Programs, Grants & Awards
April 28, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Member of Parliament Lloyd Longfield (Guelph) today announced a $2.2 million investment with the University of Guelph to develop technologies, practices and processes that can be adopted by farmers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The three projects with the university are supported by the $27 million Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), to help the Canadian farming sector become a world leader in the development and use of clean and sustainable agricultural technologies and practices. These projects will also help farmers increase their understanding of GHG emissions.

The AGGP covers four priority areas of research: livestock systems, cropping systems, agricultural water use efficiency and agro-forestry.

"This is a significant investment in U of G research, innovation, and knowledge mobilization. All three of these projects will help improve life and protect our planet, from improving agroforestry practices, to developing crop fertilization methods that reduce emissions, to use of aerial devices to assess soil carbon levels and elevate precision agriculture," said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (research), University of Guelph

The new AGGP investments will continue to support the work of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, which brings together 47 countries to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE
Published in News
April 25, 2017, Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf recently announced the investment of $39 million for 12 drinking water, wastewater, storm water, and non-point source projects across nine counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST).

The investment includes four projects aimed at improving manure control facilities:

Chester County
  • Chester County Conservation District and Elmer Kaufman received a $408,039 grant to install a variety of manure control facilities, including a concrete waste storage structure, gutters and downspouts, four catch basins and new pipes, as well as planting 900 feet of new grass waterways, in order to reduce nutrient run-off into Two Log Run during wet weather.
Lancaster County
  • Chester County Conservation District and Daniel Esh received a $350,467 grant to install a variety of manure control facilities, including more than 1,000 square feet of paved and curbed barnyard as well as 14,400 square feet of reinforced gravel animal trail, in order to reduce nutrient run-off into a tributary of the East Branch of Octoraro Creek during wet weather.
  • Chester County Conservation District and Fiddle Creek Dairy received a $245,494 grant to install a roofed manure stacking structure, a watering facility, underground outlets, as well as animal trails and walkways that will serve to reduce nutrient run-off into a tributary of Big Beaver Creek during wet weather.
  • Chester County Conservation District and David Stoltzfus received a $347,055 grant to make a variety of improvements it manure handling facilities as well as installing reinforced gravel animal walkways, a stream crossing and streambank fencing, all of which will reduce nutrient run-off into Muddy Run during wet weather.
"Today marked another special day for the PENNVEST program and for the citizens of Pennsylvania. By approving almost $40 million in funding for clean water projects across the commonwealth, the PENNVEST Board continued its commitment to improve the quality of our rivers and streams, the health of our families and the economic prosperity of our state", said Governor Wolf. "Together we will further the achievement of these goals and make Pennsylvania an even more desirable place to live and work for this and future generations."

Of the $39 million, $18.2 million is allocated for low-interest loans and $20.8 million is awarded through grants.

The funding comes from a combination of state funds approved by voters, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards. Funds for the projects are disbursed after bills for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PENNVEST. READ MORE
Published in News
April 18, 2017, Ames, IA – Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture would be closed under a House-Senate agriculture bill unveiled April 12. The bill would cut the state's general fund budget for state agriculture and natural resources programs by 5.6 percent compared to the current fiscal year.
Published in Business/Policy

March 29, 2017, Des Moines, IA – Ben Puck, owner of Puck Custom Enterprises (PCE) in Manning, Iowa, was recently named Iowa’s 2017 Small Business Person of the Year.

Published in Companies

February 8, 2017, Annapolis, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is offering cost share grants to help farmers cover the cost of injecting manure and other eligible organic nutrients into cropland, which lowers potential for nutrient runoff and reduces on-farm odors.

Although manure injection is no longer required by Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations, the department is promoting the practice to help farmers improve nutrient efficiencies. Cost share funding is only available for manure injection; manure incorporation is no longer being cost shared.

Cost share assistance is available to hire custom operators, rent or lease equipment, or offset operating costs associated with using equipment needed to inject manure into the soil. Cost share rates for manure injection are $55 per acre. While manure transportation costs are not covered by this program, eligible farms may participate in the department’s Manure Transportation Program.

Grants for manure injection are administered by the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share (MACS) Program. Applicants must be in good standing with the program to participate and in compliance with Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations. All work must be completed by July 1, and all claims for payment received by July 30. Other restrictions apply.

Farmers should visit their local soil conservation district office as soon as possible to apply.

Applications will be accepted until all funds are fully committed. For more information, contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5864.

Published in Dairy

January 30, 2017, Clive, IA — The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is partnering with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to offer additional cost share dollars to pig farmers installing new nutrient loss reduction technologies.

Through this program, IPPA will provide up to $25,000, throughout the next year, to offset up to 50 percent of costs for pig farmers to install saturated buffers or bioreactors on their farmland. Sites will be selected based on greatest opportunity for nitrate reduction and be geographically dispersed throughout the state to aid in education and demonstration opportunities.

“Bioreactors and saturated buffers are new practices that have been developed to address water quality, so this $25,000 investment will help us install them at sites across the state so we can continue to demonstrate to farmers how they may be able fit on their farm,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “I greatly appreciate the Iowa Pork Producers Association for making this significant investment. This is another great example of ag groups in Iowa stepping up to help improve water quality.”

Participating producers will be asked to share information and experiences with other farmers through IPPA and IDALS programs.

“We are happy to partner with IDALS to offer this program and technical assistance,” said 2017 IPPA President Curtis Meier, a pig farmer from Clarinda, IA. “While these practices are not specific to pork production, our leaders have recognized the importance of enhancing assistance to install and build awareness of these exciting new edge-of-field technologies.”

Pig farmers interested in the program can submit basic farm information for project consideration at www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3108271/IDALS-EOF-Funding-Application. For more information, contact Tyler Bettin at IPPA at (800) 372-7675 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Matt Lechtenberg at IDALS at (515) 281-3857 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in Swine

December 14, 2015 – Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) has presented VXV Farms and the Vandervalk family with the 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award.

Each year, ABP recognizes an operation that demonstrates leadership in environmental stewardship – one that contributes to the land while maintaining productivity and profitability.

Jack Vandervalk moved to southern Alberta in 1956 and has been managing the ranch situated in the Porcupine Hills ever since. Together with his wife Merry and his son Gerald and his family, they run a cow calf operation with retained ownership to slaughter.

“It is my personal desire to make sure the land is better than when I found it. It is a goal of mine to keep trying to make it better. In my opinion, the cow is what we harvest our grass with and the grass harvests the sun,” said Jack.

Rotational grazing and unique water management systems have played roles in the stewardship success of the ranch.

Throughout the summer they rotational graze their tame grass, moving cattle every two or three days to allow for adequate rest periods. The native grass is utilized during the winter months to lower feed costs.“We are privileged to take advantage of flood irrigation.

The landscape that we have allows us to flood our tame grass pastures with minimal costs outside labour,” said Gerald.Numerous dams have been developed which are equipped with water troughs made from recycled mine truck tires. Turning old tires into watering systems has become a secondary business on the ranch. The excess tire materials have been used to build a wind fence to protect the cattle during the colder winter season.

The Vandervalk family is very active in the community working with various landowner and stewardship groups. Through the Lyndon Creek Conservation Group they worked on projects with neighbouring ranches, Cows and Fish has done riparian area work on their site, and Alberta Conservation Association worked with them on rotational grazing and off-stream watering projects.

“We have future generations coming and it’s important to have a place to call home… that they can easily take over and maintain what we’ve started,” said Gerald.

Published in Beef

September 18, 2015 - The University of Guelph has begun a new study pertaining to agricultural producer stress, and how farmers may or may not be managing it, as well as investigating producer’s opinions with respect to what resources should be available.

"Many of us have personally known producers who have suffered from significant stress and other mental health issues," writes Andria Jones-Bitton, associate professor of epidemiology in the department of population medicine at the University of Guelph. "Some, tragically, have resulted in these friends and colleagues dying by suicide.  Of additional concern is the additional stress imposed on producers during animal disease outbreaks and other extreme events.  We currently know very little about stress and mental wellness in Canadian producers outside of these anecdotal experiences.

The study is being conducted in order to learn about the stress experienced by producers (from any agricultural commodity) in Ontario, as well as their resiliency or ability to cope with these stresses. 

"Some producers are highly resilient, while others are not," adds Jones-Bitton. "It is important to learn about the factors associated with both so that we can help those who need it most."

The online survery was launched on September 17th at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, is completely anonymous, and can be done on computers or mobile devices.  Participants can choose to have their name into 3 draws for $200 (names CANNOT be linked to survey responses).  The study has been approved by our University’s Research Ethics Board.

The link to the survey is: www.producerwellness.ca

Please join in starting the dialogue around this important human health topic and help researchers gather crucial data.

Published in News

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