Venture Norfolk is here to help with your next new business venture.

Venture Norfolk is a community-based, not-for-profit Corporation located in Simcoe, Ontario, and is funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Their mission is to assist individuals, businesses, and organizations in the creation and maintenance of jobs in Norfolk County. Venture Norfolk plays a local leadership role in delivering financial and consulting services to small and medium-sized enterprises and in providing community economic… Continue reading

New products could help industry adapt to changing consumer preferences

Ontario’s chicken farmers and other members of the industry may be more equipped to address shifting preferences in the marketplace, thanks to a new program from the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO).

The Ontario Chicken Innovation and Growth Program aims to encourage industry members – such as processors, food service companies, restaurants and retailers – to create new products for consumers, according to reports last… Continue reading

The new Canadian Agricultural Partnership what does it mean for Ontario Farmers.

Ontario has signed a new bilateral agreement with the federal government that will support strategic, long-term investments that will spur innovation, economic growth and create jobs in Ontario’s agri-food sector.

Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph, on behalf of Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, were in Guelph today to make the announcement.… Continue reading

Bill 153 addresses Organic Certification in Ontario.

When the Organic Council of Ontario asked me to interview farmers and other organic business people to collect their thoughts on Bill 153 (the Organic Products Act), I relished the idea of interviewing Dave Meli, executive butcher at the Healthy Butcher – downtown Toronto’s go-to organic butcher shop. I have long held their practices in high esteem, so it was my pleasure to ask… Continue reading

Norfolk County expected to be top producer of legal Marijuana in the not too distant future.

With this track record and Norfolk’s reputation as “Ontario’s Garden,” it would surprise no one if the county eventually became Canada’s top producer of legal marijuana.

Norfolk council is facing the prospect with some trepidation.

Medicinal marijuana is already grown legally in numerous locations in Norfolk. As the industry intensifies, it is creating headaches by way of neighbourhood conflicts and incompatible land uses.

In response,… Continue reading

Farmers say better communication with general public is needed about where food comes from.

VG Meats’ Kevin Van Groningen has done the math. And if the two per cent of Canadians who are farmers fail to adequately educate the urbanites who are their primary consumers, he believes they will pay a price.

Customer communication remains a cornerstone of VG Meats, Van Groningen says, crediting the Norfolk butcher shop’s online versions of “meat counter conversations” with helping to identify… Continue reading

Growing past the straw-hatted stereotype

To some, it’s offensive.

To others, a source of dark humour.

But at the very least, FS Partners Great Lakes Division Delhi Hub grain originator Devin Homick says any lingering stereotypical images of the simple farmer are highly inaccurate.

“A lot of people still see the farmer with a piece of straw out his mouth and a straw hat.”

By contrast, the farmers Homick sees… Continue reading

Its the 2017 fall farm show season once again.

Canada’s largest outdoor farm show is returning to Woodstock this month.

The annual Outdoor Farm Show will return its site just north of the city for the 24th year in a row on Sept. 12, bringing with it a huge number of exhibitors and showing off the latest advancements in the agricultural industry.

Communications manager for the farm show Amanda Macfarlane said this year’s show… Continue reading

Farming is always changing and Norfolk County is leading the way.

That’s the conclusion Norfolk’s tourism & economic development department has gleaned from Statistics Canada’s latest agricultural census, which was completed last year.

“The fact we’re No. 1 in technology use is very impressive,” says Clark Hoskin, Norfolk’s manager of tourism and economic development. “Computers, smart phones, GPS – on a per-acre basis, Norfolk is the most extensive user in Canada. Our agriculture has become very… Continue reading

Ontario vegetable growers, processors keep sparring.

There was a brief truce Tuesday at an annual meeting of Ontario’s vegetable growers and the companies that process their harvests.

But it’s clear the power struggle over how prices are set in the industry continues.

In back-to-back speeches at the London meeting, Francis Dobbelaar, chairperson of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers’ Association, said the farmer-led agency should continue to negotiate prices on behalf of… Continue reading