There are many important challenges and opportunities in agriculture and many different associations to represent them.
Water management is critical to agriculture. SaskFSA was formed by farmers to influence government policy pertaining to agriculture water management, in particular excess water. Water and land management go hand in hand. SaskFSA is the only association that deals specifically with land and water policy.
The mandate of the AWMPAC is to review and provide feedback on the policy of the Water Security Agency (WSA) or to recommend new policy to WSA, related to agricultural water management in support of the AG Water Management Strategy.
Members include SaskFSA, SaskCanola, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), Saskatchewan Conservation and Development Association (SCDA), Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) and Ducks Unlimited (DU). This committee was formed out of Bill 44 to serve as a replacement for the Water Appeal Board and to bring together key stakeholders to provide direction on AG water management policy. Diverse experience and expertise from different disciplines and areas of agricultural production and environmental consideration will provide a representation of stakeholder views
This committee has a very important role in developing policy that is practical and one that represents agriculture. The committee’s role is to provide recommendations to the Minister of Environment and the President of WSA.
SaskFSA President Myles Thorpe is chair of the AWMPAC. This is a critical position within this committee. Much of the information and strategies discussed at these meetings are classified as confidential. Meetings are held every 6 weeks, approved updates are provided to membership via SaskFSA Newsletters.
SaskFSA is concerned about the effect a national carbon tax will have on our members, local business and our provincial economy.
While we collectively support efforts to address climate change challenges and protect the environment, it is important to us all that the best available policy tools are implemented at the provincial and federal government levels to reach this goal. We are unified in opposition with other agriculture stakeholders to a federally imposed tax on carbon emissions. Addressing climate change, protecting the environment and supporting economic development is a process that requires collaboration between all stakeholders.
Responsible water management is a priority for Saskatchewan landowners, their communities, our governments and our downstream neighbours. SaskFSA hosted a Tile Drainage Workshop to provide landowners with a more complete understanding of the planning, design principles and practices for drainage, sub-irrigation and water table management. The workshop focused around responsible solutions for managing excess water, maximizing agronomic efficiency regarding soil health and nutrient utilization and best management practices that provide both water protection, agronomic benefits and flow controls. Contact us if you are interested to know more.
SaskFSA is involved in various research activities at the farm level and provincially. Farm level research involves farm and yield data supporting the agronomic and economic benefits of being able to manage land and water resources.
We bring the knowledge of a wide range of experts on land and water management together. SaskFSA works with farmers, watershed associations, local watershed boards, AG industry experts along with provincial / inter-provincial associations and scientists.
Recent Research Projects include:
An undeniable reality on the agriculture landscape – the AG Drainage Application Process requires improvements to enable timely and successful water management project approvals. In alignment with our solution-based mandate, SaskFSA hosted various focus group sessions with the objective to collect unbiased, in-depth, ground level information on how the current AG Drainage Application Process is currently working. Participants included Qualified Persons (QPs) and Landowners involved in priority drainage application projects throughout different areas of the province.
The focus groups were limited to 8-10 participants per session to enable a focused discussion on the topic at hand. The QP session included 7 QPs representing 6 different priority basins and watershed areas across the province. The Landowner sessions included 18 landowners representing Atwater/Kaposvar Creek, Saline Lake, 600 Creek and Blackbird Creek. WSA field technicians were invited but were unable to attend.
As a result of these efforts, SaskFSA compiled a lengthy and comprehensive report on the priority challenges within the existing policy and process. The report was presented to the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Agriculture, the WSA President and the AWMPAC.
SaskFSA continues to work with QPs and our members to improve the process and policy. To make it simple and relatable to AG in order to enable drainage approvals.