October 2017 

The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance has been celebrating Canada's 150th by paying tribute to farm families across the Golden Horseshoe who have been farming since Confederation, some even longer.

So far, we have paid tribute to these outstanding families at celebrations in Halton Region, York Region, and most recently Durham Region.

Check out our latest blog post for more from these events, including some photos. The next event coming up is in Peel Region in November, but we are still accepting applications from all regions to the Canada 150 Farm Family Program.

Passing the farming tradition from generation to generation is an impressive achievement, but continuing that tradition for 150 years or more takes tremendous commitment, continuous improvements, risk taking and hard work.

Congratulations once again to all who have been recognized so far!
Zephyr Organics photo
Earlier this year, as part of the province's Local Food Strategy, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs launched " Bring Home the World ", aiming to expand Ontario's local food market and grow the agri-food sector through the promotion of "world foods", which reflect the diversity of the province's population. 

A diverse population like Ontario's brings with it a diverse, healthy appetite -- so why not satiate that demand with seasonal Ontario-grown items that would otherwise be shipped in?

We recently talked with Ted Eng with Zephyr Organics, who knows firsthand about this rising demand for locally-grown crops that are now referred to as World Foods. Ted's family has been growing crops like kale and baby bok choy for almost 30 years, and so they have seen the demand for these items soar over the years.

"We started with only 2 acres of kale, now we're up to 30," Ted tells us. 

Niagara College has their eye on a fast-growing industry with a significant demand for accredited workers, which is why they are developing a Graduate Certificate Program in Commercial Cannabis Production for September 2018.

The program--which is the first of its kind in Canada--will prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of cannabis, focusing largely on the specifics of growing cannabis in a controlled environment, and the regulations and legal requirements that govern the legal production of marijuana in Canada.  Learn more here .

York Region's recently released  Agriculture and Agri-food Update and Strategy report  reveals that the economic impact of the entire agri-food chain in York Region is  $2.7 billio n; and with gross farm sales at $301 million in 2016, the region's agriculture and food processing sector proves to be growing strong.

Last week, York Region Council endorsed an  Agriculture and Agri-food Strategy, which has been developed to provide direction for the long-term growth of the agricultural and food production sector in the region, including future policy development, initiatives and resource allocation decisions. Learn more on our blog.

The Agri-Food Management Institute, in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, has announced the release of a valuable new tool to help Ontario farmers engage in business planning before planting:  Making a Case for Growing New Crops

The online learning resource will help farmers who are thinking about growing a non-traditional crop assess whether it's a profitable idea. Read more.

Learn how to succeed in the food sector from industry experts and local business owners this Thursday, November 2, at Food Entrepreneurship: From concept to kitchen to commercialization

This  afternoon  event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs  to gain insights and information while connecting with fellow business owners and industry resources.  Learn more here .

On Thursday, November 9, Mohawk College, in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund, will be hosting a  Research Summit: Increasing Local Food at Ontario Colleges at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

The event will present a draft local food procurement framework for Ontario's 24 colleges, focused on bringing more Ontario-grown food to campuses across the province. Read more.
Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance