Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 19, 2005 11:17 ET

Governments Help Agri-Food Sector Enhance Business Management Skills

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - Ontario farm families, managers and farm advisors will enjoy improved access to the tools they need to help them achieve higher levels of business and economic success. The Agricultural Management Institute (AMI), a $5 million business management and skills initiative was launched today by Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the value of providing producers and their business advisors with management tools, information, resources and training to hone their business skills for today's globally-competitive marketplace," said Minister Mitchell. "Our commitment of $3.3 million to the Agricultural Management Institute will provide business management tools to enhance decision-making and farm profitability and lead to a stronger and more competitive agri-food economy."

"New opportunities in agriculture, food and bio-products will strengthen our agri-food sector and our rural communities," said Minister Dombrowsky. "The Agricultural Management Institute program will help current and future producers access the information they need to move their businesses in new directions and win new markets."

The program, which will be administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC), will provide funding for projects to develop business management and risk management tools and training for farm families, farm managers and farm business advisors. The program, which is cost-shared under the Renewal pillar of the Agricultural Policy Framework, will develop and extend business management resources through partnerships with producer groups, research institutions and the financial services sectors.

"As a long-time partner in program delivery, AAC is pleased to bring its knowledge of the needs of agriculture to this initiative," said Bob Bedggood, AAC Chair. "The Council is a catalyst for advancement, innovation and transformation for the long-term growth of the sector."

"Ontario producers are continually adopting new business-related best management practices to improve their bottom line," said Bette Jean Crews, Chair of the AMI Advisory Panel. "AMI will provide Ontario farmers and their advisors with more tools and resources to enhance their business savvy and competitiveness."

To deliver the AMI, the 12-member advisory panel comprised of representatives of producer organizations, financial/business services sector, research, agri-food industry plus funding and delivery partners will provide strategic direction and ensure projects fulfill identified priorities for the sector.

The AMI Advisory Panel will evaluate proposals in five distinct

- Benchmarking and business best management practices
- Business risk management
- Business succession planning and new entrants
- Human resources development and training
- Innovation and market opportunities

Three initiatives are already approved and underway:

- The OATI Learning Group (formerly the Ontario Agricultural Training
Institute) is developing three producer education courses for
"Webinar" delivery over the internet through narrow band width
telephone dial up connections. The courses will help address
producer skills development needs in two critical areas - commodity
marketing strategies, and attracting and retaining agricultural
labour. Total cost $36,500.
- The OATI Learning Group will develop and pilot test a professional
development program for private sector business advisors in the
area of farm succession planning and capital transfers. Total cost
- The George Morris Centre is conducting a study of effective
financial tools for Plum Pox Virus Eradication. This work is being
done to understand the linkages between Business Risk Management
Programs and asset-loss financial assistance payments under the
Plum Pox Virus (PPV) Eradication Program. Total cost $18,100.

Application forms and additional information will be available soon on the Agricultural Adaptation Council's website at or by calling 519-822-7554.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    Minister's Office, Ottawa, ON
    Matt Tolley
    (613) 759-1059
    Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
    Minister Dombrowsky's Office
    Kelly Synnott
    (416) 326-6439
    Agricultural Adaptation Council
    Nadine Buitenhuis
    (519) 822-7554