Features | Page 26 | Ontario Agricultural College


Hazelnuts and the Sustainability of Ontario's Rural Communities

Rural communities are experiencing a drastic shift in their populations as more and more people choose to move to urban areas in search of employment. This shift presents significant challenges to the survival of those rural communities. However, the development of an Ontario hazelnut industry could help these communities to survive. 

Ontario Hazelnuts a Helpful Hand to the Environment

The establishment of an Ontario hazelnut industry would enhance the agricultural product offerings of Ontario, and also create many much-needed jobs in rural communities. However, there are also many environmental benefits that hazelnut production can offer Ontario.

Hazelnuts and Truffles a Winning Combination

When you hear the world “truffle” what comes to mind? Some might think of a chocolate treat, but for Charles Shearer, a master’s student in the Department of Plant Agriculture, he thinks of a mushroom with great potential for intercropping in hazelnut orchards.

Opportunity Grows on Ontario Hazelnut Trees

Adam Dale, college professor emeritus in the Department of Plant Agriculture, has been making headlines for his research on bringing hazelnut production to Ontario. Together with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Hazelnut Association, Adam is helping to establish an Ontario hazelnut industry through his efforts to determine the most productive tree varieties for the province.

Learning the Art of Adaptability

Seven years after receiving her undergraduate degree, Ashley Honsberger decided it was time to return to school. Her career focus on farm business management was missing the international development link she longed for. To reset her career path, she pursued a Master’s of Science in Capacity Development and Extension (CDE) at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.

The Roberts Family: Investing in Agriculture

University is a time for learning, for growth and quite often a time for finding your life partner. Like so many young men and women who attended the University of Guelph during the late 1950s, George and Lorna Roberts found each other. George was enrolled in the Ontario Agricultural College, while Lorna studied in the Macdonald Institute. With five boys for every girl on campus at the time, George considers himself quite fortunate.

The McIntosh Family: Investing in Agriculture

Whether they’re scrambled, boiled, fried or whipped into an omelette, eggs are a favourite staple of the Canadian diet. Over 1,000 egg farmers contribute $1.4 billion to Canada’s GDP every year, but how often does the average Canadian think about what goes into producing an egg?

Investing in Agriculture: The Klosler Family

For hundreds of years, generations of the Klosler family worked off the land in Transylvania, Romania; growing fruit, making wine and raising livestock. In 1921, shortly after the end of WWI, George Klosler’s grandfather came to Canada to earn money for his family. He always planned to return home, but the onset of the Great Depression and WWII prevented him from making the trip he longed for. He continued to work on a tobacco farm in Norfolk County, Ontario with his family a continent away.

Alternative Learning with Cow Inspired Choruses

Second semester of fourth year is a stressful time for undergraduate students. “In last week’s class you could feel the tension,” explains Prof. Vern Osborne from the Department of Animal and Poultry Science who is currently teaching the  Applied Environmental Physiology & Animal Housing course. Vern’s solution to a class full of stressed out fourth years was to mix up one of his class’ format to give them a break. In his March 12 class, he asked his students to become “Flash Mob Solvers”.


Investing in Agriculture: The McCracken Family

Upon arriving at the McCracken family home in Scotland, Ontario, we are greeted by their standard schnauzer named Fritz. Friendly, regal and a big part of the family; little did we know how Fritz would play a part in our story. Ron and Doreen McCracken both grew up on farms, and still feel at home in the country today. Their current residence, built in 1993, has some 48 acres. A neighbour farms a portion of the land with the remaining set aside for hobby farming, their garden and a place for Fritz to roam. Ron has kept bees, raised geese and ducks, and even guinea hens, but today he enjoys retirement after a long and interesting career.

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