Ontario Supports Agricultural Sector in Rainy River District

Published on September 16, 2021


Funding will help improve farmland, increase crop production and create new jobs

September 16, 2021
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry


EMO — The Ontario government is supporting the growth of the agricultural sector in the Rainy River district by investing more than $1.3 million in two tile drainage projects. These investments will help to promote longer growing seasons, improve crop yields and create new jobs.

“Our government is proud to invest in tile drainage projects that lead to larger, healthier crops, local food sources and good jobs for the people of northwestern Ontario,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “We recognize the importance and significance of our farmers and crop growers to northwestern Ontario’s economic prosperity, resilience and diversification.”

The Province, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), is investing:

  • $1 million for Rainy River Future Development Corporation to administer a two-year tile drainage program. The program would support the installation of tile drainage on approximately 1,900 acres of land and benefit a consortium of 10 farmers in the district. The project will create two part-time jobs.
  • $374,833 for Tait Bros Contracting Ltd. to purchase equipment in order to expand its tile drainage installation business into northwestern Ontario and establish an office in Rainy River. The project will create three full-time jobs.

Installing tile drainage is a common land improvement practice among farmers in Ontario. It is highly effective at creating more consistent crop yields and promoting a longer growing season, while reducing plant stress, soil erosion, and wear and tear on equipment.

"The Government of Ontario is committed to supporting farming operations in northern Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Good drainage is key to a healthy farm and this investment is part of our effort to improve the economic opportunities of the agri-food sector right across Ontario.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $369 million in 3,551 projects in northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 5,300 jobs.


Quick Facts

  • The NOHFC has invested more than $12 million in 19 tile drainage projects since June 2018. This funding has leveraged an additional $15 million in economic activity, resulting in total agricultural improvements of more than 24,000 acres.
  • On February 11, 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the north.


"On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Rainy River Future Development Corporation, I would like to thank the Ontario government for its support of tile drainage projects. These projects have completely transformed our agricultural sector and once this most recent project is completed, there will be approximately 13,000 acres of tiled lands available for seeding to grow such crops as canola, wheat, soybeans and corn."

- Gord Armstrong
Chair, Rainy River Future Development Corporation

"For many people, starting or expanding a business can be a daunting experience. When I decided to expand the business into northwestern Ontario, NOHFC and its business expansion program helped us to be successful in our endeavors. We were able to create new jobs and make underutilized land more profitable by adding tile drainage. The huge economic impact this will have on the agriculture sector in the northwest will not go unnoticed for years to come."

- Jesse Tait
Manager, Tait Bros Contracting Ltd.


Additional Resources