Category Archives: Agricultural Development

Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Aurora

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recently recognized some of the province’s most innovative leaders in the sector! We’d like to introduce some of these innovations to you.

On November 9, 2015, a regional event in Aurora showcased the award recipients from in and around the Greater Toronto Area including Haldimand County, Hamilton Region, Muskoka District, Niagara Region, Peel Region, Toronto and York Region.

Aqua Greens – Mississaugaphoto-original

Craig Petten and Pablo Alvarez have transformed their Mississauga-based aquaponics operation from one storey to four, quadrupling production without adding to its carbon footprint. Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Aurora

Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Sudbury

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates 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 Algoma, Sudbury and Timiskaming Districts.

Mill Market – Sault Ste. Marie

In many communities, farmers’ markets close up shop when the frost hits, sending the local food movement into hibernation. After all, outdoor stalls lose their appeal in sub-zero temperatures. That’s why organizer’s in Sault Ste. Marie decided to move their market indoors to keep the doors open year-round. A former fish hatchery in the city’s historic canal district was repurposed, and in 2014, the new Mill Market opened. Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Sudbury

A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum

Topics presented were:

Building a Bio-Industrial Cluster in Southwestern Ontario
One Detroit: Building an Inclusive and Diverse Entrepreneurial Community
Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-food Organizations
Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming Alliance Asset Mapping Project
The Closure of the Heinz Plant in Leamington
Getting Results from Social Media
Agriculture as a Local Economic Development Opportunity

The seventh annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum was recently held in Chatham-Kent. The two-day event provided an opportunity for those involved in agriculture and food-related areas of economic development to network, share successes, and learn more about programs targeted to the sector. More than 70 people from across the province took part in tours that featured agri-tourism destinations, producers, manufacturers, and food processors. They were able to connect with those who have first-hand experience in the industry. Continue reading A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum

New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations

A new performance measurement guide has been developed for Agriculture and Agri-Food organizations. The guide takes the reader through a step-by-step process designed to to help organizations develop a performance measurement plan.111

Performance measurement is the ongoing process of collecting, analyzing and reporting results. Performance measurement has a ton of benefits and helps organizations in several different ways. For starters, it helps assess the progress an initiative is making towards a desired outcome or goal. It also helps to foster a culture of continuous improvement within an organization which ultimately leads to more successful initiatives. Finally, measuring performance helps improve efficiency and effectiveness and provide leaders with evidence to communicate success. Continue reading New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations

Celebrating Ontario’s Leaders in Agri-Food Innovation

As part of Ontario Agriculture Week, we wanted to highlight some of the past Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence winners, who contribute to the success of the Ontario’s Agri-Food sector. The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program recognizes innovation that creates new products, improves existing products, helps in the creation of new jobs and ultimately strengthens economic growth in Ontario. In 2014, 50 award recipients from across the province were recognized. Continue reading Celebrating Ontario’s Leaders in Agri-Food Innovation

Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

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Participants at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop listening to OMAFRA “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” session.

On September 24th OMAFRA Regional Economic Development Branch staff Pierrette Desrochers, Agriculture Development Advisor; Monique Legault, Manager North Region in collaboration with John O’Neil OMAFRA Planner for the north presented a workshop entitled “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop in Sudbury.

Continue reading Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

Farming the North – Growing opportunities for agriculture in Northern Ontario

farmnorthbanner 60OMAFRA is working with the agriculture community to provide opportunities to expand agriculture in Northern Ontario with a website that offers clients information to help them make their expansion or investment decisions. September 1, 2015 is the launch date for the website. Check it out farmnorth.com. Continue reading Farming the North – Growing opportunities for agriculture in Northern Ontario

Two ways to Explore Value-Added Opportunities

CheeseIn spring of 2015, Regional Economic Development and Business Management Unit of OMAFRA, Harvest Hastings and the Small Business Centre delivered the ‘Starting or Growing your Food Business?‘ two-part series workshop in Stirling. Part one was ‘Exploring Value-Added Opportunities (EVAO)’ and part-two was ‘Market Considerations’. Continue reading Two ways to Explore Value-Added Opportunities

Growing Forward 2: What’s New!

Growing Forward 2 (GF2) offers cost-share funding assistance, free workshops and training for Ontario producers, processors, organizations and collaborations.

What’s New for GF2?Growing Forward 2

This year we’ve made it easier for clients to put together a good project application by making the following changes to the program:

  • Priorities are easily identified in the program guides
  • All projects will be assessed on merit
  • Cost-share funding will be capped depending on the project
  • Some project categories have prerequisites as a required condition before clients can apply
  • Approval of your project is needed before costs can be incurred and paid

New Dates for GF2

GF2 cost-share funding assistance application intakes for producers and processors are:

  • August 10 to August 27, 2015
  • November 16 to December 3, 2015

For more information visit: www.ontario.ca/growingforward2