Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario
Learn about the group that reports directly to the minister on research related to the agri-food sector.
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The Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) is a corporate body that reports directly to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It was created in 1962 by the ARIO Act to:
- advocate areas of research for the betterment of agriculture, veterinary medicine and consumer studies
- increase the production efficiency and marketing of agricultural products by stimulating interest in research.
ARIO, as appointed representatives of the agri-food sector, are dedicated to the strategic use of science and innovation to enhance the sustainability and profitability of Ontario's agri-food and rural sectors.
Provides strategic advice, advocacy and leadership
ARIO provides advice to the minister on strategic directions for research and innovation activities that contribute to prosperous, competitive and sustainable agricultural and food sectors and rural communities in Ontario.
ARIO is also an advocate for the future of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs' (OMAFRA) research system.
Research property management
Research stations and infrastructure are an important platform for conducting agri-food research. ARIO owns 14 research properties located across Ontario. These facilities provide the capacity for research on a wide variety of agri-food issues.
An ARIO-led reinvestment strategy is currently being implemented to revitalize research infrastructure to support demand-driven research. Learn more about the properties.
The ARIO director of research administers the business and affairs of ARIO and is appointed to the position by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
ARIO is comprised of up to 15 members who reflect the broad-based nature of Ontario's agri-tech industry such as:
- agri-business and rural partners
The institute members are committed to:
- excellence and innovation in agri-food and rural research
- relevance of research to needs of industry and society
- efficient, well-informed decision making
- ethical research practices
A director from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada serves as ex-officio to ARIO. They give ARIO a federal perspective about research activities across Canada.
|Member||Appointment date||Expiry date|
|Mr. Lorne Hepworth (chair)||January 18, 2019||January 25, 2025|
|Ms. Rose Marie Gage (vice chair)||September 10, 2014||March 8, 2024|
|Dr. Gord Surgeoner||June 2, 2005||March 12, 2025|
|Mr. Evert Veldhuizen||January 2, 2019||January 1, 2025|
|Dr. Pascal Michel||Ex-officio||N/A|
|David Jenkins||November 30, 2020||November 29, 2023|
|Nevin McDougall||November 30, 2020||November 29, 2023|
|David McInnes||November 30, 2020||November 29, 2023|
|Dr. Youbin Zheng||January 21, 2021||January 20, 2024|
|Ms. Jennifer Doelman||March 8, 2021||March 7, 2024|
|Denise Hockaday||July 8, 2021||July 7, 2024|
The Research and Innovation Branch of the ministry provides secretariat support to ARIO and administers research programs on behalf of ARIO. The following staff play a key role:
Documents and reports
- Memorandum of Understanding between ARIO and OMAFRA
- Business plans
- Annual reports
- Expense claims
- Financial statements
Open data inventory
Under Ontario's Open Data Directive, provincial agencies are required to post a public data inventory of the data sets they create, collect and/or manage.
View the ARIO data inventory.