Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 09, 2005 10:39 ET

AAFC: Environmental Farm Planning Under Way In Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - June 9, 2005) - Manitoba producers could soon be eligible for financial and technical assistance to help implement more environmentally friendly farming practices.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Andy Mitchell and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Minister Rosann Wowchuk today announced the signing of an agreement with the Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba to participate in the delivery of environmental farm planning to the province's producers under the Agricultural Policy Framework - a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to make Canada a world leader in environmentally sound agricultural production.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $30 million toward the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program to help improve Manitoba's on-farm environmental practices. This total includes funding for the Canada-Manitoba Farm Stewardship Program which provides financial and technical support to producers for implementing actions identified in their environmental farm plan. The Government of Manitoba is contributing more than $10.4 million of in-kind support for the delivery of EFP workshops and technical support to producers in the development and implementation of their plans. AAFC will deliver the Canada-Manitoba Farm Stewardship Program.

The Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba (FSAM), a non-profit organization working in partnership with government, industry and other stakeholders, will help deliver the EFP program in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and MAFRI. FSAM's role will be to coordinate workshops, facilitate completion of individual farm plans, and confidentially review completed EFPs.

"Environmental sustainability is an integral component of the Agricultural Policy Framework, and critical to today's agriculture sector in improving the quality of life for all Canadians," said Minister Mitchell. "With industry support through the Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba, producers will be encouraged to go through the voluntary, self-assessment program, which will lead to an improved and enhanced environment and agricultural economy for Manitoba."

"The proactive management of land, water and air are vital to the sustainability of our agriculture industry," said Minister Wowchuk. "Manitoba producers are dedicated stewards of our natural resources and our government is pleased to support this program that encourages and assists them to embrace additional environmental practices that will provide valuable benefits now and in the future."

"We (FSAM) are very pleased that the provincial and federal governments are providing an environmental farm planning program for Manitoba producers," said Alan Ransom, Chair of the
Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba. "FSAM looks forward to working with both AAFC and MAFRI to support producers' efforts in environmental farm planning in this province."

Manitoba producers can participate in the Environmental Farm Plan program by first attending two one-day workshops in their area. The workshops will provide participants with instruction and assistance on how to identify their farm's environmental strengths, assess and prioritize any potential environmental risks, and identify tools and techniques available to manage those risks. Trained facilitators and MAFRI staff will lead workshops, with AAFC staff on hand to provide technical assistance, and be available to help producers complete their individual farm assessments and develop farm action plans.

Once completed, producers can have their plan reviewed and approved by FSAM's review committee. Following a successful review, FSAM will issue a Statement of Completion certificate. Only with this certificate are producers then eligible to apply for cost-shared financial assistance through the Canada-Manitoba Farm Stewardship Program to help with the implementation of the specific beneficial management practices (BMPs) listed in their action plan.

In Manitoba, producers can choose from a list of 30 approved BMP categories designed to reduce environmental risks. The program will pay 30 or 50 per cent of the eligible costs of implementation, depending on the BMP chosen. A producer can receive a maximum of $30,000 from the program. The program will end on March 31, 2008.

For more information on the Environmental Farm Plan and Canada-Manitoba Farm Stewardship programs, producers can contact the Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba or their local MAFRI Growing Opportunities or AAFC-Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration Office.

Contact Information

  • Minister Mitchell's Office
    Elizabeth Whiting
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059
    Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
    Diane Coble-Kendall
    Communications Coordinator
    (204) 945-3811
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759- 7972
    (866) 345-7972
    Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba
    Wanda McFadyen
    Executive Director
    (204) 795-6672