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In This Issue

  • The Real Dirt on Farming in the Classroom now available
  • FFCO and AITC-C celebrate Canada's Agriculture Day
  • Register Now - FFCO Virtual Conference and Speakers' Program
  • Nominations open for 2021 Food & Farming Champion Award
  • Winter Speakers' Series - March 29
  • Garden-in-a-Box program launched
  • FFCO welcomes Tamara Hamilton to the team
  • Farm Animal Care & Farm Environment newsletter
  • Meet a member - Ontario Bean Growers
The Real Dirt on Farming in the Classroom now available
A successful partnership between Farm and Food Care (FFC) and Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC-C) has led to the completion of a national classroom resource designed to give students and teachers across Canada the opportunity to dig deeper into the latest edition of The Real Dirt on Farming (RDOF).

Lesson plans will enable students to engage with the RDOF while examining its key topics – animal welfare, crops and plants, sustainability, agriculture policy, current issues in our food system and more.

Bonnie den Haan, Chair of FFCO, said, “Working with AITC-C to create this curriculum-based document will extend the reach of our flagship publication even further. We’re excited to see this partnership taking The Real Dirt on Farming into classrooms from coast to coast.”

Educators can download this resource at www.RealDirtOnFarming.ca/educators

The Real Dirt on Farming in the Classroom was made possible by partnerships with:
FFCO and AITC-C celebrate Canada's Agriculture Day
FFCO partnered with Agriculture in the Classroom Canada and its provincial member organizations including AgScape for a series of events to celebrate Canada's Agriculture Day on February 23 and the launch of The Real Dirt on Farming in the Classroom.

The day included four virtual farm tours and LIVE Q&A sessions.195 teachers registered their classes to tune-in to the tours, which included a Nova Scotia chicken farm and Ontario egg farm. They were also introduced to a canola researcher in Alberta and a beef ranching family in British Columbia. To date, the tours have received over 12,500 views.

Check out the egg farm tour below featuring Farm & Food Care board member Janelle Caldwell, or click here to find recordings of the rest of the tours.
FFCO is pleased to invite you to register for its Virtual Conference and Speakers' Program taking place on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The conference will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

A member-only annual business meeting and board of director elections will be held later that week. Members will receive a direct invitation to the business meeting.

For the first time ever, the conference will be free to attend.
Thank you to our conference sponsors:
FFCO is pleased to welcome two keynote speakers:
Peace, Love & Fibre

Mairlyn Smith is the only P.H.Ec. in Canada who is also an alumnus of the Second City Comedy Troupe, making her the self-proclaimed funniest P.H.Ec. in the entire world. A popular media personality, MC and keynote speaker Mairlyn is also a regular guest expert on the award-winning national daytime television show Cityline as well as a regular on Toronto’s Breakfast TV. Mairlyn’s forte is her ability to mix learning with laughter. She’s the author of seven award-winning cookbooks. Cookbook number eight - Peace, Love and Fibre: Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family (appetite by Random House) made the bestseller lists at The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Amazon.ca and Chapters Indigo. Check out her website www.mairlynsmith.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @MairlynSmith or Facebook @mairlyn.smith
Generational Change and the Future of Food in Canada

David Coletto delivers strategic advice and research design expertise to many of Canada’s foremost corporations, advocacy groups, and political leaders. A leader in online research methodologies, public affairs research, corporate and organizational reputation studies, and youth research, Coletto has led projects for top-tier companies in many sectors including pharmaceutical, transportation, financial services, educational, natural resource, telecommunications, media, arts and cultural, tourism, and retail. He is an outspoken proponent of transparency in the polling industry and is regularly called upon by media and organizations alike to provide expert analyses of public opinion and research methodologies.
Do you know a food and farming champion?

Submit your nomination for the Food & Farming Champion Award.

This annual award is presented to individuals, organizations or businesses who have taken the initiative to help engage consumers about agriculture in our province. 

Nominees must have used their skills to help inform Canadians or correct misinformation about production practices, and have done a measurable job of promoting agriculture. 

Nominations must be submitted to FFCO by March 20, 2021.

A selection committee will choose a winner from the nominations, and the award recipient will be honoured at the Virtual Conference and Speakers Program on April 6, 2021.
  • Nominations are open to any who have taken an active role in getting the message out about agriculture.
  • A nominated individual or group does not have to be a member of Farm & Food Care Ontario to be eligible.
  • Nominations will be accepted from all Farm & Food Care Ontario members, as well as the current board of directors. Board members themselves, however, are not eligible for nomination.
  • Members may nominate more than one individual, organization or business.
  • A panel will select the award winner(s).

Nomination form available here.

Winter Speakers' Series

On February 24, Farm & Food Care and Canadian Food Focus were pleased to host the first of three in a series of three winter speakers’ series, featuring Professor David Hughes of the UK on “The World of Food Post-Covid: Implications for Food Industry Businesses." The session had about 125 attendees from across Canada was moderated by Clinton Monchuk of Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan.

For a recording of the presentation, or to download the slide deck, visit www.FarmFoodCareON.org/speakersseries/

The Winter Speakers' Series invites leaders from across the food industry to share their insights and experience on how Canadian food producers are adapting to changing demographics, mindful consumers and unprecedented global events. 

Next session:
MARCH 29, 2021 @ 1:00 P.M.

Jo-Ann McArthur

Food Labelling: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Canadians are increasingly exposed to labels communicating specific processing aspects of food production. Food labels serve an important role, but who benefits the most from all of these different labels? Could they even be causing confusion and problems in the grocery aisle? Join Jo-Ann McArthur, Founding Partner and President of Nourish Food Marketing, for a deep dive into the marketing and misconceptions behind food labels. 

The three sessions are free to attend thanks to a partnership with:
FFCO launches Garden-in-a-Box

Help us GROW our Facebook community and SOW meaningful conversations about food and farming with consumers across Ontario by promoting our Garden-in-a-Box program to your consumer-facing audience this spring.

Sales begin this week. For just $25, get everything you need to start a backyard vegetable garden $10 from every box is donated to Feed Ontario.

Our FFCO Garden Club will launch in April and we’ll be making the most of opportunities to build common ground and dialogue about the differences between backyard gardening and large-scale growing by featuring experts from across food and farming in our events calendar.

Watch for our Facebook ads and SHARE to help us get the word out!

Visit www.shop.FarmFoodCareON.org for more information.
FFCO welcomes Tamara Hamilton to the team
Tamara Hamilton has joined Farm & Food Care as Communications Coordinator.

Tamara grew up on a dairy and crop farm in Eastern Ontario and holds a Bachelors's Degree from the University of Guelph in Resources Management. Tamara comes with volunteer and employment experience with 4-H, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Ontario Plowmen's Association.

Outside of agriculture, her hobbies include camping throughout Ontario, photography and fostering future Dog Guides for the Lions Foundation of Canada.
Farm Animal Care & Farm Environment Newsletter

FFCO released its winter edition of the Farm Animal Care and Farm Environment Advisory Council newsletter this month.

The newsletter provides updates on current work related to the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act (Bill -156) and the soil health and manure awareness projects currently underway.

To read more, click here.
Meet our members - Ontario Bean Growers

"The Ontario Bean Growers (OBG) are very proud to be members of Farm &Food Care Ontario (FFCO). OBG represents over 1000 farmers who grow dry beans in the province. As a smaller organization, we really appreciate the opportunity to extend our capacity to reach consumers through the many activities and events offered by FFCO. We have been active participants in Breakfast on the Farm and have enjoyed co-hosting a couple of food influencer tours. 

FFCO also plays a huge role in keeping Ontario agricultural commodities and other stakeholders connected. The quarterly Environmental and Farm Animal Care Council meetings are an excellent platform for identifying common interests and issues, as well as learning from each other’s experiences.

Working with FFCO on projects is a very collaborative experience. Their team always goes above and beyond to ensure that members get what they need out of their membership. In the case of our small organization, they always find ways to work with us to amplify our messaging and reach new audiences."

Jennifer Mitchell, Project Manager, Ontario Bean Growers