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Helping Livestock Farmers in Need

Archived News Release

Helping Livestock Farmers in Need

Canada and Ontario Governments Helping Transport Donated Hay from Western Canada

Canada and Ontario are helping transport hay from Western Canada to Ontario farmers in need.

Following record-low rainfall this summer in Eastern Canada, HayEast 2012, an industry-led initiative, was created by farm organizations across Canada to help send hay to farmers in Ontario and Quebec. HayEast is modeled on the HayWest program that saw thousands of Eastern Canadian farmers send hay to Western Canada in 2002.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario will continue to monitor the situation. Donations of hay or financial support may be made online at www.hayeast2012.com/have-hay.

A strong agriculture industry is part of the governments' plans to create jobs and opportunities that will grow the economy.

Quick Facts

  • Governments will provide, on a cost-shared basis, up to $500,000 for transportation costs to help move donated hay to Ontario farms through HayEast.
  • Governments will also match, on a cost-shared basis, monetary donations made to HayEast up to $2.5 million.
  • Ontario livestock farmers have requested over 60,000 bales of hay through the HayEast initiative.
  • Ontario farmers in need of hay must apply to the HayEast2012 program for consideration.

Additional Resources


“We are pleased to work with the province of Ontario to support this grassroots initiative. Our government has provided targeted tax deferral for livestock producers in Ontario and Quebec. We continue to work with both provinces to assess the need.”

Gerry Ritz

Minister of Agriculture

Ted McMeekin

“We should all be proud of what HayEast stands for. It reflects the strong co-operative spirit among Canadian farmers – and today, strong co-operative spirit between governments. I am glad we’re able to help get the donated hay moving to the farmers who need it, and I encourage people in the agri-food sector to assist where they can.”

Ted McMeekin

Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Media Contacts

  • Jeff English, Press Secretary

    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz


  • Mark Cripps

    Office of the Honourable Ted McMeekin