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


by John C. Benham, EFP Program Rep

We have just completed another very successful EFP workshop sponsored by the Wellington Stewardship Council, the Wellington Federation of Agriculture and Gencor.

The next two-day EFP workshop is planned for May 28th and June 4th in the meeting room of Husky Farm Equipment, Alma.

To qualify for financial assistance to improve the environment on your farm an approved Third Edition Environmental Farm Plan is required.  For more information and to sign up for the workshop, please call 519-846-3394.

I must emphasize that applications for financial assistance must be on the new forms dated 2008.  Please remove the old forms so there is no confusion.  This new program ends December 15, 2008 so all projects must be completed before that time or when the money runs out.  Changes are expected in the next program – so don’t delay!  Let me know if you need the new forms.


Partnership:  OMAFRA and the University of Guelph have agreed to the terms of a new ten-year agreement, with a review after five years. The two institutions will collaborate on delivering research, laboratory and veterinary education programs, which include new initiatives to address emerging opportunities and trends.


• OMAFRA and university staff will work more collaboratively to better plan research projects and transfer results to people who can use them in the industry.

• OMAFRA and the university plan to consult with industry to determine how all parties can work together more effectively in getting research results into practical applications more quickly.

• In the future, the partnership’s research program will focus on seven themes that were recommended by the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, a group of agri-food industry leaders who advise the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and reflect today’s realities in the sector and our rural communities:  agriculture production systems; food for health; environmental sustainability; industrial uses for the bioeconomy; agriculture and rural policy; product development and enhancement and emergency preparedness.

•  OMAFRA will contribute funding that supports the equivalent of 65 faculty positions in colleges/departments at the main campus of the university to enable a specialized focus on agriculture, food, environmental, veterinary and related sciences.

•  The partnership will also support more than 55 technicians and administrative staff for the research programs at the main campus and at the three regional campuses. Additional staff required to operate agricultural research stations throughout Ontario will also continue to be supported.

Veterinary Clinical Education

•  The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is the largest and most research-intensive institution of its kind in Canada. Through the partnership, resources will continue to be provided for faculty and staff to support the OVC’s teaching hospital, advanced clinical training program, an externship program for veterinary students, and a one-year post-graduate Veterinary Internship Program

Animal Health Laboratory

• Funding will continue to pay the university’s Animal Health Laboratory’s certified specialists in virology, microbiology, toxicology and pathology, and to provide animal health diagnostic testing. A well-funded and run laboratory supports veterinarians and livestock organizations, contributes scientific and diagnostic expertise to support business decisions, and helps in the development of government policies and programs to mitigate threats to animal health.

• The university’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory supports the ministry’s regulatory programs and provides emergency services in the event of an outbreak of foodborne illness or plant disease. More than 140 staff and diagnostic testing will continue to be funded for dairy food testing, foods of plant origin, meat inspection, plant diagnostics, Great Lakes water quality, and soil mapping.

• The university’s three regional campuses at Alfred, Ridgetown and Kemptville play a unique role in agri-food diploma education for the sector, and meet some of the specific education needs of their respective communities. Through a new arrangement with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, current staff and programming at these sites will be maintained, while encouraging the colleges to broaden their course offerings and expand their student populations based on community and industry needs.

Performance Management

The partnership will be reviewed annually and a report will be released publicly on the results achieved. An impact study will be completed in the fifth year to measure the longer term outcomes of the agreement including the economic and health benefits generated by the agreement.


May 13 Dufferin Federation of Agriculture, monthly Board meeting at Holmes Agro.  For information, contact Secretary, Waldo Henderson at 519-941-0490.

May 20 OMAFRA On-Farm Slaughter Meat Regulation Session – Stratford at the River Garden Inn, 10 Romeo Street North from 7 – 9 pm. Please register by calling 1-888-466-2372, ext. 65382, or email

May  31 OAFE / Country Heritage Park “Farms Food and Fun” Day – This agri-education venture for Halton & Peel students will also be open to the family on Saturday May 20th. Admission is $5. Contact for information: Lorna Wilson, 1- 905-878-1510 ext 26.