Programs, Grants & Awards

Jan. 21, 2015 - The Manitoba government is establishing a new task force to evaluate existing programs and policies used to help farmers recover from climate-related challenges such as flooding, with the goal of identifying more comprehensive and sustainable programs.

The Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force will be chaired by Arborg-area farmer Bill Uruski and include five additional members to represent the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, a financial institution, farmers and others with expertise in this area.

Its work will include:
- Holding a series of public consultations to receive input from Manitoba farmers, organizations and other stakeholders;
- Evaluating the effectiveness of current risk management tools, including production insurance, to help manage and recover from climate-related challenges;
- Identifying gaps in existing policies and programs;
- Recommending new options to improve farmers' ability to manage climate-related risks; and
- Identifying ways to shift government support from ad hoc assistance to planned and predictable programs.

Public consultations are expected to begin this spring, and a final report with recommendations to government will be submitted by the end of the year.

Information about the task force's public consultations will be available at and at local MAFRD GO Offices once dates and locations are finalized.



Published in Corporate News

January 12, 2015 – With the new year comes a new calendar, and that means it’s time once again for Farm & Food Care Ontario’s annual Faces of Farming calendar contest.

Each year, Farm & Food Care opens the contest to Ontario farmers and farm families who want to tell their story, and see their faces in homes and workplaces across the province. One winner in total will be chosen from among the applicants.  Applications will be accepted until March 16.

The winning family, pairing or individual will participate in either a spring or summer photo shoot, and will receive complimentary copies of the calendar plus two tickets and accommodation for the 2015 Ontario Harvest Gala and calendar launch later this fall.

Last year’s winning entry came from the Howe family of Aylmer who grow strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelons, squash, pumpkins, beans and other vegetables. Their three generation family photo appears in the 2015 edition of the calendar.

Since it was first published in 2005, the project has featured the faces and stories of almost 140 Ontario farmers and farm families. Each year, the calendar is distributed to thousands of Ontario media, grocery retail outlets and politicians and is sold through the Farm & Food Care office. The project’s overall goal is to connect the public with the true faces of Ontario agriculture, while introducing consumers to the farmers who work 365 days each year to provide quality, local Ontario products for our homes.

Farmers or farm families are encouraged to enter the contest by submitting both an informal family photo and short essay (400 words or less) describing their family. Candidates must make their primary income from agriculture. Their essays must include the following to be considered:

  • Names and ages of all family members
  • Address including county or region of residency
  • A description of the farming operation including types of crops grown and/or livestock raised
  • History of the farm – number of generations farming, etc.
  • Any other details that make their story unique including community involvement, environmental initiatives, unusual hobbies, etc.
  • Why they’d like to appear in the Faces of Farming calendar.

Entries can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or mailed to 100 Stone Road West, Suite 106, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 5L3.

Published in Corporate News

December 5, 2014 - In a news release issued in early December, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) says it is pleased to see that agriculture is included in the newly released Science and Technology Strategy for Canada. The future success of this large and impactful industry, says the release, is dependent upon a focus on science and innovation. New research is critical to ensuring productivity advances are possible and allows modern agriculture to continue to contribute to the growth of Canada’s economy.
“Agriculture is rooted in science,” says Mark Wales, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council Chair.  Producers have achieved record productivity gains and modern agricultural efficiencies that help the environment due to research and innovation.  Now that agriculture is included within the Science and Technology Strategy, it is recognized as an Industry Canada priority.  This is important for the future of Canadian producers, our agriculture industry, and the future workers we will need for our operations.”  
“Agriculture and agri-food is an exciting career choice and innovation is an important part of the agriculture and agri-food industry,” says Portia Macdonald-Dewhirst, Executive Director of the Council.  “This recognition within the Science and Technology Strategy highlights the high level of skill required for agriculture and agri-food workers today.”
“To take advantage of the productivity gains through science and innovation, more highly skilled workers will be needed,” says Doug Chorney, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council Vice-Chair.  “We have a lot of successes in agriculture and improvement in our modern agriculture production practices is directly connected to technology and research advancements. Access to agriculture labour, however, remains one of the biggest limiting factors to productivity gains for the industry.”
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council conducts labour market research and is responsible for the implementation of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Action Plan, a road map for addressing critical labour shortages within the industry.  The report states labour shortages are pervasive across all agriculture and agri-food commodities, affecting current operational success and future growth potential.
“Producers and industry from all regions across the agriculture and agri-food value chain are coming together through the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Action Plan to collectively address worker shortages in the industry,” says MacDonald-Dewhirst. “We are working together as industry professionals to showcase that this is an exciting time to work within the agriculture and agri-food industry, a place where research and innovation connect to feed the world and build a better Canada.”

Published in Corporate News

OYF National Winners: From left to right:  Komie Hossini, Bayer CropScience, Jack Thomson, President Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers, Myron & Jill Krahn, National Winner from Carman, Manitoba, Heidi & Andrew Lawless, National Winner from Kinkora, PEI, Jan Kennema, John Deere Ltd., Darryl Worsley, CIBC.

Dec. 2, 2014 - Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2014 are grain farmers Myron and Jill Krahn of Carman, Man., and potato farmers Andrew and Heidi Lawless of Kinkora, P.E.I. These two farm families were chosen from seven regional farm couples across Canada, at the OYF annual national event held recently in Quebec City, Que. Special guests at the event included Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Quebec Minister of Agriculture Pierre Paradis and UPA President Marcel Groleau.

A strong entrepreneurial drive, together with a passion for family and farming, are common drivers for both farm couples, who are the newest additions to the family of OYF ambassadors for Canadian agriculture. The Krahn's have realized tremendous growth and diversity in the grain, seed production and seed retail outlet operation they took over from the last generation about 10 years ago. The Lawless's, together with family, operate a large potato operation that includes the first joint venture potato operation on Prince Edward Island.

"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 Jack Thomson. "The Krahn's and Lawless's are carrying on family operations, taking their sectors to new levels and helping raise the next generation who are experiencing the values this industry is built on. OYF is so proud to showcase their accomplishments."

MB familyMyron and Jill Krahn (left) farm for one simple reason – they love it. After they both completed agriculture degrees from the University of Manitoba, they took over the farm from Myron's parents in 2003. Krahn Agri Farms Ltd. of Carman, Man., has grown into a 3,000-acre grain farm with an independent seed retail arm and new on-site seed treating system. Custom seeding, harvesting and grain drying have been added to round out the diversified farm operation. Taking over the family farm required significant changes to maintain profitability. Myron and Jill have seen their family farm thrive through hard work, determination and dedication. They share their passion and work ethic with their two daughters, Cadence and Keira, and an appreciation for where their food comes from.

Atlantic familyFarming has been part of Andrew and Heidi Lawless' family (right) for the past four generations. In 2007, Andrew and Heidi formed a partnership with Andrew's parents, and today, the partnership farms as Hilltop Produce Ltd. With a four million pound potato storage facility and contracts for an increase to 12 million pounds, they extended their operation to include 400 acres of cereal grains. Most recently, Andrew initiated R&L Farms – a joint venture potato farm operated together with neighbouring potato farmers. Through every part of their operation, Andrew and Heidi value family, a respect for the land, best practices and a strong work ethic. And they are sharing those values with their growing family, Vance, Max and Maeve.

Myron and Jill Krahn from Manitoba, and Andrew and Heidi Lawless from Prince Edward Island were chosen from the seven 2014 regional finalists – that included the following honourees from the other five regions – Bruno Soucy and Hélène St-Pierre (Quebec region), Jason and Amanda O'Connell (Ontario region), Aaron and Adrienne Ivey (Saskatchewan region), Richard and Nicole Brousseau (Alberta region), and Lydia Ryall (British Columbia, Yukon region).

Celebrating 34 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 Corporate News

November 21, 2014 - The Agri-food Management Institute (AMI), in partnership with Farm Management Canada (FMC), has launched a toolkit to help farmers identify and manage business risks.

The toolkit is a digital complimentary resource that supports farmers using FMC’s Comprehensive Guide to Managing Risk in Agriculture. The guide, which provides an in-depth review of risk management practices and the toolkit, which offers a simplified, hands-on process for farmers to implement the guide’s concepts, were jointly released at FMC’s Agricultural Excellence Conference in Winnipeg.

“Regular business assessment paves the way for strong, efficient operations,” says AMI Executive Director Ryan Koeslag. “This toolkit heightens farmer awareness of risks and lays the foundation for a farm contingency plan that works towards their business goals.”

The toolkit features a Risk Assessment Spreadsheet, which evaluates risk by assigning scores to key areas of business based the frequency of risk, magnitude of risk, and preparedness for managing risk. Once the assessment is completed, a Risk Priority Matrix is generated to visually identify high priority risks within the operation, and gauges the farmer’s level of preparedness for each.

The toolkit also contains a Risk Management Action Plan Template to record risks that need attention and identify actions for managing them. A list of next steps and links to beneficial resources, like AMI’s Business Score Card tool that measures current management practices to help you plan for the future, is also included.

To receive a copy of the toolkit, contact AMI’s Project Coordinator Carolyn Dowling at 519-822-6618 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For a copy of the Comprehensive Guide, contact FMC Project Manager Mathieu Lipari by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in Business Management


November 19, 2014 - The Ontario government is proposing amendments to the 1996 Crop Insurance Act that would, if passed, allow more types of agricultural products to be covered by production insurance.

Production insurance is part of a suite of business risk management programs designed to help farmers manage losses due to events like weather, pests and disease. The costs of these programs are predictable, stable and shared by producers and the provincial and federal governments.

"This proposed legislation would, if passed, help meet the needs of our farmers and bring Ontario in line with the rest of Canada," says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Giving more producers the opportunity to access production insurance will help them better manage risk and encourage greater innovation, profitability and job creation in the agri-food sector."

Currently, production insurance is available for almost 90 commercially grown crops, including grains, oilseeds and certain fruits and vegetables. However, Ontario is the only province in Canada without the authority to expand production insurance beyond crops to the broader agricultural sector. In 2013, there were more than 14,000 producers insured under Ontario’s Production Insurance program, representing more than five million acres in crop land.

If passed, the proposed Agriculture Insurance Act will give Ontario the authority to expand insurance to support the agri-food industry in the event of unexpected loss of production for agriculture products.

Expanding the number of products eligible for production insurance and strengthening the agri-food industry is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

By allowing more types of products to be covered by production insurance, the Ontario government says it is fulfilling a commitment made to farmers under the Growing Forward 2 agreement in 2013.


Published in Business Management

November 17, 2014 - How much farm work is done by family members and how much is done by employees? What work is done by domestic and or foreign workers? Is there a growing reliance on hiring employees to support farm operations? What labour challenges are facing producers today? More needs to be known about who does the work on farms in Canada.

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) is launching a comprehensive Labour Market Information (LMI) research survey to examine Canada’s agricultural workforce from every commodity and region across the country. The Conference Board of Canada will conduct the survey on behalf of the Council, and is seeking participation from more than 1,000 producers, farm workers and stakeholder organizations from November 12 through to January 22, 2015.

All producers across Canada are encouraged to complete the short online survey at to ensure their farm’s needs are included in this important work that will help government and educators meet future farm labour requirements. Responses are strictly confidential.

“It is imperative that we get an accurate picture of the agricultural employment needs in Canada and the best way to do that is to go directly to the producers themselves,” says Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, Executive Director of the Council. “Understanding their evolving needs is the first step in resolving the labour challenges facing primary agriculture. Once we clarify agriculture’s labour requirements for the short, medium and long term, relevant initiatives can be implemented with confidence by industry stakeholders to ensure the future viability and growth of Canadian farms.”

In a report soon to be released by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, labour issues are identified as the number one priority facing the Canadian agriculture industry today.  At issue is the lack of clear labour market information for the agriculture industry that quantifies the chronic shortages facing Canada’s agricultural businesses and accurately forecasts those requirements for the next 10 years by province, commodity and occupation. By understanding these workforce needs, the agricultural industry will be better able to develop policies and programs to meet demands. For more information visit

“By participating in this research, agricultural business owners will also clarify employee turnover rates by commodity and province,” explains MacDonald-Dewhirst. “This will result in benchmarks employers can use to assess their own businesses. Producers will be able to compare their own rate of employee turnover with those of other agricultural enterprises in their region or in their commodity and assess the economic impact of employee turnover on their business.”

For more on this and other employment issues, visit

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program, the Council is collaborating on this three-year project with federal and provincial government departments, over  thirty of Canada’s leading agriculture organizations, and agricultural colleges and training providers to ensure that the needs of industry are fully understood and addressed.

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council works with industry leaders, governments and educational stakeholders to research, develop and communicate solutions to the challenges in employment and skills development in primary agriculture.

For more information visit Web: or Twitter: @CdnAgHRCouncil

Published in Corporate News

November 17, 2014 - When harvest winds down, it means thousands of Ontario farmers and pesticide vendors can be in the classroom to certify in pesticide safety.

Farmers and vendors can register for one of the 350 courses offered across the province, each led by experienced instructors, some who have facilitated for over 20 years. The instructors themselves receive their own training on current topics ranging from protecting pollinators to active learning strategies.

This year, the Ontario Pesticide Education Program expects over 5, 500 growers to complete the Grower Pesticide Safety Course and about 300 Ontario vendors to take the Pesticide Vendor Certification Course this year. Courses are also being held to help Certified Farmers train their supervised workers.

Huron County instructor, Jacquie Bishop says “I thought this was one of the most informative sessions that we have had. It was great to have industry speakers give us background information that will spice up our courses for those returning growers.”

The Ontario Pesticide Education Program has offered courses since 1987, focusing on product information, health and environmental risk management, pesticide application and pesticide safety practices. Currently, over
22, 000 growers and 1, 000 vendors are certified.

The program is supported by farmers, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, pesticide companies and pesticide retailers.

See the full listing of in-class and online courses at, or call 1-800-652-8573. Courses may also be offered at your local pesticide dealership.

For more information, contact:

Susan Kelner
Ontario Pesticide Education Program
University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
Ridgetown, ON
519-674-1500 x63584
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in Insecticides

November 17, 2014 - Wellington County’s Simon Signer has been named the Ontario Forage Master for 2014.
Signer, who operates Sigview Farms Limited, near Drayton, was named at a recognition event at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on November 12. 

He credits high quality forage as the foundation for their 47-head Brown Swiss milking herd.

The annual 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. There were over 200 entries this year representing 24 different counties and districts. Local winners are declared based on field judging of forage quality. From there, 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 four finalists in this year’s Ontario Forage Masters competition were dairy producers that had no difficulty expressing their views on the role of forages in their cropping and feeding programs,” says Allan Mol, OSCIA President. “That made the judges decision difficult, but Simon Signer’s presentation had just a little extra polish that made him this year’s winner.”

“As a sponsor of the Ontario Forage Masters competition, SGS AgriFood Laboratories wants to congratulate Simon Signer as the successful winner,” declares Nelmy Narvaez. “It was my pleasure to serve as a judge. There were four excellent speakers from different counties, and all of them took special care to create a presentation that conveyed their experiences on the best forage management practices and the benefits forages bring to their farms. Simon was an excellent speaker providing a clear and organized presentation with techniques easily applicable and transferable. He demonstrated that the real value of forages is given by farming practices focusing on producing quality forage with proper management.”

Signer took over management of the dairy farm from his parents in 2011. “We aim for top quality forage
without sacrificing yield or plant health,” declares Signer, “Quality never lets you down.”

“Why do we go to all this trouble?” asks Signer rhetorically, “Because it makes sense, lots of cents!”

Signer now qualifies to compete in the 2015 American Forage and Grassland Council’s Forage Spokesperson Competition to be held January 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. !The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is a grassroots farm organization committed to facilitating responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops through development and communication of innovative farming practices.

Published in Seeding/Planting

Nov. 12, 2014 - The 2014 Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) competition winners were announced Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

Noah Burnett from Cormack, N.L., took first place in the Junior competition with his speech discussing why he will choose a career in agriculture. First runner-up was Jyllian Kaliciak from Bracken, Sask., and second runner-up was Maxwell Archer from Mt. Pleasant, Ont.

Ashley Knapton from Almonte, Ont., placed first in the Senior competition with her speech on why social media is an opportunity farmers cannot ignore. First runner-up was Rachel Lee from Langley, B.C., and second runner-up was Andrea Soesbergen from Dundee, Que.

Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture is a national, bilingual competition that gives participants an opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agri-food industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech. This year marked the 30th anniversary of CYSA's public speaking competition.

For more information about CYSA visit



Published in Corporate News

Nov. 3, 2014 - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) is looking for interested farm owners/managers to participate in a second pilot of the Alberta FarmSafe Plan, a safety management resource for Alberta farmers.

The first pilot program to test the Alberta FarmSafe Plan took place in 2013-2014 with a group of nine farm owners/managers and was funded by Growing Forward. The program has been revised based on the feedback received. ARD is currently recruiting for a second, larger pilot to run in the 2014-2015 extension season with approximately 50 to 75 participants.

"We hope to get farmers involved representing a wide variety of farming types and sizes," says Laurel Aitken, farm safety coordinator, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. "It's the best way to get the feedback we need to ensure the FarmSafe Plan resources are useful across the industry.

"The Alberta FarmSafe Plan provides Alberta farmers with a step-by-step process to develop a health and safety plan," explains Aitken. "Farmers will learn how to identify the hazards specific to their farm and how to take steps to eliminate or control them. They will come out of the program understanding the importance of having a safety plan and following through with training and communication to all workers, visitors and contractors. The Alberta FarmSafe Plan manual and two-day workshop takes farmers through eight important elements to achieve the goal of an individualized safety plan."

In addition, the Alberta FarmSafe Plan has been developed to comply with the Alberta Government Certificate of Recognition (COR). "A completed FarmSafe plan will provide all the necessary building blocks to obtain a voluntary COR," explains Aitken. "Becoming COR certified signifies that a business has an effective health and safety management system in place with the added benefit of discounts on Workers Compensation Board (WCB) premiums."

A commitment to the pilot program will include two days of workshops led by a FarmSafe Advisor. The workshop along with all resource material is provided free of charge by ARD. Once a participant has completed the workshop, the work continues on-farm in cooperation with partners and employees to ensure implementation of the plan. "The farm owner needs to go back to the farm and work with the employees who are doing these tasks every day in order to get a really good picture of the hazards and how to control them."

Farmers interested in funding for on-farm business management coaching or skills training related to health and safety training can go to the Growing Forward website to learn about the Business Opportunity Program and the Business Skills Management Program.

"The entire process from workshop to farm implementation will be evaluated by ARD for any needed changes," says Aitken. "The feedback from those involved in the pilots is vital in developing a resource that will be effective for farmers who want to ensure the safety and health of their families and workers."

Five sessions are planned for this winter: Edmonton January 7/21, Red Deer January 29/February 5, and Lethbridge on January 9/15, with dates for Grande Prairie and Olds to be decided. To register for the workshops, call Lindsay at 780-427-4187 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information on the Alberta FarmSafe Plan, contact Laurel Aitken at 780-980-4230 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Aitken will also be at Agri-Trade on the afternoon of November 7 and all day November 8 to discuss the project.



Published in Corporate News

Oct. 31, 2014 - The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is accepting nominations for its Soil Champion Award. The annual award recognizes strong advocates of sustainable soil management.

To be eligible for this year's award, an individual must be a resident of Ontario or have contributed to soil management in a way that directly influences improved soil health and crop production sustainability in Ontario.

Sustainable soil management practices may be defined as those that:

  • Make the most efficient use of nutrients;
  • Support systems with no net loss of organic matter and soil aggregate stability;
  • Builds the population and diversity of soil organisms;
  • Effectively manages surface water to support reduced tillage systems.

For more information, call the OSCIA at 519-826-4214, or download the nomination form.

Deadline for all nominations and supporting documents is November 30, 2014. The winner will be announced at the OSCIA annual meeting in February 2015.



Published in Tillage

Oct. 31, 2014 - This year marks the 30th edition of the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) competition. And, for the first time in its history, the CYSA can call itself a coast-to-coast competition.

Participants from every province will make their way to Toronto, Ont., for this year's competition on November 8, being held at the Royal Winter Fair.

"Since the inception of CYSA in 1985, the competition has grown into the premier agricultural youth speaking forum in Canada", said CYSA board president Richard Kuntz in a news release. "With this year's line-up of exciting topics, the competition promises to once again present a high caliber event featuring agricultural leaders of tomorrow."

This year's speeches will include youth perspectives on topics ranging from the critical role of farm succession planning; the responsibility Canadian farmers have as stewards of the land; Canadian farm success stories; capitalizing on social media opportunities; and, why they have or will choose a career in agriculture.

Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture is a national, bilingual competition that gives participants an opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agri-food industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech. The competition is open to youth aged 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture, whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city.

For more information about CYSA visit



Published in Corporate News

October 28, 2014 - The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is a cost-share program available to farm businesses across Ontario.

It provides funding for producers implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) that enhance and protect natural spaces on farms, supporting sustainable production. Cost-share is available at 40-80 per cent, for a variety of practices across the province.

Applicants identify preferred cost-share level based on set criteria and interest in species at risk. The lowest level does not require a connection to SAR, where the highest level of cost-share requires it. SARFIP is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (OMNRF) through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund, and the Government of Canada through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk.

Click here to download the 2014 SARFIP brochure.

Published in Corporate News

October 21, 2014 - Farm owners and managers in Ontario have the opportunity to improve their business management skills this winter with the Advanced Farm Management Program (AFMP), which will kick off in late November at five locations across the province.  
The program, now in its third year, is offered by the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) in partnership with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and Synthesis Agri-Food Network. Previously delivered in three locations, AMI has expanded the reach of AFMP to offer more farmers the opportunity to upgrade their skills. This year participants can attend the program in Ridgetown, London, Orangeville, Ancaster or Winchester.
AFMP provides a unique combination of advanced farm business management training and personalized, practical teachings that farmers can apply immediately to their operation. Farmers who have completed the Growing Your Farm Profits (GYFP) program, or those who have accumulated management experience are encouraged to enrol.
"AFMP helps you think strategically about your business, build a strong Management Action Plan, and provides practical knowledge and insights needed to improve the everyday management of your operation," adds Rob Hannam, president of Synthesis Agri-Food Network and AFMP program facilitator.
The program consists of five intensive one-day training sessions over a four-month period. For the 2014/15 class, the sessions are scheduled to run from November to February.
Registration is open and farmers are urged to register before the October 31, 2014 deadline to secure a position at their preferred location.  AFMP tuition is $1,950 per person and farmers may be eligible for a cost share rebate of 50 per cent of the tuition through the Growing Forward 2 Capacity Building program.
Application forms can be downloaded at

More information on AFMP locations, session dates and curriculum can be found at

Published in Business Management

Oct. 8, 2014, Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) has launched the application phase of the Back to Ag Program. The Back to Ag Program is the result of a partnership between CASA, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF).

The Back to Ag Program will provide up to $10,000 to a successful applicant to support the cost of adaptive technology for farmers and agricultural workers who have experienced a traumatic injury.

To kick-start the program, FCC donated $100,000 to the Back to Ag Program following a successful two week social media campaign earlier this year. Individuals and other organizations also donated to the Back to Ag Program through both the RHF and the FarmSafe Foundation.

Applications for the Back to Ag Program will be accepted from October 8 to November 28, 2014. Canadian residents who are 18 years or older, have experienced a life altering injury, and are able to show their need and demonstrate how the adaptive technology will help them return to work on the farm are eligible to apply. The adaptive technology can come in the form of medical devices or accessibility tools like ramps or lifts or any other technology that will allow the producer in return to farm work.

For more information, call CASA at 1-877-452-2272, or visit





Published in Corporate News

Sept. 29, 2014 - A newly created scholarship for farmers, which honours dairy farmer and business consultant Bob Ross, has been formed. The Robert L. Ross Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving farmer who emanates and demonstrates Bob's lifework through their passion and devotion to excellence and leadership within the agricultural community.

Robert (Bob) L. Ross was instrumental in inspiring and encouraging farm management excellence across Canada and the United States through his leadership and passion for the agricultural community. A dairy farmer and farm business consultant from St. Marys, Ont., Bob fought a courageous battle with cancer, passing in March 2014.

As a tribute to his passion, leadership and legacy, Agri-Food Management Excellence, Farm Management Canada and the Ross Family have established the scholarship, rewarding one Canadian farmer with the opportunity to participate in the CTEAM program and continue on a path towards excellence, as inspired by Canada's leading experts and a one-of-a-kind support network of peers and colleagues.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate:
- A progressive operation and entrepreneurial spirit;
- Passion for the industry – community or industry involvement;
- How the value gained from the program will be used.

The successful recipient will receive free tuition to the CTEAM program and up to $4000 towards travel expenses.

The Scholarship will be offered on an annual basis beginning in 2014. The Scholarship recipient will be awarded on November 20, 2014 in conjunction with Farm Management Canada's Agricultural Excellence Conference taking place in Winnipeg, Man.

Scholarship applicants must submit a completed application form along with two non-family references by October 31, 2014.

To apply for the Robert L. Ross Scholarship, visit:



Published in Business Management

Sept. 9, 2014, Ottawa, Ont. - SeCan has donated over $41,000 to 4-H in Canada through the Grow a Leader program that ran in Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec.

Grow a Leader was created to support leadership development for rural youth through 4-H. SeCan committed to donating $1 per unit for SeCan Genuity Roundup Ready to Yield soybeans ordered between October 14 to 21, 2013. The final donation was determined when early orders were reconciled with sales this spring.

SeCan's Grow a Leader program will be offered again this fall. As before, $1 per unit will be donated to 4-H for SeCan Genuity RR2Y soybeans ordered during October 13 to 20, 2014.

For more information or to place your order, contact your SeCan seed retailer, order on-line at, or call 866-797-7874.



Published in Corn

Sept. 8, 2014 – Competitors from across Canada will have the opportunity to win a trip to attend the Agricultural Excellence Conference in Winnipeg this November, all expenses paid, through the Y We Farm video competition. 

To enter this the competition, contestants must be young farmers (between the ages of 20 and 40) and produce a video, one minute or less, that answers the question: What does the future of Canadian agriculture look like to you?

Farm Management Canada must receive the completed application form and video submission no later than Oct. 24. The names of the winners will be announced October 31, 2014.

The selected winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Agricultural Excellence Conference in Winnipeg this November. While at the Ag Excellence Conference, winners will report from the conference through social media channels. All winners will be required to act as FMC ambassadors. Upon return, the winner is required to write one article and produce an additional one-minute video to share insights on their experience. If willing, winners may also be called upon to speak at FMC and/or sponsor events.

FMC has partnered with AgAnnex to run this competition and provide young Canadian farmers with this opportunity.

For more information regarding how to apply and full competition rules, please visit

Published in Corporate News

Aug. 25 2014 - The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) has developed a new online tool that gives farmers an opportunity to express their concerns about possible hazards with farm equipment. The Speak Up For Safer Equipment tool is intended to provide a way for farmers, manufacturers and standards organizations to talk about safety concerns with agricultural equipment manufactured within the past five years.

"We decided to develop this online tool after routinely receiving calls from producers who were frustrated that their concerns weren't being heard," says Glen Blahey, agricultural health and safety specialist for CASA.

The online form handles safety concerns where farm equipment is being used for primary agricultural production. It is not intended to handle cases where legal proceedings are taking place, where there are labour relations concerns or issues related to financial transactions.

Once a farmer has filled out the online form, CASA will review the safety concern and either will forward the issue directly to the appropriate manufacturer or, if the concern is a universal issue, forward it to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). As well as providing information to manufacturers and the CSA, the Speak Up for Safer Equipment tool will give CASA data on potential safety-related trends affecting farmers.

"The tool isn't designed to hurt the reputation of any manufacturer or individual," says Blahey. "Speak Up for Safer Equipment will foster better communication and education between farmers, manufacturers and standards organization and will ultimately reduce the potential for injuries."

The Speak Up for Safer Equipment online tool will be available in August on CASA's website at Concerns can also be reported by phone at 877-452-2272.

Published in Corporate News

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