Ontario Supporting a Strong Agriculture Sector in the North

$1.5 million investment will help strengthen regional economy

February 18, 2022


SAULT STE. MARIE – The Ontario government is providing more than $1.5 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to four agriculture sector projects in the Sault Ste. Marie area. This investment will help create good-paying jobs, boost economic growth and improve quality of life in northern communities.

“These four projects represent a combined $1.5 million investment on a variety of projects that will add jobs, expand businesses, and encourage their economic growth,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “The agriculture sector is incredibly important in the overall economic picture of Northern Ontario, in our community and region, and I am happy to advocate for continued support to strengthen it.”

The following funding is being delivered through the NOHFC:

  • $683,725 and $429,910 for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to complete two tile drainage projects on more than 2,000 acres of farmland in the Algoma and Manitoulin regions. The project will create 14 new jobs and benefit 21 area producers.
  • $360,000 for Lallemand Inc. to establish a specialized bacteria inoculation facility and provide plant care solutions to agribusinesses. This project will create 16 jobs and benefit soybean and pulse producers across Canada.
  • $99,032 for Thomson Fruit Wines to renovate its facility and purchase new equipment to expand its business and offer new products, creating three jobs.

“Supporting the growth and prosperity of the agri-food sector and employment in rural communities throughout Northern Ontario is a priority for our government,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “These investments build on other actions contributing to the many stories of innovation, growth and success emerging in the Northern Ontario farming and agri-food sector.”

“The agricultural sector is a key driver of economic growth in Northern Ontario and we are proud to make investments that create jobs and keep the North competitive,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “These investments will help our agriculture sector grow and thrive, providing good job opportunities for northerners.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $432 million in 4,025 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.4 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,200 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • In 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.


“The regional tile drainage program funded through NOHFC has increased crop yields and helped producers be more prepared for climate change in Algoma and across Northern Ontario. This funding will further encourage increased investment in the agri-food sector to produce quality crops for decades to come.”

– David Thompson
RAIN Manager, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

“We are very excited to continue to invest in our Sault Ste. Marie operations, with support from the NOHFC Northern Business Opportunity Program. As part of the project, we have purchased equipment to build a processing and handling facility for advanced microbial-based fertilizers for use on soybean and pulse crops, as well as urban tree planting. In doing so, we have rapidly scaled up production and added 14 new full-time team members to our local operation.”

– Michael Pratt
Commercial Director, Lallemand Plant Care

“I would just like to thank the NOHFC for helping support local businesses right here in Sault Ste. Marie. The investment at Thomson Farms allowed us to diversify our business with the purchase of wine production equipment and renovations to our onsite winery.”

– Brad Morley
Manager, Thomson Farms

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