The Islands Agriculture Show is sure to draw a crowd at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds this weekend. (Citizen file)

Islands Agriculture Show in Cowichan explores cannabis and food security

Feb. 7 and 8 at the Cowichan Exhibition Park

The 2020 Islands Agriculture show will explore cannabis opportunities, food processing initiatives and other exciting topics as part of this year’s show, Feb. 7 and 8 at the Cowichan Exhibition Park.

The Islands Agriculture Show is the only agricultural trade show serving the farm and food community on Vancouver Island, the Coast and Gulf Islands. It is a venue for farmers, rural landowners, farm organizations, equipment dealers, service providers and the general public to learn, connect and engage.

This year’s theme is Cultivating Connections Spreading Prosperity.

The show features a trade show with more than 70 vendors, opportunities for children to learn about where food comes from and farm machinery, as well as two days of engaging conference sessions.

There are four distinct conference topics at the show, featuring Gerry Friesen, The Recovering Farmer, as a keynote speaker. Friesen’s presentation, titled “Pigs, Politics and Diet Coke: Stories from a Recovering Farmer”, shares tales of farming, relationships and tips on how to survive difficult times.

One topic, sure to turn heads, looks at opportunities for farmers to diversify their income and support their livelihoods through cannabis production.

“Cannabis is a topic that has many people scratching their heads, wondering if it is a threat or an opportunity for farming, and not knowing what the options are,” said show organizer, Shari Paterson.

“With cannabis legal since 2018, now is an opportune moment to investigate this topic together with the island’s farming community.”

A policy overview will be provided by folks at the federal and provincial governments, followed by presentations by two Vancouver Island farmers adding cannabis to their crop selection, with the intention of supporting food security.

A panel session will outline some next steps and challenges for farmers wanting to get into the cannabis industry.

Other topics on the agenda include new farmers, regulatory, and food processing. On food processing, Economic Development Cowichan has been working closely with the Small Scale Food Processors Association on a study to quantify the demand and potential for local food in the Cowichan region, as well as to examine what is needed to create a food processing hub.

The food processing topic at the show will explore the implications of this study for the region, and will include such topics as how to go about selling to a food processor, senior care facility or other institutional buyer.

Entry to the show is $5, conference sessions are $20 per day per person (pre-registration) and $25 per day per person (drop in).

For more info and to register, visit www.iashow.ca.

Agriculture

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CVRD requests rainstorm, flood photos via online tool

Officials want to know more about how that type of event impacted the region as a whole.

Bluegrass Festival in Cowichan offering savings for early birds

The annual Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival will run from June 19 to 21

Drivesmart column: Let’s block the road

Police resources to cope with the size of the protest group is an important consideration.

Coming up in Cowichan: Meet the Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warrior Run stops at Legion The Royal Canadian Legion Malahat District… Continue reading

Cowichan climber off to Olympic qualifier

Brennan Doyle competing for Pan Am Championship

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read