Local Agriculture

From production to processing, the entire agri-food industry is represented within Wellington County's boundaries. 

Agriculture is a critical part of Wellington County's local economy, and we are home to over 2,600 farms, with 81% of our soil rated Class 1-3 through the Canadian Land Inventory. Beside our large-scale farms that feed the world, we have over 350 farms producing fruit and vegetables, and we are home to 12% of Ontario's dairy cattle and milk production farmers, 10% of the province's poultry and egg farmers, and 8% of the hog and pig farmers. 

Consensus? Wellington County is a powerhouse in livestock production and processing. Learn more in the Wellington Federation of Agriculture's Agri-Food System Study of our area.

Future Focused Agriculture

Agriculture plays a unique role in the climate crisis: farming activities contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but they also have the potential to sequester (trap) atmospheric carbon. 

Farmers in Wellington County have been innovating and experimenting with best management practices for years. The County of Wellington is pleased to be a Collaborative Partner in the current Agricultural Climate Solutions Living Labs project in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.  

Additionally, over 1,000 farmers have participated in 1,650 projects through Wellington’s Rural Water Quality programme since 1999. Many of these projects (manure storage, cover crops, nutrient management plan, etc) have co-benefits that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in soils.  

Our rural residents have also planted over 3 million trees since 2004 through the Green Legacy Programme. Trees sequester carbon, help regulate air temperature, reduce erosion from wind and water and provide habitat.

Crops & Soil Management

Soil management holds a great opportunity to sequester carbon. With assistance from agronomists, farmers can improve and protect their soil health resulting in more consistent yields, more nutritious food and increased carbon uptake.  

ONFARM   Soils at Guelph   Crop Protection Hub OMAFRA 

Crate bursting with colourful, freshly harvested vegetables on a bed of black earth

Livestock & Manure Management

Manure from livestock is part of the formula to improve and protect soil health. Storage and field application techniques can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration in soils.  

 Manure Management OMAFRA

Cow stands in a field looking directly at the camera, more grazing cows dot the field behind them

Other Opportunities 

In addition to a vibrant farming community, the County of Wellington is nearby to the University of Guelph. Several University of Guelph research stations are located within our borders. 

In addition to the University of Guelph, there are many highly regarded universities within the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Along with nearby colleges, there is a highly educated labour force for the agriculture industry. The County is open to working with student groups and researchers to improve agricultural knowledge in Wellington. 

Illustrated magnifying glass with the earth in the lens

Climate Change Lens

As the County of Wellington grows, it is important to consider the role of agriculture on the environment. Learn more about our climate change initiatives.