2018 ACORN conference aims to build bridges across Atlantic Canada

Charlottetown, PEI has been chosen as the site of the annual regional conference for organic agriculture this year. From November 26th to 28th, conference delegates will join together at the Delta Prince Edward to participate in the 2018 Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network’s (ACORN) conference.

Since 2000, ACORN has been the key regional organization for information on organic agriculture, eating organics, and connecting all the parts together. Staff and ACORN members work together to provide producers and consumers relevant information and resources about the organic industry.

The conference theme for 2018 is “Building Bridges: Creating New Relationships in Agriculture.” The three-day event creates a platform for individuals and organizations from across North America to exchange knowledge, information, and experience on organic agriculture.

The carefully curated schedule and speaker lineup is designed to appeal to a variety of agricultural communities. Producers (both new and experienced), businesses, researchers, and organic enthusiasts, will find topics and material specific to their interests.

Virginia farmer and author Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will deliver the keynote speech at the conference banquet, which will be open to conference attendees and the general public. Salatin, an outspoken advocate for holistic management of livestock and crops, has enthusiasm for, and experience in, ethical and sustainable agriculture. He will also present at workshops during the conference.

Joel Salatin, keynote speaker

In addition to Salatin, Vermont grazing specialist Sarah Flack will deliver a full day workshop on grass-based and organic livestock production. The two specialists come to PEI at a time when organic livestock production is a focal point for the growth of the Island’s organic industry. With only two certified organic livestock producers on PEI, both PEI Certified Organic Producers Cooperative (COPC) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are working to create strategies for new entrants into certified organic livestock on the Island, PEI COPC research coordinator Karen Murchison said.

This year’s conference recognizes the role that established organic farmers have in modeling sustainable practices and celebrates the potential this has for creating partnerships with conventional farmers, new farmers, first nations, newcomers, farms-in-transition, and everything in between.

Sally Flack will hold multiple workshops

The conference will be covering topics such as: ecological weed control, soil health, cover crops, climate change, post harvest management, latest market data, and commercialization opportunities for cannabis and other value-added products during the three days of workshops and discussion groups.

There will be a trade show, featuring products, services, and organizations serving the agricultural sector. Full conference passes, individual workshop tickets, and banquet tickets are available online, allowing attendees to pick and choose the best options for their schedules and budgets.

About Hanna Hameline

Hanna is a graduate of UPEI with a B.A. in Sociology. She has completed trainings in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Shambhala Meditation, and Maritime Yoga College 200-HR Yoga teacher training program. Hanna currently works as the communications coordinator for the PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-operative and has volunteered with PEI Food Security Network, ECO PEI, The Voluntary Resource Centre, and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. She warmly invites you to contact her with any food lovin’ stories or ideas you would like written about.

View All Posts