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2006 Regional Award Winners
John De Leeuw recognized a smart idea when he saw it.He introduced a new sprayer technology to Ontario to improve spraying practices in the orchard.The Smart Spray system uses ultrasonic sensors linked to a computer and tractor-mounted controller to seek and target trees to be sprayed.The spray tower, an eight foot stack on the rear of the sprayer, has 15 spray nozzles on each side and a fan at its base to fill the tower with air.The compressed air forces the spray through the nozzles, which direct the spray out horizontally to the trees.This system uses less chemicals, saves money and benefits the environment.
The Durham Region Dairy Producers Committee is udderly serious about the promotion of their product.The organization, which represents 150 local dairy farmers, educates consumers about the value of including dairy products in their diets - using a life-sized, interactive fibreglass cow.Maple the Holstein cow - who earned her name through a consumer contest - travels in her own special trailer, accompanied by a glass-door display refrigerator and a freezer full of all-Canadian ice cream.Maple encourages hands-on learning, with a realistic-looking udder and teats that can be milked. She has been so successful at promoting product excellence that the committee has purchased a second cow, fondly known as Maple 2.
More cheese, please! The Vandenburgs have developed new goat cheese products that are proving to be a real hit in the marketplace. By adding cinnamon and cranberries to goat cheese,Mariposa Dairy has grown its market, doubled the number of employees at the cheese plant since 2004 and expanded goat milk production in Ontario. Since the first flavoured cheeses were developed in 2003, the Vandenburgs have increased their product line.Mariposa Dairy goat cheeses can be found in various retail stores across the province, including Loblaw's, and entered the U.S. marketplace in 2005. Plans are afoot to introduce the goat cheeses to the international marketplace as well.
Working with a crop that's easy to grow but hard to harvest turned farmer Grant Moorcroft into a farmer-fabricator. After growing hemp for seven years, the owner of Moorcroft Hemp Farms decided to modify his existing equipment to improve his hemp harvest. Now he is running trials on a new fibre extractor and chopper that he hopes will prove to be better and faster.This new equipment would allow Moorcroft to process part of the hemp's fibre and hurd, and provide commercial factories with a better product.
The buzz in Hastings County includes a lot of talk about Mite-Away II.Developed, manufactured and distributed by David VanderDussen and NOD Apiary Products, this innovative product protects honeybees from Varrora mites, which have a negative impact on both hive populations and the amount of honey produced.Mite-Away II has made its way to apiaries across North America, with positive results.
SAVOUR Muskoka is a collective of farmers united with two clear objectives: to provide regional and unique products to consumers and to promote agri-businesses in the region.The successful marketing program includes a logo and wide promotion of the products.This initiative has revitalized local producers in the region.
You might say Ivan and Brian De Jong have turned tillage on its ear! The farmers have developed Canada's first vertical tillage tool, which allows for multi-year corn production on a sustainable level.Using yield mapping to monitor the impact of vertical tillage on multi-year corn fields, the De Jongs have recorded an increase in yields while realizing a 90 per cent reduction in fuel costs associated with soil preparation.There are three types of vertical tillage tools in North America.