16 Lambton farms get government funding for food safety

BlackburnNews.com file photo by Simon Crouch.

Around $128,000 in government funding will help 16 area farms continue to produce safe, high quality food.

The provincial and federal governments are investing a total of $7.3 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help support farmers and agri-food businesses.

Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey said the funding will be spread across three different categories.

“Economic development, environmental stewardship, and protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation of public trust in agriculture and our food safety,” he said. “They’re going to talk about how to reduce soil erosion, how to reduce pest damage at greenhouse operations, upgrading the animal handling equipment. Just the whole gambit.”

Bailey said there are almost 900,000 agriculture jobs in Ontario, and that the sector contributes around $48 billion to the Ontario economy every year.

Bailey said the funding will be administered through the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

“They’ll have a lot to do with selecting and supporting these farmers and businesses. So as they become public, I know we’ll be back and be able to talk about them more in particular, about individual projects.”

Bailey talked about how the agriculture sector in Sarnia-Lambton has stepped up during the pandemic.

“One businessman I was talking to that runs an abattoir, he says he’s been in the business almost 40 years, and he says ‘I was never as busy as I was this past year-and-a-half,’ and that’s typical across the riding with agriculture and how they provide good, fresh food to the people of Sarnia-Lambton.”

Bailey said the 16 local farms receiving funding are all for individual projects, so the province is not releasing the names or addresses of the farms for privacy reasons.

Agriculture projects in Sarnia-Lambton that are receiving provincial funding. July 2021. (Photo provided by the Ontario Government)

Agriculture projects in Sarnia-Lambton that are receiving provincial funding. July 2021. (Photo provided by the Ontario Government)