Ontario Newsroom

Premier Celebrates the Contributions of Farmers and Producers

Archived News Release

Premier Celebrates the Contributions of Farmers and Producers

Top Agri-Food Innovators Recognized at Annual Summit

Office of the Premier

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the winners of the 10th annual Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence today -- Ontario's highest honour for outstanding contributions in innovation to the agri-food sector.

The Premier was joined by Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to present the awards at the 12th Premier's Agri-Food Summit, an annual meeting with industry leaders from across the province.

Dairy Quality Inc., based in Newmarket, was honoured with the Premier's Award for a mobile testing device it developed that helps dairy farmers get information about the health of a cow in just seconds. In use around the world, the device gives farmers better control of the health of their herd and helps ensure top-quality milk for consumers.

The Minister's Award was presented to First Ontario Shrimp Ltd., based in Campbellford, for having successfully converted one of its hog barns into the first shrimp farm in Ontario.

Three Leaders in Innovation Awards were presented to:

  • Vineland Growers' Cooperative Ltd., based in Jordan Station, for a new large, blight-resistant pear variety developed with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, based in Simcoe, for being the first grower organization to develop its own seed business
  • Evynn's Advantage, a food processor based in Greenwood, for developing the first fresh, whole-food liquid diet for people unable to eat solid food.

Supporting a strong and innovative agri-food sector is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s agri-food sector supports more than 790,000 jobs and contributes more than $36.4 billion towards the province’s GDP.
  • The Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Awards also recognize regional award winners from across the province.
  • Since 2006, 475 producers, processors and agri-food organizations have received awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

Background Information


“Ontario’s food producers, processors and agri-food organizations recognize the importance of innovation to keeping this sector of our economy competitive, sustainable and attractive to the next generation. With these awards, we are recognizing them for their efforts. We will continue to work together to sustain the future success of this important industry.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“Our government is proud of the work Ontario’s agri-food innovators are doing to create or transform products and lead new businesses and make innovative ideas into reality to provide us with more fresh, local and delicious food. By doing so, these remarkable Ontarians are designing their own future, helping to grow our sector and are laying the foundation for Ontario’s next generation in agri-food. I am honoured to recognize the excellence this year’s recipients have achieved — they are an inspiration for us all.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs



Business and Economy Government Home and Community Rural and North