Since the 1990s the concept of environmental farm planning (EFP) has been seen as a potential tool to manage environmental risks on the farm. MRAC recognized the importance of EFPs and in 2003 hired a consultant to prepare a Manitoba EFP template and delivery plan. This included reviewing and assessing EFPs from other jurisdictions and holding focus groups with producers.
Based on the results, an interim agency was established to deliver the EFP program in Manitoba and was managed by a producer-dominated board of directors. This independent operating agency became known as the Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba (FSAM). FSAM delivered the EFP program in Manitoba for five years under the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). During this time FSAM was able to help approximately 6,000 producers develop environmental farm plans in the province.
FSAM’s work wrapped up in 2009 but the successful EFP program continues with MAFRI taking the reins. MRAC responded to an industry need and influenced government to provide programming and support in this area. MRAC is pleased to have acted as a catalyst in this initiative.