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2006 Regional Award Winners
1530937 Ontario Inc. and Lougheed's BioDiesel
(Owen Sound) -Waterloo Region/Grey
Shawn Davidson of Petersburg built a small scale modular biodiesel modular plant on farm. Biodiesel fuel being produced from recycled oils is being sold to farmers at an off-farm site at Lougheed's Biodiesel in Owen Sound.The goal is to mass produce the modular plant and make it available to farmers across the province.
20 Bees Wines (Niagara Vintners Inc.) - Niagara Region
It's a first for Ontario - 19 grape growers and one wine maker (hence the name) got together to reach a goal to make high-quality, 100 per cent Ontario VQA wines in a new local production facility. 20 Bees Wines (Niagara Vintners Inc.) was incorporated in 2004, and now is distributing product through the 780-store LCBO system.This initiative has resulted in the creation of several jobs in the Niagara region.
Animal-Pro Products Inc. - Wellington County
David Craig and Animal-Pro Products Inc. researched and now manufacture a natural feed additive for animals that is marketed throughout Canada.The product is designed to resolve, prevent and treat digestive upsets in all animal species, and fills a growing market demand for organic and natural feed products.
Avon Swine Inc. - Waterloo Region
At Avon Swine Inc. newborn piglets are warm and cozy with a precast concrete, hot water heated pad in the farrowing barn. With a new concrete formulation that repels moisture, and half-inch water pipes embedded in the modular pad and attached to a boiler, the operators can carefully control the temperature in the barn, and the comfort of the piglets.This makes for healthier pigs and profits.
Beef Improvement Ontario (BIO) - Wellington County
Beef Improvement Ontario (BIO) specializes in the research, development and implementation of agri-food products all along the food chain.The company is also a lead partner in an innovative DNA consortium that will provide the agri-food industry with access to important genetic information supporting research, product differentiation, risk management and market access.Once this innovation of traceability of products from farm to fork is established for the beef industry, it will be shared and will benefit other commodity organizations in the agri-food industry..
Yun Joon (Ben) Park of Enviro Mushroom Farm Inc. made major changes to his operation to tap into new markets in exotic mushrooms. He began growing Enoki and King Oyster varieties and developed a new technology that was a first for North America.When he came up against a mushroom disease, he implemented biosecurity and environmental controls, rather than using chemicals. Business has been so brisk that a second facility has been added and more staff hired to accommodate demand for the mushrooms.
Everdale Organic Farm & Environmental Learning Centre - Wellington County
Teaching young people the ways of organic farming is one of the main goals of Everdale Organic Farm and Environmental Learning Centre in Hillsburgh.The 150 acre farm offers the Future Farming Internships and Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) programs to train young people in production and marketing methods for organic farming. It provides one of the most educationally intensive farm internships in Ontario.
Foodlink Waterloo Region is a non-profit organization that provides valuable marketing services to farms and food enterprises in the area.A major consumer education initiative reaches out to consumers and encourages them to buy locally.The producer-led organization launched a "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" map campaign, and a "Taste Local, Taste Fresh" culinary tourism campaign. Foodlink has shared their logo and strategies with other regions.
Biosecurity and how to enhance it is a big concern for all farmers these days. Jake Kraayenbrink came up with a way to deliver pigs to their destination which reduces the potential for contamination of his swine herd, and those of other producers. Kraayenbrink outfitted his truck with a fold-up catwalk operated by an air cylinder and a loading chute that is raised and lowered by an electric winch. He can operate the winch from the catwalk or the interior of the truck.This innovation ensures that no part of the truck - other than the wheels, of course - touches any foreign objects or the ground, better protecting his herd.
Kurtz Orchards - Niagara Region
With a keen eye on the markets, Kurtz Orchards expanded from a business that produced and sold fresh fruit and jams locally to producing and selling a wide variety of specialty food products marketed both locally and through a number of distributors. The Toronto Eaton Centre is now on the business's - greatly expanded customer list.
Mapleton's Organic Dairy (Triangle Farm) produces organic dairy products, operates an organic vegetable box program, and retails its own and other local products at an on-farm store.Martin de Groot and his team have a direct relationship with their customers, which is appreciated from both sides. It's a synergy of land, animals, the environment and customers.
Gardener-friendly, environmentally-friendly EARTHready plant pots are easier on everyone. Linda Bouw introduced the innovative EARTHready line in 2004.The plant pots,made of Canadian sphagnum peat moss and wood pulp, are 100 per cent biodegradable and are designed to eliminate the ubiquitous plastic pots used in gardening. Bouw patented the EARTHready pot in Canada and U.S.A.The consumer demand for this product is high and the product is being used by the top three American greenhouse growers.
Persall Naturals Ltd. - Norfolk Region
Diversification was the name of the game in 2000 when Persall Naturals Ltd. owners began producing a premium line of edible oils.With the adoption of a European cold pressing method to create highly flavoured soybean and canola oil, the business is looking to pursue national distribution, and make inroads in the U.S. market.
P. & S. Van Berlo Limited - Norfolk Region
Peter Van Berlo of P. & S.Van Berlo Limited is Canada's largest grower of sweet potatoes. After working with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and North Carolina State University, the former tobacco producer started growing sweet potatoes on 30 acres of land in 2000.There are now 400 acres, which is produced and distributed using facilities and machinery that were modified to better suit this crop. The business is also involved in marketing and distributing products from other sweet potato growers.