Lakeland College is the first post-secondary institution in Alberta to complete an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP).
The students in Lakeland’s agricultural sciences programs who learn on the Student Managed Farm (SMF) – Powered by New Holland at the Vermilion campus are now using the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan (AEFP) online webbook to self-assess their farming practices.
“We are proud to be demonstrating environmental stewardship on our college farm and to have our students working through the EFP,” said Josie Van Lent, dean of the School of Agricultural Sciences at Lakeland College.
Throughout the winter 2015 semester (January to April), about 50 second-year students in a number of agricultural disciplines including animal science technology and crop technology worked together to complete the EFP. The experience enabled the students to see what best management practices were in place on their farm and where they could make improvements to avoid potential environmental risks.
Lakeland students had completed EFP exercises in the past; however this was the first time they completed and submitted an EFP specific to the SMF. The SMF has five different units – crops, commercial beef, purebred beef, dairy, and sheep units. Animal science students collaborated with students in the crop technology program to complete the EFP.
“Lakeland has demonstrated their commitment to environmental stewardship and we commend them for their leadership in sustainable agriculture for the future,” said Paul Watson, AEFP Director. “Students are the future of farming; if they learn about and adopt sound environmental practices now, they will likely incorporate those practices into their farming practices and careers.”
For details, visit www.lakelandcollege.ca/academics/agricultural-sciences/ or www.albertaefp.com.
The Alberta Environmental Farm Plan program began in 2003 and has been delivered by the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta since 2013 with financial support from Agriculture and Forestry and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2.