On Earth Day (with everyone enjoying warmer temperatures), our thoughts in agriculture turn to how to be good stewards of the land. Here is our list of why Alberta farmers choose to have an environmental farm plan.
1. Farmers live where they work
It is one of the few occupations where the people working and producing are also occupying the same land with their families. With many farms using water, producing their own food and breathing the air from their daily work, the farmer’s work is directly linked to their health. Some risks may be present that the farmer is not even aware of and the wealth of resources on the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan’s online workbook can help farmers become more aware of these resources
2. Farmers understand their operation through a new lens.
The business planning process can become routine year over year. Having an environmental farm plan can give a fresh perspective on how farmers see their operation. Often managing environmental risks can help manage financial and safety risks at the same time so efficiencies can improve across the entire operation.
3. Access funding to make improvements on the farm
Once risks have been identified and quantified, it creates a “to do list” that makes it easier to budget for and in some cases to make those improvements. Some farmers begin an environmental farm plan with this in mind because identifying risks in an environmental farm plan allows for farmers to be eligible for a wider array of programs.
4. Farmers want access to new markets
Having an environmental farm plan can make the process of working with a variety of commodity purchasing programs much easier. With all of your information in one place, farmers can streamline their processes when it comes to sustainable sourcing initiatives.
5. Creates opportunities for other generations to get involved in a meaningful way
Succession planning can be a tough process for all involved. An environmental farm plan can provide a way for those in the older generation to transfer their wealth of information to the second or third generation. On the other end of succession planning, an EFP can help a young person become familiar with the operation on a wide variety of levels. Either way, the work done on an environmental plan is meaningful and can build relationships around common goals.
These are the most common reasons we heard as motivators for farmers doing their environmental farm plan. Tell us on Facebook or Twitter what your reasons for having (or starting an environmental farm plan) are by tagging @AlbertaEFP. Would you like to start an environmental farm plan for your farm? It’s never been easier with the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan’s online workbook. Register online today and you will be linked to a technician where you can get any offline support if you need it.