Ottawa farm show, March Classic cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Large agriculture events shuttered as part of COVID-19 control measures

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The need to limit large gatherings of people due to COVID-19 has meant the cancellation of two of Ontario’s largest agriculture events.

The Ottawa Valley Farm Show and the Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic were both cancelled March 13 after provincial government guidance limiting events with large numbers of visitors in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

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Why it matters: Both events provide a chance for networking and farmer education and will mean lost opportunities.

The Ottawa Valley Farm Show was due to start March 17.

“It is with great sadness that the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association has decided to cancel the Ottawa Valley Farm Show in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic,” the organization said in a statement.

It cited a risk assessment as recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the direction of Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams on Friday that gatherings of more than 250 people be cancelled.

“We have not made this decision lightly, as we have valued and long standing commitments and relationships.”

The 2021 Ottawa Valley Farm Show will run March 9-11.

Grain Farmers of Ontario, which fills the largest rooms of the London Convention Centre and attracts more than 800 people to its March Classic, also announced late Friday that it was cancelling its event.

“Today GFO made the difficult decision to cancel the March Classic. This show is extremely important to us and we did not make this decision easily, however the Ontario government has advised organizations to cancel events of more than 250 people.”

The March Classic had been scheduled for March 24, 2020. The organization plans to hold the event in March 2021.

About the author

Editor

John Greig

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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