Major environmental farm study to be released at AEFP AGM

Major environmental farm study to be released at AEFP AGM

September 28, 2006:

Results of a major new study on barriers to the adoption of conservation and food safety practices among Alberta producers will be the focus of a special forum hosted by the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company (AEFP), the non-profit company which delivers the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program in the province.

Findings of the study, conducted by researchers Ross Mitchell and Marke Ambard of the Alberta Research Council (ARC), will be presented at a special forum Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006 at the Coast Plaza in Calgary. It is being held in conjunction with AEFP’s second Annual General Meeting (AGM).

"The study examines whether the adoption of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) is affected not only by economic factors, but also by a host of other barriers," says Therese Tompkins, program director for AEFP. "Understanding how farmers think is critical for AEFP and others working in the field of on-farm environmental sustainability. That’s why Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (AAFC – PFRA) and Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) have joined forces with AEFP to produce this study."

The day after the forum, a related tour in the Calgary region will focus on BMPs, the environmentally sustainable farm practices which form the foundation of the EFP program. The AGM, the study presentation and the tour are open to anyone wishing to attend, but those interested are asked to register with AEFP. Seats on the BMP tour are limited.

The AGM will feature representation by AEFP’s 22 member organizations as well as industry, government, media and others. It will include the annual business meeting, the election of board members and an overview of the business activities of AEFP over the 2005-06 fiscal year.

AEFP and AAFC – PFRA will host the farm tour, which will focus on BMPs targeted by producers with the assistance of Canada-Alberta Farm Stewardship Program (CAFSP) funding. "It will be a chance to see first-hand the kinds of improvements farmers who have completed EFPs are making and how they have used CAFSP funding, which offers them up to $50,000 for such improvements, in the process," says Mike Slomp, executive director of AEFP. Registration for this event is separate from AGM registration.

Further information on the special forum, AGM and BMP tour is available on the AEFP Web site at Registration for all three events can be completed by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or by calling toll-free 1-866-844-2337. Further information on the CAFSP program is available by calling 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.


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