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NEWS BITES THAT MATTER

Project SOY showcases innovative ideas
New, innovative uses of soybeans were highlighted at the 14th annual ProjectSOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth) competition recently held at the University of Guelph.

Students from University of Guelph and its satellite campuses were awarded cash prizes for their innovations. First place wins $2,500, second place earns a $1,000 prize and third place is awarded $500. Prizes are distributed in two categories: diploma students and undergraduate/ graduate students.

Top prize in the diploma category was awarded to Samuel Nyandwi of Campus d’Alfred for his PSOYA innovation, a soy-based muffin mix that is high in protein and fibre and does not contain gluten, lactose or nuts. Sara Bonham took first place in the undergraduate/graduate category for her Soya Plast BioPak, a soy-based bioplastic food packaging material that is 100 percent compostable.

Project SOY is sponsored by Dekalb Brand Seeds; SOY20/20; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Ethanol plant opens in Havelock
Kawartha Ethanol Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its plant in Havelock at the end of March. As ground was broken and construction began in October 2007, the company has endured the challenges of the credit crunch during construction and is pleased to see all their hard work pay off.

When at full capacity, the plant will generate 80 million litres of ethanol per year and employ approximately 40 people. According to the company, they plan to work primarily with local corn producers and maintain the business as a home-grown endeavour that will benefit the local economy. •

AGCare provides farmer input on new source water protection regulations
AGCare, the voice of Ontario’s 45,000 crop and horticulture farmers on environmental issues, has submitted comments on draft regulations under the Clean Water Act, which address development and implementation of source water protection plans (EBR Registry Number 010-8766). 

Concerns are outlined in three general areas: prescribed instruments, potential use of land use planning control tools to implement source protection plans and misuse of the terms ‘threat’ and ‘risk’. 

AGCare feels strongly that the provincial Prescribed Instruments should continue to be held as the provincial standard to ensure consistency and prevent a patchwork of standards and requirements, and says that a newly proposed four-step process is unacceptable. Of particular concern is the proposal to give a Local Source Protection Committee the power to amend a provincially issued permit/prescribed instrument.

The draft regulations propose the use of Land Use Planning Controls to manage threats to municipal drinking water. AGCare supports the use of these tools only to manage significant, not low or moderate, drinking water threats. There is also concern about the continual misuse of the terms ‘threat’ and ‘risk’ throughout the Clean Water Act and its associated regulations. The ‘threat’ to municipal drinking water is the presence of a substance or contaminant – not an activity or presence of an activity.

AGCare’s complete comments can be found on their website at www.agcare.org. For more information, contact AGCare at 519-837-1326 or agcare@agcare.org. •

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