2017 Spring Chinese Canadian Farm Start outdoor training successfully completedCCAGR News: On May 13, 2017, in order to help new Chinese Canadian farmers and potential farm investors to further understand the Canadian agricultural industry and to promote local food and exports, Canada-China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange Centre (CCAGR) held another successful outdoor training program. About 50 trainees, rigorously selected from several hundred applicants from across Canada, attended the one day training program in southern Ontario.
Our first site was a mushroom farm, F & A Veggy-Symphony Agriculture Inc. located in Binbrook. Frank and Alice, a young couple with no farming experience, bought their farm right after they earned MBA degrees in Canada. They started their mushroom farm business from scratch with some help from the CCAGR Farm Start program. The young couple work and learn hard and have done very well in the past few years. They have achieved organic certification for their product, which is recognized in Canada and the United States. Their fresh mushrooms are sold in major Canadian supermarkets, such as Loblaw’s and Fortino’s.
We next visited a cucumber greenhouse on Mountain Road, Beamsville. The owner, Mr. Noor Teyyab, kindly demonstrated the control systems for temperature, humidity and water cycling in his modern greenhouses. The trainees also showed great interest in their biological insect control system and understood why our local food has such high quality!
At noon, we arrived at a peach farm, Richwin Peach Inc., in Jordan Station. The owner, Mr. Zhang bought this farm several years ago after he immigrated to Canada. He has applied his previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry to his farm management here. After his long-term effort and help from CCAGR, he finally got his certification of Canada GAP* last year for his peach products. Mr. Zhang spoke frankly about his experiences to trainees and had some excellent advice for them.
After a quick lunch at the peach farm, we went to Bill George’s farm on Lakeshore Road in Beamsville. Bill's family history in Canada dates back to 1796 and he is the seventh generation on this farm. Bill was the Chairman of the Grape Growers of Ontario for 8 years and was selected as the Niagara Grape King in 2001. Bill kindly gave lots of information regarding the Ontario grape and wine industry. He also introduced some knowledge of farm equipment for vineyard management. An the end of the visit, Bill and Youming Zhao, P. Ag., President of CCAGR, issued training certificates to the attendees.
We next visited a famous winery in Beamsville. The winery staff proudly introduced their top wines which have won over a hundred medal prizes in their history. The trainees lined up for tasting and purchasing wine. They also discussed potential export opportunities to China and surrounding areas.
Our last site was Alpacas from Eighth & Mud in Stoney Creek. The owner John and his wife described their farm business in detail, from alpaca breeding to wool textiles. The trainees were deeply encouraged by their passion and enthusiasm for the farm business. The trainees also bought lots of their product, including wool cloth, jams and maple syrup!
The trainees gave us positive feedback after the training; they said they benefitted greatly from this training program and many of them want to register for our next one.
The CCAGR Farm Start program was founded in 2007. We have helped many new immigrants to start farm businesses including vineyards, cash crop and fruit farms, wineries, greenhouses and livestock farms in Ontario and other areas of Canada. At the end of the training, Youming Zhao, P.Ag., expressed great appreciation to all the kind local farm owners and all shareholders for their great support and help. For the betterment of the Canadian agricultural industry, Mr. Zhao, also invited all local farmers and shareholders to continue to support our Farm Start program.
Funding for our veg research and development projects provided in part by Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council's CanAdvance Program