An ALUS farmer in Prince Edward Island (PEI) has been awarded the 2015 Hon Gilbert R. Clements Award for Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture.
John G. Hogg and his sons, Adam and Bradley, are the sixth and seventh generations of the Hogg family to operate Klondike Farms of Wilmot Valley, a 2,000-acre mixed farm near Summerside, PEI.
With the help of funding from the ALUS program, the Hoggs have put into place soil conservation structures to effectively control erosion.
These innovative, conservation-minded farmers were recognized for their commitment to sustainability during the 75th anniversary meeting of the PEI Federation of Agriculture, on January 29, 2016.
Over the past ten years, the Hoggs have made such improvements as taking steeply sloped land out of production and implementing soil conservation practises like farmable berms and grass waterways. They also establish cover crops in their fields after harvest, in order to build and maintain their soil.
“We try to do as much as we can to keep the soil where it should be,” says Hogg. “We try to prevent it from blowing away or washing it into the rivers, and to reduce the soil lost through the winter months. We’ve definitely cut down on the amount of brown snow you see.”
ALUS provides funds to farmers and ranchers wanting to make a significant investment into their land in order to improve the environmental sustainability of their operation, year after year. “There are always more ways to get better at it,” says Hogg.
ALUS PEI Coordinator, Shawn Hill, notices the same positive attitude throughout the province. “Every year, we see ALUS farmers always wanting to do more to improve their practices,” says Hill.
ALUS PEI now has more than 400 clients in the program, representing 10,000 acres of land. Each of these farmers receives an annual payment based on the acreage of land they have enrolled in the program.
“There has been an incredible amount of improvement in farming practices and soil conservation over the last two years in PEI,” said Hogg, “and a lot of that is probably due to ALUS.”
ALUS Canada is a community-led, farmer-delivered program sustaining agriculture, wildlife and natural spaces for all Canadians, one acre at a time. With the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, ALUS Canada programs are now established in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, with a pilot project starting in Quebec this spring. The PEI ALUS program is managed by the Province of PEI. For more information, please contact ALUS Canada at [email protected] or 416-999-7985 www.alus.ca
The Honourable Gilbert R. Clements Award of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture was established in Prince Edward Island in 2000. It is given annually in honour of the late Hon. Gilbert R. Clements, a provincial cabinet minister and Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island, who helped to increase awareness of the importance of the environment to the economy and to society.