Ottawa Valley Seed Growers
Volunteers with the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association have been working closely with seed shows in the valley since 1927. Over the decades, local involvement opportunities have continued to expand with support from farmers and agribusiness.
In 2022, local seed shows were hosted in nine counties across the Eastern Ontario agricultural community, including Dundas, Stormont, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell, Ottawa-Carleton, Lanark, Leeds and Frontenac.
In Dundas and Stormont Counties, the judging day is traditionally followed by a day that includes a trade show, feature speakers and/or spring meetings. This model is being followed by other counties, as most have now expanded their seed shows to showcase the entries to the public in conjunction with other events. COVID has put a bit of a damper on recent shows, but look for a return to normal in 2023, and hopefully bigger and better than before.
Where do you find information about seed show classes? The annual Ottawa Valley seed, feed and forage show program is managed by members of the OVSGA seed fair and awards committee under the leadership of chair Colleen Acres. This committee, comprised of more than 20 volunteers, meets each spring after the seed shows are finished to review and discuss classes, judging, procedures and awards. They make changes to the program for the next year based on feedback received from organizers of local shows and what was learned while hosting the championship show. Of special note for the upcoming year, are the added classes for organic entries and varieties of maple syrup.
Interested farmers and exhibitors are encouraged to explore the 2023 program hosted on the OVSGA/OVFS web site at www.ottawafarmshow.com. While there, you will also find a listing of the top placings in all classes in the last three years, and the trophy and award winners over the last five years.
How can you get involved in seed shows? Seed shows at the county level are hosted by the county Soil and Crop Improvement Association (SCIA). Dates are generally late February and early March. Connect with local farmers and volunteers with your county SCIA for more information. Please note that in some counties, criteria for participation includes a SCIA membership.
How can you get involved in the championship show? The top two entries in each class from each of the local shows are eligible to compete at the championship show. Judging of the annual Ottawa Valley championship seed, feed and forage show will be held March 11, 2023. That is the day when the OVSGA volunteers gather with designated seed show judges to prepare and judge all the entries.
Where can you see seed show winning entries? To view winning entries, visit the Court of Honour, at booth #2529 and #2629 at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show at the EY Centre in Ottawa. You will find the display of top entries, trophies and award winners. In 2023, seed show award winners will be invited to participate in an awards banquet hosted in Greely on March 25.
If you have not entered seeds, feeds or forages in a seed show in the past, please consider joining your fellow farmers for a little friendly competition this spring!
For more information visit www.ottawafarmshow.com