University & OMAFRA Partnership

April 30, 2008

Jobs & the Economy

On Monday April 28th, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the signing of a new agreement with the University of Guelph which will provide $300 million over the next five years for ongoing work in research, agri-food and animal health laboratories and veterinary training. The research funding will focus on agricultural production systems, food for health, environmental sustainability, industrial uses for the bioeconomy, agriculture and rural policy, product development and enhancement and emergency preparedness.

As emcee of the event, I offered the following comments regarding the importance of this announcement to the City of Guelph:

Guelph is very proud of its agricultural heritage. We’re also proud of the leadership and innovation Guelph brings to the agri-food sector.

Our city is known across the country and around the world as a leader in agri-food.

We are growing that reputation through our innovation agenda, positioning our city as a centre for commercialization in agri-food and environmental technologies.

We have more than 30 research centres and organizations, 90-plus industries and ventures associated with agri-food and the environment, and more than 100 agri-food associations.

There are more than 6,500 people employed in the agri-food sector in Guelph.

And, of course, we’re privileged to be the provincial centre for agri-food. In addition to being home to OMAFRA, we are also home to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

How important is this to us? Very important.

The City of Guelph, University of Guelph, Conestoga College, Guelph Hydro and local industry leaders will be in Queen’s Park this Thursday.

We will be meeting with several Ministers – five Ministers to be precise and 6 Ministries in total.

Minister Dombrowsky, we are thrilled that you can join us in a special joint session with your colleagues from the Ministries of Economic Development and Trade, and Research and Innovation.

Our simple goal for this session is to advance Guelph’s innovation agenda – an agenda that draws its strength and legitimacy from today’s partnership announcement.

Ideas generate wealth in today’s economy. 

We have witnessed stunning transformations in the advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, communications and electronics sectors.

But ideas – and the opportunities they provide – are not limited to these sectors.

Food, energy, water, bio-resources – the strengths found in Guelph, the strengths that are being recognized today – will be increasingly significant players in Ontario’s economy in future.

And Guelph plans to be at forefront of this new economic transformation.

So not surprisingly, I am delighted to be part of this significant announcement today. 

**Here is a link to the Ontario government page about the announcement, complete with photos and video.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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