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EFAO Annual General Meeting

November 12, 1994

Ethel, Ontario

9:30 Registration

10:30 - 10:45 Opening Comments

10:45 - 12:00 Panel - Marketing Ecologically


1:00 - 1:30 Farmers Sharing with Farmers

-Sharing our Experiences

1:30 - 2:00 Directors' Report

Report from Local Organizational Networks

2:00 - 2:15 Entertainment Break

2:15 - 2:45 Members' Forum

2:45 - 3:00 Elections

Wrap up

**Agenda includes a children's program for children ages 5 to 12. The program will take place in one of the classrooms and outdoors -weather permitting (dress appropriately). Activities for the children will build upon areas touched last year. Numbers are restricted due to space so please pre-register with Chris Hoskins by November 4.

(The Annual General Meeting is a main gathering for our members. Read Ruth's article to find out some of the marketing issues we'll be considering. Look over the financial information and ponder the main concerns facing the organization, as outlined by Tony. Most of all - come, learn, and share.)


By Ruth Knight

Often, after spending copious amounts of energy planning for and producing high quality ecological produce, we are then faced with the question of where to find a market. When it comes to speaking about marketing there are perhaps two types of individuals. There are those who prefer to stick to the growing and leave the marketing to others. There are others who enjoy the challenges of developing the market for their products and the benefits of a close connection to them. Although the market for ecological products has been expanding over the years, many of us remain skeptical of distributors, consultants and other entrepreneurs interested in marketing ecological products. How does the philosophy of ecological farming fit with the activity of marketing in our present economy? For many of us the selection of the production and product for the market presents other questions. How does diversity on the farm affect our marketing options? What are the benefits of a diversified farming operation? How do we reach that limited but enthusiastic sector of consumers seeking the benefits of ecological farming? How can alternatives like community shared agriculture simplify marketing efforts? What is network marketing?

All these topics and more will be discussed with panel members (these include Dave Reibling of Oak Manor, Gerry Poechman as the Egg Man, Eric Eberhardt of Gentle Rain, and a CSA operator) at our upcoming AGM. If you have particular concerns you would like to see addressed or have experiences to share, please contact Ruth Knight.

Also included in our AGM agenda is a members' forum. We hope to get a good discussion on such questions as raising revenues, course and tour selection, as well as other topics you bring with you. Think about these issues and your own ideas, and discuss them with your friends and family, beforehand and at the meeting. We look forward to seeing you all there, and don't forget - bring your ideas with you!

Please note: All members are able to have an exhibit space, free of charge. Take this golden opportunity to show others what your operation produces and to build better networks.

**Ruth is also looking for volunteers for that day. We need help setting up, and taking registrations. Can you spare an hour or two that morning?

Copyright 1994 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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