Multiple farms received government grants to help expand operations
By Diego Flammini
Multiple farms in northern Ontario will soon be investing in new equipment.
On June 5, the Ontario government announced it is investing more than $3.1 million into 13 ag projects through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
The investments show the government’s support for the ag industry and invite other business investments, said Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford.
"By investing in agricultural projects that stimulate growth and innovation, we are reinforcing the north's competitive advantage and sending a signal to the world that Northern Ontario is open for business and open for jobs,” he said in a statement.
Carnor Farms in Earlton, Ont. is among the grant recipients.
The farm will receive $341,581 to expand its dairy farm through building a new barn and purchasing equipment.
Receiving the funding will go a long way in helping the 400-acre farm succeed, said Anna Regele, who farms with her husband Chris.
“It’s pretty exciting and definitely nice to have,” she told Farms.com. “It’s going to help us grow at a faster rate than we were planning.”
Part of the expansion project began last year when the couple bought a second farm from Chris’s parents.
The equipment portion will include investing in the necessary machinery to help the farmers milk additional cows. The Regeles’ herd currently stands around 45 head but the family has a goal of about 70 or more.
The farmers will need more milking, feeding and breeding equipment, Regele said.
“We’re going to get a second automatic (milking) robot, calf feeders and a calving detector,” she said. “The detector is an activity monitor on the anima’s tail. When the cow is ready to calf, she wags her tail more. The detector will send an alert to our phones telling us that she’s calving.”
The Regeles are also planning to purchase a larger tractor and field equipment, she said.
In addition, upgrading the farm now is part of the family’s succession plan.
Setting up the farm now will help some of the Regeles’ five children take over the farm if they choose, she said.
“If a couple of them want to take over the farm, we need to make sure it can support them and their families,” she said.