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 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in cooperation with the Ontario Commercial Rabbit Growers Association are hosting a Rabbit Seminar on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.  This seminar will be held in the Nicholas Keith Room, Wellington Place, 0536 County Road 18, R. R. #1, Fergus beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Topics on the agenda include:  On-Farm Euthanasia of Rabbits – Round Table Discussion; Euthanasia Options by Dr. Patricia Turner, Ontario Veterinary College and Pasteurella by Dr. Bob Wright.
For more information please call Brian Tapscott at 519-846-3400.
by Don Blakely, OMAFRA, Fergus
Date and Location: Monday, March 31, 2008 – Boardroom, David Carson Auction Services, Listowel.
This workshop will be of interest to any producer or group considering the purchase of a reader to capture RFID numbers from tags and software to use the numbers for multi-purposes within a production system.  Workshop program from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. includes: RFID background; what questions to ask when considering a system; demonstrations of readers and software; industry presentations of their products; and farmer presentations on their experiences installing and using a system.  To ensure you get a lunch, please register by calling the Agricultural Information Contact Centre: 1-877-424-1300 or email:   
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has announced that producers should generally expect the current Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and associated cost share programs to be offered within the next year, and this will provide some continuity through the period while we await word on the new environmental programs that may be offered through Growing Forward – the new agricultural policy framework, available within the next year into 2009.
The continuity year is expected to invite producers to submit applications for new projects started after April 1, 2008.  Invoices dated prior to April 1, 2008 will not be accepted for cost share.  Until details are finalized and available, producers planning to take advantage of the cost share should resist starting any projects.  Discussions are taking place in Ontario that may lead to some minor changes to the Project Eligibility Guidelines and Project Proposal Application.
The EFP Third Edition, deemed appropriate through peer review, will remain as one of the eligibility criteria.
OSCIA is not receiving any new project applications at this time.  If producers wish to take advantage of the anticipated cost share, they are advised to sit tight for now, and follow up with the local OSCIA Program Representative in April, when more may be known.  In the meantime, many Program Representatives continue to offer EFP Third Edition Workshops.
by John C. Benham, EFP Rep, Wellington County
If you own, lease, rent or manage property within 100 metres of a municipal water supply well you may be eligible for financial assistance to make some environmental improvements.  This applies to both urban and rural property.  Please call me at 519-846-3394 for more details on this program.
March 26 OSMA District 5 will be meeting, 8:00pm in OMAFRA’s Boardroom at Wellington Place between Fergus and Elora. Our speaker will address water quality issues. All interested parties are welome to attend. For more information contact Daina Hunter 519-843-5441 or e-mail
March 28  Grower Pesticide Course – Brampton – 8:45 a.m. – Call OPEP – 1-800-652-8573 to register.
March 29 Grower Pesticide Course – Rockwood – 8:45 a.m. – Separate Exam – 3pm – Call OPEP – 1-800-652-8573 to register.
March 31 Grower Pesticide Course – Wellesley – 8:45 a.m. – Separate Exam – 3pm – Call OPEP – 1-800-652-8573 to register.
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
April  5 Grower Pesticide Course – Orangeville – 8:45 a.m. – Separate Exam – 3:00pm. Call OPEP 1-800-652-8573 to register.