Excellence in Agriculture Awards - Honourable Mention
Building Roots has created an affordable grocery store. The initiative supports low income residents and brings culturally relevant foods to diverse communities. This innovative idea is helping to put good nutritious food onto the dinner tables in low income urban areas. However, Building Roods doesn't stop at providing a low-cost option to food - they also provide educational opportunities via after school programs and summer camps.
Slate River Dairy has modified a European butter churn to be able to churn butter and pasteurize milk at the same time. This innovation is one-of-a-kind in Canada - it has reduced the amount of wasted product, while increasing sales by 29 per cent from October 2017 to April 2018. They have also done this while maintaining strict adherence to Canadian food safety standards.
BioLiNE's innovation brings fertilizer formulators up a notch. Their unique process uses plant-based material (spent mushroom compost versus traditional soft coal sources), meaning no harsh chemicals, heat and minimal energy is used to produce fulvic acid, an organic compound used to bolster soil properties. Importantly, they are upcycling a product that would otherwise be considered waste.
Bell's Edge Farm - Wellington County
Bell's Edge Farm have partnered with a local dairy to produce and market gourmet butters, available in 80 Ontario retail stores in just a year-and-a-half of being in business. In addition, Bell's Edge Farm works together with local farms, which has increased production capacity and reduced waste. Their gourmet butters use local ingredients like garlic and maple syrup.
Ontario Farmland Trust were recognized for their innovation which secures productive agricultural land for generations to come. They have developed a trust agreement that places non-agricultural development restrictions on certain pieces of land, permanently protecting farmland.
SoilOptix Inc. has adopted technology from Europe that improves the soil sampling process in Canada. They use non-contact sensor that detects the soil's natural decay and the radiation it emits. The sensor has up to 30 different soil layers with a resolution of 335 data points per acre. This process is less invasive than conventional processes (grid sampling) which results in improved soil conservation.
If you have any questions, you can contact Darlene Harrietha, Program Analyst at Darlene.Harrietha@ontario.ca or 519-400-1924.
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