Ag 4.0 talk moves to Hanover

Grey County’s annual exploration of innovation in agriculture returns November 1 with Ag 4.0.3.

This year’s conference, which is moving from Meaford to Hanover, focuses on agri-food innovation and sustainability as we look to feed the world in a changing global environment.

Philly Markowitz is the economic development officer for Grey County.

In a release, Markowitz says the theme will explore agri-food with an eye to the future and look for answers to questions that include; How do local agri-food producers prioritize decisions, what are the trends locally and globally, and how can agri-food producers make more from less in a sustainable manner.

The conference runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hanover Civic Theatre on November 1.

Tickets are $50 which includes refreshments, a bus tour and lunch.  A discounted rate of $30 is being offered to high school and post-secondary students. Tickets will be available until October 31 through Eventbrite.

The event will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Robin White, a published researcher and assistant professor of Animal Sciences at Virginia Tech University. Dr. White has extensive experience with sustainable beef production that considers human and animal nutrition, climate change and environmental consequences, social justice, animal welfare, and the impacts of emerging ag-tech.

In the afternoon attendees will hop on a tour bus. The first stop is Cedar Crest Trout Farms which produces more than 6 million rainbow trout fingerlings each year. This fall they are entering into a partnership with Ripple Farms aquaponics who are building a state-of-the-art cannabis production facility on the site.

The second tour stop is The Launch Pad to hear about youth programming from Executive Director Emily Morrison and the final stop of the day is at MacLean’s Ales for a tour of the craft brewery.

“Grey County is pleased to offer an event that brings farmers and food producers, the economic development community, tech innovators, municipal leaders, investors, students, teachers and the general public together under one roof,” says Grey County Warden Selwyn Hicks. “It’s through these cross-sector interactions that innovation happens, and great ideas are born.”

The conference focuses on innovation and the convergence of agriculture and digital technology. Grey County is seen as leader on this front, with Ag 4.0 being highlighted when the county was named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in 2017 by the Intelligent Communities Forum.

Grey County has been hosting the annual Ag 4.0 conference since 2016.