After a hot summer, nothing says “autumn” like biting into a fresh, crisp Ontario apple. Tree fruit is central to Ontario’s horticulture production sector notes James Dyck, acting manager, horticulture crops for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
Apples are, by area, the largest tree fruit crop grown in Ontario, with more than 6,400 hectares (nearly 16,000 acres) of orchards. The major fruit-producing areas in the province are located along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The Town of Simcoe in Norfolk County lies in the heart of this key growing region.
According to the Ontario Apple Growers, the apple industry generates overall economic activity of $634 million in Ontario, with a contribution of $351 million to Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and related employment of more than 5,100 full-time direct and indirect jobs, both in production and processing industries.
Despite the province’s large apple production (350 million-plus pounds per year) Ontario’s apple consumption is higher still – nearly 570 million pounds of equivalent apples. This includes fresh apples, apple juice, apples sauce, pie filling and many other apple products. Ontario consumers love apples, and Ontario growers are working hard to meet that need.
OMAFRA is actively seeking a new tree fruit specialist to support the sector. This person will lead provincial technology transfer activities for tree fruit production, coordinate and implement research and demonstration projects, build partnerships and liaise with growers, the research community and industry. It’s an exciting role that provides expertise to inform future policy and program development, and represents provincial and ministry interests related to tree fruit production.
Working within the Agriculture Development Branch, OMAFRA’s team of agricultural specialists promote high-quality agricultural production through the application of best management practices, on-farm quality assurance programs and plant and animal health strategies.
This position is based at the University of Guelph’s Simcoe Research Station in the town of Simcoe, Ontario. To find out more about this opportunity or to apply, visit the Ontario Public Service careers portal (link: https://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?Language=English&JobID=152561)
Source: OMAFRA September 11, 2020 communique