A Story of Growth and Success

OMAFRA and the U of G have shared a unique relationship and common objective to advance Ontario's agri-food & rural sectors since 1874 - long before the University of Guelph even existed.


1874: Provincial School of Agriculture (now OAC) established as a branch of the Department of Agriculture

1964: University of Guelph established as an independent University; series of formal agreements with OMAFRA covering:

  • Research
  • Diploma teaching
  • Technology transfer activities

1997: Landmark "Enhanced Partnership Agreement"

  • Transfer of program responsibility and over 400 OMAFRA staff to University
  • Formalized funding to U of G in an agreement to support:

    • Plant and animal production, resources management, food, sustainable rural communities research
    • Agriculture diploma programs at Ridgetown, Alfred and Kemptville
    • Veterinary clinical education for DVM students at OVC
    • Routine and advanced lab services - animal health, food safety and quality, soil testing, plant diagnostics
  • 2002 - Renewal of Agreement
  • Refinement of legal agreement and programs; no major changes.
  • Introduced bioproducts research
  • 2007 - Extended for one year to 2008

2008 to 2018 - Current Agreement

We are forging ahead in this province's quest for greener products; hardier crops and healthier livestock; more nutritionally beneficial foods; and more rapid disease detection. We're making inroads towards better understanding the complexities of everything from entire ecosystems to the tiniest microbes. The Partnership restores essential capacity for OMAFRA through:

  • Agri-food industry competitiveness and innovation
  • Food safety and quality
  • Environmental protection and human health