E-Learning 3: Policies and Procedures – a Link between Vision and Operations

In every organization, regardless of size or sector, there needs to be a certain level of understanding that is common throughout the organization in order for it to function properly and be successful. Successful organizations guide how they operate with effective
policies and procedures. For example, Governance Policies P&P.PNGpertain to the overarching structure, goals, and values of an organization.

“Having everyone on the same page with documented rules and regulations helps an organization stay on track to complete their goals”.

Continue reading E-Learning 3: Policies and Procedures – a Link between Vision and Operations

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.


Ontario Craft Brewery Ramps Up Production with Growing Forward 2 funding

Time is always in short supply when you run a business. It is something Brent Davies always seems to run out of. He is vice president and co-owner of Wellington Brewery, so finding the time to look into funding opportunities just never seems to rise to the top of his priority pile.

“When you are a small company, and trying to do everything, you just don’t have the manpower to investigate funding options,” says Brent. “But after successfully accessing three cost-sharing projects through Growing Forward 2, I would encourage other small business to find the time. It’s a well-run program and worth the effort.” Continue reading Ontario Craft Brewery Ramps Up Production with Growing Forward 2 funding

How Infographics Support Business Retention + Expansion Projects

One of the challenges with Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) projects is effectively communicating the vast amount of information that is collected. As part of the BR+E program, it is important to develop a final report and action plan. This plan will act as a full and complete record of the project. Its also recommend that Coordinators consider writing a short summary that can be shared with businesses and the broader community. One of the ways to achieve this is by using Infographics. Continue reading How Infographics Support Business Retention + Expansion Projects

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.

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

First Impressions Community Exchange – Three reasons why this program works!

The First Impressions Community Exchange program (FICE) facilitates an exchange between two communities who are looking for an unbiased “first impression” of a specific area of their community such as a downtown, tourism related infrastructure or an evaluation of their entire community.

Three reasons why FICE works:
Continue reading First Impressions Community Exchange – Three reasons why this program works!

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)

Staff Profile: Vicki Lass

vicki head and shoulders 2015Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas.

What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch? 

I get to spend my work day doing an amazingly diverse set of activities as an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor covering Lambton, Huron and Perth Counties. I work on projects to assist with job retention, attraction, growing the tax base and improving quality of life. The work I do helps make rural Ontario an attractive place to live, work and play. Continue reading Staff Profile: Vicki Lass

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