Ontario’s agri-food sector is a power house in North America, and a key contributor to the province’s economy, supporting more than 837,000 jobs and contributing $47.7 billion towards the province’s GDP. To maintain Ontario’s leadership in the agri-food sector, the province has launched the Market Access Initiative – targeted cost-share funding available to help businesses and organizations across the Ontario supply value-chain that have been directly impacted by trade restrictions.
This initiative is only a small part of what the province is doing to help navigate trade challenges. Over the next two weeks, Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade are leading an Ontario trade mission to South Korea and Japan.
Continue reading Trade mission to Japan & South Korea presents new opportunities for Ontario agri-food businesses
The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is the premier regional event focused on supporting and celebrating the local food sector. This year local hosts, the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG), are preparing a phenomenal event to inspire, motivate, and feed you. It takes place on November 13-14 in Cornwall. Continue reading Attend the 2019 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference!
The 2019 Excellence in Agriculture program is open to receive applications until October 11, 2019.
The Excellence in Agriculture program recognizes agri-food innovations and advancements that demonstrate leadership, product development or technology advancement that will benefit the sector. The innovations recognized will be those that have potential to help move the agri-food sector forward, so it is better positioned to thrive here at home and on the global stage.
In addition to primary producers, processors, agri-food innovators and agri-food organizations, the 2019 Excellence in Agriculture program has a new category to recognize outstanding youth leaders in the agri-food sector. Youth under 29, who are residents of Ontario and have an innovation with a direct link to the agri-food sector, are encouraged to apply.
Application criteria can be found at ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation.
The top innovation in each of the five categories will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and will be featured in a promotional video. All recipients will have access to the Excellence in Agriculture wordmark to be used for marketing and promotional purposes, and up to 15 honorable mention recipients will receive a certificate.
For further information please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Center at 1-877-424-1300
On October 4th 2018, OMAFRA and Wellington County held the Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum. The forum was an opportunity for those involved in municipal and local economic development or planning to network and share success stories.
Wayne Caldwell, from the University of Guelph, was the key note speaker presenting on Revitalizing Rural Economic Development. He outlined the process used to select rural research priorities and demonstrate how we can use this research to enhance our own community work. He also presented several recent projects pertinent to agriculture economic development and rural Ontario, for example the Enhancing Local Food in Northern Ontario initiative. Continue reading Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum: Navigating Agriculture Economies
On August 16, 2018, participants had the opportunity to hear from four presenters about how communities can support the transition of farm businesses during the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice webinar.
Mark Ferguson of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Business Development Branch began the session with a definition of succession planning.
Succession planning as a process that occurs over time during which a family plans for the transfer of knowledge, skills, labour, management, control and ownership of the farm business between the founder (retiring) generation and the successor (next) generation.
He went on to share why some producers are not planning for succession including: Continue reading Key takeaways from the Succession Planning Community of Practice
The 9th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum is being held in Halton Region on October 18-19, 2017.
The forum is tailored to all those involved in municipal economic development and planning who have agriculture and food in their portfolio. Whether it’s farming, food processing, agri-tourism, equine, or agri-entrepreneurship in focus, this is an opportunity to network and share successes with your colleagues. We’ve prepared two jam-packed days of tours and speakers to showcase the experiences and insights of agri-businesses in the Halton Region and beyond.
Registration is now open – click here
Continue reading Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum – Registration now open
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