Transitioning Farmers to Regenerative, Organic

Formerly known as Growing Eastern Ontario Organically

Growing Eastern Ontario Organically (GEOO), was a three-year Ontario Trillium Foundation supported initiative to help farmers transition to organic production. Over the course of the program, GEOO directly supported 57 farms representing over 10,000+ acres with mentorship, financial incentives, and on-site experiential learning. Additionally, GEOO’s programming activities reached a combined total of 1,500 farmers over the three years. The GEOO program is a proven successful model which can be replicated and scaled in your community.

While the GEOO pilot has ended, COG is working on its successor: Transitioning Farmers to Regenerative, Organic (TFRO). 

TFRO aims to deliver on the GEOO success to provide measurable, ecologically-based training and support as well as positive economic outcomes. TFRO is ideal for Farm businesses and agri-food start-ups who are committed to building soil health, adopting ecological/regenerative agriculture practices and reducing input costs and negative impacts. TFRO practices will also help farm land become more resilient to the ravages of our changing climate (floods, droughts) and enhance local biodiversity. By design, TFRO also enhances social engagement in agricultural and business communities to enrich local networks and support the well-being of participants.

TFRO Aims to Deliver

Communities of Practice
Foster strong communities of practice, farmer to farmer mentorship and better social, community and mental health well-being.
Training & Resources
Provided to registered farmers on a range of regenerative practices, over a minimum three year period
Open to any farmer interested in enhancing soil health, adopting ecological/regenerative practices, and reducing harmful inputs wherever possible
Connect local and regional agrifood businesses and other stakeholders with farmers to align their respective expectations
Farm Assessment
A farm assessment is undertaken at program intake to better meet each farm’s agricultural needs

GEOO Results (2019 – 2022)

GEOO’s project goal was to help growers in their transition to organic and to create a network to support program participants as they grow into their organic production. GEOO created a set of resources on essential topics of concern like business, agronomics and certification. COG gathered important qualitative and quantitative data about the challenges and barriers growers in Eastern Ontario are facing in their efforts to adopt more ecologically-based practices. GEOO’s successor – Transitioning Farmers to Regenerative, Organic – will build on these lessons learned and be scalable to communities across Canada.

GEOO programming reached over 1,500+ farmers in Eastern Ontario
Directly supported 57 farms in Eastern Ontario through the program
*These 57 Farms represent 10,000+ Acres of land in Eastern Ontario
Developed 100+ resources available to farmers and future programming

Growing Eastern Ontario Organically was generously supported by: