Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ontario farm family builds premium local food brand

pristine-gourmet-twitter-englishBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Waterford – When the going gets tough, the tough get going, or so the saying goes.

And that’s precisely the situation Ontario grain farmer Jason Persall found himself in more than a decade ago – crop prices were low, leading him to look for a way to add value to his family’s Norfolk County farming business.

Today, the Pristine Gourmet brand is popular with chefs and consumers alike across North America and is known for its premium cold-pressed virgin soybean, canola and sunflower oils that rival olive oil in quality. Continue reading

Craft processor – farmer partnership to develop value-added local food

product-webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – A small southern Ontario craft food processor is offering fruit and vegetable farmers the chance to add value to their crops.

Rootham Gourmet from Guelph is well known for its award-winning brand of jams, jellies, chutneys, sauces and dressings made with local ingredients that they’ve been marketing for over 30 years.

Now, with Growing Forward 2 support for a new state-of-the-art packaging line, they’re expanding to add co-packing services for Ontario farmers who have surplus produce, or are looking for a value-added product to sell in on-farm stores or at farmers’ markets. Continue reading

Trent research identifies gene variant responsible for scrapie susceptibility in Ontario dairy goats

Young Ontario goats - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Peterborough ON, 12 July 2016 – Live goats can now be tested for scrapie susceptibility and resistance thanks to newly completed genetic research by Dr. Bradley White, a biology professor at Trent University.

Scrapie is a slow-moving but fatal degenerative central nervous system disease in sheep and goats that is related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.

Currently, testing for the scrapie disease in goats is only possible on dead animals and no treatment or vaccine is available. The disease can be spread by positive animals that don’t show any symptoms of the disease, and all goats on farms where scrapie is found are destroyed. Continue reading

Agricultural not-for-profit benefits from Growing Forward 2 funding

This story comes to us from the Agricultural Adaptation Council

WebBy Lilian Schaer

Milton – When you’re a charitable organization that depends on funding programs to help support special projects, the funding agent and their approach to program delivery can make all the difference.

That’s been the experience of Ontario Agri-Food Education (OAFE), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between agri-food and the public through classroom resources and programming for educators, and their relationship with the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC). Continue reading

Spinning gold out of straw

This story comes to us from Bioenterprise

Mushrooms growing in substrateLondon, Ontario – Cennatek believes there’s money to be made in discarded mushroom compost — and a host of other agricultural feedstocks. A $1.4 million pilot plant will provide the proof.

Every week, 52 weeks a year, the Highline  Mushrooms  plant in Ontario’s  Prince Edward County  discards  600  tonnes  of  spent  mushroom  compost.  And while local farmers are happy to use the nutrient-­‐rich waste as fertilizer, that’s only a seasonal activity.

So Highline turned to Cennatek. The London, Ontario company has developed technology to extract minerals from biomass — including the wheat straw in mushroom compost — and turn them into high-­‐value liquid fertilizer.   Continue reading