VERNER — The International Plowing Match in Verner is proving fertile ground for government announcements.
Tuesday featured one designed to help farmers improve their land, diversify crops, and expand their businesses.
Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the province is investing in 20 agriculture projects across the north.
Included in the 20-project list is $200,000 for BisON to build a new bison ranch in Crystal Falls, just north of Sturgeon Falls, to meet the increasing demand for bison meat in Ontario.
Other projects in the West Nipissing region include: (see the complete list at the end of this story)
- $400,000 for Ferme Roberge in Verner to expand its business by diversifying into the broiler chicken industry.
- $336,956 for Krause Farm and Rental in Verner to expand its business to export quality hay and domestic lamb.
- $59,667 for Parview Farms in Cache Bay to expand its dairy farm operation.
"The agricultural industry is a key economic driver and significant job creator in many northern communities," said Rickford.
In addition to helping individual farming businesses thrive, more than $4.3 million in funding is going toward five tile drainage projects across northeastern Ontario. Tile drainage removes excess water from soil below its surface, particularly in the spring, using perforated, plastic tubing buried in the fields. Removing excess water allows farmers to work the fields sooner and helps crops develop deeper root systems that support better growth.
Tile drainage projects create more opportunities for economic growth in Northern Ontario by increasing the amount of land available for farming and increasing the value of existing farmland. In recent years, Ontario has spent more than $37 million in 41 tile drainage projects, representing 64,569 acres of Northern Ontario farmland.
Tile Drainage Projects
- More than $2.96 million for three Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) projects to install tile drainage on 5,948 acres, benefitting 47 producers across the north.
- $699,953 for Northeast Community Network to install tile drainage on 1,215 acres, benefitting four producers in northeastern Ontario.
- $680,400 for WNESASP Inc. to install tile drainage on 1,134 acres, benefitting a consortium of 12 producers in northeastern Ontario.
- $200,000 for BisON to establish a bison ranch in Crystal Falls.
- $200,000 for Capella Innovation Inc. to establish a food and beverage testing facility in Sudbury.
- $58,395 for Carrigan Meadows to start a hydroponic farm in Connaught.
- $46,025 for Dryden Sons Company to start a farm in Mindemoya.
- $93,546 for Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario to develop a three-year program to train new, young and existing farmers in ecological agriculture in Northern Ontario.
- $30,545 for Ferme Cascade Inc. to build an additional barn in Noëlville.
- $400,000 for Ferme Roberge to expand by diversifying into the broiler chicken industry in Verner.
- $210,823 for J and D Dairy Farm to purchase farm equipment and build a new dairy housing and milking facility to expand its operation in Richard's Landing.
- $336,956 for Krause & Sons Land and Livestock to expand its farm to export quality hay and domestic lamb in Verner.
- $200,000 for Maple Hill Farm to create a modern, state-of-the-art maple product enterprise in Sudbury.
- $23,300 for Onnellinen Kana Farm to create a full-time poultry farm on existing farmland through the reclamation of 10 acres of land in Whitefish.
- $59,667 for Parview Farms Inc. to expand its dairy farm operation in Cache Bay.
- $200,000 for Randy Martin Farms to establish a farm to grow high-grade soybeans in Richard's Landing.
- $99,750 for Scott Runnalls to start a cash crop farm in Thornloe.
- $72,250 for Smart Greens Sudbury to establish an organization that offers locally grown produce using vertical hydroponic modular farming systems in Chelmsford.