FEB 26-28: 2016 Certified Organic Association of BC Conference, Vernon, BC

Posted by Kristen Nammour on December 07, 2015

The cycle of resilience logo for canadian organic association of british columbia

Join Certified Organic Association of BC in Vernon for their next annual conference focusing on Resilience! Sessions on water harvesting and resilient/restorative agriculture are pertinent given extreme temperatures and water shortages in BC this season. There will also be sessions on the certification process, seed saving (beginner and advanced presentations), pest management, stories from trailblazers in the organic community, and so much more.

WHEN: Feb. 26 – Feb. 28, 2016

WHERE: Vernon, BC

COST: Full Conference $250 – See website for single sessions & student discount


Conference Highlights:

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Vandana Shiva: COABC is thrilled to have Dr. Vandana Shiva, internationally recognized advocate for organics and non-GMO seed sovereignty, as Keynote Speaker: Saturday at 8:30 AM. She will be speaking about the resilience of agroecosystems through organic growing and processing, how this leads to improved adaptability to shifts related to climate change like increased temperatures and water shortages, as well as how the future of organics will be sustained through the younger farmers who are taking on this philosophy of living and working.

Dr. Shiva will also be participating in a seed roundtable on Saturday afternoon: details to come.

Young Agrarians Mini-Mixer:  Young Agrarians is a network for new and young ecological
farmers in BC that organizes events, landlinks and business mentorship. Young Agrarians specializes in networking up farmers so join us for a social mixer: find out who is in the room, doing what, where. Come to a social meet-up at COABC and meet other awesome agrarians. Connect, make new contacts- have fun! Light refreshments will be sponsored by Rancho Vignola & Cooling.

Saturday Feast: We are back with Chef Inna this year, and her food was one of the top highlights from the 2013 conference. She has another amazing menu planned, so be prepared to have your socks knocked off with the delectable buffet feast.

Based on feedback from last year’s conference, we will be sharing a customized playlist of music after dinner so that the conversations can continue within the larger group space on Saturday night. There will still be room to get up and dance if folks feel inclined, so that won’t be lost, just different!

Friday Afternoon Workshop (Sold Out): This year’s workshop will satisfy people’s craving for more detailed information about soil biology. Join Sean Smukler, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems at University of British Columbia for his workshop, Managing Soil to Maximize Agroecosystem Resiliency.

In this half-day workshop, participants will learn how to manage soil to improve the resiliency of the agroecosystem through a series of presentations and interactive group work. Participants will be given an overview of soil food web interactions and outcomes and will walk away from this workshop with a thorough understanding of the below ground ecosystem and some practical tools for managing it.

Seed Exchange: Come and share seeds with fellow farmers! The COABC Seed Exchange is the perfect place to explore new varieties, share your favourite cultivars, donate the extra seeds you have, and learn about seeds and seed saving from fellow seed producers. The Seed Exchange will be hosted by the B.C. Eco Seed Co-op. Learn about this new seed producer co-op and share ideas and suggestions with some of the members.

Silent Auction: Our silent auction continues to get better and better – you will find an amazing array of items to place your bid on: clothing, art, books, art, food, wine, tools, seeds and so much more. If you would like to donate an auction item, just bring it with you to the conference. Auction items will be displayed from 6 PM Friday evening until bidding closes on Saturday at 9 PM.

Other Conference Highlights (subject to change)

  • Friday evening reception with beer, wine, and spirits sampling, as well as scrumptious charcuterie platters.
  • Trade show will provide a marketplace of products and ideas to inspire you
  • COABC AGM on Sunday – come and hear about another extraordinarily full year we’ve had and consider getting involved
  • While the Feast is being staged, you can check out the Seed Exchange, the Young Agrarians Mini-Mixer, or the Hospitality Room