Growing Forward 2 for Producers

New Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Results

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 are updated regularly and each spotlight focuses on new results within one GF2 focus area. You can view past results spotlights here.

Spotlight: Environment and Climate Change Adaptation

Over $10.6 million has been committed to producers for environment and climate change projects. Producers are investing this funding in best management practices such as energy assessments, nutrient management planning, manure storage improvements, weather risk mitigation strategies and practices, cover crops, nutrient recovery from wastewater, fuel storage improvements, irrigation water efficiency, and water well management.

Producers are seeing real results as these projects are completed: 2

Five donut charts showing 89% reduced environmental risk, 81% improved/maintained soil structure or reduced risks to soil quality, 89% reduced risks to surface water quality, 72% improved ability to adapt to climate change, and 84% reduced risks of groundwater contamination.


Bar graph showing 94% improved productivity or reduced risk of decreasing productivity. Pie chart showing 59% reduced risk by three levels, 34% reduced risk by two levels, and 7% reduced risk by one level.

2 Results represent only a subset of completed producer environment and climate change adaptation projects. Results are as of December 2016, represent a percentage of the respondents for each respective question, and exclude answers that were not applicable and could not be interpreted. The information is primarily derived from self-reported data and is provided "as is". Number of respondents for each respective question: 140 for reduced environmental risk; 69 for improved/maintained soil structure/reduced risks to soil quality; 121 for reduced risks to surface water quality/reduced risks of impairment of surface water quality; 47 for improved ability to adapt to climate change/reduced risks contributing to climate change; 122 for reduced risks of groundwater/aquifer contamination; 118 for improved productivity; 108 for reduced risk levels. Risk levels are based on the producers' assessment of their farm operation using criteria set out in the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan workbook. While any level of reduction of risk is beneficial, a reduction of risk by three levels is the highest possible reduction that a producer could achieve, moving from a ranking of highest risk ("1" rating) to least risk ("4" rating).

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 Ontario or the Government of Canada.

What's New

In Ontario, 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 cost-share funding assistance to producers across the province on behalf of the ministry.

GF2 programming for producers has been updated with four new project categories and enhancements to several existing categories to support producers to transition to low-carbon production and encourage energy efficiency and energy conservation on-farms. For eligible, approved projects, this support will help farmers to do such things as modify their equipment and improve efficiency at existing agricultural production facilities to help reduce their carbon emissions, as well as improve soil health and nutrient management. More information and full details on how producers can participate are available on the OSCIA website.

How to apply for GF2 cost-share funding assistance

  1. Review the GF2 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

Some courses are now available online. Visit the Agriculture and Food Education in Ontario web page to discover the courses that are currently available.

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.


Farm business advisors (by last name) or (by region)

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

  • 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.

Author: Rossana Perry
Creation Date: 14 April 2013
Last Reviewed: 09 January 2017