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Ag support aimed at new ecological farmers in Northern Ontario

Northern Farm Start-up Grant accepting submissions until Jan. 14

Farmers interested in starting up a new ecological farm business in Northern Ontario have until Jan. 14 to submit expressions of interest in a new funding program offered by the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO).

Announced last fall, with sponsorship from FedNor, the Northern Farm Start-up Grant Program provides financing and mentorship to new farmers who want to build ecological farms in the North.

Initial expressions of interest will be accepted until Jan. 14. Those who meet full eligibility criteria will be asked to fill out and submit a full application by Feb. 18.

Successful applicants will receive funding for 50 per cent of the cost of equipment needed to start the business, up to between $2,500 and $10,000 per farm.

Participants will also have access to free mentorship opportunities with a farmer advisor.

Ecological farming prioritizes regenerative, organic and holistic practices that improve soil health, protect vital resources such as water and biodiversity, reduce synthetic inputs, and prioritize renewable energy sources.

The EFAO currently has 720 members from across the province.