October 26, 2018 – Bishop’s Falls, Newfoundland – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries and Land Resources
The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, visited Exploits Meadow Farms in Bishop’s Falls today and saw first-hand the good things that happen when government stands behind its commitment to grow the Newfoundland and Labrador agriculture industry one new entrant at a time.
The Provincial and Federal Governments are focused on giving all new entrants the tools they need to enter and build a strong foundation in the agriculture industry. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that will allocate $37 million ($22.2 million federally and $14.8 million provincially) over five years to the Newfoundland and Labrador agriculture and agri-foods industry. To date, $1.3 million has already been committed through this funding to 23 new entrant applicants.
Under the Provincial Agrifoods Assistance Program, 33 three new entrants are approved with a commitment total of $559,605.
The Partnership has committed more than $47,000 to Exploits Meadow Farms – $43,943 under the Mitigating Agriculture Risks Program to enhance animal care and welfare, and $3,120 under the Agriculture Land Development Program.
The 2016 Census of Agriculture counted 407 agricultural operations in Newfoundland and Labrador, down 20.2 percent from 2011 and the highest percentage decline in Canada. Nationally, farm numbers decreased by 5.9 percent. Encouraging new entrants is one way the Provincial Government is working to turn that around. Through the Way Forward, government is focused on increasing Newfoundland and Labrador’s food self-sufficiency to at least 20 per cent by 2022, increasing secondary processing of food products and generating employment within the agriculture industry.
Supporting initiatives like this also delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at https://www.gov.nl.ca/thewayforward/.
“Today we are celebrating two of the many new entrants into the agriculture industry. Robbie Reid and Brad Smith are representative of the individuals who are developing land, installing innovative equipment, and applying the sound business practices that will take the industry to the next level. Our government is committed to helping new entrants by providing financial support, information and networking opportunities. I am very happy today to welcome Rodney Reid and Brad Smith to the agriculture industry. I wish them all the best as they move ahead with their agri-business.”
– Honourable Gerry Byrne, Fisheries and Land Resources
“Encouraging new entrants is key to building a strong and competitive agriculture industry, both here in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country. We are proud to partner with the provincial government to help make this possible for our innovative farmers who see the opportunities in this growing and vibrant industry.”
– Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame
“As new entrants we are excited to be entering an industry that has great potential and we look forward to continuing to work with the Provincial and Federal Governments as we move ahead with our plans for Exploits Meadow Farm. This is a great time to get involved in agriculture. Through programs like the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and the Young Farmers Initiative, we are opening the industry to other new entrants.”
– Rodney Reid and Brad Smith, Exploits Meadow Farm