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
The 9th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum is being held in Halton Region on October 18-19, 2017.
The forum is tailored to all those involved in municipal economic development and planning who have agriculture and food in their portfolio. Whether it’s farming, food processing, agri-tourism, equine, or agri-entrepreneurship in focus, this is an opportunity to network and share successes with your colleagues. We’ve prepared two jam-packed days of tours and speakers to showcase the experiences and insights of agri-businesses in the Halton Region and beyond.
Registration is now open – click here
There are six community pastures located across northern Ontario. Partnerships between organizations and the provincial government were instrumental in the formation of the pastures. In the early 2000’s the Association of Community Pastures (ACP) was created and they subsequently ownership of some of these pastures. The pastures are available for farmers to rent for the summer, allowing them to increase their herd by providing extra grazing opportunities. Community pastures are also used as sites for research and information workshops.
Economic benefits of community pastures
Since the first community pasture was established in the early 1960’s, they have come to provide a source of economic benefit to the communities where they are located. To see what kind of overall benefit community pastures have for the northern Ontario, data was collected for all six of the pastures in 2016.
Charges for using the pasture is done in one of two ways; either a flat rate per animal/animal pairs for the season, or a per-day rate. Table 1 shows the number of animals at each location and the rental rates charged in 2016.
It is clear that there is consistent positive revenue being generated by the northern community pastures. Overall the pastures benefit communities by providing jobs and allowing farmers an opportunity to increase the livestock they raise and subsequently increase their revenues.
Table 2 highlights the overall financial impact of the community pastures in 2016 (based on the assumption that the sale of Cow/Calf pairs and bulls to be $1200 and sale of yearlings to be $1500), which also generates jobs, and benefits the local economy.
In summary, community pastures demonstrate economic benefits by contributing to local research, and positively impacting the economy though the generation of profit from hosting the cattle on pasture, generating jobs, and increasing a farmers revenue opportunities.
Authored by Barry Potter and Kaitlyn Schenk
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 September 29, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern).
As part of continuous improvement, several minor changes have been made to the RED program guidelines and application since the closure of the first intake: Continue reading Intake 2 of the Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications
The Agriculture Economic Development and Planning, Community of Practice (AED COP) was developed as an opportunity for planning and economic development practitioners to share ideas and best practices, voice challenges, and seek new opportunities for collaboration. Continue reading Agriculture economic development is a team sport!
For the very first time, the 2016 Census of Agriculture asked, “did this operation sell any agricultural products directly to consumers for human consumption?” With this simple question, we now have a glimpse into direct sales of Ontario’s local foods that we’ve never had before!
Ontario leads the country with 7,474 farms reporting direct-to-consumer sales, followed by British Columbia and Quebec with 5,667 and 5,459 farms respectively. Overall, 15.1% of Ontario’s farms are making local foods available for direct purchase by consumers.
At the regional-level, fascinating patterns emerge in the prevalence of direct-to-consumer farm sales. Click to see maps by the number and percentage of farms reporting direct sales. Continue reading Celebrating Direct Marketing this Local Food Week
Interest in developing and expanding agriculture in northern Ontario has increased recently. Industry groups such as Beef Farmers of Ontario have pushed to expand their sectors by utilizing underdeveloped, less expensive land in the north. OMAFRA has been working hard to provide support for this initiative. Municipalities across the district of Cochrane, coalescing under the banner of the North East Community Network recently hosted a two-day conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities in the region known as the great claybelt, as well as across northern Ontario as a whole.
The conference “Cultivating the Great Claybelt” attracted more than 250 attendees to Kapuskasing in late March 2017.
New cost-share funding assistance is now available for Ontario producers through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to make their operations more energy efficient and adopt enhanced environmental agricultural practices. This support will help Ontario farmers continue to combat climate change by boosting energy efficiency on farming operations.
Producers will now have the opportunity to request funding support to help make changes that will deliver energy efficiency or conservation upgrades. Additionally, there is opportunity to access new funding support for approved measures to improve water quality and soil health on farms. Continue reading Updated Programming for Growing Forward 2
The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running businesses, adapting practices and collaborating to compete in the world economy. To help spur and to celebrate this innovative spirit, the Government of Ontario created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program.
Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? Apply and you could be eligible to receive one of these awards:
- Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000)
- Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000)
- Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each)
- Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each)
The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program recognizes outstanding agriculture and agri-food related innovators including producers, processors, and agri-food organizations.
The objectives of the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program are to:
- Recognize and encourage innovators in the agri-food sector
- Foster farm-level innovation
- Raise awareness about the importance of agri-food innovation and its impact on the Ontario economy
Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on April 28, 2017 to be eligible for a chance to receive one of the following awards: Continue reading The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program is Accepting Applications