Jul 16, 2018
In a day long meeting July 13, 2018 the EMRB's Regional Agriculture Master Plan (RAMP) Task Force began the process of this creating this foundational Plan's development. The Ag Master Plan is the first priority for implementing the Board's newly approved Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan.

Situation Analysis

First step was consideration of a regional situation analysis -
  • a fact based review of trends and changes that have taken place over the past 15 years
  • an overview of opportunities and issues facing the Region's agriculture and food community
  • a preliminary set of directions from which to begin the process of building a RAMP

"Agriculture is a critical economic driver and, it can be an even great contributor to the Region's success if it is treated as a priority area," said Jerry Bouma, of Toma & Bouma Consultants who are managing the RAMP project.

He said the regional agriculture industry is being impacted by the rising global demand for food, the consolidation of the agriculture and food industries, technology and innovation, and an ongoing demand for land preservation - comprising both RAMP's challenge and its opportunity.

The RAMP will couple a targeted approach to prioritizing agriculture, recognizing the critical importance of land preservation to long-term industry sustainability, with an effective policy framework that responds to the rapidly changing agricultural environment would be the keys to RAMP's planning process, Bouma told the Task Force.

The EMRB will see final draft of the Situation Analysis for its approval by fall.

RAMP Vision

A parallel activity in preparation for RAMP development is the plan's 50-year vision.

Bouma also led Task Force members in a discussion workshop, Towards a Vision for Agriculture and Food in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.

Their resulting draft vision will be brought back to the Task Force and then the Board for approval by year's end. It will guide enabling activities towards its final goals, in the context of identified obstacles.

The next meeting of the RAMP Task Force will be September 21, 2018 in Parkland County.