Glacier FarmMedia (GFM) has announced plans to establish “Discovery Farm Woodstock” at the current site of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS) as the permanent home of the show and an applied research facility designed to strengthen Ontario’s agriculture sector.

GFM President Bob Willcox said the company is working with the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario on an agreement to purchase the current 100-acre site of the annual farm show and lease some adjacent lands. The sale is expected to be finalized in 2021.

“Through this proposed agreement, we will not only secure the future of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show but also bring new research and innovation infrastructure to southern Ontario,” said Willcox.

“Our intention with Discovery Farm Woodstock is to bring together key players from industry and science to find practical solutions to the key questions facing farmers today.”

Discovery Farm Woodstock will focus on farmer-driven applied research and innovation in the area of sustainability and soil health using an in-field and classroom framework.

Willcox said future plans for the show and demonstration site include establishing a sustainability and soil health centre. “Key to our plan is establishing strategic partnerships,” he said.

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In addition to working together on applied research projects, partnering organizations will help ensure knowledge and technology transfer. He pointed to GFM and Grain Farmers of Ontario, which has a focus on educating farmers and connecting the public to the province’s agri-food sector. It is the intent of both groups to develop a strategic educational partnership for the site.

Discovery Farm Woodstock will be a sister site to the successful Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm Langham, home to Ag in Motion, located west of Saskatoon.

“Our experience has shown us the value of enhancing agricultural research capacity to produce sustainable, economical and practical real-world solutions that farmers can apply to their own operations, whether it is through field trials or technology demonstrations. Our primary goal with Discovery Farm Woodstock is to create a permanent site for innovation that will give Ontario farmers the edge they need to grow their businesses.”