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Growing Forward

Growing Forward is a commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial government that supports the development and implementation of best practices in four key areas: Environment and Climate Change; Food Safety and Traceability; Business

Development; and Biosecurity. Within each of the programs there are many learning

opportunities, workshops and one-on-one sessions available to growers who wish to develop strategies to reach their business goals. If you are interested in exploring the programs under Growing Forward, please visit:

The Business Development for Farm Businesses program is delivered locally by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. The program begins with a Growing Your Farm Profits workshop. This two-day workshop is free to Ontario farmers and farm businesses and does not require participants to share personal or financial information.

Growing Your Farm Profits workshop provides a planning process and resources to maximize your long-term farm business goals. For workshop details, please call 1-800-265-9751 or visit

The cost-share opportunities that can be accessed after receiving sign-off on your action plan include:

Farm Financial Assessment

Agriculture Skills Development

Advanced Business Planning and Business Plan Implementation

The Agriculture Skills Development option provides cost-share to take farm-related training and skills development intended to support greater farm business viability. Occurring across the province, courses focus on:

Marketing Production

Financial Management Human Resources

Social Responsibility Succession Planning

Business Structure Business Strategy

To explore these learning opportunities, please visit:

Both the Farm Financial Assessment and the Advanced Business Planning opportunities involve professional one-on-one consultation. The Business Plan Implementation cost-share helps to implement elements of the Advanced Business Planning. To learn more about the cost-share opportunities under the Business Development for Farm Businesses program, please visit:

Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop The Growing Your Farm Profits workshops are available free of charge for all Ontario producers, including farm families and farm management teams. The workshop provides a planning process and resources to

maximize your farm business long-term goals. Participants are not asked to share personal or financial details with the facilitator or other participants. The two-day workshop will give you the tools needed to assess your business:

• Review current farm management practices, systems, knowledge and skills

• Understand how planning provides the framework for effective decision making

• Prioritize goals for the farm business' future

• Identify resources that can help meet these goals

• Build on the farm business' strengths and

• Write an Action Plan to improve farm management skills and knowledge

Action Plan Review and Sign-off After the Growing Your Farm Profits workshop, you and your management team will be able to develop an Action Plan for your farm business, start the planning process and begin to access the resources needed to achieve your goals. Based on the needs identified in your signed-off Action Plan, the farm business may be able to access cost-share funding opportunities. As an eligible farm business you may choose to participate in one or several areas.

Farm Financial Assessment Based on your Action Plan, you may require access to a professional Farm Financial Advisor who will review past financial performance, analyze your current business situation, discuss objectives, and help you identify options to meet your farm business profitability goals. Note: If your business is experiencing financial difficulty you may be able to access the Farm Financial Assessment without completing the Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop. The program covers up to $2400 of eligible costs to hire an advisor to complete an Assessment. The participant pays $100. A Farm Financial Assessment includes:

• A review of past financial performance

• An analysis of the current farm business situation

• A ratio analysis and assessment of liquidity, profitability, solvency and repayment capacity

• The identification of options to meet the farm business profitability goals

Agriculture Skills Development Farm business owners that identify the need in their Action Plan will be able to access cost-share funding to take farm related training and skills development intended to support greater farm business viability. A list of farm-related skills and training opportunities is available on the OSCIA website. Eligible participants will receive cost share funding for up to 50 per cent to a maximum of $3000. Eligible costs include:

• Tuition

• Textbooks

• Travel expenses

Advanced Business Planning Advanced Business Planning services are available on a cost-share basis to help meet the business planning needs specified in your Action Plan. You may work with an advanced planning consultant to focus on business management goals such as succession, marketing, diversification, expansion and/or feasibility plans. Eligible farm businesses may receive cost-share funding for up to 50 per cent to a maximum of $8000.

Eligible costs are items that support the advanced business planning needs specified in the Action Plan. A list of advanced planning consultants can be found on the OSCIA website.

Business Plan Implementation To help you implement elements of your Advanced Business Plan, you may receive cost-share funding assistance for one-time non-capital costs. Eligible participants will receive cost share funding for up to 50 per cent to a maximum of $3000. Eligible costs may include soft (non-capital) costs of implementing:

• Specialized contracts

• Business agreements

• Legal documentation

• Licensing agreements

• Trademarks and/or patent registration

• Certification



Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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