With spring well on its way, it’s time to get those green thumbs active again. On Thursday April 11, 2013 a class of third year Ecosystem Management Technology students from Fleming College, Frost Campus will be hosting their 6th Annual EcoHealth Conference. Each year, students choose a theme that they want the conference to embody. This year, the class has decided to focus on sustainable agriculture for global change, and the students have appropriately titled the upcoming conference “Feeding our Future.”
Lita O’Halloran is the lead of marketing and has been responsible for promoting the event. She explained, “Basically what the conference is trying to get across is the importance of educating everybody—not just people who are already in agriculture —on more sustainable practices and choices that they can make in terms of community farming and urban sprawl. We’re trying to get people to understand how much we need agriculture still, and realize how heavily we rely on it.”
“Feeding our Future” is a daylong event and will be held at the Frost Campus. Several workshops and interactive sessions have been planned to run from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. These include Native Pollinator Beekeeping (Susan Chan), Agro-Forestry (Andrew Gordon), Increasing Crop and Soil Health (Harris Ivens), Square Foot Gardening (Cauleen Viscoff), Wetlands: Function, Importance, and Restoration (Douglas Kennedy), Evolution of a Community Garden (Richard Evans), and Reforming Industrial Farming (Harry Stoddart). In addition, information booths, vendors, and a farmer’s market will be available throughout the day, and hourly tours of the school are scheduled to take place upon request.
Registration begins at noon. The cost to participate is $30 for the entire conference, or $15 if you simply want to join in for the evening or afternoon. Trent students who show proof of student status will be charged half price, so be sure to bring your identification card.
“It is going to have a little bit of everything,” said Lita. “The information is not restricted only to agriculture. There will be topics related to other things as well, such as: water and soil development, beekeeping, agro forestry, and gardening. There is even going to be a mini water film festival by Waterdocs showing a couple of local documentaries on the watersheds and water uses, stuff like that. It is really very broad. Anyone interested in the future of agriculture and sustainability should definitely check it out.”
Later in the evening beginning at 6:00 p.m. keynote speakers Bryan Gilvesy (a proprietor at Y U Ranch and leader in sustainable farming practices) and Eric Holt-Gimenez (the executive director of FoodFirst/Institute for Food and Development Policy) will be present giving talks on how to make the smooth transition into a more sustainable future.
“We are really trying to get people to come out,” Lita encouraged. “We would love to strengthen the connection already established between Fleming College and Trent University by having Trent students join us for the conference. There is so much to learn from today’s leaders in sustainability, and also from each other.”
Interested Trent students and faculty can find out more about the conference by visiting www.feedingourfuture.com.