Winter 2024

Cedric MacLeod
From the executive director's desk

We wrapped up 2023 with a successful annual conference, Forage Resilience in a Changing Landscape: Manage risk. Overcome challenges. Discover Opportunities. I thank the British Columbia Forage Council (BCFC) for all it did to host us in beautiful Harrison Hot Springs as we were finally able to return to an in-person event. You can read the highlights in this newsletter.


I was pleased to announce that we will gather for the 2024 conference in Guelph, Ontario, where the Ontario Forage Council is excited to host us. Watch the CFGA website, Facebook and Twitter platforms and future newsletters for details as they become available.


Now, the winter months are flying by as the CFGA team focuses on delivering the many projects we lead. These include the On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) program which supports farmers in adopting rotational grazing practices, the Advanced Grazing Systems program for extension professionals and farm operators to learn the basic techniques of rotational grazing, the National Grassland Inventory and the Habitat and Biodiversity Assessment Tool (HBAT), to name just a few.


We, as well as our provincial partners, remain busy hosting numerous workshops and sessions to help producers develop rotational grazing plans and to learn about rotational grazing. To stay up to date on these, and other project events, check out our event calendar on the CFGA website.


As always, if you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to me to discuss.


- Cedric MacLeod

CFGA Conference News

On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) update

The CFGA is pleased with the high volume of interest in the On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) Program for rotational grazing. The 2023 program year was fully subscribed and CFGA was pleased to support so many good rotational grazing projects. We are waiting to hear about additional funding for the 2024 growing season, but are not reviewing or approving any additional rotational grazing implementation projects until we have more funds to allocate.

Please email [email protected] if you have questions.

Successful 2023 conference held in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

The CFGA, in partnership with the British Columbia Forage Council (BCFC), held a very successful conference in beautiful Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. Over 100 people joined the CFGA and BCFC for Forage Resilience in a Changing Landscape: Manage risk. Overcome challenges. Discover Opportunities.

The conference began with two pre-conference workshops on Nov. 28. A grassland inventory workshop focused on grassland inventory, remote sensing and mapping with the goal of building consensus on collaborating effectively in mapping the Canadian grasslands. A knowledge translation and transfer (KTT) workshop offered extension professionals an opportunity to learn about important concepts and trends in agriculture extension in Canada.

Other highlights were an evening welcome reception, which included the premiere of Paradigm Production’s MEAT: Land, People and Passion; a Regenerative Journey. Another special evening reception highlighted Living Labs in B.C. Other highlights included the presentation of the CFGA 2023 Leadership Award to forage expert Dr. Dan Undersander; a trade show of businesses and organizations that provide products or services to forage producers and grassland managers, or represent a conservation or land stewardship-based organization concerned with the continued loss of Canada's grasslands and post-conference tours.

Themes for the 2023 conference sessions on Nov. 29 and 30 included policies and the global picture, industry-led sustainability programs and partnering for industry engagement, advances in science and what it means to industry, measuring impact and export and markets. Over the coming months, the CFGA blog will include blogs about the conference sessions, such as the recap of Dr. Frank Mitloehner’s keynote address on facts and fictions around livestock’s contributions to climate change. We look forward to sharing more recaps on the other presentations so be sure to watch for those. To see what that includes, check out the full agenda on the CFGA website.

2023 conference recordings

The 2023 conference recordings are available for free to those who registered for the conference. 

If you were unable to attend but would like to purchase access to the recordings of the 2023 conference proceedings, visit the registration page here. To see what presentations are available, you can access the full agenda here or for more information, email [email protected].

Dr. Dan Undersander Wins 2023 CFGA Leadership Award

The CFGA was pleased to name Dr. Dan Undersander as the winner of the 2023 CFGA Leadership Award. It presented the award at a special reception on Nov. 29, 2023, during its annual conference in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, which it hosted in conjunction with the British Columbia Forage Council (BCFC).

Read the full story here.

About the CFGA Leadership Award
The CFGA Leadership Award was established in 2012 to recognize and encourage leadership in the forage and grassland sector. It recognizes individuals, groups or organizations who exemplify or enhance the goals of the CFGA and whose leadership has impact of national and/or international significance.

Provincial Member News: Alberta Forage Industry News

Calling all forage enthusiasts!

Are you passionate about forage production and eager to learn about the latest advancements in the industry? Look no further! The Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN) AGM and Conference: Resiliency in Forage Production is just around the corner, and they want you to be a part of it.

By purchasing an AFIN membership, you not only gain access to a wealth of resources and networking opportunities, but you also secure your spot for the highly anticipated 2024 AGM & Conference. This is your chance to connect with like-minded individuals and industry experts and to gain invaluable insights into the world of forage production.

Mark your calendars for Mar 14, 2024, 9 a.m. to 4 they gather at a new location at the prestigious Best Western Premier Denham Inn & Suites, located at 5207 50th Avenue, Leduc, Alberta. Get ready to dive deep into discussions on resiliency in forage production, explore innovative strategies and discover cutting-edge technologies that will shape the future of this thriving industry.

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to expand your knowledge, grow your network and contribute to the advancement of forage production. Secure your spot now by purchasing your AFIN membership and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey of learning and discovery. Limited spots are available.

Farming the Web - online classified site available for ownership

The Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN) is pleased to announce the offering of the current web site “Farming the Web” for sale. AFIN built this website with a Government of Alberta grant through the years 2020 to 2023. This website had an injection of upwards of $355,000 into it over a timeline from 2020 to 2023.This significant investment was not limited to cash only. AFIN’s volunteer board of directors took on the task of construction and operation of this website, spending countless hours ensuring functionality to provide a product for all those in the Ag Community to use. 

Read the full story.

Provincial Member News: New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association

NBSCIA Winter Update

The New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association (NBSCIA) has been busy hosting rotational grazing and nitrogen management workshops throughout the province. The rotational grazing workshops were held in January with speakers Jason Wells, the New Brunswick forage specialist from NBDAAF and Marie-Pier Beaulieu, the Quebec advanced grazing coordinator from the CFGA.

Jason spoke on the importance of understanding the limiting nutrients in soils and how they can impact forage productivity. He emphasized the importance of soil reports and what components to focus on when you receive your results back from the lab. Fertilizers are important; therefore, utilizing soil reports and understanding crop requirements can go a long way in fine tuning the fertility program used to apply the nutrients required, saving on unnecessary fertilizer costs.

Marie-Pier discussed the management of a rotational grazing system. She highlighted that each farm will have a different system approach based on the resources available and the desired outcomes from the system. Marie-Pier outlined the best crop species to use in rotation and how to utilize a proper understanding of stocking density, paddock number and grazing season to benefit pasture production. 

News is still to come regarding changes to the OFCAF funding guidelines; however, we are happy to be the ones distributing this program for the 2024-2025 year. We are encouraging those who haven’t registered already and are interested in receiving funding to do so. Once the program is finalized, application forms will be sent out. Please note that those who haven’t received funding in the past will receive priority over those who have already benefited from the program. 

Finally, just a reminder that the NBSCIA AGM is happening March 14 and 15. More details will be coming soon regarding this event.

Provincial Member News: Ontario Forage Council

Ontario Forage Council winter update

The Ontario Forage Council (OFC) has a new executive assistant, Rebecca Vito. As an administrative professional with over 15 years of experience, in industries such as rural internet and mortgages, Rebecca looks forward to using her skills to support OFC. Her background includes a wide variety of tasks, including regular administrative tasks, content creation, newsletter writing, website maintenance, as well as managing her own market garden, selling produce and pasture-raised poultry at farmers markets and directly to consumers. Welcome Rebecca!


OFC is investigating opportunities to collaborate with Quebec and the Maritimes to add a seeding rate calculator to the Beef Cattle Research Centre’s (BCRC) Forage U-Pick site with information relevant to eastern Canada. It is also working to gather points for the CFGA ground truthing exercise for its National Grassland Inventory project.

OFC is excited to work with CFGA and Farmers for Climate Solutions on an additional round of the Advanced Grazing Mentorship Program. They are in discussion with their mentors to develop this summer’s activities/ Stay tuned for more information.

Forage Expo 2024

Planning has commenced for Forage Expo 2024, OFC’s annual in-field forage equipment demonstrations. The event will take place in the Eastern Valley region as well as a second more westerly location that is still pending confirmation.

Profitable Pastures

Registration is now open for the 2024 Profitable Pastures webinar series! OFC has three excellent speakers lined up to help you get the most out of your pasture. This year’s webinars will take place from 8 - 9 p.m. Eastern time on March 5, 6 and 7. Here is additional information about the topics for each session:

Tuesday, March 5:

Getting Started on Rotational Grazing with Joe Dickenson

There is a lot of emphasis on rotational grazing right now. Everyone is talking about the environmental and production benefits that rotational grazing can bring to a farm. While conversations are ongoing around how to improve an existing rotational system, it can be hard to find information on how to start. Joe’s talk aims to address that gap.

Wednesday, March 6:

Predicting Cattle Performance from Grazed Pasture with James Byrne

Learn how pasture stage of growth effects cattle performance. Learn how to predict cattle performance from stage of growth and how to manage pastures to deliver your ideal cattle performance.

Thursday, March 7:

The Best Money Spent on the Ranch with Dallas Mount

There is a never-ending list of improvements to make to any farm/ranch. How do we as business leaders identify the things that will bring us the best return over time? Dallas will share some Ranching for Profit Principles on how to identify these things and practical ways to evaluate infrastructure improvement.

CFGA Gold Sponsor

Commanditaire Or de l'ACPF

News from Dairy Farmers of Canada

Plastic Recycling Solutions with Cleanfarms

Canada’s dairy farmers are working to create a more sustainable future in many ways. One of these is increasing recycling rates of essential agricultural plastics. Farmers agree with the higher number of Canadians who are thinking about how they can reduce plastic waste. However, farmers face more challenges than the: agricultural plastics are necessary for on-farm work, and they are more difficult to properly recycle than many household plastics.

To make Canadians aware of the hard work of dairy farmers overcoming the challenges, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is promoting our partnership with Cleanfarms, an environmental stewardship non-profit dedicated to bringing recycling solutions to agricultural communities.

In an animated series of videos, DFC explores and explains how dairy farmers are doing their part by recycling agricultural plastics with help from Cleanfarms. The videos take Canadians through the process dairy farmers use to recycle more on-farm plastics so they can be reused later.

Cleanfarms has expanded its recycling opportunities throughout the country with the help of dairy farmers. Wanting to test new options for managing used silage plastics, two farmers in Caron, Saskatchewan, jumped at the chance to participate in a 2021 pilot project. They used an on-farm compactor to test its usefulness for agriculture film management. The farmers found that the compactor worked well with the advantage of needing no power to operate it, but there was a heavy investment in time and sweat equity to prepare the first silage pit cover bales for recycling. 

Cleanfarms received similar feedback from farmers from outside of the province who were also testing these compactors. It led to the development of a new and improved compactor that uses hydraulics instead of a winch.

Now, the organization works with dairy farmers across the country by reducing barriers to recycling on-farm plastics. The innovative project helps increase the amount of agricultural material successfully recycled through local sites. Through Cleanfarms, dairy farmers have helped recycle more than 634,000 kg of agricultural plastics, including bunker covers, silage bags, twine, and bale wrap, and achieve a recovery rate on containers of more than 73%.

Through our series of accessible videos, we’re showing Canadians how dairy farmers are working towards a sustainable future. You’ll see the digital campaign starting in February, but you can watch the videos now at

Nouvelles des Producteurs laitiers du Canada

Solutions de recyclage des plastiques avec AgriRÉCUP

Les producteurs laitiers du Canada s'efforcent de créer un avenir plus durable de bien des façons. L’une d’entre elles consiste à augmenter les taux de recyclage des plastiques agricoles essentiels. Les producteurs sont d'accord avec les Canadiens qui sont de plus en plus nombreux à réfléchir à la manière de réduire les déchets plastiques. Cependant, les producteurs sont confrontés à plus de défis que les autres : les plastiques agricoles sont nécessaires pour le travail à la ferme et il est plus difficile de les recycler correctement que de nombreux plastiques ménagers.

Afin de sensibiliser les Canadiens au travail acharné des producteurs laitiers pour surmonter ces difficultés, les Producteurs laitiers du Canada (PLC) font la promotion de leur partenariat avec AgriRÉCUP, un organisme à but non lucratif de gestion de l'environnement dont la mission est d'apporter des solutions de recyclage aux communautés agricoles.

Dans une série de vidéos d'animation, les PLC explorent et expliquent comment les producteurs laitiers font leur part en recyclant les plastiques agricoles avec l'aide de AgriRÉCUP. Les vidéos présentent aux Canadiens le processus utilisé par les producteurs laitiers pour s’assurer que davantage de plastiques agricoles puissent être réutilisés ultérieurement.

AgriRÉCUP a élargi ses possibilités de recyclage dans tout le pays avec l'aide des producteurs laitiers. Désireux de tester de nouvelles options pour la gestion des plastiques d'ensilage usagés, deux producteurs de Caron, en Saskatchewan, ont sauté sur l'occasion de participer à un projet pilote en 2021. Ils ont utilisé un compacteur à la ferme pour tester son utilité dans la gestion des films agricoles. Les producteurs ont constaté que le compacteur fonctionnait bien et qu'il n'avait pas besoin d'énergie pour fonctionner, mais qu'il fallait investir beaucoup de temps et d'énergie pour préparer les premières balles de couverture des fosses d'ensilage en vue de leur recyclage.

AgriRÉCUP a reçu des commentaires similaires de la part de producteurs de l'extérieur de la province qui testaient également ces compacteurs. Cela a conduit à la mise au point d'un nouveau compacteur amélioré qui utilise un système hydraulique au lieu d'un treuil.

Aujourd'hui, l'organisation travaille avec des producteurs laitiers dans tout le pays en réduisant les obstacles au recyclage des plastiques à la ferme. Ce projet innovant permet d’augmenter la quantité de matières agricoles recyclées avec succès dans les sites locaux. Grâce à AgriRÉCUP, les producteurs laitiers ont aidé à recycler plus de 634 000 kg de plastiques agricoles, notamment des couvertures de silos de type bunker, des sacs d’ensilage, de la ficelle et des emballages de balles, et ont atteint un taux de récupération des contenants de plus de 73 %.

Grâce à notre série de vidéos en ligne, nous montrons aux Canadiens comment les producteurs laitiers oeuvrent pour un avenir durable. La campagne numérique débutera en février, mais vous pouvez d’ores et déjà visionner les vidéos à l’adresse suivante :

Calendar of Events

At the time this newsletter was distributed, all event times and locations were accurate, but please check event websites for the most current information. Some events may have been postponed or cancelled.

Feb. 13: B.C. Living Lab webinar: Grazing standing corn. Virtual. More info.

Feb. 13: AFIN Sustainable Forage Web Series. Effect of drought stress on plant growth, nitrogen fixation, soil nitrogen availability and soil microbial diversity in forage legumes. More info.

Feb. 15 & 22: BCFC Online Grazing Club. Virtual. More info.

Feb. 20: B.C. Living Lab webinar: Annual and alternative forage cover crop for grazing. Virtual. More info.

Feb. 24: Thriving Pastures: Unlocking Grazing Success. Edgerton, Alberta. More info.

Feb. 27: B.C. Living Lab webinar: Livestock nutrition considerations with fall-winter grazing. Virtual. More info.

Feb. 29: SKPCAP Native Prairie Speakers Series. Topic: wolves. More info.

March 5-7: OFC’s Profitable Pastures webinar series. Virtual. More info.

March 13 - 14: NBSCIA and Living Lab NB. Three-day learning event, including NBSCIA annual general meeting. Fredericton, N.B. More info.

March 14: AFIN AGM & Conference. Leduc, AB. More info.

March 18 - 22: SKPCAP Prairies Got the Good Week. John K. Pattison-Williams speaks on behalf of CFGA on March 20. Virtual. More info.

25 Mars : Assemblée générale annuelle CQPF – 2024. Longueuil, QC. Plus d'info.

March 27: SKPCAP Native Prairie Speakers Series. Topic: the pronghorn. More info.

More event listings:

Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN)

Agricultural Research Extension and Council of Alberta (ARECA)

B.C. Forage Council (BCFC)

Beef Cattle Research Centre webinar series

Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA)

Conseil Québécois des plantes fourragères (CQPF)

Gateway Research Organization

New Brunswick Soil Crop Improvement Association (NBSCIA)

Ontario Forage Network

Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan (SK PCAP)

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