A weekly press release prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  If you require further information, regarding this press release, please call the Fergus Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For technical information, call the Agri­cultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA


The Dufferin County Soil and Crop Improvement Association Annual Meeting and Feed and Seed Show will be held on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 from 9:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Grand Valley & District Community Centre.  Admission is $25.00 per person which includes a 2008 membership and a hot roast beef dinner.  Speakers include: 
ª Victor Aideyan, Risk Management Consultant
ª Brian Hall, Canola and Edible Bean Specialist, OMAFRA
ª Tracey Baute, Entomology, Field Crop Program Lead, OMAFRA
ª Barry Roberts Regional Manager Agricorp—Risk Management Program
For further information please contact:  Jim Irvine at 519-928-2100 or Allan Lyons at 1-705-435-9202

This year, Monsanto Canada estimates it will provide approximately 50 scholarships to deserving high school students across the country entering their first year of post-secondary education in agriculture or forestry.  Each scholarship is valued at $1,500 and will be awarded to students who meet the following criteria:
ª Students must be from an agricultural or forestry family farming operation with plans to enter their first year of post-secondary education in agricultural sciences or forestry;
ª Students must have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership capabilities and active involvement in their local community;
ª Complete applications, including an application essay, must be post-marked no later than May 16, 2008.
For more information or an application form please call Monsanto Canada’s CustomCare line at 1-800-667-4944 or visit
The Ontario government wants to hear Ontarians’ ideas on how to consider requests to expand the Greenbelt’s boundaries and further protect countryside areas.
As the Greenbelt nears its third anniversary, Ontarians and municipalities have seen how it benefits their communities. The government wants to help municipalities strike the right balance between protecting green spaces and meeting the needs of their growing communities.
The government has developed draft criteria that, once finalized, would be used to consider requests from regional, county and single-tier governments to expand the Greenbelt’s boundaries. Requests to reduce the size of the Greenbelt or remove areas from it would not be considered.
The draft criteria are available for review and comment on the ministry’s website at Comments must be received by April 30, 2008. They are also posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry which can be accessed at
Growing the Greenbelt, which is already the size of Prince Edward Island, means more green space to help reduce the impact of global warming facing our province.  This is good for everyone in Ontario not just those in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
The Greenbelt Council recommended last year that the government develop criteria to consider Greenbelt expansion requests.
The Greenbelt, which was created in February 2005, permanently protects more than 1.8 million acres of agricultural and environmentally sensitive land around the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The Greenbelt is part of the government’s commitment to environmental protection. It is also a key component of the province’s reform of the planning system, which includes changes to the Provincial Policy Statement and the creation of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  Most recently, reforms to the Planning Act that came into force on January 1, 2007, complement the Greenbelt by providing additional municipal tools that encourage sustainable development.
Over 27,000 Ontario Farmers are trained in pesticide application and safety through the Grower Pesticide Safety Course! 
Certified Growers are trained to buy or use the more hazardous pesticides (Schedule 1, 2 or 5) on the land they farm.  Every farm business that uses Schedule 1, 2 or 5 pesticides must have at least one Certified Grower.  Grower Pesticide Safety Course certificates are valid for five years. Certified Growers cannot spray as a business or sell pesticides.
To become a Certified Grower for the first time, you must:
• attend the Grower Pesticide Safety Course (GPSC) and pass the GPSC exam.  
To renew a GPSC certificate, there are two options. You may:
• attend the Grower Pesticide Safety Course and pass the exam, or  • study at home, and then pass the exam at a specified exam-writing time and location.  NOTE: You must have previously held a valid certificate to qualify for this option.
Upcoming Pesticide Courses:
Wellington County:

Saturday, March 29, 2008 – Rockwood – Course – 8:45 a.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573 – Rockwood – Separate Exam – 3:00 p.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573
Waterloo County:
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 – Elmira – Course – 8:45 a.m. – F.S. Elmira – 519-669-5475
Monday, March 31, 2008 – Wellesley – Course – 8:45 a.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573 – Wellesley – Separate Exam – 3:00 p.m. – 1-800-652-8573
Dufferin County:
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 – Orangeville – Course – 8:45 a.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573  – Orangeville – Separate Exam – 3:30 p.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573
Saturday, April 5, 2008 – Orangeville – Course – 8:45 a.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573 – Orangeville – Separate Exam – 3:30 p.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-8573
Halton & Peel Counties:
Saturday, March 28, 2008 – Brampton – Course – 8:45 a.m. – OPEP – 1-800-652-857

March 14 – 16 Can-Am All Breed Equine Show, Western Fair, London, ON.
March 15 & 16 College Royal 2008, University of Guelph, Guelph.  For more information, phone 519-824-4120 ext. 58366 or
March 19 & 26 Wellington Environmental Farm Plan at Husky Farm Equipment, Alma.  9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Lunch provided.  Please call John Benham for more information or to register 519-846-3394.
April 1 & 2 8th Annual London Swine Conference – London Convention Centre, London.  The theme is: “Facing the New Reality”, includes plenary sessions and breakout workshops.  Full registration is $200 and deadline is March 18/08.  For more information, contact 519-482-3333 or visit:
April 2 & 3 27th Annual Drayton Farm Show, PMD Arena, Drayton.  Doors open at 11:00 a.m.  For  more information, check the website at  
April 5 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Elmira.  Call 1-877-969-0094 or