Annual Report available from Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company
September 11, 2007:
The Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company (AEFP), the non-profit company which delivers the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program in the province, has released its 2006-07 Annual Report. It is now available on the AEFP Web site at www.AlbertaEFP.com.
This AEFP 2006/07 Annual Report serves as the core business document for participants and stakeholders in the EFP program, says Picture Butte producer John Kolk, AEFP chair. "It outlines all of the activities the Company has been involved in over the past year. It also describes the significant progress that has been made over that time.
"At the same time, it also acts as an invitation to learn more about the EFP program and the partnerships which have helped make it a leading force in on-farm environmental sustainability today," he says. "Because of this, we want to make sure that anyone interested can get an overview of the company and its activities."
The strong progress of the EFP program in Alberta over the 2006/07 year is documented in the report. Over 3,400 Alberta producers participated in the review process, while a total of 825 signs were requested by Alberta producers located in 68 municipalities throughout the province.
"To us, the simplest measure of success is the number of producers attending EFP workshops and completing EFPs," says AEFP executive director Mike Slomp. "In this respect we’ve never been busier and, in fact, have exceeded our workshop participation and EFP completion goals set for the 2006/07 fiscal year."
He also added that, "We also encourage them to apply to the farm stewardship program to implement on-farm actions that address risks identified in their EFP." The Canada-Alberta Farm Stewardship Program (CAFSP), which offers producers who have completed an EFP up to $50,000 for on-farm environmental improvements, continued to drive progress in 2006/07. To date, producers who have applied for CAFSP funding have completed or been approved for projects valued at over $70 million.
"These improvements, made in a broad range of categories, represent real on-the-ground progress, making a significant improvement to the sustainability of individual operations and agriculture as a whole," says Kolk.
Partnerships with industry continued to play an important role in the EFP program. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) became a corporate partner to AEFP in 2006/07. The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association and the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers’ Association became its newest corporate members, adding to AEFP’s growing roster of producer commodity groups and industry organizations that support and promote the EFP program.
"The theme for this past year could well have been ’progress through partnerships,’" says Kolk. "In many ways, the 2006/07 year has been a defining one for AEFP as we continue to strengthen our partnerships on all fronts, from our business relationships with producers to our developing partnerships with the larger agricultural industry. In the process, we have laid the groundwork for the future of the program."
More information on the EFP program, including the 2006-07 Annual Report, is available on the AEFP Web site at www.AlbertaEFP.com. For more information on CAFSP, contact the program office toll-free at 1-800-667-8567.
AEFP was established in 2002 as an industry-run, non-profit corporation that delivers EFP services to Alberta farmers. Through the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides major funding to the EFP program in Alberta, with Alberta Agriculture and Food providing additional in-kind support services to help the agricultural sector develop and implement EFPs.
Additional support has been provided by the Agriculture and Food Council, through the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Initiative, the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Council (AESA) and various ministries of the Government of Alberta. Contributions have also come from more than 100 local municipalities, businesses and agricultural organizations.