PEI ALUS participants David Francis and his son Brett run a seventh-generation family farm in Lady Fane, central PEI. David is delighted to be a client of the PEI ALUS program, and to know the stewardship ethic is carrying through to the next generation. “I like that, with the ALUS program in place, stewardship costs are shared between farmers and the public,” he says.
The Francis family grows seed- and chip-stock potatoes, operates a cow/calf operation, and sells feeder cattle and breeding stock. They work hard to conserve soil from erosion in their cropped fields, utilizing a three- or four-year crop rotation scheme and including cover crops to prevent the soil from washing or blowing away after harvest.
In addition, they maintain a wide range of ALUS projects on their farm. Some of these also combat erosion: through soil-conservation structures, expanded buffer zones, and the retirement of steeply sloped lands, ALUS projects helps David and Brett keep sediment and agricultural inputs out of natural waterways.
The Francis farm also has other ALUS projects, such as livestock fencing and alternate watering systems, which provide livestock with drinking water without allowing them direct access to streams, knowing that cattle typically damage and contaminate wetlands when they are permitted to wade into the water.
All these ALUS projects are helping the Francis family to produce cleaner water, a valuable ecosystem service for the people of Prince Edward Island. And they could not feel more proud.
“When we receive our annual payment through ALUS,” David says, “it feels like the public is saying to us: we appreciate the work you do, and here is our contribution to support all the stewardship you do on your farm.”