Barrett supports Ontario farmers work to improve soil health and water quality


Oct. 18, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario government is helping more farmers in Haldimand-Norfolk protect lakes and water sources by adopting sustainable farming practices that will build more resilient farm operations.

Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk today welcomed a recent announcement by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson, for cost-share funding to improve soil health and reduce the risk of nutrient losses within the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds. The cost-share funding is part of the final intake for the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“Haldimand-Norfolk farmers have always been careful stewards of the land, and with LEADS, we are helping them to continue protecting our environment by improving water quality and soil health,” said Barrett. “The Great Lakes is critical to our economy and natural habitat. They also provide safe drinking water for over 70% of the people in Ontario. Their watersheds support 4,000 species of fish, birds and other living things. The importance LEADS is obvious.”  

The final intake will open on November 2, 2021 and closes on November 8, 2021. During this time, farmers can apply for cost-share funding for projects that benefit Lake Erie as well as support productivity and soil health for more acres of Ontario farmland. Funded project examples include:

  • planting cover crops to reduce soil erosion;
  • modifying equipment to reduce soil tillage and compaction;
  • improving nutrient placement; and

planting of permanent trees or vegetation strips to serve as windbreaks.

“The Great Lakes are vitally important to everyone in Ontario – from farmers to businesses and the millions of people who live in communities near these vast bodies of water,” said the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The LEADS initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to environmental stewardship and specifically to protecting Ontario’s water supply.”

The LEADS initiative supports Ontario’s commitment to a 40 per cent reduction of phosphorus run off into Lake Erie and its watershed by 2025.

Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $100 million in cost-share support to more than 5,000 projects through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.


For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or