North & Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference March 2021

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Author: Sustain Ontario

Posted: February 12, 2021

Categories: Events / GoodFoodBites

The Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance, the County of Renfrew, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, are hosting a North & Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference throughout March 2021.

The 4-part webinar series will take place on Wednesdays throughout March, and will explore the hard-won lessons learned from a global pandemic that can help strengthen local food businesses and organizations.

Session 1 – March 10, 2021, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Local Food More than Ever: Harvesting the Lessons of COVID-19


  • Dr. Evan Fraser, Arrell Food Institute, University of Guelph
  • Moe Garahan, Just Food Ottawa, Food Communities Network
  • Peggy Brekveld, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
  • Dr. Joseph LeBlanc, Associate Dean, Equity & Inclusion, Norther Ontario School of Medicine; Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security.
  • Additional speakers to be added once confirmed


Session 2 – March 17, 2021, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Navigating Agri-Tourism During a Pandemic


  • Melissa Marquardt, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association
  • Duarte Da Silva, Prince Edward County Wine Growers Association
  • Leanne Spry, Spry Farm
  • Mitch Deschatels, Leisure Farm
  • Additional speakers to be added once confirmed

March 17, 12 – 1 p.m.
Chef-led Lunch – Taste of the North


Session 3 – March 24, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Surviving and Thriving: The Resilience of Local Food


  • Danielle Collins, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
  • Kevin and Jodi Belluz, Superior Seasons, Thunder Bay
  • Lisa LeBlanc,
  • Chris Penton, Beechwood Farmers’ Market, Ottawa
  • Additional speakers to be added once confirmed


Session 4 – March 31, 2021, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Innovations in the Local Food Frontier: Aquaculture, Aquaponics, Greenhouse Production and Vertical Farming


  • Dr. Fadi Al-Daoud, Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist, OMAFRA
  • Michael McGuire, Aquaculture and Aquaponics Specialist, OMAFRA

March 31, 12-1 p.m.
Chef-led Lunch – Taste of Renfrew County


Learn more about each session and register to attend online here.