There are many paths toward a more sustainable future. While not all farmers will take the same one, the destination is still the same. Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) wants to make the journey easier by partnering with organizations offering programs specific to the unique needs of our nation’s dairy farmers. Here are some of the initiatives offered through their partnership programs.

The Sustainability Incentive Program is now live

Innovation is essential to the creation of a more sustainable future for our industry. Changes on-farm require research, time and investments. The new Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Sustainability Incentive Program was announced in early July at the annual DFC general meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Applicants must be qualified FCC customers who meet the eligibility requirements and will be a combination of herd sustainability metrics and proAction environment module results. Those who meet the criteria can now register for the annual incentive payment through the FCC website.

Incentive payments are calculated as a portion of the farmer’s lending with FCC, to a maximum payment of $2,000 in one year. You can reapply annually throughout the life of the program. 

Eligible farmers must be FCC customers in good standing with a balance owing on eligible, existing FCC lending and meet specific criteria based on Lactanet milk recording or an on-farm herd management system. Organic dairy production is not reflected in the criteria.


For eligibility criteria and more information on applying, visit the program's website.

Improving on-farm sustainability with Cleanfarms recycling programs

It is no surprise to any dairy farmer that plastic bale wrap, silage bags, bunker covers and tarps are vital for extending the shelf life and nutrition of feed for their herds. While great tools, they also pose a challenge for management once their usefulness is complete. Finding end markets for silage plastics continues to be challenging, which is why it is so important to work directly with farmers to find ways to keep agriculture plastics as clean as possible.

A 2021 pilot project in Saskatchewan tested agriculture film management using an on-farm compactor. Farmers found that compactors worked well with the advantage of needing no power to operate them. There was, however, a heavy investment of time and sweat to prepare the first silage pit cover bales for recycling. Environmental stewardship non-profit Cleanfarms, one of DFC’s key sustainability partners, developed a new and improved compactor that now uses hydraulics instead of a winch.

Cleanfarms has collection sites across Canada, giving farmers the opportunity to recycle twine using a bag-based collection model. This work is part of Cleanfarms’ Building a Zero-Plastic-Waste Strategy for Agriculture initiative and has been in place since 2021, funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program.

Cleanfarms is optimistic that building up the volume of agriculture plastics and ensuring clean material streams will attract new, long-term end-market commitment to recycling.

Enhance biodiversity on your farm with Tree Canada

As dairy farmers work together toward Net Zero by 2050, one of the best ways to enhance biodiversity is by planting and maintaining trees. Planting new trees or conserving existing trees and shrubs will naturally protect soil, improve air and water quality, enhance wildlife habitat and beautify the landscape. As a natural barrier to wind flow, they can positively affect crop production by moderating plant water use, reducing physical damage, changing air and soil temperature, and impacting carbon dioxide levels and relative humidity.

To help dairy farmers make the most of these benefits, DFC has partnered with Tree Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. We are well on our way to planting 25,000 trees across the country – and your farm could be one of them. This opportunity includes assessing, planting and long-term monitoring services, all at no cost to you.

To find out how you could qualify for a planting project and receive free tree planting services, contact Tree Canada.

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canadian dairy producers. DFC strives to create stable conditions for the dairy sector in our country. It also seeks to maintain policies that promote the sustainability of Canadian dairy production and promote dairy products and their health benefits. Visit DFC’s website for more information.