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

Outputs are good….outcomes are great! Improving performance measurement in economic development organizations

Performance measurement is the collection and analysis of data and the reporting of the data results. Performance measurement helps organizations assess the progress their initiatives are making towards desired results. The results can include both outputs (what products or services an organization delivers) and outcomes (the resulting change that occurs as a result of a product or service being delivered).

Continue reading Outputs are good….outcomes are great! Improving performance measurement in economic development organizations

Rural Economic Development Program Opens for New Applications

Ontario is providing rural communities, businesses and organizations, with funding to help attract investment, create jobs, and boost tourism, through a renewed Rural Economic Development (RED) program.  The renewed program will now have two streams for applications: a Community Development Stream and a Business Development Stream. For projects to qualify under either stream, applicants must demonstrate how their project benefits rural Ontario.

The RED program is now open and will accept applications on the following dates:Picture1

  • October 2, 2015 to January 15, 2016;
  • January 16, 2016 to April 15, 2016;
  • April 16, 2016 to July 15, 2016;
  • July 16, 2016 to October 15, 2016;
  • October 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017.

With support from the Rural Economic Development program, rural Ontario will be better positioned to:

  • Attract investment and create high-value jobs as well as train and sustain a highly-skilled, knowledge-based workforce capable of succeeding in today’s global economy
  • Promote innovative and creative local industries that can translate ideas into products and services for a global market.

For more information on the renewed RED program, please visit our website.

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

Huron County wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Pilot Project

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Team Members working through a Strategic Planning Exercise

An exciting new pilot project is underway in Huron County. The ten municipal partners in Huron are developing economic development strategic plans using a different approach than the traditional one used in the past. Each municipality has selected a Core Team of five people each to lead the process. Continue reading Huron County wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Pilot Project

Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

A group of people having a discussionA First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a structured and cost-effective process that reveals the first impression a community conveys to potential visitors, investors and new residents. The results can serve as the basis for action plans to enhance or build on community strengths and address challenges. Continue reading Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

Business Retention + Expansion: a successful 4-stage community approach

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New BR+E four stage process

The Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program is a structured action oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. The BR+E process helps communities to prioritize their efforts in supporting their existing businesses.

Continue reading Business Retention + Expansion: a successful 4-stage community approach

Staff Profile: Catherine Oosterbaan, Ec.D.

Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas. 

1. What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch?  

Catherine Oosterbaan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor
Catherine Oosterbaan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor

As an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, my role is to promote Ministry programs, while helping municipalities, rural stakeholders, and businesses access them. That can involve anything from presenting information, to helping clients refine a funding application, to delivering program-related training and workshops. I also deliver a range of advisory supports, provide knowledge and assistance to get projects, initiatives and other rural prosperity related activities started, get on-track or expand. Furthermore, as facilitating economic development readiness is of critical importance to our branch, I work with stakeholders to complete economic development related strategic planning activities. I am currently responsible for covering Simcoe County, and Muskoka District. Continue reading Staff Profile: Catherine Oosterbaan, Ec.D.

Regional Economic Development Branch blog focusing on agriculture and rural economic development for Ontario