Several local farms were recently featured in the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA)’s Agri-Action Farm Tours videos, now available online.
In these virtual tours, six farmers guide viewers through some of the best management practice (BMP) projects they have implemented on their lands, including cover crops, buffers, windbreaks and constructed wetlands.
“Best management practices can enhance farmland sustainability by improving soil health, reducing erosion, and retaining valuable nutrients. This not only provides on-farm benefits such as increased average yields, but also improves the health of the local watershed,” says RRCA Stewardship Specialist Brendan Jacobs.
In one of the tours’ segments, North Glengarry farmer Mike MacGillivray details his pasture management strategies, digging right into the soil to demonstrate how he was able to regenerate land and support livestock through rotational grazing. “Seeing is believing,” he says.
“We had our own doubts when we started this, but these go away pretty quick once you see what happens when you start to work with nature.”
The tours complement the Agri-Action Workshops held virtually this summer by the RRCA, where a variety of BMP experts shared their knowledge with a virtual audience. The RRCA also offered the Agri-Action Advisory Service, which provided funding towards pairing farmers in the RRCA’s watershed jurisdiction in eastern Ontario with local BMP expert advisers.
The RRCA’s Agri-Action Advisory Farm Tours are 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. A steering committee consisting of local farmers and agriculture specialists was formed to guide the initiative.
The Agri-Action Farm Tours and Workshops, as well as additional BMP resources and funding opportunities such as subsidized tree planting and ALUS partnership opportunities, are all available at rrca.on.ca/BMP.