About RAIN

RAIN’s vision is to build a resilient farm and food sector in northern Ontario through innovative research and agricultural development projects.


The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) is dedicated to the needs of agricultural organizations, producers, suppliers and agri-entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario; to enhance the industry by providing a collaborative infrastructure and network that enhances stakeholder capabilities and business growth.
Located on Level 6 of the Civic Centre, RAIN is a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC).

“Northern districts all share some common goals and needs, but each is a little different in terms of its agricultural focus and current activities. We are focusing on the needs of Algoma’s farmers, while partnering and sharing information with our northern counterparts”
Errol Caldwell, past Research Director, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and RAIN Co-Chair.

RAIN Advisory Committee

As a non-profit organization, RAIN’s activities are steered by an advisory committee. Committee members represent agricultural producer groups, local markets, and regional economic development corporations.

Errol Caldwell, RAIN Chair, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (retired)
Jason Koivisto, Algoma Federation of Agriculture
Ken MacLeod, Algoma Federation of Agriculture
Judy Hughes, Algoma Maple Producers Association
Alf Roberts, Algoma Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Shawn Heard, East Algoma Community Futures Development Corporation
Arik Theijsmeijer, FedNor
Edith Orr, Johnson Township Farmers’ Market
Karen Speers, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Julie Poirier-Mensinga, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs


RAIN Partners

RAIN has a number of partnerships with organizations that focus on agri-food sector development including:

  • City of Sault Ste. Marie
  • College Boreal
  • Fair Finance Fund
  • FedNor
  • Huron North Community Economic Alliance
  • Lake Superior Living Labs Network
  • Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station
  • Northern Food Distribution Network
  • Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance
  • Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
  • Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food & Rural Affairs