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Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program Helps Saskatchewan Sheep Producers

By Karly Rumpel AAg, Regional Services Branch, Outlook

January 2021

Water is a driving force in many aspects of life. It is essential to our bodies, the environment and food production. The Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) is a Canadian Agricultural Partnership program that helps producers secure a sustainable source of water for agricultural use.

Troy and Krystal Nordick of Nokomis, Saskatchewan used the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program to put in a well and ultimately increase their operation capacity.

In November 2014, these first-generation farmers moved to a farm that did not have water or fencing. Knowing they were going to start with sheep and eventually get cattle, Troy and Krystal started building and acquired 60 ewes by February 2015.

Sheep in a winter pasture

Still hauling water, Troy and Krystal expanded their flock to include 75 Targhee ewes with a goal to continue doubling their flock every year. For that, they needed water. In 2017, they installed a water bowl plumbed into the cistern that was filled by the community well several times per week. By 2019, the community well had increased traffic, making the water supply uncertain at times. Krystal began to research well installation and FRWIP.

Through FRWIP, you can receive a 50 per cent rebate of up to $50,000 on all eligible expenses for dugouts, wells and pipeline projects. Although it is a rebate, applicants are advised to thoroughly review the program guidelines and complete the rebate checklist before commencing their water development project. If you require assistance, we recommend you work with an agriculture program specialist and local watershed technician.

Krystal called the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, which put her in touch with an agriculture programs specialist and watershed technician in her area. The well-driller they used was familiar with the program and made the process a breeze. By fall of 2019, the Nordick’s had a fully functioning well and FRWIP rebate in hand.

The well enabled the family to expand the flock to over 300 ewes, sustaining 700 in peak lambing season as well as 50 cows that were added to the operation.

“FRWIP is a great program and a great help to the operation,” Krystal said. “We will try to use it again for some of our pasture land. It was very appreciated.”

If you are planning on implementing a new or expanded water project on your farm call the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 or contact your local agriculture program specialist to see if your operation qualifies.

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