Category Archives: Agricultural Development

5 Ways to Positively Impact the Economic Viability of Agriculture in Northern Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is leading the development of the Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing sector strategy.

Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing is a priority sector that can help grow and diversify Northern Ontario’s economy under the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario,

OMAFRA needs input from a broad array of producers, organizations and communities to create an effective strategy which will guide long term decision-making and investment planning in Northern Ontario.

The discussion paper is a first step in the development of this strategy. We look forward to having a dialogue on the questions presented in the discussion paper and other comments and ideas that may arise.

How to Comment on the Discussion Paper

Interested parties may provide input into the development of the Strategy in a number of ways.

Provide comments in writing through one of the following:

  1. Ontario’s Environmental Registry – EBR Registry Number 012-7458.:
  2. By email to: northernagrifood@ontario.ca
  3. By delivery to any OMAFRA office
  4. By mail/courier to:
    Economic Development Policy Branch

1 Stone Road West
2nd Floor NE
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 4Y2

5. By Fax: (510) 826-4328
attention: Economic Development Policy Branch

To obtain an electronic version of this discussion paper, please go to OMAFRA’s website.

Written comments must be submitted by July 3, 2016.

OMAFRA will provide participants with overall summaries of both consultations and submitted written comments by the public. Your input towards the Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing sector strategy will positively impact the economic viability and advancement of Northern Ontario and the province as a whole.

Ontario Greenhouse Business Enhances its Competitive Edge with Growing Forward 2 Funding

Andrew Hendriks Jr. knows that in his business, he must constantly evolve. It’s the only way to stay competitive in the greenhouse industry.

Continue reading Ontario Greenhouse Business Enhances its Competitive Edge with Growing Forward 2 Funding

Preparing Effective Funding Proposals

One of the biggest challenges an organization faces is receiving external funding, as there are various challenges associated with the process. The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Regional Economic Development Branch (REDB) partnered to deliver a session entitled “Preparing Effective Funding Proposals” at the recent Economic Developer Council of Ontario 2016 annual conference, which was designed to address these challenges

The goal of the session was to provide participants with an understanding of the proposal writing process, as well as provide an overview of some of the regional and rural funding programs administered by the ministries.

Below are the slides from the session.

If you are in need of help with your funding proposal, contact our Regional Advisors, as they have the skills and expertise needed to properly assist you.

 

Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station

In an age of patented crop varieties and technology use agreements, how does one put a value on the economic impact of a small, independent research station?

Driven by a belief that location specific research is important to the sustainability and advancement of the local and regional agricultural and agri related industries, the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association has been managing the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS) since 2003.

With its small plot work, TBARS seeks to improve the economics of local agriculture through crop diversification and improved soil and crop management adapted to the local environment. Building on relationships with researchers and suppliers in western Canada, eastern Canada and internationally, TBARS takes the risks to demonstrate what the possibilities could be for producers in the region. The detailed Annual Reports that are produced are sought after in many other jurisdictions.

TBARS 07
Edible bean plots at TBARS

Long before soybeans became a major western crop, TBARS had shown local producers and the rest of Ontario that there were varieties that could thrive in the long daylight environment of northern latitudes. The dominant dairy industry was quick to capitalize on a homegrown protein source. More recently, chick peas, lentils and edible beans have been shown to produce economic yields at the station. Continue reading Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station

Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture

Mun reg toolkit for ag

The Regional Economic Development Branch, North Region Team (NRT) provides support to municipalities involved with the agriculture sector. This support often comes in the form of responding to specific questions about agriculture related economic development opportunities, and frequently about regulatory aspects of the industry. In response to these inquiries, the NRT developed the “Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture” (designed to meet the needs of northern Ontario Municipalities). Continue reading Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture

Food Entrepreneurship Success in Central Ontario Expands to Provincial Conference

The week of October 25, 2015 was declared Food Entrepreneurship Week in Simcoe County to celebrate those gastronomic entrepreneurs who make a business out of growing, processing, and selling food-related products across the region. To celebrate the declaration (Oct. 26 and 28) Georgian College and community partners welcomed over 200 food entrepreneurs to the Orillia and Midland Food Entrepreneurship Seminars. FoodE_midland_2015_0141The seminars were part of a successful series led by Georgian College that have been sweeping across communities in Central Ontario. Continue reading Food Entrepreneurship Success in Central Ontario Expands to Provincial Conference

Local Food Conference Ignite Session (2 of 2)

The second day of the Eastern Ontario Local Foods Conference on November 5th turned out to be just as exciting as the first.  An “Ignite” session featured 10 local food presentations on a range of informative topics that included:

  • Ingite Speaker Bruce EnloeBruce Enloe, Two Rivers Food Hub spoke about community collaboration
  • Kim Leadbeater, Northumberland Food Policy Committee described how policy has led to the development of a local food Smart Board resource for schools
  • Trissia Mellor, Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre revealed what operations look like at the County’s newly-operational micro food processing facility

Continue reading Local Food Conference Ignite Session (2 of 2)

A look back at the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference Part 1 of 2

The Cities of Belleville and Quinte West hosted the 5th annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, November 4th and 5th in the City of Belleville.  The theme for the conference set the tone for an exceptional offering of information, inspiration and local food experiences (Creativity + Collaboration = Action). More than 200 delegates, speakers and mentors were offered a program that ignited their passion and moved them to action, with the hope that they each take that inspiration back to their communities to further advance the local food economy in Eastern Ontario. Continue reading A look back at the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference Part 1 of 2

Talking to the public about agriculture

Can you explain what you do on your farm to non-farmers?

That was the question posed recently by Bernard Tobin at the Real Dirt on Farming Speakers Training session held in Earlton, Ontario. He challenged us to be able to describe what we do in words that anyone can understand.  He also said that, farmers should be ready to talk at the drop of a hat, or at the doctor’s office, or the grocery store, etc.

royal barry
Barry Potter, Agriculture Development Advisor at the 2015 Royal Agriculture Winter Fair

Volunteering at the OMAFRA booth at the 2015 Royal Agriculture Winter Fair in Toronto made me realize again how interested people are in their food, and how little they actually know about how it is produced. Continue reading Talking to the public about agriculture

Agri-Food Innovations Recognized in South Western Ontario

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates the 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 Grey County, Perth County, Simcoe County, Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

Bighead Hops – Meaford

bhhmainpaiglogoOntario grown hops seems like the ideal choice for brewers and micro-brewers across the province, however, there’s just one problem.  Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized in South Western Ontario