Agriculture

Agriculture Sustainability


Ensuring our farms and agri-food system are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable is important to all of us, whether farmer, consumer, retailer or advocate. Achieving sustainability depends on defining and evaluating what we mean by sustainability. The examples of research, strategies and analysis from previous work and employment, presented here show ways of assessing agri-environmental sustainability and the use of policy tools for that purpose.



The Power of Soil: An Agenda for Change to Support Farmers and Climate Resilience
The Power of Soil presents evidence for new and innovative policies, strategies, programs, funding, education, research and tools to support more widespread adoption of soil health strategies that increase soil carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build farm adaptation. Led by Équiterre and Greenbelt Foundation.

Final reports are now available at this link: https://www.greenbelt.ca/the_power_of_soil

And here:


The Power of Soil: An Agenda for Change to Support Farmers and Climate Resilience
A video presentation on the Power of Soil presents evidence for new and innovative policies, strategies, programs, funding, education, research and tools to support more widespread adoption of soil health strategies. Led by Équiterre and Greenbelt Foundation.


New Climate Programs for Canadian Farmers, October 2021. Canada now has new programs aimed at helping farmers adopt practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The new federal climate plan released in December 2020 and Budget 2021 made major commitments for funding agriculture climate programs. But are these programs well designed and will they actually help farmers change practices? We explore this topic with Brent Preston of Farmers for Climate Solutions.


Agriculture Carbon Alliance and Canada’s Climate Plan, March 2021
The Agriculture Carbon Alliance was recently launched and Keith Currie talks with Paul about the Alliance and the federal climate plan. Keith is the Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, a member of the Alliance, a Simcoe county farmer and past president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.


Canada’s Environmental Farm Plan: Evaluating Implementation, Use of Services, and the Influence of Social Factors, a paper recently published in Sustainable Agriculture Research, August 2020.


Healthy soils can eat your shorts! Guelph area farmers mark World Soil Day. Guelph Mercury Tribune, Nov 25, 2019.


Farm Sustainability radio/podcast series on Food Farm Talk, CFRU 93.3, Guelph. A radio show /podcast series exploring farm sustainability in Ontario and beyond, engaging both the farm community and consumers. Hosted by Paul Smith. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean and other platforms including www.anchor.fm/foodfarmtalk

Farmers for Climate Solutions – Karen Ross – Pandemic Recovery and Climate Change

Farmers for Climate Solutions – What, Why and How

Soil and Crop Prez – Stuart Wright, talks soil health and sustainability

Environmental Farm Plan: Ag’s best Kept Secret?

Measuring Farm Sustainability, Mission Possible?

What is Farm Sustainability? Cutting Through the “Sustainababble.”


Building Soil Health and Organic Matter in Ontario Agriculture, presentation to Bay Area Climate Change Summit, Mohawk College, Burlington, 2019


NEW HORIZONS: Ontario’s Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy, policy document, 2018


Nutritional Quality of Perennial Forages from May to August: Impact of Delaying First Cut on Dairy and Beef Production, report Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, 2018.


New Horizons or Déjà Vu? Evolution of Soil Policy and Ontario’s Draft Soil Strategy. Presentation at Latornell Conservation Symposium, 2017.


Working Lands, Conservation and Cooperation: Agricultural Grasslands and Grassland Birds in Ontario Canada, paper in proceedings of America’s Grasslands conference, 2017


Working Lands, Conservation and Cooperation: Agricultural Grasslands and Grassland Birds in Ontario Canada, presentation at America’s Grasslands conference, Fort Worth, Texas, 2017


Long-Term Temporal Trends in Agri-Environment and Agricultural Land Use in Ontario, Canada: Transformation, Transition and Significance. Paper from Journal of Geology and Geography, 2015.

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Long-term Transformational Agricultural Change in Rural Ontario, presentation, 2020 (updated version of a presentation at Latornell Conservation Symposium 2016)

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Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plans: Measuring Performance, Improving Effectiveness and Increasing Participation, Presentation at Rural Studies conference Ryerson University, 2016


Agriculture in the Great Lakes Basin: How is it Changing and What is the Effect?, presentation at the Conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, 2010


Water Stewardship Actions under Environmental Farm Plans, presentation at Canadian Association of Water Quality, 2008.


Progress in Adoption of Beneficial Management Practices and Environmental Farm Plans in the Great Lakes Basin 2005-2008, presentation at the Conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, 2009


STRONG RURAL COMMUNITIES Working Together for Success… And Getting  Results 2007 UPDATE.

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Progress on Environmental Farm Plan and on-Farm Action, presentation at Latornell Conservation Symposium, 2006.


Nutrient Management in Ontario, presentation at Managing Shared Waters:  Towards Sustainable Transboundary Coastal Ecosystems, Coastal Zone Canada Association, 2002


Promoting Environmental Sustainable Agricultural Practices, Parks Research Forum, 2001