Interest in developing and expanding agriculture in northern Ontario has increased recently. Industry groups such as Beef Farmers of Ontario have pushed to expand their sectors by utilizing underdeveloped, less expensive land in the north. OMAFRA has been working hard to provide support for this initiative. Municipalities across the district of Cochrane, coalescing under the banner of the North East Community Network recently hosted a two-day conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities in the region known as the great claybelt, as well as across northern Ontario as a whole.
The conference “Cultivating the Great Claybelt” attracted more than 250 attendees to Kapuskasing in late March 2017.
Continue reading Cultivating the Great Claybelt
Northern Ontario, with its cooler growing conditions, is known to grow good quality forages and spring grains. However, the past three decades has seen a diversification and expansion of the cash crop sector in the north.
With fewer livestock farms in the north, resulting in fewer acres of forages being grown (less livestock, less feed required) and the expansion of overall farm acreage, producers have been looking at different crop alternatives. Continue reading Diversifying the Cash Crop Industry in Northern Ontario
Need Help to Start, Manage or Grow a Food Business? If so, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) offers many resources to individuals and businesses starting or growing a food processing business.
A good place to start is with the 2015 Guide To Food And Beverage Manufacturing in Ontario. Whether you are new to the food industry and working on a business start-up or need assistance with the expansion of an existing operation, you will find the information in this guide and its easy-to-follow tools and templates will help you: Continue reading Need Help to Start, Manage or Grow a Food Business?
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
Ontario 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
The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates 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 Algoma, Sudbury and Timiskaming Districts.
Mill Market – Sault Ste. Marie
In many communities, farmers’ markets close up shop when the frost hits, sending the local food movement into hibernation. After all, outdoor stalls lose their appeal in sub-zero temperatures. That’s why organizer’s in Sault Ste. Marie decided to move their market indoors to keep the doors open year-round. A former fish hatchery in the city’s historic canal district was repurposed, and in 2014, the new Mill Market opened. Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Sudbury
Topics presented were:
Building a Bio-Industrial Cluster in Southwestern Ontario
One Detroit: Building an Inclusive and Diverse Entrepreneurial Community
Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-food Organizations
Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming Alliance Asset Mapping Project
The Closure of the Heinz Plant in Leamington
Getting Results from Social Media
Agriculture as a Local Economic Development Opportunity
The seventh annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum was recently held in Chatham-Kent. The two-day event provided an opportunity for those involved in agriculture and food-related areas of economic development to network, share successes, and learn more about programs targeted to the sector. More than 70 people from across the province took part in tours that featured agri-tourism destinations, producers, manufacturers, and food processors. They were able to connect with those who have first-hand experience in the industry. Continue reading A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum
A new performance measurement guide has been developed for Agriculture and Agri-Food organizations. The guide takes the reader through a step-by-step process designed to to help organizations develop a performance measurement plan.
Performance measurement is the ongoing process of collecting, analyzing and reporting results. Performance measurement has a ton of benefits and helps organizations in several different ways. For starters, it helps assess the progress an initiative is making towards a desired outcome or goal. It also helps to foster a culture of continuous improvement within an organization which ultimately leads to more successful initiatives. Finally, measuring performance helps improve efficiency and effectiveness and provide leaders with evidence to communicate success. Continue reading New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations
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
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.