Huron County may be rural, but that doesn’t mean we are behind the times. Our spirit of neighbour helping neighbour gets a lot of things done together that we could not do alone. This includes achievements like high-speed internet coverage, award-winning business alliances, and innovative healthcare recruitment initiatives.
Huron County is one of the most agriculturally productive counties in Ontario and a leader in numerous areas of agricultural technology and innovation. Our stable, diverse economy is supported by 5 robust economic pillars:
The Agriculture and Agri-Business Sector
Agriculture is one of the largest and most important sectors within Huron County. New employment and economic opportunities can be found within and related to the development of agriculture and agri-related industries. Huron County takes pride in being called the breadbasket of Ontario. With over 290,000 hectares (about 650,000 acres) of prime farmland, Huron County produces more annual gross farm receipts than many Canadian provinces. In the summer, the landscape is dominated by many crops such as:
- White beans
- Vine crans coloured beans
- Bush crans coloured beans
- Dark red kidney beans
- Light red kidney beans
- Azuki beans
- Otebo beans
- Small red beans
- White kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- IP soybeans
- Round-up ready soys
- Oil seed radish
- Mixed grain
- White wheat
- Soft red wheat
- Hard red wheat
- Sweet corn
- Green beans
On average, Huron County produces 2,850 crop heat units (CHU).
Local farmers produce a wide variety of:
- Dairy products
- Beef products
- Poultry products
Current efforts to expand the viticulture (growing grapes for wine making), meat processing, and artisanal cheese sectors are building upon Huron County’s agricultural excellence.
Huron County’s agricultural industry
For more information on Huron County’s agriculture industry, please visit these agricultural resources:
- Technical and extension services
- Provision of credit
- Access to information
- Risk management
The second category includes associations that work to promote the general interests of the farming community. The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, the National Farmers Union, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture fall under this category.
By joining the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, or the National Farmers Union – Ontario, or the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, a farmer receives a Farm Business Registration number. With the Farm Business Registration number a farmer can apply for the Farmland Property Tax Program that significantly lowers their taxes on their farmland. To find out more, visit…
- The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
- The National Farmers Union – Ontario
- The Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Other farming associations and organizations
- Huron County Beef Producers’ Association
- Huron County Egg Farmers
- Huron County Farm & Home Safety Association
- Huron County Federation of Agriculture
- Huron County Pork Producers’ Association
- Huron County Soil & Crop Improvement Association
- Huron Junior Farmers
Regional and national
- 4-H Ontario
- Certified Organic Pork Producers’ Association
- Chicken Farmers – District 2
- Dairy Farmers of Ontario
- Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
- Egg Farmers of Ontario
- Grain Farmers of Ontario
Check out the complete listing of farming and agriculture related associations and organizations in the 2015 Huron County Farm Rural Guide.
The Huron Perth Farm to Table is a network of community organizations with shared interests about access to local healthy food and agricultural-related activities in Huron and Perth Counties.
The Manufacturing and Industry Sector
The manufacturing and industry sector in Huron County is another pillar of the economy with 188 manufacturers located within the county. This sector is one of the county’s largest employers (16% of the labour force). From foundries, aircraft refinishing, wood and metal fabrication, modular homes, high-tech machine shops to ice sculpture manufacturing – the diversity of Huron County manufacturers and industry remains a major strength. With the Port of Goderich’s deep water harbour, an exceptional county roads system and industrial rail lines, Huron County provides a strong foundation for manufacturing businesses.
The Tourism and Hospitality Sector
Huron County, known as Ontario’s West Coast, enjoys a thriving tourism and hospitality sector. Huron’s unlimited natural areas, a breathtaking shoreline plus quaint towns and villages, are a major attraction for tourists. Outstanding regional theatres, museums and cultural activities combine with unique, established events to draw visitors from within Huron and from outside the region. Huron County’s countryside is a patchwork quilt of rich farmland, charming communities that boast broad main streets, tree-lined side streets and well-preserved Victorian-era commercial and domestic architecture. With a coastline that stretches 110 km, the County offers a shoreline experience for visitors with public beaches and marinas.
Buy top-quality Huron County farm-fresh products directly from the person who grew or made them. Farmers’ markets bring people together and are hives of community activity. Buy local, buy fresh. Visit one of our farmers’ markets:
- Bayfield Farmers’ Market
- Brussels Farmers’ Market
- Dungannon Farmers’ Market
- Exeter Farmers’ Market
- Goderich Farmers’ Market
- Grand Bend Farmers’ Market
- Howick Farmers’ Market, Gorrie
- Jerry Rader Homestyle Catering & Market, Zurich
- Lakeside Flea and Farmers’ Market, RR#3, Goderich
- Old 86 Farmers’ Market, RR#2, Wroxeter
Visit the Huron-Perth Farm to Table website, your one-stop resource for all things food-related in both Huron and Perth counties. The online Buy Local Buy Fresh map database is a great way to find out where to buy locally-grown fruits, veggies, meats and baked goods. Buying locally-produced foods benefits the local economy, your health, the environment, and your community.
The Creative Economy Sector
The creative economy sector is a strong one in Huron County. A wide range of economic activities are included in the definition of ‘creative industries’ – from innovations in design and manufacturing process and equipment, architecture, film, music, research and development, software creation to advertising and information handling services and electronic publishing. Huron County has a growing list of knowledge businesses and offers room for the continued expansion. We can attest to the exceptional quality of life that this county offers to creative entrepreneurs – access to recreation, welcoming countryside and coastline communities.
The Retail and Service Sector
Huron County’s retail and service sector covers a market that contains a population of approximately 60,000 people. This sector is one of the largest employers in the area: it’s estimated that 20% of Huron’s workforce is employed in a sales and service occupation. Visitors to the area inject millions of dollars into the economy through the retail sector each year. Of the approximately 6,110 business enterprises in Huron County, just over 2,660 are within the retail and service sector (that’s an estimated 44%). According to a spring 2012 survey, Goderich’s downtown business core employs more than 500 people. This makes the downtown area the second biggest employer in Goderich; second only to the Sifto salt mine.
Huron County’s business community welcomes new ventures and nurtures entrepreneurs. Our strong economy, new business and career opportunities, and low unemployment rate are promising draws for newcomers and encouraging benefits for established residents.
If you like working for yourself, Huron County is a place for people that like to be their own boss – 1 out of every 5 people in Huron County are self-employed; small business drives the local economy and there are many supportive networks and services for small business owners.
Huron County employers offer job opportunities in several growth sectors including agri-business, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education, healthcare, and skilled trades. The healthcare and education sectors are two of our larger employers. Workers are always in demand as Huron County’s unemployment rate is consistently one of the lowest in Canada.