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Events (April 1st - June 30th):

Thunder Bay Spring Farm Conference
Date: April 2 & 3, 2014
Kakabeka Legion, Highway 11/17, Kakabeka Falls
Come out to enjoy the many exhibitors, a hot lunch buffet, prizes and more! Lots of speakers to be featured as well!
For more info: www.tbscia.wordpress.com OR Christina Mol at cmol@lakeheadu.ca, (807) 629-2947

22nd Annual Pizza Project
Date: April 9 & 10, 2014, beginning at 9:15am
CLE Grounds, 425 Northern Ave.
Volunteers are always welcome! 620 gr. 3 students from 19 schools as well as Christian Homeschoolers in Thunder Bay and area are coming to see how pizza gets from "Farm to Table!"
Stations include grain, sausage, vegetable, cheese and even cow milking!
For more info: CLE (807) 622-6473 OR to volunteer, Marian at 577-6970.

Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy Open House
Date: April 16, 2014 from 4:30pm - 7:00pm (opening remarks at 5:30pm)
Oliver Road Community Centre, 562 Oliver Road
Learn about the 7 pillars of the Food Strategy, enjoy live music and engaging displays and of course, local food!
This is an opportunity to have your say in the Food Strategy developed to be presented to Thunder Bay and area Councils in June 2014. Help build a stronger local economy!
For more info: Kendal at kendal@ecosuperior.org, (807) 624-2143

4-H Special Orientation for New Leaders
Date: April 23, 2014 at 7:00pm
Rosslyn Hall, 3405 Rosslyn Rd.
A special orientation meeting will be held to welcome new 4-H leaders into the program. This event will be held by guest speaker Matt Hill from Southern Ontario! All interested members welcome!
For more info: thunderbay4-H@hotmail.com OR Stacey at 474-3979

O.A.A.S Official Judging School
Date: May 24, 2014, 9:00 - 5:00pm
CLE Grounds, 425 Northern Ave.
For those interested in being a JUDGE at local district fairs! Presented by Debbie Kirby and Pat Marcotte, certified O.A.A.S qualified judges. Light lunch and coffee breaks provided. Cost is $20.00 and $10.70 for judging books. Register today, as only the first 50 will be accepted!
To register/For more info: Call (807) 622-6473

Farm Safety Day
Date: Will be held the last week of May OR 1st week in June. (To be determined) For more info: Linda Turk at (807) 577-4787

Kamriver Farm
Information submitted by Peter Aalbers and family, edited by Miranda Bolt

Kamriver Farm

Each season, the TBFA website will be featuring a local producer. This season, Peter Aalbers from Kamriver Farm tells us a little on his daily and seasonal responsibilities in managing a northern dairy farm.

What led you to pursue this business?
I've enjoyed farming my whole life. Coming from The Netherlands, it was much harder to start up because of higher costs and less help with financing. Canada was a land of opportunities. We were free to clear land, tile land and build new buildings much easier. So we (Peter and wife, Rensje) immigrated to Canada in 1980 and began a dairy farm just outside of Thunder Bay.

What are some daily/seasonal tasks associated with your business?
Managing is #1. We've got to make sure we are on top of everything. My priorities include breeding the heifers, getting the milk in the tank twice per day and any repairs/upkeep. In the summer, things like fieldwork are important. This ensures good quality feed for our animals.

Kamriver Farm

What are some challenges you face running this business "in a northern setting?"
Because Thunder Bay is located where it is, transportation of goods and services, cattle, equipment and parts are harder to get into this region. Another would be our long winters which mean shorter growing seasons. However, because we are "isolated" from a larger populated area, less diseases are present.

What does 'produced locally' mean to you?
When encouraging people to "buy local", we need to let them know WHERE these producers are located. Where is the radius of "produced locally" established? People need to know this. Also, if we can educate people more through the education system how to produce locally, it's a win-win.

Why encourage people to support local agriculture?
The less time that food takes to travel the better quality it is. If local food is available, people WILL support it.

A little about Kamriver Farm:
Peter and Rensje Aalbers, both immigrants from The Netherlands, began their dairy farm after purchasing it in 1981. They began with a herd of 32 milk cows, 35 young stock and 168 acres. From there, Peter, Rensje, daughter Trudy and son Henry have grown the farm to 115 milk cows, 145 young stock and 600 acres. What began as a hobby of trying out less popular Red and White holsteins soon overtake their herd of black and whites, something they became known for.
Today, their 115 milking cows provides them with about 16,000 litres of milk shipped per week! Strict government standards ensure that samples are taken before milk is shipped. It is these local, small farm dairies that provide us with much of the milk, cheese, ice cream and yoghurt that we can enjoy!

On Your Mark, Get Ready, Buy Local!
Sourced from www.ontariofresh.ca, edited by Miranda Bolt

2014 has brought on a new food challenge - for the younger generations to try their hands (or mouths!) at!

10 public institutions have agreed to gear up for The Local Food Challenge in attempt to incorporate more local Ontario food into their daily meals. The Challenge has been supported through the Greenbelt Fund as well as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Up to $15,000 has been made available to supply more local goodness to students, staff, patients; educate on the benefits of local; and connect them with local suppliers.

This is a great opportunity to expand the knowledge of fresh variety available close-to-home, whether through grocery stores or farmer's markets!

"The Local Food Challenge gives institutions the opportunity to cook with more local food and explore their menus with the added incentive of having a little competition amongst communities across Ontario. We can all do more when it comes to buying local, even if it’s just one new item each week." (Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund.)

Included in the 10 participating institutions is Thunder Bay's Lakehead District School Board.

To learn more about the challengers or the Greenbelt Fund, visit www.ontariofresh.ca.

Kemptville College Closure Disappointing for Ontario Agriculture
Sourced from www.ofa.on.ca, edited by Miranda Bolt

There was a recent disappointment as the University of Guelph announced its closure of its Kemptville and Alfred College campuses by the end of 2015. The university will continue to manage field crop research, however, all academic programs at these facilities will come to an end. Guelph also stated they will continue to invest in strengthening Ontario's agri-food sector.

What will this do for students themselves? Many Eastern Ontario families may not be able to afford to send their kids to other across-the-country colleges. As well, this will affect the number of students who may choose to continue to work in the industry in this area. Ontario needs to be able to educate our young agri-workers.

"Ontario agriculture is a fiercely progressive industry. We are early adapters of new technologies, and we rely on our academic institutions for sustainability, advancements and improvements. Those skills are particularly in demand now…" stated Eleanor Renaud, Director, OFA. "For now, Ontario agriculture will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to ensure this need is met, continuing to enable prosperous and sustainable farms."

Following Up
Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS) News
Submitted by Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota, CCA

We opened TBARS on March 24, 2014 with the hope that we wouldn’t have more snow and we would be in time for field operations for which a lot of preparatory work has to done inside, such as weighing and packing of seeds and fertilizers, deciding on plot allocations and preparing layout plans/plot maps. TBARA Board had hired Wayne Cervan for almost a full day ‘Health and Safety at Work’ coaching session for the staff. Cervan acknowledged the positive culture at TBARS after he saw me giving a warm welcome to Limin Luan and Blaine Tomeck. Good human relations and respect for staff, I believe, help sustaining staff! We are fortunate to have Limin back with us after a gap of one year. Harjit Dhillon decided to part company with us, because of his interest and preoccupation in family operated business. Dhillon’s hard work at TBARS over the years is much appreciated. He would be welcome back, if he has time and if an opportunity crops up for him at TBARS in future.

I was nominated for the Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) Award of Excellence by Allan Mol and TBARA Board. I was one among the five nominees. The good point is that Thunder Bay was distinctly seen at the CCA Annual Conference at London in January, 2014 because of my nomination. Names of the nominees are displayed on screen every year at the CCA Annual Conferences. Few days ago, I was also nominated for the President Elect, Canadian Society of Agronomy.

You may be wondering what new you will see at TBARS or in its surrounding area this year. Amongst other things, you will see a ‘Sainfoin’ variety trial. Sainfoin is a forage legume, which is bloat free and reportedly has a natural resistance to Round Up (glyphosate). At a couple of places in Canada, including Winnipeg, its yield was somewhat better than alfalfa. We have also ordered seed of ‘Black Barley’, a specialty food barley variety, for seeding in time this year. Last year, the seed came late, the weather was too cold and the black barley didn’t mature well. I have managed to get brand new varieties of spring cereals (HRS wheat: 14, Durum wheat: 4, and oats: 1) from western Canada. I am also trying to get seeds of some specialty food crops/varieties such as Blue Tinge Ethiopian Emmer, Painted Mountain Flower Corn, and Gold Harvest Bush Peas. Number of canola growers in the area seems to be increasing. One more TBARS member farmer has planned to grow Liberty canola in 90 acres. Two member producers from the Slate River Valley are planning to seed 300 acres under WR859CL a HRS wheat variety that was originally meant for western Canada. In trials at TBARS, over the past 3 years, it had out yielded all other wheat varieties. Thunder Bay will be the first and the only place in Ontario to grow WR859CL in 2014. Same two growers will be the first to use Variable Rate Technology (VRT) for fertilizers application this year; first time in Thunder Bay. More in the summer update. Stay tuned! Best wishes for the season 2014 to all!

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
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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
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Agriculture and agri-Food Canada

Awakenings in Thunder Bay and Area

A long winter has been upon us and local producers are anxious to move into the next phase of their duties. As rural communities await the right time to get into the fields and gardens to begin planting, many others are hoping for good weather to continue the cycle of growth and change. It's been a good long rest, and new awakenings are beginning…

Apple Blossom

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 June 23rd, with our next update posted in the first week of July. 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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