Good Agriculture and Collection Practices (GACP) Training for Ginseng and Specialty Crop Growers

You grow ginseng or a specialty crop and have done so for years.  But if challenged can you prove your good work?   Good Agriculture and Collection Practices are a HACCP based On Farm Food Safety Program that was built by industry with the oversight of CFIA and AAFC. Continue reading

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Hop Sessions at 2017 OFVC

Growing_Hops_Ontario_Logo_5 with shadingThis year the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) will be hosting two hop related session on Wednesday, February 22.

The first session will begin at 9:30 am in Room 204 of the Scotiabank Convention Centre and features four speakers focussing on current hop production and pest management topics: Continue reading

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Specialty Crop Content at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) will be held February 22 and 23, 2017 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls ( There are many general and specific topics that may be of interest to specialty crop growers. Here some highlights for specialty crop growers: Continue reading

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Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention Highlights for Ginseng Growers

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention will be held February 22 and 23, 2017 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. For details visit In addition to the large trade show and a wide range of general and specific horticultural topics, this year there are a few sessions that will be of particular interest to ginseng growers including several soil and crop nutrition topics, soil pest management and nematode management. Continue reading

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Selling Food to Ontario Training Workshops


sfto2Are you starting or growing a food business?

Learn how you as a producer or small processor can access new market channels at these one day workshops. Topics include market channel opportunities, basics of food regulations, costing and pricing your products for success, food packaging and labelling, getting your product listed, and food trends: consumer and industry expectations.

These workshops are targeted to producers and small processors who are looking to expand into new markets and sell to grocery stores, restaurants, food hubs, public institutions, etc.

The first workshop will be in Georgina, Thursday, February 2, and the second in Quinte West, Wednesday, March 1.

Additional workshop dates and locations will be scheduled for 2017.

For more information and to register for these or other upcoming workshops please visit:

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Summer Student Positions Available at the Simcoe Research Station

Job Ad:     Student – Horticulture Assistant
Organization: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Division/Branch: Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch
Position Title: Student – Summer Research Assistant
Job Term: Temporary (7 positions) for up to 18 weeks
Location:  OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, Simcoe, Ontario (Norfolk County, on the north shore of Lake Erie, 2 hours southwest of Toronto)
Salary: $12.25 / hour, based on a 36.25 hour work week

Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service?  These positions at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Simcoe Resource Centre will provide an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in horticulture production, research or the agricultural service sector. These positions will provide the opportunity to learn about diseases, insects, and agronomy of the major field horticulture crops and specialty crops grown in the province.


  • Assist with summer research and demonstration projects conducted by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Horticulture and Specialty Crops Staff.
  • Activities will include the set-up and maintenance (weeding, planting, etc.) of research plots focused on production practices, soil health, weed control, pest management, and fertility etc., collection/entering of data and preparation of written reports. Training will be provided on research methods, technology transfer, and working in the public sector
  • Collecting, archiving and organizing digital photos of key growth stages and major pests of horticultural and specialty crops such as strawberries, tree fruit, hops, lavender, ginseng, sweet potatoes and industrial crops
  • Field work may include farm tours, field scouting, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases.
  • Assist staff with the collection and analysis of on-farm samples and data for research projects.
  • Assist staff to conduct literature reviews and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives and industry issues.
  • Assist in the coordination of events and programs (e.g. workshops, demonstrations, field days etc.) working with key stakeholders and clients in delivery of programs and information.
  • Office work may include assisting with the production of technical information such as newsletters, updating web pages, blogs, scanning images, etc.

Please review the qualifications for this position. What we are looking for: 

  • You apply your interpersonal skills to work within a multi-disciplinary team
  • You apply your observational skills and attention to detail to conduct research, field monitoring and data entry
  • You apply your written communication skills to prepare a variety of documents (e.g. reports, factsheets, and articles).
  • You are familiar with computer based software applications including MS Word, MS Excel and database management software to perform data entry, conduct analysis, prepare reports, track and compile information
  • You can work in an outdoor environment with physical activity involved
  • You work independently or as part of a team; you plan, organize and prioritize your work to meet competing deadlines
  • You are familiar with farming and crop production
  • You are willing to travel to rural locations (frequently not accessible by public transportation)
  • You must have a minimum Ontario G2 Driver’s Licence

How to Apply:

  • You must demonstrate how you meet the eligibility criteria, skills and experience we are looking for clearly, completely and concisely. We rely on the information you provide to us.
  • You must be a resident of Ontario on the first day of employment.
  • You must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • You must be between 15-24 years of age (up to 29 with disability) on the first day of employment.
  • You must be currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary school, or have completed all academic requirements for graduation within 6 months of first day of employment.
  • You must provide your cover letter and resume electronically in one file to in any of the following formats: PDF, WORD, plain or rich-text format (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf).  Or you could provide your cover letter and resume on paper to:

Jacquie De Fields
Simcoe Resource Centre
1283 Blueline Road,
Box 587 Simcoe, Ontario N3Y 4N5
Tel: 519-426-7122
Fax: 519-428-1142

You should receive confirmation within 2 business days if your application was received. If you do not receive a confirmation in that time, please call Jacquie De Fields.

If you have a disability and require accommodation to apply please contact

Posting Date: January 13, 2017
Closing Date: February 3, 2017

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Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference: March 2-3, 2017

hops-and-barley-conferenceRegistration for the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference presented by Michigan State University/Extension is now open.

  • Date: 2-3 March 2017
  • Location: Westin Book Cadillac, 1114 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI, USA

The Conference will include basic and advanced sessions for hop growers as well as a barley session and malting tour that is designed for both growers and brewers.

Registration: An early registration discount of $225 per person will be available until January 31, 2017. Starting February 1, 2017, participant registration will be $275 per person. Registration will include both days of meetings, a continental breakfast and lunch each day, as well as admittance into the Brewer/Grower Reception on Thursday evening.

Click here for a draft meeting agenda.

Click here for more information and to register.




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