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Biobeds tackle pesticide waste, boost consumer trust

posted Jan 20, 2019, 7:12 AM by Action for Agriculture

An inexpensive and effective Swedish invention, known as a biobed, is likely an unfamiliar term for Canadian farmers. It is a below ground or above ground site where a sprayer is filled, tested and cleaned. The waste water from these processes is filtered into a biomix, which contains millions of microbial bodies that drive bioremediation, or the breaking down of pesticide waste.

The biomix consists of three ingredients: straw, soil, and peat-free compost.

“The key ingredient is straw, which forms a white mould that facilitates the microbial breakdown of pesticide waste,” Wolf said.

He said the end result of the bioremediation process is pure soil and clean water, which could actually be used for subsequent spraying or washing.


Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program

posted Dec 12, 2018, 11:00 AM by Action for Agriculture

here are a few grants that are currently accepting applications.

EcoAction Community Funding Program
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is accepting applications for funding until January 9, 2019 (deadline extended) for projects beginning in summer 2019. The application guide is attached. Preference will be given to proposals that engage Indigenous Peoples, youth or small businesses, and all proposals must fully meet the program requirements. Funding is available for new projects that engage Canadians and clearly demonstrate measurable, positive results related to fresh water. For more information, please visit the EcoAction Community Funding Program website or contact your Regional Office.

Please note that you will need to register with EcoAction’s electronic platform, the Grants & Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS), before submitting an application. The GCEMS is ECCC’s one-window platform for accessing their environmental funding programs.

Pathway to Canada Target 1 Challenge
The Pathway to Canada Target 1 Challenge is part of Canada’s Nature Fund. Expressions of Interest (EOI), must be submitted by January 31, 2019 to 
ec.FDLNDefi-NFChallenge.ec@canada.ca. However, EOI’s are recommended by January 14, 2019, to confirm that your project fits with program priorities and to receive input from ECCC staff. After January 14, the complete Proposal Guide for applicants will be available through the GCEMS web portal. The deadline for detailed Formal Proposals is March 15, 2019. Please review the application instructions online for more information.

Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change – Producer
Administered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program, the Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change – Producer program supports producers in reducing negative impacts on the environment while enhancing sustainable production, managing climate change and increasing profitability in the agriculture sector. (Please note that a valid Alberta Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a prerequisite to this program.) The current application intake is open until January 23, 2019. You may also wish to explore the many other funding programs that CAP program offers.

Alberta NAWMP Partnership – Science
Each year the Alberta North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) Partnership allocates funds, to a maximum of $30,000, in support of science projects that relate to the Alberta NAWMP Committee’s annual priorities. This year’s priorities will be announced shortly – please refer to the Alberta NAWMP webpage for details. Successful proposals will be awarded in April 2019.

Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) tax credit program

posted Oct 20, 2018, 4:43 AM by Action for Agriculture

The Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) tax credit program will offer a 30 per cent tax credit to Albertans who invest in registered CEDCs. In turn, the corporations will provide capital to Alberta small businesses and co-operatives that focus on social improvement or rural economic development.

“Entrepreneurs put a lot on the line when they start a small business and we want to make it easier for Albertans to support them. Much like the Alberta Investor Tax Credit, this credit helps us invest in our own backyard, benefiting businesses that tackle important challenges in our hometowns and neighbourhoods.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

Examples of the types of activities the tax credit will support include:

  • A value-added agriculture business or tourism operator developing new products in a rural community.
  • A business owner offering mentorship and training to employees to help them overcome employment barriers.
  • A new owner carrying on the legacy of a community-based business when its original owners retire.
  • A business offering affordable food products to lower-income families. 

Similar credits have been available in Manitoba and the Maritime provinces for several years.

The program budget is $9 million over three years. Application intake for the program is now open. Additional program details, including eligibility criteria and information on when, where and how to apply, are available at alberta.ca/community-economic-development-corporation-tax-credit.aspx.

Prime ranchland near Calgary to be protected

posted Oct 20, 2018, 4:42 AM by Action for Agriculture

Two thousand acres of prime real estate west of Turner Valley will be protected from development in a deal announced by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) on Thursday. 

The voluntary agreement with the owner of the White Moose Ranch will protect the 811-hectare portion of the property while allowing cattle operations to continue. 

"From the day our White Moose Ranch first acquired this breathtaking property in 1992, I knew that we needed to find a way to preserve it in its natural state," said owner Stan Carscallen in a news release. 

"We share a three-mile boundary on our south side with the OH Ranch. Over the years, I frequently spoke with our friend, Doc Seaman, about realizing a mutual dream of working together to create a single, contiguous block of conserved land extending from the Highwood River to the Sheep River that could never be developed or subdivided. This donation completes that dream, and my family and I are proud to be part of that accomplishment."

Important habitat
The NCC said the protected portion of the ranch, which lies along the Sheep River, features a mix of fescue grasslands, montane forests and riparian areas. 

"It provides year-round habitat for elk, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, cougar, gray wolf, coyote and bald and golden eagles," said the organization in its news release. 

"Grizzly bears, which are listed under the Species at Risk Act as Special Concern, are often seen on White Moose Ranch."

Development pressure
The NCC said mountain sheep, lynx, badgers, wolverines, red-tailed hawks and great horned owls have also been spotted on the property. 

The area is under increasing development pressure, according to the NCC, due to its scenery and proximity to Calgary. 

The fescue grassland habitat is also one of the most threatened ecosystems in the country, according to the organization, with less than five per cent estimated to be intact. 

AFSC unveils new lending programs

posted Oct 20, 2018, 4:40 AM by Action for Agriculture

Under the new program, agricultural producers can now access up to $15 million to invest in their farms and operations. This increase to the lending limit – up from $5 million – ensures AFSC is able to meet the needs of the evolving market and its stakeholders and support rural economic development.

AFSC’s new lending programs are designed to help young or new agricultural producers access capital. Current producers will also benefit from AFSC’s revised lending programs to expand or increase their own operations. Entrepreneurs in the agri-food and agribusiness sectors will also have access to new lending programs.

This investment is an important step towards diversifying Alberta’s economy and creating new job opportunities throughout the province. 

The changes to AFSC’s lending programs are effective immediately.

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) is a provincial Crown corporation that provides producers, agribusinesses and other small businesses loans, crop insurance and farm income disaster assistance. AFSC has provided Alberta farmers with hail insurance for 80 years, and has grown into a diverse corporation with several core business areas, including crop insurance, livestock price insurance, farm loans, commercial loans and farm income disaster assistance.

Related information

Calgary's Source Water Protection Plan

posted Oct 20, 2018, 4:14 AM by Action for Agriculture

Dear stakeholders,


I would like to personally thank everyone who played a role in shaping the Source Water Protection Plan for The City of Calgary, either through participation in our workshops in 2017, or providing  feedback, comments, edits, or advice.


All of your input has really helped us craft a solid Source Water Protection Plan for The City of Calgary.  The Plan is now complete, and was approved by the Water Utility’s leadership in late August. A digital copy of the Plan is available at:


We look forward to working with many of you further on implementation efforts into the future!


Thanks again everyone for your highly valued input, knowledge, and expertise!





George RomanM.Sc., PMP | Senior Water Resources Planner | Watershed Planning, Water Resources | The City of Calgary
 403.268.5741 | george.roman@calgary.ca | The Water Centre - 625 25 Ave, S.E. | P.O. Box 2100, Station M, Calgary, AB Canada T2P 2M5 | Mail code: #433

FRF Fall Info Session November 15th 2018

posted Oct 6, 2018, 6:31 AM by Action for Agriculture

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Claresholm Community Centre, 5920 8th Street West, Claresholm, AB.    

“Resilience and Innovation within the Grasslands”

Join us again this November for our annual Fall Information Session! The FRF Fall session gathers a variety of industry and grassland stakeholders to exchange current information on grassland restoration and conservation through a variety of presentations and mini updates. While we are still compiling our agenda (full agenda will be released closer to the event), you can look forward to hearing about the following topics:

  • Innovative programs and legislation for renewable resources and affected landowners
  • Updates on recovery in hard hit areas affected by fire
  • Innovative grassland management of aspen encroachment and rangeland health
  • Discussion of new legislation affecting development in grasslands and wetlands
  • Landowner management to maintain grassland resilience and productivity
  • And much more!

Booths Available!  We welcome groups or individuals to set up tables/booths at the event as well (at no cost!). There are limited spaces available; therefore, if you have educational or relevant materials that you wish to display, 
please contact Donna at corpirate@shaw.ca.

Cost for the day’s event:

Early Bird Rate (Register by 5:00 pm October 15, 2018): $80.00 per person                     

After 5:00 pm October 15: $100.00 per person

Students and Agricultural Producers:  Contact Donna for More Information

*Fees include our ‘traditional’ welcome cinnamon rolls, coffee, snacks, a locally catered lunch and plenty of opportunity to visit and network.

Doors open at 8 am with presentations from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm.

Online Registration will be up and running shortly at: http://www.foothillsrestorationforum.ca to secure your spot, or contact Donna at this email address (corpirate@shaw.ca) to sign up or make other arrangements for payment.

Supporting land and water conservation

posted Oct 6, 2018, 6:19 AM by Action for Agriculture

The province is helping conserve 13,000 acres of private land containing vital watersheds, grasslands and wildlife habitats across the province.

Grants will support projects by the Alberta Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), the Legacy Land Trust Society, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS) and Western Sky Land Trust.

SALTS received approximately $2.6 million for five different projects, including one that will protect 1,247 acres of ecologically valuable land at the WineGlass Ranch near Cochrane and Calgary. Home to many elk, deer and large carnivores, the area is under pressure from encroaching residential development. The land has been in the same family for more than 131 years.

Ducks Unlimited Canada will receive nearly $450,000 in grant funding to enhance protection of six parcels of land in central and southern Alberta. These land parcels are made up of key prairie landscapes, including native grassland, wetland and parkland habitats.

Two large parcels of land in southern Alberta will be conserved for future generations with a grant of more than $1.7 million for Nature Conservancy of Canada. Both of these parcels are made up vital native grasslands, which are under increasing pressure from development. These lands support diverse species that call southern Alberta home, including large carnivores, shorebirds and fish.

Another option for Alberta’s Green Certificate Program (GCP)

posted Oct 6, 2018, 6:14 AM by Action for Agriculture

Poultry technician joins the list of programs already being offered through the GCP and funded through a partnership between Alberta Education and Agriculture and Forestry. Other courses include:  

beekeeper production technician
cow-calf beef production technician
dairy production technician
equine technician
feedlot beef production technician
field crop production technician
greenhouse technician
irrigated field crop production technician
sheep production technician
swine production technician

The Green Certificate Program provides opportunities for students to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge they need for careers in the agricultural industry. It fosters employability skills that support the development of a skilled and educated workforce.

SEAWA Education: Biodiversity in Riparian Areas

posted Oct 6, 2018, 6:05 AM by Action for Agriculture

: 8:00 am
Speakers: 8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Medicine Hat College - Crowfoot Room
299 College Drive SE Medicine Hat

A continental breakfast and light lunch will be provided.

Riparian areas occur at the transition between land and water bodies (i.e. streams and lakes). A healthy riparian area provides many biological and social ecosystem services. Healthy riparian areas support water quality improvement, floodwater conveyance and storage, and bank and shoreline stabilization. They also provide social and recreational opportunities and habitat for unique plants, fish, birds and other animals. These services are an important part of the overall function of a watershed. 

Speakers from the Government of Alberta, Calgary Zoological Society, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the private sector will highlight the importance of diverse species of plants and animals for riparian areas. Topics will include research on Russian olive trees, northern leopard frogs, rattlesnake hibernacula, and local riparian restoration projects, among other things. 

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