2017 Farmland Forum a Success!

What do you think is in store for farming and farmland protection in Ontario?

At this year’s Farmland Forum, in Orillia Ontario, over 120 planners, councillors, students, and academics presented and discussed this very question.

Our morning Keynote Speaker, Dan Longboat of Trent University, spoke to visitors about an Indigenous perspective of farming and farmland protection. He discussed how the gathering of food, hunting, and fishing are integral parts of the farm and the need to ‘recognize food and food production as sacred’.

Next, we kicked off a panel where attendees had the opportunity to have a lively discussion on shifting farmland ownership. It contained diverse perspectives from Brady Deaton of the University of Guelph, Emery Huszka of the National Farmers Union, and Lisa Courtney Lloyd of Bonnefield.

‘Food is not like any other business – food is essential’, Emery Huszka stated during this panel event.

Ever wondered how we could measure farmland loss in Ontario? Wayne Caldwell of the University of Guelph and his students Sara Epp and James Newlands shared their methods of quantifying loss through Official Plan amendments.

Next we jumped into two concurrent sessions. One explored how farmland is currently being protected in Ontario and the other discussed the significance of soil classification in land use planning and what it means for Ontario agriculture.

What can Ontario learn from Oregon’s agricultural planning experiences? Many things, we believe. Our afternoon keynote speaker, Jim Johnson of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, told us about the state’s experiences in creating a variety of planning tools for farmland protection, including the need for municipalities to set aside urban and rural reserves which was adopted after a long-term agricultural viability analysis for the Portland Metro Region.

Thanks to all our attendees and presenters who helped make this day a success!

Curious about what was presented during this event? See presentations from the 2017 Farmland Forum here.

Also, a big thank you to our supporters:

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