Spring 2024

Cedric MacLeod
From the executive director's desk

The busy spring season is upon us – both for producers and for the CFGA team.

Organization has begun with the Ontario Forage Council for the 2024 annual conference in Guelph, Ontario, Dec. 3 to 7. Bringing the forage industry together, the annual conference is a great opportunity to showcase the forage sector in Ontario and across Canada. This year's theme is Roots to Success: The foundation of resilient agriculture and we are developing a jam-packed agenda to share the latest in production practices, research, policy and marketing. Be sure to save the date and keep watching the CFGA website, Facebook and Twitter platforms and future newsletters for information on this exciting event as it becomes available.

With the closing of the intake period for the 2024 On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) project, we are busy reviewing the many applications that came in. Producers submitted 348 applications with a total project request amount of $11.1-million. There is very strong demand for the $3-million in available cost-share funds that the CFGA has available to allocate through the OFCAF program. Approximately half of those funds were allocated with the first intake in early March and the remainder will be allocated with the second intake in April.

This month we also launched an updated version of our popular Advanced Grazing Systems (AGS) online course. Since the spring of 2022, the CFGA has supported over 4,480 producers who have gone through the program either online or in person. Over 1,800 people have attended workshops and the CFGA’s online learning management system has had close to 500 individuals finish the AGS course. You can learn more about the new course in this newsletter.

Before I sign off, I want to invite everyone to attend the CFGA’s virtual Annual General Meeting on May 15. This is a great opportunity to meet the CFGA board of directors, staff and contractors as well as learn about all of our projects. Register here.

Be safe as you head back to the field for the spring and summer seasons and, as always, if you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to me to discuss.

- Cedric MacLeod

CFGA AGM takes place May 15

The CFGA is holding its Annual General Meeting on May 15, 2024, via Zoom (with simultaneous translation). It will include introductions from the CFGA board of directors and contractors as well as presentations on the following:

  • CFGA Annual Report
  • CFGA Strategic Communications Strategy Review
  • Overview of Wrapped-up Projects: CASPP-035, CASPP-040 and National Grassland Inventory
  • 2023 Audited Financial Statements

A full draft agenda for the AGM can be found here.

Register here.

On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) update

The On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) project intake period has now closed and the CFGA is now busy reviewing applications. While the project intake is now closed, there is still support for producers interested in developing a rotational grazing plan.

AGS Course

Producers can enrol and complete the series of modules of the free Advanced Grazing Systems self-paced learning as an introduction to the foundation of the advanced rotational grazing practices and theory. Proceeding through these modules will help you create a rotational grazing plan suitable for your operation.

Work with a mentor

Producers seeking additional assistance in developing an advanced rotational grazing management plan may do so with the guidance of a grazing mentor who is a professional agrologist (P.Ag) or certified crop adviser (CCA). The CFGA has a network of mentors trained to support the development of grazing plans.

Producers can sign up for the AGS course and find links to mentors here. Please contact Travis at travis@canadianfga.ca to find out how to access funding for one-on-one support or if you have any questions.

CFGA launches updated Advanced Grazing Systems Course

The CFGA has launched an updated version of its popular Advanced Grazing Systems (AGS) course. It builds on a course the CFGA developed in 2022 with the help of forage and grazing experts across the country and in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the On-Farm Climate Action Fund and Farmers for Climate Solutions.

Incorporating a blended-learning model, this free course offers a comprehensive learning curriculum that supports producers in learning common core grazing principles and in developing a rotational grazing plan that is relevant to their operation. It also provides in-person and online options to support various learning needs and producer situations and schedules.

The newly launched AGS course incorporates numerous updates to improve science-based knowledge and peer-to-peer learning. Case studies featuring producers’ on-the-ground experience with rotational grazing are also one of the new inclusions with the update.

The learning platform is mobile-friendly so producers can learn and reference information wherever they are and when they have the time. It creates opportunities for producers to learn on their own or to connect with other farmers learning the same materials. It also offers many opportunities to ask questions of mentors and other rotational grazing experts.

The AGS course includes an Advanced Grazing Systems Handbook, rotational grazing resources and a rotational grazing plan template. Effective delivery of the program is made possible by working closely with provincial forage associations across the country to provide their nuanced provincial insight on region-specific practices.

The AGS course is available in English and French through the CFGA’s learning management system and can be accessed on a cell phone, tablet, computer desktop or through the Canvas App. People can access the content as a mentor or as a producer. For additional information visit the CFGA AGS webpage or email learning@canadianfga.ca.

Provincial Member News: Ontario Forage Council

The Ontario Forage Council (OFC) is excited to welcome its new board of directors and executive. Congratulations to Birgit Martin (president), Joe Dickenson (1st vice president), Terry Nuhn (past president), Jim Whitley, Roger Boersen, Marusha Kostuk, Scott Fisher, Donna Hancock and Christine O’Reilly.

Get the latest forage industry news and articles, OFC updates and information about upcoming events in The Forage Update, OFC’s new monthly newsletter. Subscribe here to get the next issue.

Videos from the 2023 Advanced Grazing Mentorship Pasture Walks are now available on the OFC’s YouTube channel. The mentors provide excellent information on rotational grazing systems, moving livestock, different types of electric fencing systems and so much more. As well, Christine O’Reilly, forage and grazing specialist from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, gave an informative talk on carrying capacity and managing your pastures.

CFGA Gold Sponsor

Commanditaire Or de l'ACPF

News from Dairy Farmers of Canada

DFC and Starbucks Canada join together to support a sustainable future for dairy

Farm Credit Canada's Dairy Sustainability Incentive Program returns with support from Dairy Farmers of Canada and Starbucks to reward the sustainability successes of farmers

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and Starbucks Canada (Starbucks) have launched a new collaborative effort to help advance sustainability in the dairy sector. Starbucks has committed $500,000 to support dairy sustainability-focused projects over the course of this year, rewarding the continued efforts of Canadian dairy farmers on their path to net zero.  

The partnership includes three exciting projects, the first of which is already underway for 2024 in collaboration with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and Lactanet for FCC’s Dairy Sustainability Incentive Program. This program rewards farmers who are successfully adopting environmental best management practices and encourages continued sustainable farming by granting annual incentives of up to $2,000 to FCC customers who meet select criteria.

As part of its partnership with DFC and overall investment for the year, Starbucks will provide additional funding to the FCC program in two new categories, Top Achieving and Most Improved, further recognizing the sustainability successes of Canadian dairy farmers.

Dairy is an integral part of the Starbucks menu and supporting the long-term health of the Canadian dairy sector is one of the latest efforts in the company’s global commitment to a resource-positive future – giving more than it takes from the planet by reducing the company’s carbon emissions, water usage and landfill waste by 50 per cent by 2030. This collaboration with DFC builds on both organizations’ strong record of supporting sustainability, as Canadian milk production continues to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world.

Farmer applications are scheduled to reopen for the Sustainability Incentive Program on May 21, 2024. For more information, please visit fcc.ca/sustainabilityprograms.

Nouvelles des Producteurs laitiers du Canada

Les PLC et Starbucks Canada s'associent pour soutenir un avenir durable en production laitière 

Le Programme d’incitatifs aux pratiques durables en production laitière de Financement agricole Canada est de nouveau offert avec le soutien des Producteurs laitiers du Canada et de Starbucks pour récompenser les producteurs des progrès accomplis en matière de durabilité

Les Producteurs laitiers du Canada (PLC) et Starbucks Canada (Starbucks) ont uni leurs efforts pour mettre en œuvre une nouvelle initiative permettant de soutenir la poursuite des progrès en matière de durabilité en production laitière. Starbucks s'est engagé à verser 500 000 $ pour appuyer des projets axés sur la durabilité en production laitière au cours de l'année, récompensant ainsi les efforts continus des producteurs laitiers canadiens dans leur démarche pour atteindre la carboneutralité.

Le partenariat comprend trois projets passionnants, dont le premier est déjà en cours pour 2024 en collaboration avec Financement agricole Canada (FAC) et Lactanet pour le Programme d'incitatifs aux pratiques durables en production laitière de FAC. Ce programme récompense les producteurs qui adoptent avec succès les pratiques de gestion bénéfiques sur le plan environnemental et favorise le maintien d'une production agricole durable en accordant des incitatifs annuels pouvant aller jusqu'à 2 000 $ aux clients de FAC qui répondent à certains critères.

Dans le cadre de son partenariat avec les PLC et de son investissement global pour l'année, Starbucks fournira des fonds supplémentaires au programme de FAC dans deux nouvelles catégories, « Les producteurs les plus performants » et « Les producteurs s’étant les plus améliorés », reconnaissant ainsi davantage les réussites des producteurs laitiers canadiens en matière de durabilité.

Les produits laitiers font partie intégrante du menu de Starbucks, et maintenir en santé le secteur laitier canadien à long terme constitue l'un des plus récents efforts déployés par l'entreprise dans le cadre de son engagement global en faveur d'un avenir respectueux des ressources - donner plus qu'elle ne prend à la planète en réduisant de 50 % son empreinte carbone, sa consommation d'eau et sa production de déchets d'ici 2030. Cette collaboration avec les PLC s'appuie sur les solides antécédents des deux organisations en matière de soutien à la durabilité, la production laitière canadienne continuant d'avoir l'une des empreintes carbone les plus faibles au monde.

Les producteurs laitiers pourront soumettre une demande au Programme d'incitatifs aux pratiques durables le 21 mai 2024, date prévue de sa remise en vigueur. Pour plus d'informations, veuillez consulter le site : www.fcc-fac.ca/fr/financement/agriculture/programme-pratiques-durables..

Forage News

Nominations open for Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), Pollinator Partnership (P2) and the CFGA are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2024 Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award. Individuals or families in Canada currently implementing pollinator protection measures on their farm or ranch are encouraged to apply.

The Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award recognizes an individual or family in the farm and ranch community in the United States and Canada who has contributed significantly to the protection of pollinators on their farm and/or in the farming community. One recipient will be awarded in each country.

The recipients will be recognized during an award ceremony that opens the Annual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign Conference in October 2024. To submit a nomination for the Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award, please complete the form here by July 19, 2024. Winners will be notified late August 2024.

2023 NAPPC Farmer Rancher Award winner

Dustin Hoft was winner of the 2023 NAPPC Farmer Rancher Award in Canada. In his role as agriculture coordinator for the Manitoba Métis Federation, Dustin contributes to pollinator protection and conservation efforts through education, advocacy and research. In this role in 2022-2023, he secured over $7.2 million to support Red River Métis agricultural producers adopt and implement new on-farm beneficial management practices.

You can read more about Dustin and other award winners here.

Calendar of Events

At the time this newsletter was distributed, all event times and locations were accurate, but please check event websites for the most current information. Some events may have been postponed or cancelled.

May 11: OFC Advanced Grazing Mentorship Pasture Walk. Theme: Fencing Clinic & Carbon Cycling. Stella, Amherst Island, Ontario. More info. Register


May 15: CFGA Annual General Meeting. Virtual. More info. Register.

May 23: SKPCAP Native Prairie Speakers Series. Topic: Management of annual brome invasion within northern mixed grassland using indaziflam. More info. 

June 22: OFC Advanced Grazing Mentorship Pasture Walk. Theme: Movement & Waterline Demos, Predicting Cattle Performance from Grazed Pasture. Meaford, Grey County, Ontario. More info. Register.


July 4: Huron County Ontario Forage Expo. Gorrie, Ontario. More info.

July 10: Beef Serving Biodiversity. Grazing Days Farm, St-André-D’Avellin, Qc. Email paturage@cqpf.ca for more info.

July 12: Pasture Day at the Farm. Domaine La Balzane, St-Simon, Qc. Email paturage@cqpf.ca for more info.

July 12: Eastern Valley Ontario Forage Expo. St. Isidore, Ontario. More info.

Aug. 10: OFC Advanced Grazing Mentorship Pasture Walk. Theme: Rotational Grazing for Soil Health & Carbon Cycling. Oro-Medonte, Simcoe, Ontario. More info. Register.


August Date TBD: Biodiversity and Grazing Day. Lafontaine-Noël Farm, Dupuy, Qc. Email paturage@cqpf.ca for more info.

Aug. 14: Biodiversity and Grazing Day. Le Paysan Gourmand, St-Félix-de-Kingsey, Qc. Email paturage@cqpf.ca for more info.

Aug. 16: Montérégie Pastures Day. Patch Farm, Brome, Qc. Email paturage@cqpf.ca for more info.

Aug. 17: OFC Advanced Grazing Mentorship Pasture Walk. Theme: Winter Feeding & Water Systems, Predicting Cattle Performance from Grazed Pasture. Melancthon, Dufferin, Ontario. More info. Register.

Aug. 27-29: Expo-Champs. St-Liboire, Qc. More info.

Sept. 17: CQPF annual Hay Day. Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon, Qc. Email paturage@cqpf.ca for more info.

More event listings:

Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN)

Agricultural Research Extension and Council of Alberta (ARECA)

B.C. Forage Council (BCFC)

Beef Cattle Research Centre webinar series

Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA)

Conseil Québécois des plantes fourragères (CQPF)

Gateway Research Organization

New Brunswick Soil Crop Improvement Association (NBSCIA)

Ontario Forage Network

Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan (SK PCAP)

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