FedNor is providing $3 million in funding for 13 initiatives that will help grow the agri-food industry in Northern Ontario.
Announced on Aug. 12, the funds are designed to help producers recover and grow after being hard hit by COVID-19.
The government said the funds announced are expected to help recipients “embrace new technologies, increase productivity, develop value-added products, and expand to new markets.”
Projects supported by the funding include:
• Town of Cochrane (Timmins—James Bay): $600,986
Construct a grain handling and storage facility at the community’s multi-modal site to support the expansion of the region’s agricultural sector and to service farms in the Cochrane District.
• Reliable Elevators (Nipissing–Timiskaming): $420,000
A repayable contribution to purchase and install a high capacity grain handler dryer to respond to consumer demand in the Earlton-New Liskeard region, enhance the quality of yields, increase exports and create jobs.
• Fair Finance Fund (Sault Ste. Marie): $418,125
Expand Northern Ontario investor and loan client participation over a three-year period to mobilize equitable and accessible capital for Northern food and farm enterprises that create social, environmental and economic benefits.
• Collège Boréal (Sudbury): $363,173
Hire an agronomist and agricultural technologist for a three-year period to assist with applied research and development projects that will create innovative agricultural technologies and support agricultural businesses in developing and selecting plant varieties that can thrive in Northern Ontario’s challenging climate.
• Local Food and Farm Co-Operative (Kenora): $356,576
Coordinate priority activities of the new Northern Ontario Food Distribution Network and provide value-chain coordination, training and advisory support to communities and food co-operatives across Northern Ontario. The goal is to improve market access and enterprise start-up and scale-up for food and farm producers, processors, social enterprises and co-operatives.
• Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (Sudbury): $245,892
Promote innovation and expansion in sustainable agriculture, particularly targeting young farmers with mentoring, clean tech adoption and on-farm research and innovation.
• Cloverbelt Country Meats Cooperative (Kenora): $150,000
Upgrade the abattoir, located just west of Dryden, to make it more competitive through improvements that reduce energy costs, increase capacity and production volumes, and support the development of value-added products.
• Rainy River Future Development Corporation (Thunder Bay–Rainy River): $129,000
Hire an agricultural, as well as investment advisor to support the growing agricultural sector in the Rainy River District.
• Regional Food Distribution Association (Thunder Bay–Rainy River): $100,000
Explore the economic viability of developing a value-added food processing business line and becoming a social enterprise, thereby improving its financial sustainability and providing local opportunities for area farmers.
• Town of Hearst (Timmins—James Bay): $63,000
Intern to assist with research to determine obstacles to livestock farming expansion in the Highway 11 North region.
• Lakehead University (Thunder Bay–Rainy River): $55,290
Hire a youth intern to perform industry-oriented field crop research at the Lakehead University’s Agricultural Research Station to create opportunities for local farmers to increase yields, profitability and business growth.
• Association of Community Pastures (Thunder Bay–Rainy River): $43,502
Establish a rotational grazing system for local community pastures organization to increase carrying capacity and improve quality of forage production.
• Social Planning Council of Sudbury (Sudbury): $31,500
Hire a youth intern to support local and regional food economic initiatives in Northern Ontario by assisting with research, data collection and analysis, market information and knowledge sharing.