The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has unveiled its first list of winners of its new Rural Ontario Leaders Awards program.
Don't worry if you're not on the list. There's always next year, perhaps with a new party in power at Queen's Park.
The winners are:
Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa of Stratford, who is the founder and director of the Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron. Since 2012, the association has helped to welcome and settle new residents and immigrants to the community by providing referrals for community and government services, such as healthcare, housing, education and legal and translation services.
Grant Sparling of Blyth, who is the vice-president and general manager of Cowbell Brewing Company, which is a successful craft brewery with a rural-first mandate that prioritizes local and community economic development.
Freshwater Cuisine, which is a Kenora-based company devoted to the development and marketing of innovative freshwater fish products.
Eabametoong First Nation, which has turned a small community garden into Fort Hope Farm, a seven-acre farm that creates jobs and provides fresh, healthy food to the community, while blending traditional knowledge and conventional agricultural practices.
The HUB (operated by the non-profit organization, New Vision Unlimited), which is a co-working centre that supports entrepreneurship and social innovation in the Muskoka community.