An ACORN Event

Organic Ambassador Online Training

Date(s) September 19, 21, 26 & 28 7:30-8:30pm Atlantic
Location

Webinar

Organic Ambassador Online Training

**Training is full! Please contact tegan@acornorganic.org if you missed out!**

Interest in organic food has resulted in incredible growth in the organic industry, with major brands and stores taking organic products into the mainstream. With more choice, decisions about buying organic food seem more complex and confusing. With so many options and so much (mis)information, we all have questions and we all need to share information and talk about these important issues.

The vision for the Organic Ambassador program is to build a network of volunteers and advocates across Atlantic Canada - a group of passionate consumers, equipped with training and tools, acting as allies for organic farmers by starting these conversations and championing organics in their communities (while farmers focus on farming!*).

Being a part of the Organic Ambassador program will provide you with the information, skills and support to:

  • Dispel organic food myths and increase consumer clarity about what organic really means
  • Promote organic options in your community
  • Help raise awareness of ACORN and local organic agriculture
  • Empower others by sharing a greater understanding of important food and farming issues

Once the Organic Ambassador training is complete, there are countless ways you can have these conversations about local organic food. ACORN will be coordinating a series of opportunities for Organic Ambassadors to table at events (e.g. Wellness Expo, farmers' markets, food festivals, etc), but is also very open to hearing your ideas of how you'd like to be involved, and also realizes that you may only be able to commit to spreading the word among friends and family. All these conversations meet the same goal of sharing clear information about local organic food!

We will explore all these possibilities in the online training series, so if you're not sure yet how you might want to be involved, join us for the training and also:

  • Increase your knowledge of local organic food and farming
  • Improve your communication and marketing skills
  • Connect with like-minded individuals across the region
  • Become empowered to generate an organic buzz in your community!

Training Outline

All sessions will be held by webinar from 7:30-8:30pm Atlantic Time.

There is no cost to participate, but space is limited so we do ask that you register by September 15th to secure your spot. Participants will be expected to be available to attend all four sessions - if this is a barrier, please contact tegan@acornorganic.org to discuss options. **UPDATE: Training is full! Please contact tegan@acornorganic.org if you missed out!**

September 19: Organic 101
We will start by building a foundation of knowledge about organic food and agriculture: what it really means to be organic, how to know your food is organic, who grows it in Atlantic Canada, and why it all matters. We recognize that many participants will have some existing knowledge about organics, which is why we will take a discussion-focused approach as we go through this comprehensive overview to ensure everyone is on the same page.

September 21: Persuasive Communication
We'll introduce the concept of persuasive communication as a useful approach to use in engaging in dialogue on organics. Putting theory into practice, we will run through various conversation scenarios (e.g. "Why is organic so expensive?" and "Organic is healthier for you, right?") and work together to prepare responses.

September 26: Organic Ambassador Tools
ACORN has developed a series of tools to support Organic Ambassadors in doing outreach on organics. We'll introduce all these and explore the myriad of ways you could use them and be involved or active as an Organic Ambassador.

September 28: Group's Choice
This final session is reserved for digging deeper into specific topics related to organic food and farming that participants would like to explore. Any topic that has not been able to be sufficiently covered or that requires review will be discussed. Participants will be asked to share their ideas for this session after the second session.

About the trainer:
Tegan Renner is has been working in the organic non-profit sector since 2009. She started with ACORN in 2012 and is currently the organization's Outreach & Membership Coordinator. In her various roles with ACORN, she has managed several projects focused on advancing organics in the region; developed connections with and between producers, retailers, farmers’ markets, and other agricultural organizations; and led the development of ACORN's consumer education initiatives. Prior to her role with ACORN, she worked for Canadian Organic Growers (COG) in Ontario and managed a number of consumer-related projects and producer training programs, in addition to working in the orchards at Ignatius Farm and conducting sector research for the Organic Council of Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.

*ACORN first launched its Organic Ambassador program in 2016 with a focus on providing farmers and retailers with communications training and clear and consistent messaging on organics. This online, consumer-oriented training is phase 2 of the program. Check out our visual program overview or contact tegan@acornorganic.org to learn more.