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Ontario funds rural volunteer development

February 28, 2024  By Fruit & Vegetable

The Ontario government is investing up to $836,250 over three years to increase the capacity of rural volunteers and organizations across the province. The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) is partnering with the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) to provide training and workshops that will enhance leadership and governance skills as well as management practices.

“Ontario’s agricultural societies play an important role in leading amazing, annual rural community activities. This educational initiative will enhance the leadership, governance skills and best management practices in important rural organizations, and by extension our agriculture and food industry across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, provincial minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

This funding will help OAAS and ROI provide educational supports focused on leadership, governance, and community engagement to more than 200 agricultural societies across the province. It will also aid the development of other resources that will help agricultural societies hold fairs and events promoting agriculture and the agri-food industry.

Agricultural societies are run mainly by volunteers and play a critical role in educating people about the importance of agriculture and celebrating a rural way of life. Supporting this important sector will ensure the long traditions and economic contributions of agricultural societies continue to thrive and attract new talent.

By building leadership capacity and involvement within the agriculture and food industry, this investment will further benefit rural communities while maintaining an important tradition at fairs where the ‘best of the best’ in community, the homecraft division, and agricultural competitions continue to be celebrated.

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