9th Canadian Agri-Food Policy Conference

Agri-environmental Policy and Programs

February 13-15, 2019 — Chateau Laurier Hotel — Ottawa, ON

Conference Overview

For eight years this conference has come to be known as the premier national policy outlook for the agri-food sector. This year the conference will address agri-environmental policy and programs. The environment theme has not been widely discussed at past conferences and thus the time is ripe for a conference dedicated on this topical area.

Topics that will be explored include:

  • Behavioural Economics
  • Evaluation of Agri-Environmental Policies and Programs
  • Agriculture and Wetland Conservation
  • Natural Capital in Agriculture
  • Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation at the Farm Level
  • Agri-Environmental Policy: Carrots, Sticks and Nudges
  • Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) Adoption
  • Land Use – Land Use Change and Fragmentation
  • The Environmental Farm Plan


Agenda Overview

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

  • Preconference Workshop

Thursday, February 14, 2019

  • Welcome Remarks
  • Keynote 1
  • Break
  • Session 1
  • Lunch
  • Session 2
  • Break
  • Session 3
  • Wine & Reception and Poster Competition

Friday, February 15, 2019

  • Keynote 2
  • Top three Poster Competition presenters (3 min each)
  • Break
  • Session 4
  • Presentation of Winners of Annual Poster Contest and AAFC Policy Brief Competition
  • Closing Remarks


Applying Behavioral and Experimental Economics to U.S. Agri-Environmental Programs:
Benefits, Challenges, and Lessons Learned

Speaker: Dr. Kent Messer, University of Delaware

Since 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has funded a national Center of Excellence to promote the application of behavioral and experimental economics to the country’s agri-environmental programs. As co-director of this Center, Dr. Kent Messer will discuss how investments in this type of research can lead to the discovery of cost-effective improvements that can be incorporated into a wide array of government policy. He will also discuss the challenges that have been encountered and the lessons learned from the U.S. experience.

Evaluation of Agri-Environmental Policies and Program Impacts:
Building Credible Evidence in Agri-Environmental Policy

Speaker: Dr. Chad Lawley, University of Manitoba

Identifying causal impacts of agri-environmental programs requires an understanding of what would have occurred in the absence of the programs. This talk will discuss several approaches to constructing these counterfactuals, drawing on prior evaluations of conservation programs in Canada and the US. Agri-environmental policy should draw from well designed studies based on credible counterfactual models. Opportunities for future evaluations of Canadian agri-environmental programs will be explored.

Preconference Workshop

Climate Change Mitigation in Canadian Agriculture:
Integrating Recent Farm Behaviour Research into Policy
Funded by Weston Foundation

Organizer: Debra Davidson

Participants will learn about the findings of an extensive social scientific research project exploring opportunities and barriers to climate change mitigation on Canadian farms. The project focused on beef and grain producers in Alberta, but the findings have broader implications for other Canadian regions and agricultural sectors. Participants will then engage in knowledge-sharing discussions intended to identify ways to integrate the findings from this and other research projects on farmer behaviour into policy, and prioritize future directions for research, and science-policy relations.


Annual Agri-Food Policy Poster Competition


Researchers are invited to prepare posters around the theme of “Agri-Environmental Policy and Programs” for presentation at the 9th Annual Canadian Agri-Food Policy Conference. The poster competition will take place during the wine and cheese reception on Thurs, Feb 14, 2019. The top presenter will win a trip to the 2019 CAES Annual Meeting in Ottawa from July 9-12, 2019.


Online registration will open mid-December and close February 9, 2019 at Midnight EST.
Rates will be posted soon.

Student MemberTBA


  • Students must be CAES members to be eligible for the student registration rate.
  • Group registration is available to employers sending three or more employees to the conference.
  • Registration fees are in Canadian dollars.
  • 13% HST will be added at the time of payment.
  • Refunds of fees will not be allowed after February 6, 2019.

Venue and Accommodation

The conference will be held at the beautiful Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa, located at 1 Rideau Street.

A block of rooms has been set aside for conference attendees at a rate of $199 a night based on double occupancy. Check-in time is 4 pm; check-out time is 12 pm.


  • Guest rooms rates are subject to 13% HST.
  • A 4% Municipal Accomodation Tax (MAT) is applicable on all room rates and is taxable at 13%.
  • Additional people sharing a guestroom beyond double occupancy are charged $40.00 CDN per night, per extra person, plus applicable taxes.
  • Children under 18 sharing their parent’s room are complimentary.
  • Based on availability, the rates are available for up to a total of three (3) days prior and following the official meeting dates.


Effective January 4, 2018 Fairmont Château Laurier will temporarily not be in a position to offer self-parking facilities. The Hotel offers the following valet parking services:

  • Overnight parking: $45.00 CAD for Registered Hotel Guests Only (in/out privileges).
  • Alternate parking is available within walking distance for non-registered guests.