Join the Agriculture and Economic Development Community of Practice on May 11 from 10 am – 11:30 am to hear about Ontario’s growing agriculture and food innovation ecosystem including presentations about several provincial and regional innovation initiatives including:
Economic development officers, planners and those involved in community economic development should join in and share how the agriculture and food innovation ecosystems can help your agriculture and food industry.
Ontario’s agriculture and food industries strive to meet an ever-increasing global demand for agricultural products. Ontario agriculture and food innovation projects are evolving and expanding to help people make new business ideas become reality.
Register for this Zoom meeting at: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArcOigrjgpGNCn-GbheDGA6MmmYql6LR9f After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have coordinated the Agriculture and Economic Development Community of Practice – a free, online network to bring together economic development and planning professionals across Ontario interested in agricultural issues. The quarterly meeting topics will be based on relevant municipal policies, procedures and programming impacting the agricultural sector.
Planners and Economic Developers will be interested in this demonstration of the next generation of the Agricultural Systems Portal. It has more than 90 mapping layers on the agri-food supply chain and easy access to economic data! Jennifer Birchmore, Senior Geographic Information Specialist and Helma Geerts, Policy Advisor at OMAFRA will demonstrate this new web platform and lead a hands-on exercise for users on February 23.
Continue reading Agricultural Systems Portal – The Next Generation
Innovation & Resiliency was the theme of the 14th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum that was co-hosted by the Regional Municipality of York and OMAFRA in early November 2021.
The Agri-Food Forum was kicked off with welcoming remarks from Minister Lisa Thompson, speaking on the importance of agri-food economic development and land use planning and the opportunities within innovation of the agri-food sector.
Continue reading Recap of the Agri-Food Forum Keynote by Nikolas Badminton – Facing our Futures
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been delivering performance measurement resources and training to clients since 2011. Since that time, two guidebooks were published:
- Measuring UP! Performance Measurement for Economic Development
- Performance Measurement Resources for Agriculture and Agri-Food Organizations
We have combined these two resources into one updated guidebook, enhanced with specific examples where relevant.
Continue reading Updated Performance measurement resources for agriculture, agri-food and economic development organizations
The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program has expanded support to help guard against the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and to promote worker health and safety. The program application deadline runs until February 1, 2022, or until funding is fully allocated.
The program provides funding in the following two categories:
- Workplace COVID-19 Prevention: eligible applicants can claim up to a maximum of $50,000 cost-share funding (60 per cent of eligible expenses) to support the adoption of prevention and mitigation measures. Examples include the purchase of: COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, personal protective equipment, and other safety supplies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among agri-food workers/employees. Eligibility has been expanded to include food and beverage processors with three or more employees, agri-food industry organizations/associations, poultry catchers/vaccinators, and professional barn cleaners.
- Responsive COVID-19 Outbreak Management: eligible applicants who have been impacted by outbreaks and faced extraordinary costs related to employee wages, isolation, and an extended quarantine period beyond 14 days can claim up to 100 per cent funding of eligible expenses. Expanded eligibility includes poultry catchers/vaccinators and professional barn cleaners.
For more information about this program and eligibility, please visit the Guidelines for the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program.
On October 13th, OMAFRA partnered with the Rural Ontario Municipal Association to present the first of a series of 3 Teeny Tiny Summits. This session featured fantastic speakers telling their experiences as newcomers in rural communities, and about tactics communities were using to welcome newcomers to their community. The speaker line up included:
Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summit Recap – Series 1: Welcoming Newcomers
Join us virtually on November 3 & 4th, 2021 for the 13th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum – Agri-Food Forum 2021– Innovation and Resiliency in the Agri-Food Sector, co-hosted by The Regional Municipality of York and OMAFRA.
Continue reading Register today for the Agri-Food Forum 2021 – Innovation and Resiliency in the Agri-Food Sector
Join other professionals on Thursday, August 19, 2021 for the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice discussion on Agri-tourism.
Agri-tourism is a rural based industry in Ontario with growth potential. To help unlock that potential, Simcoe County recognized that prospective operators might need guidance to help navigate through the process of starting an agri-tourism component on the farm. Simcoe County worked with TCI Management Consultants, and Wilton Consulting Group to develop a toolkit for farmers who would like to start or expand their agritourism operation in Simcoe County. The toolkit contains all the information people need to help decide whether agri-tourism is right for them.
Continue reading Growing Agri-Tourism Initiatives in Your Community
Knowing and analyzing how your farm is performing is one of the most important jobs you, as a farm business owner, should be doing on a regular basis. Most farmers will analyze how well their products have grown/performed on a regular basis, which is a great thing to do. However, how often do you look at your financial performance or year-end financial statements? There is important information contained in your financial statements that is used by your lender, your advisor, and by you, as the owner. In this article, we will look at the balance sheet.
The Purpose of the Balance Sheet
A balance sheet is a list all the farm business’ assets, liabilities and owner’s equity/net worth at a certain point in time (i.e., as of December XX, 202X). The statement must “balance” (thus the name) because it tells the story of what is owned (assets) and how they were purchased (liabilities— debts; and owner’s equity— what the owner contributed). The formula for a balance sheet is Assets = Liabilities + Net Worth.
Continue reading Knowing your Financial Statements: Balance Sheets
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council has some resources and insights about labour productivity challenges in Ontario’s agri-food industry.
Some of the challenges include:
Continue reading Labour Productivity Challenges in Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry
- Over 45% of surveyed Ontario agricultural employers said they could not hire all the workers they needed
- The labour gap in Ontario grew by over 10,000 people from 2007 to 2017
- The survey of Ontario employers also found that reported over 80% experienced excessive owner stress, over 60% experienced production delays, nearly 60% lost sales, and over 40% delayed the expansion of their business.