Hops and Specialty Vegetable Sessions at OFVC 2023

The Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention (OFVC) is back in-person for 2023. This year’s annual convention takes place on February 22-23 at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. There are many concurrent sessions running over the two day meeting of both general and crop specific content ranging in topics from agronomics, pest management, agri-business, food safety, labour, etc.

This year’s Hop specific content includes:

Hops Session: Wednesday AM in Room 205, (9:30-11:30 am)

9:30 Beer, Yeasts and Hops Biotransformation: A Match Made in Heaven
Dr. Eugene Fletcher, Escarpment Labs

10:30- 11:30 Management Strategies for Halo Blight of Hop
Dr. Tim Miles, Michigan State University, USA

ONHops BrewOff: Wednesday PM in Room 205, (2-4 pm)

Judging of all entries took place in advance of the convention to determine the winners. This session will feature a judging panel headed by the Lead judge, Michael Ligas, where the top three submissions will be re-evaluated. Judges will discuss aroma and flavour sensory profiles of the entries with the audience, and everyone can participate in the hop rub featuring all the hop submissions. Winners will be announced in the session and awards distributed to teams in attendance.

Farmer & Friends Reception Wednesday PM on the Trade Show Floor, (5-7 pm)

The reception takes place at the end of the opening day and is a great opportunity to catch up and network with exhibitors, speakers and fellow hort enthusiasts in a casual environment. This year’s craft beer samples for the Farmer & Friends Reception are provided by participating teams in the ONHops BrewOff. 

This year’s Specialty Crops session will focus on Specialty Vegetables:

Specialty Vegetables Session: Thursday PM in Room 205, (2 – 4 pm)
2:00 Growing Sweet Potatoes in Ontario
Dr. Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA; Dr. Valerio Primomo, Vineland Research & Innovation Centre

2:30 Growing Peanuts in Ontario: Past, Present & Future
Peter White, University of Guelph (retired)

3:00 An Introduction to Jerusalem Artichoke and Tigernuts
Dr. Jim Todd, OMAFRA

3:30 Opportunities and Challenges with Non-traditional Root Crops in Ontario
Evan Elford, OMAFRA

For more information, full program details, and to register online, please visit the OFVC website.

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Lavender Content at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention – Register Now

As Canada’s Premier Horticultural Event, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) provides an excellent learning and networking opportunity for both new and established lavender growers. The convention will be held February 22 and 23 at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It provides numerous concurrent educational programs on a wide range of crop-specific and general topics as well as a large trade show of agricultural service and product suppliers (e.g., financial resources, equipment, supplies, pest control products, fertilizers etc.). There is also a Farmers and Friends networking event at 5:00 pm on February 22.

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Job Ad: Student  – Summer Research Assistant (Horticulture)

Organization: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 

Division/Branch: Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch 

Position Title: Student – Summer Research Assistant 

Job Term: Temporary (up to 6 positions) up to 18 weeks 

Location: Ontario Crops Research Centre – Simcoe, Ontario (Norfolk County, on the north shore of Lake Erie, 2 hours southwest of Toronto

Salary: $16.35/ hour based on a 36.25 hour work week 

Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service?  These positions at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Simcoe Research Centre will provide an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in research, science, or agriculture. These positions will provide the opportunity to learn about diseases, insects, and agronomy of the major field horticulture crops and specialty crops grown in the province. They will also give students practical experience with conducting biological research and various technology transfer opportunities that will apply to horticulture but can also be extended to other science and public service careers. Students working at the Research Centre will have exposure to the widest range of field-grown horticulture crops of any research site in the province. Crops covered by specialists in Simcoe include berries, apples, ginseng, lavender, haskap, hops, hemp, hazelnuts and chestnuts, peanuts, sesame, culinary herbs, sweet potatoes, and obscure fruit crops like pawpaw and persimmon.  


  • Assist with summer research and demonstration projects conducted by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Horticulture and Specialty Crops Staff. 
  • Activities may include the set-up and maintenance (weeding, planting, etc.) of research plots focused on production practices, soil health, weed control, pest management, and fertility etc., collection/entering of data and preparation of written reports.  
  • Field work may include farm tours, field scouting, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases. 
  • Assist staff with the collection and analysis of on-farm samples and data for research projects. 
  • Assist staff to conduct literature reviews and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives and industry issues. 
  • Assist in the coordination of events and programs (e.g. workshops, demonstrations, field days etc.) working with key stakeholders and clients in delivery of programs and information. 
  • Training will be provided on research methods, technology transfer, and working in the public sector  
  • Collecting, archiving, and organizing digital photos of key growth stages and major pests of various horticultural and specialty crops 
  • Office work may include assisting with the production of technical information such as newsletters, updating web pages, blogs, scanning images, etc. 

Please review the qualifications for this position. What we are looking for:  

  • You apply your interpersonal skills to work within a multi-disciplinary team  
  • You apply your observational skills and attention to detail to conduct research, field monitoring and data entry 
  • You apply your written communication skills to prepare a variety of documents (e.g. reports, factsheets, and articles).  
  • You are familiar with computer-based software applications including MS Word and MS Excel to perform data entry, conduct analysis, prepare reports, track and compile information 
  • You can work in an outdoor environment with physical activity involved 
  • You work independently or as part of a team; you plan, organize and prioritize your work to meet competing deadlines  
  • Familiarity with plants, farming and crop production is an asset but is not required. Training will be provided in these areas.  
  • You are willing to travel to rural locations (frequently not accessible by public transportation) 
  • You must have a minimum Ontario G2 Driver’s License 

How to Apply: 

  • You must demonstrate how you meet the eligibility criteria, skills and experience we are looking for clearly, completely and concisely. We rely on the information you provide to us. 
  • You must be a resident of Ontario on the first day of employment. 
  • You must be legally entitled to work in Canada. 
  • You must be at least 15 years of age on the first day of employment. 
  • You must be currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary school or have completed all academic requirements for graduation within 6 months of first day of employment. 
  • You must provide your cover letter and resume electronically in one file to erika.debrouwer@ontario.ca in any of the following formats: PDF, WORD, plain or rich-text format (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf).  Or you could provide your cover letter and resume on paper to:

Erika DeBrouwer 


Simcoe Research Centre 

1283 Blueline Road, Box 587  

Simcoe, Ontario N3Y 4N5 

Tel: 226-931-4098 

You should receive confirmation within 2 business days if your application was received. If you do not receive a confirmation in that time, please call, text or email Erika DeBrouwer. 

If you have a disability and require accommodation to apply, please contact erika.debrouwer@ontario.ca.  

Posting Date: January 17, 2023 

Closing Date: February 6, 2023 

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Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting December 2

The Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting will return as an in-person meeting this year. This is an opportunity to discuss the production issues over the past year, establish research priorities for the coming year and to prioritize products for the minor use system. An update will be provided on products currently in the minor use system and any research applicable to the discussion.

Please note, we recognize that some growers are still busy at that time of year, but this is the latest the meeting can be held to meet the deadlines of the minor use system.

When: Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Where: Simcoe Research Station Auditorium

Note: Refreshments will be provided but there will be no breakfast or lunch served

To register, please email Amy Shi at amy.shi@ginsengontario.com by Thursday, December 1.

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ONHops BrewOff – Registration Extended Until November 4!

Due to the interest expressed by students and new breweries at the recent Ontario Craft Brewer’s Conference in Niagara Falls, we have decided to extend our registration deadline for an extra week. We would like to give new competitors an opportunity to review the competition requirements, but we only have limited capacity. Therefore, we are extending our registration deadline to Friday, November 4th at 4:30 pm, or until we reach capacity.

Please visit the OFVC Competitions link to review the ONHops BrewOff rules, regulations and to register: https://www.ofvc.ca/ONHOPS_about.html

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Register Today for the 2023 ONHops BrewOff – Only a Few Spots Remain!

It’s the 10th anniversary of the ONHops BrewOff at the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention and we only have a few spots left to showcase Ontario’s amazing brews made exclusively with Ontario-grown hops.

Learn more about the competition at our previous posting here: https://onspecialtycrops.ca/2022/08/25/2023-onhops-brewoff-registration-now-open/?amp#more-7549

This year’s style is the ever-popular BJCP 21A American IPA. Here’s the description from the BJCP Style Guidelines.

And, new this year, the top three winners will have the opportunity to share their submissions with all the attendees of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention!

So, hops growers, find a brewer; Brewers, reach out to your local hop growers!

Registration Deadline: Organizers must receive completed entry form and registration fee by 16:00, October 28th. Registration will close once 18 entrants have been accepted.

For all competition details and to register visit https://ofvc.ca/ONHOPS_about.html

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