The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, hosted a one-day symposium to showcase rural research being conducted at the University of Guelph. The symposium was an opportunity for graduate students to share their research with researchers, policy analysts, and program staff with the OMAFRA. The symposium took place on February 28, 2018 from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm at the Conference Centre at 1 Stone Road West.

Agenda, Summary Report and Content Links

The 2018 Rural Policy Symposium summary report can be accessed by clicking here. In addition to the summary report, the symposium agenda is available by clicking here. Content from each presentation and poster can be found at the links listed below. Content is listed in the order of delivery at the 2018 Rural Policy Symposium.


Paving Paradise? Measuring Farmland Loss in Southern Ontario
Sara Epp and Emma Drake
PhD in Rural Studies |
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |

Using Green Infrastructure (GI), i.e., nature’s goods and services In a Land Use Planning Framework for Resilient Rural Communities
Paul Kraehling
PhD in Rural Studies |

Counter-movement in Organic Agriculture
Marc-Antoine Larrivee
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |

Agricultural Runoff in the Thames-Sydenham Region: Current Attitudes, Barriers, and Opportunities for Phosphorus Load Reductions
Erinn Lee
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |

What People Say: Application of Rural Definitions and Descriptors of Community in Ingersoll, Ontario
Neil Stoop
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |

Rural and Remote Municipalities as Practitioners and Intermediaries in Social Enterprise Development: A Case for Place Based Policy
Mary Ferguson
PhD in Rural Studies |

The Developmental Experience of Forest-Dependent Communities in Developing Countries
Lissel Hernandez
PhD in Rural Studies |

Reporting Back: Precarious Employment in Rural Ontario
Valencia Gaspard
PhD in Rural Studies |

Anabaptist Agriculture: Understanding the Success of Mennonite Farmers in Northern Ontario
Sara Epp
PhD in Rural Studies |

What do farmers really think about the food value chain?
Monika Korzun
PhD in Rural Studies |

Analysis of Settlement experiences of Syrian Families in the Canadian Context
Rana Telfah
PhD in Rural Studies |

Alcohol Use and Rural Youth
Jean Thompson
MSc in Capacity Development and Extension |

Status of Mental Health in Rural LGBTQ+ Youth
Stephanie Gariscsak
MSc Capacity Development and Extension |


Management of Rural Onsite Wastewater Systems for Protecting Natural Environment and Human Health
Cameron Curran
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |

Groundwater Nitrate in Three Hydrogeologic Settings within Southwestern Ontario
Scott Gardner
School of Engineering |

The Role of Local Food in Rural Economic Development, A Case Study of Frontenac County
Katherine Howes
MSc Rural Planning and Development |

Waterfront Property Owners as Economic Development Contributors in Rural Ontario
Katherine Howes
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |

The Role of Spirituality in the Decision-making Process Related to Native Plant Restoration in a Southern Ontarian Aboriginal Community
Verena Kulak
PhD in Rural Studies |

Surveying Municipal Data Systems in Ontario
Alex Petric
MSc in Rural Planning and Development |
Poster Link –

Aquaponics for Sustainability and Food Security in Rural Ontario
Mashiur Rahman
PhD in Rural Studies |

Hacking the Rural Renaissance: Understanding Models of Rural Innovation Ecosystems and Their Implications for Public Policy and Community Development Practice
Ashleigh Weeden
PhD in Rural Studies |

Closed, Bused, Mixed: A Literature Review on the Impact of Rural School Closure; Effects of Busing on Rural Students; and Student Performance in Small Schools and Mixed-Age Classes
Tatiana Zakharova
Master’s in Landscape Architecture |