Dairy Quality Inc. and its mobile milk testing device was the big winner at Ontario’s 10th annual Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
Premier Kathleen Wynne presented the Premier’s award – the province’s highest honour for outstanding contributions in innovation to the agri-food sector – to the Newmarket-based company. Its mobile testing device helps dairy farmers get immediate information about the health of their cows.
Earlier this year at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, Dairy Quality’s Director of sales and marketing Chris Gans and quality milk specialist Shannon McFadden showed Real Agriculture how its new mobile app turns iPhones and iPods into microscopes for dairy farmers. The device is capable of giving farmers somatic cell counts and ketosis testing results in a matter of seconds.
Other winners included First Ontario Shrimp Ltd., which received the Minister’s Award from Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal. The Campbellford-based company was recognized for successfully converting one of its hog barns into the first shrimp farm in Ontario.
Three Leaders in Innovation Awards were presented to:
- Vineland Growers’ Cooperative Ltd., based in Jordan Station, for a new large, blight-resistant pear variety developed with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, based in Simcoe, for being the first grower organization to develop its own seed business
- Evynn’s Advantage, a food processor based in Greenwood, for developing the first fresh, whole-food liquid diet for people unable to eat solid food
Premier Wynne praised the winners, noting that supporting a strong and innovative agri-food sector is part of the government’s plan to create jobs and grow our economy.
“Ontario’s food producers, processors and agri-food organizations recognize the importance of innovation to keeping this sector of our economy competitive, sustainable and attractive to the next generation. With these awards, we are recognizing them for their efforts,” said Wynne.