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Award applications being accepted


November 3, 2009
By Marg Land


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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Award applications being accepted

Applications are now being accepted for the fourth year of the Premier’s Award
for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program.



November 3, 2009 –
Applications are now being accepted for the fourth year of the Premier’s Award
for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
program.

The deadline for
submissions is November 16, 2009. Awards will be announced in 2010.

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The Premier’s Award for
Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
was established in 2006 to recognize and foster
innovation in the agri-food industry. The five-year, $2.5 million program (now
in its fourth year) encourages the development of prosperity in Ontario’s rural
communities and on farms by recognizing innovations that add value to existing
products, create jobs and drive economic growth. As many as 55 regional awards,
valued at $5,000 each, can be presented each year. Recipients of the Premier’s
Award (up to $100,000) and the Minister’s Award (up to $50,000) are selected
from the regional winners.

A farmer, primary
producer, groups of farmers, combination of agri-food businesses, or agri-food
related organizations are all eligible for recognition under this initiative. A
farmer must be one of the applicants in any group (i.e., eligible to obtain an
Ontario Farm Business Registration number).

The innovation must have
been developed and have been in use on an Ontario farm, or be in the planning
stages of development with a business plan towards implementation. The
innovation must also have the potential for use on a broader basis and
demonstrate a positive effect on the agricultural industry.

Examples of types of
innovations include, but are not limited to:

  • improved farm
    practices
  • responding to consumer
    demands
  • environmental
    stewardship
  • health and safety on
    the farm
  • energy innovations
  • education and
    marketing of agriculture to society
  • local food
  • traceability

This year’s applications
must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2009. Eligible applications
will be reviewed by two independent panels comprised of a cross-section of
Ontario’s agri-food industry. Additional information, guidelines and
applications forms are available on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food
and Rural Affairs website
or by calling the Agricultural Information Contact
Centre
at 1-877-424-1300.

Learn more about past
award winning innovations by visiting the website at
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/premier_award/2008/winners.htm.

In its first three years,
the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation program has attracted more than
550 applications highlighting on-farm innovations. There are two years left in
the current program.