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Innovative Research

Ridgetown Campus Research

The Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph research program offers a unique opportunity to address research needs and is located in the heartland of Ontario agriculture. Location, climate, and agricultural and environmental diversity are all important.

Our scientists work in key disciplines to provide our partners with effective, applied results. These results are shared through numerous extension events and presentations, and formal research reports.

Southwestern Ontario Research Farm, Established 1922

The campus was established in 1922 as a demonstration farm to address agricultural production in southwestern Ontario. Throughout the years the campus has grown and evolved to include a wide range of formal education programs, innovative extension programs and business development activities.

Ridgetown Campus is proud to be among the network of campuses that make up the Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), University of Guelph. Ridgetown Campus has been delivering research to Ontario’s agricultural stakeholders for over 85 years.

Key Research Disciplines

  • Field and Horticultural Crops
  • Production Economics and Agribusiness
  • Rural Economic Development
  • Environmental Management
  • Livestock Production Systems

Target Working Areas in these Disciplines Include:

  • Production Systems
  • Soil and Water Management
  • Economics and Farm Policy
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Animal Nutrition and Genetics
  • Integrated Pest Management

Research Strengths

Key factors that contribute to research excellence at Ridgetown Campus include:

  • A dedicated and experienced team
  • Committed government and industry partnerships
  • Three research facilities located in the heartland of Ontario’s agricultural production
  • Knowledgeable farm and agribusiness co-operators

Research Team

With a growing team of research professionals supported by research associates and technicians, the research group forms a core of experience and expertise to carry the Campus research programs forward. In the summer months, approximately 65 University and College students are employed to help support research in all areas at Ridgetown Campus.

New Research Talent

In addition to managing significant research programs, many faculty supervise Ph.D. and M.Sc. graduate students, helping to develop new research talent for the future.

Four Key Research Partnerships

Campus research funding comes from four key stakeholder groups:

  1. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) /University of Guelph Enhanced Partnership Agreement
    • Funding through the Enhanced Partnership agreement between OMAFRA and the University of Guelph provides important base funding for facilities, staffing, and operational dollars to conduct research at Ridgetown Campus. Funding through this agreement is augmented by diverse external funding sources to provide the financial foundation vital for all campus research programs. The OMAFRA contract agreement directly supports 10.45 full-time research equivalents and 15 technicians on a base of approximately $3.0 million annually.
  2. Private Industry, Ontario Boards and Associations
    • Over 100 different research partners contribute funds, primarily supporting OMAFRA research projects and provincial research priorities. These partners range in size from small entrepreneurial firms to large global businesses.
  3. Federal Government Research Programs
  4. Other Provincial Government Research Programs
    • Our research staff deliver research based on priority or special provincial funding initiatives on a contract basis

Research Focus

At the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, we are well positioned to continue to explore and resolve industry issues, and to provide leadership to Ontario’s agri-food system, while filing a specific niche in OAC’s (Ontario Agricultural College) research strategy.

Research Priorities

Ridgetown Campus may continue to be focused on the applied and adaptive segment of the research continuum. Key issues to be addressed in the future will include:

  • Bio-economy
  • Food Safety
  • Industry Competitiveness
  • The expansion of agriculture to include the production of renewable energy and functional foods

Our Partners

Since the beginning of Ridgetown Campus, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs has provided base financial support to allow us to build our research assets.

Our Cornerstone Partner: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs

Critical support has also been provided by commodity boards and associations, private industry and provincial and federal funding agencies that have supported our research initiatives on a continuing basis.

Farm Partners

With the key goal to establish research programs across the diverse production area that encompasses the 2600 – 3300 heat unit zones, campus research programs annually involve co-operation of over 75 local and area farmers. These partners provide land for numerous on-farm research trials and are valued partners in our research program.

Campus Research Budget

The annual campus budget approaches $11.5 million. The research component of this budget from all funding sources is $5.0 million. Remaining budget revenues flow from educational program tuitions, services and business development and training initiatives.

Guelph Campus Research

The University of Guelph is one of the most research-intensive universities in Canada and is internationally renowned for its broad spectrum of research.

The University of Guelph receives more than $100 million in funding from the government and private enterprise to conduct research on their behalf. This funding places our researchers on the top tier of Canadian research and creates an enriched learning environment for our students. A major component of Guelph's research is a multi-faceted agri-food initiative sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Find out more information about University of Guelph’s Research Programs