THUNDER BAY – “The agricultural industry is identified as a key and emerging sector in the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. By investing in these operations, our government is helping farmers across the North improve their farmland, increase their crop production and grow the northern economy,” stated Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the NOHFC.
“Clearing land to increase acreage and installing drainage to extend the growing season are two ways that our farm partners can improve their sustainability. This provincial investment will help provide additional farmland to support crop production in our region,” said, Bruce Forrest, President, Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association.
The province is investing in Northern Ontario farming projects that will improve agricultural land, diversify crops and expand business.
The investments will contribute to the northern agricultural economy and provide local farms with essential infrastructure. The province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is investing more than $6 million in eight projects across Northern Ontario:
The Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association is receiving $1 million to clear 298 acres and install tile drainage on 1,667 acres;
The Rainy River Future Development Corporation is receiving $1 million to clear land on 2,423 acres;
The Rainy River Future Development Corporation is also receiving $1 million to install tile drainage on 2,114 acres of land;
The West Nipissing East Sudbury Agricultural Support Projects Inc. is receiving $1 million to install tile drainage and clear land on 1,717 acres;
The West Nipissing East Sudbury Agricultural Support Projects Inc. also received $328,248 to clear land and install tile drainage on 626 acres of land;
The Northeast Community Network is receiving $714,600 to install tile drainage and undertake land clearing on 1,191 acres;
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre is receiving $976,200 to install tile drainage and undertake land clearing on 1,500 acres on Manitoulin Island;
William Riach Farm in Gore Bay received $29,080 to install tile drainage on 60 acres of land.
“This project will help our participating farms improve their land base to produce crops such as barley, wheat, oats, soybeans and hay. We thank the NOHFC for investing in our land clearing and tile drainage projects, which will help our area producers improve their operations,” added Jan Beazley, Chair, Rainy River Future Development Corporation.
“Installing tile drainage and clearing land are key investments to helping our farm producers grow their operations. We commend the NOHFC members for their significant commitment to strengthening the North’s agriculture industry,” commented John Parsons, General Manager, West Nipissing East Sudbury Agricultural Support Projects Inc.
The 2011 data from Statistics Canada shows that Northern Ontario had 2,446 farms on a total of more than one million acres of land.
The NOHFC’s investments in agriculture are an important part of the Ontario government’s Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.