The Ontario government has announced funding that will go towards the agricultural economic development in northwestern Ontario.

A total of $889,000 will be provided to an emerging hops industry and to help support 200 regional cattle farms in northwestern Ontario.

Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry was in Rainy River for the announcement yesterday.

“Our government is proud to support the north’s growing agricultural sector. By investing in farmers and crop producers, we are supporting jobs and developing resilient and vibrant communities,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Hops is an emerging crop in northern Ontario. This government is proud to support new industries to diversify the northern economy.”

The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and the will funding will be received by the following projects.

The Rainy River Future Development Corporation will be receiving $60,000 to purchase a mechanical hops harvester and baler for local producers to harvest and sell hops to regional buyers.

"The Rainy River Future Development Corporation greatly appreciates the support of the Ontario government in purchasing a hops harvester. The district has seen the development of a hops sector and having a harvester available for area producers to use will enhance harvesting activities and allow the producers to get their hops to market.” Gord Armstrong Chair of Rainy River Future Development Corporation

The Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association will receive the bulk of the funding at $829,000. The money will go towards rebuilding two sales barns, installing an underground watering system, purchase a new scale system and improve loading, penning, and auction areas. This money will allow the association to host more auctions and attract Ontario beef producers to the area.

"We are so pleased with the support from the Ontario government as we do these major upgrades to our sales barn. The ability to extend our seasons at the sales barn for both our staff and cattle will be a huge improvement. We are excited about this project and are looking forward to showing off the hard work later this fall." Kim Jo Bliss Secretary, Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association

Rickford

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation, and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $318 million in 3,134 projects in northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 4,850 jobs.