Wa­ter is more than just a day

The Glengarry News - - The Classified­s -

By Louis Roesch, Di­rec­tor, On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­ture March 22 is World Wa­ter Day. Des­ig­nated by the United Na­tions, the day is about fo­cus­ing at­ten­tion on the im­por­tance of wa­ter in our daily lives and on a global scale.

For the On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­ture (OFA), wa­ter is about more than just a day, it’s an es­sen­tial part of agri­cul­ture, our en­vi­ron­ment, and our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

This year, OFA is cel­e­brat­ing World Wa­ter Day by rec­og­niz­ing the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts the On­tario agri-food in­dus­try is tak­ing to im­prove wa­ter qual­ity in the Great Lakes.

From grass­roots and mem­ber ini­tia­tives to in­dus­try and gov­ern- ment part­ner­ships, there’s a lot of work be­ing done to im­prove our wa­ter­ways.

On­tario farm­ers share the re­spon­si­bil­ity and are part of the so­lu­tion to im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity, in­clud­ing the 4R Nu­tri­ent Ste­ward­ship to use the right source at the right rate, the right time and the right place.

Best Man­age­ment Prac­tices are guid­ing prin­ci­ples in farm man­age­ment and new drainage tech­niques are be­ing tested to re­duce nu­tri­ent loss.

OFA is ac­tive in sev­eral wa­ter projects, rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of our farm­ing mem­bers and the agri-food sec­tor.

The Great Lakes Agri­cul­tural Ste­ward­ship Ini­tia­tive ( GLASI) sup­ports ac­tiv­i­ties in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair wa­ter­sheds and the Lake Huron south­east shores water­shed by as­sist­ing farm­ers with a farm­land health check-up, farm­land health in­cen­tive pro­gram and pri­or­ity water­shed projects.

As one of many agri­cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tions work­ing in part­ner­ship through Grow On­tario To­gether (GOT), OFA is help­ing re­duce phos­pho­rus en­ter­ing the Great Lakes water­shed.

OFA also part­ners with the Thames River Phos­pho­rus Re­duc­tion Col­lab­o­ra­tive, a group fo­cused on the sci­ence of re­duc­ing phos­pho­rus and im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity through ef­fec­tive agri­cul­tural land man­age­ment and drainage so­lu­tions.

Part­ner­ships, col­lab­o­ra­tions and work­ing groups have been es­tab­lished across the prov­ince be­tween the agri-food sec­tor and pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments, and OFA is proud to be a part of these. It’s our job to make sure farm­ers have the tools they need to im­prove on-farm nu­tri­ent man­age­ment prac­tices in­clud­ing sup­port, in­cen­tives and proper reg­u­la­tions.

Farm­ers have an im­por­tant role to play in the sus­tain­abil­ity, wa­ter qual­ity and main­tain­ing the health of our wa­ter­ways and Great Lakes. World Wa­ter Day serves to re­mind us that we all rely on our nat­u­ral wa­ter re­sources and share the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­serve them.

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