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Ontario Government Supporting Agricultural and Horticultural Societies in HAliburton-Kawartha Lakes-

KAILIE OORTWYN, Office of Laurie Scott, MPP, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock

The Ontario government is taking action, to help support local agricultural and horticultural societies with $1.1 million in additional funding, to offer continued support for agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by COVID-19.

The government will provide up to $5,000 for each eligible agricultural society and up to $1,500 for each eligible horticultural society, equal to their 2019 grants. This is the latest investment from the provincial government, to strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and fostering vibrant rural economies. This latest funding follows the January 2021 investment of $5 million to help support agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by cancelled events in 2020.

Locally, eligible agricultural and horticultural societies in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will receive a collective total of over $26,000 in financial support, through their 2020 grants, equal to the amount they received in 2019.

“The pandemic continues to place financial pressures on agricultural and horticultural societies, and that’s why providing this additional funding is a priority for our government,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “These organizations play a critical role in our communities by providing education on the importance of agriculture and supporting our farmers.”

The funding will enable agricultural and horticultural societies to offset membership and revenue losses, so they can continue to meet their immediate financial needs and work towards planning future events within health and safety guidelines.

The current grant program requires agricultural and horticultural societies to operate their fairs, events and activities, in order to qualify for funding. This, automatic one-time payment, replaces the 2021 grant, so agriculture and horticultural societies can receive the grant without having to hold their traditional fair or complete their community projects.

Supporting our rich agri-food industry, a $47 billion industry in Ontario, is an important element in Ontario’s economic recovery. Funding agricultural and horticultural societies, at this critical time, is one piece of the puzzle, to sustaining and growing the agri-food industry, as the province recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.

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