Magazine Celebrates OMAFRA Partnership

January 16, 2012 - Campus Bulletin

A newly published “Agri-Food Yearbook” edition of the University of Guelph’s Research magazine highlights research benefits from the partnership between the University and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

This third edition of the OMAFRA yearbook focuses on food for health, environmental sustainability, the bio-economy, and production systems and development. Also featured are programs and services provided through the partnership that help make Ontario a leader in agricultural innovation.

The yearbook is available online now, and printed copies will be available later this month.

U of G and OMAFRA first signed an enhanced partnership agreement in 1997; that agreement was renewed in 2008 for another 10 years. Under the agreement, the University manages research and education programs and related facilities — including three regional campuses at Alfred, Ridgetown and Kemptville, and 13 off-campus research facilities — supported by annual funding from the Ontario government.

Considered as a model of government-university collaborations, the partnership has yielded social, economic, environmental and health benefits for the industry and province, with an annual economic impact of more than $1.15 billion.

“The people of Ontario have benefited over the years from our partnership with OMAFRA in critical ways,” said Prof. Rich Moccia, U of G’s associate vice-president (research).

“It has resulted in research breakthroughs, a safer food supply, improved disease monitoring and prevention, and new products and technology.”

Moccia said the partnership will continue to be fundamental to the province’s agri-food industry. OMAFRA support is also critical to allow the University to explore and make new discoveries that improve Canadians’ health and prosperity, he said.

“Ontario’s agri-food needs could not be met without the expertise, physical capacity and product development provided via the University-OMAFRA partnership.”

The agri-food sector contributes $33 billion a year to the province’s economy and employs more than 700,000 people.

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