November 28, 2019

Blog Post- JEDI’s 2019 Annual Ag Forum

In an effort to give back to the hardworking agriculture community, JEDI is proud to host an Annual Ag Forum. This year’s forum was held on November 21, 2019 at the Best Western Wayside Inn in Wetaskiwin.

The full-day event saw almost 80 attendees, the majority of which were farmers/ag producers from the JEDI and surrounding regions.

It was an honor and privilege to have the day kick-off with greetings from Honorable Rick Wilson, Alberta’s Minister of Indigenous Relations & MLA for Maskwacîs-Wetaskiwin & Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture & Forestry, Honorable Devin Dreeshen. Minister Wilson touched on a number of local matters & welcomed questions from the audience regarding pertinent issues including winter road conditions and rural crime. Minister Dreeshen reviewed what his government has been working on including the repeal of Bill 6 and the state of harvest throughout the Province.  Both Ministers embraced the opportunity for questions and conversation with the farmers of our region. We are very grateful for the time Honorable Wilson & Honorable Dreeshen took to engage with our community.

The agenda included presentations from six expert speakers presenting on a wide range of emerging agriculture topics. The topics were geared towards addressing the operational needs of JEDI region farmers with a focus on both grain and livestock operations.  With farmers looking for new ways to strengthen & diversify their operations, we expanded our program to include specialists in the fields of hemp, plant protein, Verified Beef Production (VBP+), club root and Olds College Smart Farm to share their knowledge.

We were fortunate to hear from Cleanfarms with an update on the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Pilot Project. Cleanfarms is a non-profit, Canada-wide crop protection industry stewardship organization. They deliver programs for farmers/producers to manage Ag plastic waste for recycling or safe disposal. Their programs divert Ag waste from landfills, waterways and on-farm burning and burying.

The event also boasted a small trade show including tables from, G3 Canada Limited, County of Wetaskiwin Sustainable Agriculture, VBP+, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry (Environmental Extension and Programming Section & Club Root), The Chamber Leduc & Wetaskiwin Regions, Ag Risk Solutions, Cleanfarms and PPAA (Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta).  New this year, we featured a “spotlight” on the trade show tables where partners had the opportunity to give a 2-5 minute presentation about their organization. This encouraged conversation & networking at the trade show tables during the breaks.

The day wrapped up with key-note speaker & event sponsor, Rob Saik. There are few speakers that combine their passion for agriculture with deep business experience and talk about them in a humorous, energetic and impactful way… Rob is one of those speakers! During his presentation “Food 5.0- How We Feed the Future”, Rob took attendees on a journey from the “muscle era” of farming to a future where the convergence of new technologies like sensors, robotics, and machine learning make infinite sustainability achievable.  With the veil lifted on modern agriculture practices, the audience was inspired to contribute to a culture where farmers can adopt the science and tools, they need to carry out their mission of feeding the planet. Rob’s book FOOD 5.0 was released in August of 2019 & was available for purchase at the event. Rob also generously donated some of the books that were given away at each table as a door prizes for the attendees. Rob is truly a thought leader and champion ambassador of the agriculture industry and we feel fortunate that he took time out of his busy schedule spreading his message around the world to share his thoughts and experience with our region.

The JEDI team would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone that made the 2019 Annual Ag Forum possible! We have already started planning for the 2020 Ag Forum… so stay tuned! If you would like to be added to JEDI’s mailing list to receive updates about upcoming events, including the 2020 Ag Forum please e-mail and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn @JEDIAlberta.

Couldn’t make it to the Ag Forum this year? Please tell us why? We welcome any suggestions on how we can improve our Annual Ag Forum and/or other types of workshops & services you would like to see from JEDI in the new year.

Your partner/resource in the Ag Industry,