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Ontario Positioned to Become Global Leader in Agri-Food Research and Innovation

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Ontario Positioned to Become Global Leader in Agri-Food Research and Innovation

Province Partners with the University of Guelph to Drive Economic Prosperity

Ontario has entered into a new agreement with the University of Guelph for up to 10 years that will support the growth and competitiveness of Ontario's agri-food sector, create jobs and further solidify the province's position as a global leader in agri-food education, research and innovation.

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, was joined by University of Guelph President Dr. Franco Vaccarino, in Guelph today to sign the agreement and mark Canada's Agriculture Day.

The new agreement builds on a longstanding collaboration spanning more than 100 years and will strengthen Ontario's leadership in agri-food research and innovation, food safety and the protection of plant, animal and human health. The agreement will also equip undergraduate and graduate students with the skills they need to become the next generation of researchers, innovators and policy-makers in Ontario's growing agri-food sector.

Training the next generation of leaders in Ontario's agri-food sector is part of our plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable childcare, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • For 125 years, OMAFRA and University of Guelph have partnered to foster innovation and generate results to support and help shape the future of the province’s agri-food industry and rural communities.
  • The University of Guelph is ranked 1st in Canada and 12th in the world for agricultural science.
  • The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College ranks sixth worldwide, third in North America and first in Canada.
  • Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes more than $37 billion to the province’s Gross Domestic product and provides employment for more than 800,000 people.

Additional Resources


“We look forward to continuing to work with the University of Guelph to Support growth and innovation in the Ontario agri-food sector. The research made possible through our partnership will help ensure the sector and our rural communities remain vibrant while positioning our province as a global leader in research and innovation. Thanks to our investments, these highly skilled students are boosting their competitive edge while paving the way for the continued growth of our agri-food sector.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs/Minister of Small Business

“The University of Guelph is a hub of research excellence, recognized by its peers not just here, but around the world. The university attracts the best and brightest students, researchers, and academia from across Canada and internationally, who are helping contribute to ground-breaking agri-food research and innovation.”

Liz Sandals

MPP for Guelph

“Scientific research is critical to developing innovations that benefit people, animals and the environment, from safer food to improved health to healthier ecosystems. Agri-food innovation also attracts investment and highly skilled talent, helping create jobs and strong communities. The OMAFRA/U of G partnership has helped position Ontario and Guelph as the epicentre of agricultural research and innovation in Canada.”

Dr. Franco Vaccarino

University of Guelph President

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