OFVGA chair Jan VanderHout writes about effects of $14/hour minimum wage on horticulture. On September 26, the Ontario labour minister confirmed wage would not increase on January 1, 2019. 

Federal ag minister Lawrence MacAulay (l) and George Gilvesy, chair, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers.

Federal ag and agri-food minister Lawrence MacAulay has announced a five-year investment of $70M to hire and equip the next generation of agricultural scientists, initiate a Living Laboratories program, and fund federal agricultural research in priority areas. George Gilvesy, chair of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, was on hand for the September 21 announcement in Harrow, Ontario. 

Oct 1-7, 2018 is Ontario Agriculture Week.  It’s a great time to highlight Ontario fruits and vegetables enjoyed year round, but particularly at Thanksgiving.  Let’s remember to give thanks for the province’s 52,000 farmers who give us fresh and nutritious food, and contribute greatly to Ontario’s economy.

BASF Canada Inc. (BASF) has been granted a new label expansion for Frontier Max herbicide for control of annual grasses and key broadleaf weeds in potatoes.  In addition to its expanded label on potatoes, Frontier Max is also registered for use on corn, soybeans, dry beans, onions, cabbage and grapes. 

Dr. Warren Jestin

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has appointed Warren Jestin as the new chair of the board. He replaces former federal agriculture minister Lyle Vanclief. Jestin was formerly chief economist at Scotiabank until his retirement in 2016. 

First place and congratulations to the OFVGA’s website ‘The Grower.’  The Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation recognized media excellence at its 2018 annual conference and awards competition on September 22 in Winnipeg. 

Empire Co. Ltd., Sobey’s parent has purchased Farm Boy’s 26 Ontario locations. They’re hoping to double the size of the Farm Boy business that began as a small produce store in Cornwall, Ont. back in 1981.

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program has brought workers from Mexico and the Caribbean to Canada for 52 years. One of those success stories is Jamaican Stedley Stephenson. He’s finishing his 38th season, this year picking apples in one of the remaining conventional blocks at the farm of John Ardiel, Clarksburg, Ontario. Thanks to 30,000 workers like him, growers are able to bring hand-harvested produce to market. Photos by Glenn Lowson.