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
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.
OMAFRA 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
In 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
OMAFRA partnered with the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies to deliver the strategic planning ‘Train-the-Trainer’ project in 2014. Continue reading Outcomes from the Strategic Planning Pilot Project
Growing Forward 2 (GF2) offers cost-share funding assistance, free workshops and training for Ontario producers, processors, organizations and collaborations.
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
2015 is the International Year of Soils. Lush crop fields cover the powerhouse of the plant, the roots, growing in the dirt beneath our feet. Continue reading Does Dirt Bug you? Feed your soil microorganisms to increase crop yield and improve your bottom line.
Ontario has launched its first-ever Local Food Report, which measures the province’s progress in bringing local food to more tables across the province
In 2013, Ontario passed the Local Food Act, 2013 which aims to increase awareness of local food, nurture local food markets and foster vibrant food-based economies across the province. The Act also commits to an annual report on the province’s local food activities, goals and accomplishments. The first ever Local Food Report highlights some of the actions taken by the province and the agri-food sector to promote and celebrate local food this year, including:
- Setting food literacy goals to increase the number of Ontarians who know what local foods are available, who know how and where to obtain local foods and who know how to prepare meals made with local food.
- Providing a tax credit to farmers for making food donations to food banks and student nutrition programs.
- Piloting a fundraising initiative that helps the province’s schools to fundraise by selling Ontario-grown fruits and vegetables to families.
- Distributing more than 800,000 copies of Foodland Ontario’s local food recipe calendar in 2014.
The inaugural report will help the
province track future progress in meeting its local food goals.