U of G Experts to Be Featured at Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience


University of Guelph experts will be front and centre this month at the Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience.

The free online event is part of the legendary Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which is planned to run this year in-person at Toronto’s Exhibition Place under pandemic protocols. The fair was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The three-day Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience, March 23-25, is for anyone who wants to celebrate or learn about the best in Canadian agriculture and food, with some sessions geared to students.

Registration is required. View events here.

U of G presentations are as follows:

  • Manomin Teachings
    Dr. Brittany Luby, Department of History
    March 23, 1 p.m.
    Luby will speak on the Manomin Research Project. Responsive to Anishinaabe knowledge, the collaborative project aims to intensify the growth of manomin (wild rice) in environments altered by colonial settlement. The presentation will touch on crop restoration, cultural revitalization and treaty living.
  • Preserving and Researching Ontario’s Agricultural History with Diaries
    Dr. Catharine Wilson, College of Arts
    March 24, 10 a.m.
    Wilson will guide a virtual tour of the Rural Diary Archive, an impressive collection of writings from nearly 200 Ontario diarists spanning 1800 to 1960. As founder and director of the archive, she will talk about the collection and introduce some of the diarists, whose writings tell of how farm families lived.
  • Healthy Soil for a Healthy Climate
    Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle, School of Environmental Sciences
    March 24, 3 p.m.
    This panel discussion will explore the link between soil and climate change. An agrometeorologist, Wagner-Riddle, along with farmer Brett Israel, will discuss how improved soil management can capture CO2, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Using Social Media to Predict Food-Borne Illnesses
    Dr. Rozita Dara, School of Computer Science, and Dr. Jeff Farber, Department of Food Science
    March 25, 10 a.m.
    Dara and Farber will discuss an internet-based surveillance system that monitors activities related to diseases on social media. The technology sorts through information and offers a supplementary source of data for officials.
  • OAC Soil Health Interpretive Centre Virtual
    Carleigh Johnston
    March 25, noon-1:15 p.m.
    Johnston, liaison manager in the Ontario Agricultural College, will lead a virtual tour of the state-of-the-art centre for high school students. The virtual tour will uncover the importance of soil to food and ecosystems and will include video footage of the facility, insight into current research and a live Q&A.