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by The North Grenville Rural Summit Organizing Committee

This Saturday will be the culmination of months of work, planning, and hundreds of emails. The North Grenville Rural Summit will be taking place this Saturday, April 7, at Parish Hall on the campus of the former Kemptville College. Though it has been a labour of love for the organizing committee, make no mistake, it’s been a labour.

All of us on the organising committee sincerely hope that everyone who attends goes home motivated with information that they can use right away. One of those who will definitely help provide the motivation part will be our keynote speaker, Moe Garahan. Whether she’s speaking to hundreds of people at a local food conference, or conducting a small scale agriculture workshop with a dozen people outdoors, Moe is passionate, opinionated and incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to agriculture and food. She has been “fighting the good fight” as the Executive Director of Just Food in Ottawa since 2004. Just Food is a grassroots, non-profit organization that was created by community members who were concerned about a lack of food security in the National Capital Region.

Originally from Northern Ontario, New Liskeard to be precise, Moe has been involved in agriculture for pretty much her entire life. Specifically, she has been advocating for, and working on, food and farming issues in Ottawa since 1995. Focused on community development and community economic development issues, she has facilitated the establishment of many ongoing community and regional food initiatives in Ottawa, while supporting provincial and national food programs. Since becoming the Executive Director of Just Food, Moe has been working with teams to integrate food access and food localism within the mixed urban and rural settings of the Ottawa region.

One aspect of the day that hasn’t got much attention to date is the lunch that will be served. Local caterer, Catered Affairs, will be preparing the meal, with help from Jim Beveridge, who helped to procure some of the ingredients. The meal itself will be a full-course, farm-to-table lunch (not just soup and sandwiches) the ingredients of which will all have been sourced within 100km of North Grenville. Even the coffee was roasted locally. The meal alone will be worth the $30 price of admission.

We’ll also have some special guests joining us, who will be walking around the building, so feel free to stop and chat with them as they wander. Maybe even take a second to ask them how they plan to support agriculture in the future.

Needless to say, we’re beyond excited to see our collective vision unfold this Saturday. We’ve done our best to make sure that there will be something interesting for everyone. So, don’t forget to register by Wednesday at www.ruralsummit.ca to secure your spot. See you Saturday!

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