A strong Northern presence was seen once again at this year's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, held from November 1 - 10 at the Exhibition Place. From 4-H members competing in livestock competitions to agri-food businesses from across the north coming to showcase their products in FedNor's Northern Ontario pavillion, it's safe to say that the thousands of visitors walking through the doors were exposed to what we have to offer in the “Great White North”.
The Temiskaming 4-H Beef Buddies brought 8 members down to compete in the Masterfeeds National Junior Beef Heifer Show November 1st and 2nd at the Royal. Jenna Wight, Ashley Fisher, Amanda Walther, Haylee Archambeault, Reid Archambeault, Adrian Goddard, Samaira Caron, and Katherine Walther competed in showmanship and confirmation classes and did an excellent job of representing Temiskaming and Northern Ontario through their teamwork spirit.
The Temiskaming 4-H Dairy club followed suit, sending 5 members down to compete in the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic, where they competed in showmanship and confirmation classes on Monday, November 4th and Tuesday, November 5th. Ashley Fisher, Grace Twiner, Josh Loach, Emma Loach and Hannah Loach represented the future of Northern Ontario’s dairy industry well. Ashley Fisher was honoured with the Justin Parish Memorial Bursary for showing dedication to the dairy industry and competing in the 4-H dairy show at the Royal for the first time.
Shyloe Lavallee and Nancy McMurdy from Deer Creek Ranch in Warren participated in the market lamb competition, providing great representation from the north's sheep industry.
Other competition highlights included Bella Hill Maple Syrup from Powassan taking home the C.P. Corbett Trophy for the highest points total in the maple product classes and Sucrerie Seguin Sugarbush in Lavigne bringing home a first for their soft maple sugar candy. In the butter and cheese competitions, Thornloe Cheese took home the Grand Champion ribbon for their grass-fed butter and first place for their Evantural cheese. Digging deeper into the results showed that the winner of the butter tart competition used Thornloe Cheese's grass-fed butter in her recipe as well.
Heading over to FedNor’s Northern Ontario pavilion, the spotlight was shined on Northern Ontario-produced agri-food products. Producers from all over the north came to showcase their products to a different market that they normally would not have access to. Some producers have been coming for many years, and feel that attending the Royal has certainly helped them expand their markets.
Exhibitors from Northern Ontario included:
Northern Ontario products were also featured in Metro’s Spotlight on Local pavilion and Destination Northern Ontario’s booth, where attendees had the opportunity to try samples from different northern producers.
Visitors are told to come to the Royal to “get agricultured”. With the great amount of northern presence at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, not only did they “get agricultured”, they got “northern agricultured”. What an excellent display of what the north has to offer this was.