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Agri-Food Innovations Grow Economy

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Agri-Food Innovations Grow Economy

McGuinty Government Awards Top Two On-Farm Innovations

Ontario's agri-food industry continues to strengthen the province's economy.  This was the theme of today's Premier's Summit on Agri-Food, where two innovators were recognized with the province's top awards for agri-food innovation excellence:  

  • Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company in Prince Edward County is the recipient of the Premier's Award of $100,000. The dairy is recognized for its work in using green technology to construct the largest artisan goat and sheep milk cheese manufacturing facility in eastern Ontario.
  • Hillside Gardens Limited in Simcoe County receives the Minister's Award of $50,000 for their innovation in implementing an electronic "gate-to-plate" traceability program. 

The recipients are being recognized under the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, a $2.5 million, five-year program (now in its third year) established to recognize innovators who contribute to the success of Ontario's agri-food sector.

The innovations of 55 regional winners, who will receive $5,000 each, will be announced at regional award ceremonies this spring.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s agri-food sector is one of the province’s leading industries, contributing more than $33 billion to the economy every year.
  • In its first three years, the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence has attracted more than 550 applications highlighting on-farm innovations.

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“In these challenging economic times, we need everyone working together so we can emerge from this recession even stronger. Our farmers produce the food we eat; their fields are home to wind turbines providing clean, renewable energy to Ontario families; and they're harvesting crops we're still finding new uses for in the auto industry. Agriculture has always been one of the cornerstones of Ontario's strong economy. These awards are a celebration of the talent and innovation we have growing here.”

Dalton McGuinty

Premier of Ontario

“Ontario’s agri-food sector continues to lead through innovation. With these awards, we are supporting the creative ideas growing on farms and rural communities across this province. Together, we are building opportunities that will make our agri-food industry and economy stronger.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs



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