Ontario Expanding Agriculture Opportunities in the North
Province Launching Consultations on Northern Livestock Pilot Project
Ontario is working to increase access to local food, create jobs and boost economic growth in the North by establishing a livestock farming pilot project.
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal met with Indigenous partners, local municipalities, livestock organizations and industry today in Timmins to discuss the Northern Livestock Pilot project and kick off consultations with stakeholders and communities on supporting viable agriculture in the North.
The Northern Livestock Pilot project will:
- Invest in new research to understand the social, environmental and economic aspects of Northern livestock expansion
- Work to provide a parcel of Crown land to help kick start livestock farming in the region
- Develop educational and other resources to help those starting a farm in the North.
Supporting growth and competitiveness in Ontario's agri-food industry is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- As of the 2011 census, there were approximately 1 million acres of farmland in Northern Ontario, with about 703,000 acres in production. This was made up of about 2,600 farms, which generated close to $192 million in revenue.
- Ontario is in the process of releasing updated soil mapping in the Cochrane District to help inform farmers’ business and production decisions.
- The province has invested $12.7 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation since 2013 to improve 25,500 acres of Northern Ontario agricultural land to strengthen and grow agricultural production.
- Ontario also supports applied research, information resources, and training programs by the Beef Farmers of Ontario through Growing Forward 2, a five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-based products sector.