Applications invited for ag awards

By Gary Sliworsky
Ag rep, Emo

The agri-food sector always has been innovative in running their businesses, adapting practices, and looking for partners to compete in the global economy.
To help spur this innovative spirit, the Ontario government created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, an annual program which recognizes who contributes to the success of Ontario’s agri-food sector.
It includes:
•45 provincial award winners with a cash prize of $5,000 each;
•three Leaders in Innovation awards of $25,000 each;
•the Minister’s Award of $50,000; and
•the Premier’s Award of $75,000.
You are eligible to apply under the program if you are a:
•primary producer/farmer (must be a resident of Ontario and must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada);
•a processor (must be a Canadian-owned company, utilizing a minimum of 50 percent Ontario inputs and with primary processing facilities in Ontario), or
•an agri-food organization (must be Ontario-based with a direct relationship/mandate to the agri-food sector).
Examples of innovation areas include, but are not limited to:
•improved business practices;
•response to consumer demands (e.g., new product development, value added, marketing, strategic alliances, local food);
•environmental stewardship;
•energy and bio-economy;
•health and safety;
•food safety and traceability; or
•education and marketing of the agriculture and food industry to society.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations interested in participating must complete and submit an application either electronically or in hard copy by 5 p.m. (EST) on Monday, Nov. 14.
The application can be downloaded from www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation, and also available from your local OMAFRA office.
Refer to the last page of the application form for options to submit your completed application.
Also ensure your application includes complete answers to all questions on the form.
As well, applicants are strongly encouraged to include five photos (300 dpi) supporting the innovation in electronic format, if available. Print copies, however, will be accepted.
Letters of support are encouraged, too.
For further information, contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.
Bus trip
The annual Agribition bus trip will leave Wednesday, Nov. 23 and return Sunday, Nov. 27.
If there are enough participants, transportation will be free (you only will be in charge of your motel room).
If there are too few for a bus, we will consider renting vans.
Book your seat with Angela Halverson by calling 274-3276 or e-mailing angela@rrfdc.on.ca, or with Kim Jo Bliss at 482-2863 or kjbherefords@xplornet.com

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