Exhibitors with innovative products were recognized last month during Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.
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The Innovation Program offers awards to businesses in five categories: agronomics, business solutions, environmental sustainability, equipment and livestock. The 2023 winners were announced Sept. 11 before the Sept. 12-14 show began at Discovery Farm Woodstock.
Why it matters: The program recognizes new technologies expected to advance agriculture and farming.
The program is offered by Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in partnership with the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada (AMC), with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
There were 22 unique applications, said awards program emcee Rob O’Connor, who is show director for Ag in Motion, the sister show held in Langham, Sask.
Winners were chosen by a panel of five industry representatives. The technologies had to be commercialized, or have proof of copyright or patent application, to enter the competition.
In opening remarks, Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson congratulated the winners and finalists, who she said “continue to lead by example, think outside the box and try new things. It’s good to push the envelope and push our industry forward. Don’t stop doing what you’re doing.”
AMC board chair Cor Lodder said the organization’s support for the awards program is a natural fit.
“Innovation in Canadian agriculture was the impetus for the creation of our national association 53 years ago, by five companies who knew that through the power of collaboration, they could bring Canadian innovation to the world and create a world class reputation.
“Innovation doesn’t happen in isolation. Innovation occurs through drive, dedication, creativity and the true desire to improve products and processes.”
Here are the 2023 Innovation Program winners by category:
This category recognizes a new technology that improves crop production including genetics, crop protection product application (non-mechanical), and the process of producing a crop.
London, Ont.-based A+L Canada Laboratories Inc. was the winner for its biostimulant AL-Bio7. The product is CFIA-registered and works to improve soil and plant health by harnessing the beneficial properties of a proprietary bacterial strain, AL-336.
Rob Field, A+L’s vice-president of business development and marketing, said he was proud to accept the award.
“This product has been in development for seven years, and we’re very excited to finally get into the marketplace.”
This category focuses on new technology to assist farmers and agriculture professionals with the management and decision making of their farm businesses and clients.
The winner is Quebec-based Agrilog, for its platform that simplifies the management and traceability of grain inventories.
Co-founder Mathieu Phaneuf said the platform maximizes the value of a grain harvest by reducing operating costs and monitoring grain weight. The technology can track and automate weighing, humidity, drying and inventory in storage silos.
This category recognizes technology that will help farmers enhance their stewardship and create value.
St. Catherines, Ont.-based Clean Works was awarded the prize for its Clean Flow process, which uses light, a gentle mist and ozone to cleanse produce as it passes under a conveyor hood.
Vanessa Camacho accepted the award on behalf of Clean Works, telling the audience the process was “developed out of necessity” to manage a listeria outbreak in apples.
This category recognizes technology that helps farmers and agricultural professionals enhance production and efficiency.
The Turnpath guidance system by Iowa-based Ag Leader Technology was the winner. It works with a company’s auto steering program to offer farmers hands-free steering for automatic, repeatable end-of-row turns to maximize accuracy and efficiency and reduce operator fatigue.
VETSon Veterinary Virtual Healthcare for Farm Animals was the winner of this category, which highlights technology that can enhance the production, health, and well-being of livestock.
The Woodstock, Ont.-based company’s platform connects farmers and veterinarians virtually, and has had particular success in servicing farmers and owners of small livestock in Northern Ontario.
“We are facing a great shortage of veterinarians across Canada but also globally,” said co-founder Colin Yates. “We need them, we need to have technologies to support them, give them the lifestyle that they need, but also give the farmers the support that they require.”
Special signage allowed show visitors to identify Innovation Program winners and finalists. A sixth awards category to determine an overall winner, the Farmers Choice award, was determined by visitor voting. It was won by Agrilog.