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Teaching, sharing and extending information to support skills that grow businesses

Webinars and Virtual Learning

Perennia adapted quickly to webinars and other virtual learning options at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and never looked back. In 2021-22, they were an integral part of our work.

For the third season in a row, we offered our Agricultural Services Webinar Series. The theme this year was Getting into the Weeds – Farming in a Humid Year. The goal of this webinar series is to drill deeper into certain topics to further industry knowledge in select areas. The 2021 growing season was unusually humid and created opportunities and challenges for producers.  Sessions covered disease cycles, the fundamentals of fungicides, herbicide efficacy and weather station decision support tools for horticulture and field crops.  In total, the five sessions had 370 registrants and 500 views on YouTube as of March 31, 2022.

“One of the best fungicide talks I ever took part in. The speakers were excellent and provided some of the best information I have heard and I’ve worked with fungicides for many years.”                                       

“The information was very informative with the use of diagrams for (fungicide) mode of action. Zoom is the best way to relay information, especially when I can go back and listen to the recorded meeting.”

 This year we developed and delivered four one-hour webinars on sheep nutrition with the support of the Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia. Topics included sheep nutrition, ewe nutrition, lamb nutrition and balancing rations for sheep and lambs.  Each webinar attracted an average of 30 participants and increased producers’ level of understanding of sheep nutrition and the importance of forage testing and ration balancing. There was very positive response from the industry and people continue to visit the webinars online.

Perennia once again produced virtual field days that delivered industry-relevant topics on work being done across Nova Scotia. Topics this year were inclusive of all agriculture sectors highlighting four major themes: technology, optimization, refinement and livestock.

Our Quality and Food Safety team developed and delivered five virtual food safety training sessions which included 55 participants from 35 different companies and four different provinces. The main objective of the training was to educate industry on maintaining and reassessing their food safety management system to comply with customer and regulatory requirements. The team also hosted a series of webinars by collaborating with global professionals to share information on  various food safety related topics including pest control, risk assessment, sanitation, and improving in-house food safety training and compliance.

The 12th International Vaccinium Symposium was hosted virtually through Dalhousie University in 2021-22. Perennia contributed to this international event by giving virtual field tours on some important vaccinium crop production systems, such as wild blueberries, highbush blueberries and cranberries.

We again produced webinars series for the Nova Scotia departments of Agriculture, and Fisheries and Aquaculture as precursors to the two in-person Ministers’ conference being hosted at the Halifax Convention Centre in October and November 2022. Nine lunch sessions were done with agriculture-focused topics and two were done for the seafood sector.

Cannacopia – Key Concepts for Cannabis Success

On March 17, 2022, Perennia’s Bloom Labs held its first virtual four-hour micro-workshop for licensed cannabis producers. Experts from across Canada joined the Bloom Team to present on and discuss pests, sanitation, edibles, crop production and testing. More than thirty industry attendees watched our expert talks and took advantage of an open question and answer session with all the speakers in a panel discussion. Participant evaluations showed they had gained knowledge at the session and were either very or extremely satisfied with the workshop. All respondents working in the cannabis industry said they took away lessons from this workshop that would impact their cannabis business. Cannacopia 2.0 is in the works for 2023!

Short Courses for Newfoundland Beekeepers

Perennia specialists leading our Atlantic Technology Transfer Team for Apiculture (ATTTA) developed and delivered two virtual short courses for the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeepers Association. The two courses consisted of five webinars on Beekeeping and four on the Introduction to Queen Production. The courses had 43 and 37 participants, respectively.

This work is important to the beekeepers in Newfoundland and Labrador to improve their skills and knowledge. It also gave the program exposure in Newfoundland and Labrador with the intention of trying to attract the industry to participate in ATTTA in the next funding agreement.

Comprehensive Guides for Maple and Seafood Processors

Helping companies adopt new practices and requirements outlined in the federal Safe Food for Canadians Regulations was the aim for two comprehensive guides developed this year.

A Quality and Food Safety Guide for Seafood Processors was developed to assist seafood companies in improving their existing quality and food safety management systems. Topics covered in this 60-page publication included: Preventive Controls, Preventive Control Plan, Approved Supplier Program, Continuous Improvement, Food Defense, Food Fraud, Environmental Monitoring, and Corrective Action Plans. One thousand copies were printed.

The Maple Producers Guide to Safe Food for Canadians is a tool to assist maple producers in meeting the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations   Meeting the requirements will help businesses expand their market outside of Nova Scotia in Canada or access retailers within the province that require a more robust food safety system. Topics addressed in the 55-page guide included: Determining what is applicable to your operation, Preventive Controls,  Preventive Control Plan, Traceability, Packaging, Labelling, Grades and Grade names, what to expect during a CFIA inspection.  This guide also includes sample downloadable forms that can be used or adapted to individual operations.

Copies are available at perennia.ca

Websites, Blogs, and Podcasts Popular Resources

Perennia continued to invest in multiple channels for sharing information in 2021-22.

Perennia Website

Bloom Labs Website

Podcasts

Blogs