Manitoba’s ag industry organizations to benefit from new federal-provincial funding framework

Ag Action Manitoba supports innovation and sustainability in the agriculture sector

The announcement of a new agricultural framework to replace the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 program paves the way for more and better opportunities for ag industry organizations looking to grow, innovate and prosper.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3-billion, five-year multilateral agreement that went into effect on April 1, 2018. Under this agreement, the governments of Canada and Manitoba are contributing $176 million over five years to fund a cost-shared, made-in-Manitoba program called Ag Action Manitoba.

This program has been specifically developed to meet the needs of Manitoba farmers, industry organizations, agri-processors, researchers and industry service providers, and will serve a larger pool of clients than the previous funding agreement.

New framework: New focus

“The new framework has an entirely different structure,” said Cathey Day, manager of industry leadership for Manitoba Agriculture. “Being client-focused is very much the intention of the new agreement.” Day added there are designated activities with a variety of focus areas for each client group or clients can propose and participate in strategic investments.

Activities, as outlined by Ag Action Manitoba, are specific actions that drive a needed change towards sustainable growth, innovation and competitiveness, while strategic investments are targeted funds that actively drive the objectives of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Industry organizations, farmers, agri-processors, and researchers and industry service providers make up the four client groups. In the case of industry organizations, there are three client types: industry associations, commissions, non-profit organizations, boards and Indigenous government and communities. 

Any of these client types can apply for funding under the following activities:

  • Industry development
  • Organizational development
  • Resource development
  • Training
  • Research and innovation

Encouraging projects of all sizes

The industry development activity gives large, industry-led projects the chance to shine. “Bring your biggest and brightest ideas,” said Day. She cited, as an example, the recent amalgamation of five commodity groups to become more effective by supporting one another and sharing strategies and best practices.

The organization development activity, on the other hand, has more to do with the capacity-building of an organization. For instance, if a relatively new organization feels that their board governance structure is not working for them, they can apply for an assessment of their organization. The government will work with clients to produce realistic assessments that could prove vital to securing an organization’s future.

Another activity industry organizations can apply for is resource development.

“A good example of resource development,” said Day, “is the farm management transition-planning guide that was completed under the old agreement. It is used for transferring funds from one generation to the next.” This type of guide can be applied to associations.

The Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, for instance, has an internal succession-planning program that involves bringing new and young producers onto its commodity board. If any organization wishes to offer such a program to their board members or membership, they could access funding under the resource development activity.

Training is another activity industry groups can apply for. This includes everything from educational events like workshops and webinars to annual conferences, group training events and bringing in international speakers.

Industry organizations can continue to create better opportunities for farmers and agri-processors with the research and innovation activity. In this framework, there is greater investment into research and innovation to help build robust research capacity in Manitoba. This can include the development of new technologies and practices, new products, and the advancement of knowledge and understanding of risk, market intelligence, industry benchmarking, economic impact and consumer behaviour.

Get started with Ag Action Manitoba

Industry organizations wanting to learn more about the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and Ag Action Manitoba can email Manitoba Agriculture or call 1-844-769-6224 (toll free).

Visit this website often for notices on calls for letters of intent and application deadlines.

Ag Action Manitoba program information will also be shared in our newsletter. Subscribe today.