FCC and Western Fair District partner to elevate agriculture and food producers
By Farm Credit CanadaGeneral
Woodstock, Ont., Sept. 12, 2023 – Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is pleased to announce a long-term partnership with Western Fair District to deliver the knowledge, innovation and research Canadian producers can use to complement their own expertise in the advancement of their farming and food businesses.
The partnership announcement includes new on-farm research called Innovation Farms Ontario powered by AgExpert, located at Haggerty Creek near Bothwell, Ontario. This research farm is part of a network of Canadian demonstration farms where innovative, emerging technology is developed and tested. The results and benefits of different technologies in the emerging agriculture robotics and automation industry are shared with producers to optimize current farming practices and future decisions.
“Practical research and on-farm testing on new technologies such as automation, robotics and sustainability innovations will help farmers confidently adopt new systems with less risk,” said Chuck Baresich, president of Haggerty Creek Farms. “FCC’s support will allow us to tap into incredible potential that will increase productivity for producers and provide them with the ability to put their labour into high-value work.
“The new resources complement the great research we have conducted with OMAFRA and the AgRobotics Working Group.”
Including FCC’s farm management software, AgExpert, in the name and on the farm, signals the value both Western Fair and FCC place on growing Canada’s digital agriculture system. The 2,000+-acre full-scale production innovation farm will use AgExpert software as part of its testing, research, and technology development.
“FCC sees tremendous opportunity with the creation of this partnership. Producers and processors will realize the benefits of the knowledge, research and funding that this collaboration brings”, said Fred Wall, vice-president, marketing and digital agriculture at FCC. “The depth of resources and people working together will elevate so much of what the Canadian agriculture and food industry has to offer, from digital agriculture, to processing food at home and securing the funding for the ideas that shape our future.”
This partnership will also support The Grove at Western Fair District, a growing agriculture and food business-innovation hub that is already home to 32 companies. Here, a range of resources support food processors and businesses to access the startup funds and tools they need to begin scaling their businesses.
“There is incredible potential for agriculture and food startup founders to build the great new companies of the future, bringing innovative technologies to market, helping feed the world, creating jobs and supporting the economy,” said Joe Dales, co-founder at formerly the Roundhouse Accelerator, now RHA Ventures. “The RHA Ventures team is committed to supporting the early-stage companies with investment and business mentoring support. Having Farm Credit Canada as a new partner in The Grove is going to accelerate and expand the number of companies fostered here.”
“This partnership allows us to level-up what we offer at the Grove from ag-tech to education, funding and practical space for businesses,” said James Smith, director of agri-food at Western Fair District. “A great example is supporting startups and food-processing companies through an incubation stage where you can rent kitchens and food-processing space that were built to CFIA standards.”
“They can produce more, get to a larger audience and a point where they can start to think about building or renting their own square footage where we can help them design and grow into that space. The opportunities for producers and businesses at the Grove are just beginning.”
This partnership reflects the goal of Innovation Farms Ontario powered by AgExpert to bring together top ag-tech and industry minds who are intentionally shaping agricultural and commercial productivity gains.
Learn more about the advantages producers and businesses can find at The Grove and with Haggerty AgRobotics in this profile.
Western Fair Association
The Western Fair District is one of Canada’s oldest and largest Agriculture Societies and supports the Agriculture Community with programming and facilities that help meet the business needs of this sector while at the same time providing innovative educational experiences for today’s consumer. For more information, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com
The Grove at Western Fair is the agriculture and food business hub where companies can share space, resources, and connections to create the right conditions for innovation and growth. For more information, visit www.thegrovewfd.com
Haggerty Creek and Haggerty AgRobotics
Haggerty AgRobotics is a leader in the emerging agriculture robotics and automation industry. For several years, Chuck Baresich, founder and president, has been researching and testing various technologies on the Haggerty Creek farming operation. The farming operation is part of Haggerty Creek Ltd. owned and operated by Chuck & Justin Baresich and AGRIS Cooperative since 2001. For more information, visit www.haggertycreek.com www.haggertyagrobotics.com
RHA Ventures Inc.
RHA Ventures Inc. is a long term, value adding investor in early-stage innovative companies in the agriculture and food sector. We increase the probability of success and accelerate growth by leveraging our team’s extensive business experience, world class leadership and management skills, industry wide networks and financial resources. For more information, visit our website at www.RHA.Ventures
Farm Credit Canada
FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, dedicated to the industry that feeds the world. FCC employees are committed to the long-standing success of those who produce and process Canadian food by providing flexible financing, AgExpert business-management software, information and knowledge. FCC provides a complement of expertise and services designed to support the complex and evolving needs of food businesses. As a financial Crown corporation, FCC is a stable partner that reinvests profits back into the industry and communities it serves. For more information, visit fcc.ca.