The County of Brant co-hosted the 14th Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum on November 2 and 3 2022.
“The forum was very popular this year with close to 100 registrants, a variety of guest speakers and a bus tour of farms in the County,” said Alison Newton, General Manager of Strategic Initiatives. “The event was an opportunity to highlight to the rest of Ontario what Brant is doing to support the agriculture sector. Agriculture is the foundation of the local economy and the history of our community.”
The theme of the event was ‘Tradition, Innovation and Regeneration’ and highlighted agricultural operations in the County and agricultural initiatives supported by the County’s policies and programming.
“Brant is taking innovative and progressive actions to support the agriculture sector including introducing new partnerships and policies,” noted Newton. “The forum was a great opportunity to highlight Conestoga’s Agricultural Equipment Operator program that was established in partnership with the County of Brant and policies such as On-Farm Diversified Use that helps farmers to branch out and add to their income potential while enhancing the County’s agricultural economy.”
The event was well attended with representation from across Ontario.
“We’d like to thank everyone for attending including keynote speaker Brock Dickinson,” said Newton. “The sessions on workforce, agriculture and environmental partnerships, and agricultural systems were important topics to explore together.”
“Just like in other industries, building networks and sharing best agriculture and food practices is critical in the spirit of driving innovation and efficiencies,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Thank you to the County of Brant for hosting and showcasing their regional industry that proves to be a significant driver of both local and provincial economies.”
“Our Government understands that Ontario farmers not only grow the food that we eat, but they run complex businesses with workflow automation, supply chain and enterprise resource management systems,” said Will Bouma, MPP for Brant-Brantford. “That being said, the complexity of the modern farmer is exacerbated by the fact that they have to manage risks that are beyond their control: weather, natural disasters and market conditions. An event such as this underscores the importance of collaboration and cooperation in a vital economic sector.”