Programs, Grants & Awards

Dec. 1, 2015, Ontario – The Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association has partnered with industry to launch the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) 4R Nutrient Management Specialist Certification in Ontario in early 2016. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place) framework incorporates the careful selection of best management practices validated by research in support of sustainable crop production. 

The pilot project, funded by an Ontario Memorandum of Cooperation between Fertilizer Canada, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA) will incorporate a specialized CCA exam and study resource and will serve to meet the growing demand for qualified advisers with focused knowledge and skills in nutrient management. 

Local retail and agronomic providers are often a Canadian farmer's first choice for reliable resources and advice when making on-farm decisions. Providing formal, recognized training to CCAs will ensure that Ontario farmers receive trusted information about 4R Nutrient Stewardship. 

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 27, 2015 - Six individuals will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame for 2016. Three inductees were announced at Canadian Western Agribition last week in Regina: Byrnne Rothwell, Florian Possberg and Barry Andrew.

Byrnne Rothwell:  Byrnne spent much of his early life on the family farm gaining an appreciation for the value of family and rural life. After graduating from Ontario Veterinary College in 1964, he worked as a veterinarian in Mission, B.C. and Wakaw, Sask. before building a home and a clinic at Shellbrook, Sask. in 1970. In 1986-87, the practice was sold and Byrnne joined Agriculture Canada working in animal health, meat hygiene and food inspection in locations that included Moose Jaw and Saskatoon. He had a long history of volunteerism with organizations that included the Saskatchewan Horse Federation, Canadian Western Agribition and the Prince Albert Exhibition. He was highly respected across Canada for his dedication to equine welfare. Dr. Byrnne Rothwell passed away in January 2014.

Florian Possberg:  Florian has been a tireless supporter and advocate for the hog industry in Saskatchewan and Canada. Together with his wife Betty, he started his farming career by building and managing a 60 sow operation near Humboldt in 1976. Florian was one of the founders of Big Sky Farms which grew to become the second largest hog producer in Canada. Big Sky Farms in now owned by Olymel, a large agricultural co-op based in Quebec. In 2009, he partnered with his son Brian to form B&F Polar Pork Farms Ltd. Darrel Possberg, another son, has joined the operation and the expanding farm now includes four of Florian and Betty's eight children. Florian has been a leader and an ambassador for the Canadian pork industry through Sask Pork, Canadian Pork Council and Prairie Swine Centre.

Barry Andrew:  Barry, a grain and cattle producer from the Foxleigh district north of Regina, was a founding member and director of Canadian Western Agribition. He served as president in 1980 and 1981, and played a key role in lobbying all levels of government for funding of bulidings and for show promotion around the world. Barry served as president of both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Shorthorn associations. His Duncairn Shorthorns were promoted and sold across Canada and the U.S. for more than 40 years. From 1982 to 1990, Barry was program director of the provincial counselling and assistance for farmers program which was developed to assist producers struggling with high interest rates and difficult economic times. Barry Andrew passed away in December 2012.

The induction ceremony for these three new members, along with three that will be named in January at CropSphere in Saskatoon, will take place on Aug. 6, 2016.

 

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 27, 2015 - The Canadian Weed Science Society / Société canadienne de malherbologie (CWSS-SCM) honored several individuals for their extraordinary contributions to the field of weed science. The awards were presented during the organization's 69th annual meeting, held Nov 22-26, 2015 in Edmonton, Alta.

Excellence in Weed Science Award (sponsored by Dow AgroSciences): CWSS-SCM honored Stephen Darbyshire, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa, Ont. Stephen's research focuses on developing new information on the taxonomy, phylogeny, and distribution of weeds and invasive plants. He has collected approximately 10,000 specimens of plant, bryophyte, and fungal specimens, primarily from Canada. Darbyshire has served on the board of directors for CWSS-SCM and has held numerous leadership positions within the society, including publications director. He has published more than 95 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 50 monographs or book chapters, supervised and co-supervised several graduate students, and presented over 30 papers at scientific conferences.

Excellence in Weed Extension Award (sponsored by Valent): CWSS-SCM honored Danielle Bernier, a weed scientist and extension specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture in the Province of Quebec. Bernier has developed great expertise locally, and is well known across the country for her tireless efforts in extending weed science to growers and industry personnel. Bernier has made dozens of presentations each year to producers and at scientific meetings, has produced over 65 extension bulletins for the province of Quebec, as well as serving in various capacities within the CWSS-SCM.

Outstanding Industry Member Award (sponsored by CWSS-SCM): CWSS-SCM honored Mark Lawton, technology development lead with Monsanto, based in Guelph, Ont. Lawton is responsible for the team that provides technical support for current products and the development of new products within Monsanto. In addition to serving in this technical capacity, he has published 18 peer-reviewed manuscripts, given over 25 papers at scientific conferences, and has served on the committee of numerous graduate students at the University of Guelph.

Meritorious Service Award (sponsored by CWSS-SCM): CWSS-SCM honoured Ken Sapsford, an independent consultant from Kaleden, BC. Sapsford was formerly a research assistant at the University of Saskatchewan. Sapsford has been very active within the CWSS-SCM, serving on three local arrangements committees, and as a member of the board of directors for six years. Beyond his dedication to the society, he has been very active in extension to agronomists and growers throughout his career. Sapsford's research contributions include authoring or co-authoring five peer-reviewed manuscripts, 66 conference and workshop proceedings, 20 technical reports to industry, 106 extensions presentations, and over 65 media interviews.

Student Scholarships and Travel Awards

  • 1st Place Award for a Ph.D. student (sponsored by Monsanto) was presented to Breanne Tidemann, from the University of Alberta. Tidemann's research focuses on the potential impact of collecting weed seeds at crop harvest on the contribution to subsequent populations. She is supervised by Drs. Linda Hall (University of Alberta) and K. Neil Harker (AAFC Lacombe, Alta.).
  • 2nd Place Award for a Ph.D. student (sponsored by Syngenta) was presented to Charles Geddes from the University of Manitoba. Research by Geddes covers optimization methods to reduce populations of volunteer canola in subsequent soybean crops. He is supervised by Dr. Rob Gulden.
  • 3rd Place Award for a Ph.D. student (sponsored by CWSS-SCM) was presented to Holly Byker from the University of Guelph. The work of Byker focuses on the biology and management of glyphosate-resistant common ragweed. Drs. Peter Sikkema and Darren Robinson are her supervisors.
  • 1st Place Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by Monsanto) was presented to Katherine Stanley from the University of Saskatchewan. Stanley's work focuses on the potential of mechanical weed control in organic pulse crop production. She is supervised by Dr. Steve Shirtliffe.
  • 2nd Place Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by Dow AgroSciences) was presented to Christopher Budd from the University of Guelph. Budd's work focuses on the control of glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane in soybean. He is supervised by Dr. Peter Sikkema.
  • 3rd Place Award for a M.Sc. student (sponsored by CWSS-SCM) was presented to Amy Mangin from the University of Alberta. The work of Mangin focuses on optimizing the efficacy of pyroxasulfone on wild oat. Dr. Linda Hall is her supervisor.

 

Published in Identity Preserved

Nov. 27, 2015, Ontario – The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2) is a software program designed to help farmers estimate the potential for soil erosion under different land management and cropping practices. The software overcomes many of the limitations of the previous USLE equation.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has adapted the RUSLE2 for Ontario farmers by incorporating climate, soil and management practices common to the province.

Five interactive tutorials have been created to help you use RUSLE2 for Ontario. The easy-to-follow audio/visual guides give step-by-step instructions on using RUSLE2 to help you assess the cropping and tillage practices you use on your farm.

Find out how you can prevent soil erosion from your fields! Visit the OMAFRA website to watch the tutorials and to download RUSLE2.

For more information visit: ontario.ca/ce4i.

Published in Soil

Nov. 25, 2015, Regina, SK - 4-H Canada and CN have announced a unique partnership to advance youth leadership and promote farm safety in rural Canada.

Made possible through a commitment from CN of $600,000, the new annual 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.) recognize exceptional 4-H senior youth members and showcase their accomplishments in the area of leadership excellence. The CN commitment also allows 4-H Canada to establish a 4-H Farm Safety Fund that will support 4-H clubs, districts, regions and provincial organizations across Canada with farm and community safety initiatives.

Four recipients of the inaugural 4-H Canada L.E.A.D. scholarships were revealed today at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask. The recipients are outstanding 4-H'ers who epitomize 4-H youth empowerment, and who demonstrate personal and community impact, and leadership excellence in each of 4-H Canada's four Leadership Development Pillars:

  • Cameron Choquette (Saskatchewan) - Community Engagement & Communications
  • Meghan McGillivray (British Columbia) - the Environment & Healthy Living
  • Louise Pickard (New Brunswick) - Science & Technology
  • Austin Pizzey (Manitoba) - Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security

L.E.A.D. recipients will each benefit from four-year scholarships in the amount of $5,000 per year toward their post-secondary studies. They also will be matched with a mentor who plays a leadership role in their industry and community. This mentorship relationship is an important component of the award program and will help the L.E.A.D. recipients as they forge their careers. Recent studies have estimated that from 2013 to 2022 there will be almost 74,000 job openings in Canadian agriculture, but only 49,000 projected job seekers. This represents a huge opportunity for the country's youth and it starts with mentorship opportunities and skills transfer.

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 24, 2015, Ontario – Chris Brown was named Ontario Forage Master for 2015 at a recognition event hosted by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Nov. 11. Chris and his wife Brianne operate Beslea Farms Limited near Yarker in Lennox & Addington County. He credits high quality forage as the foundation for their 100-head dairy herd (25 Jersey and 75 Holsteins).

The Ontario Forage Master competition is an annual event sponsored by Pickseed Canada Inc., SGS/Agri-Food Laboratories, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). There were close to 200 entries this year representing 22 different counties and districts, with 14 4-H participants. Local winners are declared based on judging of field management and forage quality and storage. From there, local winners have the opportunity to move to the public speaking portion of the competition, staged at the provincial level. Participants present how forages are selected, grown, harvested, stored and utilized for top production on their farms. Judging is done by a panel of experts.

“All of our five finalists in this year’s Ontario Forage Masters competition were dairy producers that had no difficulty expressing their views on the value of forages in their cropping and feeding programs,” says Alan Kruszel, OSCIA president. “That made the judges decision difficult, but Chris Brown’s presentation had just a little extra polish that made him this year’s winner. Chris is an excellent speaker and provided a clear and organized presentation detailing techniques in forage production that are easily applicable and transferable. He demonstrated that the real value of forages is realized by farming practices that focus on producing quality forage with proper management.”

“We aim for top quality forage without sacrificing yield or plant health,” declares Chris. “Quality never lets you down. In today’s dairy industry it is more important than ever to produce top quality forages. As margins tighten and input costs continue to rise, top quality forages can help to reduce feed costs and increase animal health, helping your bottom line.”

Chris now qualifies to compete in the 2016 American Forage and Grassland Council’s Forage Spokesperson Competition to be held January 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 24, 2015 - Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015 are hog farmers Mike and Amy Cronin of Bluevale, Ont., and dairy farmers Patrick and Cherylynn Bos of Ponoka, Alta. These two farm families were chosen from six regional farm couples across Canada at Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) annual national event held last week in Edmonton, Alta.

Strength and ingenuity in the face of adversity and a penchant for taking the right risks to advance their operations appeared as a common thread for the Bos and Cronin families, who are the newest additions to the family of OYF ambassadors for Canadian agriculture.

"Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers provides a wonderful platform to recognize and celebrate Canada's agricultural entrepreneurs and leaders," says Bev Yee, Alberta Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

The Cronins both grew up on Ontario dairy farms, and when it came time to start their own operations, saw opportunity in the hog industry. Though they entered during a severe downturn in 1998, the Cronins have expanded their operation from their first 1,800 farrow-to-wean operation to the 17,000 sows they run today between several farms in Canada and the U.S.

The Boses have built a milk cow and goat farm business where they operate a herd of 1,400 dairy goats. Following the closure of the goat milk and cheese processing facility they were selling to in 2004, the Boses decided to see the challenge as an opportunity and built their own facility. Today, Rock Ridge Dairy is a successful cow and goat milk and cheese processing facility selling to major grocery chains across Western Canada.

"Every year, our organization recognizes and welcomes more innovation and more passion with farm families who are helping shape the dynamic future of Canada's agri-food sector," says OYF President Luanne Lynn. "The Cronin and Bos families both exhibit the values of OYF and the agriculture industry in their unique and successful farm businesses. We are thrilled to welcome them to join 35 years of OYF winners."

Mike and Amy Cronin share their win with their six children, all of whom have a keen interest and involvement in their hog operations. With risk management at the centre of their business plan, the Cronins have managed to expand their operation in size and advance to meet new supply chain needs. In 2014, they built the first crate-free farrowing system in North America after researching the newest technology from around the world. Their barn includes a thumb print entry system, electronic sow feeders and video cameras.

"Every one of us has worked hard and dedicated our whole lives to family, farming and our communities," Amy Cronin said of her fellow OYF honourees at the awards ceremony on Friday.

The Bos family, including their four children, shares a passion for farming and sharing their story with their customers, hosting more than 600 guests on their farm yearly for tours. Their new goat milking rotary system, expected to be up and running in the next several weeks, will be one of the most technologically advanced systems of its kind in North America. Passionate about giving back to their communities, the Boses currently donate 2.5 cents for every litre of milk they sell to the Calgary Food Bank as part of their Children's Milk Program.

"It's very humbling to be chosen to represent this year's honourees," said Cherylynn Bos. "We wouldn't be here without the support of our families."

Patrick and Cherylynn Bos from Alberta and Mike and Amy Cronin from Ontario were chosen from the six 2015 regional finalists – including the following honourees from the other four regions: David and Sara Simmons (Atlantic region), Christian Bilodeau and Annie Sirois (Quebec region), Mark and Cori Pawluk (Manitoba region), and Jeff and Ebony Prosko (Saskatchewan region).

Celebrating 35 years, Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer CropScience, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.

 

 

Published in Markets

 

Nov. 19, 2015, Ottawa The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) needs producer volunteers to participate in focus groups that examine the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the commodities of apples, crops, honey, mushrooms, potatoes and turf.

These standards will then be further developed into meaningful tools and inform training programs based on what producers indicate are the best ways of doing business. To date, 20 National Occupational Standards have been developed with input from 270 industry stakeholders for the pork, sheep, aquaculture, beef and poultry commodities.

Producers can find dates, times and places for focus groups across Canada at http://www.cahrc-ccrha.ca/node/2251. Participant expenses will be reimbursed.

The research is in support of two projects being conducted by CAHRC: the National Agricultural Occupational Framework and Labour Market Support (NAOF) and the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-food Workforce Action Plan (WAP).

NAOF is an in-depth study of the jobs and skills involved in today’s agricultural workforce with specific focus on 10 commodities. The information gathered through this research is being used to develop training and support tools for producers and workers, as well as a curriculum mapping tool that will assist educators to enhance and develop new curriculum that reflects the modern work done on farms today. In addition, this research is helping to develop a job matching tool that links employers with qualified job seekers and student interns.

The WAP examines issues of industry labour management and shortages. It is led by the national Labour Task Force and functions as a solution-oriented forum made up of industry representatives from across Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sectors. The consultative process has identified two recommendations: one is to increase the supply of agricultural labour (skilled and unskilled workers) and the other to improve the knowledge and skills of workers already in the industry. To date, 65 organizations are confirmed as implementation partners, lending support, credibility and a sense of urgency to addressing labour issues for the industry.

Industry participation is the cornerstone of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s research with input, direction and guidance for all activities sought from agriculture and agri-food employers, employees, associations, education, and government at regional, provincial and national levels. Likewise, product development is done with similar consultations to ensure quality, accuracy and relevance of prepared solutions. This requires grass root participation in consultations at all stages.

 

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 12, 2015 - Thirteen family-run farming operations from northern and central Alberta were recognized for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and their community, at the 47th annual ATB Agriculture Farm Family Awards in Edmonton on November 11.

The following families will receive a commemorative gate sign signifying their accomplishment:

Tuininga Farms - Barrhead County No. 11
Tim and Verleen Knudson - Beaver County
Gerald and Joyce Willsie - Clearwater County
R & Y Farms - Lac La Biche County
Dedi and Sandra Melzer - Lesser Slave River No, 124
Alexander Family Farm - Peace MD No. 135
Danny Nobbs Farm - Saddle Hills County
Boisvert Farms - Smoky River MD No. 130
Green Farms - Stettler County #6
Glasman Family Farm - Strathcona County
Clint and Irene Jacula - Two Hill County No. 21
Parker Farms - Wetaskiwin County
Wild Cattle Co. - Yellowhead County

For 47 years, farm families from northern and central Alberta communities have been recognized as the recipients of the ATB Agriculture Farm Family Award. The Northern and Central Agricultural Service Boards select outstanding families who best represent values of the family farm within their rural community. The award honours both their farming business practices and community involvement. Winners receive a commemorative gate sign and are honoured at the ATB Agriculture Farm Family Awards Gala.

 

Published in Business Management

Nov. 12, 2015 - Applications are now being accepted for the Back to Ag Program, funded by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) in partnership with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF).

The Back to Ag Program provides funding to support the cost of adaptive technology to Canadian farmers that have experienced a traumatic injury. This marks the third round of funding made available to injured farmers.

Eleven projects across Canada have already been supported by the Back to Ag Program, including adaptive technology like a sit to stand wheelchair, modifications to stairs and livestock handling facilities, and lifts. Recipients have been from six provinces in Canada. One of those recipients is Dan Moore from Sanford, Ont.

In November 2013, Dan experienced a traumatic injury while he was cleaning out a silo on his dairy operation. "I stepped back, felt a tug on my leg and was quickly pulled into the silo unloader," says Dan.

Dan lost both of his arms in the incident. His traumatic injury affected the farming operation dramatically. "I decided to not to continue with the dairy farm operation," says Dan. "It was too labour intensive, milking seven days a week. It's just my wife, daughter and I and it was too much to manage."

However, through hard work and perseverance, Dan and his wife Sarah have continued to farm. "Dan has always had a passion for field work," says Sarah. "Farming is who Dan is."

However, Dan's physical condition meant changing how they farm, and that's where Back to Ag came in. "We found out that there were many jobs that Dan was not able to do with our large tractor due to its size," says Sarah. "We need a small tractor that Dan can handle with his prosthesis." With help from the Back to Ag Program, Dan and Sarah were able to purchase a tractor better suited to Dan's needs.

Both Dan and Sarah are passionate when talking about Back to Ag. "Back to Ag was a like a door opening," says Sarah. "It helped us get our farm back to where it was before Dan was hurt."

"It helped us better ourselves," adds Dan. "The assistive technology has enabled me do things that I couldn't do because of my injury."

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, a Canadian resident, have experienced a traumatic injury and are able to show their need and demonstrate how the adaptive technology will help them to return to work on the farm.

Applications will be accepted until December 21, 2015. For more information or to apply please visit www.casa-acsa.ca and click on Grants, call CASA at 877 452 2272 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 12, 2015, Ontario – The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is again holding Growing Forward 2 information sessions across the province.

These sessions are an opportunity to learn about the many opportunities under the Growing Forward 2 program, as well as what is needed to apply, how to complete the application process, and a demonstration of the online application procedure through ontarioprograms.net.

The sessions are delivered by OSCIA field staff, who are knowledgeable about the funding opportunities and educational opportunities through OSCIA's many free workshops. The sessions are offered in both French and English, and a few sessions that are being offered by webinar (please note that you need a telephone line and an Internet connection for webinars).

Clickl here for details on locations and times, or to register for webinar sessions.

Published in Corporate News

Nov. 11, 2015 – CleanFARMS has announced the winners of The Great Ontario Clean Farms Challenge, an awards program that profiles Ontario farmers who go above and beyond when it comes to managing waste generated on their farms.

Grand prize winners Cathy and Bill Vitucci, from Wellandport, demonstrated a truly integrated approach to stewardship that covers all aspect of their first-generation farm which includes grains and oil seeds farming of wheat, corn and soybeans, custom farming services and a farm based seed dealership. In addition to consistently reducing waste on their own farm, the Vituccis donated time, space and resources to the seed industry's empty seed bag collection pilots which gave their customers a convenient way to divert their seed bags out of local landfills. 

Julie Simpson from Laprise Farms, a family cash crop and greenhouse business in Pain Court, placed second. Simpson stood out for her comprehensive, company-wide waste minimization program, which she makes available to her employees so that her good practices extend off the farm.

Rounding out the top three winners were Harold and Shelley McPhail whose commitment to stewardship on their 400-acre farm is complemented with a significant community awareness component.

Entries were evaluated by an industry panel that included the Ontario Agri Business Association, Farm and Food Care Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Published in Business Management

 

Nov. 11, 2015, Guelph, Ont. - The Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) Competition named the winners of the 2015 competition at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Nov. 7.

  • Senior champion: David MacTaggart from Lacombe, Alta.
  • Senior second place: Simon Greenough from Newport, N.S.
  • Senior third place: Kathryn Ringelberg from Troy, Ont.
  • Junior champion: Denesh Peramakumar form Concord, Ont.
  • Junior second place: Douglas Archer from Mount Pleasant, Ont.
  • Junior third place: Priethu Raveendran from Woodbridge, Ont.

This 31st edition of CYSA welcomed 26 competitors aged 11 to 24 from across Canada who offered their insight and solutions regarding the following topics: 

  • The biggest challenge facing Canadian agriculture today is . . . 
  • What role should government play in assisting young people entering farm businesses? 
  • Here's how our changing climate is affecting Canadian agriculture. 
  • This Canadian has significantly influenced agriculture. 
  • The one thing modern Canadian farmers must have is . . . 

 

Each year the renowned public speaking competition is held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The competition is open to youth ages 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city. The topics for 2016 will be:

 

  • What is the impact of public opinion on Canadian farmers?
  • How would you explain a GMO to a non-farmer?
  • What does the next generation of agriculture bring to the table?
  • How can we improve the media's perception of Canadian agriculture?
  • Old MacDonald had a farm...But what about Mrs. MacDonald?

For more information about CYSA visit www.cysa-joca.ca.

 

Published in Corporate News

Oct. 30, 2015, Essex County, Ont. – David Ainslie has received the Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award. The annual award collects nominations from across Canada and recognizes the contributions Canadian farmers make towards protecting our country's irreplaceable pollinators and pollinator habitats.

An innovative farmer who was among the first in his area of Essex County, Ontario to adopt conservation farming techniques, such as no-till cropping, David Ainslie has worked tirelessly to incorporate his understanding of natural systems into his farm operation. By designating some 40 acres of his land as natural areas – featuring a woodlot, rock chutes, windbreaks and pollinator garden, just to name a few – David has succeeded in improving water quality and wildlife habitat on his farm, while proving that conservation efforts and conventional farming can work well together.

The award was presented by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Pollinator Partnership and the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, encouraging conservation stewardship on Canada's farms while showcasing positive advancements in the effort to protect pollinators.

Published in Corporate News

October 15, 2015, Ontario – A Growing Forward 2 new application intake has been added this fall from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5 for Ontario farmers to apply for funding for their winter projects.

Depending on production levels, there are numerous improvements that can be made indoors including installing on-farm processing facilities, upgrading barns for animal health and welfare reasons, and upgrading greenhouse water systems. Physical improvements are funded at 35 per cent cost-share.

Wintertime is also ideal for developing skills, conducting on-farm audits and assessments and planning for the future. These types of projects are funded at 50 per cent cost-share.

Approvals for applications received during this intake would go out in early January, giving producers more time to complete projects before March 31, 2016.

Producers can apply for multi-year projects provided the initial project costs are incurred before March 31, 2016.

Important dates

Application intake dates for producers in 2015-16 are:

  • Oct. 22 to Nov. 5, 2015
  • Nov. 16 to Dec. 3, 2015

Application intake dates for 2016-17 are:

  • Feb. 5-25, 2016
  • June 17 to July 7, 2016
  • Oct. 14 to Nov. 3, 2016

For more information, contact John Laidlaw at 519-826-4218 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in Corporate News

Oct. 15, 2015, Canada – UAVs, UASs, drones – call them what you will, but these aerial vehicles are making news every day – and there is so much more to come.

Yes, there’s a new frontier on the verge of exploding on the commercial scene and drones will be used by a variety of businesses including aerial firefighting, security, agriculture, law enforcement and more.

So, what’s in it for you? How can you capitalize on this emerging trend and what does it mean for your business? How can you utilize UAVs and what are their benefits and limitations? What are the regulatory realities and how will they change in the future? And just exactly what will the future hold?

These are just some of the questions Wings and Helicopters magazines – sister publications to Top Crop Manager – will attempt to answer in an upcoming webinar entitled UAVs – The Value Proposition.

Eric Edwards will explore these topics and offer insightful information on how to capitalize on the UAV trends during the webinar on Nov. 10, 2015, EST. As with the first very successful UAV seminar hosted by Wings and Helicopters, $25 gets you a seat – and a chance to ask – your most pressing questions. Edwards will be digging into the realities and perceptions around UAV utility and economics, in several civil and commercial sectors. 

Register here.

Published in Business Management

Oct. 14, 2015, Ontario – The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has launched a new initiative to help young people make healthy food choices. 

Six by Sixteen is a new food literacy program developed by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) to teach young people how to plan and prepare six nutritious (and locally sourced) meals by the time they are 16 years old. OFA has created an online hub of resources for parents, health professionals and young teens to promote local food and healthy food choices.

“We’ve partnered with commodity groups to use the tremendous amount of materials already available to help Ontario’s younger generation learn how to make healthy choices,” says Don McCabe, president of the OFA, in a press release. “When we teach our children to make good food choices, we prepare them for a lifetime of health.”

Click here for more information. 

 

Published in Corporate News

 

Oct. 13, 2015, Ontario – Grain Farmers of Ontario has released its call for proposals for the 2016 Grains Innovations Fund.

The fund is available to support the development of new and reformulated products and processes that have the potential to expand the markets for Ontario barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat crops or crop residues.

“Eligible projects will have a direct impact on Ontario grain farmers through an increase in returns to farmers or an increase in the use of Ontario grains,” says Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Projects that demonstrate a return on investment for the grain industry as a whole – like increased infrastructure or a new processing facility – are also eligible.”

Projects which satisfy the eligibility criteria established for this fund can receive up to 60 per cent of the cost of the project, up to a maximum of $50,000.

Interested companies must submit the application form found at www.gfo.ca/marketdevelopment. Prior to submission, companies are encouraged to contact Grain Farmers of Ontario to discuss their project idea – contact Nicole Mackellar at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 519-767-4124.

 

Published in Corporate News

Oct. 7, 2015, Ontario – The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has launched a new request for proposals (RFP) under the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI).

The purpose of this RFP is to solicit submissions to administer education and outreach projects that address the GLASI objectives of soil health, water quality and/or pollinator health, notes a press release from OSCIA. Projects must have an agricultural focus and be intended for an agricultural audience.

Suitable projects include, but are not limited to: public information meetings, the formation of producer clubs, demonstration projects, social science analysis, pilot projects and the development of educational resources.

This RFP is intended for interested parties located within the GLASI Target Area (Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds and the Lake Huron southeast shores watershed) who are connected with agriculture and stewardship. Project submissions can include activities extending up to winter 2018.

Submissions will be accepted until 12 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2015. Please click here for more information or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in Markets

September 22, 2015 - What does a healthy agricultural landscape mean to you? Does it make you think of new life? Food? Wildlife? The soil your family traditions are deeply rooted in?

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, you’re invited to enter your healthy agricultural landscape photos into the Soil Conservation Council of Canada’s (SCCC) first ever photo contest.

“The SCCC wants you to show how farmers are Canada’s best stewards of the land by sharing your favourite sustainability scenes with us,” says Paul Thoroughgood, SCCC chair. “Healthy agricultural landscapes are important to all of us so get out there and start shooting. We want to show Canadians what farming sustainably in this country really looks like.”

2015 is also the United Nations designated International Year of Soils and the SCCC wants to capture a variety of images that celebrate this important theme.

Running until Saturday, October 31, the top three agricultural photographs will be selected. The photographers who submitted the winning photos will receive a one-year free membership to the SCCC as well as a $100 gift card.

If you would like to enter SCCC’s Healthy Agricultural Landscapes photo contest, visit www.soilcc.ca/photocontest for more details.The SCCC is the only national organization to concentrate on the issues of soil health and soil conservation within a broadly based landscape context. It works to build a greater understanding of the importance of soil as an essential resource to society by facilitating the exchange of information with all stakeholders.

Healthy soils are the foundation of sustainable food production, enhanced biodiversity as well as cleaner air and water for present and future generations.

For more information, please visit, www.soilcc.ca.

Published in Soil

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