The Agriculture Economic Development and Planning, Community of Practice (AED COP) was developed as an opportunity for planning and economic development practitioners to share ideas and best practices, voice challenges, and seek new opportunities for collaboration.
The first AEDP COP event, Understanding you Agri-Food Community Through Data, was an interactive webinar that took place on June 26, 2017 in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. The session was attended by close to 100 participants ranging from Economic Development Officers, Planners, Academics and NGOs.
To help curate the conversation amongst participants, this event brought together five speakers who introduced different approaches to accessing data, telling a compelling story, and translating it into action. These speakers included:
- Steve Duff, Chief Economist, OMAFRA: Navigating the OMAFRA Statistics Website & New Comprehensive OMAFRA Tool
- Gord Grant, Member Service Representative, OFA: Duffering Federation of Agriculture Video: Using Ag Data to Tell an Impactful Story in Dufferin County
- Melanie Williams, Principal Planner, Research & Analysis, and Amanda Richards,
Specialist, Peel Data Centre, Region of Peel: Agriculture Census Bulletin: A Planning Tool for Peel Region
- Philly Markowitz, Local Food Economic Development Officer, Grey County: Agri-Food Asset Mapping: Data in Action
The open forum design of the event encouraged participants to network with others and share success stories.
“It is great to learn about other projects which could be implemented in our area. This is a great opportunity to express some of the challenges we are facing in a venue where our colleagues can also provide recommendations” – AEDP COP Participant
Participants have been encouraged to maintain contact with one another to provide support, share ideas, voice challenges and seek opportunities.
Community driven agriculture economic development initiatives are important to enabling continuous productivity, fostering a supportive environment and ensuring a prosperous agriculture sector for years to come. These initiatives rely on community leaders, Economic Development Officers (EDOs), agriculture stakeholders and municipal planners (among many others), who are well-versed in the needs and opportunities of agriculture across the province, while being close to home.
The next AEDP COP is scheduled for August 21 and will look at drawing new connections and recognizing opportunities for collaboration along the agri-food value chain. The webinar will require an RSVP to obtain call-in details. If you are interested in participating, please join the email list to ensure you receive an email about the next call.