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Governments Strengthening Agriculture and Food Sector in Northern Ontario

Press Release

November 24, 2023

$1.65 million investment supporting research at Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station

THUNDER BAY – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1.65 million over five years to support research programming, knowledge transfer and the operations and management of the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station (LUARS). This multi-year funding through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) will help improve the viability and yield of crops in Northern Ontario, develop and diversify the agricultural industry, and position it for continued growth.

“Supporting agricultural research and innovation is vitally important,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment at the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station underscores our shared commitment to advancing Northern Ontario’s agricultural sector, and will help grow, and diversify, the province’s agricultural industry.”

The research will focus on areas such as best management practices for Northern agriculture, soil health, environmental sustainability, and climate change, as well as research and knowledge co-developed with Indigenous researchers and communities.

“Agriculture in the North is growing, and the research at LUARS is becoming increasingly important as farmers expand their operations in the region,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By investing in agricultural research in the North, we are working towards the goals of our Grow Ontario Strategy by promoting this province as a leader in agri-food technology and increasing production and consumption of locally grown food.”

“I am pleased to see the investment in the Lakehead Agricultural Research Station through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership,” said Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan. “Our local farmers and consumers will benefit from the innovative and best practices developed specifically for Northern Ontario through this funding.”

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5 billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, food, and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.

Quick Facts

  • Supporting continued and targeted investments in science, research and innovation to address key challenges and opportunities in the agriculture and food sector is among the priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.
  • Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station (LUARS), located in the city of Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario, was founded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 1991.
  • Funding for LUARS is being provided through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO).
  • ARIO owns 14 research properties across Ontario. Research centres are an important platform for conducting agri-food research, which supports the competitiveness and sustainability of the agriculture and food sector.

Quotes

“The Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario is pleased to support Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station to advance agriculture research for area farmers and enhance the strength and viability of the agri-food sector in Northern Ontario. The Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station serves as a continued example of how research stations across the province are integral to enabling innovative and high impact research for the province of Ontario.”
– Dr. Lorne Hepworth
Chair, Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario

“Lakehead University welcomes the continued financial support from the province and the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario to operate our Agricultural Research Station. The research and extension services this station provides to the local farming community and agri-businesses are vital to the economy and continued growth of the agricultural sector in Northwestern Ontario.”
– Dr. Andrew P. Dean
Vice President, Research and Innovation, Lakehead University

Additional Resources

Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario

Grow Ontario Strategy

Media Contacts

Sam McCormick
Minister’s Office
Sam.McCormick@Ontario.ca

Connie Osborne
Communications Branch
OMAFRA.media@ontario.ca
519-826-3145

Francis Chechile
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Francis.Chechile@agr.gc.ca

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613‑773‑7972
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations‑relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca

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