Northwest Agri-Food Innovations Recognized
The Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates agri-food producers, processors and organizations that are helping create jobs, boost our economy, strengthen our communities and support a sustainable environment through their innovative ideas and projects.
The award recipients from Northwest Ontario are:
Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op - Dryden
Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op created a new, GIS-powered online map to help consumers in small northern communities source their closest producers, retailers and restaurants that feature local food. The online map also allows users to place orders online for pick-up at their closest food hub and makes it easy for institutions and event organizers to source local food, while producers can identify market gaps. It also serves as the perfect tool to help get more local food on the plates of Ontarians.
My Pride Farm - Thunder Bay
Mike Visser dreamed of starting his own farm, but he couldn't afford the land prices in Southern Ontario. So the Kemptville College grad looked north to Thunder Bay where he found a demand for locally produced meat and a plentiful supply of bull calves from the dairy farm sector. He began with four calves, marketing the veal through the Thunder Bay Country Market, local stores, restaurants and farm gate sales. Today, the operation has grown to 145 calves and also includes meat rabbits. In addition to improving local food access in northern Ontario and supporting the local economy, Visser is proving that cattle farming in the North is both possible and profitable.