Organic Food
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2015 Conference logo Conference Sponsors

Certified Organic Association of BC
Friday February 27 to Sunday March 1, 2015
Chilliwack, BC

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General Information

COABC's Conference provides educational and networking opportunities for new and established farmers, as well as those keen to learn more about the world of organic farming. We have pulled together a diverse selection of presentations focused on our theme of Livestock, as well as a variety of other issues pertinent to the dynamic functioning of a farm operation:

Livestock Sessions will delve into a range of issues such as feed, pasture management, beef research, slaughter facilities, and standards interpretation.

Business Structure & Supports will focus on components of running a business that make a big difference in the success of your season. We will look into human resources strategies particular to hiring, creating your own business handbook, using co-operatives to meet shared business objectives, farming with family, and crowd funding as a revenue source.

Technical Information will allow you to get into the nitty gritty details of farm work. We will explore pest management (earwigs and wireworm), growing tree fruit, addressing individual concerns and questions through open consultation with industry experts, soil health, and integrating seed saving into your practice.

Land Stewardship will explore the importance of taking care of this land for generations to come through sessions on indigenous land use, succession planning through a land linking workshop, and Permaculture design for small to medium scale farms.

Accomodation

The Best Western Rainbow Country Inn is holding rooms at a rate of $101.99/day (single/double occupancy) + tax. To reserve, please call the hotel at 1-800-665-1030 and ask for the COABC rate.

Silent Auction

Our silent auction is one to be reckoned with - you will find an amazing array of items to place your bid on: clothing, art, books, art, food, wine, tools, seeds and so much more. If you would like to donate an auction item, just bring it with you to the conference. Auction items will be displayed from 6 PM Friday evening until bidding closes on Saturday 9 PM.

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Saturday Feast Entertainment

Blackberry Wood has been described as "a wonderful, secret and magic combination of alt-country-gypsy-circus music. They play a high-energy cabaret spin on dreamy old musical styles adding big juicy modern flavours like jumpin' ska, rock and roll, blues, bumpin' hip-hop, gypsy punk ‘n many other irresistible body shakin’, foot stompin’ sounds. They've kicked up dust in towns all over Western Canada, the United Kingdom and parts of the United States."

*NEW* Full-Day Friday Workshop

For the first time, we are hosting a full day workshop on Friday that will be facilitated by Kevin Koopmans (Community Futures South Fraser) and Dr. Lorne Owen (Project Consultant, BC Agriculture Centre of Excellence, University of the Fraser Valley). This workshop is intended to help farm owners & their managers create their own farm-specific employee handbook. A well-crafted handbook can effectively communicate the benefits and responsibilities of working on your farm, as well as foster a fair work environment and help your employees identify with your business values. The workshops material is based on the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture Guide to Developing a BC Agriculture Employee Handbook.

Seed Exchange

Come and share seeds with fellow farmers! The COABC Seed Exchange is the perfect place to explore new varieties, share your favourite cultivars, donate the extra seeds you have, and learn about seeds and seed saving from fellow seed producers. The Seed Exchange will be hosted by the B.C. Eco Seed Co-op. This is an opportunity to learn about this new seed producer co-op and share ideas and suggestions with some of the members.

Guidelines to participate in the Seed Exchange:

  • All seeds should be open-pollinated, non-hybrid, non-patented, and GE-Free
  • Bring seeds divided in smaller envelopes -- at least 20-30 seeds per package.
  • Make sure to know the variety/cultivar’s name and the scientific name if possible (family, genus, species)
  • Share seed grower’s name, location grown, population size, and isolation distance.
  • When possible, share the # days to harvest, planting guidelines, original seed source, and year purchased.
  • Finally, feel free to share the story of the seed!

Young Agrarians Mini-Mixer

Young Agrarians specializes in networking up farmers. Join us for a social mixer: find out who is in the room, doing what, where. Connect, make some new contacts, and have fun! Light refreshments will be served sponsored by Rancho Vignola & Cooling.


Other Conference Highlights (subject to change)

  • Friday evening reception with beer, wine, and spirits sampling, as well as hors d'oeuvres
  • Trade show and poster presentations will provide a marketplace of products and ideas to inspire you
  • Organic Feast on Saturday night will feature collaboration between Chef Dan Cool (Rainbow Country Inn), Chef David Colombe, and his students at Seabird Island College. This will be a meal to remember!
  • COABC AGM on Sunday – come and hear about the extraordinarily full year we’ve had and consider getting involved
  • While the Feast is being staged, you can check out the Seed Exchange, the Young Agrarians Mixer, or the Hospitality Room

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