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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada “Sharing Knowledge With Government Programs” at Expert Meeting on the Contribution.

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Presentation on theme: "Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada “Sharing Knowledge With Government Programs” at Expert Meeting on the Contribution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada “Sharing Knowledge With Government Programs” at Expert Meeting on the Contribution of Agriculture to the State of Climate Presented by: E. G. (Ted) O’Brien National Agroclimate Information Service Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada September 29, 2004 Prepared by: Bazil Fritz Bazil Fritz Brant Kirychuk Brant Kirychuk Esther Kienholz Esther Kienholz Heather Gale Heather Gale Mike Hammer Mike Hammer

2 History of PFRA The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1935 in response to the widespread drought, farm abandonment and land degradation of the 1930’s. It’s role was to: “…secure the rehabilitation of the drought and soil drifting areas in the Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and to develop and promote within those areas, systems of farm practice, tree culture, water supply, land utilization and land settlement that will afford greater economic security…”

3 History of PFRA (cont’d) While our programs and activities have changed over time to remain relevant to the current needs of the agricultural sector, the focus has been constant – to ensure the sustainable use of the Canadian Prairie’s irreplaceable soil and water resources. PFRA has since been working with Rural people to help them meet the challenges presented by a demanding climate and an ever-evolving agriculture industry.

4 The Role of Communications Within PFRA Communication with agricultural producers and rural prairie people has been pivotal to the operation of PFRA since it’s inception Communication with agricultural producers and rural prairie people has been pivotal to the operation of PFRA since it’s inception Research scientists with the Dominion Experimental Farms needed to disseminate research findings to farmers and ranchers in practical and meaningful ways Research scientists with the Dominion Experimental Farms needed to disseminate research findings to farmers and ranchers in practical and meaningful ways PFRA staff spent a great deal of time traveling the Prairies to meet with the people they served PFRA staff spent a great deal of time traveling the Prairies to meet with the people they served While the tools and techniques of communication have changed over the years, communication between PFRA and its primary clients has remained fundamental to its operations While the tools and techniques of communication have changed over the years, communication between PFRA and its primary clients has remained fundamental to its operations

5 Objectives of the Paper The primary objective of this paper is to illustrate through case examples some of the approaches used by PFRA to deliver information to agricultural producers, particularly as it relates to climate, and producers adaptation to climate.

6 Extension Keys Know your client Know your client Address their needs Address their needs Understand how adults learn Understand how adults learn Deliver your message accordingly Deliver your message accordingly Motivate your client to want to learn and embrace change Motivate your client to want to learn and embrace change Activity is matched to desired outcomes Activity is matched to desired outcomes

7 Producers want the bottom line… “Yes, this is very interesting… but show me how to make more money”

8 Develop a “Communications Plan” A “Communications Plan” is a valuable tool in helping to make best use of limited resources A “Communications Plan” is a valuable tool in helping to make best use of limited resources It clarifies your audience, objectives, message and approach It clarifies your audience, objectives, message and approach The plan also addresses the evaluation of the communications program or activities The plan also addresses the evaluation of the communications program or activities

9 Choose Your Tools and Techniques As illustrated in the following examples, many communications tools and techniques are available As illustrated in the following examples, many communications tools and techniques are available Selecting the most appropriate ones for a given situation will depend on several factors Selecting the most appropriate ones for a given situation will depend on several factors  Nature of the audience  Resources available  Type of information Several different approaches may be used in combination Several different approaches may be used in combination

10 Demonstrations Promoted by peers Promoted by peers Extension agent gets field experience Extension agent gets field experience Can be costly and time consuming Can be costly and time consuming May not demonstrate what you hoped May not demonstrate what you hoped Require dedicated cooperator Require dedicated cooperator

11 Excellent way to provide detailed information Excellent way to provide detailed information Can be held any time of year Can be held any time of year Ensure diversity of presentations Ensure diversity of presentations Producers are willing to pay for well run workshops Producers are willing to pay for well run workshops Workshops

12 Hands on experience Hands on experience Field proof of theory Field proof of theory Pre-field day visit is essential Pre-field day visit is essential Manageable number of participants Manageable number of participants Provide reference material Provide reference material High level of activity High level of activity Needs to be well planned and publicized Needs to be well planned and publicized Field Days

13 Excellent way to provide detailed information Excellent way to provide detailed information Can be provided any time Can be provided any time of year of year Ensure diversity of publications Ensure diversity of publications Publications

14 Due to time constraints it is impossible to work with each individual producer Due to time constraints it is impossible to work with each individual producer Efficiencies must be found Efficiencies must be found One-on-one consultation helps the extension agent keep their field skills sharp One-on-one consultation helps the extension agent keep their field skills sharp Individual Consultation

15 Build a rapport with media Build a rapport with media Make yourself available for interviews Make yourself available for interviews Have a list of key phrases describing your project prepared before an interview Have a list of key phrases describing your project prepared before an interview Deliver your message Deliver your message Media

16 Are Extension Techniques in Canada applicable to other countries of the world? Extension techniques used in Canada are applicable but must be adapted to each of the following circumstances, which are unique for a given area: 1) Social 1) Social 2) Economic 2) Economic 3) Climate 3) Climate 4) Landuse 4) Landuse

17 Are Extension Techniques in Canada applicable to other countries of the world? (cont’d) Some of the major challenges associated with extension techniques are: Some of the major challenges associated with extension techniques are: Human resources Human resources $$$ $$$ Partners Partners Literacy Literacy Language and translation Language and translation Access to computers Access to computers Access to electricity Access to electricity

18 Climate Change Action Fund – Agricultural Awareness Partnership Project (AAPP) Purpose: Increase awareness of producers and the public about GHG and agriculture, the management practices that are, and can be utilized, to reduce net emissions Purpose: Increase awareness of producers and the public about GHG and agriculture, the management practices that are, and can be utilized, to reduce net emissions Partners: Government, conservation and agricultural organizations Partners: Government, conservation and agricultural organizations Primary Strategy: Raise awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of management practices by promoting sustainable practices that can reduce GHG’s and provide benefits like clean water, healthy soils and wildlife habitat Primary Strategy: Raise awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of management practices by promoting sustainable practices that can reduce GHG’s and provide benefits like clean water, healthy soils and wildlife habitat Delivery: Fact Sheets, radio ads, newspaper articles, expanded Environmental Farm Plan workshop and Project evaluation Delivery: Fact Sheets, radio ads, newspaper articles, expanded Environmental Farm Plan workshop and Project evaluation

19 Climate Change Action Fund (cont’d) The objectives were to: The objectives were to: Improved awareness and understanding of agriculture’s impact on the GHG budget and climate change Improved awareness and understanding of agriculture’s impact on the GHG budget and climate change Create a positive attitude within private and public sectors using practices that reduce energy consumption, reduce GHG emissions and sequestor carbon. Create a positive attitude within private and public sectors using practices that reduce energy consumption, reduce GHG emissions and sequestor carbon. Reached about 25,000 producers directly and involved mass media Reached about 25,000 producers directly and involved mass media Clearly a need for further research, more work on information materials and outreach to the agriculture sector on climate change Clearly a need for further research, more work on information materials and outreach to the agriculture sector on climate change Project was measured to be successful at raising awareness levels within the agriculture sector Project was measured to be successful at raising awareness levels within the agriculture sector

20 Climate Change Action Fund (cont’d) Training the Trainers, Workshop, University of Regina provided information to professionals in direct contact with agricultural producers and the general public to build general awareness, contact with climate change specialists and sources of information. provided information to professionals in direct contact with agricultural producers and the general public to build general awareness, contact with climate change specialists and sources of information. To improve upon success it requires a follow up plan To improve upon success it requires a follow up plan -Use your trainees -stay in communication with science updates -include trainees in outreach activities -have them on your speakers list ie CC SK

21 AAFC Shelterbelt Centre Grows and researches over 30 species and varieties of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs for use in field and farmyard shelterbelts and environmental and conservation plantings Grows and researches over 30 species and varieties of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs for use in field and farmyard shelterbelts and environmental and conservation plantings Promotes and distributes tree and shrub seedlings in the Prairies and Peace River, B.C. Promotes and distributes tree and shrub seedlings in the Prairies and Peace River, B.C.

22 AAFC Shelterbelt Centre (cont’d) The program is popular, effective, affordable and visible The program is popular, effective, affordable and visible Shelterbelt plantings protect soils, crops, buildings, livestock and wildlife habitat Shelterbelt plantings protect soils, crops, buildings, livestock and wildlife habitat Is adaptive and mitigative in response to climate change Is adaptive and mitigative in response to climate change

23 Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre (CSIDC) A federal/provincial/industry centre dedicated to sustainable irrigated production A federal/provincial/industry centre dedicated to sustainable irrigated production Conducts, funds and facilitates irrigated research, demonstration, development and technology transfer Conducts, funds and facilitates irrigated research, demonstration, development and technology transfer Clients: Irrigation Project Associations, producers, commodity groups, industry, extension groups, etc. Clients: Irrigation Project Associations, producers, commodity groups, industry, extension groups, etc.

24 Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre (cont’d) Benefits include increases in crop diversification, production and water use efficiencies and environmentally sustainable irrigation production practices Benefits include increases in crop diversification, production and water use efficiencies and environmentally sustainable irrigation production practices Field days, commodity events, extension meetings and farm group tours are essential education and outreach tools Field days, commodity events, extension meetings and farm group tours are essential education and outreach tools

25 Greencover Canada Program Three year funding program ( ) which will expand the area covered by perennial forage and trees to promote sustainable land use practices on rangeland and environmentally sensitive areas Three year funding program ( ) which will expand the area covered by perennial forage and trees to promote sustainable land use practices on rangeland and environmentally sensitive areas Four components Four components Land Conversion Land Conversion Critical Areas Component Critical Areas Component Technical Assistance Technical Assistance Shelterbelt Shelterbelt

26 Greencover Canada Program (cont’d) Outreach includes hands on assistance ie to select and plant forage species on sensitive lands or native species establishment and preparation of technical materials. Outreach includes hands on assistance ie to select and plant forage species on sensitive lands or native species establishment and preparation of technical materials. Objective is to maximize benefits to Canadians by: Objective is to maximize benefits to Canadians by: Protecting land from wind and water erosion Protecting land from wind and water erosion Improving water quality Improving water quality Enhancing biodiversity Enhancing biodiversity Increasing carbon sequestration in the soil Increasing carbon sequestration in the soil

27 Conservation Learning Centre (CLC) The Conservation Learning Centre is located in Prince Albert, SK and began in 1993 The Conservation Learning Centre is located in Prince Albert, SK and began in 1993 Provides opportunity for children to view various conservation practices first hand and attend outdoor education classes Provides opportunity for children to view various conservation practices first hand and attend outdoor education classes Promotes beneficial management practices Promotes beneficial management practices 12,000 children (grades 3 to 11) have visited the farm through the CLC school program 12,000 children (grades 3 to 11) have visited the farm through the CLC school program Partners: Saskatchewan Agriculture Food and Rural Revitalization, Ducks Unlimited Canada, PFRA, Agriculture Canada Research Branch, University of Saskatchewan and private industry Partners: Saskatchewan Agriculture Food and Rural Revitalization, Ducks Unlimited Canada, PFRA, Agriculture Canada Research Branch, University of Saskatchewan and private industry

28 Conservation Learning Centre (cont’d) Outcome: Provides children with the information and education on conservation practices related to soil, water, air and biodiversity to take back to their homes so that they may carry this forward into the future and become good stewards of the land Outcome: Provides children with the information and education on conservation practices related to soil, water, air and biodiversity to take back to their homes so that they may carry this forward into the future and become good stewards of the land

29 Cow-Calf School – Stocking Rate Calculations PFRA range management staff assisted the Western Beef Development Centre in delivering their 2004 Cow-Calf School PFRA range management staff assisted the Western Beef Development Centre in delivering their 2004 Cow-Calf School Delivery partners included staff from Saskatchewan Agriculture Food and Rural Revitalization Delivery partners included staff from Saskatchewan Agriculture Food and Rural Revitalization Topics covered in the school included: Topics covered in the school included: Good pasture management Good pasture management Stocking rate calculations Stocking rate calculations Livestock production record keeping Livestock production record keeping New Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program New Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program 135 producers attended the one-day long Cow-Calf School at five different rural locations in Saskatchewan 135 producers attended the one-day long Cow-Calf School at five different rural locations in Saskatchewan Outcome: Producers learned a procedure for setting stocking rates that will help to manage pastures at an optimal level Outcome: Producers learned a procedure for setting stocking rates that will help to manage pastures at an optimal level

30 Browsings Newsletter Annual newsletter since 1992 Annual newsletter since 1992 Who is it intended for? Who is it intended for? PFRA staff PFRA staff Provincial staff Provincial staff Ducks Unlimited Canada Ducks Unlimited Canada Focus of articles is to: Focus of articles is to: Share information on range management activities Share information on range management activities Address brush control, riparian management, biodiversity and livestock grazing and species at risk Address brush control, riparian management, biodiversity and livestock grazing and species at risk Transfer range management principles and new science Transfer range management principles and new science Enhance the “feeling of working on a team” amongst staff Enhance the “feeling of working on a team” amongst staff Outcome: Increased awareness and understanding of beneficial management practices (BMP’s) among Federal and Provincial staff Outcome: Increased awareness and understanding of beneficial management practices (BMP’s) among Federal and Provincial staff

31 Rural Water Quality Program Applied research projects for the protection of water supplies, enhancement of the water source and adaptation of innovative small-scale water treatment technologies Applied research projects for the protection of water supplies, enhancement of the water source and adaptation of innovative small-scale water treatment technologies Funded under the Canada- Saskatchewan Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF) Funded under the Canada- Saskatchewan Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF) Water quality is critical to agricultural operations and all aspects of rural life Water quality is critical to agricultural operations and all aspects of rural life Clients: Agricultural producers and other rural residents of Saskatchewan Clients: Agricultural producers and other rural residents of Saskatchewan

32 Rural Water Quality Program (cont’d) The Rural Water Quality The Rural Water Quality program deliberately integrated program deliberately integrated science with technology transfer. science with technology transfer. Scientific staff keep communications Scientific staff keep communications efforts targeted toward efforts targeted toward general public audience general public audience Field demonstrations, trade shows and workshops Field demonstrations, trade shows and workshops -Field of Streams interactive display at Saskatchewan Science Centre (225,000 visitors yearly) -”Water is Life” publication in every SK school -macromedia flash video animation – Robocow Judged by external project evaluators to be a success.

33 Drought Watch Website Initially developed by PFRA in 1998 Initially developed by PFRA in 1998 Provides timely information on impacts of climatic variability on water supply and agriculture in the Prairies Provides timely information on impacts of climatic variability on water supply and agriculture in the Prairies Promotes practices to reduce drought vulnerability Promotes practices to reduce drought vulnerability Site includes: Maps, climate profiles, drought management information, federal drought response programs and related information and links Site includes: Maps, climate profiles, drought management information, federal drought response programs and related information and links Products are reproducible Products are reproducible

34 Drought Watch Website (cont’d) Website address

35 Articles for Weekly Newspapers Series of drought management articles written by PFRA staff for weekly newspapers in the Prairie region Series of drought management articles written by PFRA staff for weekly newspapers in the Prairie region Articles are downloadable and reproducible from website: Articles are downloadable and reproducible from website: Provides agricultural industry and producers with timely and practical information and advice on how to best cope with drought conditions Provides agricultural industry and producers with timely and practical information and advice on how to best cope with drought conditions Drought Management Information Crops Alternatives to Summer fallow Cropping Decisions are Tough in a Year of Drought Drought increases erosion concerns How to fertilize in a dry year Emergency Control of Wind Erosion Is wheat the best crop to grow in a dry year Producers pipe up about better watering system Strip Farming for Wind Erosion Control Suitable Fallow Management helps Preserve Crop Residue Trapping Snow can Increase Yields Livestock Securing Livestock Water During Drought Shallow Buried Pipelines for Summer Pasture Livestock Watering Using Cereals for Feed during a Drought Water Emergency Water Supply Options During Drought Tips on dugout water treatment Start planning now to trap snow moisture later Watch for Sulphates and Blue-Green Algae in Cattle Water Supplies Farm Water Conservation During Times of Drought Farmers Urged to Choose Water Carefully Dugouts Showing Effects of Drought Spring Development Snow Fences: There's water in that wind Water Wells During Drought Wells for rural water supplies in Saskatchewan

36 Seasonal Climate Prediction Workshops Initiated by interested professional Initiated by interested professional Sponsored by NAIS Sponsored by NAIS Bring CMC scientists and other long range forecasts experts together with producers and other professionals Bring CMC scientists and other long range forecasts experts together with producers and other professionals Science update and user needs presentations Science update and user needs presentations dialogue dialogue Fosters understanding and better targeted products. Fosters understanding and better targeted products.

37 Eco-Detective A computer game targeted to prairie landowners, wildlife enthusiasts, farmers and youth A computer game targeted to prairie landowners, wildlife enthusiasts, farmers and youth Developed by Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada and Funded by Interdepartmental Recovery Fund (IRF) for Canadian Species at Risk Developed by Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada and Funded by Interdepartmental Recovery Fund (IRF) for Canadian Species at Risk Promotes the message that “Agriculture and Species at Risk can co-exist” Promotes the message that “Agriculture and Species at Risk can co-exist” Users learn the features of habitats for each Species at Risk in southern Saskatchewan and some of the land management practices that are beneficial for these species Users learn the features of habitats for each Species at Risk in southern Saskatchewan and some of the land management practices that are beneficial for these species Website: Website:

38 International Projects Example: Joint project between the Governments of Canada and Egypt whose goal is to develop an effective and coordinated national system for sustainable water resources management in Egypt Example: Joint project between the Governments of Canada and Egypt whose goal is to develop an effective and coordinated national system for sustainable water resources management in Egypt

39 International Projects (cont’d) Education and outreach includes the following Education and outreach includes the following Workshops Workshops Scientific forums Scientific forums Training of trainers Training of trainers Website and internet Website and internet Electronic sharing and exchange of data between departments and agencies Electronic sharing and exchange of data between departments and agencies Facts sheets, scientific papers, annual reports, extension meetings and demonstration sites Facts sheets, scientific papers, annual reports, extension meetings and demonstration sites

40 PFRA recognizes the value of working with partners to reach a broader audience and to extend its resource capabilities


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