Canola Challenge winners.

Website: ontariocanolagrowers.ca

Chatham-Kent Farm Show

Wednesday, January 27 and Thursday, January 28, 2016
John D. Bradley Chatham-Kent Convention Centre, Chatham, Ont.

  • This is the third annual event, featuring more than 100 local exhibiting companies, representing and serving all farmers of southwestern Ontario.

Website: ontariotradeshows.com/event/chatham-kent-farm-show

SIMAQ — Salon Industrie Machinerie Agricole de Quebec

Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, January 30, 2016
Centre de Foires ExpoCité, Quebec City, Que.

Website: salondequebec.com

Guelph Organic Conference 2016

Thursday, January 28 to Sunday, January 31, 2016
Guelph University Centre, Guelph, Ont.

  • More than 40 workshops covering topics such as organic crop and livestock production, perennial weed control, cover crop options, grass-fed beef, certification, beekeeping, greenhouses, plant breeding and market gardening. The free two-day trade show Saturday and Sunday includes more than 150 exhibitors including small equipment suppliers, grain traders, garden supplies and food sampling.

Website: guelphorganicconf.ca


FEBRUARY

2016 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase

Tuesday, February 2 and Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Best Western — Lamplighter Inn, London, Ont.

  • The agenda brings expert keynote speakers such as Lisa Prassack of Prassack Advisors, a North American precision ag strategist, and a panel of hands-on precision ag farmers who will share how technology has improved their farming operation. The conference will also include a tradeshow with many of the leading precision ag, machinery and services providers, and a lively networking event.

Website: farms.com/precisionagriculture or call 1-877-438-5729 Ext. 5013

Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Conference

Tuesday, February 2 and Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Four Points Sheraton, London, Ont.

  • An annual event bringing processors and growers together with industry suppliers and government, to address issues affecting the industry. Advanced registration is recommended.

Website: opvg.org/conference

Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, February 9, and Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Best Western — Lamplighter Inn, London, Ont.

  • Two full days of dynamic speakers, informative presentations, engaging panel discussions and networking. Keynote speakers include Dr. Tim Harrigan, Michigan State University, on “The U.S. Agricultural Response to Lake Erie Algal Blooms”; John Burk, Bay City, Michigan and Blake Vince, Merlin, Ont., on cover crops, and Dr. John Varty, McMaster University, will recount his adventure crossing Canada in his tractor with his fiancée in 2012.

Website: ontariosoilcrop.org

2016 World Ag Expo

Tuesday, February 9 to Thursday, February 11, 2016
International Agri-Center, Tulare, California

  • This is billed as the world’s largest annual agricultural exposition, featuring more than 1,500 exhibitors and the latest in farm equipment, communications and technology. It also includes free seminars and daily equipment showcases.

Website: worldagexpo.com

National Farm Machinery Show (“The Louisville Show”)

Wednesday, February 10 to Saturday, February 13, 2016
Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky

  • Now entering its second half-century, this showcase event offers the most complete selection of agricultural products, with 860 exhibitors, side-by-side comparisons and new product launches.

Website: farmmachineryshow.org

Ontario Bean Growers Annual General Meeting

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre, Kirkton, Ont.

  • The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and will include an update on the Ontario Bean Growers’ strategic plan for research and market development initiatives, plus election of district directors and a special guest speaker.

Website: ontariobeans.on.ca

Cattlemen’s College

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 (7 to 9 p.m.)
International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, Ont.

No registration required.

Website: ontariobeef.com

Beef Farmers of Ontario 54th Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18, 2016
International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, Ont.

  • Keynote speaker will be J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada, with his “Economic Outlook for Beef Producers: Growth on the Horizon?”

Website: ontariobeef.com

Eastern Ontario Crop Conference

Thursday, February 18, 2016
North Grenville Municipal Centre, Kemptville, Ont.

  • This is a co-operative effort between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Eastern Ontario Crop Advisory Committee, and is designed to provide growers and agribusiness personnel with in-depth crop management information. Participants may select up to eight sessions from more than 20 presented throughout the day. Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available for most sessions.

Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario 2016 Conference

Tuesday, February 23 and Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Best Western — Lamplighter Inn, London, Ont.

  • Among those presenting are Joel Gruver on cover crop choices for strip till, Tom Sewell on moving from sustainable to regenerative agriculture, Jamie Scott, cover crop guru, Steve Larocque on “Beyond Agronomy” and Loran Steinlage on interseeding cover crops into continuous strip tilled corn.

Website: ifao.com

International Potato Technology Expo 2016

Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27, 2016
Eastlink Centre, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

  • Billed as the leading potato industry event in North America, this event draws growers, equipment manufacturers and other industry stakeholders.

Website: masterpromotions.ca


MARCH

2016 East Central Farm Show

Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 3, 2016
Commonwell Exhibition Building, Lindsay Fairgrounds, Lindsay, Ont.

  • The East Central Farm Show is celebrating its 36th annual edition, with 180 exhibitors in 2015 and 15 to 25 new exhibitors expected.

Website: regionalscia.org/ECFS.html

Western Fair (London) Farm Show

Wednesday, March 2 to Friday, March 4, 2016
Western Fairgrounds, London, Ont.

  • This has become one of the more anticipated events of the winter season for southern Ontario and for much of the province, with more than 360 exhibitors and all facets of the agricultural industry.

Website: westernfairdistrict.com

2016 Commodity Classic

Thursday, March 3 to Saturday, March 5, 2016
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Farmer led and farmer focused, this premier event attracts thousands of farmers and agribusiness representatives. This year marks the addition of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) as an affiliate.

Website: commodityclassic.com

Ottawa Valley Farm Show

Tuesday, March 8 to Thursday, March 10, 2016
EY Centre, Ottawa, Ont.

  • This is the 89th annual edition of this show, making it Ontario’s longest-running agricultural exhibition.

Website: ottawafarmshow.com

Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
London Convention Centre, London, Ont.

  • This year’s theme will be “Cultivating Consumer Relationships” with a special focus on demographic trends. Plus a trade show with more than 60 exhibits and evening banquet.

Website: gfo.ca

2016 Ontario Pork Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre, Guelph, Ont.

  • Starts with an afternoon of guest speakers and includes a business meeting the following day.

Website: ontariopork.on.ca


APRIL

London Swine Conference

Tuesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Hilton London, London, Ont.

  • Developed to provide a platform to accelerate the implementation of new technologies in commercial pork production in Ontario, this annual conference offers a specialized agenda, with Tuesday’s proceedings dedicated to sow production and Wednesday’s to wean-finish production.

Website: londonswineconference.ca

About the author

CG Production Editor

Ralph Pearce

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