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Events (January 1st - March 31st):

SouthWest Agricultural Conference - Thunder Bay Satellite Location
January 7, 2015
For more info: Christina Mol at cmol@lakeheadu.ca,
(807) 629-2947

Slate River Plowing Match Directors'/General Meeting
January 26, 2015
Directors' Meeting - 7:00pm
General Membership Meeting - 7:30pm
The Kakabeka Hotel
Come out to renew your memberships or purchase one for only $10 at the door.
Let's reflect on what makes this event a great one!
For more info: Tom Loghrin at tomlo@tbaytel.net

Thunder Bay Spring Farm Conference
March 25 & 26, 2015
Kakabeka Legion
Come out to enjoy the many exhibitors, guest speakers, a hot buffet, prizes and more!
Contact: Christina Mol at cmol@lakeheadu.ca,
(807) 629-2947

Brule Creek Farms
Information submitted by Jeff Burke, edited by Miranda Bolt

Each season, the TBFA website will be featuring a local producer. This season, we will once again feature Jeff Burke from Brule Creek Farms who tells us a little on his successes and challenges in growing and milling grains into flour. If you missed it last winter, here are his responses again!

What led you to pursue this business?
I started this business in 2008 after working on a marketing study at Lakehead University looking at the viability of a local flour mill. I liked the idea and wrote up a business plan, purchased a piece of land and began construction of the mill. We began milling that fall and have increased our production every year since.

What are some daily tasks associated with your business?
In the summer time we move through the standard farming season from tillage and seeding in the spring to harvesting in the fall. We mill our flour year round, but usually mill the most in November and December when our sales are the highest. We generally mill two days a week with another day or two spent on deliveries and marketing. The rest of the time is spent doing maintenance, cleaning and doing office work.

FieldWhat are some challenges you face running this business "in a northern setting?"
There are some challenges to producing in our region. One being that the greater distances make it more costly to transport inputs in or product out of the region. The other would be some of the challenges associated with our shorter growing season such as some difficulty planting and harvesting.

What does 'produced locally' mean to you?
We like the idea of producing locally because it allows customers to understand where there food comes from and speak directly with the producers. It helps producers, such as ourselves, clarify some of the misconceptions about agriculture.

Why encourage people to buy local?
We think it's important to buy locally because it eliminates some of the costly transportation and helps keep money in the local economy.

logoA little about Brule Creek Farms:
Brule Creek Farms is the only stone-milled flour producer in Northwestern Ontario. It is owned and operated by Jeff and Andrea Burke and started farming in the spring of 2008 in the township of Conmee, just west of Kakabeka Falls. 

They mill both their own grains and grain purchased from other local farmers using heritage techniques with a modern spin: their grain is ground between granite stones spun by an electric motor. They mill flour on a weekly basis to ensure that their customers enjoy the freshest product possible. Brule Creek Farms flour is unbleached and contains no additives. 

For more information on Jeff and his flour/additional products, visit him in person at the Thunder Bay Country Market, or visit their website at: www.brulecreekfarms.ca

Check out the below recipe using Brule Creek Farms' own partially-sifted flour type. This recipe is perfect for the holidays, and many more are also available on their website!

Cranberry Yoghurt Cake

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries

1 ¾ cups Brule Creek Partially Sifted Flour
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinimmon
¼ tsp allspice
zest of an orange
½ cup melted butter
3 eggs
¾ cup Slate River Dairy yogurt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together for the topping. Once melted, pour into the bottom of a greased cake pan and add the cranberries on top.
In a large bowl, wisk together the dry ingredients for the cake. Create a well in the middle and add the melted butter, eggs and yogurt. Mix the batter just until moist - a few lumps is quite alright.
Pour the batter on top of the cranberries and smooth the top. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Once done, allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes before flipping. Enjoy!
Source: www.brulecreekfarms.ca/recipes.html

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation Supports Our Local Farming Industry
Source: www.northernontariobusiness.com, www.billmauro.onmpp.ca  

This past October, our member of provincial parliament Bill Mauro, announced the Ontario Government NOHFC funding for local farming businesses in the Neebing and Oliver Paipoonge municipalities. Both Thunder Oak Cheese Farm and Woodstar Farm received grants to facilitate their new visions in expansion of their businesses.

BarnGert and Peggy Brekveld of Woodstar Farm in Murillo received $410,682 to help with their new barn and to grow their herb of dairy cows from 58 to 90. According to recent reviews, the new barn will "focus on cow comfort and is more worker friendly than the barn originally was."

Walter and Joanne Schep of Thunder Oak Cheese Farm received their amount of $403,000 to aid with the relocation of their Gouda cheese-making facility and store. The goal is to expand their cheese-making capabilities and continue to "feed" their existing customer base, which has grown incredibly since they first opened to the public in December 1995. The new 6.000-square foot facility will house new equipment upgrades and a new retail outlet.

This past summer, Slate River Dairy also received a $500,000 grant from the Heritage Fund. They plan to begin producing milk, cream and yogurt for the broader local market, and are currently constructing their new facility. "This funding has allowed us to build a larger plant with an expanded retail store. As a result, we are able to produce more Gouda cheese, employ more staff and showcase locally produced products."

NOHFC is working to build a strong, prosperous northern community through unique programs to help foster hope and opportunity across Northern Ontario.

Ontario Government Tax Credit Only One of its Kind in Canada
A new tax credit is helping put nutritious, fresh, locally grown food on the plates of those who need it most.

The Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers - the only one of its kind in Canada - is giving farmers a tax credit valued at 25 per cent of the fair market value of the agricultural products they donate to community food programs, including food banks and student nutrition programs.

The tax credit is a part of the Ontario government's local food strategy and Local Food Act, 2013 to promote the good things that are grown and harvested across the province.

Building a stronger agri-food industry is part of the government's economic plan to support a dynamic and innovative business climate, invest in people and invest in infrastructure.

'Tis the season to GIVE!

Source: Northwest Link October 2014

TBARS update
Submitted by Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota, CCA

One more season is gone; successfully though with the Grace of God! We have completed TBARS Annual Report 2014, which is being printed at the time of writing this note. You may be wondering what is special about this year’s report. Well we try to excel ourselves every year. The report, apart from the usual information from the experiments conducted during the year, also contains summarised information from many years on the nutrients removal per metric tonne of grains, straw and forage dry matter as well as the total nutrients removal by all crops that our producers grow and also some other crops. I believe this location specific data will be more useful to Northwestern Ontario farmers, more so when straw is being removed from the fields, than the similar data available on internet or in the literature from other locations/or research facilities; with agro-climatic conditions different than ours. Yield indices from high yielding varieties of spring and winter cereals, grain legumes, including soybean and pulses, and the forage crops have also been included in the report. What I am also excited about the report is the encouraging results from some of our new experiments, such as fall vs. spring application of N from urea, ESN and blends of the two; for spring wheat production.
In addition to the TBARS Annual Report 2014, a pleasant surprise for our members would be a compilation of the abstracts of the research presentations made by me/and my collaborators at the Scientific Societies Conferences during 2008-2014; totalling 47 abstracts on various topics of crop, soil, nutrient and natural resources management. Allan Mol OSCIA President 2014 willingly agreed to write the ‘Foreword’ for this compilation at a very short notice. Excerpts from the Foreword are as follows:
“It is my pleasure to congratulate Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota and his many collaborators on the body of research that has been compiled over the years of his tenure at the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS). The sheer amount of work put in by Dr. Sahota and his staff at the station is also having a great effect on the farming community in the Thunder Bay area and also other agricultural regions in Ontario’s north as well as the province as a whole.” And,
“As the 2014 President of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), it has been my pleasure to see research projects and their results in many parts of Ontario. The projects undertaken at TBARS certainly rank high in comparison. I’m looking forward to what subsequent years of Dr. Sahota’s and TBARS work will produce!”
One of the biggest strengths of TBARS has been its employees who could do so much in quantity as well as quality with a limited work force! I hope the team is intact in 2015! Stay warm, enjoy the holiday season (is there any for farmers?) and Have a Very Happy New Year!

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

Carrel and Partners Law Firm

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

A Season of Rest in Thunder Bay & Area

It feels like the colder temperatures have crept up on us and given us little time to prepare for some of the unseasonably cold days and nights recently. After a busy and wet fall, farmers and local producers have finished with their harvest and equipment will be put away for the winter. It is a time to reflect now, on things that went well, things that can be improved, and simply rest and look back on a full year of work.


For our advertisers: As of January 1st, 2015, advertisers in our online Directory will be asked to submit an annual payment of $20 to continue to advertise their business. We will be contacting all of our business Directory advertisers in the next few weeks. If you wish to continue to advertise, please indicate in replying to the email we will be sending out. Thank you for your support!

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

Canadians Unite Through Agriculture
Proud of agriculture? This Canadian website sheds light on the great stories across the country that Canadians choose to share on their experiences in this great industry! Visit www.agriculturemorethanever.ca

Website Updates
Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture updates this website four times per year. Information for our next update should be in by March 31st, with our next update posted in the first week of April. 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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