Upcoming workshops and events for rural communities

The following events and awards are potentially of interest for residents and farmers in rural communities.

Grow Your Farm Profit Workshops

Grow Your Farm Profit (GYFP) workshops are now being offered across eastern Ontario. Farmers are invited to participate and learn more about Growing Forward 2 opportunities that will soon be available.

GYFP Workshop - Navan:

Day 1 – February 4, 2014

Day 2 – February 11, 2014

GYFP Workshop – North Gower:

Day 1 – March 20, 2014

Day 2 – March 27, 2014

Several other locations in eastern Ontario area are available. For more information and to register for workshops visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

Environmental Farm Plan Workshops

Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workshops are now being offered across eastern Ontario. Farmers are invited to participate to update their EFP and learn more about Growing Forward 2 opportunities that will soon be available.

EFP Workshop – Metcalfe:

Day 1 – February 27, 2014

Day 2 – March 6, 2014

For more information and to register for free workshops, including other available dates and locations in the Ottawa area, visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

Applications for the 2014 Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program are being accepted from January 10 to February 28, 2014. The program recognizes innovators who contribute to the success of Ontario's agri-food sector.

Eligible applicants could receive one of

  • a Premier's Award ($75,000)
  • a Minister's Award ($50,000)
  • three Leaders in Innovation Awards ($25,000 each)
  • 45 provincial awards ($5,000 each)

Program applications will be reviewed by two independent panels made up of representatives from across Ontario's agri-food industry. For more information, visit http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/premier_award/.

Winter Woodlot Conference

Registration is now open for the 27th annual Kemptville Winter Woodlot Conference to be held on Wednesday, February 19 at the W.B. George Centre on the Kemptville Campus of the University of Guelph. This annual educational and networking event is a must-attend for private woodlot owners, and associated commercial, service, government, and non-government organizations. Information: www.eomf.on.ca.

Dairy Farm Sustainability Award - call for nominations

Dairy Farmers of Canada is seeking nominations for its annual Dairy Farm Sustainability Award. The dairy farm sustainability award recognizes Canadian dairy farmers that have adopted on-farm management practices that extend beyond standard industry practice and meet the objectives defined in Dairy Farmers of Canada’s sustainability strategy to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms,
  • Promote the efficient and sustainable management of natural resources, and
  • Benchmark the socio-economic performance of Canadian dairy farms

Nomination deadline is March 31, 2014.  For more information, please visit www.dairyfarmers.ca.

Remembering fallen officers

The History of Constable Hiram O'Callaghan

I have always felt that history is a large part of our lives and our communities and I’ve also always had a keen interest in history, hence my degree in History from Carleton University.  There are certain parts of our ward that have history we don’t even realize sometimes, such as Watterson’s Corners, known to most people as the corner of First Line Road and Century Road.  I had a conversation about this corner once with Aubrey Moodie about the proposal to locate South Carleton High School at this very site, but today I’d like to let you know about Constable Hiram O’Callaghan.

There is a good chance that everyone has driven over Hiram O’Callaghan Bridge at some point.  This bridge is the final bridge on Highway 416 before you enter North Grenville and leave the City limits, just south of Dilworth Road.  It was named in 2009, along with four other local bridges after fallen officers.  Constable O’Callaghan was a World War I veteran having served with the 156th Battalion in France.  Having only been appointed to the Department of Highways as a Provincial Traffic Officer eight months earlier, Constable O’Callaghan passed away on January 12, 1928, 85 years ago this past Saturday.  At the time of his death, O’Callaghan was patrolling the highway between Kemptville and Ottawa when he got into a head on collision near Watterson’s Corners.  At that time, of course, Century Road was the Highway as Old Highway 16 (Prince of Wales) and Highway 416 were still years away from being built.

85 years later, we remember Constable Hiram O’Callaghan, as well the 13 Ottawa area officers who fell after him, also in the line of duty.  Constable O’Callaghan was 43 years old and left behind a wife and six children.

Richmond Village Association AGM

The Richmond Village Association is hosting their Annual General Meeting on February 5th at St. Paul’s United Church, beginning at 7:30pm.  It is a unique situation that I am speaking about the RVA today but the reality is that they need your help, they need volunteers.  Coming in to the 2013 AGM, the Richmond Village Association is seeking to fill the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.  I hope that you will consider volunteering for this important community organization so that it can continue to organize events that make Richmond a better place to live.

The RVA and its volunteers are actively involved in the Christmas Parade and Lighting of the Park, the Christmas Banner program, beautification of the village and the Richmond Clean-up each spring.  At the 2013 AGM, the Association will elect a new Board of Directors and begin planning for events to be held throughout the year.  Without volunteers, it is very difficult for these events to proceed.  I hope to see some new volunteers and board members at the Annual General Meeting on February 5, 2013.

Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

Applications are now being accepted for the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program. The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 18, 2013. The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation program has attracted more than 1,000 applications highlighting on-farm innovations since its inception in 2007. 

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program encourages the development of our rural communities, farms, agri-food processors and agri-food organizations by adding value to existing products, creating jobs and driving economic growth.

The program recognizes up to 45 Regional Award recipients across the province who receive a plaque, wordmark and a gate sign, as well as $5,000; a Premier’s Award ($75,000); a Minister’s Award ($50,000); and, three Leaders in Innovation Awards ($25,000).

A farmer, primary producer, processor, or agri-food related organization are all eligible for recognition under this initiative. Applicants must be in compliance with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal legislation that apply to the operation of the innovation.

Examples of innovation areas include, but are not limited to:

  • improved business practices
  • response to consumer demands (eg., new product development, value added, marketing, strategic alliances, local food)
  • environmental stewardship
  • health and safety
  • energy and bio-economy
  • food safety and traceability
  • education and marketing of the agriculture and food industry to society

This year’s applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18, 2013. Eligible applications will be reviewed by two independent panels comprised of a cross-section of Ontario’s agri-food industry. Additional information, guidelines and application forms are available on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website or by calling the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.