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Local farmer Mike MacGillivray (right) showing RRCA Stewardship Specialist, Brendan Jacobs, some of the best management practices he has implemented on his land in North Glengarry.

Learn about agriculture best management practices at free RRCA workshop series

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) and its partners are inviting farmers in its watershed jurisdiction to join them this August for a series of free virtual ‘lunch and learn’ workshops, where experts in farming best management practices (BMPs) will share their knowledge to farmers interested in improving their land’s health, sustainability, and average yield.

“We have a great lineup of local BMP experts in fields such as agronomy, soil management, forestry, stewardship, and more,” says the RRCA’s Stewardship Specialist, Brendan Jacobs. “This is also a chance to learn about various funding opportunities and online agricultural tools, such as the newly available Farm Health Check-Up.”

The three virtual workshops run from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on August 4, 11, and 18. Each will feature various presentations followed by a general question and answer period. Those interested in registering can do so for free at rrca.on.ca/BMP.

Jacobs says these workshops are a chance for participants to interact virtually with experts and consultants who work in their region, to be introduced to some of the BMPs which could benefit their own farms, and to discover concrete steps to get these projects implemented.

“For those wanting to take action towards BMP implementation, the Workshop Series pairs well with the RRCA’s Agri-Action Advisory Service, where farmers can receive funding for individual, on-site advisory services from a list of local BMP implementation experts” adds Jacob, who says the RRCA has extended the application period for the service. Application forms are available online at rrca.on.ca/BMP.

Farming BMPs can encompass infrastructure-related projects, like controlled tile drainage, water and sediment control basins, and constructed wetlands, as well as more agronomic-related efforts such as cover crops, nutrient management systems, and strip tillage methods. All of these, Jacobs says, have the potential to enhance farmland sustainability and increase average yields by enriching soil health, reducing erosion, and retaining valuable nutrients.

“The health of the local watershed also benefits greatly,” he adds.

In addition to the workshops, the RRCA will offer several on-farm virtual tours this November, where viewers can get a behind-the-scenes look at various BMP projects undertaken by local farmers.

The RRCA’s Agri-Action Workshop Series is supported by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative, and by ALUS Canada, a community developed, farmer-led program that works with farmers to produce valuable ecological services on Canadian farmland.

For more information, please visit rrca.on.ca/BMP or contact (613) 938-3611 or [email protected].