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Environmental farm plan process like a lottery — but less fun

The first round of successful BMPs (Best Management Practices) applications is over and the few lucky winners have received their notices – as have the many, many unlucky losers.

The current Environmental Farm Plan program, in many respects, resembles a lottery. Buy a ticket and take your chances.

In the southwest, we had 296 applications for the sweet prize; 10 were winners and of those 10, only two applications had anything to do with the livestock sector. Winners have no idea why they won – likewise for losers. If you ranch in the southwest and apply for a BMP in the livestock category, the odds of winning are – well, let’s just say that your chances of winning in any one of the province’s many blackjack tables would be much better.

Gambling on a provincial lottery ticket makes about as much sense – and is much more fun – as filling out an application for the 649 Environmental Farm Plan. When FSAM was administering the Environmental Farm Plan there was a conscious effort by this arm’s-length group to gain the trust of producers, to develop a sense of integrity and honesty and predictability – and to use science as the guideline for rewarding Best Management practices.

Now, and in what must be record time, this current gaggle of wizards has thrown all past successes out the window. No science, no communication, no vision, no predictability, no trust, no credibility, no honesty, no sincerity, and worst of all – no scientifically proven environmental benefits for the landscape.

Shame on the government officials who developed this sham. Shame on the KAP executive for defending this unworkable program. There is a weakness at the top here, this must be addressed. This story has to be rewritten. And why are there approximately 90 per cent fewer applications for the second intake period? Fool me once… Brian Sterling Tilston, Man.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or e-mail: [email protected](subject: To the editor)

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