Delicious Development: Economic Opportunities in Value-Added Agriculture


Date Location Tuition EDAC point value
September 13-14, 2017

Marriott on the Falls Hotel, Niagara Falls, ON

$595-795 8


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Seminar topics include:

  • Agriculture, food, innovation and tourism
  • Latest trends in Agriculture: Urban and Rural
  • Rural Demographic Changes
  • Innovation for Added Value
  • Specialised Incubators
  • Authentic Marketing
  • Matching Rural – Urban Needs
  • FarmWorks: Investing in farms and food-related businesses in Nova Scotia


Wednesday, September 13

8:30 am: Registration and coffee

9 am: Seizing Opportunities and Mobilizing Communities Towards Agriculture Economic Development | Danielle Collins, OFA and Ryan Deska, OMAFRA

11 am: Tour of Niagara Region's Value-Added Agricultural Sector | Canadian Food and Wine Institute of Niagara College, Vineland Research Institute, WP Warehousing

Thursday, September 14

9 am: Insights from Canada's 2016 Census of Agriculture | Steve Duff, OMAFRA

11 am: Building an incubator and adding value | Trissia Mellor, Northumberland County

12:30 pm: Lunch

1:30: Innovation and Agriculture | Brock Dickinson, MDB Insight


Danielle Collins

Danielle Collins

Danielle Collins is a Policy Analyst with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, specializing in agriculture economic development. As a member of the research team, Danielle passionately encourages rural economic development by fostering environments that enhance economic viability and innovation in farming and the broader agri-food sector. Danielle obtained a Master’s degree in Local Economic Development from the University of Waterloo and is an active member of the Economic Developers’ Council of Ontario and the Young Professionals Network, Ontario East Economic Development Commission, and EDAC.


Ryan Deska

Ryan Deska

Ryan Deska is an Economic Development Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. Ryan’s current focus in the Ministry includes agriculture economic development and rural workforce development. Ryan has a MSc from the University of Guelph in Rural Planning and Development, with a primary research focus on collaboration and collective action amongst rural/regional economic development organizations.



Brock Dickinson

Brock Dickinson

Brock is a principal at MDB Insight, Canada's largest specialist economic development consultancy. Before entering the private sector, Brock served as Director of ICT & Advanced Manufacturing for the Toronto Region Research Alliance, as Director of economic development and tourism services for the City of St. Catharines, and as executive director of the Western Valley Development Authority in rural Nova Scotia. This economic development work won more than 40 national and international awards, including a UN designation as one of the “best practices in the world for improving living conditions.” His work helped to leverage more than a billion dollars in new investment, and the creation of 5,000 new jobs.

Venue and accommodations

*Tuesday night group rates available at:

Marriott on the Falls Hotel
6755 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON
Tel.:  1-800-618-9059 / 905-374-1077

Wednesday night group rates available at:

Radisson Hotel & Suites Fallsview
6733 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, ON
Tel.:  1-877-325-5784 / 905-356-1944

*If you would like to stay both Tuesday and Wednesday at the Marriott on the Falls, the price of your accommodation would increase by $100 due to space limitations.


  EDAC Members Regular price
Early bird $595 $695
After August 2nd $695 $795