New Farm Entrant Survey: What is your Farming Story?
FarmStart is working with the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario (JFAO) to assess the challenges and opportunities faced by new entrant farmers today. This information will help us develop programs and communicate policies and initiatives that can support a new generation of farmers. JFAO recently launched a New Farm Entrant Survey to hear your experience. Please take a few moments to share what you have faced, what resources and opportunities you have taken advantage of, what challenges you have had, and what could help you. Details. Survey closes November 2.
More Local Food in Ontario Hospitals
On October 18th, the Greenbelt Fund announced 17 new grants to bring more Ontario food to schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and long-term care facilities. Hosted at The Hospital for Sick Children, the grant announcement was made by Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Grants, like The Hospital for Sick Children, demonstrate the commitment by the Ontario government to bringing more, fresh Ontario food to patients, families, residents and visitors. Ontario Fresh story.
Small Flock Campaign
The PFO has launched a campaign asking for the number of broiler chickens (i.e. chickens raised for meat) that farms can produce without quota in Ontario to be increased from the current limit of 300 birds per year to 2000 birds per year. In Canada, broiler chickens are a supply-managed commodity. This means that farmers have to buy quota in order to raise and sell broilers. There are provisions made, however, for farms to raise a certain number of chickens without quota, which in Ontario is called the “small flock exemption”. Practical Farmers of Ontario campaign.
Some Good, Some Bad in Policy Statement Proposals
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario says there are several areas of interest to farmers in the latest draft of the Provincial Policy Statement. Spokesman Nathan Stevens says there are some positive additions that add clarity and strength to the protection of agricultural land. Stevens says one of the areas of frustration with the policy so far is that the CFFO doesn’t think it makes it tough enough to keep aggregate extraction away from agricultural land. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Promoting Local Food Act a victim of legislature shut down
It’s been swept off Ontario’s table, but farm advocates say they’ll lobby hard to ensure MPPs make a full meal of a bill to promote local food. Eventually. When Premier Dalton McGuinty shut down the legislature last week, until the Liberals choose a replacement for him in three months, one of the casualties was Bill 130, the Promoting Local Food Act – legislation to put local food at the forefront for consumers and institutions like hospitals and schools. St Thomas Times Journal story.
Royal’s Celebrity Chefs Spotlight Ontario Products
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair marks it’s 90th anniversary this year – a milestone CEO Sandra Banks says many organisations don’t reach. Among the new features for this year’s version of the Royal is an expanded celebrity chef competition. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Local food gains exposure
More than 50 grants have now been approved in Ontario to help boost local food availability at public institutions. Last week the Greenbelt Fund announced 17 more grants had been given to a variety of businesses and organizations which broadly serve public institutions. These grants join 38 other successful projects already underway, which have already boosted food purchases from Ontario farmers by nearly $12 million in the past two years. FCC Express story by Owen Roberts.
What’s Cooking? Food Studies in the Humanities: The State of the Field, Nov 7th, 4:00 pm
This event is free and open to the public; no registration is required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the doors open at 3:30 p.m. 170 St. George Street, room 100, Toronto. Details.
Research Volunteer Opportunity: Toronto Food Policy Council’s Food Web-Book
Do you have experience with research? Are you looking for a unique and interesting volunteer opportunity? The Toronto foodscape is changing and many commentators and practitioners have been writing about it, their work scattered across many publications. We are assembling this work into an online database, as a resource for those interested in learning more about food in Toronto. Toronto Youth Food Policy Council post.
Digging Into Farming: Planning Your New Farm Business
Digging Into Farming is a 2-day course for new farmers who have gone through an exploratory stage, have made the decision to farm and are at the stage of formal business planning. The course introduces participants to the different elements of starting and managing a new farm business and connects participants to critical resources and advisors that can help along the way. Note: you will not prepare a business plan during the course. FarmStart program.
3rd Annual Ontario Organic Awards
The Ontario Organic Awards recognizes and celebrates innovation in organic agriculture in Ontario. Awards will be given to individuals and businesses which show consistent and pioneering efforts within Ontario’s organic sector. The Organic council of Ontario is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Ontario Organic Awards. Details.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Crackdown! is a short, creative video that takes a satirical look at what it means to raise chickens in your backyard – and become a criminal for doing so.Website.