February 2023

Brought to you by:
Kendal Donahue
Economic and Business Advisor
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
I can be reached at:
(807) 627-1566

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

Northern Ontario Ag Conference
Greater Sudbury, February 15th and 16th

Join us in person for two days of sessions, exhibits from industry stakeholders and networking opportunities!

Session #1: Opportunities for Agriculture in Northern Ontario
Session #2: Land Conversion
Session #3: Sustainability in Agronomy
Session #4: Forage Opportunities
Session #5: Nutrient Management
Session #6: Direct Marketing Workshop
Session #7: Innovations in Horticulture
Session #8: Food Systems & Northern Ontario

A block of rooms is available at the Holiday Inn in Sudbury where the conference is taking place. 
1696 Regent St,
Greater Sudbury, ON
P3E 3Z8
Grower Pesticide Safety Course

Refresh & Write will be offered on March 2, 2023 in Rosslyn.

Refresh & Write courses are half a day where you study on your own and come prepared for a short review before writing the test. Everyone is welcome, even a person certifying for the first time. 

For more information, please contact Claude Péloquin : cpeloquin@ontariosoilcrop.org or Telephone 705 491 5094

The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will be offering several workshops and courses over February and March.

February 8th - Regenerative Poultry
February 8th - Small Grains Meet up: Introduce yourself!
February 9th - Principles and Practices of Holistic Management
February 15th - Raising Pigs Regeneratively
February 15th - Grains are good: Small scale, small grains and breaking the bread
February 22nd - Raising small ruminants regeneratively
February 22nd - Outstanding Oats; New research
February 24th - Learn to farm Mushroom series, Outside Mushroom Cultivation
March 1st - Raising cattle regeneratively
March 1st - Indoor Mushroom Cultivation
March 8th - Key considerations for raising livestock regeneratively
March 10th - Mushroom Harvesting, marketing and sales
Webinar 3: The Importance of a Plan for Community Economic Development
(March 1, 2023)
(Online / In-person session)

Planning for community economic development activities can help you realize your community’s vision. It allows for strategic use of the resources you have available and provides you with a clear path on how to accomplish your identified goals. A community-driven strategic planning process relies on partnerships, commitment, and community assets all coming together to provide a clear and achievable path to SUCCESS! This session will explore where to begin, critical elements to consider, lessons learned and positive outcomes in the community that resulted.
University Of Minnesota Extension Invites you!

The University of Minnesota Extension in Cook County just over the border from Thunder Bay will be hosting a casual meet up for area farmers to gather and discuss topics of interest to them.

We would like to extend an invitation for any local farmers in the Thunder Bay region who are interested in joining us to attend. Would you be able to share this invitation with local farmers connected to your organization?

The event will be Friday February 17th, from 10 am-2 pm in Grand Marais at the Community Center.
Thunder Bay District Veterinary Services Committee Annual Meeting

March 2, 2023
7:30 pm

The Thunder Bay District Veterinary Services Committee will be hosting its AGM on March 2nd at 7:30pm in the Board Room at Thunder Bay Co-op Farm Supplies. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information, contact Carol Maki, Secretary-Treasurer, 625-0030
The Next Virtual Guardian Network training sessions are scheduled for February 10, 2023 and March 31, 2023.

The link to register can be found here: https://form.jotform.com/222335664675260.
OMAFRA Dateline

OMAFRA Dateline is an online resource for use by interested individuals and organizations across Ontario. Events may be hosted by OMAFRA or other groups. The events posted on this site are aimed at sharing information of interest to agriculture and regional economic development clients. Please check the calendar regularly for upcoming events, workshops, conferences and meetings.
Farmer Wellness Initiative

If you're in need of support, please reach out and call us anytime - from the tractor, from the barn, or from the house after the sun sets on another long day.

The Farmer Wellness Initiative provides access to free counselling services and tailored mental health support and resources to all Ontario farmers and their families.
Funding Programs
Rural Economic Development program

The intake for the RED program is open as of January 23, 2023 and close on February 23, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET.

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 through:
  • funding assistance to address barriers to economic development, better position rural communities to attract and retain jobs and investment, and enhance economic growth
  • funding to build community capacity and support for economic development in Ontario’s rural communities
  • investments in rural communities to help diversify and grow local economies – making economic growth more inclusive so rural Ontario continues to share in the province’s economic prosperity

Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream: up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $150,000.
Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream: up to 30% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000.
Indigenous Economic Development Fund
The Indigenous Economic Development Fund (IEDF) provides grants and financing to Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses, communities and organizations. The fund helps promote economic development and improve employment opportunities for Indigenous people.
The fund supports projects that:
  • diversify Indigenous economies
  • increase access to employment and training opportunities
  • provide start-up and expansion financing for small and medium-sized businesses
  • support financing, skills training and other economic development initiatives through collaboration between Indigenous communities and the private sector
The IEDF provides grants and financing through three funding streams:
  • Economic Diversification Grant
  • Business and Community Fund
  • Regional Partnership Grant

How to apply
More information and instructions on how to apply for these programs can be found at Get funding from the Ontario government:
Grow Your Business Online

As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant.

Through this program, small business owners can receive a micro-grant worth up to $2,400 to help get their business online, give their e-commerce presence a boost, or digitalize business operations. Grant recipients must commit to maintaining their digital adoption strategy for at least six months.

In addition, e-commerce advisors will be available to work with grant recipients to help identify their digital needs, provide links to digital resources, help with completing applications, and answering questions on the Grow Your Business Online program.

Species At Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands – next intake March 1 to March 8, 2023
Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) is an Environment and Climate Change Canada initiative focused on working with farmers to support the recovery of species at risk on agricultural landscapes. SARPAL funds on-the-ground conservation actions that support various species at risk (SAR).

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

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.

For a list of all NOHFC programming go to: https://nohfc.ca/en/nohfc_programs

Business Technology Improvement Fund (BTIF) Program:


Websites and Social Media
Business Processes with Hardware or Software
Human Capital Development and Technology Education
Customer Relationship Management and Online Service

The following sectors are the preferred sectors for this program.
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agri-Food
  • Health/Bio-Sciences
  • Clean Tech
  • Digital
  • Tourism and Resources

50% cost share up to $25K.

Starter Company Plus

If you’re an entrepreneur in Thunder Bay or Northwestern Ontario looking to start up, expand or buy an existing business, apply for the Starter Company Plus program. 

How It Works:
The Starter Company Plus program provides training sessions on important business topics. During the training delivery, program participants will work with the Program Coordinator to complete a business plan and financial projections for their start up, business purchase, or expansion.

Upon completion of a business plan, participants may apply for a grant of up to $5,000. A grant committee will evaluate and provide feedback to the participants while deciding who receives funding. Grant recipients also receive a three month mentorship as part of the program.
Visit the FedNor website for more information on their programs.

Helpful Farm Business Decision tools for capital/business planning

Sign up for OMAFRA's Field Crop News
Field Crop News is a resource for Ontario field crop production. It is managed by OMAFRA's Field Crop Unit. Some articles of interest:
You can visit Field Crop News here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for the mailing list.
Farm Business Registration

To register a farm business and get a Farm Business Registration number (FBR), please contact Agricorp at 1-866-327-367 fbr@agricorp.com | www.agricorp.com

They offer free business counselling, loans for start-ups and expansion, and assistance with strategic planning.

Provides a range of resources to new and established businesses, such as help with creating a business plan, access to workshops and mentoring.

Encourage and facilitate private and public partnerships that will result in better telecommunications infrastructure and ICT-related services in the region.

Provides financing and support to build sustainable communities for Indigenous farmers and businesses.

Loan program to farmers and agricultural co-operatives. Farmers can use these loans to establish, improve, and develop farms, while agricultural co-operatives may also access loans to process, distribute, or market the products of farming.

An online application that allows you to create custom maps and find agricultural information for Ontario, combining agricultural data on soils and drainage, as well as data layers from other Government of Ontario ministries.

The website for all things agriculture in the north, hosted by Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance.

A federal Crown corporation that lends money and provides other services to primary producers, agri-food operations and agribusinesses that provide inputs or add value to agriculture.

Covers large margin declines caused by production loss, increased costs or market conditions. If a producer’s margin falls below 70 per cent of their recent average, AgriStability helps to offset the difference.