In October 2017, I drove to Guelph to attend my first seminar as a participant in Class #17 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. This program, run by the Rural Ontario Institute, is a 19-month executive leadership development experience for people who want to shape the future of agriculture and food industry and make a positive difference in rural communities across Ontario. The curriculum includes a series of eight seminars across the province, a North American Study Tour, and an International Study Tour. Study topics include government and political systems, marketing and economics, environmental impact, national and international trade, communication and organization skills, decision making, consumer and social issues, media relations, agri-food trends and society and globalization and the dynamics of change. Continue reading Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program: An Opportunity Like No Other
The Communicating Agriculture to Municipal Council – Community of Practice webinar held on December 6th highlighted ways to educate the public and elected officials about the important role agriculture plays in robust economies.
One way to inform people about the importance of agriculture is to offer a farm and food tour in the community. Typically these tours provide an opportunity for participants get to know what issues the local agriculture sector is facing. They also provide hands-on experience for those who are visiting a farm for the first time.
Keep reading for more tips from the Region of Halton and the County of Middlesex on ensuring your farm and food tour is a success: Continue reading Tips to Ensure your Farm and Food Tour is Successful
According to Statistics Canada, Canadian businesses are becoming much more innovative and as a result are increasing competitiveness, economic growth and social wellbeing. However they say, there must be sufficient data available to advocate for the creation of policies that support innovation. Sufficient data is gathered by the Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy (SIBS) which is the primary source for innovation data in Canada. The measurement of innovation is the performance of the business enterprise sector, looking at strategic decisions, innovation, activities and operational tactics. Continue reading Statistics Canada Releases the Results from the Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy
The 2018 LMI survey is here! The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) is surveying farm business owners and workers on the state of agricultural labour in Canada. We ask all owner-operators, workers and supporting stakeholder groups to take part to guide future action on the growing workforce crisis. Continue reading Agriculture Labour Market Survey: Available until November 30
The strength and vitality of rural communities is contingent on our ability to attract young leaders: they are entrepreneurs, employees, neighbours, volunteers and patrons of local businesses.
Making headlines in Ontario Farmer: “Labour shortage worsening in Perth, Huron, Grey and Bruce”. Labour force availability in rural communities is being cited as a problem by employers and economic developers across the province. It’s a challenge across all sectors, from manufacturing to agriculture to tourism to healthcare. Continue reading The Importance of Youth Engagement to Rural Ontario
On October 4th 2018, OMAFRA and Wellington County held the Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum. The forum was an opportunity for those involved in municipal and local economic development or planning to network and share success stories.
Wayne Caldwell, from the University of Guelph, was the key note speaker presenting on Revitalizing Rural Economic Development. He outlined the process used to select rural research priorities and demonstrate how we can use this research to enhance our own community work. He also presented several recent projects pertinent to agriculture economic development and rural Ontario, for example the Enhancing Local Food in Northern Ontario initiative. Continue reading Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum: Navigating Agriculture Economies
It’s the season of fall fairs. These annual events provide an opportunity for farmers to showcase their work, interact with the general public, and evaluate their produce and livestock against other farmers.
Fall fairs are a celebration of agriculture everywhere The local fall fair brings farmers and consumers together. A recent study indicated that three-quarters of fair attendees think that agricultural education is an important component of fair attendance. For many people, it is their once a year time to get up close and personal with a farm animal or product. Continue reading The Impact of FALL FAIRS: A LASTING IMPRESSION
The 10thannual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum is being held October 3 and 4th, hosted by the County of Wellington and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Explore Wellington County on a bus tour on October 3rd, with local food lunch and dinner included. Learn about different agriculture-related businesses and how you can support similar agriculture activities in your region.
Tour locations include:
- Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournaments
- Rootham Gourmet Preserves
- Strom’s Farm and Bakery
- Mapleton’s Organic Dairy
- Elora Brewing Company
On October 4th, take in a full day of local food, networking and learning. Join us for speakers and panel presentations highlighting best practices from practitioners in Wellington County and beyond. Continue reading How prepared are you when Navigating the Agricultural Economy?
On August 16, 2018, participants had the opportunity to hear from four presenters about how communities can support the transition of farm businesses during the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice webinar.
Mark Ferguson of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Business Development Branch began the session with a definition of succession planning.
Succession planning as a process that occurs over time during which a family plans for the transfer of knowledge, skills, labour, management, control and ownership of the farm business between the founder (retiring) generation and the successor (next) generation.
He went on to share why some producers are not planning for succession including: Continue reading Key takeaways from the Succession Planning Community of Practice
A major limiting factor for beef production in Ontario is the lack of fencing. With the spread of cash cropping across the province in recent years, perimeter fencing has been removed on many farms. Establishing, or re-establishing fencing is one of the first steps to getting into cattle farming.
Good perimeter fences are necessary for keeping cattle where you want them. Perimeter fencing maintains good neighbor relations and safe cattle, while interior fencing, subdividing fields, allows for increased pasture management.
There are many fencing options available: page wire, barb wire, and electric being three common types in Ontario. Continue reading Good Fencing Systems Make Livestock Farming Easier