How we began. . .
After changes in government services to the local agricultural industry in the year 2000, the need for a support system for agricultural organizations and the farming community became apparent. With greater than 80% of this rural area dependent on dial-up internet access, it was and is, imperative that farmers have a local agricultural “hub” for information resources. There is a shortage of meeting space in central Grey County and most rural organizations do not have financial resources to cover costs for expensive meeting room rental. Access to free boardroom usage is critically important to the survival and long-term sustainability of these organizations that form the backbone of the rural community. With the support of local agricultural organizations, individual farmers, and Grey County Council, Grey Ag Services, a “grass-roots”, “farmer-driven” initiative, “not-for–profit” organization was created to service and fulfill the needs of the local farm community.
In the start-up phase, a Trillium grant; support from OMAFRA for office furnishings and equipment; and Grey County Council’s in-kind support through the provision of free rental space for the office and two meeting rooms; were all invaluable contributions. Since that time, an annual grant from the county, partnerships with local, regional and provincial organizations, and generous support from local agricultural groups, help offset operating costs.