Vineland renaissance receives huge boost



    VINELAND, ON, April 3 /CNW/ - Vineland Research and Innovations Centre
Inc. is pleased with the joint announcement by the federal and the Ontario
governments regarding the revitalization of the Vineland Research Station.
    The joint announcement today confirms the commitment of both the federal
and Ontario governments in taking the first steps to create a vital hub for
horticultural science and innovation.
    On behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, the federal Minister of
Agriculture and Agri-Food, Dean Allison, the Member of Parliament for Niagara
West-Glanbrook, announced a financial and in-kind commitment of $15.5 million
over the next 5 years.
    Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honourable
Leona Dombrowsky, announced that the province will invest $12.5 million.
    "We are thrilled with the investments and express our sincere
appreciation to Minister Leona Dombrowsky and Minister Chuck Strahl," said
Donald Ziraldo, Chair of the Vineland Renaissance Advisory Panel. "This is an
excellent first step to accomplishing the goals of the Business Case as
developed by the panel. We are confident with the leadership and support being
shown by our governments and we are now on our way to revitalizing Vineland as
a world class horticultural research hub."
    "Research and innovation are crucial to the future success of Ontario's
agri-food sector," said Dombrowsky. "By making this investment, we are
signaling a new day and innovative approaches to capturing new opportunities.
I look forward to working with my federal colleagues and the Vineland Research
Centre."
    St. Catharines MPP, Jim Bradley, added, "This is great day for Niagara.
We have some of the best soil and climate in the country - now we will have
some of the best research minds in the country contributing to agricultural
productivity in Niagara, the province and the country."
    In August 2006, Minister Dombrowsky announced the appointment of the
Vineland Renaissance Advisory Panel and charged it to examine the
revitalization of the Vineland Research Station. The panel submitted its
report to the Minister in December 2006.
    The Panel was chaired by Donald Ziraldo, co-founder of Inniskillin Wines.
Additional Panel members were James Farrar, Dr. Calvin Stiller and Jamie
Warner.
    "Vineland will be a model for other research facilities," said Jamie
Warner. "Vineland will be revitalized on a strong base of collaboration and
partnerships within our industry, with governments from all levels, and with
the university and college research communities. At the same time it will
assist local farm families like mine to be on the leading edge in an
increasingly competitive environment."
    "Today's announcement strengthens the importance of new ideas, not only
to our agri-food sector, but also to the quality of life of all of us in
Ontario and indeed Canada," said Dr. Cal Stiller. "The Vineland spirit of
discovery and practical solutions is being rekindled. We will see it brought
to new life - a source and a destination at the same time."
    "I know that the greenhouse agriculture sector appreciates the visionary
leadership of both levels of government working co-operatively to initiate a
new era in Ontario's innovation and research in horticultural science," said
James Farrar. "This sector is keen to work with the Vineland Centre and make
the vision - 'to be a world-class research institution and international hub
for horticulture and floriculture research, innovation and commercial activity
with a focus on grapes, tender fruit, greenhouse floriculture and ornamentals'
- a reality."
    As a next step, the federal and Ontario governments will explore
additional means to support the activities of the Vineland Centre where both
governments can optimize their investments in land, facilities and ongoing
support for horticultural research.





For further information:

For further information: Bob Kalbfleisch, For the Vineland Research and
Innovations Centre Inc., (519) 572-1112

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Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

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