The Tier Two Grant supports large-scale, multiple-year projects throughout the province, encouraging innovation and collaboration. The projects span across four major focus areas: soil health, nutrient management, seed health, and “other” that responds to major current issues.
THE SUCCESSFUL TIER TWO PROJECTS FOR 2018-2021 ARE:
- BRUCE COUNTY – Compaction Recovery with Cover Crops
- EAST CENTRAL-PETERBOROUGH – Regenerative Agriculture: Microbes and Insect Interactions in Action (discontinued in year 2)
- HEARTLAND – Maximizing Cereal Rye Cover Crop Management for Multiple Benefits
- NIPISSING WEST/EAST SUDBURY – AgTiv Mycorrhizal Inoculant Trial on Potato and Cereal Crops
- NORTHUMBERLAND – Making Relay Cropping Pay
- ST. CLAIR – Soil Health as it Relates to Yield
- THAMES VALLEY – Roots Not Iron – Phase 2
- Proposed research projects must align with one of four themes: Soil Health, Nutrient Management, Seed Health, or Other;
- Collaboration is required with other county/district/regions on applied research projects for up to three years;
- All projects must have full written proposals submitted to the provincial OSCIA office by February 28, 2018 to be considered. Any additional intake dates will be decided by the Executive Committee pending available funding;
- A merit-based process developed by OSCIA will isolate the highest value projects from all proposals submitted by the intake deadline date.
- Scores will be earned on the success of the proposed project in:
- Meeting OSCIA research priorities:
- Soil health and biological interactions with soil;
- Residue and tillage management for crop production and soil erosion prevention;
Economics and agronomics of emerging crop treatments and new crop development, especially related to adaptation of climate change;
- Bio-economy impacts, such as from biomass production, residue management, and/or biosolids application as it relates to soil management;
- Manure and municipal bio-products such as green bin materials and biosolids.
- Partnering with industry, government, research institutions, Certified Crop Advisors, or other local or regional associations;
- Cost-share level requested;
- Cash and in-kind contributions contributed by the applicant and from other sources;
- Broad applicability and benefit to Ontario agriculture;
- Demonstrated innovation;
- Reach and effectiveness of planned communication strategy;
- Provision of letters of support;
- Other supporting documented plan that will promote sustainable farming practices
- In-depth investigations are expected with detailed annual and final reports. To be considered for funding, projects must be multi-county/district, multi-region or fully provincial in scale;
- Claims will be paid on an on-going basis throughout the three-year period with required reporting, invoicing, and proof of payment. The grant claim must include a listing of expenditures including copies of each invoice with proof of payment. Acceptable proof of payment includes: the invoice marked “paid” with full signature of the supplier, copies of cancelled cheques, or a copy of bank statement(s) showing the cheques have cleared.
- At the request of successful participants, up to 50% of the approved annual grant may be advanced;
- Collaboration with OMAFRA crop technology specialists is strongly recommended. Specialists will be encouraged to assist with developing ideas, ensuring compliance to accepted protocols, and fostering collaborations;
- Any promotional and reporting documents must include the following statement “This project was funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs”;
- In-depth presentations on the projects will be required annually at the OSCIA Annual Conference; and stories may be prepared and featured in regional newsletters, Country Guide magazine, and other farm publications upon request.
Eligible items include:
- Machinery, attachments to existing machinery, and/or adaptive parts to modify existing equipment for field scale demonstrations;
- Lease or partial purchase of new technologies and a documented plan on how the leased/purchased item is to be disposed of/used at the end of the project;
- Labor that is over and above normal farm practices;
- Inputs and services that are over and above normal farm practices;
- Compensation for loss of yield.
Items not eligible include:
- Routine projects such as tile drainage, reforestation, land clearing, weed trials, crop variety trials;
- Maintenance of equipment;
- Donations to other organizations;
- Funding to support on-going or existing events.
QUESTION: It has been mentioned that Tier Two is Merit Based – what does that mean?
ANSWER: Merit-based projects are competitive, where only a few projects are awarded funding dollars. These projects are to be about partnerships with multiple counties/regions, additional partners in industry, researchers, Certified Crop Advisors, etc. Collaboration is Key. The Executive will score each application/proposal and make the final decision on which proposals are to be supported.
QUESTION: What type of project is OSCIA/OMAFRA looking for?
ANSWER: A proposal must fit into at least one of the four focus areas: Soil Health, Seed Health, Nutrient Management, and Other (this one will be an open door for the local/regional association to assemble a proposal in response to a major
QUESTION: How will the proposals be scored?
ANSWER: Each submission will be scored on how it measures up to a number of criteria:
First, meeting OSCIA Research Priorities (i.e. Soil Health; Residue and tillage management; emerging crop treatments and new crop development; Bio-economy impacts; and Manure and municipal bio-product management).
Second, Partnering with other local/regional associations and outside parties.
Third, the level of funding requested and the level of funding and in-kind contributions brought to the table by partners.
Fourth, How applicable the work is to Ontario agriculture.
There will also be points for innovation, a strong communication strategy and letters of support that confirm a 3-year commitment from partners.
QUESTION: Will there be another intake later in 2018 or in years 2 or 3?
ANSWER: Not necessarily. Decisions from the first intake could lock up all available funding for the three years.
QUESTION: Will smaller-scale projects with more modest budgets have a chance with Tier Two funding?
ANSWER: The objective is large-scale, 3-year projects. However, smaller scale projects may also be successful during the scoring period.
QUESTION: Can proposals include costs for a skilled consultant (e.x. to assist with essential project tasks to ensure they are completed competently and in a timely manner)?
ANSWER: Yes, these would be considered eligible costs. The strength of the overall proposal will determine if it is successful in securing funding in the merit based scoring system.
QUESTION: Will funds be advanced for projects, as most associations do not have the financial resources to support this calibre of project?
ANSWER: The Executive have approved up to 50% as an advancement to the approved projects underway. A formal written request must be provided annually by the project lead to the provincial office in order to receive the advancement.
For more information, please visit OSCIA’s Membership Grants page.