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Guelph, Ontario, February 12, 2014 – Utilizing funds provided through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) board of directors has approved 111 projects, totaling over $7.9 million in funding, to benefit Ontario’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-products industry.

These projects are part of the Organizations and Collaborations stream of GF2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, and the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP) of GF2, which the AAC delivers in Ontario.

The 49 approved projects for Ontario organizations and collaborations, with over $5.2 million in investments, will provide Ontario agriculture, agri-food and agri-products organizations with funding to innovate and improve competitiveness. For example, these investments will:
•    Assist Beef Improvement Ontario in their efforts to bring an inventory control solution to Ontario processing plants and value chains. Two information management systems; bioTrack and a new in-plant system, Food Inventory, Tracking and Sales (FITS), will ensure these systems meet the needs of Ontario processors, and will  bridge in-plant information captured through FITS with the on-farm information captured through bioTrack.

•    Help Vineland Growers’ Co-Operative Ltd., in collaboration with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, develop a comprehensive marketing plan to introduce the Sundown pear variety into the Canadian grocery retail trade. This marketing plan will focus mainly on packaging, consumer education, consumer awareness building, point of sale materials, and retailer outreach. The goal is to ensure that the pear variety is well received by Ontario consumers,  and that it returns a premium to all partners in the value chain, including the retailer and the grower.

•    Support Equine Guelph in the implementation of a Code of Practice through awareness, education and pilot programs using innovative, comprehensive, user-friendly platforms designed for horse caregivers.  These tools will  assist in keeping horses healthy on a daily basis and ensure the use of proper identification techniques.

The 62 OFIP projects, totaling investments of over $2.7 million, will support on-farm innovation and broader adoption of innovative technologies. Two of these projects include:
•    The Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario’s efforts to evaluate an innovative method of applying insecticide to carrots at seeding. This project will test which insecticides will be effective and what rates to use. If successful, this innovation will improve insect control with lower rates of insecticide and pose a reduced risk to non-target organisms.

•    The Ontario Forage Council’s assessment of crop species, nitrogen fertility and forage maturity impacts on forage yield and feed quality of double cropped cereals planted after winter wheat, soybeans or corn silage. If successful, this project will address forage supply constraints, increase producer returns and provide significant environmental benefits.

“Through Growing Forward 2, our Government provided provinces with the flexibility needed to help producers seize future opportunities and respond to challenges,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Continued support for industry-led projects will ensure agriculture continues to be a productive and profitable sector of the Canadian economy.”

“GF2 gives Ontario producers and processors the tools and resources they need to innovate, remain competitive and boost market development. These projects complement our Agri-food Growth Plan. Their impact goes beyond the farm gate or the factory door – they provide economic benefit to all of Ontario.”

-Kathleen Wynne
Ontario Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food

For a complete list of GF2 and OFIP projects click here.

Organizations and Collaborations can continue to access funding through GF2 for:
– Capacity Building through strategic planning, training, audits or assessments; and,
– Project Implementation for projects that focus on the environment and climate change, animal and plant health, market development, labour productivity enhancement, assurance systems, and business and leadership development.

Learn more about Growing Forward 2:
Agricultural Adaptation Council
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

GF2 is a comprehensive federal-provincial-territorial initiative aimed at encouraging innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector. The AAC assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

“The AAC is a client-driven organization. AAC staff work with applicants and assist them through all aspects of the funding application process, and support them until their project is complete,” says Kristin Ego MacPhail, AAC Chair. “All projects are reviewed by the AAC board of directors within 6 to 8 weeks of receipt.  In addition, capacity building applications of $20,000 or less can be submitted to the AAC at anytime and will be reviewed within ten business days. Our goal is to foster the ideas of Ontario’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry into realities.”

The AAC is based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and is a leader in program delivery. The AAC is a not-for-profit organization that is made up of 69 Ontario agricultural, agri-food and rural organizations. The AAC board of directors review all applications and make the final funding decisions.

For More Information Contact:
Nadine Armstrong
Manager of Communications and Industry Relations
Agricultural Adaptation Council
519-822-7554, ext. 29

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