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Summary of AMMTO Stakeholder Meeting Discussions

March 7, 2002
Arden Park Hotel
Stratford, Ontario


Summary of Attendance

  • 53 invitations were sent out to stakeholders
  • 20 stakeholders who do not attend AMMTO meetings participated
  • 9 stakeholders who attended AMMTO meetings participated
  • 7 people were involved with facilitation in some way
  • a total of 36 people were involved with discussions including facilitators

 Meeting Format

The stakeholders meeting was organized to facilitate small group (7-8 people) discussions. A series of questions were presented to promote discussion on manure management issues. Each question was discussed for approximately 20 minutes in the small groups.  Discussion contributions from participants were recorded on flip charts and after each small group discussion, the facilitator for each small group presented a summary of the discussions to all the attendees.

 The discussion questions and a summary of the discussions are provided below.

Question 1. Share any experiences relating to livestock production in your community, both good and bad.

  • Participants indicated they want to know more about farm operations up front
  • Addressing livestock smell/ odour issues was a common concern
  • Manure application amounts and time of application concerns were expressed
  • Questionable manure application and storage methods by a few was noted as tainting all
  • Participants want to see farmers taking a proactive approach/leadership role in resolving manure management issues
  • Perception verses reality was discussed.  In many instances concerned persons really are not informed and problems arise out of perception rather than cause
  • Few problem areas/sites receiving publicity are raising public awareness of manure issues
  • Environmental Farm Plan is a good tool to create awareness of things being done to promote good stewardship
  • It was noted that large farm operations create jobs in the rural areas

 

Question 2a. What would the ideal manure management technology do?

  • Produce food economically to enviro standards that society demands
  • Production in a sustainable manner
  • Reduce volume, cost of manure management, pathogens
  • Be different, make manure valuable/profitable commodity, add value to manure
  • Provide 100% utilization of manure
  • Solve odour concern and connection to water quality issues
  • Be problem free to all stakeholders
  • Applicable to all types and size of operations
  • Provide flexibility in timing  for manure application and use
  • Provide opportunities for innovative partnerships with municipalities and generators of organic wastes, for management systems
  • Use weight watcher approach by being organized and controlled

Question 2b. How can we measure the success of technologies?

  • Widely accepted by public, producers and all stakeholders (source of pride)
  • Fewer calls of concern to MOE, and the producer
  • Increase in positive image of farming
  • Economically viable system?
  • Payback over the long term for non producers & producers
  • Improvement in human, animal, crop, water and soil health and quality
  • Promote a change in the current way of thinking

 

Question 3a. What would need to happen before you would be comfortable with your neighbour using a new technology?

  • Has to look good to build confidence in the technology
  • Proven to meet an end goal
  • Based on scientific research
  • Verifiable by outside 3rd party
  • Continually monitored (by various stakeholders)
  • Remedial action built into system in the event of failure
  • Compliance program with demonstrated enforcement
  • Provide confidence in operator- Certification?
  • System size has flexibility for expansion of the operation
  • Public meeting before system implemented to educate the public
  • Open house to understand impact of technology (Too late if after the fact?)
  • Certification for the long term if technology changes hands

 

Question 3 b. What are the cost implications of adopting these new technologies?

  • Consumer pays - through taxation or through product cost
  • Capital investment support required from other stakeholders
  • Global issues- cheaper production from other countries
  • Have to show Canada’s environmental responsibility
  • Loss of social network because of change in production system
  • Job loss
  • Loss of family farm- where will people come from to support facility?
  • Grants for cost of new technology
  • Tax credit to encourage new technology
  • Possible reduction of cost of health care, environmental remediation
  • Possible manure tax
  • Partnering with different stakeholders i.e. industry, government and producer to implement new technologies
  • Change/flexibility in standing legislation i.e. land needed
  • Creating an ideology that legitimate other uses are no longer valid
  • Cost efficiency for all size farms
  • Need for system of accountability, certification, education, policing
  • Loss of sales to other service providers i.e. suppliers
  • Tax credit for farmers who meet water quality standards
  • Incentives for use of technology
  • Cost of consumer knowledge (to educate)

 

Other Important Points

  • Technology licensing/patents may be an issue
  • Confidentiality of technology processes may be an issue
  • Filtering systems to pin point solutions with high validity required
  • Movement away from mandatory best management practices needs to be addressed
  • Canada label/brand development i.e. livestock quality and environmental standards need to be promoted
  • How to bring forth a larger cross section of stakeholder groups that were invited?
  • Other groups not identified
    1. Concerned urban groups
    2. Educational sector
    3. Grocery retailers and chains
    4. Church groups

 Shared interests by stakeholders in Rural Ontario

  • Sustainability
  • Natural resource
  • Food quality and prices
  • Safety
  • Health of the environment

 

Summary of Stakeholder Meeting Participant Questionnaires

  1. 13 participants out of 28 completed questionnaires

  2. All were satisfied the meeting provided them an opportunity to voice their opinions.

  3. All participants felt that the concerns and opinions they expressed in small group discussions were brought forward in the large group summary presentations.

  4. Two participants didn’t feel their concerns were included in the meeting wrap up summary.

  5. All participants felt the small group discussion format was effective.

  6. One person felt that their objective for attending the meeting was not met and two people were not satisfied that their objectives were completely met.

  7. Eight participants felt that we had a good cross section of stakeholders attending the meeting.  Five people felt we needed a better cross section of people.  During large group discussions a number of participants also indicated that more urban stakeholder groups should have been represented such as
    teachers, community leaders, health care sector, U of G curriculum makers, builder associations, environmental activist groups, anti-livestock groups, concerned urban groups, grocery retailer chains.

  8. General comments about the meeting were positive and one person noted that they “wouldn’t have thought that 4 hours of late day discussion on manure would have been so interesting and yes exciting – well done”

 


 

 

Last Modified: 2011 05 20