Farmland Forever – Help Make it Happen!

…from Ontario Farmland Trust: Announcing the 2016 Farmland Forum

Date: Friday, April 8, 2015
Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Place: Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener
Cost: $110 early-bird rate by March 25th (includes lunch & dinner); $90 for farm organization members (OFA, CFFO, NFU); $60 student

The 12th annual Ontario Farmland Forum supports and facilitates cross-sector dialogue about how we can work together to strengthen farmland and agricultural planning, policy development, and grassroots, permanent land protection initiatives in Ontario.

This year’s Forum features presentations & discussion following two streams: farmland policy and hands-on farmland protection:

– Protection of Ontario Farmland & Agriculture: A Provincial Priority
– Farmland Protection in Practice:  On-the-Ground Examples of Effective and Progressive Policy Implementation
– Farmland Conservation in Ontario: Case Studies of Leading Land Protection Initiatives
– Toward a Regional Land Trust in Waterloo: A Collaborative Community Dialogue
– Ontario’s Cap & Trade Initiative: Connections to Land Conservation
– Inspiring Land Protection Stories and Collaborations from the U.S.

CLICK HERE for more program information and to Register.

Ontario Farmland Trust is Hiring a New Executive Director!

On the heels of a significant investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, OFT is seeking a hard-working dynamic executive leader to take Ontario farmland conservation efforts to a new level of success.  This individual will bring demonstrated talent, energy and experience to the organization, particularly with respect to all fundraising programs and financial management. Find out more about OFT here.

The new Executive Director will be a superior communicator who will add leverage to existing OFT relationships and further develop strategic partnerships with other farmland conservation stakeholders. Apply today, or share with others who may be good candidates.

Key position responsibilities include:

  • Fundraising, communications, community outreach and donor relations
  • Supervision of staff and management of contract and project based staff
  • Financial management and annual budgeting for all programs and services
  • Government relations, partnership development and stakeholder networking

Applications are due by March 31st.

Read more

Building a Wellington-Guelph Food Strategy: Movie Screening and Discussion

The Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table invites you to the second in a series of events focusing on farming, the regional food system, and a Food Strategy for Wellington County and Guelph. Join us for this free event*, to help determine our regional food policy, investment and development priorities with a diverse group of stakeholders—including public officials, community organizations, farmers, restaurateurs and engaged citizens—as we begin the process of developing a community-led Food Strategy for Wellington County and Guelph.

This event will take place at the Erin Legion, 12 Dundas St E, Erin, ON 

Friday, February 13, 2015 from 6:45 PM to 9:45 PM (EST)

In a rapid-fire format, a handful of presenters will answer the challenge question “Why do we need a regional food strategy?” — including speakers from Everdale Environmental Learning CentreFriendly Chef AdventuresOntario Farmland Trust; and Zócalo Organics.

This will be followed by the Erin premiere of the year’s hottest new documentary The Family Farm, in conjunction with Transition Erin’s Environmental Film Series. See the trailer for the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t60xMswH9n0

Refreshments will be provided.

The next event in the GWFRT Food Strategy Engagement Series will be in Centre Wellington (3rd week of March).

Please visit the link below to register, to read a food strategy description, and for more information about the event.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/building-a-wellington-guelph-food-strategy-movie-screening-and-discussion-tickets-15623073032

*Thanks to sponsors GWFRT, OPIRG Guelph, and Foodland Ontario

Fortnightly Feast

Farmland Forever Campaign

To celebrate their 10th Anniversary, the Ontario Farmland Trust has launched a $1 million Farmland Forever fundraising campaign. With this campaign, they will be able to nearly double the amount of farmland under agricultural protection easements. Currently more than 20 farm owners are waiting to donate easements. The Farmland Forever campaign will also give OFT more capacity to support farmland policy development and expand research and education for improved farmland protection across Ontario.
** And from now until December 31st, every donation will be matched dollar for dollar by the Metcalf Foundation!! **
In this season of giving, why not save some land for a future farmer?

Conference on Sustainable Food Choices Livestreamed

LiveWell for low-impact food (LIFE) is a project which aims to contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the EU food supply chain and demonstrate what healthy, sustainable diets could look like for different European countries.
Over the last three years, LiveWell for LIFE has worked with members of the multi-sectoral Network of European Food Stakeholders – which represent key stakeholders from across the EU – to reduce the impact food consumption has on the environment.
‘On our plate today: healthy, sustainable food choices’ is LiveWell’s concluding conference. Here they’ll look at the need for a global food strategy, and the role policymakers and business leaders alike play in encouraging sustainable food consumption.
To learn more about the project, please visit livewellforlife.eu
Watch the entire conference live online.

The Fourth Annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

What is local? Some describe anything within a 50 or 100-kilometre radius as local; others include anything grown in Ontario or made in Canada as local. What was clear at the conference was that foodies want what they want, and business owners can’t afford to ignore them. Buying local is not a trend that is going to disappear.
Be unique. Grow your business as big as you want. Food hubs and sharing ideas and distribution processes are great ways to leverage your growth—as the master of your own destiny you can still remain niche while becoming mainstream. Read more

Taking Stock of the Mobile Good Food Market

“Basically the jury’s still out on how to operationalize it and make it sustainable, even for a nonprofit that’s subsidized,” says Debbie Field, executive director for FoodShare Toronto, the organization that runs the Mobile Good Food Market. “I don’t think that it’s actually working for anybody who’s doing it right now.”
The biggest value of mobile markets, she says, might be in demonstrating that there is a demand for healthy food in even the poorest neighborhoods. “It’s not that low-income people aren’t interested,” Field says. “They will buy the food if we can get it there. What FoodShare is proving is that people will buy this food and what we have to do is figure out logistically how to get it into communities.” Read more

Healthy food out of reach for many

If you suspect it cost more over the past year to buy groceries and cook even basic healthy meals at home, you’re right, according to new study. The 2014 Food Cost Survey released by the Brant County Health Unit reveals that the cost of eating healthy food for a family of four is now $193.85 a week in Brantford and Brant – or $839.37 out of the monthly budget. That’s an 8% increase over last year’s figure of $179.50 per week, or $777.19 a month. “The reality is that many families in our community can’t afford basic healthy food after paying for housing and other living expenses.” Read more

La Montañita Co-op: Fresh, Fair, Local and Organic!

La Montañita, a consumer cooperative, believes in the shared benefits of healthy food, sound environmental practices and a strong local economy with results that justify the resources used.
The Co-op is a leader in the local foods movement! We support local farmers through the Food-Shed Project. This initiative helps local farmers and producers get their products into more markets. Over 1,100 local products from 400 local producers make it to small community grocers, restaurants, and commercial kitchens as a result of the Co-op Distribution Center.
We know local, but we call it community. We serve our membership, but we also collaborate with farmers, local food and environment advocates, and educators to build community awareness about the links between food, health and the environment. Read more

10th Anniversary Farmland Celebration

Join the Ontario Farmland Trust as we celebrate 10 years of progress protecting Ontario’s irreplaceable farmlands.
Country Heritage Park, Gambrel Barn, 8560 Tremaine Road, Milton
Thursday November 20, 2014, 6:00-10:00 pm

Enjoy local food, a silent auction, music by Norman Liota, the opportunity to connect with friends of farmland from across the province, and entertainment by humorist and award-winning playwright Dan Needles on: “Land, Community and Lost Sheep”

Tickets: $125 each; early-bird tickets $100 by November 1, 2014*
Tables of 8: $1000 each

All proceeds support OFT’s Farmland Forever campaign to expand the protection of Ontario farmland through direct land securement, policy, research and education.

Buy your tickets

Fortnightly Feast vol. 17

Urban Agriculture Magazine

From RUAF, issue 26 of Urban Agriculture is about seeking the right mix of subsidies, credit, savings, and resource mobilisation, while thinking about waste.

The latest version of the magazine (UA26) is available to download (pdf 3.1 MB)

Farmland Forum 2014

Join us at our 10th annual Forum, as we explore the challenges of urban growth management and the protection of agriculture in Ontario’s near-urban farming communities, by asking:
• How permanent is farmland protection policy in Ontario?
• Are current policies effectively curbing sprawl and protecting agriculture?
• Can policy makers and community stakeholders work more collaboratively to improve farmland protection?

Learn from the experts, and share your concerns and recommendations to help inform the policy debate in advance of the 2015/16 Greenbelt & Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan reviews. Read more

Edible Education Lectures

Join  Raj Patel, Michael Pollan and co. this term at The Edible Schoolyard Project, as they present twelve lectures on the future of food, through conversations with leaders of the food movement around the world. Read more

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

From NPR…

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they’re not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

Read more

and finally, from NYT

The average age of farmers keeps rising, and organic farmers are no exception. What happens to knowledge, and to a movement, when elders retire? How about mentorship..?
Read more