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Ontario Honouring More Than 150 Years of Farming

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Ontario Honouring More Than 150 Years of Farming

Province Celebrating Families, Communities and Farms with Rich Agricultural History

Ontario is celebrating its rich agricultural heritage by honouring farm families and communities who have been connected to agriculture for more than 150 years.

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, was at Bargeolane Farms in Peterborough County today to pay tribute to the dedicated women and men who are the cornerstones of Ontario's agricultural sector.

The Barr family, whose members have been farming in Warsaw for more than 150 years, are among the recipients of an Ontario150 commemorative farm sign, which acknowledges their contributions to the province's heritage, economy, culture and social fabric. The program also honours the contributions of Indigenous communities, who for more than a millennium have engaged in agriculture and food harvesting in Ontario.

Helping people celebrate Ontario's culture and history is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The timing of this commemorative initiative honouring Ontario’s agricultural heritage is tied to the celebration of Ontario Agriculture Week, which occurs during the first week of October each year.
  • To apply for a commemorative Ontario Farms 150 sign or to find out more about the program, go online or call 1-877-424-1300. Applications will be received until October 31, 2017.
  • Ontario150 is a year-long commemoration that will reflect on Ontario's past, showcase the present and inspire future generations.
  • In 2016, an estimated 49,600 farm businesses operated in Ontario.
  • An estimated 5.4 per cent of the total land area of Ontario is used for farming.
  • Approximately 200 farm commodities are produced in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s agri-food sector supports more than 800,000 jobs and contributes more than $37 billion towards the province’s economy.

Additional Resources


“Agriculture is an integral part of Ontario’s history and will most certainly play a critical role in our future. Beginning with the Indigenous communities who harvested in fields across the province through to today, farming has helped shape Ontario’s cultural and social fabric while creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs for Ontarians. There is no better way to celebrate Ontario’s 150th than recognizing the footprint that farm families, such as the Barrs, have made in Ontario’s agricultural community.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Marking milestones, like Ontario’s 150th anniversary, is an opportunity to recognize our past and acknowledge its impact on the quality of our lives today. The communities and families who have built and contributed to Ontario agriculture are a rich part of our heritage and will be a part of a legacy that lives today and will continue for years to come.”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Ontario agriculture's long history and rural roots run deep. Ontario farmers and farm families are proud of our contributions to the prosperity of the province. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture appreciates that OMAFRA is recognizing the contributions made by farmers and agriculture over the past 150 years and more.”

Keith Currie

President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

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