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Agri-Environmental Specialists

Who Are They and What Do They Do?

By Paige Straf, AAg, Agri-Environmental Specialist, Kindersley

September 2021

Environmental specialist talking to producer in his pasture
An agri-environmental specialist speaking
with a producer. 

The Ministry of Agriculture has 10 agri-environmental specialists in regional offices across the province, including Humboldt, Kindersley, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Outlook, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton. Specialists work closely with producers to implement best management practices (BMPs) on their operations. Agri-environmental specialists provide technical information on grazing management, tame and native forage blend selection, drainage stewardship, invasive plant biocontrol and targeted grazing, cow-calf water protection and livestock stewardship. The Ministry of Agriculture recognizes that producers are the best stewards of the land. Specialists are available to listen to producer concerns and work together to find practical on-farm solutions. Agri-environmental specialists help producers reach their operational goals, meet the demands of modern markets while remaining sustainable.

Their work includes helping producers access program funding. Specialists assist producers who are applying to the Farm Stewardship Program. The Farm Stewardship Program provides cost-shared funding to offset the costs of implementing BMPs that allow producers to improve or maintain productivity on operations while also minimizing their impact on the environment.

Some popular programs and services that we can help with are:

  • Funding for tame forage - specialists can provide technical information regarding converting annual cropped marginal land to perennial forage and make custom forage blends to best suit producers operations.
  • Funding for cross-fencing on native rangeland and for riparian paddocks/exclusion areas. For these projects, specialists come to your operation and complete health assessments on pastures, provide a grazing plan, recommendations for stocking rates and answer any questions producers may have to help better manage native prairie.
  • Funding for sustainable agricultural water development through our Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program. This program shares in the cost of installing new wells, new dugouts and dugouts expanded by 1/3 size and pipelines. This program is available for livestock watering, crop spraying, or greenhouse production.

There are eligibility requirements for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs and some specific eligibility requirements for each individual program. Agri-environmental specialists can walk producers through these requirements to determine producer eligibility. Additionally, specialists can assist clients in completing the necessary paperwork when submitting an application. If you are interested in getting in contact with these specialists, you can call one of your local Ministry of Agriculture offices or call the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377. If you are interested in learning more about programs available to producers, it can be found in our Canadian Agricultural Partnership section on our website.

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