WINTER IS SHOW SEASON: Farm shows, conferences are back
Farmers Forum staff
EASTERN ONTARIO — February and March are a traditional time for farmers to get out, get together and check out the latest technology and information at a variety of winter shows and conferences. And after the upheaval of the recent pandemic era, the 2023 schedule has returned somewhat to normal, though there are notable absences.
Where there was once no less than 11 in-person farm shows, stretching from New York to Cornwall over a five-week period, that’s now down to seven. The cancelled events include the Cornwall Eco Farm Days, Eastern Ontario Days and Quinte Farm Trade Show.
Here is a breakdown on some of the shows:
Kemptville Woodlot Conference
Dates: Wed., Feb. 1; Wed., Feb. 8; Wed., Feb. 15; Wed., Feb. 22
Event: For 35 years, forestry and tree aficionados gathered at either the Kemptville College campus or the North Grenville Municipal Centre. For 2023, however, the Kemptville Woodlot Conference is back exclusively as an online Zoom affair running at noon hour each Wednesday in February. Special forest-themed presentations are planned, and it’s free to take part. Register at ontariowoodlot.com
Kawartha Woodlot Conference
Dates: Sat., March 11
Location: Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterborough
Event: It’s the 30th annual Kawartha Woodlot Conference, and the Ontario Woodlot Association-organized event is back in-person for the first time in two years. Maberly maple syrup producer Eric Boysen will deliver the keynote address and share his experience with recent wind events at his property and the impact of invasive species like the Forest Tent caterpillar and Spongy Moth. The previously popular ‘make-a-map’ session returns this year, while a new open-floor discussion on the participants’ topic of choice is new. Other presenters include the Kawartha Land Trust and Alternative Land Use Services. Fee is $40, which includes lunch. Register online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/30th-annual-kawartha-woodland-conference-tickets-520801008837 or buy tickets at the door.
New York Farm Show
Dates: Thurs., Feb. 23 to Sat. Feb. 25
Location: New York State Fairground, 581 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse, New York
Event: The New York Farm Show features more than 400 exhibitors representing almost all sectors of agriculture. See the latest technologies in tractors, planters, sprayers and other precision-ag tools. On the livestock side, check out dairy robotic milking systems, handling equipment and marketing know-how for beef producers. An annual tradition of more than three decades, the show was called off only once during the recent pandemic, in 2021. Admission is $5 at the door (under 18 enter free).
Crysler Farm Show
Dates: Fri., March 3 – Sat., March 4
Location: Crysler Community Centre at 16 Third St., Crysler
Event: About 40 exhibitors typically attend. Winners of the Stormont County Soil and Crop Improvement Association seed show will be announced.
East Central Farm Show
Dates: Wed., March 1 and Thurs., March 2
Location: The Commonwell Exhibition Building at the Lindsay Fairgrounds at 354 Angeline St. S., Lindsay
Event: Over 175 exhibitors from across Ontario will be on hand to present the latest in agricultural products to the farming community at the 41st annual show put on by the East Central Soil & Crop Improvement Association. See farm technology and farm equipment dealers, crop input and soil management companies, livestock feed suppliers, farm organizations, and more.
Price: $10, but free with 2023 Soil & Crop membership ($40).
Dundas Seed, Forage and Agricultural Show
Date: Fri., March 10
Location: Chesterville Legion at 167 Queen Street, Chesterville
Event: More than 40 exhibitors. Winners of the seed and forage competitions will be announced. The venue is a change from the usual Matilda Hall, which is undergoing renovations.
Price: Free, but Soil and Crop members also receive a ticket for a free lunch
Ottawa Valley Farm Show
Dates: Tues., March 14 to Thurs., March 16
Location: EY Centre at 4899 Uplands Dr. next to the International Airport in Ottawa’s south end.
Event: It’s been a very long return for the OVFS, which hasn’t been held since March 2019. More than 12,000 people are expected to visit 360 exhibitors of farm products and services under one roof.
Price: $12 in advance online (via link at ottawafarmshow.com) or $15 at the door. Kids 12 years and younger are free.