For an agricultural producer looking to improve the environmental sustainability of their farm, it can be daunting to know where and how to start.
The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) programs, delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, provide producers with resources like consultants and cost-shared funding to help them identify agri-environmental risks and opportunities.
The EFP and BMP programs enhance the capacity of producers to maintain competitiveness by adapting and responding to emerging environmental, regenerative agriculture, and climate change challenges.
The EFP program began in 2004 and has assisted participants in completing over 6,000 EFPs. Eligible participants can book a confidential on-farm appointment with an EFP Advisor, who works with participants to identify agri-environmental risks on their farm through their Environmental Farm Planning Workbook.
Chris Bodnar, a farmer at Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative (GVOFC) in Abbotsford, recently renewed their EFP after completing GVOFC’s first EFP in 2015.
“We really benefited from just having someone with outside eyes come on to the farm, give some ideas, some feedback, some thoughts about how to prioritize some of the things we might do and then guide us through the different funding options that are available to actually get that work done,” said Bodnar.
With a renewed EFP, GVOFC began working toward environmental sustainability by looking at water management on the farm. With the assistance of the BMP program, GVOFC completed a Biodiversity Plan and a Riparian Management Plan.
The BMP program assists farm operations in mitigating some of the risks identified in the farm-specific EFPs through cost-shared funding. More than 70 categories of practices and actions are funded through the BMP program, including building soil fertility and health, manure treatment, enhancing and conserving biodiversity, and water infrastructure improvement.
To complete your own EFP and discover what opportunities exist on your farm, visit www.iafbc.ca/efp. Once you have an EFP, visit www.iafbc.ca/bmp to learn about the cost-shared funding opportunities. The BMP program is currently accepting applications in multiple categories.
The EFP and BMP programs are funded by the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a $4-billion, five-year agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. Additional funding has been provided by CleanBC and British Columbia’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy (CPAS).
-Submitted by Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC