Sustainability, innovation and making connections were on the agenda of the recent two-day Northern Ontario Agriculture Conference – and the Bioenterprise Canada team used the opportunity to strengthen its connections in the region.
Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, was involved in the event as both a sponsor and an exhibitor with a booth to help introduce the approximately 100 participants to the organization’s programs and services.
Hosted by the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) in Sudbury, the conference began with a networking event on campus at Collège Boréal, a Bioenterprise Knowledge & Development partner.
The overall goal of the conference, according to Bioenterprise Canada’s Northern Ontario Manager Emily Nanne, was to give farmers in Northern Ontario an opportunity to learn about the latest research and innovation, access resources and meet people to help them advance their operations.
“For Bioenterprise, this was the first opportunity we’ve had to connect in-person with many of our members and partners in Northern Ontario,” says Nanne. “The network of agriculture experts and professionals in Northern Ontario is large and diverse, and events like this present an excellent opportunity for Bioenterprise to use its 20 years of network-building expertise to expand innovation-focused collaborations across the North.”
The Northern Policy Institute, Farm Credit Canada and Lakehead University, who are all Bioenterprise partners, were also event participants, as were Bioenterprise members Agri-Tech North and Co-op Régionale, an organization that is part of Bioenterprise’s Northern Ontario Advisory Board.
“From academia, community economic development, government and producers the one message all participants shared is that they are eager to join forces and expand the value of what they are producing,” Nanne says. “This is where Bioenterprise can help, so we welcome opportunities to raise awareness of the programs, services and partnerships we can offer that are specific to northern needs.”
Deepening existing relationships, identifying opportunities to support northern businesses and programs, and finding ways to engage with partners and members will be a key part of event follow up for the Bioenterprise team, adds Nanne.