MPP Thompson announces new agricultural and rural grants

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is sharing some “great news” of more than $1.1 million in new grants for local farmers, the agricultural sector, as well as new rural projects.
Thompson announced 78 various projects in Huron-Bruce will receive more than $850,000 in funding as part of the provincial government’s almost $8 million in in cost-share funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to eligible farmers and other agri-food businesses.
“I am proud to see such great support for local farmers and agriculture,” she said, noting that the grants will improve the competitiveness of the agri-food sector and secure it for long-term sustainability. Through the Partnership, these initiatives will support improvements in areas such as enhanced traceability systems, upgraded animal-handling equipment, and strengthened biosecurity measures.
Thompson also applauded Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman for his ongoing dedication to farmers and the agricultural industry. “It is reassuring to know that rural Ontario has a Minister of Agriculture who has their back, especially during these difficult times.”
Examples of projects supported through this programming include:
·      Improving food safety systems on farms to meet or exceed international certification standards;
·      Planting over-wintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses;
·      Actions to help prevent pest damage at greenhouse operations;
·      Developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business; and
·      Upgrades to animal-handling equipment and improved biosecurity measures.
Thompson has also announced more than $250,000 in new local funding under the Rural Economic Development Program (RED).
Recipients include Huron-Kinloss Township ($128,750) for a business incubator project; The County of Huron (two projects totalling $58,263) for business retention and expansion as well as updating the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus resource website; The County of Bruce ($34,000) for skills training and development; the Paddy Walker Heritage Society ($27,677) for remediation and renovation of the Walker House in Kincardine; and the Huron Manufacturing Association ($5,650) for a youth attraction and retention program.
“The Rural Economic Development Program plays a key role in helping fund important projects that might not get started without the support,” Thompson said. “I am glad to see that the program is so well received and supported in Huron-Bruce.”
The RED intake is directed at not-for-profit organizations with a mandate towards regional economic development and qualified projects would be eligible for up to 70 per cent of total costs to a maximum of $75,000 in provincial funding.
New RED applications will be accepted until October 9, 2020.  All costs must be incurred on or before March 31, 2021 as projects will not be extended beyond that date.
In addition, projects need to meet the following criteria:
  • benefit rural Ontario
  • have tangible outcomes
  • reach beyond one county, region, or district

The next regular intake of the RED program is scheduled to open in December 2020.