GUELPH, ON (June 10, 2021) – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers, has pledged $200,000 to the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus for its new Crop Research and Innovation Centre.
The Crop Research and Innovation Centre will be a key resource for future research innovations in crop production, management, sustainability, and more. Grain farming in Ontario is responsible for more than $18 billion to the province’s economy and more than 75,000 jobs. Investment in research and innovation that helps farmers improve crop yield, quality, and reduce environmental impact is imperative for the growth of the province’s economy.
“Our farmer-members have always recognized the importance of understanding new innovation and evolving best practices based on science and experience,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus and we thank them for their commitment to grain excellence.”
“This tremendous show of support from Grain Farmers of Ontario exhibits their commitment to future crop research results that will help drive our local, provincial, and global agri-food economy. Thank you to each of the 28,000 members of Grain Farmers of Ontario for this significant leadership gift. Your continued support to Ridgetown Campus exemplifies the work of our crop scientists and their contributions to high quality, safe, and sustainable food production,” stated Brett Shepherd, Director, Ridgetown Campus.
We are very grateful for the support of Grain Farmers of Ontario to the proposed Crop Research and Innovation Centre at the Ridgetown Campus,” says Dr. Rene Van Acker, Ontario Agricultural College dean. “This much needed infrastructure is key to our capacity to conduct world-leading research that supports Ontario’s grain farmers and the agri-food sector. We are so fortunate to have such supportive partners. Grain Farmers of Ontario’s support is fundamentally important to our ability to move forward with this project.” Project leads are working hard to secure provincial support for this project. With an estimated 80/20 funding model, an 80% financial commitment from the province is a cornerstone, prior to project groundbreaking.
The new facility will provide a number of scientific labs equipped with the latest technology to allow scientists to raise the bar on the types of crop research projects they will be able to complete. The new facility will also provide engaging training opportunities for agri-food students and other industry stakeholders to learn important practical skills they can apply on their farms and agribusinesses.