A weekly press release prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  If you require further information, regarding this press release, please call the Fergus Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For technical information, call the Agri­cultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA Website:

… Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at the London Convention Centre, 300 York Street, London, ON.
Aimed at the pork, beef and veal sectors, this conference is intended to provide real time information to help producers and agribusiness make sound business decisions in this changed business environment.
Topics will include: effects of the dollar, competitiveness, things to consider when transitioning your business, risk management, among others.  Pre-register by February 8th and Save!
Payment and registration information must be received by February 8th to receive reduced rates.
If you are a registered producer with OCA, Ontario Veal, Ontario Pork or are an OPIC member you can
Pre-register for $30.  If you are not a producer or OPIC member, you can pre-register for $40.  Registrations will be accepted at the door at a cost of $50 for the day.
Speakers include:  David Irvine – Irvine and Associates; Maurizio (Moe) – Agostino Farms; Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu – Kansas State University; Kevin Grier – George Morris Centre; and Dr. Gary Smith – Colorado State University.  See website for details on topics, speaker bios and to register at: 

The Growing Your Opportunities Value Added Workshop in our area is being held in Orangeville at the Alder Street Recreation Centre.  Day 1—Sat. Feb. 23rd and Day 2—Sat. March 1st.  Cost is $75.00 per person (includes $3.57 GST).
Growing your Opportunities:   This workshop is for farm and rural based entrepreneurs who want to learn how to tap into new value added opportunities from idea to market.
Over The Two Days You Will:
Learn how to identify, find and evaluate new value added ideas
Learn how to put your ideas into action using the seven step value added development process
Learn how to connect with the right market channels
Learn how to find innovative ways to market your products and services
Learn how to build a business that can support your new idea
Learn how to create a dynamite, but simple business plan
Learn how to finance the different stages of your new ventures
Learn how to save time and money in the development process
Learn how to price your products properly
Learn how to manage your risk
Explore case studies of how innovative rural and farm businesses that have developed their value added ideas and opportunities. §Follow a new product from conception to integration into the marketplace. For inquiries contact Ruth Phillips by calling 519-941-0440 ext. 291 Fax: 519-941-9033 or E-mail:
Cost is $75.  To register for this workshop, or similar ones around Ontario, you may also visit: 
Traction Workshops in our area have been set up in Ancaster on Thursday and Friday, February 17 – 18, 2008 and Hanover, Wednesday and Thursday, February 21 – 21, 2008.  Cost is $895.00 plus tax.
Our eCourses are designed by top experts in the agribusiness field with you in mind. Our focus is on developing skills that are immediately applicable to you and your farm business. Courses are currently being offered in: Strategic and Business Planning, Succession Planning, Domestic and Global Marketing, Commodity Marketing, and Human Resources.For more information on the AgriBusiness eCampus Project, please check the website at: .  Location on your home – offered by the University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus.  Launch date – early February. 
Feb. 5 – 6 OSCIA Annual Meeting, Sheraton Fallsview Hotel, Niagara Falls.
Feb. 11 Wellington Dairy Producer Committee Annual Meeting, Drayton PMD, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00pm.  Contact Debbie Brander 519-856-9957 or Ken DeVries 519-638-7799 for tickets.