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Alberta is helping farmers by modernizing rules, reducing red tape and creating new research opportunities.

posted Jun 16, 2020, 9:29 AM by Action for Agriculture

The Government of Alberta is helping farmers by modernizing rules, reducing red tape and creating new research opportunities.

Seed growers in Alberta will soon have access to more seed varieties and cereal research. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen has signed a ministerial order removing Fusarium graminearum (fusarium) from the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation, bringing Alberta in line with best practices from other provinces.

Fusarium is a fungal disease of cereal crops that affects grain development and quality. Removing it from the regulation will allow Alberta to modernize to managing the disease, rather than having zero tolerance for it.

Regulating fusarium has failed to stop its spread, which has increased across the province over the past 20 years. The Alberta Fusarium graminearum Management Plan, published in 2002, does not account for recent advances in seed treatment options that can lower detections, bringing them close to zero.

Quick facts

  • Fusarium graminearum causes fusarium head blight, a serious fungal disease that affects wheat, barley, oats and corn.
    • It has been present in Alberta at very low levels since 1989. 
    • In late 2002, Alberta released the first comprehensive Alberta Fusarium graminearum Management Plan.



Wildlife Habitat Council white paper on Native Grasslands Conservation

posted Jun 7, 2020, 7:26 AM by Action for Agriculture

Grasslands are one of the most common habitat types in the world and one of the most threatened. An opportunity exists for corporations to manage privately owned grasslands in nature-friendly ways that will realize multiple values for many stakeholders, including benefits to climate change mitigation and adaptation, stormwater run-off, cost savings and aesthetics.

 

Emissions Reduction Alberta’s Food and Farming, through the TIER Fund.

posted Jun 7, 2020, 6:43 AM by Action for Agriculture

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is calling for proposals for the challenge, which will accelerate innovation in support of long-term competitiveness and stimulate growth in the critically important agriculture, agri-food and forestry sectors.

Projects that result from this challenge will lead to job creation, attract local and international investments and open up new markets.

A total of $40 million will come from the TIER Fund—a key part of Alberta’s climate response, funded by industry—­to support the challenge. These investments will be used to aid recovery, strengthen existing industries and help create new opportunities from small and medium enterprises across these sectors.

The $40 million will help farmers, ranchers, industry, and innovators navigate the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing market implications. These innovations will lead to positive impacts, such as lower production and processing costs for food and fibre and natural solutions to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The application deadline is Aug. 27, at 5 p.m. MT. Visit eralberta.ca for more information and eligibility criteria, or to sign up for an informational webinar to be held on June 29.


  • TIER is an improved system to help energy-intensive facilities find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to stay competitive and save money.
  • Facilities can pay into a TIER Fund, which is used for innovative and cleaner Alberta-based technologies like the Food, Farming and Forestry Challenge.

Related information

Sourcing more farm-fresh local food for Albertans

posted Jun 7, 2020, 6:38 AM by Action for Agriculture

Farmers can connect directly with food service and retail operations to get more farm-fresh food on Albertans’ tables through an enhanced online tool.

Agriculture and Forestry provided $81,000 to the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA) through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to enhance its online producer directory.

The grant allowed AFFPA to expand its directory to include more producer profiles and build awareness of the high-quality farm-fresh food Alberta is known for. The site will now give retailers, wholesalers, restaurants and the food service industry more opportunities to connect with farms.

With the recent increase in demand for local food, the province’s restaurants and stores have looked for new ways to bring more locally grown and produced food to Albertans.

Site enhancements include:

  • Additional and more detailed product categories.
  • Identification of additional certifications and licensing.
  • More marketing channels for producers to include food service and retail.
  • Improved search and mapping capabilities.

The AFFPA will also be offering complimentary memberships for farmers and ranchers for 2020 and 2021.

“Alberta’s farmers grow the best food in the world. We’re proud to work with the AFFPA to help get our high-quality, locally sourced food into more kitchens across Alberta.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“AFFPA is excited to partner with the provincial and federal governments to further promote Alberta local food. With increased connections between Alberta producers, processors, retail and food service, more Albertans will be able to enjoy the great locally produced and processed food.”

Willard de Wilde, president, Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association

“This initiative will help solidify the connections between the agriculture producers who want to direct market and their potential customers. It will also heighten the image of this segment of the industry, highlighting what products are available from Alberta producers.”

Rod Bradshaw, Beck Farms

Quick facts

  • AFFPA is a voluntary membership, non-profit organization representing direct market growers across Alberta.
  • Local food sales from farmers markets and through direct-to-consumer channels have more than doubled since 2008 and exceeded $1 billion in 2018.

The Prairie Habitat Joint Venture Webinar Series

posted May 14, 2020, 4:42 PM by Action for Agriculture   [ updated May 14, 2020, 4:43 PM ]

Please see a list of some upcoming conservation related events this April. All of them are virtual and may provide some welcome social interaction for those of us isolated at home!  

 

Please recall that if you are aware of any upcoming events or information items that may interest this group, please send me the information and I will do my best to incorporate them into future emails.

 

Take care,

 

John

 


Prairie Conservation Action Plan’s Native Prairie Webinar Series | 12PM April 2, 2020

 

Every month, PCAP hosts a Native Prairie Speaker Series Webinar about species at risk or prairie conservation. The next webinar will be Dr. Erin Bayne from the University of Alberta at 12PM on April 2, 2020 (today!) with a presentation entitled How many birds will I kill in my lifetime directly vs indirectly: and what matters more? For more information please see the following link: https://www.pcap-sk.org/upcoming-events/pcap-speaker-series

 


Enhancing Canada Grasslands Town Hall | 830AM-4PM (MDT) April 7, 2020

 

If you are interested in grassland conservation, you may be interested in a virtual Town-Hall on enhancing Canada’s grasslands, hosted by Biological Carbon Canada. Please see the following link to the meeting if you would like to attend: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/enhancing-canada-grasslands-town-hall-tickets-98017018541?utm_term=eventurl_text

 

 


PHJV Policy Committee Webinar Series | 11AM CDT April 8, 2020

 

The next presentation in the PHJV’s monthly webinar series is Dr. John Pattison-Williams, PHJV Policy Committee Coordinator, who will be presenting on competing land-use interests for grasslands in Canada and the economics driving this change. This webinar will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and can be accessed using the following information: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting +1 647-749-7011 Canada, Toronto (Toll) Conference ID: 508 679 258#.

 


Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (IWWR) Research Roundup | 12PM CDT April 9, 2020

 

Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Research Roundup webinars highlight the ongoing conservation science research supported by IWWR and its application to conservation programs. This webinar will be comprised of two speaker presentations: Ryan Askren (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL) with a presentation entitled Using satellite transmitters to track migration and winter habitat use of greater white-fronted geese, and Dr. David Messmer (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK), with a presentation entitled The role of climate variability in duck population ecology. This webinar will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and can be accessed using the following information: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting +1 647-749-7011 Canada, Toronto (Toll) Conference ID: 910 779 176#.

Ag-related Research & Presentations

posted May 12, 2020, 5:25 AM by Action for Agriculture

1. Compensation models for grazing leases

This ALI-led research reviews current policy for public lands grazing leases in Alberta, and compares it with approaches used in the Province of Saskatchewan and Municipal District of Taber. It examines the implications of alternative approaches to compensation funds transferred from oil and gas operators to lease holders. 

Click here to learn more about the project. Download the Project Backgrounder or Full Report in the top left corner.

2. Binge-watch videos from past land use conferences

Although we're postponing our 2020 land use conference, there's a goldmine of agriculture-related presentations from our past conferences

You can (re)watch excellent presentations and panel discussions about green belts, BC's Agricultural Land Reserve and balancing urban-rural development, among many other land use topics.

Find the full video library here

3. Learn more about Regenerative Agriculture - aka biological farming, eco-agriculture - from Nicole Masters, one of the world's top soil ecologists and a past ALI presenter. Find out how restoring soil health has helped her clients see incredible results: decreased pests, increase in topsoil and improved animal health. Be inspired by her Regenerative Agriculture Case Studies here.


New Releases

1. The Environmental Law Centre recently released Agricultural Lands Law & Policy in Alberta to explore how to move from conversion to conservation of Alberta’s agricultural lands. In this report, they provide a primer on the laws and policies which apply to Alberta’s agricultural lands and an overview of existing legal tools relevant to conversion and conservation. Access the report here.

2. The Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Board just released a March update on their Regional Agricultural Master Plan. Click here to read the Bulletin.

Information above comes from albertalandinstitute.ca

Employee training supports for agri-businesses

posted May 12, 2020, 5:05 AM by Action for Agriculture

In response to COVID-19, the Government of Alberta has created a new Agriculture Training Support Program to help employers in the food supply chain provide necessary training to new Alberta employees.

The program is intended to offset costs for COVID-19 safety and training, including the costs for personal protective equipment and to remove any barriers to get Albertans safely working.

“To all Albertans interested in work, jobs in the agriculture sector are dynamic, employ a range of skillsets and help to support your communities. These investments, provided by both levels of Government, will give Albertans the opportunity to train and transition into these rewarding jobs.”

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

By providing up to $5 million in support to farmers, agri-businesses and food processors, the program helps offset the cost to train new employees safely in new agri-food roles. The program will support training for as many as 2,500 new jobs in Alberta.

“Alberta’s agriculture and food sector rely on thousands of people working every day to help keep food on our tables. As we see record high unemployment in Alberta due to a global economic slowdown and COVID-19, we need to ensure unemployed Albertans have the opportunity for domestic jobs instead of hiring workers from overseas.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

The maximum government contribution under the program is $2,000 per new employee, up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. Grants will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until available program funding is fully allocated.

for more, go to https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=71300983A43C2-052C-9669-7A9B903D1A9CFD39


Details behind the Taber native grassland sale

posted May 3, 2020, 6:04 AM by Action for Agriculture

Despite Action for Agriculture's opposition, the Alberta government sold a quarter section of Crown land near Taber to an “anonymous” bidder. 

That’s despite Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon saying in March, “We are not selling any Crown or public land — period”. He also wrote in a Facebook post around the same time that “Albertans will always have access to crown land.”

April Ag Review from Rocky View County

posted May 3, 2020, 5:44 AM by Action for Agriculture

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