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Time to apply for Premier's Award for Agri-food Excellence

By Gary Sliworsky
OMAFRA Rep.

The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running their businesses, adapting practices and looking for partners to compete in the global economy. To help spur this innovative spirit, the Ontario government created the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. This annual program recognizes who contribute to the success of Ontario’s agri-food sector.

Annual program awards include:
·45 provincial award winners with a cash prize of $5,000 each;
·three Leaders in Innovation awards of $25,000 each;
· the Minister's Award of $50,000 ;
·the Premier's Award of $75,000.
You are eligible to apply under the program if you are a:
a) Primary Producer/Farmer
·must be a resident of Ontario
·must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada

b) Processor
·must be a Canadian owned company , utilizing a minimum of 50% Ontario inputs and with primary processing facilities in Ontario.
c) Agri-Food Organization
·must be Ontario based with a direct relationship / mandate to the agri-food sector.
Examples of innovation areas include but are not limited to:
-improved business practices
-response to consumer demands (e.g. new product development, value added, marketing, strategic alliances, local food)
-environmental stewardship
-energy and bio-economy
-health and safety
-food safety and traceability
-education and marketing of the agriculture and food industry to society
Individuals, businesses and organizations interested in participating must complete and submit an application either electronically or in hard copy by 5 p.m. EST on November 14, 2011. The application can be downloaded from: www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation and is also available from the local OMAFRA office.
Please refer to the last page of the Application Form for options to submit your completed application.
Please ensure that your application includes complete answers to all questions in the application form.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to include five photos (300 dpi - dots per inch) supporting the innovation in electronic format, if available. Print copies will, however, be accepted. Letters of support are encouraged.
For further information contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.
Agribition Bus Trip
Leaving Wednesday November 23 and returned Sunday November 27. If there are enough participants transportation will be FREE - you will be in charge of your motel room. If there are too few for a bus, we will consider renting vans. Book your seat with Angela Halverson 274-3276 or angela@rrfdc.on.ca or Kim Jo Bliss 482-2863 or kjbherefords@xplornet.com