Abbotsford Soil Conservation Association

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What is the Abbotsford Soil Conservation Association?
The ASCA is a registered non-profit society that is "directed by farmers, for the community". The Association uses a cooperative approach in the development of sustainable land stewardship strategies that offer economical and effective solutions to issues related to soil conservation, water quality, and nutrient management.

What is the purpose of the Association?
The purposes of the organization are:

  • To promote the retention and preservation of agricultural land in the City of Abbotsford and undertake projects which are aimed at achieving this purpose.
  • To promote sustainable agriculture and stewardship practices which conserve and enhance the long term productivity of agricultural land.
  • To undertake or assist field projects and research activities which promote sustainable agriculture and stewardship practices which conserve and enhance agricultural land.
  • To promote stewardship practices which contribute to the long term sustainability of the quality and quantity of water resources and associated riparian areas.
  • To promote public awareness and appreciation of agriculture and the importance of its conservation for the benefit of future generations.
  • To cooperate with other agencies and organizations which have aims and objectives similar to the society by participating in joint ventures or assisting projects which follow the purposes of the Society.
  • To function at all times as a non-profit, non-political, charitable body which is independent from governments and other organizations.
  • To acquire, hold, lease, manage, rent, mortgage or sell real property for the purpose of establishing and maintaining areas to further the purposes of the Society.
  • To operate as a charitable organization and to receive, acquire, and hold gifts, donations, devices and bequests of every nature and kind toward the purposes of the Society.

Who participates in the ASCA?
ASCA consists of a Board of eight Directors:

Peter Reus, President
Terry Feser, Vice President
Rose Schroeder, Secretary
Len Smit, Treasurer
Bruce Wisbey, Director
Jim van Dongen, Director
Kim Ross, Director
Dick Bunbury, Director

and three Technical Advisors:
Geoff Hughes-Games (BCMAFF)
Mark Robbins (BCMAFF)
Frank Wright (City of Abbotsford)

Why does the Abbotsford area need a soil conservation association?
Due to the excellent soils provided by the Fraser River, Abbotsford is a one of the most intensive agricultural areas in Canada. To maintain production viability, and prevent soil loss and water quality deterioration, soil conservation activities such as planting windbreaks and undertaking cover-cropping are extremely important.

Do other areas of the Fraser Valley / Province have similar associations?
ASCA is an amalgamation of several smaller soil conservation associations in the lower mainland; there are currently no other soil conservation groups similar to this one in the province. However, the Canada Soil Conservation Association has similar interests. The Soil Conservation Council of Canada oversees the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program (which the Abbotsford Soil Conservation Assoc. administers for BC). The ASCA also has a major partner - the Peace River Forage Association - which delivers the GHGMP for the northern area of the province.

What are the main issues currently being addressed by the ASCA?
ASCA acts as BC's delivery agent for the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program (GHGMP), sponsored by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. The objectives of the GHGMP are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the agriculture and agri-food sector through soil, nutrient and livestock management practices and to increase carbon sinks. Although the scope of the GHGMP program is quite wide, ASCA focuses on various sustainable manure management techniques.

What are the goals of the ASCA
The goals of the Association are to promote:

  • the conservation of agricultural land in the City of Abbotsford, for the benefit of present and future generations; and
  • the long-term management of soil and water resources to enhance the productivity and profitability of agricultural lands.

How does your organization function?
The Board meets monthly. The organization has a Group Coordinator who oversees projects.

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