Ontario Newsroom

Agri-Food Innovations Support Local Food

Archived News Release

Agri-Food Innovations Support Local Food

McGuinty Government Recognizes Top Two On-Farm Innovations

Ontario's agri-food industry is growing innovative ideas to meet the demand for local foods.   

Two outstanding industry leaders were celebrated today at the sixth annual Premier's Summit on Agri-Food with the province's top two agri-food innovation awards:  

  • The Leamington Area Drip Irrigation group received the Premier's Award of $100,000 for improving water efficiency by constructing a new 36 kilometre pipeline, communal irrigation system for local producers. The system irrigates 2,500 acres of Ontario tomatoes.
  • Tigchelaar Berry Farms received the Minister's Award of $50,000 for adopting a new production technique to expand its day neutral strawberry operation, enabling it to provide fresh Ontario strawberries to consumers for nearly six months of the year.

The recipients are being recognized under the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, a $2.5 million, five-year program 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.
  • The Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence has attracted more than 700 applications highlighting on-farm innovations since 2007.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our Open Ontario plan is about seizing new opportunities and driving innovation. Today's awards celebrate the spirit of our plan by recognizing and promoting the success stories generated by Ontario's agri-food industry. By continuing to evolve and innovate, this sector is helping to grow our economy and open up new opportunities for Ontario.”

Dalton McGuinty

Premier of Ontario

“Ontario's farmers, agri-food business and rural communities continue to show outstanding leadership when it comes to innovation. Through these awards, we recognize their outstanding creativity and contributions to the good things that grow in Ontario.”

Carol Mitchell

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Media Contacts



Business and Economy Environment and Energy Rural and North