Members Learn, Connect, and Feast at OCO’s 2017 AGM

We were happy to welcome a variety of members, old and new, to our 2017 AGM in Guelph this past Friday.

Not only did we learn a lot from guest speaker Brent Preston of the New Farm, OCO’s Carolyn Young, and our speaker panel on Ontario Organic Regulation, but we also made time to elect four new board members and approve several new bylaws!

Welcome to the board of the Organic Council of Ontario: Andrew St Jean, an organic farmer from Guelph; Derek Beishuizen, an organic beef producer from Ripley, Roman Plawiuk, an organic processor and owner of Huron Sun Foods in Barrie; and Sarah Grant, an organic and local food supporter, formerly of Localize, Inc. We have no doubt that these new additions to our board will allow us to better serve our membership and pursue our key goals for 2017.

Thanks so much to outgoing board members John Devlin and Lauren Stallard for their countless contributions to OCO over the past year[s]. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today – looking forward to a bright future for organic in Ontario!



A big thank you to our speakers and panelists for sharing their unique perspectives. The conversations had at this year’s AGM were important for the future of the entire organic sector in Ontario.

We’d also like to thank all of the participants and donors who made our Local Organic Feast possible! It was an excellent event and a wonderful opportunity to sample all that Ontario has to offer – even in early spring.

Kudos to everyone below for their important contributions to the day.

Guest Speaker: Brent Preston of The New Farm

How to Grow Ontario Organic – Panel: Krysten Cooper of Yorkshire Valley Farms, Vincent Strickland of Pfenning’s Organic Farm, Marshall King of Organic Meadow,  and Tom Manley of Homestead Organics.

Ontario Organic Regulation Panel: Rob Wallbridge of Thompson’s Limited (moderator), Thorsten Arnold of Persephone Market Garden, Tony McQuail of Meeting Place Organic Farm, Dave Lockman of Procert, Seb Ramirez  of Zocalo Organics, Bill Redelmeier of Southbrook Vineyards, and Carolyn Young on behalf of Lulu Cohen-Farnell of Real Food for Real Kids.

Local, Organic Feast Participants and Donors: Goodness Me!, Wagram Springs Pure Canadian Birch Products, Dick Duff’s Organic Jerky, the Olivar Corp, Artisinale French Country Cooking, Mapleton’s Organic Dairy, Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company, Southbrook Vineyards, Reimer Vineyards, Greenbelt Microgreens, Elora Bread Trading Company, Meeting Place Organic Farm, Green Table Foods, The Neighbourhood Group / miijidaa cafe & bistro, Slegers Greens, Pfenning’s Organic Farm, Harmony Organic, Crofter’s Organic, Zocalo Organics, and Drumlin Farm, Cocoa Camino, The Stone Store, Organic Garage.

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