Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

September 20, 2007 16:00 ET

AAFC: Saskatchewan Producers Take Steps to Improve the Environment

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, and the Honourable Mark Wartman, Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, today announced that 9,000 Saskatchewan farming operations have completed Environmental Farm Plans (EFPs) in the past two years.

"Saskatchewan has now exceeded by 40 per cent the number of farm plans we had projected for this province over the life of our EFP program," said Minister Ritz. "I'm thrilled to see that farmers play an important role in protecting our land, water, air and biodiversity resources. Saskatchewan's response to this program indicates a strong willingness by farmers and ranchers to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations."

"Saskatchewan's agricultural producers are the stewards of our farmland resources, and I am confident they will take good care of them for future generations," Minister Wartman said. "Environmental farm planning provides a process for producers to assess their management practices and to plan for changes, if needed. It's gratifying to know that the EFP program has been so widely accepted in this province."

The goal of the EFP program in Saskatchewan was to see 6,500 EFPs completed before the program's end date of March 31, 2008. The total is now expected to be closer to 10,000.

Completing an EFP allows producers to identify the environmental risks of their farming operations, and to access financial and technical assistance aimed at mitigating those risks through the implementation of beneficial management practices (BMPs).

Much of the success of EFP in Saskatchewan is the result of strong producer leadership and guidance, working in partnership with federal and provincial governments under the Agriculture Policy Framework. EFP is delivered in Saskatchewan by the Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards (PCAB), and the First Nations Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan (FNACS) - the first initiative in Canada to partner with First Nations to deliver agri-environmental programming.

Saskatchewan has also led the development of group planning, particularly in watershed group plans, that allow farmers to work together to address specific environmental issues.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is working with provincial and industry partners to develop programs and promote farming practices which contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment for all Canadians and safe, healthy food for consumers.

For more information on AAFC's stewardship programs, visit www.agr.gc.ca, or for more information on Environmental Farm Plans in Saskatchewan, visit www.saskpcab.com or contact the First Nations Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan at 1-306-978-8872.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Ritz's Office
    Todd MacKay
    613-759-1059
    or
    Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
    Scott Brown
    Director of Communications
    306-787-4031