OFA’s board of directors travelled to eastern Ontario last week for the annual summer board tour. This year, the board was given a tour of local farms and facilities in the Ottawa area hosted by the Zone 8 federations of Arnprior, Lanark, Ottawa and Renfrew. The annual summer tour provides the OFA board with an opportunity to engage with local members and experience farm operations, agricultural businesses and rural communities in different parts of the province.
The tour began with a stop at Black Rapids Farm in Nepean, ON. Black Rapids Farm is an innovative dairy farm operation with an automated feeding system and robotic milking technology. Computerized systems were installed after the barn was rebuilt in 2018 following a devastating 2017 fire that wiped out all but eight cows in their herd.
The next stop on tour was Tweed Cannabis in Smith Falls, ON. Tweed set up shop four years ago in the old, abandoned Hershey’s chocolate factory. They’re a licensed cannabis producer, growing medical grade cannabis across Canada. The Smith Falls location is an indoor growth and breeding facility, employing over 1,300 workers.
Lunch was provided at the North Lanark Agricultural Society fairgrounds in Almonte, ON. The fairgrounds are home to the oldest covered, wooden grandstand in Canada. The board enjoyed lunch on the banks of Canada’s Mississippi River.
Following lunch, the board travelled to Pakenham for a tour inside the RCMP Remount Detachment barn. The barn was built in 1968 with horses arriving in 1969. It’s a 345-acre farm used for breeding Hanoverians, using artificial insemination, for the RCMP Musical Ride.
The final stop of the day was at Valley Bio in Cobden. With a cultivation license to grow hemp, Valley Bio is one of the largest hemp growers in Ontario. Their hemp is harvested as pedigree seed and sold for pedigreed seed production. It’s then shipped across Canada and exported to the United States and Europe.
For a complete library of photos, check out OFA’s Instagram account @ontariofarms.