Spring RAIN Update

Algoma Agriculture Sector Labour & Skills Development Survey

Harvest Algoma, a division of United Way Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma, is conducting the Algoma Agriculture Sector Development Project. Funded by the Ministry of Labour, Train and Skills Development in partnership with RAIN, AWIC, CDC of Sault Ste Marie and East Algoma Community Futures Development Corporation.  

The project is focused on; identifying current employment and career opportunities in the agriculture and food processing industry, future employment and career opportunities, skills and training needs, and barriers to people wanting to enter the sector. From this, we are coordinating with industry stakeholders to develop solutions and pathways to meet the labour and skill needs of agriculture business in Algoma District. Your participation in this survey is greatly appreciated so we can help your business develop into your vision for it.
Fill out the survey here:

Funding Opportunities


Algoma Central Store – The Algoma Central Store is an online store for Algoma area farmers and producers https://www.localline.ca/algoma-central-country-store

Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) – A Guide for Direct Sales to Consumers during COVID-19 and Beyond https://ofa.on.ca/resources/a-guide-for-direct-sales-to-consumers-during-covid-19-and-beyond/

Open Food Network Canada is an incorporated not-for-profit. Their mandate is to build public infrastructure for the sale and distribution of food in local sustainable food systems. The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) is hosting a webinar about the platform on May 1st.

OMAFRA Beef Team has pulled together resources to help beef farmers deal with current challenges available on their website: ontario.ca/beef


Advancing Northern Maple Program – The partners (FedNor, RAIN, Algoma/Algonquin/Ontario Maple Syrup Producers) in this program have approved 16 projects from northern maple farms to expand the maple syrup sector in northern Ontario. Projects included sugarbush expansion, technology upgrades and storage infrastructure. Northern maple producers have been in the news regarding the new COVID-19 realities (SooToday, CTV News)

Buy Algoma Buy Local has launched its membership renewal for 2020. The regional branding and marketing program promotes local food and drink in Algoma. More info at www.buyalgoma.ca

www.SaultTogether.ca – A new website was launched by City of SSM & SSM Innovation Centre to support local businesses that are providing products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The businesses in this directory remain open to serve your needs.

Sustainable New Agri-Food Products & Productivity Program – In the 2019-22 SNAPP Program (in-take 1) RAIN and partners (FedNor, NOFIA, Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre) have approved $512,000 in grant contributions towards 62 projects across northern Ontario. Thank you to those who filled out a recent survey to assist RAIN and partners make adjustments to the SNAPP program in light of COVID-19.

Agricultural Plastics Disposal Pilot Project

The Northern Caucus of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) has launched a 3-year pilot to take used agricultural plastic off-farm and recycle or recover it, managing its end-of-life stewardship. For more information about this project, visit NOFIA’s website: https://www.nofia-agri.com/plastics-disposal-pilot

Thessalon Algoma Co-op Livestock Sales May 4, 2019 @ 10:00 am- Spring Stocker Sale.  Dennis Kirby – 705-842-5534 sale barn or cell- 705-842-2249

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Webinars

Webinar: Field and Bed Preparation ONLINE
May 6, 9-10:30am
Description: Before you can plant, you need to prepare the soil.  This workshop will discuss methods of field and bed preparation, the dangers of over cultivation, and innovative no-till options.  Primary and secondary tillage equipment will be shown as well as smaller-scale and hand-tool options.
Cost: EFAO members $15, non-members $20 Register here

Webinar: Weed Management  ONLINE
May 6, 1:30pm-3:00pm
Description: What are some common weeds and how do we manage them on a farm? This workshop will introduce the importance of managing weeds, the basics of weed identification, and various preventative and reactive control measures.  
Cost: EFAO members $15, non-members $20 Register here  

Virtual Field Day: Season Extension at Common Ground Farm ONLINE
May 13, 9:00-10:30am
Description: Join us for a virtual tour of Common Ground Farm.  Participants will view a recorded short farm tour and workshop on season extension.  There will be a group discussion and an opportunity for participants to ask the Common Ground Farm Team about their farm operations.  
This event is offered in partnership with CRAFT SW ON.
Cost: EFAO members $5, non-members $10 Register here  

Virtual Field Day: Field Good Farms
May 27th, 1:30pm-2:30pm
Description: Ryan and Isabelle of Field Good Farms in Northeastern Ontario have spent the last 10 years figuring out the infrastructure and set-up that works best for their farm, which provides CSA shares from June until December and wholesale vegetables year round. Take advantage of their years of experimentation, cost analysis and tweaks and find out what makes the most sense for their farm business and why. Participants will watch a pre-recorded farm tour of their greenhouses and tunnels, major farm tools, seeding and transplanting procedures, no-till practices and packhouse set up. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity for participants to participate in a discussion and ask questions of Ryan and Isabelle about their farm operations.
Cost: EFAO members $5, non-members $10 Register here  

Webinar: Watering and Irrigation Principles ONLINE
June 3, 9am-10:30am
Description: This workshop will provide an introduction to the importance of irrigation on farms, water stress on plants, when to irrigate and how much. Participants can expect to learn about different irrigation options and have the chance to see them in action.
Cost: EFAO members $15, non-members $20 Register here  

Webinar: Early Season Harvesting and Post-harvest Handling ONLINE
June 3, 1:30-3:00pm
Description: Harvest and post-harvest handling is a critical step to ensure good quality produce with optimal shelf life. We will discuss harvest hygiene, timing, and techniques as well as post-harvest handling, cooling, and storage.  
Cost: EFAO members $15, non-members $20 Register here  

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