All posts by ON Regional Economic Development

A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum

Topics presented were:

Building a Bio-Industrial Cluster in Southwestern Ontario
One Detroit: Building an Inclusive and Diverse Entrepreneurial Community
Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-food Organizations
Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming Alliance Asset Mapping Project
The Closure of the Heinz Plant in Leamington
Getting Results from Social Media
Agriculture as a Local Economic Development Opportunity

The seventh annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum was recently held in Chatham-Kent. The two-day event provided an opportunity for those involved in agriculture and food-related areas of economic development to network, share successes, and learn more about programs targeted to the sector. More than 70 people from across the province took part in tours that featured agri-tourism destinations, producers, manufacturers, and food processors. They were able to connect with those who have first-hand experience in the industry. Continue reading A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum

New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations

A new performance measurement guide has been developed for Agriculture and Agri-Food organizations. The guide takes the reader through a step-by-step process designed to to help organizations develop a performance measurement plan.111

Performance measurement is the ongoing process of collecting, analyzing and reporting results. Performance measurement has a ton of benefits and helps organizations in several different ways. For starters, it helps assess the progress an initiative is making towards a desired outcome or goal. It also helps to foster a culture of continuous improvement within an organization which ultimately leads to more successful initiatives. Finally, measuring performance helps improve efficiency and effectiveness and provide leaders with evidence to communicate success. Continue reading New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations

E-Learning: Building Organizational Capacity – The Importance of Effective Governance

Screenshot from Board Governance Module

An effective governing body is an essential component to any organization. Despite their importance; they can be quite complicated to understand. The Board Governance learning module is one of four new e-learning modules that focus’ on the important aspects of building an effective organization.

This interactive module covers valuable information that will help establish how a governing body can work for any organization. The Board Governance module is divided into four lessons, which are:
Continue reading E-Learning: Building Organizational Capacity – The Importance of Effective Governance

Celebrating Ontario’s Leaders in Agri-Food Innovation

As part of Ontario Agriculture Week, we wanted to highlight some of the past Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence winners, who contribute to the success of the Ontario’s Agri-Food sector. The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program recognizes innovation that creates new products, improves existing products, helps in the creation of new jobs and ultimately strengthens economic growth in Ontario. In 2014, 50 award recipients from across the province were recognized. Continue reading Celebrating Ontario’s Leaders in Agri-Food Innovation

Rural Economic Development Program Opens for New Applications

Ontario is providing rural communities, businesses and organizations, with funding to help attract investment, create jobs, and boost tourism, through a renewed Rural Economic Development (RED) program.  The renewed program will now have two streams for applications: a Community Development Stream and a Business Development Stream. For projects to qualify under either stream, applicants must demonstrate how their project benefits rural Ontario.

The RED program is now open and will accept applications on the following dates:Picture1

  • October 2, 2015 to January 15, 2016;
  • January 16, 2016 to April 15, 2016;
  • April 16, 2016 to July 15, 2016;
  • July 16, 2016 to October 15, 2016;
  • October 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017.

With support from the Rural Economic Development program, rural Ontario will be better positioned to:

  • Attract investment and create high-value jobs as well as train and sustain a highly-skilled, knowledge-based workforce capable of succeeding in today’s global economy
  • Promote innovative and creative local industries that can translate ideas into products and services for a global market.

For more information on the renewed RED program, please visit our website.

Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

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Participants at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop listening to OMAFRA “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” session.

On September 24th OMAFRA Regional Economic Development Branch staff Pierrette Desrochers, Agriculture Development Advisor; Monique Legault, Manager North Region in collaboration with John O’Neil OMAFRA Planner for the north presented a workshop entitled “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop in Sudbury.

Continue reading Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

A group of people having a discussionA First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a structured and cost-effective process that reveals the first impression a community conveys to potential visitors, investors and new residents. The results can serve as the basis for action plans to enhance or build on community strengths and address challenges. Continue reading Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

Staff Profile: Heather Candler

Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas. 

Heather Candler
Heather Candler, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor

What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch?  I have the pleasure of working as an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor out of the Brighton office in Eastern Ontario.  I work with rural Eastern Ontario communities in both Northumberland and Haliburton Counties on economic development initiatives. Continue reading Staff Profile: Heather Candler

Welcome to the Regional Economic Development Branch Blog

Welcome to our blog.

Doug Reddick Director, Regional Economic Development Branch, OMAFRA
Doug Reddick
Director, Regional Economic Development Branch, OMAFRA

We are always looking for ways to better connect with you. Our stakeholders have taken to social media so we thought it is time we did too. This blog is designed to keep you up to date with the latest information on how you can grow your agriculture and economic development initiatives.

I joined the Regional Economic Development Branch (REDB) in January of 2015 and have been tasked with the job of leading a team of passionate and highly knowledgeable economic development specialists and advisors across the province whom are dedicated to helping you develop and advance your plans. The training, information and tools our team can provide are designed to move your economic and agriculture development initiatives in the right direction, driving prosperity in your community.

Prior to arriving here at OMAFRA, I spent 4 years with the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) where I was focused on helping small and medium sized businesses grow. Many of these businesses reside in rural Ontario where retaining and expanding business was critical to supporting the economic fabric in their regions. Leveraging the experience and connections I gained while with MEDEI will undoubtedly serve me well, and the Regional Economic Development Branch here at OMAFRA too.

Having only been here a short while, I have come to understand and appreciate the hard work the folks at OMAFRA do to ensure we are working to better serve clients across the province every day. Truth in the matter though, we depend on client feedback to ensure we are helping clients where they need it most. If you have suggestions, we want to hear them. If you have concerns, please let us know.  I’m excited at the possibilities that lay ahead. My team has talent, expertise and passion for the work they do. When you succeed, we know we’ve done our job. To reach the advisor in your area, please visit our website.

Enjoy the blog and hope our paths cross in the near future.

Doug

Doug Reddick
Director, Regional Economic Development Branch

Two ways to Explore Value-Added Opportunities

CheeseIn spring of 2015, Regional Economic Development and Business Management Unit of OMAFRA, Harvest Hastings and the Small Business Centre delivered the ‘Starting or Growing your Food Business?‘ two-part series workshop in Stirling. Part one was ‘Exploring Value-Added Opportunities (EVAO)’ and part-two was ‘Market Considerations’. Continue reading Two ways to Explore Value-Added Opportunities