Government of Canada invests to transform Stratton Sales Barn into all-season agricultural hub for Northwestern Ontario  

News release

FedNor funding helps Rainy River Cattlemen's Association modernize its operations to support sustainable growth for 200+ farmers in the region

March 19, 2021 –Rainy River, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Northern Ontario farmers and agri-food producers across the country are working hard to overcome the impacts of COVID-19 and the Government of Canada continues to have their backs during these challenging times. Through strategic investments in businesses and organizations, we are providing farmers and producers with the tools and resources they need to be part of our economic recovery so they can emerge from it stronger and more competitive than ever before.

Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Rainy River, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced an investment of nearly $830,000 to help more than 200 Northwestern Ontario farmers increase sales, expand their operations and create local jobs. Specifically, the FedNor funding will enable the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association to complete infrastructure upgrades and expand the Stratton Sales Barn. Once complete, this priority project will help increase service and annual cattle sales by more than 50 percent for farmers in the Rainy River, Kenora, and Thunder Bay Districts.

Provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, this investment will be used to prepare the site for expansion, construct a new sales facility and install underground water lines and a new watering system. The investment will also support upgrades to the existing building, as well as the purchase and installation of a new skid steer, and modernized penning and handling facilities to help feed and sort cattle in a safe and efficient manner.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting farmers in Northwestern Ontario and across the country. Investing in organizations like the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association will help get Canadians back to work safely and ensure that our agricultural sector is strong, sustainable, and well positioned to play a major role in Canada’s economic recovery.


“The wellbeing of all Canadians – physically, socially and economically – begins with a safe food supply. Northern Ontario’s farmers and agri-food businesses are essential to this, and we continue to have their backs. These important measures will help them develop, grow and support good jobs by improving productivity, increasing yields and ensuring a safe and efficient food supply chain.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“The Stratton Sales Barn is the only facility of its kind in Northwestern Ontario and I’m proud of our government’s efforts to help the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association modernize and expand this agriculture hub. Providing our farmers with year-round access to sell their cattle will lead to increased sales of up to $6 million annually, help strengthen our agricultural sector, and pave the way for job creation throughout the Thunder Bay-Rainy River region.”
- Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Rainy River

“We are very pleased to announce extensive upgrades to the Stratton Sales Barn Yard. In partnership with FedNor and the Government of Canada, we are excited that this major expansion project allows us to increase capacity, revenue, improve efficiencies and services for the more than 200 cattle producers in North-Western Ontario. It is going to be awesome!”
- Louis Bujold, President, Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • The Rainy River District is the largest agricultural region in Northwestern Ontario, primarily consisting of beef farms. The area has a cattle herd of approximately 20,000 animals.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer

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