The Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative, working in collaboration with the Ontario Forage Council, announced today that it has received Growing Forward 2 funding approval from the Agricultural Adaptation Council for a comprehensive Feasibility Study and Business Plan for its double-compaction hay processing facility. The Growing Forward 2 funding of $81,116 will enable the Co-operative to build a strong business case for its plan to build a facility capable of processing up to 100,000 tonnes of premium quality Ontario hay annually.
Fritz Trauttmansdorff, the Co-operative’s Chair, thanked the AAC for their significant commitment to the Co-operative’s project. “By leveraging members’ investment, the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s grant enables us to prepare the thorough Feasibility Study and comprehensive Business Plan essential to launch a project of this magnitude,” said Trauttmansdorff. Ontario Forage Council Manager Ray Robertson congratulated the start-up Co-operative, adding that “this once again demonstrates the critical role that Growing Forward 2 can play in supporting new ventures aiming to build new markets for Ontario agricultural products.”
The recently formed Co-operative is aiming to tap into export markets for superior forages to support growing dairy, equine, and livestock markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. The Co-operative’s goal is to increase returns for producers by enabling them to obtain higher prices for their hay. By working with producers to establish on-farm hay-drying facilities, and building a facility to compact their hay into compressed square bales for overseas shipment, the Co-operative intends to offer a premium product to buyers in the livestock and equine sectors.
The Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative has been structured as a “new generation co-operative” which means that producers will be both entitled and obligated to deliver hay to the Co-operative. Members will invest in the Co-operative in proportion to the volume of hay they commit to deliver to the Co-operative. Profits from the venture will be shared among members based on the volume of hay they ship to the Co-operative. An incentive structure will be developed to reward member producers for premium quality hay. Producers interested in joining the Co-operative can get more information on the Co-operative’s website (www.ontariohay.ca).
This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.
Media Contact: Fritz Trauttmansdorff, Chair: (519) 647-2311, firstname.lastname@example.org