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September 2023

Brought to you by: 

Chloe Langlois

Economic and Business Advisor

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

I can be reached at:

(807) 630-4497

You can also contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at: 1-877-424-1300 for assistance.


Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) 

Honey Bee Health Initiative 

Intake Opening September 15, 2023

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing over $1.3 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) Honey Bee Health Initiative to provide funding to support beekeepers. This Initiative will help Ontario beekeepers maintain healthy honey bee colonies and will support them to grow their colonies, purchase or modify equipment to prevent the spread of disease and perform analysis work to support best management practices.

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Get Recognized and Apply to Ontario’s Excellence in Agriculture Program 

Applications will be accepted until September 14, 2023! Apply now and be recognized!

The Agri-Food Sector in Ontario has always been innovative in running their businesses, adapting practices and looking for partners to compete in the global economy. To help spur this innovative spirit, the Ontario government wants to recognize achievements impacting Ontario’s agri-food sector success. Consider applying to, nominating or sharing the 2023 Excellence in Agriculture Awards program


Program awards include:

  • Program top award winners in each category will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and receive an Excellence in Agriculture wordmark to use for marketing and promotional purposes
  • Honourable mention recipients will receive a certificate and an Excellence in Agriculture wordmark to use for marketing and promotional purposes 


Northern communities, Indigenous owned businesses and Indigenous communities that have demonstrated agri-food leadership and/or innovation are encouraged to apply! 


Achievement categories are:

  • Excellence in Food Processing
  • Excellence in Research and Innovation
  • Women’s Excellence 
  • Youth Excellence
  • Excellence in Agri-Food Education
  • Northern Business Excellence
  • Indigenous-Owned Business or Community Excellence
  • Family Farm Excellence
  • Agri-Food Promotional Excellence
  • Supply Chain Excellence
  • Excellence in Agri-Food Talent Recruitment


For More Information or to Apply:

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Governments Driving Growth in Ontario Meat Processing Sector

Intake Open Now as of August 31st, 2023

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative will provide funding to eligible free-standing meat plants and abattoirs to make short-term investments in meat handling and processing equipment, technologies, and practices that improve efficiency, productivity, and food safety. The initiative is being funded under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) and will provide up to $150,000 per eligible applicant.

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative will also cover consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects. Applications are scheduled to open on August 31, 2023, and will remain open until January 31, 2024 or until the initiative is fully subscribed, whichever comes first. Eligible project costs can be incurred as of July 26, 2023. Eligible projects must be completed with equipment delivered by March 1, 2024. Recipients will have until June 28, 2024 to have their equipment installed.

For More Information go to our Website

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Increasing Deadstock Capacity Initiative 

Intake Opening September 21, 2023, to February 1, 2024. 

This initiative will help address capacity gaps in the removal, handling, and disposal of deadstock in the agricultural sector.

It will provide opportunities for eligible businesses to streamline operations and improve accessibility by increasing capacities and service options.  

Deadstock service providers and other organizations may be eligible for cost-shared funding of up to $100,000 per project/$300,000 per applicant to help manage deadstock disposal in Ontario.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council will accept applications from deadstock service providers, commercial operations requiring these services, waste management companies, commodity organizations, and municipalities that want to increase their capacity in the management of deadstock. Funding will be provided to eligible applicants who want to streamline operations and improve accessibility by increasing capacities and establishing new service options.

All approved projects must be completed by February 1, 2025

For More Information or to Apply:

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Governments Strengthening Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

Canada and Ontario committing over $68 million for on-farm actions

Under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP), the governments of Canada and Ontario are committing more than $68 million in the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Initiative (OASI) to fund three programs designed to support farmers in making their agricultural lands more productive and resilient.

This Initiative includes the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP) a $56.7 million, five-year program that will make funds available to eligible farmers to complete projects such as reducing tillage, creating water retention ponds and other projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.

The Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (ASI) will complement the RALP program by providing a supplemental $5 million, this year, for farmers to modify and adapt their equipment and operating practices.

In addition, the On-Farm Applied Research and Monitoring (ONFARM) program will be expanded and enhanced by an additional $7 million over five years. This program is a continuation from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and will help farmers understand and communicate best on-farm practices to address and improve their soil health and water quality.

All three programs (RALP, ASI, and ONFARM) will be delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). 

Note that program details for the land-use RALP categories will be made available this summer and applications will be accepted later this fall.

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Ontario Championing Agri-Food Research

New projects will drive innovation and support rural growth and development

The Government of Ontario is investing over $8 million in 47 Ontario-led research and innovation projects that will enhance the productivity of Ontario’s agri-food sector and position it for continued growth. Approved projects will help farmers protect animal health and welfare, enhance plant health and protection, drive economic development, and support improvements to environmental sustainability.

“Ontario-led research is helping our farmers, processors and agri-food businesses be more competitive on a global scale,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Tier 1 projects, our government is helping to develop the technologies and innovations needed to advance our agriculture and food industry.”

These investments are being made through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph that works to advance the next generation of agri-food innovations. The 47 approved Alliance research projects will focus on providing support for rural communities, keeping our food supply safe, and developing a prosperous, environmentally sustainable agri-food sector.

As part of these 47 projects, the government is investing approximately $1 million through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Special Initiative Program in the Braiding Food Systems: Co-Constructing Indigenous Seed Systems in Northern Ontario for Food Sovereignty, Security and Climate Adaptation project. This project uses a community-based approach to address food insecurity and climate change impacting Northern Ontario First Nations communities.

Full Article Here
Upcoming Events

Supports farmers to build resilient ecological farms and grow a strong knowledge-sharing community.

Established in 1979 by farmers for farmers, EFAO is a membership organization that focuses on farmer-led education, research and community building. EFAO brings farmers together so they can learn from each other and improve the health of their soils, crops, livestock and the environment, while running profitable farm businesses

Upcoming Events:

September 11th - Course: Term 3: Ignatius Farm New Farmer Training Program

September 16th - Field Day: Willow Creek Permaculture Farm

October 4th - Field Day: Market Gardening with cover crops and Season Extension at Milky Way Farm

Register Here


Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) 

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is an assessment voluntarily prepared by farm families to increase their environmental awareness in up to 23 different areas on their farm. Through the EFP process, farmers highlight their farm’s environmental strengths, identify areas of environmental concern, and set realistic action plans with timetables to improve environmental conditions. 

An (EFP) is sometimes required to be eligible for funding programs, so to be prepared, please contact your local Economic and Business Advisor and they can inform you on future Northern training.

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Starting a Food Business

This session is for you if you are in the early stages of development and are looking to gain knowledge in the food and beverage industry.

In this free 60-minute online seminar learn about:

  • Creating a Business Model
  • Doing your Market Research
  • Analyzing the Competition
  • What is Your Value Proposition?

Do you have an idea for a food business? Want to learn more before you “venture” into food production? Looking to find out how to search for a licensed commercial kitchen that can help you get your venture off the ground? Or just have a delicious recipe you wish to cook up into a money-making business? Then be sure to attend this valuable workshop on “Starting a Food Business”.

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Welcome to Pasture 101: A New Collection of Grazing Management Resources
Pasture 101 is designed to provide information on several aspects of grazing management through a series of modules. Each module addresses a different topic related to grazing management, complete with extra resources for more information and practical tools like worksheets and quizzes to help you test your knowledge and then plan on your own operation.
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OMAFRA Dateline

OMAFRA Dateline is an online calendar resource for use by interested individuals, businesses and organizations across Ontario. Calendar events may be hosted by OMAFRA or other groups. The events posted on this site are aimed at sharing information to agriculture, agri-food businesses and regional economic development clients. Please check the calendar regularly for upcoming events, workshops, conferences and meetings or to post an event.
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Farmer Wellness Initiative
If you're in need of support, please reach out and call us anytime - from the tractor, from the barn, or from the house after the sun sets on another long day.

The Farmer Wellness Initiative provides access to free counselling services and tailored mental health support and resources to all Ontario farmers and their families.

CALL NOW: 1-866-267-6255
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Funding Programs

Grow Ontario Market Initiative - OPEN


OMAFRA is pleased to inform you that the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $6 million under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help eligible agri-food businesses and industry organizations expand markets for Ontario food products.


This Grow Ontario Market Initiative will support agri-food producers, processors, and industry organizations with cost-share opportunities for the implementation of domestic and export marketing activities. 


Eligible activities will include (see link to guidelines for specific program details):

·    analysis and planning for new export and domestic market opportunities

·    implementation of new export and domestic marketing activities

·    development of new products that meet market opportunities 


Under the Grow Ontario Market Initiative applicants can receive up to 50 per cent cost share for eligible costs, to a maximum of $60,000 for producers and processors, and up to $125,000 for industry organizations. 


Learn how to apply for funding to grow your agri-food business through marketing analysis and planning, new product development and marketing activities at this link Grow Ontario Market Initiative Guidelines |


For More Information or with questions about the program please contact your regional advisor directly

Apply Here
Grow Your Business Online
As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant.
Through this program, small business owners can receive a micro-grant worth up to $2,400 to help get their business online, give their e-commerce presence a boost, or digitalize business operations. Grant recipients must commit to maintaining their digital adoption strategy for at least six months.
In addition, e-commerce advisors will be available to work with grant recipients to help identify their digital needs, provide links to digital resources, help with completing applications, and answering questions on the Grow Your Business Online program.
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Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

INVEST North Program
The Invest North Program is designed to boost economic growth in Northern Ontario by encouraging businesses to invest in transformative, strategic and complementary business development opportunities in Northern communities. The program will support productivity, innovation, business competitiveness, revenue growth, export capacity development, job creation and retention.

The Community Enhancement Program is designed to help build strong and resilient Northern communities through infrastructure investments, to upgrade / repair existing assets to improve community quality of life, economic development infrastructure and strategic economic development initiatives

For a list of all NOHFC programming go to:
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Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario 

FedNor is the Government of Canada's economic development organization for Northern Ontario. Through its programs and services, and through its financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth, FedNor works with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario.

Current Open Programs Include:

Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) 

Supporting the growth of Canadian businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes.

Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP) 

Supporting communities' efforts to plan and mobilize their resources, enhance business growth, and exploit new opportunities for economic development and diversification.

Community Futures Program (CFP)

Encouraging the growth of small and medium-sized businesses via a network of 24 Community Futures Development Corporations spread out across the region.

Economic Development Initiative (EDI)

Enhancing the economic viability of the region’s Francophone communities through support for innovation, economic diversification and business growth initiatives.

For More Information or to Apply:

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Attention Extension Agents: New Funding Program for Regional Activities


The Beef Cattle Research Council is pleased to launch a pilot initiative to support regional extension activities.  

Applicants may apply to receive up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding per activity. 

Matching funding is encouraged, but not a requirement. Funding will be awarded for all proposals that meet the evaluation criteria until all funds have been committed. Activities must be completed by no later than August 2024.  

These events must involve beef producers and be aligned with the Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy. Activities may include: 

  • extension meetings,  
  • field days,  
  • workshops,  
  • training events or  
  • new engagement ideas.  

Preference will be given to new and innovative engagement ideas such as presenting information in a new format or demonstrating a new technology.  

Applications must be submitted using the online application form. Successful applicants will be notified via email. Program closure will be updated on the call for proposals page.  

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Other E-mail Notices, Updates, Blogs and Podcasts that OMAFRA offers



Economic Development



Link to subscribe to OMAFRA monthly Food and Beverage Industry News Bulletin

Farm Business Registration


To register a farm business and get a Farm Business Registration number (FBR), please contact Agricorp at 1-866-327-367 | 

Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO


Provides financing and support to build sustainable communities for Indigenous farmers and businesses.

Indigenous Services Canada

Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program


Loan program to farmers and agricultural co-operatives. Farmers can use these loans to establish, improve, and develop farms, while agricultural co-operatives may also access loans to process, distribute, or market the products of farming. 



An online application that allows you to create custom maps and find agricultural information for Ontario, combining agricultural data on soils and drainage, as well as data layers from other Government of Ontario ministries.


The website for all things agriculture in the north, hosted by Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance.

Farm Credit Canada


A federal Crown corporation that lends money and provides other services to primary producers, agri-food operations and agribusinesses that provide inputs or add value to agriculture.

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