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Events (September 15th - December 31st):

International Plowing Match & Rural Expo
September 22-26, 2015, 8:30am - 5:00pm daily
Finch, Ontario
Opening parade, RAM Rodeo Tour, dancing tractors, …you haven't seen it all 'til you've seen it all here!
For more info: www.plowingmatch.org

The Real Dirt on Farming Speakers' Bu-reau Training Session
Thursday, November 5, 2015, 10am - 4pm
Rosslyn Hall, 3405 Rosslyn Rd.
For farmers and agribusiness people alike! This workshop is designed to encourage those involved in agriculture to tell THEIR stories to non-farming audiences such as schools, municipal councils and more. Brought to you by Food and Farm Care, who recently published the newest edition of The Real Dirt on Farming. Lunch and course materials provided, no cost to register. Space limited to 25 participants.
For more info/to register: Matt McIntosh, (519) 837-1326 ext. 235 or matt@farmfoodcare.org

Thunder Bay Beekeepers' Association: Annual Meeting 2015
Tuesday, November 10, 2015, social time 6:30pm, regular meeting 7pm
Kakabeka Legion, 4556 Trans-Canada Hwy, Kakabeka Falls
Join in for fellowship, refreshments and all the information you'd like to know about beekeeping!
For more info: www.thunderbaybeekeepersassociation.ca

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
November 6 - 15, 2015, 9am-9pm, except Sundays (9-8pm, 9-6pm)
Exhibition Place, Toronto - 210 Princes' Blvd
Tonnes to do! Plan you visit to this year's event, full of events, activities and exhibitors, including horse shows, petting zoo and the latest in agricultural technology!
For more info: www.royalfair.org

OFA Annual General Meeting 2015
Monday, November 24 (8am-5pm) - Tuesday, November 25 (8:30am-noon), 2015
International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Rd, Toronto, Ontario.
For more info: www.ofa.on.ca

Traditional Ontario Apple Pie

Apple pie is a favourite among many, and at this time of year, the harvest of apples is upon us. Ontario Northern Spy Apples are hard to beat in this recipe. However, you may use Ontario Spartans, Idareds, Cortlands, Crispins (Mutsu), Golden Delicious and Empire Apples which all hold their shape when baked. They vary in sweetness, so adjust amount of sugar accordingly.

Crust Ingredients:
6 cups cake and pastry flour or 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 lb lard
1 tbsp vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
cold water

Filling Ingredients:
1/3 - 1/2 cup brown or granulated sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 cups sliced, peeled and cored Ontario Apple
1 tbsp butter or non-hydrogenated margarine

In large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a 1 cup glass measure, combine vinegar and egg. Add enough water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into flour mixture, adding only enough liquid to make dough cling together. Gather into a ball and divide into 6 portions. Wrap and freeze or refrigerate unused portions.
Roll out a portion on a lightly floured surface. If dough is sticking, refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Fit pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss with apple slices. Place filling in pie shell and dot with butter or margarine.
Roll out another portion of pastry and place over filling. Trim top edge of crust, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under bottom edge of the crust. Press together and flute edge. Cut several slashes as steam vents in top crust. Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes or until fruit is tender and pastry is golden brown.
Source: www.ontario.ca/foodland/recipes



Slate River Dairy Opens Its Doors!
By Miranda Bolt, sources: TBT News

The wait is over for Wilma Mol and family as they gear up to provide Thunder Bay and area with wholesome, fresh dairy products! And where there's a will, there's a way. After 4 years of implementing, planning, building and strategics, Wilma Mol was proud to announce the opening doors of Slate River Dairy on August 17, 2015, where they had their first batch of milk pasteurized.

Described as supreme, fresh quality, the milk that Slate River Dairy provides the community with on a regular basis, comes straight from their own Holstein cows, is pasteurized and bottled on a same-day process. Remaining milk is also used for yogurt, after adding cultures to aid in this process. Slate River Dairy also aims to provide sustainability through the production, and offer their product in glass, re-useable bottles.

Milk produced by Slate River Dairy can be purchased at the Thunder Bay County Market, as well as various wholesome retailers around the area, such as Belluz Farms and Vitality Natural Food Market. And of course, right off the farm in their new storefront, located in scenic Slate River Valley, Highway 608, just off of Highway 61. Their current hours of operation are 10am - 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

For more information and announcements on this exciting addition to our local agricultural community, visit their website: www.slateriverdairy.com or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SlateRiverDairy

Thumbs Up to TBARS!
Based on information obtained by Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA, edited by Miranda Bolt

Thumbs up

Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA, Director of Research and Business, Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS), Thunder Bay, Ontario, took over as President of the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) on July 29, 2015. He is the first agricultural scientist from Thunder Bay to head the CSA, a national level scientific society. Last July, Dr. Sahota was unanimously chosen to be the President Elect (for which normally elections are held).

Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota has been heading the TBARS since January 2004, and has generated a lot of valuable agronomic data. As a result of Dr. Sahota’s research and public outreach, area producers adopted a number of crops/crop varieties and beneficial nutrient management practices, diversified and expanded their operations and initiated new small scale commercial activities such as a stone grinding mill and a canola press to extract edible oil from canola. Some of the new crops (especially new to Thunder Bay) include Galega (a perennial forage legume from the Scandinavian countries), berseem, sorghum sudangrass, durum wheat, hard red spring and winter wheats, hard white spring wheat, canola and chickpea. Through his research he has been able to offer new and higher yielding varieties of spring cereals/and other crops. One year, there were 15 barley varieties grown on Thunder Bay farms; a diversity that was unmatched anywhere else. Dr. Sahota was first to identify deficiencies of secondary and micronutrients such as sulphur, zinc and boron in field crops of Thunder Bay/Ontario. The fertilizer nutrient package along with high yielding crop varieties recommended by Dr. Sahota improved crop production as well as quality of produce cutting down on feed costs by farmers. As a result, the prosperity on farms in Thunder Bay is obvious.

Originally from a family farm (Village Phalpota, District Jalandhar) from the Punjab State of India, Dr. Sahota has Master's and Doctorate degrees in Agronomy with distinction, from the famous Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, India. Dr. Sahota was selected for the International Course for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), Wageningen, The Netherlands (7 months course meant for young agricultural professionals) through an International competition. He was the only Indian among the 19 participants selected from 16 countries over the globe.

Dr. Sahota started his career through the Agricultural Research Services (ARS) in 1977, a national level competitive exam started by the Indian Council of Research in 1976. He was posted at the Central Potato Research Station, Shillong, Meghalaya, where he through his research and extension was able to bridge the gap between the potato yields at the research station and at the farmers’ fields. He has over 35 years experience in agricultural research, extension and development spread over four continents and 11 organizations. Highlights of his career include establishment of a 10101 acre commercially viable contract mint farming program for A. M. Todd Company USA and management of large scale commercial farms in Nigeria, including a fresh produce export project; involving production, grading and packaging of vegetables and fruits at Kano, Nigeria for shipping to London, England. Dr. Sahota served as an invited member of an International Panel for the Second External Review of ICRA, The Netherlands and has worked in/and lead multinational and multidisciplinary teams. Dr. Sahota has been an Ontario Certified Crop Advisor in good standing since 2007, has published over 300 research and extension papers and has made over 50 research presentations at the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA), Plant Canada, and American Society of Agronomy, in addition to several presentations at the farmers' conferences in Ontario/Canada and USA.  

Dr. Sahota is a member of the American Society of Agronomy for many years now and has been an Eastern Director of the CSA for two terms before becoming the President Elect of the CSA last year. He is a life member of the Indian Society of Agronomy and Indian Society of Soil Science and has held executive positions in the Indian Scientific Societies.

Since 1993, Dr. Sahota has held senior management positions reporting directly to the board of directors, has headed multimillion dollar projects/divisions and has served on the board of directors of a commercial organization, marketing agricultural inputs. Dr. Sahota was nominated for the CCA Award of Excellence in 2013 and for the Innovative Hero of the Year Award in May 2015. He was selected as one of the seven delegates for a professional visit to Seinajoki, Finland by the City of Thunder Bay in June 2015. Considering Dr. Sahota’s contribution to agricultural research, the Lakehead University, Thunder Bay appointed him as an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Natural Resources Management in July 2013. Dr. Sahota has a number of other awards to his credit including an Award of Honour by the Alumni Association of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India in February 2015.

From the words of Glenn Coulter, an independent consultant from Intellectual Property Inc. Calgary, Alberta, hired to look into the long term sustainability of the TBARS: "We find it quite amazing that one full time scientist, two seasonal technicians and some summer help can do this much work implementing projects, conducting analyses, and transferring the results to the agricultural community in such a timely fashion. TBARS provides an extraordinary return on investment!… There is clearly a desire to see TBARS survive and thrive!”

Experiencing TBARS as a Student
Submitted by Kaitland Miller
Kaitland and Dr. Sahota

I am a student born and raised in Thunder Bay currently obtaining a BSc in Agricultural Science at the University of Guelph. I was drawn to TBARS initially by word of their high reputation and commitment to agricultural research. I proceeded forward by volunteering one day a week throughout the summer, in order to gain experience in my chosen field and passion.

My experience at TBARS under the guidance of Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota and Blaine Tomeck was more than positive. I was able to learn valuable and practical skills such as seeding, fertilizing and data analyzes, to mention a few. I am very appreciative of the time and willingness that was taken by Sahota and Tomeck to pass on their knowledge to a learning student. Every day was a new experience at TBARS, which was no surprise as the productivity and efficiency of this research station is simply outstanding. I truly learned first hand the value and resources that TBARS offers Thunder Bay farmers and surrounding northern communities. I wish TBARS the very best in the future and want to thank them for making my volunteering and learning experience superb.

Thumbs Up to TBARS!


OFA Board Members Take Time to Tour Our Area
Submitted by Peggy Brekveld

The best way to understand a different region, its strengths and struggles, is to go there. And that is what they did. This August, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture's board and some of its staff headed north to Thunder Bay to see first hand what farming is all about in a smaller, northern community. The Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture did an excellent job of presenting this area to the OFA. 

ag tourPre-board tours gave participants the option of seeing the harbour and Canada Malting Company grain elevator, a historical tour of the city, or a tour of its countryside. That evening, Spirits Canada provided a great networking opportunity by hosting a fabulous whiskey tasting that evening for the OFA and TBFA. During their official board meeting, the OFA took time to visit the third largest farmer's market in Ontario, Thunder Bay Country Market. This was followed by a six course gourmet meal at the Silver Birch Restaurant. There is no better way than to tell the story of agriculture than to taste it! Reflecting our food diversity, our meal was 98% local and donated by our local farmers. It was delicious! Honoured guests included included MPP Michael Gravelle and OMAFRA Chief of Staff Peter Cleary. And, speaking about their experiences of moving north and farming in Thunder Bay were Jason Reid and Michael Visser.

The following day, the agricultural tour included discussions on land clearing and tiling at Trumar Farms, food processing at Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, and Thunder Bay's Food Strategy and local food movement at Belluz Farms. Each stop built the idea that farming in the north is different but has great potential and is profitable.

OFA board members, many from the southern part of the province, later commented that what they will remember form their trip north is the community spirit. Working together and looking out for our neighbours, no matter what commodity, is part of what makes Thunder Bay vibrant farming community.


Once again, thanks to all of our sponsors and meeting hosts for making this event a great success. A special thanks to TBFA and its summer tour organizing committee of Henriet DeBruin, Rachel Meyer, Carl Godin, and Linda Turk for the energy and enthusiasm they brought to this event, too! 

Advertising with TBFA
If your business and its customers are associated with the agriculture industry, consider advertising with TBFA! Rates are as follows:
Directory Ad- Farms which are members of TBFA pay only a single one-time fee to have their products and information listed on Directory page. Easy reference for our site viewers! ($20)
Business Ad- Send on your business card & information for posting on the Home page, direct & accessible to our site viewers! ($100/year)
Please request our web page ad form to advertise with us, or contact Brenda at burkedairyfarms@xplornet.com

Our Supporters

Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s CanAdvance Program, Farm Credit Canada, Food Security Research Network and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Agricultural Adaptation Council
Can AdvanceCanada

Agriculture and agri-Food Canada

Fall in Thunder Bay and Area...

Again, the time of reaping rewarding work has come. Fall time is upon our local growers and farmers, and all around the outlying areas lies proof of an incredible growing season. Often times, the season of fall is looked down upon. It signals the end of the longer days, warmer temperatures and outdoor pleasures. With it also comes the promise of winter snows. However, fall time is a much needed season in our region. Because it also means rewarding work, rest, replenishment and eventually regrowth, which will soon enough be upon our farmers once again.

fall time

Passport to Safety: Is a national safety test, certification and transcript program for workers. The Passport verifies a basic level of workplace health and safety knowledge to help workers become smarter and safer around the places they work.
Passport to Safety is currently offering a Passport to Farm Safety Course. Click here for more info!

Agriculture Economic Impact Study
Click here to read more

Your source to information related to farming in our Northern Ontario setting!
This recently launched website has a host of links, info and tips: www.farmnorth.com

Website Updates
Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture updates this website four times per year. Information for our next update should be in by November 30th, with our next update posted in the first week of December.
If you would like to advertise in our business directory or our events calendar, contact miranda@tbfarminfo.org

farm in the fall

Teaching Resources

Have questions about agriculture? want to get the real facts about farming? Check out the resources available through Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. website. www.oafe.org

The Thunder Bay Dairy Educator is available to teachers for presentations on dairy farming and dairy goodness. Contact your Thunder Bay Dairy Educator today for your FREE visit! Trudy Reid-935-3224 or reidridgefarm@rogers.com

Local Farm Weather

Job Opportunities
Co-operative learning students and farm hands
Co-operative learning students and farm hands are always needed in the area. If you are interested in such an opportunity, please call Peter Aalbers at 939-1644 or e-mail him at peter@tbfarminfo.org.


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