Annual report available from Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company
September 20, 2006:
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 2005-06 Annual Report. It is now available at www.albertaEFP.com.
The report provides an overview of AEFP business operations over the 2005-06 fiscal year and reports the strong progress of the EFP program over that period, says Picture Butte producer John Kolk, AEFP chairman. "The report will be of interest not only to farmers, but also the stakeholders who have invested time, energy and support for the EFP effort.
"The annual report is also made fully available to the public because we realize that the work we do in environmental sustainability is important for all society, and that our efforts ultimately benefit the entire community. We want to ensure that anyone who is interested can get an overview of the company."
The document reports the progress of the EFP program over the 2005-06 season. This includes over 2,300 Alberta producers completing an EFP and more than 580 gate signs requested by Alberta producers representing 67 different municipalities across the province.
This success was driven in part by the Canada-Alberta Farm Stewardship Program (CAFSP), which, in 2005-06, offered up to $30,000 for on-farm environmental improvements to producers who have completed an EFP. Alberta producers applied for $8.4 million in CAFSP funding in 2005-06, representing nearly $20 million spent by producers on the Beneficial Management Practices covered by the cost-share program.
"The efforts of our highly committed EFP program delivery team also played a large role in the program’s success," says Mike Slomp, executive director of AEFP. "Adding to this is the approximately $137,000 worth of in-kind services donated towards local workshops in the past year. Numerous local agribusinesses have demonstrated their support by sponsoring or hosting EFP workshops."
The regional delivery approach, introduced in the 2004-05 fiscal year, has been highly effective, says Slomp. "Our regional team leaders enhance this local delivery strategy by providing greater support and resources to the delivery team."
Corporate members and industry partners have also been key to the success of the program, says Slomp. "We deeply appreciate the ongoing support of our 22 corporate members and industry partners, many of which represent producers and interested conservation groups in Alberta. AEFP’s strong industry network brings opportunities to participate in projects and initiatives which enhance sustainable agriculture in Alberta."
More information on the EFP program, including the 2005-06 Annual Report, is available on the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company 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), the Government of Canada provides major funding to the EFP program in Alberta, with the Government of Alberta 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.