Long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry is a key mandate of Rocky View County. Agricultural Services works to help conserve and improve the rural environment by encouraging environmentally responsible farming and production methods.
Below are a few resources to assist agricultural producers in maintaining an environmentally sustainable operation.
Agri-Environmental Incentive Program
An incentive program created by Agricultural Services available to all Rocky View County residents. This program provides funding to off-set the cost of environmentally beneficial projects, and is run on a first-come first-serve basis while funding is available.
The Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program is a Rocky View County delivered program, in partnership with ALUS Canada, which aims to improve ecological services such as: clean air, clean water, flood mitigation, climate adaptation, carbon sequestration, species at risk habitat and support for our native bees and pollinators.
The County accepts applications on a continual basis throughout the year. The ALUS PAC (Partnership Advisory Committee) is currently looking for projects which are ready to be established in the spring or fall of 2021. Applications will be reviewed by the PAC and a select few projects will be implemented based on available funding. If you would like to find out if your project qualifies as an ALUS project or have any questions regarding the program, please the contact ALUS Rocky View Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-520-1190.
Through the ALUS program, farmers and ranchers can receive funding to make improvements to environmentally-sensitive, marginal or inefficient farm land. Examples of projects which can be considered include restoring wetlands, reforesting, planting windbreaks, installing riparian buffers, creating pollinator habitat and establishing other ecologically-beneficial projects.
Through its Agricultural Service Board, the County established a Partnership Advisory Committee to assist with the implementation and oversight of the program, along with support from the Agricultural Services Department.
Canadian Agricultural Partnership
Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership – General
The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) replaces the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) which expired on March 31, 2023. Sustainable CAP is a five‐year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐ based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and $2.5 billion in cost-shared programs and activities by federal, provincial and territorial governments. The Sustainable CAP framework, in Alberta, represents a cost-shared federal-provincial (60:40) investment of $508 million over five years towards strategic programs and services for the agriculture and agri-food industry. Alberta will offer programs similar to the programs offered under the CAP framework. Most CAP programs will be re-branded and transitioned with minimal changes. In addition, a new Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program will be added to help increase the resiliency of agricultural landscapes. To review the programs and funding offered visit the Sustainable CAP website at www.alberta.ca/s-cap.aspx.
RALP – General
The Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP) is a new program being offered under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP). RALP’s objective is to accelerate the adoption of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that maximize provision of Ecological Goods & Services (EG&S), particularly increased carbon sequestration and enhanced climate resilience. Funding is offered on a per-acre payment basis for a term of three years. The RALP opens for applications on April 3, 2023. To review the funding list and additional program details visit the Sustainable CAP website at www.alberta.ca/s-cap.aspx.
Farm Technology – General
The Farm Technology Program (FTP) offered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is being offered for the first year (2023-2024) of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) framework. The FTP has two streams - Farm Technology and Farm Security. The Farm Technology Stream supports the adoption of innovative technology that minimizes agricultural waste, optimizes farm efficiency and results in the digitalization of an operation. The Farm Security Stream encourages the adoption of security devices that help protect farms. Applications for the FTP open on April 3, 2023. Applicants who received previous funding under the CAP framework can be eligible for funding again under the new Sustainable CAP framework. To review the funding list and additional program details visit the Sustainable CAP website at www.alberta.ca/s-cap.aspx.
Environmental Farm Plan
An Environmental Farm Plan is a self-assessment process that allows producers to identify and evaluate the environmental risks and strengths that may be present within their agricultural operation. This voluntary, confidential process provides producers with a free workbook aimed at creating awareness and issue identification.
Although this is not a Rocky View County program, Agricultural Services staff are available to provide support and assist residents with their applications.
Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program
We are pleased to announce that the Government of Alberta is once again offering a grant program that provides funding to third parties for projects to restore, enhance and create wetland/riparian areas that improve watershed health. The Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program aims to improve natural watershed functions to build greater long-term resiliency to droughts and floods through 4 areas of focus:
- Restoration and enhancement of degraded or lost wetlands, riparian areas, and floodplains within priority watersheds to improve flood and drought resiliency.
- Conservation of critical wetlands, riparian areas, and floodplain features within priority watersheds, with these areas being given greater consideration for preserving by decision makers and landowners.
- Stewardship is increased through greater understanding and awareness among the public, land-use decision makers and other key stakeholders of the importance of watershed functions, and their relationship to flood and drought mitigation.
- Data, research, and information are available to support the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program and aid future decision-making.
The website for the program hosts all information surrounding the grant program, including the overview guide and application form: https://www.alberta.ca/watershed-resiliency-and-restoration-program.aspx. The deadline for applications is September 15th, 2023. If you have any questions about the program, please contact us at email@example.com.