What an inspiring first ever 2-day Young Agrarians William’s Lake Winter Mixer! Thanks to everyone who came, to our speakers and to our sponsors.
The Williams Lake Winter Mixer brought together 91 people from across our region February 9-10th to learn, share stories and knowledge, and to make new connections. It was a fantastic, diverse group with lots of familiar faces and a whole bunch of new ones, from people just starting out to farmers and ranchers who’ve been working the fields for many years.
We welcomed every new face into our YA community and are thrilled about the growing network that is just starting out in the north. There were also so many great presenters who were able to make this event everything and more, and we were able to close out this mixer feeling inspired and excited about the future of farming in this region.
A big part of the mixer was taking time for making connections. We were so excited to have people from as far north as Prince George, BC and as far south as Vancouver, BC. There were so many opportunities for people to share stories, share skills and share ideas.
I popped in and out of several sessions, and witnessed a lot of great knowledge being exchanged, and plenty of conversations overflowing into breaks and meal times. We had some inspiring and eye-opening round table talks over lunch about challenges faced by livestock producers in the region, looking into land access, setting up solar power, holistic field walks, and the like.
Big take aways for me included: the care taken into the soil, land, and animals with holistic management and management intensive grazing practices from Clint and Karen Thompson (definitely going to put this one to work on farm), the ability to bootstrap and grow hot weather crops in our region with season extension and hard work from Andrew Adams, and the commitment and work Small-Scale Meat Producers is doing for producers in our region.
I’ve received so much great feedback since the event, so many connections and friendships made, resources shared and even some new farms starting up their operations this spring. Here’s a little peek at what folks who participated in the weekend had to say:
“Loved the ability to network and discuss new perspectives for our operation, very informative seminars, as well as excellence balance between seminars and networking time. Very well organized with all my needs met in this venue. Thank you so much!”
“Networking is always beneficial, re-energizing 😉 I loved the energy and passion for agriculture at the mixer.”
“Fabulous event! Really wonderful to see all of the young people at the event as well as older/experienced people. Really useful, practical event for a wide variety of folk”
“This event has been so inspiring and important in reminding me why I farm and that there are others like me. I am grateful you came to the region, this type of thing is so necessary here, please come again!”
Thank you again to everyone who participated and supported to make this event such a success – we love our volunteers <3! A huge thank you to all our amazing speakers – you were engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring! I left the sessions feeling full of information, enthusiasm and a get it done attitude. The slideshows and handouts are available from a number of the sessions. You can DOWNLOAD RESOURCES FROM SPEAKERS HERE (email Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have technical difficulties). Power points available from Keeley Nixon, Andrew Adams, Brianna Wijingaard, Tristan Banwell, and Emma Holmes’ sessions.
Teresa Sure and her team from Sure Catering did a great job feeding so many farmers and featuring all the seasonal local produce, cheese, meat, grains, coffee, and honey that was contributed to the Mixer. Thank you Fieldstone Organics, Rancho Vignola, Gathering Place Trading Company, Discovery Organics, Long Table Grocery, Bee Happy Honey, Spray Creek Ranch, Mackin Creek Farm, Big Bear Ranch, La Belle Vallee Fromagerie, Dancing Goat Coffee, Anitas Organics, Lac La Hache Bakery, and Save on Foods for the fantastic foods contributed!
Funding for Central and Northern B.C. events is provided by the Province of British Columbia.