By: Michelle Panko, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan (FFC SK) successfully used Growing Forward 2 (GF2) programming to establish itself as an organization. Throughout its time in Saskatchewan, the Agriculture Awareness Initiative Program (AAIP) has also helped the organization develop and deliver several awareness initiatives.
In 2014, FFC SK launched a speakers training program based on the Real Dirt on Farming publication. Training sessions were held regionally, to provide farmers, agribusiness staff and other industry partners with the tools and skills necessary to speak up on behalf of the industry. In 2015, with support from the AAIP and the Market Development Program, FFC SK hosted “Taste the Land of the Living Skies” farm tours held in Regina and Saskatoon. More than 100 participants, including food influencers such as writers, culinary academics, chefs, dietitians and agriculture representatives, participated in the tours. FFC SK also undertook a consumer outreach campaign in conjunction with Agriculture Month 2015, which included the distribution of more than 350,000 copies of the Real Dirt on Farming Saskatchewan digest version through Co-op grocery stores in Saskatchewan.
The AAIP supports industry-led initiatives to help build public trust and confidence in our industry. Projects are focused on enhancing the public perception of agriculture, creating awareness of agriculture’s role in the economy or promoting the diversity of agricultural careers.
Funding is awarded on a competitive basis for 50 per cent of the project's eligible expenses, to a maximum of $25,000 per project. Applications are reviewed quarterly and the next application deadline is December 1, 2016. If you are considering an awareness initiative, don’t wait too long as all GF2 programming must be fully completed by the end of March 2018. For more information the AAIP web page or contact the program administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (306) 787-3477.
In case you missed it on August 19, 2016, Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan announced a new Executive Director – Clinton Monchuk.