by Bruce Buttar,
Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
When OFA delegates from across the province gather in Toronto for the organization’s annual general meeting, they’ll be focused on how to create greater prosperity across Ontario’s agri-food sector. The 2017 annual event is themed Producing Prosperity for Ontario to draw attention to the concept of distributing the province’s economic development beyond big urban centres.
From Sunday, November 19 through Tuesday, November 21, OFA will host regional delegates, industry stakeholders and the broader agricultural community in Toronto. AGM highlights include discussions on how agriculture and rural communities can contribute and share in the economic development for the province, and the infrastructure support that is needed to realize these opportunities.
Agricultural Economist David Freshwater will deliver the keynote address based on his recent Foresight Paper Growth Beyond Cities: Place-Based Rural Development Policy in Ontario that was commissioned and released by the Rural Ontario Institute earlier in November.
OFA will use the occasion to gather grassroots input on several key issues impacting OFA members. And five breakout workshops are being offered on The Barton Report, OFA’s 2018 Provincial Election Campaign, Speak Up Team, Natural Heritage and Agriculture, and Mental Health in Agriculture.
In the lead up to the provincial election in 2018, representatives of Ontario political parties will address meeting attendees on November 21, including Minister Leal, PC leader Patrick Brown, NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner.
OFA’s annual event will be held, once again, in conjunction with the Ontario Young Farmers’ Forum to promote networking and idea sharing between the two organizations. The Harvest Gala takes place on Monday evening, November 20. And the popular silent auction will raise funds to support an ongoing OFA bursary and the AgriSkills abroad program.
Pre-registration is required, and a full agenda and registration details are available at ofa.on.ca, including a conference app for downloading.
OFA looks forward to hosting Ontario agriculture to facilitate ideas, promote dialogue and encourage innovation for our sector.