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May 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

I would like to take this opportunity to Introduce myself. I have worked for OMAFRA for the past 11 years first in Food safety and Inspection which some of you may know me as I was a regional Food Safety Inspector in the meat industry for 9 years in Northwestern Ontario and have since covered the Kenora, Rainy River Districts and most recently the Timiskaming district as the regions Economic and Business Advisor. I am very excited to finally have the pleasure to work close to home being born and raised here in Thunder Bay. I am looking forward to working in the region and getting out and hopefully meet with many of you very soon.

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

Staffing Announcement

To the Thunder Bay Food and Agricultural community: 

I am excited to announce that I have accepted a 9 month position as a Senior Program Analyst with OMAFRA’s Community Economic Development Unit. I am so grateful for the nearly 7 years I’ve spent as an Advisor covering Thunder Bay and the opportunities I’ve had to meet and get to know local businesses and contribute to our community. 

I would like to share that Chloe Langlois will now be serving at the Economic and Business Advisor for the Thunder Bay District. Chloe is capable and resourceful and will do very well in this role. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, and know that I will do everything I can to make this a smooth transition. 
Northern Ontario Farm & Innovation Alliance Funding

The Ontario government is providing up to $100,000 to the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) to study, assess and grow the network of agri-food producers, processors, distributors, procurers, and consumers in Northern Ontario.
“NOFIA is uniquely positioned to examine ways we can establish a stronger agri-food industry in the region,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This investment will equip businesses in Northern Ontario with critical information to help farmers and agri-food businesses expand their market reach and build a stronger supply chain.”
Through this investment, NOFIA will conduct research and case studies, compile market strategies, host business networking sessions and develop workshops that will result in:
  • a directory of food producers across the northern region
  • a best practice guide for local food procurement practices for remote communities
  • marketing support to increase the consumption and availability of local food in northern and remote communities
  • resources that support food literacy in Northern Ontario
  • business-to-business meetings and tours that encourage new market opportunities.
Outdoor Pig Production in Ontario
Are you currently raising pigs outdoors, or planning to purchase a few this season?

If so, there are a few things you should consider moving forward.
First, it is important that you secure a date for slaughtering and butchering well in advance of when you need those services. Many provincial abattoirs are scheduling 6 or more months in advance, so it is imperative that you think about this now and not in the fall.
Second, if you are not already registered in the federal Pig Trace program, you need to contact Ontario Pork to do so 519-767-4600x1220 or Participating in this program is mandatory through the federal Health of Animals Regulations. The program will assign a unique identification number associated with your farm property. Ontario Pork staff can walk you through the processes required for the program, which includes animal identification and records of movement. 
Third, consider your housing set up. Do you have pig-proof fencing and a safe way to deliver feed and water? Do you have shelter from sun, rain and other weather-related elements? If the pigs will be on a pasture, do you have a strategy to manage the destructive nature of pigs and the damage to the field? 
For more information on raising pigs or the information presented here, please contact:
Laura Eastwood
OMAFRA Swine Specialist
Ontario Improving Access to Veterinary Care in Remote and Northern Communities

The Ontario government is investing more than $15 million to help address veterinary shortages in rural and northern communities, making it easier for farmers and large animal owners to access veterinary care when and where they need it. The funding will be used to establish a new Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program with the University of Guelph and Lakehead University to train more veterinarians. The government is also providing grants to new veterinary graduates as an incentive to work in underserviced areas in the province.

  • The new Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will launch in fall 2024. Students will spend two years at Lakehead University and two years at the University of Guelph.
  • These new programs build on other measures the government has taken to increase veterinary access for animal owners
Governments Helping Ontario Agri-Food Products Reach New Markets
Canada and Ontario investing up to $6 million in market development effort

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $6 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (sCAP) to help eligible agri-food businesses and industry organizations expand into domestic and foreign markets.
The Grow Ontario Market Initiative is a new, cost-share initiative that will help food and beverage processors, farm businesses and agri-food sector organizations take actions to reach new markets.

The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3.5 billion, 5-year agreement (April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2028) between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.
Kenora and Rainy River District: Spring Mammoth Red Clover Demonstration Initiative to Enhance Healthy Soil
Fourteen farms in the Wabigoon Basin, Kenora District have joined together to purchase in April up to 2,000 pounds of a single cut Mammoth Red Clover from Interlake Forage, Ltd. for seeding this spring. The picturesque rolling hills of the Wabigoon Basin farmland are predominantly a lacustrine clay that is susceptible to compaction. Observations from this growing season can demonstrate how the deep tap roots of Mammoth Red Clover may loosen the soils, mine calcium and other nutrients from deep in the soil, and fix between 70-110 lbs. of nitrogen per acre and thus improve land productivity. 
Early Ontario Agriculture Reports confirm that clover was a mainstay in the early years. In 1916, the Clover seed coop sold $72000 worth for 41 members, or an average of $1800 per member.  In 1919, the coop sold $100 000 for 62 members, or $1500 each on average.  This was big bucks, when you consider that $400 per year was a pretty good wage at the time.
A strong vibrant farming community in the Wabigoon Basin brings economic stability to the area as other natural resource initiatives in forestry and mining follow a more cyclical up and down pattern. Agriculture is the pivotal stabilizer that averages out the peaks and the lows in forestry and mining activities. Agriculture in the Wabigoon Basin has a substantial farmland base that supports the growth of a variety of crops, lower land prices relative to southern Ontario, and access to a supportive regional market.
The Kenora District Soils and Crop Association is planning for a farm field tour early fall to observe the Mammoth red clover in the Wabigoon Basin. Keep an eye out for future Information.

Connie H. Nelson, Ph.D.
Food Security Research Network
Lakehead University

Upcoming Events
Agribusiness Breakfast Meetings Return!

The 2023 season is beginning! These meetings are an opportunity to discuss how seeding and crop development are progressing across the north, and a chance to get timely production questions answered. 

 Meeting Dates:
 Wednesday, May 10, 2023
 Wednesday, May 24, 2023
 Wednesday, June 7, 2023
 Wednesday, June 21, 2023
A Zoom link will be sent out with the reminder email. 

Please email Marg Templeman at to be added to the email list. 

If you cannot join us at breakfast time, you can catch up on the discussion in the summary notes posted on later that week.
Rainy River Ag Day 2023

May 6th, Chapple Rec Centre
Doors open and registration starts at 8:00am

Speakers for the day include:
  • Tracey Baute, Entomologist - How will Climate Change Impact Pest Management
  • Ian Armstrong - Black Ask Impact on Northern Ontario Agriculture
  • Cheryl Russwurm, Breeder/Feeder 
  • Bud McQuaker, Kim Jo Bliss and Agricorp
  • Trudy Reid, Sheep Producer
  • Bill Groenheide, OFA Updates
  • Rick Nisbet, CFIA - Import Changes
  • Barb Miller - Mental Health Guardianship
  • Geoff Gillon - Rainy River Futures

Trade Show and Door Prizes!
Prevention and Treatment – Strategies to keep your pigs safe and healthy

Free Webinar

Dr. Kelsey Gray, a mixed animal veterinarian from Cochrane Alberta, is hosting a webinar that focuses on outdoor pig farming. Dr. Gray is a leading expert in Canada on outdoor pig production, and an excellent resource for producers. 

Date: Tuesday, May 9th
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
Details: This webinar will focus on various aspects related to the disease identification, treatment and planning. In addition, it will touch on important aspects of food safety that are important for your farm.

Agricorp: Connecting Producers with Programs

We provide financial and risk management programs for the farmers of Ontario and empower employees to deliver a trusted customer experience.

Don't Forget to Stay in the Know on this years Upcoming Deadlines
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:
May 1 - Webinar: Field and Bed Preparation
May 3 - Webinar: Weed Management
May 8 - Webinar: Principles of Harvest and post harvest
May 10 - Webinar: Seedling Production and Greenhouse Management
May 13 - Field Day: Making Biodynamic Preparations
May 15 - Webinar: Cover Crops and Green Manure
May 17 - Webinar: Irrigation Principles

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.

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.

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

Funding Programs
Governments Helping Agri-Food Processing Businesses Lower Costs

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector.

The Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative is a new, cost-share initiative to help food processors lower their costs to be more competitive and sustainable. The focus is on supporting projects that prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in new technology, equipment, as well as building or facility modifications to help achieve this goal.

Applications open, apply through June 5, 2023
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.
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:
Starter Company Plus
If you’re an entrepreneur in Northwestern Ontario looking to start up, expand or buy an existing business, apply for the Starter Company Plus program.  
How It Works: 
The Starter Company Plus program provides training sessions on important business topics. During the training delivery, program participants will work with the Program Coordinator to complete a business plan and financial projections for their start up, business purchase, or expansion.
Upon completion of a business plan, participants may apply for a grant of up to $5,000. A grant committee will evaluate and provide feedback to the participants while deciding who receives funding. Grant recipients also receive a three month mentorship as part of the program.
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:

Supporting the growth of Canadian businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes.
Supporting communities' efforts to plan and mobilize their resources, enhance business growth, and exploit new opportunities for economic development and diversification.
Encouraging the growth of small and medium-sized businesses via a network of 24 Community Futures Development Corporations spread out across the region.
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:


Helpful Farm Business Decision tools for capital/business planning
Sign up for OMAFRA's Field Crop News
Field Crop News is a resource for Ontario field crop production. It is managed by OMAFRA's Field Crop Unit. Some articles of interest:
You can visit Field Crop News here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for the mailing list. 
Farm Business Registration
To register a farm business and get a Farm Business Registration number (FBR), please contact Agricorp at 1-866-327-367 | 
They offer free business counselling, loans for start-ups and expansion, and assistance with strategic planning.
Provides a range of resources to new and established businesses, such as help with creating a business plan, access to workshops and mentoring.
Encourage and facilitate private and public partnerships that will result in better telecommunications infrastructure and ICT-related services in the region.
Provides financing and support to build sustainable communities for Indigenous farmers and businesses.
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.
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.
Covers large margin declines caused by production loss, increased costs or market conditions. If a producer’s margin falls below 70 per cent of their recent average, AgriStability helps to offset the difference.