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  • Emily Potter, NOFIA Project Development Advisor

Northern Ontario Ag Conference 2019

February 12th saw NOFIA’s first Northern Ontario Ag Conference in Sudbury put on in partnership with Ontario Soil & Crop Associations in the Northeast. This year’s theme was “Build for the Future. Grow Your Business.”, focusing on agricultural business start-ups, product marketing and programs supporting the agricultural industry in Northern Ontario.

The aim of this event was to provide a unique learning opportunity for farmers in Northern Ontario and offer a place for them to network and connect with other farmers and people in the industry. It’s not always easy for farmers in the north to make it to conferences held farther south, and it’s nice to have an opportunity to connect with farmers from the north who understand the different challenges that are faced as a farmer in Northern Ontario.

Highlights of the day:

  • Marc Rodrigue (Borealis Fresh Farms Inc. in Timmins), who spoke on the opportunities and challenges he has faced as he started his own hydroponics farm

  • Members from the Click Fork group (a Northeastern Ontario online farmer’s market) on taking different approaches to direct marketing

  • Josh DeVries on using social media to grow your business

  • Hugh Kruzel from NORCAT on prototyping and business development opportunities at their organization

  • David Thompson from RAIN on branding northern foods and funding programs

  • OMAFRA North team giving an update on the projects they have been working on

  • Updates from NOFIA, OSCIA, and the IPM

Despite the weather, the turnout to the conference was fantastic, with participants coming from Manitoulin, Parry Sound, Nipissing, Sudbury, Algoma and Temiskaming. Participants left with new ideas on how they can improve their business, better market their products, and knowledge about funding programs that could be used on their operations. We hope to make next year’s event even bigger and better.

Thank you again to our speakers and sponsors for making this year’s event a success!



  • Northeastern Ontario SCIA

  • Sudbury SCIA

  • Temiskaming SCIA

  • West Nipissing/East Sudbury SCIA

  • BMO

  • FBC

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