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Local Food Council to support growth in sector

posted Jun 23, 2018, 6:00 AM by Action for Agriculture

Government is looking for a diverse cross-section of members to represent Alberta’s billion-dollar local food industry.

Applications are now open for Alberta’s first ever Local Food Council. The aim of the council will be to provide recommendations on provincial policies, programs, pilot projects or initiatives to support the continued growth and sustainability of Alberta’s local food sector.

Recruiting a Local Food Council is the first step in implementing the Supporting Alberta's Local Food Sector Act that was passed on May 30.

“Our government is stepping up to show support for this industry and the people who put food on our table. The Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act and our new Local Food Council will give a voice to this growing industry by helping it find new markets, create new jobs and further diversify the provincial economy.”
Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Governments are partnering to support innovation, growth and sustainability in Alberta’s agricultural sector

posted Mar 30, 2018, 7:09 AM by Action for Agriculture

Alberta’s farmers, ranchers and producers are a key driver of the economy and work hard to ensure they can respond to increasing demand for their high-quality, safe products. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial agreement that focuses on increasing trade, expanding markets and supporting innovative and sustainable growth in the sector while creating jobs and strengthening the middle class.

Today, Minister MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Oneil Carlier, Alberta Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, announced that over the next five years the Canadian government and the Alberta government plan to invest $406 million to support strategic programs and activities under the Partnership.

The Partnership includes federal, provincial and territorial cost-shared strategic initiatives to ensure programs are tailored to meet regional needs.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which succeeds Growing Forward 2, is a federal, provincial and territorial framework designed to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity.
  • Programs and activities are focused on:
    • growing trade and expanding markets
    • innovative and sustainable growth of the sector
    • supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector
  • As well as cost-shared strategic initiatives, the Partnership includes a complete and effective suite of business risk-management programs to help farmers manage risks that threaten the viability of their farm.

Alberta says it erred in warning it was curtailing water for ranchers

posted Mar 30, 2018, 7:02 AM by Action for Agriculture

The provincial government says it made a mistake when it told several ranchers in southern Alberta that it was curtailing their access to natural water that's critical for their operations.

Aaron Brower, who owns a ranch along the Milk River basin near the U.S. border, received a letter from the province in December warning him that his 2001 application for five wells and three dams for livestock watering and household use was considered incomplete.

As a result, the government said it was closing the file, which meant Brower would be violating provincial law if he continued to use the wells and dams without a licence.



posted Mar 30, 2018, 6:58 AM by Action for Agriculture

This project provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of conversion and fragmentation of agricultural land in Alberta.  The project has documented changes in conversion and fragmentation, spatial patterns of those changes, spillovers of changes in one jurisdiction on neighbouring jurisdictions, economic drivers of those changes, and links between fragmentation and conversion. Research was conducted for the agricultural (white) zone of Alberta, the Edmonton-Calgary Corridor area, and the Capital Region.  

In the Edmonton-Calgary corridor area, the project has shown that urban areas expanded by about 1600 km2 between 1984 and 2013, a 50% increase in area.  The rate of expansion was higher between 1984 and 1992 than between 1992 and 2001 or between 2001 and 2013.  Most of the expansion came at the cost of loss of high quality agricultural land.  Areas nearest to Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer became considerably more fragmented between 2001 and 2012, although rest of the agricultural zone became less fragmented over the same period.  In that period, there was considerably more conversion around Edmonton than around Calgary.     

Alberta's natural ecosystems shrinking fast

posted Feb 7, 2018, 6:38 AM by Action for Agriculture

Between 1999 and 2015, human activity in Alberta visibly converted over 23,000 km2 of native ecosystems into residential, recreational, or industrial landscapes, an area 3.5 times the size of Banff National Park.

Land transformation due to human activity poses the greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide. To evaluate how land-use decisions affect both environmental sustainability and economic growth, it’s critical to have good data on which activities are transforming the landscape, as well as where and to what degree these activities are occurring. The ABMI report provides the first-ever comprehensive province-wide assessment of human footprint patterns, breaking them down by footprint type and by various sub-regions. 

As of 2015, total human footprint occupied 29.2% of Alberta. The largest contributor to the total was agriculture, which occupied 20.2% of the province, followed by forestry footprint at 4.3% and energy footprint at 1.9%. Furthermore, human footprint was dynamic: between 1999 and 2015, it increased by 3.5% of Alberta’s land base—an area 3.5 times the size of Banff National Park, a change largely driven by the creation of new forestry footprint. 

Action for Agriculture AGM March 9, 2018

posted Feb 2, 2018, 10:44 AM by Action for Agriculture   [ updated Feb 2, 2018, 10:54 AM ]

28th Annual General Meeting & Land Use Forum

Friday, March 9th at the Cochrane RancheHouse

Registration opens at noon

“Good News Stories – Agriculture & the Environment”

Featured Speakers Begin at 1:00 p.m.

John Barlow: MP for the constituency of Foothills, member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, and Critic for Interprovincial Trade.

 “Introductory remarks”

Dave Poulton: Executive Director, Alberta Land Institute

“Land Use 2018” the ALI’s biannual land use conference

Doug Wray: Past President of the Cdn. Forage & Grassland Assoc.

 “The Soil Revolution – Regenerating  Soils Using Natural Processes”

Karen Haugen-Kozyra: President, Viresco Solutions

“Challenges and Opportunities in Acknowledging and Paying for Carbon Capture in Alberta’s Soils”.

Tim McAllister: Research Scientist with Agriculture Canada.

“How the Canadian Cattle Industry is Reducing Its

  Environmental Hoofprint”


Everyone is Welcome


for more information or to register contact: info@actionforagriculture.com or phone Alan Breakey at 403-617-3502

Beef’s shrinking water footprint

posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:15 PM by Action for Agriculture

Overall, it took 17 per cent less water to produce a kilogram of Canadian beef in 2011 than in 1981. This was mainly due to increased reproductive performance, growth rates, slaughter weights and improved crop yields.

What it means: Because beef’s water footprint is mainly due to crop production, shrinking it further will require improved water use efficiency by feed crops and forages through breeding, management, and improved irrigation practices. These steps will reduce the water footprint of agriculture overall, not just for beef production. Further improvements in feed efficiency will also improve the water footprint as well as the greenhouse gas footprint and overall competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry.

2018 Small Farm Summit

posted Jan 27, 2018, 5:22 PM by Action for Agriculture

Sprouted: Plant Ingredient Opportunity on the Prairies

posted Jan 20, 2018, 9:21 AM by Action for Agriculture

Plant ingredients present the type of opportunity that only comes once in a generation.

Around the world, a growing middle class with more money to spend on food has an appetite for more and better options. Consumers in North America and Europe want green and sustainable food choices. Demand for protein, including plant-based protein, and other plant-based ingredients, is sky-rocketing.

The good news is that Canada’s Prairie provinces already grow many of the crops, including lentils, peas and beans, that are in demand to be processed into plant ingredient components, such as protein, fibre and starch. The even better news is that we are well-placed not only to enter the non-soy plant ingredient processing sector – and take advantage of the value-added possibilities that entails – but to dominate it.


ALI Land Use Conference 2018

posted Jan 13, 2018, 4:21 PM by Action for Agriculture

Early bird registration is available now at http://abland.in/landuse

You can view the speaker list here and a session overview here.

If you know anyone who would be may be interested in attending, please share this with them.

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