Opportunities for Farmers

Northern beef production offers a viable lifestyle for beginning farmers and their families. For long-term sustainable and efficient farm operations, farms require a contiguous land base of approximately 2,000 acres per farm. This is not economically viable in southern Ontario. The lower cost of entry in the north provides an affordable pathway for beginning and existing farmers to establish economically viable farm businesses which will be sustainable for decades.

New practices and technologies have been developed in past decades– such as pasture calving, rotational grazing, wrapping hay bales and better genetics that would allow northern farmers the opportunity for more profitable and feasible operations. Sources of private equity who would partner in the expansion of production in the north have also been identified.

Existing producers already established in the north are enthusiastic for this expansion opportunity. They will welcome new farming families into their communities and make excellent mentors for those starting a life in the northern regions.

The Great Clay Belt
The Great Clay Belt, highlighted above in green, consists of 16 million acres of potentially fertile glaciolacustrine soils. This is double the amount of cropland currently being farmed in the province.

Opportunities for Ontario

Developing farms in Northern Ontario is the most significant economically sustainable plan for the region and will contribute substantial economic base for decades. Jobs such as construction, clearing, tilling, producing fence wire, concrete work are all required for establishing these farms. Adding 30 new economically viable farms to the region every year for the next 20 years will generate more than $3 billion in economic activity for Northern communities.

Increasing the cow herd by 100,000 animals and growing and processing those calves in Ontario adds more than 4,500 permanent jobs and more than $318 million value-added GDP per year. In the short term, this expansion will satisfy Ontario demand and generate volume to make current processing plants more economically viable, while in the medium-to-long term it will satisfy global demand – all yielding significant gains for Ontario.

Development differences between Northern Ontario and Quebec
Development differences between Northeastern Ontario (west of the border) and Northwestern Quebec (east of the border) in the Great Clay Belt.