Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Ontario announces Excellence in Ag recipients at Royal Winter Fair

November 8, 2023  By Fruit & Vegetable

In late August, the Government of Ontario launched the 2023 Excellence in Agriculture program to highlight the outstanding efforts, innovations and achievements across the province’s agriculture and food sector. Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, announced the 25 recipients – 14 winners and 11 honourable mentions – at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto in early November.

“The recipients lead by example and have demonstrated ingenuity, drive, and passion. Their impact on Ontario’s agriculture and food industry is invaluable,” Thompson said.

The Conestoga Food Research and Innovation Lab (CFRIL) at Conestoga College in Waterloo Region is the recipient of the Minister’s Award. CFRIL is an applied research centre that partners with start-up, small, and medium-sized food businesses to solve technical challenges, de-risk equipment, and provide lab testing opportunities, technical skills, and production support from their 8,000- square-foot facility.


The 2023 honourees being recognized for agricultural excellence across 11 categories are:

  • Excellence in Food Processing
    • The County Bounty Artisanal Soda Co. – Napanee
  • Excellence in Research and Innovation
    • Conestoga Food Research and Innovation Lab (CFRIL) – Waterloo Region
  • Women’s Excellence
    • Loft 32 – Crystal Mackay, Mary Thornley, Brenda Trask – Guelph
  • Youth Excellence
    • Arthur Lin, Lavender Polo Farm – East Gwillimbury
  • Northern Business Excellence
    • AgriTech North – Dryden
  • Indigenous-Owned Business or Community Excellence
    • Moose Cree First Nation – James Bay
  • Family Farm Excellence
    • Snyder’s Family Farm Ltd. – Oxford County
    • Everlily Maples Farm – Bancroft
  • Agri-Food Promotional Excellence
    • Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) – Sault Ste. Marie
    • Eat Local Huron – Huron County
  • Supply Chain Excellence
    • Chicken Farmers of Ontario – Burlington
  • Excellence in Agri-Food Talent Recruitment
    • Jennefer Griffith, Food Processing Skills Canada – Ottawa

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