Tag Archives: Agricultural Development

Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program – Claim Requirements

Generating more than $5.2 billion in direct sales annually (not including value added or further processing), the livestock industry is an important contributor to the strength of Ontario’s economy.

One of the challenges with raising livestock in rural and remote areas is predation by wildlife.

The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program compensates producers for livestock losses incurred as a result of predation. Municipalities appoint Livestock Valuers to inspect and prepare a report on any livestock losses from wildlife. In unincorporated areas of Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agriculture Development Advisors do this.

In preparation for making a claim, producers are encouraged to: Continue reading Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program – Claim Requirements

Diversifying the Cash Crop Industry in Northern Ontario

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?

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 OntarioWhether 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?

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

Staff Profile: Kent Fitzhugh

Get 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?Kent (2)

As an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, there are several facets to the position that make it such an interesting role within the Ministry. Promoting programs that support both agriculture and rural economic development allow me to interact with a wide demographic across Renfrew and Lanark Counties, as well as rural Ottawa.  I also help build networks, connecting my clients not only to subject matter experts within Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, but introducing them to resources that can be found in other ministries, as well as other levels of government.

What initiatives or projects are you currently working on? Continue reading Staff Profile: Kent Fitzhugh

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.

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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

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.

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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

Celebrating Agri-Food Innovation and Growth

Ontario recognizes and celebrates local agri-food innovators whose ideas and projects are strengthening the province’s agri-food sector.

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Jeff Leal, honoured local agri-food industry innovators recently for their resourcefulness and leadership that have inspired Ontario’s agricultural sector.  The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence highlights the provinces innovative individuals and organizations whose new ideas  allow the people of our province to enjoy the benefits of new jobs and new products, all of which add to our growing economy.

The Premier’s Award was presented to VG Meats of Norfolk County.

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For VG Meats, the best school uniform is a butcher’s apron.  The folks over at VG Meats created an intuitive training program designed to teach the ins-and-outs of meat butchery. The innovation came about when they couldn’t find the skilled staff needed for the family’s processing and retail Continue reading Celebrating Agri-Food Innovation and Growth