Speaker and Event Funding

Application Intake Closed: Funding has been fully subscribed to for 2017. Please check back in 2018.

AMI helps farm, agri-food and agri-business organizations and groups with financial support for Business Management Speakers and Events to bring business management experts to speak at events they are hosting. This allows participants to access national and global information and perspectives that could otherwise be beyond a specific event or organization’s budget.

AMI also provides support for Business to Business Networking events designed to encourage collaborations and bring processors and producers together to encourage business expansion and development. The organization supports this process by providing financial support to business networking workshops being hosted by organizations with a regional focus, or regional groups who work in a local food value chain capacity.

Networking event topics range from local food, local economic hubs and sourcing, to establishing value chains and value chain management. They attract local farmers and food businesses, community future group representatives, economic development professionals, regional and local municipality figures, local food and farmers markets groups, academics and consumers.


In order to be considered for the Business Management Event and Speaker funding, the event should be geared towards the Ontario agrifood industry and must contribute to one or more of the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate the benefits of business management and planning: marketing, business plan creation and improvement, cost of production.
  • Address business management gaps and opportunities using business advisors: multidisciplinary training, interpersonal development, awareness and utilisation of advisors.
  • Foster the development of producers working cooperatively, sharing beneficial business management practices and innovations through business to business collaboration in the context of building value chains: business to business group development, business clubs or advisory groups, benchmarking, food and agriproduct chain collaboration and innovation.
  • Encourage business operators to begin or continue to develop a business transition plan for their business: farm or business transfers, relationship building, advisor utilisation.
  • Support the use and/or development of applicable business management information, products, services, resources or training for new entrants that enhance decision making and farm profitability: tools for starting a business, programs and training.
  • Develop skills and tools to better manage a team through human resource management: leading business improvement, time management, employee management resources.


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  • Applicants will submit a letter using the template (see below) outlining the main components of the event, draft agenda, target audience, target attendance, location and other specifics.
  • Applicants seeking funds for organising a business management event must provide full agenda details and demonstrate its content is largely business management focused. Those seeking funds for a particular speaker should provide an outline of the speaker’s topic.
  • AMI officers make their best effort to attend the event in the instance that we can’t we request that you play our video (see below) in order to shed a better understanding of AMI and the importance of farm business management. This normally requires a 5 minute timeslot.
  • Applicants may only submit funding requests for a maximum of 2 events per calendar year.
  • 50% of the funding will be distributed to the applicant upon approval with the remainder of the funding to be distributed upon receipt of the final report.

The applicant will submit a final report which outlines the impact of the information disseminated to the agricultural industry in Ontario.  The report should indicate how the information will be integrated into the agri-business operator’s businesses.

  • Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and turnaround time will be a maximum of 2-3 weeks.
  • The AMI team will work with the applicant to ensure proper use of the AMI logo set and the potential for an AMI representative to participate at the event, and all other communication related activities.
  • The Applicant will be required to provide AMI with a final report which will outline a summary of the event, including the agenda and number of attendees, feedback, and so forth.

Speaker and Event Funding

1. Click here for Additional Information on Eligibility & Guidelines

2. Click here for Event and Speaker Funding Request Template

Looking for past examples of speakers? Click here for the list of speakers and events previously funded through this program.

Business to Business Networking

1.Click here for Business Networking funding request template

Please Note: All decisions regarding the approval or decline of the applicant’s request for Event and Speaker Funding are in the sole judgment of AMI. There will be no appeal process.

Business Club Advisory Service

AMI supports the development and renewal of business clubs for Farmers and food processing businesses with the aim that business owners connect with similar businesses to share and learn from each other. These groups are usually comprised of between 5-15 unique businesses and have the opportunity to work with a club advisor for two to three sessions after which the club should be able to sustain itself. See the advisor roster below to connect with the business club coach in your area or call AMI directly if you are interested in getting one started.


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Services Include

  • Up to one year of meetings facilitated by a Club Advisor
    The objectives of the meetings are to establish a foundation for which the club will operate, such as:
    Identify priorities and areas of expertise within the group;
    Define the specific goal(s) of the group;
    Develop an action plan outlining meeting times and discussion topics that will assist the group in achieving its goal(s)
  • A written business plan for the Farmer-Led Group

The Club Advisor will complete a business plan on behalf of the farm business management club. The plan will detail the purpose and goals of the club, an action plan and specific parameters for the club’s long-term success.

There is no charge for this service to the clubs.

Club Advisor Roster

The following advisors have specific experience in working with farmer-led groups and the development of club goals, objectives and action plans. Their primary purpose is to assist the club in building a plan for which the club will meet, interact and achieve SMART (specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, timely) goals.

Services are limited to two (2) meetings and the development of a club business plan. Additional advice and /or services will be covered by club members or funding programs (pending approval).

Hugh Martin

Hugh Martin Agricultural Consulting
Phone: 519-829-2141
Email: hugh.martin@rogers.com
Snail Mail: 1 Brookhaven court,
Guelph, Ontario N1G 4C1

Elaine Graham

Ph: (519) 780-5403
Cell: (519)823-3504
Email: elainegraham@rogers.com

Dr. Suzanne Ainley

Phone: (705) 444-0557
Email: sue@ainleygroup.com
Singhampton, ON

Matthew Cole, CFP

Phone: 519-993-COLE (2653)
Email: Matthew_Cole99@hotmail.com
Snail Mail: 62 Harper Cres,
Fergus, ON., N1M 3V9
Skype: matthew.2653

Marlene Werry

B.Sc (Agriculture)
M.Sc. (Extension Education)

Phone: 905-436-0095
Cell: 905-440-5227
Email: marlene.werry@bell.net
Snail mail: 2135 Harmony Road North
Oshawa ON L1H 8L7

Pierre Glaude

Phone: (613) 488-2929
Email: pierreglaude@live.ca
Snail Mail: 2474 rue Champlain
Clarence Creek, ON K0A 1N0

Richard Broadwith

Phone: (519) 821-5188
Email: richard@bcimarketing.ca
Snail Mail: 7660 Mill Road,
Guelph, ON N1H 6J6
Skype Name: bcimarketing

David Sherwood

Phone: (613) 674-2042
Email: sherwood@hawk.igs.net
Web site: www.brunetsherwood.ca
Snail Mail: 520 Concession 9
Ontario K0B 1M0

To learn more, contact a Club Advisor directly, or the AMI office at 519-822-6618.


The Power of Groups booklet is designed to provide direction, useful hints and inspiration to farmers who may be considering the idea of small farmer-led groups as a new approach to management. This booklet helps to demonstrate the benefits of working in small groups, whether they relate to profitability, quality of life, information-sharing or knowledge development. This Booklet shares the advice of experienced agricultural producers on how to form a group that can help improve your bottom line.

If you would like to have a free copy of this booklet, please contact the AMI office. The booklet can also be downloaded by clicking here.

Farm Management

The Advanced Farm Management (AFMP) program is designed for Ontario farm business owners and managers who want to elevate their management skills.

AFMP provides a unique combination of advanced farm business management training and a practical approach that can be immediately applied to your farm. It gives Ontario farm business owners and managers the knowledge and insights to improve the performance and sustainability of their farm business.

The program kicks off its fifth year in November 2016 and is offered by the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI). See testimonials from previous participants to find out how they are doing.

Transition Smart

Thinking about taking your farming to the next level and processing on farm? This workshop was developed through the strategic partnership between AMI and Georgian College. The focus is connecting farmers with the tools to become processors. Covering everything from operational planning, marketing, product development to pricing, distribution and sales.The workshop will focus on practical preparation tools that can be immediately implemented and identifying feasible value-added opportunities for your farming business.

Workshop dates are ongoing. Contact us at: ami@takeanewapproach.ca to find out when Transition Smart is happening next.


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