The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) is calling for the creation of a loan program to help agricultural operations adopt pollution prevention practices.

Delegates from CFFO’s 22 district associations called for a federal/provincial environmental initiative modeled on the Land Drainage Loan Program at their regular June meeting.

“Now that the Ontario government has confirmed that they will create a pollution prevention framework through the Nutrient Management Act 2001 we are asking for a long-term assistance program that will allow farm businesses to become part of a continuous improvement strategy,” Bob Bedggood said in a statement.

The CFFO proposal emphasizes the need for a long-term program so that farm businesses do not have to rush to participate. They recommend a minimum of ten years to avoid rush projects and cost increases during a short flurry of projects.

They see the tile drain loan program as an excellent example of how to create good programs. They also want the eligible projects to make a long-term contribution to pollution prevention.

CFFO’s member think tanks have been developing the concept over the past six months. They have agreed on a number of details:

  • The Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition to be involved in defining eligible projects.

  • Eligible farms will have an Environmental Farm Plan, a Nutrient Management Plan and a Farm Business Registration Number.

  • Loans available for stewardship projects that exceed the pollution prevention standards that will emerge under the Nutrient management Act

  • A revolving loan fund managed by municipalities and with loans repayable through property tax bills.

  • Some access for rural residents to upgrade such things as septic systems.