An inside look at the importance of events like canolaPALOOZA

(AJM Seeds/provided)

CanolaPALOOZA is an event held across the Prairies that tackles all things canola agronomy — and more.

Covering everything from pre-emergence to post-harvest, marketing, and more, canolaPALOOZA offers three separate days of learning in three provinces. The summer can often be filled with field days and trade shows, so the goal of the event is to create a one-stop shop for farmers, without having to travel multiple times across each province to get their questions answered.

Autumn Barnes, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), was one of the agronomists that helped take the lead on Alberta’s 5th annual event — the first of the three paloozas.

“We have over 130 speakers here today, with 26 or 27 learning stations, a mix of private and public speakers, and growers. This is really about putting canola research into action. There are lots of projects being highlighted here that are being funded by grower dollars or public dollars. There’s a lot of private investment here as well, or people showing off their new technologies. So this is really about showing a lot of value that the industry has provided,” Barnes explains.

She highlights that her favourite part of the event, and what she gets most of her feedback on, is that it is an interactive hands-on day.

“There’s really low instructor-to-student ratios, and that mix of private, public, and growers, is not very common for most field days. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, and talk to whoever you want. There’s a lot of research highlighted here that we’ve got our hands on. It’s really great.”

(Watch Kara Oosterhuis in conversation with Autumn Barnes at canolaPALOOZA19, here:)

She also acknowledges that events like this take a whole team working together to make it as successful as it is.

“The technicians at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are unreal. Also Rick Tailleu with Alberta Canola, and everyone else. Everyone is working together on this one big fun day,” Barnes explains. “It really is about the value chain. So we have the Canadian Grains Commission here talking about grading. We kind of have everything here that you could learn about canola production and other crops as well. We are partners with the Alberta Pulse Growers, as well as the Alberta Wheat and Barley crew.”

Not only is this an educational day, but it provides networking for many industry professionals and farmers. With food trucks and games involved, it becomes a family outing as well.

When asked when planning begins for the event, Barnes chuckled, saying that after takedown was completed for the 2018 event, 2019 was already in the works. After the 2019 event, you can see below that Barnes is already looking forward to next years event.

If you are in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, or missed Alberta’s event and wanted to see what a palooza is like, be sure to check out the upcoming events over the next couple of weeks.

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