NL Organic Conference



January 13 & 14

Confort Inn

St. John's


Download the Presentations from the Conference Here

(warning for those on Mobile or Dial-Up - Large File ~50MB)


Additionally, download 'Managing Organic Opportunities' Presentation Here



The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture and the Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN) are pleased to invite you to attend the Organic Opportunities Conference.


The conference will be a great opportunity to get information on the organic movement and hear from industry leaders in the organic sector.  It will also be a great opportunity to dialogue among farmers and government departments.


The conference will be hosted at the Comfort Inn St. John’s from January 13-14th, 2016. We invite you to participate in this event. Please see the linked agenda below.  There are partial travel subsidies available if necessary. Please contact ACORN at for details.


This event is sponsored in part by Growing Forward 2 and the Regional Development Fund.


Download full agenda and registration form here.



Guest Speakers:



Tim Livingstone grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and helped with the care of a variety of livestock.  He also managed pasture for grazing sheep.  His family grew a big vegetable garden every year as he was growing up.  He worked for about 20 years in the greenhouse industry primarily raising bedding plants.  In 2001 he started with the production of organic soils and then compost and compost teas.  In 2004, Tim and Kirsten took training in soil biology and biological farming.  This training continued into 2008 and included setting up a laboratory and testing soils.  At the same time,  Tim worked with growers, landscapers, and farmers to use more biological methods of growing and incorporate compost teas, etc.  Ever since his time with the sheep, he’s wanted to have the opportunity to manage pasture again and he loves to take on the challenge of growing crops, now all organically.  For three years, Tim developed and grew Jolly Farmer’s outdoor vegetables and was heavily involved in the weekly box program - both as grower and manager. In 2011, he and his wife bought a farm and have since operated it as Strawberry Hill Farm, an organic mixed vegetable and livestock operation in Pembroke, NB.



COMING SOON, check back soon for details.



Ken Kavanagh has been heavily involved in community economic development and the co-operative movement for years, including during his former career as a high school teacher.  Indeed, Kavanagh was the founding President of the Bell Island Community Development Co-operative, and has been involved in the development of many new organizations and co-ops through his work with the Community Capacity Building program since 2001.  Ken continues to serve as a valued member of several non-profit and co-operative boards.  



COMING SOON, check back soon for details.



Steph joined ACORN in February of 2013. Since then she’s been working as part of The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security to support farmers and seed savers, increase ACORN’s knowledge of and involvement with seed networks, and strengthen Atlantic Canada’s wonderful, and blossoming seed movement. Steph’s work includes designing and supporting research, training, and networking projects and events for growers, as well as working within the emerging seed library movement. From ACORN’s renowned annual conference to the Bauta Initiative’s many field-based projects, Steph’s role is central to ensuring that Atlantic Canada’s seed community is visible in this work, supported by the program, and able to contribute to a national seed movement that is everyday finding itself stronger and more capable.


Steph has an academic background in International Development Studies, with a focus on food issues and a minor in Political Science, from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the execution of her work for ACORN, Steph draws upon nearly a decade of experience working in social and environmental justice movements, including years of exploration (volunteering and studying) to better understand and improve food sovereignty at the community level, both in Canada and internationally. With a particular background in community development, permaculture, and communications, Steph endeavours to bring a systems approach to this work, engaging with folks in a collaborative and empowering way. Since moving to Sackville, Steph has cultivated a love of all things flat and marshy, and uses her “spare time” to re-discover the natural gems of her native province.



Theresa’s interest in organic agriculture sprouted early in her career as a health food store clerk, where she funded her way through world travels to East Asia, including Japan, and later, university. Working for retailers in both Atlantic Canada and Quebec, a highlight of her work was always talking to the farmers and artisan bakers who delivered fresh farm foods to the stores. Theresa eventually apprenticed with one of the farm suppliers - a mixed organic farm (livestock, grain and vegetables) in the Quebec Laurentians.


Following this she completed a degree in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies as part of the Faculty of Renaissance College at the University of New Brunswick, with a Minor in Environmental Studies. Her years at university afforded her the opportunity to help run the school garden, and complete an international internship in Bhutan, where she taught environmental principles to horticulture, animal husbandry and forestry students, and learned about the Bhutanese culture of subsistence agriculture and their inspiring movement to become the first certified organic country in the world!


Post-university, in 2007, Theresa was delighted to secure a position with ACORN - one of her favourite farm organizations - and has been here ever since, dedicating herself to the success of various ACORN projects and events. In 2012, Theresa succeeded her mentor Beth McMahon as the Executive Director of the organization. Since then, she has since dedicated her work to creating a strong and long-term organic staff team, increasing ACORN’s staff, capacity and programming accordingly. Theresa is proud to work with the many amazing farmers, growers and community members in Atlantic Canada.

Leading ACORN is the perfect career for combining her passion for farming and good, healthy food, while employing her skills toward a vision of a strong organic community in Atlantic Canada.



COMING SOON, check back soon for details.




Dan Rubin is a retired teacher who has developed a garden devoted to identifying, propagating and sharing locally acclimatized heritage seeds. Through his company, Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds, and a neighbourhood cooperative that he helped establish, Deborah's Garden, he has been developing strategies to extend the growing season on the East Coast of Canada. Over 100 gardeners and growers have attended his Four Season Garden workshops over the past three years. This year he’s developed a new 4000 square foot garden dedicated to food production and heritage seed propagation.  Perfectly Perennial Seed and Herbs, NL /



COMING SOON, check back soon for details.



COMING SOON, check back soon for details.



COMING SOON, check back soon for details.!


For more Information please contact

Jamie Warren

Phone 709.763-5596  Fax 709.747.8827 or e-mail


Conference planned in partnership with Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN)















Thanks to Growing Forward 2 and BTCRD for funding support on this project.