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Nov 21, 2019

The Rundown

In this episode we talk about the changing role of women in agriculture and the future of the largest agricultural fair in the world. I speak with Iris Meck, the force behind the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference.  And I chat with the CEO of the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair about  produce, horses and, yes, royals.

Women and Agriculture Conference

Since 2014 The Advancing Women in Agriculture has brought together women from across Canada to share, learn and grow and farmers, producers and entrepreneurs. Over the years it's seen attendees and the agriculture sector itself change dramatically, and, for the better. Part of the change is due to the conference itself. I had a chance to speak with conference organizer, Iris Meck, about the morphing landscape and the challenges of leaning in in a sector that is still steeped in isolation.

Royal Winter Fair Intro

Just after the First World War a cluster of classically inspired buildings near the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The Royal Coliseum and ancillary buildings has, for 97 years now, housed the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, a celebration of the produce, livestock and skills that have brought food from farm to table for almost a century. I talk with Charlie Johnstone, the CEO of The Royal, about the celebration’s past and its upcoming royally important centennial. 

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa's story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It's on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at

By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer and friend of the 'cast,  David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,