Parliamentary Secretary Drouin highlights $7.4 million to support sustainable farming practices in Ontario

News release

February 9, 2022 – St-Albert, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Across the country, Canadian farmers are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. The Government of Canada is supporting farmers through the climate challenges of today, including droughts, floods and other extreme weather, while investing in clean technology solutions that will build a healthier future for generations to come.

Today, Francis Drouin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, along with Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament for London West, highlighted support of up to over $7.4 million for the 17 projects approved so far across Ontario under the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program. This will help farmers adapt to a changing climate and boost their long-term competitiveness, all while cutting emissions. This funding is focused on three priority areas: green energy and energy efficiency; precision agriculture; and the bioeconomy.

As part of today’s announcement, J E Henderson Farms Ltd. in Mount Brydges virtually hosted Parliamentary Secretary Drouin and Member of Parliament Kayabaga to showcase its new biomass unit to replace the propane unit on its grain dryer, made possible through ACT – Adoption Stream funding of up to $127,000.

Roelofsen Nursery Ltd. in Otterville also showed Parliamentary Secretary Drouin and Member of Parliament Kayabaga its new precision farming machine with GPS positioning and plant-level sensors to manage its field nursery operation while reducing diesel fuel and dependency on chemical use, made possible through ACT – Adoption Stream funding of up to $183,000.

Parliamentary Secretary Drouin and Member of Parliament Kayabaga also virtually toured Ontario Genomics in Toronto to learn about how the organization helps partner organizations convert agricultural waste into bioplastics, a process that intends to lead to lower energy costs, improved performance and a reduction in GHG emissions. With funding of up to $1.26 million through the ACT – Research and Innovation Stream, Ontario Genomics will manage a consortium to accelerate the optimization of lab processes, pilot commercial processing equipment and produce material test samples for use by industry partners.

Under the ACT Program, the Adoption Stream supports the purchase and installation of commercially available clean technologies and processes with a priority given to those that show evidence of GHG emissions and other environmental co-benefits. The Research and Innovation Stream supports pre-market innovation, including research, development, demonstration and commercialization activities, to develop transformative clean technologies and enable the expansion of current technologies.

Today’s announcement builds on the work already underway to help farmers reduce emissions and develop technology to adapt to climate change. The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program is part of the government’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is working together with agricultural producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program helps them acquire more energy-efficient equipment and adopt innovative solutions to make their practices more sustainable. These investments build resilience to climate change and meet consumer expectations.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“Here in Ontario, we are working closely with farmers to develop and implement farming practices to sequester carbon and tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Through investments in local projects, such as J E Henderson Farms’ new biomass unit and Roelofsen Nursery’s new precision farming machine, we continue to enable the adoption of practices that will accelerate emission reductions in the agricultural sector. With pivotal research and development underway in the lab at Ontario Genomics to convert agricultural waste into bioplastics, the future of farming in Canada is promising.”

- Francis Drouin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“Across southwestern Ontario, our Government is committed to helping farmers reduce emissions and develop technology to adapt to climate change. By investing in local projects such as J E Henderson Farms’ new biomass unit to replace the propane unit on its grain dryer, we continue to establish the right building blocks to get to net zero by 2050 so that our children and grandchildren can grow up with clean air and water.”

- Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament for London West

“Adopting new technologies and switching fuel types can be a major investment. Government of Canada funding has helped our family business by easing the initial cost of our project.”

- Matt Kittell, Owner, K&M Kittell Farms Ltd. O/A J E Henderson Farms Ltd.

"We are thrilled to receive funding through the ACT Research and Innovation Stream to tackle society's major challenges: food waste and plastic pollution. This project will help provide new revenue streams for the agri-food sector by connecting and enabling academic and industry innovators to turn waste into high-value and sustainable products, such as bioplastics. By working with forward-looking companies and researchers, we can accelerate a circular bioeconomy for Ontario and Canada."

- Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics

“This funding is very important to our family business of field-grown landscape shrubs. It will assist with the purchase of the automated Globus Trike with GPS and optical sensors to manage our plants in the field—cultivate, prune and harvest them. Although our method of growing is much more environmentally friendly than greenhouse production, it had become unsustainable due to the excessive need for family and seasonal labour. This machine will increase efficiency and at the same time reduce our use of chemicals and fuel.”

- Gerard Roelofsen, Owner, Roelofsen Nursery Ltd.

Quick facts

  • The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program is part of the government’s strengthened climate plan. The climate plan includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in investments in addition to the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s $6 billion for clean infrastructure announced as part of its growth plan.

  • The ACT Program may provide a more favourable cost-share ratio (60:40) where the majority of the business (more than 50 percent) is owned or led by one or more underrepresented groups, which include: women, youth, aged 35 or under, Indigenous groups, visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

  • Projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of a contribution agreement.

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has announced over $550 million in federal investments to support the development and adoption of clean technologies and beneficial management practices. In addition to ACT, recent programs have been launched to help address environmental issues, including the $185-million Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) – Living Labs program to support carbon sequestration and GHG emission reduction and the $200-million ACS – On-Farm Climate Action Fund to support immediate on-farm adoption of beneficial management practices (nitrogen management, rotational grazing and cover cropping). 

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Contacts

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

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