Alberta Food Safety Systems Producers can now apply for funding to upgrade livestock handling equipment to improve farm safety and efficiency.

Growing Forward For Alberta Ranchers

World-class Q-Catch 86 Series cattle chute

Ranchers in Alberta wishing to purchase a new hydraulic squeeze chute can do so by applying to the province's On-Farm Food Safety program. The program covers a percentage of the cost of a new manual squeeze chute or hydraulic squeeze chute that meets their guidelines. Province-level Growing Forward 2 programs each accept applications at different times. Check with your local officials about opportunities to offset the cost of upgrading your cattle handling equipment. Similar initiatives may also be available in other regions.

The purpose of the program is to help producers invest in equipment and tracking systems to improve On-Farm Food Safety practices, enhancing producers' business competitiveness and food safety performance.

Launched in 2013, Growing Forward 2 is a five-year initiative to bolster Canada's agricultural capabilities and infrastructure. Under the program, ranchers across the country can take advantage of grants and loans to upgrade aging equipment, improve food safety measures and adopt more humane cattle handling practices.

A partnership between federal and provincial governments, Growing Forward 2 consists of multiple different funding opportunities with varying eligibility requirements. In this article, we'll look at a few of the programs agribusinesses can take advantage of.

Federal Program

Federal Programs

At the federal level, Growing Forward 2 funds three programs which are open to agribusiness producers and other stakeholders across the country:

  • AgriInnovation — The AgriInnovation program supports industry-led development of products and technologies that will spur innovation in the agribusiness sector. Awards up to $5 million are available for research and development at the pre-commercial stages, and up to $10 million for getting existing innovations ready for the market.
  • AgriCompetitiveness — The AgriCompetitiveness program focuses on improving the capacity of Canada's agricultural sector to capitalize on opportunities, manage risk and enhance the entrepreneurial abilities of individual producers. Examples of eligible initiatives include mentorship programs and partnerships between businesses and colleges/universities.
  • AgriMarketing — The AgriMarketing program allocates $341 million in federal funding for projects that expand markets for Canadian-produced commodities at home and abroad. Both nonprofits and small- and medium-sized enterprises can apply for grants for a wide range of promotional and marketing activities.

Alberta Food Safety Systems Producers program is just one of dozens of small grant making initiatives funded at the provincial level by Growing Forward 2. Across the country, there are opportunities available that can help you replace irrigation equipment, modify livestock-housing buildings, improve processing efficiency and make other upgrades that will modernize, streamline or improve your operations.

Many programs are time-sensitive or place caps on the amount of funding available annually. For a full list of opportunities, visit the Growing Forward 2 website and follow the links to see what's being offered in your province.

Matching Your Business With the Right Funding

Canadian ranchers who are in the market for new cattle handling equipment may be able to benefit from the availability of provincial grants to offset the expense. Most programs cover a set portion of the purchase cost, which can be anywhere from 50% to 90%.

If you're considering purchasing a new squeeze chute, alley, crowding tub or other livestock handling equipment, Arrowquip can help you determine which provincial programs you can apply to for funding. Contact our office directly for more information.