Ontario Government Stepping up to Support Beef and Hog Farmers During COVID-19

Published on June 17, 2020

Funding will cover increased costs, while redirecting surplus pork to those in need

PORT HOPE, ON - Today, David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, joined Hon. Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, in announcing that the Governments of Ontario and Canada are supporting Ontario’s beef and hog farmers by investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers.

The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market-ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need.

This program will help ensure the country’s food supply chain will remain strong and ready to recover as the economy gradually and safely reopens.

The beef cattle set-aside program will provide beef farmers with up to $5 million in support. Farmers can claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs should they have to keep their market-ready animals on their farms for extended periods of time.

The hog sector support program will also provide hog farmers with up to $5 million to help cover additional maintenance costs from producers who have participated in alternate feeding programs. Additionally, Ontario is providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products. This will assist the pork processing industry with managing capacity while helping those in need.

Both the beef cattle set-aside and hog sector support programs are being offered through AgriRecovery initiatives, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The provincial contributions are part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

These support programs for both the beef and hog sectors are the latest in a series of investments to support Ontario’s agri-food sector, helping to ensure that Ontarians can continue to rely on a steady and safe food supply.

“The need for emergency support to help farmers maintain their operations during COVID-19 was clear amongst participants in our Agriculture and Food Processing economic recovery consultation,” said MPP David Piccini. “We understand the challenges that our farmers are facing. We continue to work with our commodity organizations to address their priorities and help our farmers manage through these unprecedented times.”


 The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.

 The province is significantly expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures.

 The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has also partnered with the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) to provide agri-food businesses, organizations and associations with educational resources, tools and consulting services to help them implement COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Additional details about businesses that may qualify can be found on the WSPS website.

 During the COVID-19 emergency, Foodland Ontario has promoted local foods of all kinds, including lamb and veal, to help consumers choose and buy local, and to market the important sectors that bring food to Ontarians’ tables.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership in Ontario
A Framework for Reopening our Province: Stage 2
Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
Tell us about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak