Growing Agri-Tourism Initiatives in Your Community

Join other professionals on Thursday, August 19, 2021 for the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice discussion on Agri-tourism.

Agri-tourism is a rural based industry in Ontario with growth potential. To help unlock that potential, Simcoe County recognized that prospective operators might need guidance to help navigate through the process of starting an agri-tourism component on the farm.  Simcoe County worked with TCI Management Consultants, and Wilton Consulting Group to develop a toolkit for farmers who would like to start or expand their agritourism operation in Simcoe County. The toolkit contains all the information people need to help decide whether agri-tourism is right for them.

Continue reading Growing Agri-Tourism Initiatives in Your Community

Knowing your Financial Statements: Balance Sheets

Knowing and analyzing how your farm is performing is one of the most important jobs you, as a farm business owner, should be doing on a regular basis. Most farmers will analyze how well their products have grown/performed on a regular basis, which is a great thing to do. However, how often do you look at your financial performance or year-end financial statements? There is important information contained in your financial statements that is used by your lender, your advisor, and by you, as the owner. In this article, we will look at the balance sheet.

The Purpose of the Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a list all the farm business’ assets, liabilities and owner’s equity/net worth at a certain point in time (i.e., as of December XX, 202X).  The statement must “balance” (thus the name) because it tells the story of what is owned (assets) and how they were purchased (liabilities— debts; and owner’s equity— what the owner contributed).  The formula for a balance sheet is Assets = Liabilities + Net Worth.

Continue reading Knowing your Financial Statements: Balance Sheets

12 Questions to Determine if Entrepreneurship is Right for You

Before diving into entrepreneurship in the food and beverage industry, it is recommended to do some self-reflection to determine whether it is a good fit for your personality, skills, resources, lifestyle, and preparedness. This 12-question self-assessment will help you understand how you may perform in an entrepreneurship scenario and how this change would affect your life. Take a few minutes to learn more about being your own boss and what it takes to succeed.

Continue reading 12 Questions to Determine if Entrepreneurship is Right for You

Labour Productivity Challenges in Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council has some resources and insights about labour productivity challenges in Ontario’s agri-food industry.

Some of the challenges include:

  • Over 45% of surveyed Ontario agricultural employers said they could not hire all the workers they needed
  • The labour gap in Ontario grew by over 10,000 people from 2007 to 2017
  • The survey of Ontario employers also found that reported over 80% experienced excessive owner stress, over 60% experienced production delays, nearly 60% lost sales, and over 40% delayed the expansion of their business.
Continue reading Labour Productivity Challenges in Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry

Program to Raise Ontario Food International Trade (PROFIT) Workshop

OMAFRA’s Program to Raise Ontario Food International Trade (PROFIT) workshop provides Ontario agri-food producers and processors with the main exporting touchpoints required for food and beverage products to the United States. 

For more than 30 years, the PROFIT workshop has grown the success of hundreds of Ontario agri-food businesses by enhancing their market knowledge to export to the U.S.

Following the successful shift from an in-person event to a virtual platform in 2020, the PROFIT seminar will be offered online again this year. The PROFIT seminar series is comprised of nine (TBC) twice-weekly sessions during July and August. It is free for participants to attend, and is being offered to anyone in the agri-food industry that is interested in learning more about exporting food and beverage products to the U.S.

Continue reading Program to Raise Ontario Food International Trade (PROFIT) Workshop

Regional Economic Analysis Community of Practice Webinar

Join other economic development professionals on Thursday, June 17, 2021 for a panel discussion about regional economic analysis and how to use data to support decision making.

This session is designed to help participants:

  • Gain a better understanding of existing regional and local data to support planning and recovery efforts, such as regional economic base, growth opportunities, sector impact, workforce, and its uses in strategy development.
  • Learn how other communities have utilized different Analyst reports and other data to further their economic development objectives
  • Network with others that use a data driven approach to economic development.
Continue reading Regional Economic Analysis Community of Practice Webinar

Informative Resources for Potential Entrepreneurs in the Food Industry

The Government of Ontario is offering new educational resources to assist and guide those who are interested in starting a food business. These resources are intended to inform potential entrepreneurs about various components of starting and operating a food business, as well as to help them discover whether the food industry is right for them.

Key Components of a Business Plan

The first resource offers information about the key components of a business plan, including operations, finance, human resources, marketing and more. It presents many considerations for each of these key components, allowing readers to generate an accurate and fully-encompassing plan for their future business.

Continue reading Informative Resources for Potential Entrepreneurs in the Food Industry

Indigenous Agri-Food Funder’s Forum Webinars

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is hosting a forum to provide information on programs that encourage economic development in the agriculture sector and addresses Indigenous food security by linking Indigenous agri-food interests with suitable funders.

Indigenous clients, communities, non-profits and private sectors are welcome to join.

Continue reading Indigenous Agri-Food Funder’s Forum Webinars

Agri-Tech Innovation Program Webinar

Monday, May 17th 2021 at 1:00-2:00 PM ET  or Thursday May 20th 2021 at 9am-10am ET

Description: 
You are invited to join a webinar about the Agri-tech Innovation Program – a new a $22 million cost-share program that will help farming operations and processor businesses adopt innovative and new technologies. This session will provide details on the Early Adopters intake to support implementation of sector-specific, unique and innovative technologies in the workplace that enhance protection of workers against COVID-19 by reducing COVID-19 transmission risk, lead to increased business efficiencies and productivity, and help build the sector’s resilience. The merit-based intake opens on May 17, 2021 and will close on June 21, 2021.

Continue reading Agri-Tech Innovation Program Webinar

Ontario Government Announces Agri-Food Labour Strategy

Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, has announced two initial projects as part of a long-term strategy to address labour challenges in the agri-food sector.

During a virtual roundtable with agri-food sector leaders, Minister Hardeman expanded on the government’s investment of $812,000 to two projects aimed at labour shortages.

Continue reading Ontario Government Announces Agri-Food Labour Strategy

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