The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) has a rich history as the face and voice of soil conservation in Canada. The SCCC was founded in 1987 by a group of individuals under the leadership of Senator Herb Sparrow to advocate for the importance of soil conservation on a national scale. Over the years, SCCC and its provincial partners have continued to advocate for soil conservation and soil health while also delivering several programs promoting soil-related best management practices.
The SCCC is the only national organization to concentrate on the issues of soil health and soil conservation within a broadly based landscape context. It works to build a greater understanding of the importance of soil as an essential resource to society by facilitating the exchange of information with all stakeholders. Healthy soils are the foundation of sustainable food production, enhanced biodiversity and cleaner air and water for present and future generations.
Past Activities & Achievements
- SCCC delivered the soils and nutrient components of the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture (GHGMP) from 2001 to 2006. Under this program over 500 BMP demonstrations were established, over 41,000 farmers attended events and over 500,000 people received information on GHGs and BMPs through factsheets and news articles.
- From 2009-2010, SCCC and the Taking Charge Teams tested Holos, a greenhouse gas calculator developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, with farmers across Canada to determine the ease of use and the value of the calculator to farmers considering mitigation strategies to reduce GHG.
- In 2014, in partnership with the U.S. Conservation Technology Information Centre, SCCC co-hosted the 6th World Congress of Conservation Agriculture (WCCA). WCCA is held every three years in a different country and this was the first time in North America. The world-class four-day Congress hosted over 400 people from 49 countries.
- SCCC hosted the Summit on Canadian Soil Health in December 2015, in Calgary, Alberta in conjunction with the GrowCanada Conference. SCCC highlights soil conservation and soil health as key issues in the future of Canadian agriculture.
Memberships in Other Organizations/Associations
- Member, the American Confederation of Farmers organizations toward a Sustainable Agriculture (CAAPAS), a producer-directed conservation association with a mandate to promote sustainable farming practices in North and South American countries.
- Member, the Canadian Round Table for Sustainable Crops (CRSC), a national, multi-stakeholder initiative across Canada's cereals, oilseeds, pulses and special crops sector.
Affiliations, Collaborations & Member Organizations
Agriculture In The Classroom Canada (AITC-C); Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs (CADAP); Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA); Canadian Young Farmers Forum (CYFF); Conservation Technology Information Centre (CTIC); CropLife Canada; Ducks Unlimited Inc.; Fertilizer Canada; GrowCanada; Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario (IFAO); Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Initiatives (MAFRI); New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association (NBSCIA); Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture (NLFA); Nutrients for Life (NFL); Ontario Agri-Food Education (OAFE); Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA); Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA); Peace River Forage Association (PRFA); Prince Edward Island Soil and Crop Improvement Association (PEISCIA); Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.; Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (SSCA); Soil and Crop Improvement Association of Nova Scotia (SCIANS); Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS)
- Lead role in the implementation of National Soil Conservation Week held the third week of April each year to promote conservation awareness.
- SCCC is responsible for administering two annual national soil conservation awards: the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame and the L. B. Thomson Award. SCCC established the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame in 1990 to recognize individuals who have contributed to soil conservation and health at the national level, and in 2016, SCCC took charge of the L. B. Thomson Award that recognizes soil care contributions at a regional level.
- SCCC maintains a website (www.soilcc.ca) that provides information for members, farmers and the public that affect the sustainable use of Canada's soil and related resources.
- SCCC provides advice and recommendations to policy makers on a wide range of soil, environmental and conservation policies.
- SCCC works cooperatively with industry partners, federal, provincial and regional governments, farm groups and various non-government organizations to promote soil health and sustainable agriculture, support research and education, awareness activities and provide policy consultation.
Activities-in Progress & Planned
- Through a national network, SCCC has delivered a series of 18 workshops across Canada on the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program. These workshops achieve enhanced environmental protection and improved sustainability.
- Collaborating with Nutrients for Life, Fertilizer Canada and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa on developing a National Soil Exhibit.
- Hall of Fame – Developing a new highly visible location with a digital display.
- In April 2016, SCCC convened a multi-stakeholder meeting of conservation practitioners with the objective to clarify expectations and find common ground; identify trends or realities impacting and influencing the landscape; develop elements of vision, and identify the path forward. Progress was made on the first three objectives and participants agreed to continue working on the path forward.
- 2016 Eastern Canada Soil Health Symposium
- 2017 Canadian Soil Summit-2020. A high profile, national event.
- Position Paper on Soil Research Needs.
- Position Paper on Soil Status in Canada – A 30-Year Update since "Soil At Risk".
Soil Health 2020
SCCC is developing a new initiative called Soil Health 2020 to focus our efforts and those of our supporters to meet the needs of soil health and conservation in Canada. Soil Health 2020 is an evolving platform for agreement how our joint actions will be applied to soil health priorities in an integrated and coordinated fashion, and to respond to the challenges of the future. It will be the meeting place for science, awareness and action for soil health in Canada.
SCCC is seeking your help, input and commitment toward the ongoing development of Soil Health 2020. We want to know what you think and your capacity to become a part of Soil Health 2020. Three "Pillars of Progress" have been proposed: Leadership for a new generation - progress through partnerships; Growing knowledge - building awareness and connecting communities; and Innovative solutions - capturing opportunities to drive a better future.
SCCC invites you to join the Soil Health 2020 campaign, a national initiative to promote soil health and conservation on the Canadian agricultural landscape. Become a member, donor and/or sponsor. JOIN THE ACTION! For more information please contact Jim Tokarchuk at 204-792-2424 or .