Main content of the website


February 2024

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.


Rural Economic Development Program

Intake Open Now Until February 21st, 2024

Ontario's Rural Economic Development (RED) Program provides cost-share funding to support activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario and opens doors to rural economic development, by funding projects that:

  • address barriers to economic development
  • better position rural communities to attract or retain investment
  • address labour force development challenges
  • build rural community capacity to attract, retain and expand businesses
  • renew community assets to drive economic development
  • support economic growth through regional partnerships

The RED Program is application-based and projects are selected using a competitive process. Please read these RED Program Guidelines before completing your application form.

Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream

This stream supports a range of projects to better position rural communities to attract and retain jobs and investment, and to enhance economic growth.

The maximum provincial project support for eligible costs in the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream is 50%, up to a maximum of $150,000 per selected project.

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream

This stream focuses on economic infrastructure projects that improve physical community assets that have been identified as strategically important to the community.

The maximum provincial project support for eligible costs in the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream is 30%, up to a maximum of $250,000 per selected project.

Who is eligible

To be eligible to apply to the Rural Economic Development Program, an Applicant and Co-Applicants, if any, must be:

  • a municipality
  • a not-for-profit organization
  • an Ontario Indigenous community or organization; or
  • a Local Services Board

Eligible Applicants must also comply with all legal requirements.

The province is committed to supporting the success of Indigenous communities and Indigenous non-profit organizations in rural Ontario. If you are interested in applying for the program but have questions about the application process or eligibility requirements, contact program staff at:

Visit the Website

Ontario Helping Rural Communities Grow With More Jobs, Homes and Infrastructure

Province making historic investments to support the unique needs of rural municipalities

The Ontario government announced the latest steps in its plan to invest in rural communities and municipalities at the annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, with measures that will help to strengthen rural economies, get more homes and housing-enabling infrastructure built and increase access to important local services in rural areas.

Premier Ford announced new details regarding the expansion of Ontario’s $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund (BFF) to small, rural and northern municipalities that have not been assigned housing targets by the province. Ten per cent – or $120 million – of the BFF will be reserved for these municipalities to help them build housing-enabling infrastructure, with the province intending to distribute these funds through an application-based process that will prioritize projects that can get shovels in the ground faster. The province will continue to consult closely with rural municipalities to ensure this process effectively reflects their unique needs.

Full Story Here

Grow Ontario Accelerator Hub

What is the Grow Ontario Accelerator Hub?

The GOAH provides support to innovative Ontario based companies to advance more solutions and technologies to market. This will be facilitated by providing mentoring and advisory services in agri-food business acceleration, growth planning and investment readiness, as well as to provide supports to businesses across the agri-food supply chain with respect to adoption of innovation.

GOAH supports the province’s Grow Ontario strategy which aims to increase the creation and adoption of innovations for the agri-food sector to enhance competitiveness, grow market opportunities and strengthen the sector against future disruptions.  

Eligible companies must:

  • Be located, registered, and carrying on business in Ontario.
  • Be operating in the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sectors.
  • Have products, services, or solutions that:
  • Address at least one of the Ontario agriculture research priority areas, and
  • align with the goals set out by OMAFRA through their Grow Ontario Strategy
Visit the Website
Upcoming Events

Welcome to the 6th Annual Northern Ontario Ag Conference

Join us for two engaging days of inspiration, education, and networking. Our theme is "Cultivating Connections & Celebrating Sustainability," reflecting our commitment to forging vital links within the agricultural community and nurturing a sustainable future. Our diverse lineup of speakers will share a range of agriculture experience and topics, while the conference offers a unique platform for building lasting relationships with like-minded professionals and producers. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the on-site trade show, where you can discover the agribusiness opportunities in Northern Ontario

Register Here

Facilitating Strategic Planning Training for Not-for-Profit Organizations

A Free Webinar Training Series

To be eligible organizations should:

  • be willing to participate in the strategic planning process
  • have commitment from the Board of Directors
  • have a minimum of 3 active volunteers to commit to being trained
  • not in a crisis

At the completion of the program, each organization will have:

  • experience in facilitating the strategic planning process, and volunteers trained to maintain it
  • access to a network of support for continued organizational development
  • volunteers that have developed leadership skills

After each session, your team will go back to your organization to:

  • present the information received in the program session
  • facilitate that stage in the strategic planning process
  • get input and ownership from the board
  • gather information and input for the next stage

Session 1 – February 22, 2024, 10am-11:30am: Introduction to strategic planning community economic development

Session 2 – March 7, 2024, 10am-11:30am: Develop vision and mission

Session 3 – March 21, 2024, 10am-11:30am– Collect and analyze information, Develop goals

Session 4 – April 4, 2024,10am-11:30am– Performance measures & action plans, Implement and monitor

For further information, contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or by email at

Register Here

Canadian Food Labelling Regulations - Free Webinar

February 14th - 11:00am - 12:00pm EST

Join the Government of Ontario in collaboration with the Public Health and Safety Organization (NSF) for a free webinar providing an overview of the Canadian Food Labelling Regulations.

All mandatory labelling elements will be discussed including ingredient lists, allergen statements, Nutrition Facts, net weight, bilingual requirements and more.

We will also cover requirements surrounding voluntary claims, CFIA enforcement and upcoming regulations like the Front-of-Package nutrition symbols.

Featured Speaker: Michelle Anstey, Regulatory Affairs at the Public Health and Safety Organization (NSF)

Register Here

Ontario Pesticide Education Programs

Upcoming Dates:

Grower: Mon Feb 12 – 16th Online

Vendor: Mon Feb 26 – Mar 8th – Online

Grower: Mon Feb 26 – Mar 1st – Online

On Farm Instructor Tues Feb 27 – Thurs 29th – Online

Grower Mar 4 – 8th – Online

Grower Wed Mar 6th Refresh and Write – Rosslyn Exam 1:00

Grower: Mar 11 – 15th: Online

Grower: Mar 18-22nd: Online

Grower: Thurs April 4th - Emo Exam 1:00

*All Courses begin at 9:00a.m


Grower Pesticide Safety Course: $135

Pesticide Vendor Certification Course: $235

On-Farm Instructor Course: $75

Find a Course Here

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

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:

February 7th - Webinar: Marketing Strategies and Building multiple revenue streams for the farmers market

February 7th - Webinar: CANOVI Farm Club: Carrot Breeding and Variety Trials

February 11th - Kitchen Table Meeting: From Farm visions to reality: Fiddlehead Farm

February 26th - Kitchen Table Meeting: Farm Visioning with 9 Acres Farm

View the Website


In February 2022, Northern Policy Institute, in partnership with organizations across Ontario’s northern regions, launched Measurement Month. Measurement Month is an annual effort to leverage our individual resources to collect consistent, comparable data to inform decision-making at the local, regional, provincial, and national level. This Measurement Month will focus on racism, reconciliation, welcoming, and individual well-being.

Employer Preparedness Survey

  • Measuring and assessing the ability of employers to meet the unique needs of immigrants and diverse groups. 
  • Eligible respondents: Organizations/businesses in any industry, that have at least one employee.

Individual Well-Being Survey

  • Measuring and assessing various dimensions of individual well-being in Northern Ontario communities.  
  • Eligible respondents: All individuals in Northern Ontario. 

New Arrival Survey

  • Measuring and assessing the experiences of individuals who recently moved to a Northern Ontario community. 
  • Eligible respondents: Individuals who moved to a Northern Ontario community within the past five years (including those who moved from elsewhere in Northern Ontario). 

Experiences with Racism Survey 

  • Measuring and assessing individual experiences and perceptions of racism in Northern Ontario communities. 
  • Eligible respondents: All individuals in Northern Ontario. 

Take the Surveys

Farmer Wellness Initiative

The Farmer Wellness Initiative provides Ontario farmers and their families with free, unlimited mental health counselling, specific to the unique challenges that can be experienced by the agricultural community. 

Operated by TELUS Health, you can call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to be connected to support, available in both English and French. 

CALL NOW: 1-866-267-6255

Visit The Website

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.

Visit The Website

Funding Programs

Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative funding projects that boost production and increase trade opportunities for home grown products

Intake now Open

The Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) will provide a multi-year suite of funding opportunities to support research and innovation activities that advance the sector. These funding streams include applied research, pilot and demonstration, knowledge translation and transfer (KTT) and commercialization of products, including a new Grow Ontario Accelerator Hub. Funded projects will align with the agri-food sector’s research priorities to deliver new knowledge, products and practices.

The OAFRI research priority areas are: food safety, plant health, animal health and welfare, soil health, water quality and quantity, sustainable production systems, productive land capacity, competitive production systems, innovative products and product improvements, and trade, market and targeted sector growth

OMAFRA will deliver the applied research, pilot and demonstration and KTT funding streams. Bioenterprise Corporation will deliver the commercialization stream.

For More information:

Visit the Website

Funding for Ontario Farmers Available Under the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP) - Open

The intake will close once available funding has been fully allocated.

As part of the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Initiative, OSCIA is delivering the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP), a five-year program providing funding to eligible Ontario farmers to implement projects focused on addressing climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon. 

Funding is available for:

  • Natural Grassland Establishment,
  • Perennial Biomass and Warm Season Pastures,
  • Reduced Tillage,
  • Tree & Shrub Planting,
  • Water Retention Features, and,
  • Wetlands

Once the intake opens, applications to the Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program can be submitted electronically through the OSCIA Portal. If you have not already done so, you will need to create an account and complete the Enrolment Form on the OSCIA Portal to be ready to apply once the intake opens.

To apply, applicants will need the following:

  • A valid premises identification (PID) number - for details, visit
  • A certificate of completion for a 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan
  • A tillage assessment or letter of support from a qualified third party
  • A site map of the project location
Visit the Website

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

Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative Guidelines - OPEN

Learn more about funding opportunities to enhance biosecurity at your business.

Intake Open

The Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative supports the resiliency of the agriculture and food sector by addressing biosecurity risks and enhancing emergency preparedness. It provides funding opportunities to key agriculture industry businesses, including Primary Producers, Processors, and Service Providers. The Initiative has 7 Project Categories to support related activities across the full agri-food value chain (two for animal health and five for plant health).

Apply Here

Honey Bee Health Initiative - Open

Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership 

To help support beekeepers in maintaining healthy honey bee colonies as well as grow their number of colonies to increase the sustainability of the beekeeping industry in Ontario.

Apply Here

Tourism Growth Program (TGP) in Northern Ontario

Intake Now Open

The Tourism Growth Program will provide a $108 million investment over 3 years (2023 to 2026), across Canada to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in developing local projects and events, including a minimum of 15% investment dedicated to Indigenous Tourism initiatives.

The objective of Tourism Growth Program (TGP) is to invest in distinct tourism destination development and improvements across all regions of Canada. The TGP will will improve regional tourism assets, while enhancing Canada’s competitiveness as an international destination. 

Visit the Website

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.  

Eligible activities 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.  

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.  

Visit the Website

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.

Community Enhancement Program

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:

Visit the Website

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:

Visit the Website


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


Economic Development



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.

Subscribe to a Regional Newsletter Here