WINNIPEG, MB (August 26, 2022) – Cleanfarms, the national stewardship organization that develops and operates recycling programs for agricultural plastics like grain bags has increased its bench strength in the prairies by adding a new program coordinator in Manitoba.
Serena Klippenstein, a local Manitoban who has roots in the province’s rural farming community, will be responsible for helping to operate solutions that work in Manitoba to manage used agricultural products including used grain bags, twine and empty pesticide and fertilizer containers for recycling. These programs are part of the provincial Manitoba Ag Plastic Program, which was approved under the Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation.
She will also have a hand in implementing programs that recycle silage bags and bale wrap, which is made possible in Manitoba with funding from the Dairy Farmers of Canada “Here for Tomorrow” project and Cleanfarms’ “Unwanted Pesticides and Livestock/Equine Medications Collection” program that collects old, obsolete and unwanted pesticides and farm animal medications for safe disposal*.
Klippenstein says she has always felt a connection to agriculture and appreciates that this position will allow her to work closely with producers.
“As people in the agricultural community know, a farmer has to be a jack of all trades to be a successful grower and that includes adapting technology that helps them do more with less. Farmers who use ag plastic products like grain bags want access to programs that help them manage those materials when they are no longer useful. That’s what I am here to do…help find solutions that make sense in Manitoba but that draw on the depth of experience that is happening across the prairies,” Klippenstein says.
Among the responsibilities high on her “to do” list is to help expand partnerships with ag-retailers to become conveniently-accessible collection site locations for farmers to return empty plastic pesticide and fertilizer jugs for recycling.
“Helping to transition collection sites for empty pesticide jugs from municipalities to ag-retailers in Manitoba over the next three years is a critical part of continuing to offer a convenient and efficient system for producers to recycle these materials. I’m keen to help make that happen,” she says.
Equally important, she is helping to establish agreements with municipalities to become accessible collection sites for farmers to return grain bags, twine and ag film for recycling.
Klippenstein holds a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) from the University of Manitoba with a major in agronomy and a minor in soil science and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) – Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan. She has seven years of full-time experience working with agricultural organizations including as the manager of corporate programs for the Canola Council of Canada and as a seed quality assurance lead with DL Seeds Inc.
“Serena’s education and work experience in agriculture adds to Cleanfarms’ capacity to develop and deliver programs for farmers across the prairies that address the way producers farm today,” says Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “Our goal is to create programs that give producers practical options that they can put into play to help keep farm communities tidy and contribute to a healthy environment. We are proud to have Serena on our Cleanfarms team to help expand relationships in Manitoba that will benefit producers and industry stewards.”
Cleanfarms is a non-profit agricultural industry stewardship organization that contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products. It is funded by its members in the crop protection, seed, fertilizer, animal health medication, and ag plastics industries. Through a network of more than 1,500 recycling collection sites across Canada, Cleanfarms’ recycling programs enable farmers to keep valuable resource materials out of landfill and the environment, and reinvested in the circular economy. Along with Manitoba, Cleanfarms has staff located in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as Ontario and Quebec.
*Cleanfarms is conducting its “Unwanted Pesticides and Old Livestock/Equine Medications Collection” program in Manitoba this fall. Collection events are happening on specific days in 20 locations from October 24 to 28.