As the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Funding Assistance Program for producers moves into its final year, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs want to be sure there are still plenty of opportunities for Ontario producers to make on-farm improvements. GF2 is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative designed to encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector through cost-share funding opportunities. GF2 is delivered to producers by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), and will start to wrap up early in 2018.
While demand has remained high, there is still plenty of opportunity left. Originally, only two intakes had been scheduled for 2017, but a third intake has been added to make sure producers have time plenty of chances to apply. Intake dates for 2017 are:
|1||February 3 – 23, 2017|
|2||April 4 – 18, 2017**|
|3||May 12 – June 1, 2017|
GF2 remains a merit-based program, meaning producers need to take time in selecting a project and make sure they have the necessary assessments and plans in place to support the project. Adding an additional intake will further assist producers by providing cost-share opportunities for completing those necessary assessments and plans, in addition to looking to cost-share to complete the physical projects. Cost-share opportunities are also still available for training and skills development.
Applications are only accepted during intakes, and the project must receive approval before it can be undertaken in order for costs to be eligible. While GF2 has supported multi-year projects in previous years, as the program wraps up all projects approved in the 2017 intakes will have to be completed by December 15, 2017, with a claim submitted no later than January 15, 2018. Having all three intakes scheduled by the first of June will hopefully help producers meet the necessary project timelines.
Complete details on eligible projects and program requirements and access to application forms are available.