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Land use experts gather in Guelph

May 21, 2013, Guelph, Ont. – Experts in rural land use from across Ontario gathered last week in Guelph to discuss issues related to managing the critical resource of Canada’s rural and agricultural economies.

“Exploring Rural Land Use: Issues, institutions and change” was the second annual conference hosted by the Institute for the Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy, a University of Guelph think-tank that provides independent policy analysis about issues that affect Canadian agriculture. Key conference topics included farmland values, land severances, impact of wind turbines on property values, property rights, and First Nations land management.

“Rural land use is a topic that affects so many. Land is not only the major asset for farmers, it is a key driver of rural communities and the Canadian economy,” says Brady Deaton, Jr., conference organizer and Associate Professor, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (FARE), University of Guelph.

A broad spectrum of conference attendees gathered in Guelph for the conference, including land use planners, policy makers, farmers and farm organizations, lenders, farm financial advisors, rural realtors, land management, First Nations and conservation groups.

The conference featured keynote speaker Chief Robert Louie of the Westbank First Nation and Chairman of the First Nations Land Advisory Board addressing the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management.

Other speakers at the conference included John Hoehn, Michigan State University; James Bryan, Farm Credit Canada; Jason Moore, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation; Sarah Wilhelm, County of Wellington; Elizabeth Brubaker, Environment Probe; Wayne Caldwell, University of Guelph, several FARE faculty and more.