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Regional agricultural conference returns to Quesnel

Ag and Hort Leap, the regional conference on agriculture, returns to Quesnel Feb. 8 and 9.

After successful one-day events in 2011 and 2012, this year’s conference hosts 24 speakers over two days.

Approximately 100 farmers from Clinton to Prince George and beyond are expected to attend.

The conference is organized by FARMED, the North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association, at the College of New Caledonia.

Highlights of the conference include Thompson River University’s Edward Walker on the important relationship between producers and local restaurants, private sector consultant Allen Dobb on the growing export of hay to the Far East and Jillian Merrick of Beyond the Market initiative in Prince George, on the support available for new farmers.

Wilma Watkin, a director of FARMED, said the conference is a major event, not only for farming but for the wider regional economy.

The primary objectives of the conference are to help, encourage and educate new entrants to farming and to help in building local food producing capacity.

“We also seek to facilitate networking between producers and other producers, their suppliers and their customers and to assist farmers in diversifying into new and growing markets,” Watkin said.

“At a time when the region’s lumber industry is being challenged it is important to encourage other sectors of the local economy.”

The main sponsors of the conference are the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation, Community Futures North Cariboo and the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

Conference co-ordinator Michael Furminger told the Tribune/Weekend Advisor while funding hasn’t been secured, the regional conference is looking at coming to Williams Lake  or 100 Mile House in 2015.

“We have lots of people coming to the conference from the Williams Lake and the Alexis Creek area this year,” Furminger said.

For information contact Michael and Sue Furminger at 250-249-0079.

Follow the Conference on Twitter @HarvestKnowHow, on Facebook Quesnel Ag. & Hort. Leap 2014 or visit farmed.ca.

 

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