Premier’s Award accepting nominees

By Gary Sliworsky
Ag rep, Emo

Applications are now being accepted for the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program, with the deadline for submissions being Friday, Jan. 18.
The program has attracted more than 1,000 applications highlighting on-farm innovations since its inception in 2007.
The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence encourages the development of our rural communities, farms, agri-food processors, and agri-food organizations by adding value to existing products, creating jobs, and driving economic growth.
The program recognizes up to 45 Regional Award recipients across the province, who receive a plaque, wordmark, and a gate sign, as well as $5,000; a Premier’s Award ($75,000); a Minister’s Award ($50,000); and three Leaders in Innovation Awards ($25,000).
A farmer, primary producer, processor, or an agri-food related organization all are eligible for recognition under this initiative.
As well, applicants must be in compliance with all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal legislation that apply to the operation of the innovation.
Examples of innovation areas include, but are not limited to:
•improved business practices;
•response to consumer demands (i.e., new product development, value added, marketing, strategic alliances, local food, etc.);
•environmental stewardship;
•health and safety;
•energy and bio-economy;
•food safety and traceability; and
•education and marketing of the agriculture and food industry to society.
Eligible applications will be reviewed by two independent panels comprised of a cross-section of Ontario’s agri-food industry.
Additional information, guidelines, and application forms are available on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website or by calling the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.
Dates to remember
•Dec. 4—Rainy River Soil & Crop Improvement Association annual meeting, 7:30 p.m., Emo Inn.