FINCH — South Nation Conservation is teaming up in early January with the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) to host an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workshop over two evenings.
The two-part workshop delivered in English will be held January 10 and January 17, 2017 at SNC’s office in Finch, 6-9 p.m., on both evenings. Other workshops will occur in Casselman (in French) and in Kemptville in January.
“It’s a natural fit,” said SNC Environmental Planner Bonnie Boyd. “When it comes to environmental enhancement on Eastern Ontario farms, this program complements work being done through the provincial Source Water Protection program.”
Through promotion of the voluntary EFP, the OSCIA strives to increase environmental awareness among farm families in 23 different categories. The Plan urges farmers to think about their land, buildings and the products they use from a different perspective, about how these items might impact the environment.
Meanwhile, Boyd explained, SNC has offered a Clean Water Program (CWP) for almost two decades, partnering with farmers and other landowners to make environmental improvements. “Our CWP is overseen by a Committee comprising several farmers who assess applications for such projects as barnyard runoff containment and constructed wetlands,” Boyd said. “In some cases, applicants are required to complete an EFP to be eligible for funding opportunities.”
For 25 years, under the EFP, farmers highlight the environmental strengths of their operations, identify areas of concern, and set realistic action plans to improve conditions where necessary. Both the EFP and the CWP have been extremely popular within the agricultural community. “It’s clear that most farmers are environmentally conscious and want to implement improvements.”
“The EFP is a great program that helps increase environmental awareness, provides tools to assess current practices, and can open up funding opportunities for specific projects,” Boyd concluded. “Farmers not yet involved should consider attending the workshop.”