Canadian Organic Science Cluster Success Story:
First Canadian Organic Science Conference a resounding success!
Over 160 scientists, students, farmers government and industry representatives alike converged in Winnipeg for the first Canadian Organic Science Conference and Science Cluster Strategic Meetings, held from February 21-23, 2012 at the University of Manitoba. Guests hailed from across Canada, the United States and Europe, and brought with them many unique perspectives relating to the science and knowledge transfer of organic agriculture.
Dr. Andy Hammermeister, the director of OACC and co-chair of the conference, comments, “The Canadian Organic Science Conference is a key part of the deliverables of the Organic Science Cluster, a unique cross-Canada, multi-discipline cluster of researchers working in organic agriculture. It is an opportunity for researchers to learn from, and communicate with, organic researchers working in other fields of study as well as interact with industry stakeholders.”
This youthful conference, attended by many graduate and undergraduate students who represent the future of organic researchers and professionals in Canada, provided a welcoming venue for knowledge exchange, networking and interaction between the various factions of Canada’s organic industry. Meanwhile, leading scientists and students presented current advances in soil fertility and biology, sustainability and organic food production systems, organic cereal production, organic greenhouse practices, the production of organic fruits and vegetables, the rearing of organic livestock, the social aspects of organic agriculture and the transfer of knowledge. More details on the conference program can be found at www.oacc.info/COSC.
Dr. Martin Entz of the University of Manitoba and co-chair of the conference states, “The Canadian Organic Science Conference was a tremendous opportunity for university and government researchers, students and practitioners to strengthen collaboration in organic agriculture. This national conference is an indicator of the importance of the growing billion dollar organic industry in Canada.”
Today’s thriving organic research community must also look towards the future. The final day of the conference provided an opportunity to discuss and identify the future research needs of Canada’s organic sector. With this information, generated by the diverse group of conference participants, the future of organic agriculture in Canada is looking bright.
The Organic Science Cluster is part of the Canadian Agri-Science Clusters Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward Policy Framework and is supported by contributions from industry partners. With the support of the Organic Federation of Canada, the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada and the University of Manitoba were very pleased to host this successful event.
Posted March 2012