Performance Measurement for Agricultural Societies

OMAFRA is offering a workshop on Friday, February 15 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the 2019 Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies Convention for the Measuring Your Societies Performance to Tell Your Story Workshop. The conference is taking place at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites, in Richmond Hill, Ontario from Thursday February 14th to Friday February 15th.

Helen Scutt, Agriculture Organization Specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, will be presenting on how to use performance measures to increase accountability, support evidence-based decision-making, and keep your society focused on continuous improvement.

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OMAFRA Advisor Catherine Oosterbaan takes home 2018 EDCO Award

Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Catherine Oosterbaan, was named the 2018 EDCO Young Influencer of the Year Award winner at the 2019 EDCO Conference in Toronto last month.

This award recognizes the next thought leader or community organizer who is committed to facilitating change and fostering economic development in their community. EDCO’s Awards of Excellence program aims to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work in economic development happening around the province of Ontario.

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CED 101 – Learn the Basics of Community Economic Development

Are you looking to support and grow the economy in your community? Community Economic Development (CED) is the process of fostering an environment that results in the creation of wealth and well-being for the benefit of the community.

These no charge regional workshops are designed for those involved in local economic development, such as municipal councilors, economic development practitioners, and volunteer committee members with economic development responsibilities.  Learn and take away practical tools to help your municipality develop and implement an effective economic development strategy. Continue reading CED 101 – Learn the Basics of Community Economic Development

Follow-up to January Downtown Revitalization Online Community of Practice

Our Online Community of Practice on the Digital Main Street program, held on January 17th 2019, quickly reached capacity. Based on continued demand, the OMAFRA is pleased to facilitate a follow-up session, on February 12, 2019, from 1:00PM- 2:30PM.

This session will again focus on the province-wide expansion of the Digital Main Street program. During this webinar, representatives from the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and Digital Main Street will be available to answer questions about Digital Main Street.

The session is open to anyone, but content will be focused on assisting organizations setting up Digital Main Street in their community, including administration of the Digital Service Squad and marketing of the program, rather than individual small businesses.

To register for the event, click here.

OMAFRA facilitates and coordinates resources and tools to assist rural Ontario communities with engaging in economic development. For more information on OMAFRA’s Downtown Revitalization program, visit our website or contact the Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor in your area.

Insights from 11 BR+E Projects Across Ontario

The results for the January 2018 – December 2018 roll up report are in! Insights from 11 BR+E projects across Ontario have been reviewed, and the key findings have been compiled in this infographic. For clients with ongoing BR+E Projects, the roll up offers a benchmark to measure the success of their own BR+E Project against the Provincial average. In comparison, clients who are interested in starting a project can use the roll up report to help identify an area of focus for their project.

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Rural Immigration Pilot Program

On January 24, 2019, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the creation of a new federal immigration pilot focused on supporting economic development in rural and northern communities. This pilot will partner selected communities in Ontario, Western Canada and the territories with the federal government to test new approaches to retaining economic immigrants who can support local economic development needs.

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Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) 2018 Winners

The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) is focused on building the capacity of its member Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) through advocacy, networking, and education. OBIAA represents, supports, and encourages business improvement areas to increase their effectiveness and contributions to the economic, cultural, and social well-being of communities across Ontario.

OBIAA’s annual conference draws delegates from across the province. The conference is one of the major learning events for Ontario’s BIA leaders and members, and allows for the sharing of knowledge and leading practices that focus on fostering community development in urban and rural town centres and commercial districts. The annual Awards showcase BIAs who demonstrate a commitment to improving their communities through innovative projects and initiatives, making these awards a highlight of the conference. Continue reading Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) 2018 Winners

Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program: An Opportunity Like No Other

In October 2017, I drove to Guelph to attend my first seminar as a participant in Class #17 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. This program, run by the Rural Ontario Institute, is a 19-month executive leadership development experience for people who want to shape the future of agriculture and food industry and make a positive difference in rural communities across Ontario. The curriculum includes a series of eight seminars across the province, a North American Study Tour, and an International Study Tour. Study topics include government and political systems, marketing and economics, environmental impact, national and international trade, communication and organization skills, decision making, consumer and social issues, media relations, agri-food trends and society and globalization and the dynamics of change. Continue reading Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program: An Opportunity Like No Other

Tips to Ensure your Farm and Food Tour is Successful

The Communicating Agriculture to Municipal Council – Community of Practice webinar held on December 6th highlighted ways to educate the public and elected officials about the important role agriculture plays in robust economies

One way to inform people about the importance of agriculture is to offer a farm and food tour in the community. Typically these tours provide an opportunity for participants get to know what issues the local agriculture sector is facing. They also provide hands-on experience for those who are visiting a farm for the first time. 

Keep reading for more tips from the Region of Halton and the County of Middlesex on ensuring your farm and food tour is a success: Continue reading Tips to Ensure your Farm and Food Tour is Successful

Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice, online January 2019

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is pleased to offer a third session in its Online Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice series, to be held on January 17th 2019, from 10:30-12:00. This session will focus on the province-wide expansion of the Digital Main Street program.  Continue reading Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice, online January 2019

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