The Rural Economic Development (RED) is Accepting Applications

What is the RED Program?

Rural Economic Development (RED) is a cost-share funding program that supports projects that create strong rural communities in Ontario.

What are RED Outcomes?

RED applications are assessed on their ability to result in one or more of the following:

  • Jobs retained or created
  • Investments attracted or retained
  • Businesses attracted, retained and/or expanded

Continue reading The Rural Economic Development (RED) is Accepting Applications

The Future AgriWorkforce – Data, Strategies and Opportunities

On December 12, 2019 the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice hosted a webinar on the future of the agri-food workforce. This webinar focused on workforce challenges in the agri-food sector and methods in which economic development organizations and practitioners can use data and strategies to address these challenges.

Cassi Brunsveld from AgScape spoke on the challenging issue of how to engage youth in the agricultural sector. Here are some of the key highlights:

  • Students often believe the misconception that the only job in the agriculture industry is farming.
  • Integrating youth into the agri-sector is crucial for Ontario as 37% of the agriculture workforce is expected to retire by 2029.

Continue reading The Future AgriWorkforce – Data, Strategies and Opportunities

Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative intake 2 now opened

What is the timing of the Intake?

The next application intake for the Place to Grow program will be from January 6 to January 27, 2020.

Overview webinar on the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative 

OMAFRA staff will be conducting two public webinars to provide an overview of the Initiative, and the process for applying to the program.

The first session is scheduled for January 9th 9:30-11:00 a.m. The second session is scheduled for January 16th 9:30-11:00 a.m. To register to attend the free webinars complete the online registration form or contact ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca or 1-877-424-1300

What is the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative? Continue reading Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative intake 2 now opened

Snapshot of 2018 Downtown Revitalization Community Report Card

Downtown Revitalization is a four-stage initiative focused on providing communities with the resources and knowledge needed to stimulate investment and reinvestment in traditional downtown districts.

Since 2005, over 70 communities across rural Ontario have used and been supported by OMAFRA’s Downtown Revitalization program and resources. Continue reading Snapshot of 2018 Downtown Revitalization Community Report Card

Food, fun and friendship at the 2019 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

Planning a 2-day regional local food event is no easy task, especially when it includes:

  • three separate culinary tours
  • a local food reception, and
  • a full day program that with a dozen sessions and thirty-seven speakers

The planning process takes time, an incredibly skilled and committed team, and fantastic host communities.

Luckily, this year’s Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference had all these elements, resulting in an ambitious, inspiring program that was delivered to over 200 attendees. The event took place on November 13 and 14, and was co-hosted by the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. The theme, “Growing Communities Together”, was demonstrated through the program, which included French and English resources, and topics that integrated Canadian-newcomer and Indigenous perspectives. Continue reading Food, fun and friendship at the 2019 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

Metro puts the spotlight on local food at The Royal

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair logoSince its inception in 1922, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been a gathering place for Canadian farmers, growers and producers to display their very best agricultural products. Fast forward to 2019, and The Royal has grown to become the largest indoor agricultural event in the world. Each year, this impressive event attracts, educates and entertains over 300,000 attendees.
Continue reading Metro puts the spotlight on local food at The Royal

Breaking down the barriers to agricultural expansion in Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario has vast areas of undeveloped or underdeveloped land suitable for agriculture. While this land costs less than in southern Ontario, there are many perceived and real challenges deterring agriculture in the north.

A recent study by Hearst University and the University of Guelph examined the barriers restricting expansion in the north, and how can they be overcome. The area of study focused on Cochrane district, or what is commonly referred to as the Great Claybelt, but the results can apply to anywhere in the north. Continue reading Breaking down the barriers to agricultural expansion in Northern Ontario

The benefits of accessible recreation extend beyond the playground

Our previous blog post, Why Your Community Should Invest In Accessibility, discussed why accessibility is an important economic and social consideration. Investing in accessible spaces may seem like a large undertaking. However, rural communities in Ontario are proving that building accessible community centres and parks is not only achievable, but also has significant benefits for residents and the surrounding region. The towns of Southampton and Elmira offer excellent examples of communities that have seen the social and economic benefits of investing in accessibility. Continue reading The benefits of accessible recreation extend beyond the playground

CED 201 Webinar – Expand Your Knowledge of Community Economic Development

Earlier this year the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) hosted several Community Economic Development workshops (CED 101) across Ontario. These sessions helped those involved in local economic development learn the basics of economic development in local communities, and how these concepts can be applied in municipal environments.

During CED 101, participants learned that Community Economic Development is a process of fostering an environment that results in the creation of wealth and well-being for the benefit of the community. CED is practiced through mobilizing economic wealth generators (e.g., investment attraction), support activities (e.g., family doctor recruitment) and community supports (e.g., infrastructure improvement).

Continue reading CED 201 Webinar – Expand Your Knowledge of Community Economic Development

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-share Funding is Open to Help Food Processors Grow their Business

CAP-EN

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-product sectors.

On November 4th , the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) opened to receive applications from Ontario food processors and other agri-businesses. This intake is tailored to agri-food businesses looking to increase food safety, develop new markets and expand their operations with the goal of increasing competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. Cost-share funding under the Partnership is merit-based, and project funding amounts are individually established based on project categories.

Applications can be submitted until November 26, 2019 at 5:00pm EDT.

Continue reading Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-share Funding is Open to Help Food Processors Grow their Business

Regional Economic Development Branch blog focusing on agriculture and rural economic development for Ontario