Economic Development
Business Retention and Expansion Projects Strengthen Communities
2 min read

The Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program is a collaborative effort between government, community, and businesses that identifies opportunities to help businesses expand, and retain and create jobs. The program also encourages the implementation of agreed upon activities to achieve goals, and actions to improve the local business climate.
Three recent examples of completed BR+E projects are from the communities of:

Thunder Bay And Area Food Strategy - Growing Local Economies From The Ground Up
Kendal Donahe, Agriculture Development Advisor, OMAFRA
3 min read

In 2013, a new project-the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy-got off the ground in northern Ontario. Drawing inspiration from such trail blazing cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, the Food Strategy is intended as a comprehensive and action-oriented approach to building an economically robust, resilient, and equitable food system. The action plan is based on seven pillars of a healthy and sustainable food system, and was endorsed in 2014 by the City of Thunder Bay and 6 adjoining rural municipalities.

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Agriculture Development
Barn Fire Prevention
2 min read

Faulty electrical systems cause approximately 40 per cent of barn fires with a determined cause, making it one of the leading known causes of barn fires.
What can you do?
Regular inspections and maintenance are key to reducing the risk of a barn fire. We recommend that you work with a professional to inspect and monitor your farm buildings.
  • Have your buildings inspected and maintained regularly by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Develop a preventative maintenance and housekeeping schedule.
  • Work with a professional to monitor the heat conditions of your barn using infrared technologies.
  • Work with your local fire department and insurance company to identify problem areas on your farm, and fix any problem areas identified.
  • Have a plan ready to deal with any emergency.
  • Train your family and employees on what to do if there is a barn fire. Learn how to handle and what to do with livestock, make a list of who to call during and after a fire, and establish a safe meeting point.
Ontario Agriculture College Students Agsplore the North
Barry Potter, Agriculture Development Advisor, OMAFRA
2 min read

At the end of September 2016 a bus load of University of Guelph, Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) students headed north from Guelph to tour the Nipissing and Temiskaming farming districts. Through pictures and quotes, here is a summary of their trip.
Two OAC students from the Temiskaming District, Emily Potter and Tanja Gahwiler, decided their fellow aggies should experience the agriculture found in northern Ontario, so they set about to organize a bus trip to northeastern Ontario.

Deadstock Disposal after a Barn Fire
2 min read

Barn fires can create unique challenges for farmers, including the disposal of large volumes of deadstock. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has a regulation that gives you options for deadstock management. These options help to protect water quality, reduce environmental impacts and minimize biosecurity hazards, such as scavenging. 

Visit for other resources and tips for keeping your farm safe. At , you can find i nformation on contingency deadstock planning and the regulation.

AALP Class 17 Recruitment
2 min read

The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) is now accepting applications for Class 17 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP), with the introduction of an online application form .
AALP is designed to provide current and emerging leaders in Ontario's agriculture and agri-food sectors and rural communities the opportunity to gain skills, knowledge and understanding of the forces shaping agriculture and rural Ontario.
ROI is accepting applications until March 17, 2017. ,

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OMAFRA Contact Centre 1-877-424-1300