Ministers Mauro & Gravelle announce NOHFC agreement for TBARS

Minister Michael Gravelle and Minister Bill Mauro
Minister Michael Gravelle and Minister Bill Mauro
Minister Michael Gravelle and Minister Bill Mauro
Minister Michael Gravelle and Minister Bill Mauro

Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station Will Stay Open

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is supporting the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS) to keep the research station open until the end of 2015.

“The Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station contributes to innovation in the agri-food sector, playing an important role in determining how and what crops can successfully grow in a northern climate.  I am delighted that the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) supports the continuity of the research station,” commented Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of NOHFC.

“I have worked closely with TBARS and its Board of Directors since 2003, and am pleased that we will be able to support them to the end of 2015.  I’m very grateful to my colleague, Hon. Michael Gravelle, for working with me on behalf of the research station in order to allow TBARS to continue their work.  This research is important, not only to our local community, but to the agricultural communities throughout our province and our country, stated Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

“TBARS was facing closure by March 31st, 2015, when our NOHFC funding was scheduled to end. Following a recent meeting between MPP Mauro and our Board of Directors regarding this situation, MPP Mauro took immediate action.  We are very appreciative of this announcement that the Ontario government is able to fund TBARS from April 1st, 2015 through December 31st, 2015.  This will allow us to complete data from ongoing research trials and to administer a long-term feasibility analysis.  On behalf of TBARS Board of Directors, a big thank you to MPP Bill Mauro,” stated Peter Aalbers, Board of Directors President, Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station.

 Since 2003, the majority of research funding at the Station has been provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).  TBARS has been struggling with facing the March 31, 2015 end date of their current agreement with the NOHFC.

In an effort to assist TBARS with the continuation of its agricultural research, the Ontario government today announced that the NOHFC has extended their agreement for nine additional months.  This will allow TBARS time to use unspent funds and, through funding from OMAFRA, conduct its long-range feasibility study.

TBARS is committed to the establishment, operation, promotion and transfer of agricultural research for the further development and diversification of the agricultural industry through small plot research and extension. 

 Without this agreement, TBARS would not be able to continue operations which include:

  • Screening of crop varieties (wheat, barley, oats, flax, rye)
  • Evaluation of pulses (chickpea, lentil, peas, beans)
  • Introduction of new cover crops (spring barley, winter wheat)
  • Fertilizer management practices

Based on several years of winter wheat research data provided by TBARS, AGRICORP’s risk management program now provides coverage for winter wheat Crop Insurance for Northern Ontario communities (including the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Sudbury, Kenora, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay).


  • Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS) was founded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in 1991
  • Since 2003 TBARS, a not-for-profit corporation, has been operating with partial funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)
  • TBARS has introduced a number of crop varieties and beneficial management practices in their operational area
  • Berseem clover, camelina and winter peas and lentils are some of the new crops at TBARS


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