Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
January 15, 2004
Guelph Organic Conference being held at U of G
The 23rd annual Guelph Organic Conference runs Jan. 22 to 25 at the University of Guelph. About 1,200 people are expected to attend the conference and organic trade show in the University Centre.
“Building Sustainable Economies” is the theme of the conference, which will feature more than 30 workshops, seminars and expert panels. Keynote speaker George Siemon will discuss "The Lessons of Our Sustainable Enterprise” at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday. Siemon is the co-founder of Organic Valley, the largest organic farmers' co-operative in North America, has served as the Organic Trade Association's livestock committee chair, and has owned and operated an organic farm in Wisconsin since 1972.
The trade show and sampling fair are free and open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m on three levels of the University Centre. More than 100 companies, groups and publishers will have materials, products and equipment on display.
From Friday to Sunday, more than 50 speakers and professional facilitators, including U of G plant agriculture professors Ann Clark and Duane Falk, rural studies post-doctoral researcher Jennifer Sumner and agriculture economics professor Peter Stonehouse, will provide seminars and panel discussions for registered participants on topics ranging from building a business in the organic market to international trade issues. The conference will also include a public forum on “The Survival of Organics” Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in Thornbrough 100. Admission to the forum is $10.
In conjunction with the conference, the Canadian Environment Network and the Canadian Organic Growers are hosting the first International Organic Agriculture and Renewable Energy Day Jan. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The full-day event in the University Centre will focus on the development of international policy and practice to encourage renewable energy production and use in organic agriculture. Registration is $60 and $125 at the door.
Another conference first is the North American premiere of two documentary films Jan. 25 starting at 1 p.m. Killing Seeds by Kai Krueger and Bertram Verhaag and Biodemocracy — Making a Difference by Charles Kassatly and Dylan Penner. The cost of admission for both films is $15. Information is also available online.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.