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
New cost-share funding assistance is now available for Ontario producers through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to make their operations more energy efficient and adopt enhanced environmental agricultural practices. This support will help Ontario farmers continue to combat climate change by boosting energy efficiency on farming operations.
The four new cost-share GF2 project categories will help support environmental stewardship on farms and were announced by the governments of Ontario and Canada on March 10, 2017.
Producers will now have the opportunity to request funding support to help make changes that will deliver energy efficiency or conservation upgrades. Additionally, there is opportunity to access new funding support for approved measures to improve water quality and soil health on farms. Continue reading Updated Programming for Growing Forward 2
The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running businesses, adapting practices and collaborating to compete in the world economy. To help spur and to celebrate this innovative spirit, the Government of Ontario created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program.
Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? Apply and you could be eligible to receive one of these awards:
- Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000)
- Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000)
- Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each)
- Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each)
Continue reading Now Accepting Applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!
The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program recognizes outstanding agriculture and agri-food related innovators including producers, processors, and agri-food organizations.
The objectives of the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program are to:
- Recognize and encourage innovators in the agri-food sector
- Foster farm-level innovation
- Raise awareness about the importance of agri-food innovation and its impact on the Ontario economy
Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on April 28, 2017 to be eligible for a chance to receive one of the following awards: Continue reading The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program is Accepting Applications
The 8th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum was held on November 2 & 3rd in Caledon at both the Millcroft Inn and Spa in Alton and the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in Palgrave respectfully.
Delegates came from across Ontario with disciplines in both municipal planning, tourism and local economic development with agriculture and food (farming, food processing, agri-tourism, equine/agri-business sector, and agri-entrepreneurship) as part of their portfolio.
Continue reading 8th Annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum Highlights
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
Registration is now open for the 8th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum, taking place November 2 – 3, 2016. The forum will be hosted by the Town of Caledon and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Those with municipal and economic development portfolios, with specific focus on farming, food processing, agri-tourism, equine/agri-business sector, and agri-entrepreneurship, will have an opportunity to network, share successes, and experience the “tastes” and sites of Caledon. Register to learn more about programs and opportunities for the agricultural sector. Continue reading Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum – Taking Registrations!
It’s the season of fall fairs. These annual events provide an opportunity for farmers to showcase their work, interact with the general public, and evaluate their produce and livestock against other farmers.
Fall fairs are a celebration of agriculture everywhere The local fall fair brings farmers and consumers together. A recent study indicated that three-quarters of fair attendees think that agricultural education is an important component of fair attendance. For many people, it is their once a year time to get up close and personal with a farm animal or product.
For farmers the opportunity to exhibit their farm product can be a major marketing opportunity. A great example is of this is showing livestock in competitions. Winning championships can be a major boost for farm promotion. More importantly, showing the rest of the farming community your breeding program can lead to sales, and further marketing opportunities. Commercial farmers may see an animal they like and invest in a bull. Embryos sold from show cattle can go to farms across the country and around the globe, or a leading bull can be identified for semen sales.
Continue reading Fall Fairs: A lasting impression
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?