Manitoba farmers and agriculture industry members now have more opportunities to work with conservation districts to enhance the province’s ecology, including improving the health of Lake Winnipeg, through the Growing Forward 2 Growing Assurance – Ecological Goods and Services (EG&S) program, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

“Canadian farmers have proven to be responsible stewards of our land and water resources,” said Minister Ritz. “This program will help farmers implement beneficial management practices that support the long-term viability of agriculture in Manitoba.”

The EG&S program provides financial assistance to local conservation districts to work with producers to implement beneficial management practices (BMPs) on farms   that reduce risks to the environment. Approved projects will focus on water quality and demonstrate an ability to conserve and enhance valuable natural resources and promote environmental sustainability of the agricultural landscape.

“Growing Forward 2 focuses on applying the best strategies to help Manitoba’s farmers and our agriculture industry be successful in today’s competitive markets,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “Farmers have long been stewards of the land and this will help them continue to ensure their practices are lake-friendly and complement conservation efforts to ensure the ecological health of our water systems, riparian areas and agricultural lands for future generations.”

The Growing Assurance – EG&S program is being allocated up to $750,000 in 2013/14 under Growing Forward 2 for approved projects such as water retention structures, natural area maintenance and enhancement, wetland restoration and constructed wetlands.

“Focusing on projects that benefit the agricultural environment will also help the province meet its goal of restoring health to Lake Winnipeg and its watershed,” said Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh. “For decades, conservation districts have been at the leading edge of supporting our environment, and I’m pleased they will be leading such important work to improve water quality across the province.”

Further information on Growing Assurance – EG&S can be found online at or by contacting the nearest MAFRI GO office or local conservation district office.

In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million over five years in the Growing Forward 2 programs.

Growing Forward 2, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial policy framework, is investing $3 billion nationally to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.