An Environmental Farm Plan (EFP for short) is a voluntary, whole farm, self-assessment tool that helps producers identify their environmental risks and develop plans to mitigate identified risks. Many Government of Alberta funding programs require producers to have completed an EFP in the last ten years.
Maintaining a healthy environment of a farm, ranch or acreage is an essential component to the success of regional ag producers everywhere. The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP for short) program helps you identify and address any environmental risks inherent in your operation. The process of making an EFP will will also increase your understanding of legal requirements related to environmental issues.
If your EFP is more than ten years old, you'll need to update it for your farm to be eligible for some funding programs and gain access to certain markets. The Government of Alberta has introduced a new online platform to help with your EFP update.
During the process of making your EFP, you'll develop an action plan; this will be your blueprint for improving your operation and making it more sustainable. There is no timeline for making these improvements, but producers are encouraged to tackle the list as soon as time and money allow. One way to get started is to address the low-cost, easy-to-implement items first and work your way up. A Farm FireSmart representative can make a visit to your farm to demonstrate a technique, show you how to make recommended improvements or answer any questions you may have.
HOW DO PRODUCERS BENEFIT FROM AN EFP?
- Protecting water, air and soil quality is key to the sustainable production of crops and livestock and to leaving a healthy and productive farm for the next generation. An EFP will identify what you are already doing well and pinpoint where improvements can be made.
- By addressing these risks you increase operational efficiency while reducing farm costs, which results in increased profit for you.
- With your EFP completion certificate, you become eligible for some funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
- Pairing environmental stewardship with agricultural production is also crucial in the marketing of your products. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety and quality of the food they eat and how that food is grown/raised. Sustainable sourcing is becoming a requirement of many major food purchasers, from manufacturers to restaurants.
- Having an EFP demonstrates to the public, government, lenders and/or investors that you are managing your environmental risks.
Ready to get started creating your farm's new Environmental Farm Plan (or updating one that's older than a decade)? Get the ball rolling by reaching out to Farm FireSmart today!