Ontario Supports Agricultural Sector in the Northwest

Published on July 11, 2021


Funding will benefit emerging hops industry and regional cattle farms

July 08, 2021
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry


RAINY RIVER – The Ontario government is providing over $889,000 to help support an emerging hops industry and 200 regional cattle farms in northwestern Ontario. This investment will create new employment opportunities and promote economic development in the agricultural sector.

“Our government is proud to support the north’s growing agricultural sector. By investing in farmers and crop producers, we are supporting jobs and developing resilient and vibrant communities,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Hops is an emerging crop in northern Ontario. This government is proud to support new industries to diversify the northern economy.”

The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and will support the following projects:

  • $60,000 to the Rainy River Future Development Corporation to purchase a mechanical hops harvester and baler for local producers to harvest and sell hops to regional buyers
  • $829,700 to the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association to rebuild two sales barns, install an underground watering system, purchase a new scale system and improve loading, penning and auction areas. The funding will allow the association to host more auctions and attract Ontario beef producers to the local market

“The agri-food sector is a key economic driver and significant job creator in many northern communities,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This investment in the Rainy River area will directly help farmers to grow their businesses and develop economic opportunities that will build greater resiliency in northern Ontario’s agri-food sector.”

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 $318 million in 3,134 projects in northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 4,850 jobs.


Quick Facts

  • On February 11, 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programsthat 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.


"We are so pleased with the support from the Ontario government as we do these major upgrades to our sales barn. The ability to extend our seasons at the sales barn for both our staff and cattle will be a huge improvement. We are excited for this project and are looking forward to showing off the hard work later this fall."

- Kim Jo Bliss
Secretary, Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association

"The Rainy River Future Development Corporation greatly appreciates the support of the Ontario government in purchasing a hops harvester. The district has seen the development of a hops sector and having a harvester available for area producers to use will enhance harvesting activities and allow the producers to get their hops to market."

- Gord Armstrong
Chair, Rainy River Future Development Corporation


Additional Resources