Farmers in Ontario can now access a website to update their Environmental Farm Plans. The enhanced system will make it easier for many to continue using this tool, which guides Ontario farmers to voluntarily adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.
Why it matters: The Environmental Farm Plan is a long-time program that has helped fund and identify environmental solutions in the province. A challenge has been the need to attend meetings in person.
The changes will provide a more user-friendly and resourceful online tool, in addition to offering a convenient option for farmers to update their Environmental Farm Plans without requiring them to travel to attend in-person workshops.
The improved electronic Environmental Farm Plan (eEFP) instrument was developed by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association with support from the federal and provincial governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership).
“The environment is a top priority of our Government and we are pleased to invest in projects that facilitate the adoption of environmentally sustainable farming practices,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“Our government is pleased to help farmers stay current with their Environmental Farm Plans by allowing them to complete this important work on their own terms, without even having to leave the farm,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “We’re committed to finding ways to help our hardworking farmers avoid red tape, support their great environmental work and be better able to focus on growing their businesses.”
“I applaud our governments and farmers for working together to implement a more digital-friendly tool that not only speeds up processes and keeps Ontario’s farming industry competitive, but also encourages environmental protection,” said Rod Phillips, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
The Environmental Farm Plan, developed in partnership with Ontario farm organizations and farmers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, has been the flagship of sustainability initiatives for Ontario farmers for more than 25 years. More than 45,000 farmers have participated in the Environmental Farm Plans process since its inception.