Changes to the Drainage Act are designed to reduce the time it takes to make minor improvements to drainage systems on a property.

Drainage changes to streamline process for minor improvements

New regulations aimed at saving money and time for farmers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Changes to Ontario’s Drainage Act could lead to a more streamlined process for farmers to make minor improvements to their systems.  “We’ve created a new process for what we’re calling minor improvement projects,” said Tim Brook, drainage program coordinator with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).  “These are projects that involve […] Read more

Although Canada has the potential to lead in the cellular sector, it lacks significant investment in engineering biology education or research.

Cellular agriculture makes waves in protein production

Canadian government investment, cellular food policy strategy and regulation are missing yet

Reading Time: 4 minutes Scalable cell-based meat production is a reality now that the world’s first industrial cultured meat facility has been launched.  Israel-based Future Meat Technologies (FMT) opened its plant last month and aims to have products on the market by 2022. The facility marks new market potential to compete against traditional agriculture and aquaculture sectors.  Why it matters: […] Read more

Could COVID vaccine development speed change the game for food?

Could COVID vaccine development speed change the game for food?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Could bio-innovation be the disruptive technology that addresses the challenges of feeding a growing population and reversing climate change? A McKinsey Global Institute report was released in May 2020 called The Bio Revolution: Innovations transforming economies, societies and our lives. It surveyed scientific advances and explored 400 use cases to create a roadmap of the […] Read more

Province launches Winery Agri-Tourism Relief Initiative

Province launches Winery Agri-Tourism Relief Initiative

One-time grant offered to wineries and cideries to offset on-site sales impacted by pandemic

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario’s alcoholic beverage industry raised a glass to the province’s Winery Agri-Tourism Relief Initiative (WATRI) grant launched July 20. The province has provided a one-time $10 million grant to offset a decline in winery and cidery’s on-site store sales and increased COVID-19 safety measure costs during the pandemic. WATRI will disperse the grants in September […] Read more

“I’ve often mused about whether food animal veterinary medicine education has reached a crossroads and should be separate from companion animal veterinary medicine. We really require something more than just the basic DVM program.” – Dr. Rob Swackhammer.

Population medicine, technology could streamline livestock care

Mentoring and partnering with farm animal practices can increase vet student confidence

Reading Time: 4 minutes Dr. Rob Swackhammer rummages through the metal toolboxes nestled in a slide-out drawer on the back of his truck. As he searched for dehorning implements, Swackhammer said it can be intimidating for veterinary students to choose a large animal specialty unless they have a passion for it. “There are challenges attracting new vets to the […] Read more


Tar spot on a corn leaf, including “fish-eyes” (lower right) that can grow and encompass whole parts of a leaf.

Tar spot detected in Ontario

Scouting is critical to deal with spread

Reading Time: 3 minutes Frequent rains and prolonged wetness are likely the contributing factors for Ontario’s earliest instance of confirmed tar spot. “This is the first time we’ve seen it this early based on overwintering population from Ontario,” said Tenuta, field crops pathologist for Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “Last year, it would have been […] Read more

Rural fairs get another year of funding

Second year of cancelled fairs and exhibits causes financial squeeze for associations

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario agriculture and horticulture societies will get $1.1 million in provincial funding to offset revenue declines due to cancelled fairs and events.  “We recognize Ontario’s agricultural and horticultural societies play a significant role in our communities throughout the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “And the COVID-19 pandemic has […] Read more

Lisa Thompson.

Ag industry praises Lisa Thompson’s appointment as OMAFRA minister

Industry leaders acknowledge positive contribution made by Hardeman

Reading Time: 2 minutes A provincial cabinet shuffle has planted MPP Lisa Thompson in familiar soil.  Premier Doug Ford’s recent eight-person cabinet shuffle saw the Huron-Bruce representative replace Ernie Hardeman as Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).  “I am humbled to be given this new post and I pledge to Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities […] Read more


Young 4-H members keep their eyes on the judge during the 2019 Western Fair 4-H dairy show.

Fairs could see increased attendance, participation in 2021

Agricultural societies plan modified, drive-through and virtual events this fair season

Reading Time: 4 minutes The gates of the Ancaster Agricultural Society fairgrounds opened wide in early June, heralding the possibility of an eventful season. “We can’t wait to see (patrons) come in and see what the fairgrounds look like again,” said Tammy Quinn, AAS manager. “We had our gates closed and locked every day for such a long time, […] Read more

Veterinarians have an important role to play in animal disease detection and control programs to avoid animal disease outbreaks, says one co-author of a paper that examined recruitment and retention of large animal vets.

Dwindling large-animal veterinary access heightens food supply risk

Reading Time: 2 minutes Veterinarians are often the first line of defence to prevent and mitigate animal diseases or foreign animal disease outbreaks. However, the increased number of veterinarians and graduates who migrate to companion animal practices could leave food animal practices in a precarious position when it comes to protecting the food supply.  Why it matters: Ongoing animal […] Read more