Ten farm and agri-food businesses in the area are getting a collective $232,000 boost courtesy of the federal and provincial governments.
Among the funding recipients are three farms in Wellesley Township – $25,000 each for a project to build a cover over a manure storage area and project to cover a livestock yard to eliminate surface and ground water contamination, and $7,000 for portable beef cattle handling equipment for beef operation in Linwood – and $25,000 for power pruners at an Elmira operation.
“Recognition of farmers and innovators is important and crucial … that both the government and society recognize that these people drive innovation, and we do good things in Waterloo,” commented Mark Reusser, vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Wilmot turkey farmer. “Why not reward them and ensure that they continue to prosper and continue to innovate?”
The funding is part of $10.8 million in cost-share monies announced earlier this month for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.
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The most recent projects were among more than 740 across Ontario approved following a competitive, merit-based application process that took place between March 5 and May 6.
These initiatives support improvements in areas such as strengthened biosecurity measures, enhanced traceability systems, and upgrades to animal-handling equipment.
“I’m excited that local food producers are getting the support they deserve,” said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris in a statement. “Our government recognizes the tremendous opportunity for growth in the agri-food sector, and we’ll continue to send the message that Ontario is open for business.”
Some examples of projects supporting through this program include building or using new technologies to improve farm animal housing, improving food safety traceability systems on farms to meet or exceed international certification standards, and developing new products to support retaining, growing or finding new markets for farm commodities.
“Our government is committed to making our agricultural and agri-food sector open for business,” said Ernie Hardeman, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Investing in these projects will help our farmers succeed while boosting innovation, productivity, and competitiveness for the entire sector.”
Both the provincial and federal governments have committed cost-share support to some 1,900 projects through the CAP since June 2018 to support eligible farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations to grow and innovate.
“When we plan, we need to take measures to ensure that agriculture remains because it produces the food that feeds us. I would suggest the Waterloo Region is unique in Ontario – it has an incredible mixture of good farmland and good, innovative farmers. It has both,” said Reusser.
Complete list of projects approved in the area:
- Baden: John Deere HarvestLab to test and monitor manure, $25,000.
- Elmira: Power pruners, $25,000.
- Linwood: Second portable beef cattle handling equipment for beef operation, $7,000.
- Millbank: Manure storage to meet 240 days of storage, $25,000
- Millbank: Build liquid manure storage tank, $25,000
- New Hamburg: Install a continuous rinse system on a field crop sprayer, $25,000.
- Waterloo: Continuous rinse system onto the existing sprayer, $25,000.
- Waterloo: Contained area to clean equipment of weed seeds, $25,000.
- Wellesley: Build a covered manure storage to eliminate surface and ground water contamination, $25,000.
- Wellesley: Covered livestock yard to eliminate surface and ground water contamination, $25,000.