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Agri-food leaders recognized for sector excellence

Province announces winners of the 2023 Excellence in Agriculture Awards program
AgriTech North of Dryden has received a 2023 Excellence in Agriculture Award from the province.

An agri-food producer and two industry organizations from Northern Ontario are among those being recognized by the province for excellence in agriculture.

The Excellence in Agriculture Awards program celebrates the outstanding work of individuals, businesses and organizations in agriculture and agri-food across Ontario.

This year’s awards were presented during the 2023 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which is taking place Nov. 3-12 at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

Northern Ontario recipients include AgriTech North of Dryden, which has been recognized in the Northern Business Excellence category; Moose Cree First Nation from James Bay, which was recognized in the Indigenous-Owned Business or Community Excellence category; and the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) of Sault Ste. Marie, which was recognized in the Agri-Food Promotional Excellence category.

They are among 14 recipients chosen to be recognized across 11 categories this year.

“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, in a news release.

“The recipients lead by example and have demonstrated ingenuity, drive, and passion. Their impact on Ontario’s agriculture and food industry is invaluable.”

An additional three Northern Ontario producers were recognized with honourable mentions.

They include Annette Peltier-Flamand of the Wiikwemkoong Agricultural Resources Program in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory (Indigenous-Owned Business or Community Excellence); Walkabout Farm in Thunder Bay District (Northern Business Excellence); and Penokean Hills Farms in the Algoma District (Northern Business Excellence).