Last Friday in Kerrobert at the local Kinsmen Hall there was a special grazing plan workshop that took place with host Kelly Sidoryk. It was put on by the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association and is part of the OFCAF (On Farm Climate Action Fund) Program put into place by the Federal government.
The same workshop was held back on Monday in Lloydminster, as we got into contact with Sidoryk to learn more about just what OFCAF is.
"It is administered by a few different organizations within Canada," began Sidoryk, "There are different pillars to it. One of them is nitrogen management, one of them is cover cropping, and another one is of course the rotational grazing."
Kerrobert's workshop was focused on rotational grazing in relation to OFCAF, as a speaker was on hand to share more details on the funding application and availability of the program. They also spent time looking at grazing principles, design, and other related things. Producers already looking at instituting or enhancing their grazing programs were some of the targeted demographics.
"Some might already have a plan together, and then just need help on submitting the actual application," said Sidoryk, "Some might just be looking for information. As you may have seen on the poster there are quite a few funds potentially available, so I think it is attractive for people to come and learn more about it."
Every farming operation can present a different situation physically and fiscally, and Sidoryk knows that as attendees came in from all different walks of the farm.
"They do need a grazing plan but as mentioned this grazing funding program will fund up to $75,000 on a 70/30 share of eligible expenses for water development and fencing."
While Sidoryk knows the workshop might not be for everyone, she thinks anyone with livestock had ought to consider implementing a grazing plan and extra strategies. Saving money is always a helpful thing, especially on the farm in this current climate.
"That's certainly one of the biggest things that people, whether they are cropping or are livestock operators, know input costs are always something."
Sidoryk said that the programs affordability alone can be a way to speed up one's strategy on the farm, by simply saving some extra cash. The first step is getting people to send in their applications. OFCAF is a new program, with deadlines to meet, and Sidoryk is still learning along the way as well as far as what's covered and what's not.
While the Kerrobert portion was focused on livestock grazing, the overall program features many other people in the field sharing their expertise.
"For example, the nitrogen management in the cropping arena is another component (of OFCAF) that is fairly large," said Sidoryk, though she admitted and laughed she was only a 'cow person' and couldn't be relied on for answers in other departments, "Anyway, there are those other levels of it, and I would imagine there will be other workshops."
Looking for a grazing plan workshop in your area of Saskatchewan? Here's a list of events in the CFGA-OFCAF grazing plan workshop series that are coming up. pic.twitter.com/nPkYfymAfI— CFGA_ACPF (@CFGA_ACPF) January 9, 2023
Part of the problem of getting the word out is that there are so many different workshops being held towards a similar purpose. While this recent event was put on under the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association umbrella, Sidoryk mentioned another entity that is getting involved in the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds as people can apply for cover crop funding.
Time will tell how many local people benefit from the program. Over twenty participants came from all around West Central for the workshop. Producers can still apply for funding for 2022 expenses until February 15, 2023, by checking out the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Assoc. website.