Category Archives: Agricultural Development

Planning for Agriculture Requires Balancing Growth and Compatibility

On March 5th, 2020, the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice hosted a webinar on planning for agriculture. This webinar fostered a discussion between the audience and the speaker, Dr. Wayne Caldwell, on the impact and opportunities for land use planning and near-urban agriculture. Potential challenges and opportunities were addressed, along with ten methods to create a more viable agricultural sector through planning practices.

As Ontario’s population grows, urbanized and highly populated areas are expanding into agricultural areas. While there are certainly opportunities for agriculture in proximity to urban markets, it can also pose some risks and challenges.

Continue reading Planning for Agriculture Requires Balancing Growth and Compatibility

Building the Brand Northwest Beef

Developing new markets closer to home can add value and cut costs. Beef Farmers in Northern Ontario working with Local Food and Farm Co-op Ontario developed a new brand called Northwest Beef, focused on accomplishing those two objectives and adding value to the agriculture industry of Northwestern Ontario.

NWO+beef+logo+draft+3-03With some aid from federal and provincial funding, The Local Food and Farm Co-op was able to bring together beef farmers from Thunder Bay, Rainy River, and Kenora districts to look at producing and marketing beef in a new, innovative way. Consumers in the three districts were surveyed to find out what the determining factors for purchasing beef were. The results provided a basis for the farmers from the Northwest. Collectively, the farmers agreed on a brand, production practices, and a marketing strategy. A co-op of participating farmers from the three districts was formed. Each district has a processing facility for harvesting the animals and storing the meat.

Continue reading Building the Brand Northwest Beef

Exhibit with the Ontario Pavilion at SIAL Canada 2020!

UPDATE: SIAL Canada has recently released the following about this event: “SIAL Canada, as an industry leader, has been following the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis very closely. In light of recent developments in the ordinances announced in Quebec, we have decided to postpone the event to August 5-7 at the Palais des Congres.”

SIAL Canada is an annual international food and beverage trade show that offers a complete range of products, equipment and technologies designated specifically for the food industry. This year, SIAL Canada will be held in Montreal, Quebec at the Palais des Congres, on April 15-17, 2020.

SIAL Canada will feature an Ontario pavilion, presented by OMAFRA comprised of Ontario food and beverage processors. There are still limited spots left to exhibit with the Ontario pavilion. With over 25,000 visitors, SIAL Canada is the perfect springboard for your product. Booth spaces are limited and filling up fast! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet the industry’s major players!

Why exhibit at SIAL Canada?

  • SIALThere will be 25,000 visitors from more than 60 countries. Your clients will be there! And if not, you will receive free invitations for your clients as part of your exhibitor package.
  • An average of 350 contacts per booth which offers you the opportunity to develop your business around the world.
  • Attend exclusive conferences to keep you informed of the biggest market trends, food innovation and growth opportunities.

Continue reading Exhibit with the Ontario Pavilion at SIAL Canada 2020!

RESTAURANTS CANADA SHOW 2020

The Restaurants Canada (RC) Show is Canada’s largest annual foodservice and hospitality trade-show held in Toronto, Ontario. The RC Show is dedicated to creating networking and sales opportunities between vendors and buyers within the food service industry. The RC Show is being held on March 1-3 at the Enercare Centre, Toronto starting at 10am.

The show will offer three days of non-stop business-building action including a dynamic trade show floor with seven stages hosting over 150 speakers, six competitions, three leadership conferences and four networking events. With 20,000 industry professionals in attendance, this annual event provides thought leadership and education, boasting 250,000 square feet of the latest product innovation and culinary events designed to inspire and motivate by showcasing cutting-edge products, pioneering influencers and transformative ideas.

Continue reading RESTAURANTS CANADA SHOW 2020

Online Agriculture Economic Development Training

If your community is looking for ways to support your local agriculture sector; plan on attending the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) online Agriculture Economic Development Training.

The course is split into two sessions (April 8, 10am- 12pm and April 22, 10am-12pm). Click here to register.

This interactive training will:

  • Share key agriculture economic development concepts
  • Introduce the range of agriculture economic development activities your community can explore
  • Give you tools to develop a plan for agricultural economic development in your community
  • Provide an overview of the Agriculture Economic Development guide and its three stages: plant, grow and harvest.

Continue reading Online Agriculture Economic Development Training

A First-Timer’s Guide to Agriculture in Spain

I started 2020 by doing something I never thought I would do: travelling to Spain to learn about agriculture and rural communities. This once-in-a-lifetime learning experience from January 7-18 was a part of the Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program (AALP), offered by the Rural Ontario Institute. AALP is an executive professional development program for those working in careers related to agriculture, food and rural communities.

Our trip began in Madrid, then did a circle around the southern half of the country, hitting eight major cities and several smaller communities along the way. The history, culture, music and architecture were fascinating parts of the trip, but for today, I want to focus on the agriculture.

Continue reading A First-Timer’s Guide to Agriculture in Spain

Planning Principles for Creating Healthy Rural Communities

According to this article published in 2016, 1 in 5 Ontario residents live in rural communities. As with larger urban areas, the health of residents in these rural areas is becoming more important as the population ages. Increasingly, municipalities, planners, and public health professionals are understanding that there are clear linkages between the built environment and the health of a community. So, how does the rural built environment and land use planning affect quality of life and health outcomes? This question is answered through first recognizing what rural planning is and the importance of rural health.

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) defines rural planning as planning to improve quality of life and promote economic vitality in areas of low population density, with an expansive rural landscape and dispersed population. Planning for rural communities presents unique challenges not necessarily experienced in urban communities. Continue reading Planning Principles for Creating Healthy Rural Communities

The Future AgriWorkforce – Data, Strategies and Opportunities

On December 12, 2019 the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice hosted a webinar on the future of the agri-food workforce. This webinar focused on workforce challenges in the agri-food sector and methods in which economic development organizations and practitioners can use data and strategies to address these challenges.

Cassi Brunsveld from AgScape spoke on the challenging issue of how to engage youth in the agricultural sector. Here are some of the key highlights:

  • Students often believe the misconception that the only job in the agriculture industry is farming.
  • Integrating youth into the agri-sector is crucial for Ontario as 37% of the agriculture workforce is expected to retire by 2029.

Continue reading The Future AgriWorkforce – Data, Strategies and Opportunities

Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative intake 2 now opened

What is the timing of the Intake?

The next application intake for the Place to Grow program will be from January 6 to January 27, 2020.

Overview webinar on the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative 

OMAFRA staff will be conducting two public webinars to provide an overview of the Initiative, and the process for applying to the program.

The first session is scheduled for January 9th 9:30-11:00 a.m. The second session is scheduled for January 16th 9:30-11:00 a.m. To register to attend the free webinars complete the online registration form or contact ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca or 1-877-424-1300

What is the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative? Continue reading Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative intake 2 now opened

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