McGuinty Government Supports Research Into Milking Technology To Benefit Rural Economies
TORONTO - The McGuinty government is investing $434,550 in Northern Ontario's dairy industry to help researchers determine the feasibility of robotic milking technology in the North.
Funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) was announced today by Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Brown on behalf of Northern Development and Mines Minister and NOHFC Chair Rick Bartolucci.
"Leading-edge robotic technology is being used by the agricultural sector in other parts of Canada, the United States and Europe," Brown said. "I'm very pleased that the provincial government is a partner in this venture that seeks to advance Northern Ontario's dairy industry."
Private and public sector partners include Jonella Farms, robotic milking system manufacturer Lely Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and the LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation.
Funding from the NOHFC and partners will be used to determine whether robotic milkers are cost effective for use in remote areas. If feasible, Northern Ontario dairy farms could begin to adopt automated milking technology, which could potentially increase milk production while lowering operating costs.
"Access to new technology is vital for northern industry to compete and thrive," said Bartolucci. "Working with the private sector to create jobs in the North is of fundamental importance to my government."
The McGuinty government is returning the fund to its original mandate of fostering private sector job creation. The NOHFC is working in partnership with the private sector and other levels of government to diversify the northern economy and stimulate job growth. It is an essential part of the government's commitment to delivering a four-year plan for positive change across the North.