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Province to offer prizes for ag innovations

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Alberta Agriculture department has put up three prize packages of products and services worth $10,000 each for “outstanding” ideas from farmers for improving their farm businesses.

The province has launched what it’s dubbed the Best Practices Awards and has set a deadline of 4 p. m. on Jan. 8, 2009 for applications from eligible entrants.

“The Best Practices Awards encourage, recognize and reward producers who have developed innovative business plans and are ready to take the next steps to advance their business operations,” the province said in a release.

“These steps could include strategies that boost revenue, connect more securely with markets or take their farms in promising new directions.”

The program is funded through the renewal pillar of the federal/ provincial Agricultural Policy Framework (now adapted into the “Growing Forward” framework), the province said.

Award winners will be determined based on their applications and business plans for outstanding ideas that will expand, add value or improve the sustainability of their existing farm businesses, the province said.

Each applicant for the Best Practices Awards will get a free registration to the AgChoices 2009 Conference on Feb. 11 at the Capri Centre in Red Deer, at which the program’s three prize winners will be profiled, the province said.

Farmers interested in more information or application forms for the awards program can find them online at www.agric.gov.ab.ca

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