All posts by ON Regional Economic Development

Ontario Craft Brewery Ramps Up Production with Growing Forward 2 funding

Time is always in short supply when you run a business. It is something Brent Davies always seems to run out of. He is vice president and co-owner of Wellington Brewery, so finding the time to look into funding opportunities just never seems to rise to the top of his priority pile.

“When you are a small company, and trying to do everything, you just don’t have the manpower to investigate funding options,” says Brent. “But after successfully accessing three cost-sharing projects through Growing Forward 2, I would encourage other small business to find the time. It’s a well-run program and worth the effort.” Continue reading Ontario Craft Brewery Ramps Up Production with Growing Forward 2 funding

Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station

In an age of patented crop varieties and technology use agreements, how does one put a value on the economic impact of a small, independent research station?

Driven by a belief that location specific research is important to the sustainability and advancement of the local and regional agricultural and agri related industries, the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association has been managing the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS) since 2003.

With its small plot work, TBARS seeks to improve the economics of local agriculture through crop diversification and improved soil and crop management adapted to the local environment. Building on relationships with researchers and suppliers in western Canada, eastern Canada and internationally, TBARS takes the risks to demonstrate what the possibilities could be for producers in the region. The detailed Annual Reports that are produced are sought after in many other jurisdictions.

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Edible bean plots at TBARS

Long before soybeans became a major western crop, TBARS had shown local producers and the rest of Ontario that there were varieties that could thrive in the long daylight environment of northern latitudes. The dominant dairy industry was quick to capitalize on a homegrown protein source. More recently, chick peas, lentils and edible beans have been shown to produce economic yields at the station. Continue reading Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station

First Impressions Community Exchange – Three reasons why this program works!

The First Impressions Community Exchange program (FICE) facilitates an exchange between two communities who are looking for an unbiased “first impression” of a specific area of their community such as a downtown, tourism related infrastructure or an evaluation of their entire community.

Three reasons why FICE works:
Continue reading First Impressions Community Exchange – Three reasons why this program works!

Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture

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The Regional Economic Development Branch, North Region Team (NRT) provides support to municipalities involved with the agriculture sector. This support often comes in the form of responding to specific questions about agriculture related economic development opportunities, and frequently about regulatory aspects of the industry. In response to these inquiries, the NRT developed the “Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture” (designed to meet the needs of northern Ontario Municipalities). Continue reading Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture

Local Food Conference Ignite Session (2 of 2)

The second day of the Eastern Ontario Local Foods Conference on November 5th turned out to be just as exciting as the first.  An “Ignite” session featured 10 local food presentations on a range of informative topics that included:

  • Ingite Speaker Bruce EnloeBruce Enloe, Two Rivers Food Hub spoke about community collaboration
  • Kim Leadbeater, Northumberland Food Policy Committee described how policy has led to the development of a local food Smart Board resource for schools
  • Trissia Mellor, Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre revealed what operations look like at the County’s newly-operational micro food processing facility

Continue reading Local Food Conference Ignite Session (2 of 2)

Staff Profile: Vicki Lass

vicki head and shoulders 2015Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas.

What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch? 

I get to spend my work day doing an amazingly diverse set of activities as an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor covering Lambton, Huron and Perth Counties. I work on projects to assist with job retention, attraction, growing the tax base and improving quality of life. The work I do helps make rural Ontario an attractive place to live, work and play. Continue reading Staff Profile: Vicki Lass

A look back at the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference Part 1 of 2

The Cities of Belleville and Quinte West hosted the 5th annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, November 4th and 5th in the City of Belleville.  The theme for the conference set the tone for an exceptional offering of information, inspiration and local food experiences (Creativity + Collaboration = Action). More than 200 delegates, speakers and mentors were offered a program that ignited their passion and moved them to action, with the hope that they each take that inspiration back to their communities to further advance the local food economy in Eastern Ontario. Continue reading A look back at the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference Part 1 of 2

Agri-Food Innovations Recognized in South Western Ontario

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates the agri-food producers, processors, organizations and rural communities, who through their innovative ideas and projects are helping strengthen our communities, support a sustainable environment, create jobs and boost our economy.

The following are regional award recipients from Grey County, Perth County, Simcoe County, Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

Bighead Hops – Meaford

bhhmainpaiglogoOntario grown hops seems like the ideal choice for brewers and micro-brewers across the province, however, there’s just one problem.  Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized in South Western Ontario

Celebrating Agri-Food Innovation and Growth

Ontario recognizes and celebrates local agri-food innovators whose ideas and projects are strengthening the province’s agri-food sector.

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Jeff Leal, honoured local agri-food industry innovators recently for their resourcefulness and leadership that have inspired Ontario’s agricultural sector.  The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence highlights the provinces innovative individuals and organizations whose new ideas  allow the people of our province to enjoy the benefits of new jobs and new products, all of which add to our growing economy.

The Premier’s Award was presented to VG Meats of Norfolk County.

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For VG Meats, the best school uniform is a butcher’s apron.  The folks over at VG Meats created an intuitive training program designed to teach the ins-and-outs of meat butchery. The innovation came about when they couldn’t find the skilled staff needed for the family’s processing and retail Continue reading Celebrating Agri-Food Innovation and Growth

E-Learning 2: Volunteer Management – The Importance of volunteering

Volunteering is an integral component of any non-profit and charitable organization.shutterstock_146194424- new.jpg Without volunteers’ dedicating their time and talent, many of these organizations simply would not exist. The ‘Volunteer Management‘ e-learning module is designed to help organizations recruit, organize and develop strong and effective volunteers.

This module has of four lessons which cover volunteering and volunteer management: Continue reading E-Learning 2: Volunteer Management – The Importance of volunteering