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Friday, August 22, 2014
Saskatchewan

NEW INCENTIVES FOR ON-FARM ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES IN SASKATCHEWAN

Farmers and ranchers who make environmental considerations a business priority could now be in line for financial assistance through the Saskatchewan component of the Government of Canada's National Farm Stewardship Program.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Andy Mitchell and Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Wartman today announced details of the Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program (CSFSP).

Funding for the CSFSP comes as part of the $40 million that the federal government has committed to developing and implementing environmental farm plans in Saskatchewan. This new initiative under the federal-provincial-territorial Agriculture Policy Framework will help to improve on-farm environmental practices in Saskatchewan.

The Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards for Saskatchewan Inc. (PCAB), a non-profit, organization will deliver the Environmental Farm Plan Program. Completed environmental farm plans are the access point for farmers to participate in the Farm Stewardship Program, being delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration.

"Environmental sustainability is an integral component of the Agriculture Policy Framework, and critical to today's agriculture sector in improving the quality of life for all Canadians," Mitchell said. "With industry support in the delivery of this program, producers will be in a better position to actively lead in the assessment and implementation of sound environmental practices."

"Having incentive dollars will help our producers put their plans into action," Wartman said. "This program provides an opportunity for our producers to capitalize on their management practices and increase their ability to compete globally."

"PCAB's goal is to develop and deliver a voluntary, confidential environmental planning process to Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers," Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards Chairman Alex Mitchell said. "Environmental farm planning is a very important program for the agriculture industry. Farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to further enhance the stewardship of our farmlands. The partnership that we have with the federal and provincial governments strengthens our ability to work with producers."

"The Environmental Farm Plan and Farm Stewardship programs are proactive, relevant and responsive to today's agricultural and environmental issues and concerns," Saskatchewan Agri-Environmental Advisory Council Chairman Germain Dauk said. "These programs will provide a long-term benefit to my children and grandchildren."

Producers can participate in the CSFSP by first attending an Environmental Farm Plan workshop in their area. The workshops will help participants assess the environmental strengths and risks on their farms, and develop an action plan to address those risks.

Once producers have completed their environmental farm plans and have them endorsed by PCAB, they are eligible to apply for financial assistance to help with the implementation of specific beneficial management practices (BMPs) on their farms. In Saskatchewan, producers can choose from a list of 30 approved BMPs designed to reduce environmental risks. The program will pay from 30 to 50 per cent of the eligible costs of implementation, depending on the BMP. A producer can receive a maximum of $30,000 from the program, which ends on March 31st, 2008.

For more information on environmental programming, producers may contact AAFC Client Service Centre at 1-800-667-8567, the Saskatchewan Agriculture zAgriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377, or their local PCAB facilitator listed at the PCAB website at www.saskpcab.com.

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For More Information, Contact:

Scott Brown
Agriculture and Food
Regina
Phone: (306)787-4031
Media Relations
AAFC
Ottawa
Phone: (613)759-7972

Shelanne Wiles Longley
PCAB
Saskatoon
Phone: (306)955-5477
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