Environmental, stewardship projects being supported

More Ontario farm environmental and stewardship projects will be supported through the new Growing Forward Environmental and Climate Change program, contributing to a healthier environment in rural communities.
The program, to be delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, will offer farmers environmental farm planning educational workshops that promote the adoption of environmentally-sound best management practices for soil, water, air, and biodiversity.
It is an education and awareness program that helps producers assess their farm’s environmental strengths and weaknesses.
It will support farmers’ continued efforts to implement environmental improvement projects, such as:
•the use of global positioning system (GPS) technology to improve pesticide and nutrient application;
•improved manure management;
•planting vegetated buffer strips in riparian areas to protect water quality; and
•water well upgrades.
“Growing Forward” offers cost share opportunities to assist farmers to implement environmental improvement projects identified in their Environmental Farm Plan action plans.
Canada and Ontario will provide $42.3 million over the next four years for the program, on top of $14.8 million provided during the continuity year.
The new program builds on the internationally-recognized success of the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan program, first introduced in 1992.
More than 35,000 Ontario farmers voluntarily have participated in Environmental Farm Plan educational workshops.
Since April, 2005, Ontario farmers have completed more than 17,500 environmental improvement projects identified in their environmental farm plans.
The new program is administered by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, acting on behalf of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition.
To learn more about this program, see the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s website at www.ontariosoilcrop.org or the Growing Forward in Ontario website at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/growingforward/index.htm
You also can call 1-888-479-3931.
Dates to remember
•July 8-11—Large animal clinic dates for Dr. Blair Simonson (call 274-7393 to book an appointment).

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