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November 6, 2023

Ontario Celebrating Excellence in the Agriculture and Food Industry

2023 Excellence in Agriculture Awards honouring agri-food leaders across the province

Ontario East is pleased to congratulate Napanee’s The County Bounty Artisanal Soda Co. winner of the Excellence in Food Processing Award and Bancroft’s Everlily Maple Farm, winner of the Family Farm Excellence Award

News Release, November 4, 2023, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

2023 Excellence in Agriculture Awards honouring agri-food leaders across the province

TORONTO – Through the Excellence in Agriculture program, the Ontario government is celebrating 25 exceptional farmers, food processors, organizations, businesses and Indigenous communities who are driving Ontario’s agriculture and food industry forward.

“I am very proud to present the 2023 Excellence in Agriculture Awards at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, where it is a tradition to celebrate the best of the best,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The recipients lead by example and have demonstrated ingenuity, drive, and passion. Their impact on Ontario’s agriculture and food industry is invaluable.”

This year, the province recognized 14 winners and 11 honourable mentions in agricultural excellence across 11 categories:

  • Excellence in Food Processing
    • The County Bounty Artisanal Soda Co. – Napanee
  • Excellence in Research and Innovation
    • Conestoga Food Research and Innovation Lab (CFRIL) – Waterloo Region
  • Women’s Excellence
    • Loft 32 – Crystal Mackay, Mary Thornley, Brenda Trask – Guelph
  • Youth Excellence
    • Arthur Lin, Lavender Polo Farm – East Gwillimbury
  • Excellence in Agri-Food Education
    • Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre – Niagara Region
    • Progressive Dairy – Guelph
  • Northern Business Excellence
    • AgriTech North – Dryden
  • Indigenous-Owned Business or Community Excellence
    • Moose Cree First Nation – James Bay
  • Family Farm Excellence
    • Snyder’s Family Farm Ltd. – Oxford County
    • Everlily Maples Farm – Bancroft
  • Agri-Food Promotional Excellence
    • Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) – Sault Ste. Marie
    • Eat Local Huron – Huron County
  • Supply Chain Excellence
    • Chicken Farmers of Ontario – Burlington
  • Excellence in Agri-Food Talent Recruitment
    • Jennefer Griffith, Food Processing Skills Canada – Ottawa

The Excellence in Agriculture program celebrates the outstanding work of individuals, businesses, and organizations across the province and shines a light on all the amazing things happening in the agriculture and food industry. This initiative supports a number of goals within the Grow Ontario Strategy, including strengthening Ontario’s agri-food supply chain, attracting and growing Ontario’s agri-food workforce, and increasing access to high-quality, local food.


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