Cost-Share Funding Assistance

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that assists with the advancement of Ontario’s agri-food and agri-products sectors, while focusing on key achievements related to economic development, environmental stewardship, and protection and insurance. CAP will be building on the success of Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to create further growth for Ontario’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.

All cost-share funding assistance is merit-based and will support targeted projects in three priority areas, with research and innovation Continue reading Cost-Share Funding Assistance

Individuals Impacting Their Community – ROLA Winners

Strong leaders positively impact their community; sparking innovation and inspiring others along the way. The inaugural Rural Ontario Leaders Awards (ROLA) celebrated the 2017 winners in February 2018. Among the winners were Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa and Grant Sparling, who won in their respective categories. They were nominated by their community peers for the leadership they demonstrate which helps to strengthen rural Ontario. Continue reading Individuals Impacting Their Community – ROLA Winners

Free Agri-food Courses to Grow Your Business

Are you interested in developing a strong business and growing your success? Sign up for free agri-food online courses and — for a limited time — free in-person workshops.

Take advantage of the courses to sharpen your competitive edge by gaining skills and knowledge in farm business practices, food safety and traceability. These courses will provide you with foundational information to:

  • reduce risks to your business and customers;
  • improve efficiencies; and
  • access new markets.

Continue reading Free Agri-food Courses to Grow Your Business

Important Policy Changes to Analyst

Due to the dramatic increase in requests to use Analyst, OMAFRA is changing the way clients access the tool. In the past clients have been able to rollover their licence; sometimes making it difficult to fulfill new requests for access. In addition, the rollover practice limited the client feedback we were able to collect.


Action A: Licence Access Hard Cap

Beginning on March 1 2018, Analyst clients will have a maximum of five months to access the tool for each individual project. Once the five month period has ended, clients will have the opportunity to justify why they need a further extension by completing a short survey. The survey will also ask that the client provide project completion timelines. Continue reading Important Policy Changes to Analyst

Premier’s Award 2017 Winner – Greenbelt Microgreens

Innovation is vital to improving existing products, creating jobs, and growing Ontario’s economy. The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates the innovation of Ontario producers, processors, agri-food organizations, and rural communities. Greenbelt Microgreens is the recipient of the 2017 Premier’s Award, for their work in growing microgreens year round in the Ontario greenbelt. Continue reading Premier’s Award 2017 Winner – Greenbelt Microgreens

Insights from over 1,100 BR+E Surveys

The results for the July 2016 – December 2017 roll up report are here! Over 1,100 businesses were surveyed across Ontario, and the key findings have been aggregated in an 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.

BRE roll up report 16-17

2 Workshop Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss at the 61st EDCO Conference

Economic development is constantly evolving and changing, forcing economic developers to think outside the box to continue growing local economies. This is exactly what the 61st annual Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) conference will be focusing on. This year’s theme is Mission Possible: Agents of Change, and is all about challenging norms and using creativity and innovation to take action.

There are a great selection of sessions to choose from but we are especially excited about two, being held on Tuesday February 6th:

Beyond Streetscapes, Best Practices for Recruiting Investment into Your Downtown – 11:00am

Downtown areas are the heart and soul of communities and vital to their survival.
Each features its own unique architecture, culture, traditions, heritage, and workforce. This workshop will highlight the key trends affecting downtown revitalization, and discuss tools and best practices to bring new business and investment into the downtown core. Continue reading 2 Workshop Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss at the 61st EDCO Conference

New Main Street Revitalization Initiative

Vibrant main streets help attract visitors, create jobs and increase the competitiveness of small businesses, which are the backbone of small, rural communities. At this year’s Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) announced the Main Street Revitalization Initiative, a new initiative that will be administered by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and its rural arm, ROMA, to support the revitalization of downtown and main streets across Ontario.

The province is investing up to $26 million in the initiative, which is part of a larger $40 million investment in the Main Street Enhancement Initiative focused on strengthening communities’ planning and implementation activities in downtown and main street areas, as well as providing business support for capital improvements, enhanced digital capabilities and improvements to energy efficiencies. Continue reading New Main Street Revitalization Initiative

5 Steps to Successfully Recruiting Volunteers

Asking people to volunteer is not an easy task, but by recruiting volunteers it can provide benefits such as: helping spread the work among members of the organization, keep the organization alive, bring in new ideas and get work done.

By following these five steps, recruiting volunteers does not have to be a problem!

Step One: Define the Job

Continue reading 5 Steps to Successfully Recruiting Volunteers

Tips for Completing your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to community economic development, through support for planning and implementation projects that benefit rural Ontario. The program is now open and will accept applications until December 1, 2017. The next intake is scheduled for July 30, 2018 to September 28, 2018. Continue reading Tips for Completing your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application