Food and Farming across the Golden Horseshoe

“Our current food system is based on assumptions of high productivity supported by access to water and an open border. That may not be the case for the next generation of farmers,” says Evan Fraser, director of the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute, in this article in The Grower. The article by Karen Davidson looks at two vegetable growers' contrasting stories from the last year.
"[Fraser] would like to see a renaissance of a local processing industry that can turn raw ingredients into value-added products. A more sustainable food system would include research into improved cultivars, combined with new technologies that can extend the growing season to year-round."
2021 Agri-Food Forum
Registration is now open for the 13th annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum!

This year's forum will be hosted virtually by OMAFRA and the Regional Municipality of York from November 3-4, 2021, with the theme Innovation and Resiliency in the Agri-Food Sector.

The event will feature a number of industry speakers, expert panels, an overview of York Region’s agriculture and agri-food sector, and much more. This is a great opportunity for those with an interest in regional and local economic development and land use planning to learn, network and share experiences.

Annual Report
We have just posted our 2020 Annual Report to our website!

In many ways, 2020 allowed us all to pause and reset. The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance took full advantage of this reset as we spent much of the year developing our new Action Plan, which is now ready with Action Items ready to harvest.

We invite you to learn more about our new Action Plan, ongoing projects, and what we've been up to over the last year!

Durham College is currently hiring a Farm Manager for their Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture. This position is responsible for the development of a new urban farming site with a community partner, planning the long-term operation of the farm, increasing opportunities for Durham College students to engage in urban farming activities in and out of the curriculum, and creating a repository of new resources to foster access to urban farming teaching materials for those groups and individuals who traditionally cannot afford or otherwise access them. 

Learn more, including how to apply, in the full job posting here.

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing in new initiatives to support and promote mental health in Ontario’s farming and rural communities. These initiatives will improve the mental health services available to Ontario’s agricultural sector and help ensure farmers, their families and their employees have additional places to turn when help is needed.

The Big Carrot in Toronto has introduced Unpacked, an 1,800-sq.-ft. waste-free eco-friendly shop that features products from many departments, including bulk, eco home, grocery, dispensary, and body care. "We have expanded our waste-free offering to cater to eco-conscious consumers, while trying to reduce our own carbon footprint,” says Laura Iamundo, Project Manager.

Did you know that 90% of Canadian chicken farms are family-owned and operated? The Chicken Farmers of Canada have published a Let's Talk Chicken campaign to address some misconceptions and concerns, and show how chickens are raised for meat in Canada. The website features information on animal care, antibiotics and the environment, and includes some short informational videos.

Did you know the Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee (DAAC) has been hosting an annual farm tour for 18 years? This year's event will be virtual again, but will continue to offer unique insight into local farming. Specifically, this year's tour on September 28th will showcase the full range of activities related to growing potatoes on a family farm in Durham Region.
With funding from the Government of Canada, the Black Creek Community Health Centre, in partnership with York University, is launching an agri-food program called the Black Entrepreneurship Alliance (BEA).

The program will offer a full spectrum of education, mentorship and acceleration supports to Black entrepreneurs seeking to establish or grow agri-food businesses. Learn more here.
Join the Greenbelt Foundation on Wednesday, October 27th for a free webinar on soil health. Special guest speaker David Montgomery, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington and author of Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, will provide an introduction to soil health and outline its value for people, the planet, and farm profits. You'll also hear from an innovative farmer adopting sustainable farming practices and learn how soil management practices are critical for the health of our local watersheds.

The webinar will introduce you to the soil health movement at both the local and global scale, and provide you with an opportunity to get your questions answered. Learn more and register here.