Enhancing Municipal Capacity to Support Agriculture in the Greenbelt

Oct 05, 2021   •   Growth and Planning , Research

Prepared by Dr. Wayne Caldwell, Elise Geschiere, Emily Sousa, and Regan Zink from the University of Guelph, Enhancing Municipal Capacity to Support Agriculture in the Greenbelt describes the factors impacting the capacity of Greenbelt municipalities to respond to emerging and evolving agricultural and agri-food issues. 

A thriving agricultural industry depends on the knowledge and support provided by municipal governments."

It is important that both municipal staff and elected officials understand the needs of agriculture, have the capacity to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities, and are able to make timely, relevant decisions in support of Ontario’s agricultural industry and all other systems on which it depends. 

This report identifies 10 opportunities to build the capacity of planners, economic developers, elected officials, and other municipal and provincial staff to support agriculture, including:

  • Collaborate and foster open dialogue across municipalities to share and learn from others’ experiences
  • Strengthen the relationship between municipal and provincial planners so that municipalities can meet provincial mandates effectively and efficiently and benefit from the Province’s guidance
  • Provide a wider variety of resources and learning opportunities for planners, including unstructured and ongoing ones
  • Foster understanding of the agricultural sector across municipal departments that also play a role in responding to agricultural priorities
  • Build relationships between municipal staff and the agricultural community and proactively engage farmers in planning processes

Read the full report:


Watch the webinar from September 2020 where the report authors presented key findings from the research and four municipal staff from across the Greenbelt shared and discussed their experiences with supporting agricultural communities and their municipalities' approaches to addressing agricultural issues: