Award winning Grow Our People Unconference set to roll for 2024

Guelph, ON – Agriculture is facing one of its greatest challenges with labour shortages and a pending wave of retirees leaving in the next decade.  The Grow Our People Unconference is designed to help those who work in agriculture and food in Canada – to build new skills, grow deeper networks, and gain a renewed sense of enthusiasm for our agri-food sector.

“We call Grow Our People an ‘unconference’ experience as it’s unlike any other event in agriculture,” shares Brenda Trask, event co-founder. “We created it to bring people together from across sectors with a focus on people and skills, and have some fun at the same time.”

Event organizers Crystal Mackay, Mary Thornley and Brenda Trask came together in 2022 to create this event with the vision for a unique experience to equip people with skills and connections to help grow themselves, their businesses, and the agri-food sector.  They were recognized with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture’s Excellence in Agriculture Award in 2023 for this innovative event experience and their dedication to making it happen.

Dr. Rumeet Billan, Chief Learning Architect for Viewpoint Leadership, will kick off the event the evening of May 28th with her profound keynote on The Science of Trust and Belonging.  The remainder of the event is comprised of interactive workshops focusing on skills such as communications, leadership, advocacy, and human resources.  While these skills are valuable for any human, three streams of sessions will be set up for: individual leaders early in their career, people who manage people, and board members. 

The spirit of the event, to elevate people in agriculture and celebrate with good food, comes to life with a very special early bird registration offer.  Everyone who registers before March 1, 2024 will be entered to win a private flight over southwestern Ontario hosted by pilots who also happen to be farmers, along with a $250 gift certificate for dinner. 

The Grow Your People Unconference will be held in-person at the Queen’s Landing vintage hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake from May 28-30, 2024. Registration for this ‘unconference’ event experience is now open at

Attendees will leave the event with new skills, deeper networks, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for our agri-food sector.  Register yourself, your board, or your team today. Find out more at