Canola Connect: Farm to Food Conversations
When your consumer audience wants to know more about farming and food production, why not connect them to best source of information, our farmers? Canola Eat Well did just that by inviting over 100 dieticians and home economists as well as 10 farmers out to Kelburn farm for the evening to Learn. Create. Eat.
Learn. Create. Eat was a farm and food workshop held at Kelburn Farm on June 9 in conjunction with the Dietitians of Canada National Conference in Winnipeg. It was a joint initiative of Manitoba Canola Growers and Alberta Canola Producers Commission under the consumer brand of Canola Eat Well.
You don’t typically see a chef and a dietitian take the stage together to learn about health and food, it’s either one or the other. But at the workshop, registered dietician Patricia Chuey and celebrity chef Raghavan Iyer taught the crowd about creating delicious bites playing with flavour and cooking techniques, all while using canola oil.
Throughout the evening, guests learned from experts on to how to develop dishes using bold flavours, spices and the role canola oil plays in the kitchen, had intimate conversations with farmers on canola production and sustainability, all while networking and sharing stories.
Why invite farmers to a food event?
“What better way to start the farm to food conversation than to connect our food network with the people who produce their food? This event was a platform to open dialogue between farmers and consumers and create ongoing conversations,” said Ellen Pruden, MCGA education and promotions manager.
Bruce and Carol Dalgarno, farmers from Newdale, Manitoba attended the event as team leaders. “We had great conversations with our group, they asked very good and interesting questions,” said Bruce. “Consumers want to know more about food production than ever before, it was great to answer and share what really happens on the farm.”
Another event where collaboration took place was the first-ever Manitoba canolaPALOOZA in Portage la Prairie earlier this year. Partnering with the Canola Council, the event had nearly 200 attendees including participants from all areas of the industry. CanolaPALOOZA had 11 interactive learning stations that focused on topics from spray technology, to insect management, all the way to harvest management.
Why Engage Consumers with Agriculture?
“When we can connect with experts like Gregory Sekulic (agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada) about important topics — like honey bees— and share these connections on social media with our Canola Eat Well audience, it engages them and adds a credible source.”
The Learn. Create. Eat. event and canolaPALOOZA event are only parts of the ongoing conversations and dialogue MCGA is building. Four years ago, the MCGA Board of Directors developed a Canola Leadership Conference and recruited young and established farmers to engage and become leaders in their field.
“The objective was to empower our Farm Leaders to raise their voices and elevate and contribute to the conversation with the 98 per cent of the community that does not farm,” said Roberta Galbraith, MCGA member relations coordinator. “Cultivating this conversation between farmers and food, policy negotiators and rule makers has driven home the point that the conversation needs to continue.”
If you are interested in learning more about these events, or how you can attend the Canola Leadership Conference, sign up for the Canola Crush newsletter at canolagrowers.com. And be part of the #farmtofood conversation online with @CanolaGrowers and @CanolaEatWell.
MCGA recognizes five students with scholarships
The Manitoba Canola Growers Association is proud to announce its 2016 scholarship winners. Five $1,000 scholarships have been awarded to deserving high school students across Manitoba.
This year’s recipients are:
The $1,000 scholarships are available to students who are from a farm that is a member of the Manitoba Canola Growers Association and plan to attend post secondary education in any field within two years of graduating.
Save the Date:
Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference, Portage la Prairie
Cover Your Assets, Neepawa
Cover Your Assets, Roblin
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