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

Why your community should invest in accessibility

First impressions can be tough! When getting ready for an interview, you could spend hours preparing for questions, choosing the perfect outfit and researching the organization! But what about communities? How can communities prepare to ensure that tourists, investors and potential residents have a positive impression upon their initial visit?

This two-part blog series will discuss why community accessibility is an important component that economic development professionals should consider when evaluating how their community fares for first-time-visitors. Continue reading Why your community should invest in accessibility

Speaker Line-up You Won’t Want to Miss at the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference!

There are thirty-five speakers coming to share their knowledge and passion for local food at the 2019 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, November 13-14 in Cornwall.

And I dearly wish that I could tell you about each and every one of them. Because they are incredible. Unfortunately, this blog is not a novel, and I can’t possibly do them justice here. So, I have the horrible task of choosing just a few to tell you about. Here it goes… Continue reading Speaker Line-up You Won’t Want to Miss at the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference!

Registration is now open for the 2019 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum!

tomatoesIf you have agriculture economic development in your portfolio, don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the latest trends, network, learn from your peers, and talk about the future of the industry.  The theme of this year’s Forum is “Embracing the Future: Agriculture and Technology”.  Come and hear about leading edge research and development that is taking place in Ontario, as well as get a glimpse into what the future could hold. Continue reading Registration is now open for the 2019 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum!

Trade mission to Japan & South Korea presents new opportunities for Ontario agri-food businesses

Ontario’s agri-food sector is a power house in North America, and a key contributor to the province’s economy, supporting more than 837,000 jobs and contributing $47.7 billion towards the province’s GDP. To maintain Ontario’s leadership in the agri-food sector, the province has launched the Market Access Initiative – targeted cost-share funding available to help businesses and organizations across the Ontario supply value-chain that have been directly impacted by trade restrictions.

This initiative is only a small part of what the province is doing to help navigate trade challenges. Over the next two weeks, Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade are leading an Ontario trade mission to South Korea and Japan.

Continue reading Trade mission to Japan & South Korea presents new opportunities for Ontario agri-food businesses

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