Chilliwack to host organic conference later this month

Certified Organic Association of BC conference is set for Feb. 24 to Feb. 26 at the Best Western Rainbow Country Inn in Chilliwack.

Social justice and participatory farming practices are in focus at a conference coming up later this month in Chilliwack.

The annual conference of Certified Organic Association of BC is set for Feb. 24 to Feb. 26 at the Best Western Rainbow Country Inn in Chilliwack.

“We have a wonderful line-up of speakers from all aspects of the organic farming community,” said Mary Forstbauer, a Chilliwack organic farmer, and president of COABC.

“The conference themes will appeal to people from all walks of life: urban farmers and gardeners, conventional growers and producers, and permaculture or biodynamic farmers.”

Topics will range from social media marketing to farm workers’ rights, as well as how to build a café bistro on the farm.

The keynote speaker is Humberto Rios Labrada from Cuba, who is set to make the main conference presentation, as well as providing some musical entertainment, accompanied by his son.

Labrada will be discussing “farmer controlled” and “participatory” plant breeding and seed diffusion, for which he has received worldwide acclaim.

He’s lectured on these approaches in several continents, and recently received the Goldman Award for agriculture transformation in Cuba.

“We are excited to have such an acclaimed and knowledgeable presenter at the conference this year and we can’t wait to hear his amazing musical talent,” said Andrea Lawseth, conference organizer.

Labrada will be joined by the six-member Jose Sanchez Cuban Dance Party Band for the Saturday evening dance.

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