Tag Archives: Rural

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

Downtown Revitalization Ticking Along in Gravenhurst

Downtowns are often the historical heart of communities across rural Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ (OMAFRA) Downtown Revitalization program offers a framework for improving the physical, economic, and social well-being of those traditional town centres and their historic places and spaces.

The Town of Gravenhurst launched their Downtown Revitalization initiative with the support of OMAFRA in 2011. The vision for this initiative was to create a Town that offers economic sustainability, diversity, and cultural or geographic uniqueness. Through investment and support from the Town and OMAFRA, Gravenhurst’s Downtown Revitalization initiative has generated a number of positive impacts for the Town over the last several years of implementing its action plan.

These include: Continue reading Downtown Revitalization Ticking Along in Gravenhurst

Collaboration Goes a Long Way: Huron County-wide Economic Development Planning Project

Successful regional economic development planning achieved thanks to the “Train the Trainer” program developed by the Regional Economic Development Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

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Vicki Lass, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, presenting at the 2016 ORGA/ROMA annual conference

Gone are the days of planning in silos for the municipalities in Huron County. In 2014, the County began the challenging process of re-structuring their entire Economic Development department and also created an Economic Development Board comprised of leaders from across the business community. The first order of business was to develop a comprehensive strategic plan. Working together, all ten municipal partners and community representatives achieved economic development plans that are integrated county-wide.

Key Factors for the project success:

  1. Influential Leadership
  2. Time Commitment
  3. Agreement on Common Elements

Continue reading Collaboration Goes a Long Way: Huron County-wide Economic Development Planning Project

Population changes in Rural Ontario

According to a recent factsheet prepared by the Rural Ontario Institute entitled “Change in non-metro population 2014” less than half of the rural counties in Ontario had population increases over the last three years.  Over the same period, however,  all urban counties experienced population increases.

Ray Bollman the author of the factsheet highlights the long term importance of population change to a community:

“Population growth or decline impacts housing demand, labour markets, consumer spending levels and the need for public services such as hospitals and schools. Population growth is considered by many as an indicator of economic vitality – i.e. jobs are being created and/or that it is a desirable place to live.”

Continue reading Population changes in Rural Ontario

Rural Economic Development Program Opens for New Applications

Ontario is providing rural communities, businesses and organizations, with funding to help attract investment, create jobs, and boost tourism, through a renewed Rural Economic Development (RED) program.  The renewed program will now have two streams for applications: a Community Development Stream and a Business Development Stream. For projects to qualify under either stream, applicants must demonstrate how their project benefits rural Ontario.

The RED program is now open and will accept applications on the following dates:Picture1

  • October 2, 2015 to January 15, 2016;
  • January 16, 2016 to April 15, 2016;
  • April 16, 2016 to July 15, 2016;
  • July 16, 2016 to October 15, 2016;
  • October 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017.

With support from the Rural Economic Development program, rural Ontario will be better positioned to:

  • Attract investment and create high-value jobs as well as train and sustain a highly-skilled, knowledge-based workforce capable of succeeding in today’s global economy
  • Promote innovative and creative local industries that can translate ideas into products and services for a global market.

For more information on the renewed RED program, please visit our website.

Too Small for Economic Development? 5 Strategies for Teeny Tiny Places.

Hastings downtown streetYou’re a small community in rural Ontario. You have a stable or declining population, no downtown core, no economic development officer and no strong drivers of economic activity. Give up, right? Not so fast…

Economic development is a means to an end goal, which is community well-being. And Teeny Tiny Places can improve community well-being as much as any other place. They simply work on a different scale and with a different toolkit. Continue reading Too Small for Economic Development? 5 Strategies for Teeny Tiny Places.