Ontario Protects the Future of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

Proposed land sale to ensure long-term investments into agriculture sector

News

September 15, 2020

Woodstock - Ontario and Glacier FarmMedia are working together towards ensuring the long-term success and viability of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS). The proposed sale of part of the Woodstock Research Station will secure a permanent home for this annual agriculture event and will help support future investments and economic activities.

“Through the proposed sale of the Woodstock Research Station, COFS will continue to provide farmers with the vital opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest farming practices and technology,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Today’s announcement is good news for Ontario’s agriculture sector which will have expanded access to that research and is good news for our community and local economy which will benefit from year-round activities on this site.”

Currently, Glacier FarmMedia leases part of the Woodstock Research Station property for the purpose of operating Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS) each year — Canada’s most important farm show providing farmers with the best opportunity to experience new technology, the latest equipment and most current information to strengthen Ontario’s agriculture sector.

Glacier FarmMedia has exciting development plans for the proposed land acquisition, including launching Discovery Farm Woodstock, which will be home to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. Discovery Farm Woodstock will showcase farmer-led and industry-partnered research, with a goal of transferring in-field knowledge to help farmers succeed. Plans include:

  • Creating a sustainability and soil health centre that will bring industry, government, research and farmer organizations together in a classroom and a demonstration framework to boost sustainability and soil health information.

  • Building urban and rural connection through a student demo farm with strategic partners, including Grain Farmers of Ontario

  • Growing Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, enhancing partnerships and developing a world class site for the transfer of agricultural information.

"We are very pleased to be working with the Ontario government to secure this site as a permanent home for Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and to establish the Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm Woodstock, an innovative agricultural event and demonstration site,” said Bob Willcox, President of Glacier FarmMedia. “Strategic industry and research partnerships on a range of projects will allow us to share knowledge about, and real-world solutions for, the most pressing challenges facing Ontario farmers today. Together we are enhancing the province's agriculture sector.”

Research, innovation and technology transfer are key to the growth of the agri-food sector, support rural economic development and help strengthen Ontario’s competitive edge.

Quick Facts

  • Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS Property Limited Partnership) is a subsidiary of Glacier FarmMedia.

  • Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show is an annual event celebrating over 25 years of unique programming that advances agriculture in Ontario.

  • Currently, Glacier FarmMedia leases Section 1 of the Woodstock Research Station property from the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) for the purpose of operating Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.

  • Finalization of the sale is contingent on fulfillment of the duty to consult and all legal requirements.

  • For 2020, COFS is offering a unique, digital experience. Visit http://outdoorfarmshow.com to learn more.

Backgrounder

Stakeholders Support Permanent Home for Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

The Ontario government has agreed to sell a portion of the Woodstock Research Station to Glacier FarmMedia so that Canada’s Outdoor Farm show can continue to grow and develop new ways of sharing innovative technology to help Ontario farmers be more competitive.

Through this sale, Glacier FarmMedia plans to continue making Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show the premier event for farmers to see technology in action and experience the newest farming equipment while expanding the research focus of the site.

AGRICULTURE AND REGIONAL LEADERS’ QUOTES
Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA)

“OFA is pleased to see the proposed sale of the outdoor farm show land to Glacier Media, which will provide stability and security to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show,” said Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “The sale will secure a permanent home for the annual farm show and will create new, exciting opportunities for hosting agricultural and community events in the future. We look forward to the positive impact this will have on the farming community and the growth of agricultural research.”

Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO)

“The proposed sale of a portion of the Woodstock Research Station to Glacier FarmMedia is a win-win-win for farmers, Ontario agriculture and Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS),” said Lorne Hepworth, Chair of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario. “The proposed sale will enable the long-term growth of COFS and will greatly benefit the farming and agri-business community while enabling the provincial government to use the proceeds to contribute to priorities in agriculture, rural communities, health care and education.”

City of Woodstock

“As Mayor of Woodstock, I am thankful for the commitment from Premier Ford’s government to permanently secure these lands for the purpose of agricultural innovation and investment,” said Trevor Birtch, Mayor, City of Woodstock. “We have been working on this file for years to ensure that Canada’s largest outdoor farm show can continue to host this experiential learning event for almost 50,000 individuals a year, not just for Canadians but for international investors and dignitaries. We look forward to working with all of our partners to ensure the outdoor farm show remains a fixture in Ontario.”


Media Contacts

Avi Yufest, Minister’s Office,
Avi.Yufest@ontario.ca

Christa Roettele, Communications Branch,
Christa.Roettele@Ontario.ca
519-826-3145

Ontario.ca/agriculture-news
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