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November 2016
New in November
Updates on the work of the Rural Ontario Institute

Youth Engagement Showcase launches

ROI is pleased to announce an open call for nominations for the second Youth Engagement Showcase.

The Youth Engagement Showcase will profile compelling stories of youth engagement; highlight the impact youth can have in their local communities; and demonstrate how communities of all shapes and sizes are successfully engaging and supporting youth in addressing local challenges.

As nominations are gathered from communities across Ontario, a selection committee will identify compelling stories to be profiled on the ROI website, with a photo and description that showcases the youth’s accomplishments and the community of support around them. Early bird entrants, those who are nominated before January 13, will be considered for one of three invitations to speak at a panel at the upcoming ROMA conference to share their story. Four of the nominees who meet the criteria and are profiled on the ROI website will be randomly selected for a $250 prize that will be donated to an organization of the nominee’s choosing.

Nominees should be under the age of 29 and residing in or actively involved in a rural community.

Click here to nominate an Engaged Rural Youth from your community and to read more.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, February 28, 2017.

AALP recruitment begins

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) Class 17 recruitment has begun with the introduction of an online application form. Accessible from now until March 17, 2017, the application promises a streamlined process for those interested in applying for the 19-month leadership program.

The application form includes 27 questions, with both short and long-answer questions; it is anticipated that an applicant may fill out the form over a number of sessions. After a review of application materials in March, a selection committee will interview applicants in April at several locations throughout the province. Successful candidates are offered a position in AALP Class 17 in late June.

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, delivered by the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI), is one of the longest running and most successful leadership development programs. Established in 1984, the program is an executive development opportunity for men and women who want to shape the future of the agriculture and food industry and make a positive difference in rural communities across Ontario. To date, there are over 450 AALP graduates using their leadership skills in rural, agriculture and agri-food industries – provincially, nationally and internationally.

During the 19-month program, AALP participants learn about leadership and organizational development theories and practices, government and political processes, economics, trade policy, global affairs, sector and industry related issues in Ontario and globally through North American and international study travel components. For more information visit

Measuring Rurual Community Vitality update

As previously mentioned in this space, ROI has been leading a 30-month applied research and analysis initiative focused on deepening understanding of effective practices for quantifying rural civic engagement, social capital and community well-being. The project also serves to demonstrate methods for municipal evaluation of community impacts and social return on investment.

The overarching goal of Measuring Rural Community Vitality (MRCV) is to assist rural stakeholders by undertaking projects which enable information sharing, capture practitioner insights and lessons learned, and facilitate peer exchange of best practices surrounding these hard to measure aspects.

The infographic below shows the current completion percentage of each of the seven MRCV projects.

Funded by the Province of Ontario, the initiative was launched in 2015 and will wrap up in August 2017.

OCTN webinar: Community Transportation Coordination

The Ontario Community Transportation Network will be holding its first webinar focusing on Community Transportation Coordination. Scheduled for Thursday December 1st, 2016 from 1 - 2:30pm, the webinar will Explain what is meant by CT “coordination”; present models or types of coordination (e.g., centralized control, brokerage, voluntary cooperation); go over the steps to coordination; and examine the importance of coordination to meeting transportation need.

Representatives from CT Link (Simcoe) will present on the what, why, who, how & when of their new program, and provide details on what aspects of coordination they are engaged in. In addition, they will discuss their successes/outcomes achieved to date, future plans and opportunities and lessons learned, including suggestions for those wanting to undertake similar initiatives


  • Dennis Kar, Associate, Dillon Consulting Limited
  • Irena Pozgaj-Jones, Program Supervisor, Community Programs County of Simcoe, Children and Community Services
  • Robert Soczka, Executive Director, Helping Hands Orillia

Moderator: Lisa Tolentino, Facilitator, Ontario Community Transportation Network

Click here to register.

News from around rural and northern Ontario
Headlines and happenings
OFA elects new president and vice presidents
A new OFA president was elected by the delegates at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture's (OFA) 2016 Annual General Meeting. Keith Currie was elected as the new president for a one-year term. Currie is a Collingwood-area hay and sweet corn farmer and long-time board member who most recently served as vice president.
In the election for OFA’s two vice president positions, delegates voted in Mark Reusser, a Waterloo County turkey farmer and re-elected northern Ontario dairy farmer Peggy Brekveld. Both Mark and Peggy are graduates of ROI's Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program.

Working Sm@rt with Outlook workshop

Priority Management Southwest Ontario will be holding a Working Sm@rt with Outlook course in Guelph on Dec. 8 from 9:00-4:30.

Learn how to use Outlook as a time and workload management tool and increase personal productivity by over an hour per day. The practical hands-on skills instruction will help you absorb proven techniques for a total time-management solution. You will learn how to integrate communications, tasks, activities, planning and apply the WorkingSm@rt® method using Microsoft Outlook.

Who Should Attend:
Workgroups and teams including managers, technical and sales professionals, supervisors, administrators and project leaders who currently use MS Outlook, and are
not optimizing this powerful software


  • 1-day instructor-led session using Outlook or
  • Two 2-hour web-based virtual classroom sessions
  • Coaching session to reinforce learning

Tools Provided:

  • Comprehensive Learning Guide and
  • Resource Manual
  • Enrollment in our monthly LearningLink e-newsletter

Fee: $595 for one or two AND $545 each for three or more participants.

For more info and to register, click here.

ON Ministry of Energy Long-Term Energy Plan Consultations

The Ontario Ministry of Energy has launched formal consultations and engagement for the next Long-Term Energy Plan.

The consultations and discussions aim to address many important issues:

  • How can we better represent the interests of our Indigenous communities?
  • How will local energy plans integrate with broader planning?
  • And how do we ensure that we better integrate fuels and electricity planning with broader community planning?

There are many ways people can play a part in the development of this latest
LTEP. Ontarians can provide feedback online, can attend any of the Open Houses that are being held across the province or dial into telephone Town Halls. Visit to learn more.

The Ministry of Energy will consider all feedback and release the Long-Term Energy Plan in 2017.

Save the dates

November 30 - December 2, 2016
2016 Ecological Farmers of Ontario Conference. The conference will bring together ecological farmers (and supporters) from across the province to share ideas, learn from experts and from each other, and of course, celebrate the incredible milestones we have achieved. Taking place at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Kingston, Ontario.

December 1, 2016
OCTN webinar: Community Transportation Coordination. 1 - 2:30pm. Register here.

December 1-2, 2016

Pathways to Prosperity Partnership will hold its Fourth Annual Conference at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. A full-day Preconference Workshop will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Taking place at the Westin Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario.

December 8, 2016
Working Sm@rt with Outlook workshop, 9:00-4:30pm. Register here. Taking place at the Marden Community Centre, just north of Guelph.

January 26-29, 2017
Guelph Organic Conference. Opportunities & Challenges for Canadian Organic Grains. Conference will take place from Jan. 26-29, and the trade show will be open from Jan. 28-29. Taking place at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario.

January 29-31, 2017
Roma Speaks: 2017 ROMA AGM and Annual Conference.Taking place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Ontario.

February 7-9, 2017
EDCO 60th Annual Conference and Showcase: Ontario's Economy...Driven by Innovation. Taking place at Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, Toronto, Ontario.

February 22-23, 2017
Beef Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting. Taking place at the International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, Ontario.

February 26-March 1, 2017
OGRA Annual Conference. Approximately 2,200 municipal leaders from across Canada and leading thinkers from around the world will come together to discuss topics of local, provincial, national, and international importance. Taking place at the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, Ontario.

Stay Connected

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