Keeping pace with technology in agriculture is essential to creating an industry that is sustainable for the long term. Alberta Environmental Farm Plan initially launched the Webbook (online version) for those wanting to complete an environmental farm plan easily online. The workbook initially went online in 2012 and was re-versioned and upgraded in 2015. With ever-changing technology, we are once again making it even easier to use with built-in resources and a new look and feel. Our intention, as always, is to support the Alberta farmer with an easy-to-complete workbook and a responsive program. We want to support farmers as they use these new features so that we always have a relevant program.
Every year an increasing number of farmers are opting to complete their EFPs remotely as it makes sense for their operation. At Alberta EFP we have seen a sharp increase of the EFPs completed through the Webbook; for example, between January and June of 2018 95% of EFPs were completed online. Completing EFPs online has many benefits for producers such as reduced travel time, easily accessing their business information, and flexibility in their scheduling. However, this can result in less one-on-one contact with their EFP technician. In order to account for this change in delivery, the EFP program is working to maintain a high-quality, educational experience for all farmers.
In November 2018, the Alberta EFP program will be launching a new, updated design for the online tool. The refresh will include new features, improved usability, and will strengthen communication between farmers and the EFP program. The content of the EFP workbook will remain the same, but the new design should enhance farmers’ experience while completing their EFPs.
Users of the Webbook can expect to see the following new features:
- New, user-friendly, and modern look
- Mobile friendly – With more and more producers are running their farm from their mobile device. This means you have the ability to update your plan on the go as you have the time and on the devices you feel most comfortable with.
- Integrated resources available by question – We are putting relevant resources with each question. This means less clicks and easier access to resources.
- Opportunity for online chat with EFP Technicians -This is a two-way chat where you can connect with your EFP technician and the EFP technicians can provide feedback to farmers directly in the workbook and can be used for specific or general questions.
- Opportunity to provide feedback to Alberta EFP to improve questions -Rate each question as you work through the webbook. This feedback will help us with our continuous improvements of the system.
- Downloadable action plan for on-farm implementation
- Papers get lost, so having your action plan as part of your online workbook means you can always access it, print it, and work on it at your own pace.
If at any point while working on your EFP, you hit a roadblock as a new user or with our new changes, we have recently hired a new staff person to give you the one on one assistance you need with the new online system. Contact our office at (780) 612-9712 to speak with someone to help you with the online Webbook.