Farmers looking for advice on establishing agricultural stewardship best management practices on their land can now apply to the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) for funding under its Agri-Action Advisory Service.
“The RRCA’s Agri-Action Advisory Service, now in its second year, was initiated to connect industry experts with farmers who are interested in establishing select agricultural stewardship projects on their farm but are not sure where to start,” says Jessica Herrington, RRCA Stewardship Coordinator.
“The program advisors will meet with the farmers, discuss options specific to their farm, and identify potential funding opportunities to implement their projects.”
Project types eligible for the advisory service include in-field or bank erosion control, drainage and wetland integration, planting of hedgerows, windbreaks and buffers, grassed waterways, nutrient management planning, soil sampling, cover crops, soil health improvement, and the use of various agronomic tools.
“Best management practices can improve farmland sustainability by improving soil health, reducing erosion, and retaining valuable nutrients. This not only provides on-farm benefits such as increased average yields, but also improves the health of the local watershed,” adds Herrington.
The grant application process is open to all farmers with a registered farm number and located within the St. Lawrence River (Cornwall) Area of Concern (AOC) which encompasses most of the RRCA’s jurisdiction, and includes Lunenburg to the west, Bainsville to the east, Alexandria to the east, and Cornwall to the South. AOCs are locations within the Great Lakes watersheds that have been identified as having experienced high levels of environmental harm due to human activity. A map of the local AOC boundaries, as well as an application form for the Agri-Action Advisory Service, can be found on the RRCA’s website at rrca.on.ca. Completed forms can be submitted by email to Jessica.Herrington@rrca.on.ca.
“Agricultural stewardship practices are great for both agriculture and the environment” says South Glengarry farmer, Tony Vogel, who took part in last year’s Agri-Action Advisory Service. “It’s definitely worth looking into.”
Approved farmers will be able to select their preferred industry expert from an available list, coordinate an on-farm advisory visit, and be reimbursed for the expense. A maximum funding amount per farm will apply.
Applications will be considered and evaluated using a scoring tool. Only costs associated with advisory services are eligible for funding under this program. Project implementation and material costs may be eligible through other programs.
The application deadline is September 2, 2022, or until funding runs out.
The RRCA offers a number of stewardship programs as part of its mission to work with local communities to conserve and enhance the area’s natural resources and environment.
The Agri-Action Advisory Service has received funding support from the Government of Ontario.
Views expressed in this article are those of the RRCA and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.
For more information visit rrca.on.ca or contact (613) 938-3611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.