2023-2024 OSCIA Grants

What is the purpose of OSCIA Grants?

OSCIA is providing funding exclusively to OSCIA local and regional associations to support key communication activities and on-farm applied research. The grants presented demonstrate further value to membership.

Success of the grants is achieved when strategic outcomes are realized:

  • Focused activities that align with stated OSCIA research priorities, or otherwise have the strong support of multiple counties/districts or regions;
  • Defendable applied research results that benefit the broader membership;
  • Capture the interests of members, encourage grassroots innovation, educate and build awareness;
  • Wherever possible, support projects that build on unique OSCIA interests, and its role in Ontario agriculture.

The OSCIA grants will present enhanced opportunities for local and regional associations to engage with project partners over a two year period. OSCIA grants are currently being offered for projects completed between April 1, 2023 and February 1, 2024.

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2021-2023 OSCIA Grant Guidelines

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is providing funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to OSCIA to help support key knowledge transfer activities and on-farm applied research. The funding is supporting Regional Communication, Tier One, and Tier Two Grants. Financial contributions have also been committed by OSCIA.

The grants presented are available exclusively to OSCIA local and regional associations and demonstrate further value to membership.

Tier One Grants

The Tier One Grants are available to support communication events such as: Educational Activities, Field Days, Guest Speakers, Bus Tours, In-Field Trials, or Demonstrations of New Equipment or Management Techniques.

These grants are available to support OSCIA county/district or regional activities. Applications are submitted by your local/regional OSCIA association in order to be eligible for these grants. Please contact your local association to discuss options for submitting an application. You can find their contact information here.

OSCIA supports Tier One Grants and stipulates the purpose of the funding is to evaluate, demonstrate, and communicate new crop production technology to Ontario stakeholders. This is to be achieved from the perspectives of production, innovation, economic and environment, with the overall objective to improve the sustainability of crop production in Ontario and to extend the information and experiences to Ontario stakeholders.

It is essential that the intended purpose closely aligns with the Grant Guidelines for those projects that rely on Tier One funding. The funding may also be used to increase membership engagement in local associations. Up to $2,500 for each county/district or region will be available annually for activities between April 1, 2023 – February 1, 2024 to support eligible activities across the Province.

Tier One Grant Guidelines

  • Educational activities such as field days, guest speakers at events, and bus tours or in-field trials or demonstrations designed to provide guidance on new equipment or management techniques;
  • Available to an individual OSCIA county/district or regions;
  • Local/regional associations may pool Tier One funding towards the same activity/project. In such a case only one application is required per project, however all participating parties must be clearly listed with contact people. To trigger payment, each participating SCIA must submit a claim form with proof of payment.  Proof of payment requirements are detailed in the Grant Guidelines;
  • Pre-approval is required and is quickly completed by OSCIA staff;
  • 100% cost-share up to $2,500 per local/regional association;
  • One or more projects may be claimed over the year, up to the maximum grant. All project costs and in-kind contributions must be tracked as part of the reporting requirements;
  • Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Local/regional associations must submit a detailed application to trigger a grant allocation recorded in the provincial OSCIA office. This guarantees the funds will be available if the project is completed and the claim is submitted on time;
  • Project findings are to be communicated through appropriate meetings, newsletters/flyers, and social media;
  • Approved Tier One project funding cannot be rolled from one project year to the next.
  • Soil conservation projects;
  • New technology developments;
  • New crop development;
  • New crop production developments;
  • Environmental protection.
  • In-field trial guidelines:
    • Collaboration with OMAFRA Crop Technology Specialist recommended;
    • All applications must provide a detailed protocol/proposal referred to as the OSCIA Trial Layout document. The following details must be clearly described:
      • Project title
      • Objective
      • Background
      • Locations/site selection
      • Treatments
      • Assessments, type and timelines
      • Linkages with other organizations and
      • Responsible person(s).
  • Recognition of OSCIA and other funding partners must be included in all communication activities. A Communication Strategy must be submitted and include an on-site field day for at least one of the project sites;
  • A communication strategy should be developed for each project, including tours, press releases and final reports at local and regional OSCIA meetings;
  • purchases of services and supplies to support knowledge transfer and applied research activities.
  • new technology attachments and modifications to existing field machinery for field scale demonstration. The proposal must include a documented plan on how the purchased item is to be disposed of/used at the end of the project.
  • rental of equipment necessary to carry out knowledge transfer and applied research activities (e.g.,field equipment to establish plots or hold demonstrations, audio-visual equipment, scientific monitoring equipment, Mobile Soil Technology Suite user fees).
  • purchase of goods to support knowledge transfer and applied research activities.
  • labor over and above normal farm practices.
  • Inputs and services that are over and above normal farm practices.
  • Coordination or planning of new, approved knowledge transfer event(s) (e.g., soil health meeting orfield trip).
  • postage, nutrition breaks, food, refreshments.
  • donations to other organizations.
  • projects that are not fully accountable to the funding requirements set by OMAFRA.
  • support for existing or on-going events (such as hall rental for annual meetings) or Secretary stipend/fees. Funds spent prior to grant approval may not be eligible for reimbursement.
  • equipment maintenance, routine association business or normal farm activities (e.g., tile drainage, reforestation, land clearing, crop variety trials).
  • compensation for lost yield as a result of field trials.
  • the Tier One Grant cannot be used in combination with a Tier Two Grant towards the same project.
  • approved Tier One project funding cannot be rolled from one project year to the next.
  • costs incurred prior to April 1 in the year the project was approved for funding.

Tier One Grant Application and Claim Forms

Click on the application and claim form images to download the fillable PDF forms for your local/regional SCIA Tier One grants.


Application Form

 
Claim Form

 

Tier One Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

The previous grant structure that many of you have been familiar with has been replaced with a new structure, effective April 1, 2021. Please take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the new grant structure, available on our website here. Should you have further questions/concerns please do not hesitate to contact either:

Kathleen Pentland – kpentland@ontariosoilcrop.org
OR 519-826-5405

Andrew Graham – agraham@ontariosoilcrop.org
OR 519-654-6893

Grant applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis as of April 1 of each government fiscal year up to the maximum eligible for each local/regional association (i.e. $2,500). Allocations will be granted to pre-approved projects up to the total amount of funding available for that year. Projects that proceed without pre-approval from the Guelph office will risk forfeiting the grant. Claim forms for all Tier One grants must be completed and received in the Guelph office by the date listed for each year in the Grant Guidelines.

Tier One has been designed as 100% cost-share up to a maximum of $2,500 per county/district/region annually.

Yes, Pre-approval is required to keep track of budget and manage expectations. We wish to avoid any disappointment resulting in an association going ahead with a project only to find out the funds have already been fully allocated.

Each county/district or region can apply for up to $2,500 in cost-share per year. This can be made up of one or multiple projects.

Yes. Each Tier One must standalone and be complete by the end of the fiscal year. A project may be enhanced with additional features in the second year, or repeated if beneficial and appropriate.

Yes, local/regional associations may pool Tier One funding towards the same project/activity. If local/regional associations choose to pool resources for a project only one application is required per project, however all participating parties must be clearly listed with contact people. To trigger payment, each participating SCIA must submit a claim form with proof of payment. 

Tier One applications require that the applicants list all associated costs. These are specific costs the association expects to incur during the project time frame, in part or in whole. At claim time OSCIA will ask for all project costs to be listed on the claim form, as well as contributions that have been made from other sources (cash and in-kind). These contributions listed on the claim form provides a positive report to the Ministry on how their funds leveraged additional contributions towards approved projects from the farm community.

 

Ian MacDonald, an Applied Research Coordinator with OMAFRA, has created a helpful guide on how to best optimize on-farm field trials. The guide can be found here 

Regional Communication Grant

The Regional Communication Grant will support Regional Communication Coordinators (part-time service contractors hired by the Regional Board) in OSCIA’s eleven regions to strengthen inter-association networking opportunities, key regional events, and the assistance of RCCs in the production of the OSCIA e-newsletter The Innovator. 

The available funding totals  $6,500 per year per region. Access and conditions to receiving the Regional Communication Grant will be coordinated through the provincial OSCIA office, through the Service Contract agreement. Funds allocated but not used within each fiscal year of the stated timeframe (April 1, 2023 – February 1, 2024) will be forfeited by that regional association. 

The overarching purpose of the funding is to evaluate, demonstrate, and communicate new crop production technology to Ontario stakeholders. This is to be achieved from the perspectives of production, innovation, economic and environment, with the overall objective to improve the sustainability of crop production in Ontario and to extend the information and experiences to Ontario stakeholders. 

These activities are expected to support successful and sustainable agri-food and agri-product businesses as well as goals to increase competitiveness of the sector through innovation. An objective of the funding is also to increase membership engagement in local associations. 

It is recognized that additional funds are often generated at the regional level to combine with the Regional Communication Grant to support communication activities. The decision on how the additional communication dollars are invested is solely up to the Region. 

All claims  MUSTbe received  in the Provincial office at least bi-annually.

Please Note:

To enable OSCIA to meet stringent reporting deadlines set by the Ministry, project claim submission dates must be adhered to.
All claims for projects approved between April 1, 2021 and February 28, 2022 must be submitted to the provincial office by March 1, 2022.
All claims for projects approved between April 1, 2022 and February 1, 2023, must be submitted to the provincial office by February 8, 2023.

Regional Communication Grant Guidelines

  • Questions about the Regional Communication Grant should be directed to Kathleen Pentland at kpentland@ontariosoilcrop.org
  • Regional associations are also encouraged to leverage funds through sponsorships and advertising from outside sources.
  • The application form and a detailed communication plan must be submitted to the provincial OSCIA office for full approval.
  • All public-facing communication materials must be approved by OSCIA before release. If appropriate, the OSCIA logo should be placed on all public-facing communication materials. Allow a minimum of two weeks for the approval process. Please contact Kathleen Pentland (kpentland@ontariosoilcrop.org) at OSCIA for further information, including electronic files for the logo and details on placement.
  • The applicable forms must be completed and signed to trigger a claim through the Guelph office.
  • A listing of grant expenditures and acceptable proof of payment must be included with the claim. Proof of payment may be any one of the following:
    • Copy of front and back of cancelled cheque.
    • Electronic image of processed cheque.
    • Statement from banking institution indicating to whom the processed cheque was written, or electronic payment made, and for what amount.
    • Credit card or debit card receipt clearly identifying amount and to whom the payment was made.
      Credit card or debit card numbers and other information, including costs that are unrelated to the project,
      should be blacked out.
  • An electronic report on RCC activities is required annually and must be sent to the provincial OSCIA office before January 15 of the following year. Please refer to previous Annual Conference reports for any needed guidance on format.
  • Records must be kept for seven years from the conclusion of the funding program so that the actual costs and expenses are available for audit purposes if requested.
  • Labour, services and supplies;
  • Cost of printing Province-wide e-Newsletter The Innovator for members without internet access (this cost will be billed at a cost-recovery back to the region and is therefore eligible under this grant);
  • Funding can be used as startup funds for coordination of, or planning of a new regional communication event.
  • Strengthen local associations and increase membership through high profile events;
  • Strengthen inter-association networking opportunities;
  • Organize key regionally significant events;
  • Attend knowledge transfer events to write articles and provide opportunities for increased membership benefits through knowledge transfer;
  • Develop and maintain a Regional landing page (on the OSCIA main website) or a Regional website, that features leading technology transfer produced for their local membership. As well as providing updates on upcoming events, local contact information and sponsorship ad placements;
  • Write and develop up to 4 newsworthy articles per year to be submitted with pre-approval to OSCIAs newsteam for use in the e-Newsletter The Innovator (up to a maximum of $500 at $125 each per year). This portion of the grant is paid directly to the RCC as long as the article has been pre-approved by the newsteam.
  • Postage;
  • Refreshments, nutrition breaks or food items;
  • Donations to other organizations;
  • Printing or mailing of local landing page material or Regional updates mailed out to members;
  • These funds are not intended to support ongoing or existing annual events;
  • The Communication grant cannot be used in combination with another OSCIA grant (i.e. cannot be used towards the same project expenses)

Regional Communication Grant Claim Form

Click on the claim form image to download the Communication grant claim form PDF


Claim Form

Tier Two Grants

The Tier Two Grants support large-scale, multiple-year projects throughout the province, encouraging innovation and collaboration. The projects span across four major focus areas: soil health, nutrient management, seed health, and “other” that responds to major current issues. There are currently no funding opportunities for new Tier Two grants.

Videos highlighting Tier Two projects

These videos were filmed during the 2020 OSCIA annual conference and highlight the second year findings of these projects.

Making Relay Cropping Pay

Maximixing Cereal Rye Cover Crop Management

#RootsNotIron – Phase 2

AgTiv Mycorrhizal Inoculant Trial

Soil health as it related to Yield

Research Do’s and Don’ts

These videos were filmed during the 2019 OSCIA annual conference and highlight the first year results from three of our seven Tier Two projects.

Compaction Recovery with Cover Crops

Maximizing Cereal Rye Cover Crop Management for Multiple Benefits

#RootsNotIron – Phase 2

Funding Statement

These projects were funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

The views expressed in the reports are the views of OSCIA and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province or Canada.

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