Funding Opportunity: The Greenhouse Technology Network

This guest blog post was written by Dr. Rita Sterne, Project Manager with the Greenhouse Technology Network. Read on for important information about this funding opportunity.

Why do we need a Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN)?

Success for a greenhouse business comes from many things including balancing systems, constant vigilance, and the use of technologies across complex production activities.  From tools, equipment, and machines, to methods, systems, and techniques, new and improved technologies must help growers run  a profitable businesses in a world where there are increasing demands from society, environment, and economy. 

Technological advancements often develop in response to a challenge, but research and development is a costly undertaking for many small and medium sized businesses and some persistent challenges require research expertise that is hard to access.  This is where the Greenhouse Technology Network can help!

Robotic technology in a greenhouse.

What is the Greenhouse Technology Network?

The need for new and improved technologies is the driver behind the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), a consortium of three research-focused institutions. GTN members leverage their research expertise in greenhouse technologies with greenhouse and related technology businesses to help grow innovation in Ontario’s greenhouse industry.

Powered by funding from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, GTN members help businesses de-risk innovation activities and help new and improved technologies get to greenhouse growers faster where they will help business thrive and grow.

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Cost-Share Funding Alert: Canadian Agricultural Partnership Intake Opens November 15th

The next application intake for cost-share funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will be November 15 to December 6, 2021. This is good timing if you are looking to implement improvements in your greenhouse for the 2022 season.

Adopting innovative automation to improve labour productivity is an eligible project area. (Image of an automatic cutting transplanter; AutoStix)
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New Covid-19 Funding Alert! Agri-tech Innovation Program webinar on May 20th

As I mentioned in my last post, it’s incredible how fast the sector is evolving when it comes to Covid-19 and mitigating its effects in agriculture.

OMAFRA is pleased to announce the new Agri-Tech Innovation Program, with $22M in funding to help farms adopt innovative technologies that protect workers against Covid-19.

To learn more about this program, see the details below for the information webinar on Thursday at 9 am.

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Confused About Covid Programing? Introducing OMAFRA’s COVID-19 Webinar Series!

With information on Covid-19 changing over time, and funding programs evolving to keep up with grower needs, it can be hard to keep track of what’s happening week-to-week regarding Covid and agriculture.

To help deliver up-to-date information to stakeholders, OMAFRA will be delivering a COVID-19 OMAFRA Monthly Webinar Series.

The series will be an opportunity to provide information, address concerns and promote tools and resources offered by OMAFRA.   The first webinar in the series is TOMORROW (May 18th) at noon, and will cover changes to the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program. Be sure to keep reading for how to access it!

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Funding Available for Farm COVID Safety Assessment and Training Until March 31st!

Are you aware Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) offers consulting to look at your farm’s safety practices and COVID-19 risks? Ontario is providing funding for up to $2000 in these services until March 31st. To take advantage of this program before it ends, check out the links provided below!

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OMAFRA’s Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Program Extended until Friday, March 12.

Enhaced Worker Protection ProgramHave you applied for OMAFRA’s Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program (EAWPP), to help mitigate risks and costs from COVID??? If not, there’s still time!

The deadline for submitting eligible expenses has been extended.  Eligible applications for project expenditures incurred as of March 15, 2020 are received and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Financial assistance is available until March 12, 2021. 

More information is available at OMAFRA’s COVID-19 landing pageLinks to expenses covered under the EAWPP program are included in the post below. Continue reading

Worried About Access to Farm Labour? This Webinar Can Help.

Workers on a packing line in a greenhouse.

Access to migrant workers as a key source of Ontario’s agricultural labour is a current a source of worry for many growers, in light of the ongoing pandemic.

OFVGA and OMAFRA are joining forces to bring you 3 talks to update you on the situation and provide resources. So keep your calendars open on Feb 11th.

Pre-registration is required for this free webinar.

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Upcoming Webinars: Surviving Covid-19, Workplace Inspections and WSIB.

A farmworker, considered an essential worker under the current COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, wears a mask as he works at a flower farm Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Santa Paula, Calif. (April 2020)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Covid-19 is going anywhere in Spring 2021.

Given that it’s the upcoming busy season for floriculture operations and workers, here’s a look at some upcoming webinars related to Covid safety, worker compensation, and surviving as a business during Covid.

So keep your calendars open on Feb 2nd, 3rd, 10th and 17th! More information on these webinars and registration can be found below.

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Apply for Covid-19 Funding: Application Webinar on Feb 2nd.

Enhaced Worker Protection ProgramHave you applied for OMAFRA’s Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program (EAWPP), to help mitigate risks and costs from COVID??? If not, there’s still time!

Funding continues to be available until February 26th, 2021 on a first come, first serve basis. Funding up to $15,000 per farm is available for preventative health and safety measures.  Up to $100,000  is available per property for on-farm worker safety improvement programs.

Links to expenses covered under the EAWPP program are included in the post below. Additionally, OMAFRA is running a webinar on Feb 2nd, 2021 to help growers navigate applying for the different program categories. Keep reading for details. Continue reading