Growing Forward 2 for Producers

This page was published under a previous government and is available for archival and research purposes.

New: GF2 Results Spotlight

The GF2 Results Spotlight below shows some of the ways that producers across the province have improved their business with GF2 funding. The featured results will be updated regularly and each spotlight will focus on new results within one GF2 area of focus.

Spotlight: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED)

GF2's PED Biosecurity Special Intake helped address biosecurity concerns for Ontario's swine industry. Animal disease outbreaks can affect profitability, resulting in serious economic hardship to the industry and the rural communities they support. GF2 helped protect Ontario's animal resource base from the PED virus and strengthen the sustainability of the industry.

Over $8.4 million was committed to help industry manage and prevent the spread of PED.

  • There was strong industry uptake with over 960 projects completed.
  • Projects with greatest impact on biosecurity were funded, including over 1,400 best management practices such as cleaning/disinfection, anterooms, and mortality management.1

GF2 helped Ontario businesses reduce key risks2 (note: results below represent only a subset of the total completed projects):

Three donut charts showing 87% reduced risk of disease transmission onto the operation, 74% reduced risk of disease transmission within the operation, 61% reduced risk of disease transmission off the operation.

Pie chart showing 91% moved closer to national biosecurity standards. Line graph showing number of diagnosed PED cases in Ontario. Time is along the x-axis (horizontal), starting at January 2014 on the left and ending May 2016 on the right. The number of diagnosed PED cases is shown on the y-axis (vertical) starting at 0 on the bottom and going to 20 at the top. The graph shows the number of diagnosed PED cases drastically dropping from the highest point of 19 in March 2014 to 1 in July 2014, then maintaining a somewhat steadier number of 4 or below for the remaining years.

1 Funds committed and projects approved as of September 2016; includes $205,222 for 13 processor projects. Recipients were eligible to complete more than one BMP per project.

2 Risk reduction figures represent respondents that reported decreased risk levels (medium/high to low risk and high to medium risk) as a percentage of the number of respondents for each respective question. The number of respondents for each respective question is as follows: 689 for onto operation, 692 for within operation, and 666 for off operation.

3 Biosecurity standards figure represents respondents that reported they had moved closer to industry standards for biosecurity, as a percentage of the number of respondents (708).

4 Graph represents number of lab-confirmed reports of the initial case(s) on each of the case farms in Ontario.

Note: While the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs ('Ontario') endeavors to isolate and remove invalid data elements from the data, Ontario makes no representations or warranties about the completeness, accuracy or reliability of the data or its suitability for any given purpose. Reliance on the data is strictly at the user's own risk. Ontario will not accept liability for any loss or damage arising out of the use of this data. The information expressed on this webpage is solely that of the respective contributors and does not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.

Weather risk mitigation projects

Weather risk mitigation projects under the environment and climate change adaptation area of focus, are eligible for cost-share. These projects will focus on on-farm practices and strategies to address cold weather risk for perennial, edible horticulture crop producers, except for producers of wine grapes.

In Ontario, Growing Forward 2 (GF2) offers resources, tools and cost-share funding assistance to eligible producers to grow profits, expand markets and manage shared risks.

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) administers GF2 to producers across Ontario on behalf of the ministry.

How to apply for Growing Forward 2 cost-share funding assistance

  1. Review the Growing Forward 2 Cost-share Funding Assistance Program Guide for Producers
  2. Sign up or update your business profile online through the GF2 Client Portal
  3. Complete and submit your applications and any required documents (e.g. Project Information Forms) online through the GF2 Client Portal

Table of Contents

Free workshops and resources

Producers are encouraged to take advantage of free workshops and training opportunities. Participants will have a chance to talk to other producers and industry specialists about new ways to reach your farm business goals. Attending a workshop may be a prerequisite before applying for GF2 cost-share funding assistance or can help strengthen your Growing Forward 2 application.

  • Growing Your Farm Profits - 2-day workshop
  • Environmental Farm Plan - 2-day workshop
  • New Food safety webinars
  • Maximizing your Traceability Investment - 2 day workshop

Visit the OSCIA website for workshop and training information including dates, locations and to register.


Business planning consultants

Food safety Self-Assessment and Action Plan template for Producers - To obtain a copy, send an email to or call 1-877-424-1300

Food safety resources

Traceability self-assessment tool for Producers

Traceability action plan for Producers

Traceability resources

Exploring Value Added Opportunities (EVAO) workshop and online course

Agriculture business management resources

GF2 Cost-share Funding Assistance Program

GF2 cost-share funding assistance is available to established and new Ontario farm businesses that produce agricultural commodities in Ontario and file business or farm income/loss taxes in Ontario. The maximum cost-share funding that a single producer business can receive over the five-year timeframe is $350,000. All projects will be assessed on merit. Only the most impactful projects will receive cost-share. Cost-share funding will be capped depending on the project category. Some project categories have prerequisites as a required condition before you apply. Approval of your project is needed before costs can be incurred and paid.

The Province may provide:

  • 50 per cent cost-share funding up to a pre-determined cost-share cap, for projects under the assessment or audit, planning, skills development and training category
  • Up to 35 per cent, up to a pre-determined cost-share cap, for remaining project categories
  • Enhanced cost-share for projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation. See Appendix 3, Innovation in the GF2 Cost-share Funding Assistance Program Guide for details

We are looking to fund projects in six areas of focus and it is important that projects align with one or more of the program's priorities:

  • Use best business and leadership practices
  • Use energy, water and other inputs efficiently
  • Be more adaptable to climate change
  • Maximize labour productivity
  • Access new and emerging markets
  • Retain and expand existing markets
  • Market products that meet buyer demand through adoption of food safety, traceability or animal welfare assurance systems
  • Respond quickly and effectively to risks
  • Reduce key risks

Areas of focus

GF2 cost-share funding assistance supports projects in these six focus areas. Refer to GF2 Program Guide for eligible project activities in each area of focus.

  1. Environment and climate change adaptation
  2. Animal and plant health
  3. Market development
  4. Labour productivity enhancements
  5. Assurance systems (Food safety, traceability, animal welfare and weather risk mitigation)
  6. Business and leadership development

Important information before you apply

Applicants must have a:

  • Premises Identification Number for the farm property where the proposed project is located. Applicants can get one free through the Provincial. Premises Registry website or by calling 1-855-697-7743.
  • Valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) or equivalent. Contact Agricorp for details on obtaining an FBRN.

Innovation is key. Projects that are deemed innovative may receive higher cost-share. Refer to the Innovation checklist, Appendix 3 in the GF2 in the Program Guide.

GF2 Cost-share Funding Assistance Program Guide for Producers

It is recommended that you take the time to read the GF2 Program Guide for Producers before applying.

Application form and how to apply

Producer applicants can complete their enrolment form and applications online through the GF2 Client Portal. Should you require technical support with the GF2 Client Portal, contact the ministry at 1-877-424-1300, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

If you want, complete your forms in paper. You must send your paper enrolment and application by mail or fax to the OSCIA. See enrolment and application form below for details.

Send to:

Growing Forward 2
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
1 Stone Road West
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
Fax: 519-826-4224

Enrolment form
Application form

Project Information Forms

You may be required to complete a project information form related to your project and include it with your application. You can get these here.

Application intake dates for 2017

  • February 3 - February 23, 2017
  • May 12 - June 1, 2017


The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) administers GF2 to producers across Ontario on behalf of the ministry.

Strong Partnerships in Action

To accelerate the effectiveness and long term success of Growing Forward 2 in Ontario, the ministry has developed strong partnerships with innovative and experienced organizations. Learn more about our GF2 partners.

Business Risk Management Programs

In addition, GF2 provides Business Risk Management programs to help producers improve competitiveness and better manage risk - including market volatility and rising input costs. The Business Risk Management programs include: Production Insurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest. Agricorp assists in the delivery of GF2 Business Risk Management programs in Ontario.