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Living Labs is an Agriculture and Agri food Canada (AAFC) initiative that bring producers, scientists and other partners together to evaluate BMPs in a real-life context. OSCIA is the lead applicant on a collaborative proposal that includes Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO, Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, Ontario Soil Network (OSN) and three Conservation Authorities in the Lake Erie Basin.  This proposal has been co-developed with staff in AAFC’s Science and Technology Branch. The objective of the proposed project is to increase the adoption of BMPs (cover crops and minimum tillage) that enhance soil health and protect water quality in the Lake Erie watershed.
This will be addressed through the following objectives:

  • Innovative On-Farm Trials and Demonstration to evaluate the benefits of the BMPs
  • Socio-economic Analysis of adopting BMPs on a farm and watershed scale
  • Determine the level of BMP adoption and impacts on water quality on a watershed scale
  • Communicate the benefits of BMP adoption through social media, demonstrations, workshops and peer-to-peer learning opportunities

If approved, the Living Labs initiative will be a valuable opportunity for producers and agri-enviro organizations to work with government scientists to evaluate and communicate the socio-economic and ecological benefits of BMP adoption.