National | Media Release

Senate report recommends reinstating the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) and other measures to protect soils

HOWE ISLAND, ON—”The National Farmers Union applauds the release of Critical Ground, the new Report from the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry,” said NFU Climate Committee member Rick Munroe. The Senate report was released June 6 and contains 160 pages and 25 recommendations.
Munroe continued: “The NFU supports nearly all the report’s recommendations. We’re especially pleased to see the Committee recommend that “the Government of Canada reinstate the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA).”

Munroe explained that the PFRA provided exemplary front-line, integrated services to farmers for more than seven decades. It was created in 1935 to help Prairie farmers deal with soil drifting, water supply challenges, and other severe Dust Bowl problems.

“As a result of climate change impacts and predicted warming, we anticipate that the need for coordinated, multi-disciplinary federal supports will be even greater during the decades ahead than was the case in the 1930s,” said Munroe.

The NFU has met with MPs and others to advocate for a 21st Century PFRA—an expanded and updated national version that the NFU is calling the CFRA: Canadian Farm Resilience Agency. A CFRA can work with farmers to help them adapt to climate change, build resilience, and take steps to reduce emissions while maintaining yields and net incomes.  

Munroe continued: “The NFU advocates for the PFRA model to be adopted nation-wide in order to help farmers in all regions contend with the challenges that lie ahead. The Senate’s recommendation is a major step in the right direction.” Munroe also pointed to the Report’s final recommendation that “The Government of Canada recognize a sense of urgency and act accordingly.”

Munroe concluded: “Protecting soils and supporting farmers as climate impacts intensify are both crucial tasks. A CFRA could help do both. The Senate Committee’s recognition of a need for a modern-day PFRA/CFRA is a validation of our work on behalf of farmers. We will continue to work with farmers to establish this kind of agency, for the good of our soils, farmers, and all Canadians.”

A short description of the NFU’s proposed CFRA is here: 

Historical background on the PFRA is here:  

The Senate report is here: