Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 109 No. 1The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 JANUARY 2023 | Vol. 109 No. 1POLITICS Popham ends term with strong ambitions 7 FRUIT Growers fail to block consolidation 9 PREVIEW Pacific Ag Show on track for 2023 21PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis is the province’s new agriculture minister following a cabinet shue that saw her replace Lana Popham, who had held the role since 2017. “I have big shoes to ll,” says Alexis, a rst-term MLA who previously served as mayor of Mission. Alexis says she was invited to serve less than 48 hours prior to the swearing in of the new cabinet on December 7. “I was just tickled pink. I was absolutely honoured, and so pumped,” she said of the appointment. “I was really, really excited and honoured, but again knowing that I have big shoes to ll.” Just six ministers retained the portfolios assigned by former premier John Horgan, while 85% of the government caucus received cabinet positions. Eby’s mandate letters to ministers prioritize the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and climate-related natural disasters, as well as reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. He identies housing, safety, health care and addressing climate change as key areas for action. Alexis’ letter identies her priorities as food security and protecting the Agricultural Land Reserve, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. “Your job will be to support farmers, ranchers, and seafood producers in the critical work they do for all of us, to ensure food security for British Columbians by A blanket of snow doesn’t always mean the end of harvest for BC vegetable farmers and some, like Apple Quill Farm in Wycliffe, are able to extend their fresh market sales until well after the rst snow ies. See story on page 31. MICHAEL ALBERTEby appoints new ag ministerSee SHUFFLE on next page oPETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Biosecurity by itself was not enough to protect Fraser Valley poultry farms from an ongoing outbreak of highly pathogenic avian inuenza last month. Cases surged in the closing weeks of 2022, with dozens of commercial farms in the Fraser Valley testing positive for the disease. As of December 15, nearly 2.7 million birds on 67 commercial farms had been aected. This is more than anywhere else in Canada this year, and exceeds the 42 BC farms infected in 2004 that led to valley-wide depopulation. See BIOSECURITY on next page oBC leads AI case count Bird flu soars on FV farmsWinter harvestForage Seed1-800-661-4559Produced by & available at
SHUFFLE shifts Popham to tourism nfrom page 1BIOSECURITY no match for avian influenza nfrom page 12 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCestablishing policies to use our agricultural land wisely, increase production, and add processing capacity,” the letter states. “Your role also involves building on our strong export sector by promoting the clean, safe, high-quality food produced in BC, creating jobs and growing our economy sustainably while supporting our communities and our neighbours.” The latter is of particular interest to Alexis, whose riding was hit hard by the November 2021 atmospheric river events and their aftermath. “The atmospheric river’s silver lining was perhaps the appetite to do things in a dierent way, to get more certainty out of our food production,” she says. “I believe we have people that www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 email: email@example.comWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard BRILLION CULTIPACKER 14 FT WIDE, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . 6,500 FORD 7000 2WD OPEN ST 83HP 540 PTO GD COND . . . . . . . . . . . 7,000 VICON PS602 FERTILIZER SPREADER, 3 PT, 1,000 KG CAPACITY . . 2,200 MASHIO CM4500 14’ PWR HARROW W/ROLLER GD COND. . . . 14,000 FELLA TS1601 ROTARY RAKE, 3 PT HITCH, TWIN ROTOR, 25 FT WORKING WIDTH, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,500 YANMAR FX42D 2WD OPEN STATION, 42HP PSHIFT TRANS, 4 SPEED PTO. 2961 HRS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,200 NH 256 ROLLARBAR 10 FT SIDE DELIVERY RAKE, GROUND DRIVEN, PULL TYPE, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,200 JOHN DEERE HD BALE CONVEYOR 40FT ON ADJ FRAME WITH AXLE, PTO DRIVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 MASSEY FERGUSON 1085 PARTS ONLY: NEWER 318 PERKINS ENGINE, 18.434 TIRES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALL JOHN DEERE 510 WITH LOADER, COMPLETE OR PARTS . . . . . . . . . CALL NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service Availableare able to help with solutions in a number of ways. One that really excites is certainly the agritech sector and looking at growing food in a dierent way, with perhaps less reliance on those traditional methods. So those are the kinds of things that really inspire me.” Alexis doesn’t have a farming background. She studied ne arts at the University of Victoria. Prior to entering provincial politics in 2020, she operated an event management company and in 2012-15 was vice-president of the BC Winter Games. She began working more closely with growers following her election in 2020, noting, “I actually learned more than I ever thought possible about the farming and agriculture sector.” She looks forward to continuing that work this month, noting that several groups have asked to meet with her. To date, her one ocial meeting has been with her federal counterpart to discuss avian inuenza. Alexis’ appointment surprised many, including Opposition agriculture critic Ian Paton. Popham, whose farming experience on Vancouver Island gave her a rapport with growers, now oversees tourism, arts, culture and sport – all areas more aligned with Alexis’ experience. “I’m just shocked that she was chosen to be the minister of agriculture,” Paton says of Alexis. “[Lana] didn’t have a ton of farming background, but she was very passionate about what she was doing.” Paton looks forward to working with Alexis but hopes she will be briefed, allowing her to get up to speed quickly. Besides the ongoing avian inuenza outbreak, the province also needs to undertake discussions around the next ve-year agricultural policy framework, which will replace the Canadian Agricultural Partnership on April 1. Popham told Country Life in BC at the end of November that preparations were underway. Alexis expects discussions with Ottawa to begin in January. “Farmers are doing everything they can to keep their ocks healthy but the latest thinking is that the virus is in the water (i.e. puddles) and is potentially carried by dust – both very hard to keep out of a barn,” says Amanda Brittain, spokesperson for the BC Poultry Association emergency operations centre established to address the outbreak. The fact that all Lower Mainland cases since October have been in commercial operations is a shift from earlier this year, when all but seven premises aected were non-commercial or non-poultry ocks. While there is no evidence of farm-to-farm spread at this point, the density of farms in the region is a signicant risk, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which is leading government response eorts. “While there have been a mix of non-commercial and commercial premises aected throughout the ongoing outbreak, the current surge in the Fraser Valley has only aected commercial operations,” CFIA said in a statement to Country Life in BC. “The large number of commercial barns and birds in the Fraser Valley presents many opportunities for the virus to be introduced.” BC growers remain at their most vigilant red biosecurity alert level as countries worldwide continue to grapple with the worst outbreak on record of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus, rst identied in 1996. It is notable not just for the scale of deaths – more than 110 million birds worldwide – but the fact it’s impacted more than 80 wild and domestic species. Besides domestic chickens and turkeys, ducks as well as pheasants and pea fowl have taken sick – species never before impacted in BC. Producers are already doing their utmost to ght the disease and CFIA has no immediate plans to escalate measures to ght the current outbreak. Indeed, its 350 sta in Western Canada are nding it tough to keep up with the pace of detections, with depopulations taking longer than expected.“Preventative farm biosecurity is primarily the responsibility of the poultry industry with the support of provincial regulatory orders as required,” it says. The province maintains that migratory birds are responsible for the virus’s introduction into domestic ocks. The province’s top vet has issued orders requiring commercial ocks be kept indoors. CFIA sta indicate wildlife mortalities in BC have been low relative to commercial ocks, however. “Avian inuenza is enzootic in migratory wild birds and they are generally less susceptible to the disease than domestic poultry,” CFIA told Country Life in BC. “Wild birds can shed this virus without signicant mortality levels being observed.” By mid-December, 44 wild birds – primarily eagles, owls,and waterfowl – had tested positive for H5N1 in BC, according to the federal government’s avian inuenza dashboard. This is the least of any province in Canada. Three red fox and one skunk have also tested positive. On December 2, the BC Centre for Disease Control asked doctors to be alert to cases in humans given the surge in on-farm cases. The aggressive and unpredictable nature of this year’s outbreak has placed growers under an extreme amount of stress. Brittain says the BC Poultry Association is oering mental health supports. BC agriculture minister Pam Alexis says the province also wants to ensure impacted farms have the support they need while the CFIA does its work. “Our role is just to assist because of course the CFIA is responsible for the issue,” Alexis said. Poultry groups are also developing plans to address shortages of product. Cooperation among supply management groups will help to oset local shortages, but preparation is key. “Each of the commodity boards is working on plans to ensure a steady supply of poultry products to the market,” Brittain says. “We appreciate the support shown to all BC farmers by the public. We urge them to keep asking for BC products in their local grocery stores.”
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 3Commercial production grows while local seed declinesPETER MITHAM DELTA – A veteran of the seed potato sector has stepped down after 44 years with the BC Certied Seed Potato Growers Association. Noel Roddick declined to stand for re-election at the association’s annual general meeting at the end of November. Roddick had served as the association’s secretary-treasurer since 1978, when Richmond grower George Wright called him from that year’s AGM. “I said, ‘I probably should think about it,’ and he said, ‘You should also think about the fact there’s a whole lot of customers in your room here, and if you don’t want to do it I’m sure none of them is ever going to buy another ton of fertilizer from you ever again,’” Roddick recalls. Roddick, now 84, had started his farm supply business in 1970, and was fast becoming a familiar and trusted member of the local farm community. He accepted Wright’s invitation. “We had a fertilizer oce and we had all the equipment so it was a natural thing to do and didn’t take a lot of time,” he says. The role of secretary- treasurer was important. With the help of federal potato researcher Norman (Bud) Wright, a virus-free breeding program had been established in Pemberton in the 1960s. It handled more than 100 varieties at its peak. “He picked Pemberton because it was an isolated valley,” says Roddick. “They did this tissue culture and they got generations of virus-free seed potatoes in every variety. … This meant there was really, really clean seed.” Pemberton growers grew the seed, then sent stock to Richmond and Ladner to be multiplied. “This is where I came in, keeping the accounts and doing the books for them,” says Roddick. The program set the pace for growers across North America, he says. The province always had a strong reputation for potato production, with Asahel Smith of Ladner winning a trophy for the best potatoes in North America at the Grand Pan-American Exhibition in New York in 1911. The virus-free program furthered that reputation. “People would come from Idaho and California and they’d see these spuds, and there wasn’t a blemish on the whole eld. They couldn’t believe it, how good they looked, and they went and did their own programs along the same lines,” says Roddick. However, the province has become a victim of its own success. BC seed potato acreage has steadily declined from 1,036 acres in 2013 to 556 last year. Meanwhile, acreage in all other Western provinces has increased, led by Alberta. “Alberta’s now a huge seed potato grower, and they followed Bud Wright’s program,” says Roddick. “I think it was inevitable that others would see what a good program it was, and what clean and vigorous seed it produced.” The result is that BC seed producers are exiting the industry. Lower Mainland growers like Bill Zylmans are retiring, while the Pemberton Valley is down to just six growers following the decision of Ronayne Farms to exit the business after ve generations. Meanwhile, commercial acreage has increased thanks in part to the eorts of BC Fresh to grow local sales against a tide of imports from neighbouring jurisdictions as well as investment in new processing facilities. And herein lies an irony: while the opportunities for seed producers should be increasing in step with commercial production, they’ve declined. Despite a push for locally adapted varieties in crops from vegetables to blueberries, the big commercial growers are sourcing their seed from elsewhere. “The potato business has been able to expand its share of the local market,” he says. “We just hope that when it comes to buying seed potatoes, the people who grow the commercial stu will buy local, too.” Anna Helmer, whose family has been farming in the Pemberton Valley for three generations and supplies organic seed to growers across BC, shares Roddick’s concern. While her business continues to see good demand, she knows that without good seed, neither organic nor conventional growers will be producing a solid crop. And that knowledge gives her hope. “Potatoes require good seed to produce commercially or eventually, the crop will fail. Commercial growers need us,” she says. “I am cautiously excited for the future of the seed business. I think the conventional ones will get bigger and the organic ones will just continue to slowly grow the business.” But the industry also needs leadership, and with Zylmans and Roddick retiring, there’s a need for younger growers to step up. Nicki Gilmore of Pemberton has stepped into Roddick’s role, but Zylmans – who received the BC Agriculture Council’s Award for Excellence in Agriculture Leadership last year – has been almost irreplaceable. “It’s quite a commitment. I don’t know whether the younger brigade are going to be able to do that.” Noel Roddick is stepping down after a remarkable 44 years as secretary-treasurer of the BC Certied Seed Potato Growers Association. RONDA PAYNEGenerational change in BC potato businessThe BC Climate Agri-Solutions Fund (BCCAF) supports farmers in adopting bene昀cial management practices (BMPs) that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases in the areas of nitrogen management, cover croppsing, and rotational grazing.For program news, sign up for the BCCAF newsletter at www.bccaf.caFunding provided by:Program delivery by:MISSED THE LAST INTAKE?APPLICATIONS OPEN JANUARY 16TH!HAVE A TIGHT TIMELINE?GET FUNDING THIS FISCAL YEAR!Time your fertilizer with TSUM www.farmwest.com
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Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.109 No. 1 . JANUARY 2023Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham email@example.com Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover firstname.lastname@example.org Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Happy New Year, PW (and the Mrs)!Prior to 1870, an estimated 70% of the world’s population lived in poverty, a number little changed for centuries. Today, 150 years on, and despite a ve-and-a-half-fold increase in population, the number living in poverty has fallen to slightly over 9%. What happened circa 1870 that began such dramatic change? There was a great conuence of technical innovation and progress. The vastly improved, high pressure, triple expansion steam engine coupled with iron hulls and multiple screw propellers made shipping fast and dependable. In 1866, the rst trans-Atlantic undersea telegraph cable was laid. In 1869, the Suez Canal opened and the rst railroad across North America was completed. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. A new age of transportation and communication – the cornerstones of global trade and economy – was ushered in. 1870 was also the 200th anniversary of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Its business model had scarcely changed in two centuries but 15 years hence, there were passenger trains connecting Montreal and Vancouver in less than six days. And ships sailing from Montreal to Liverpool in eight more. In 1910, HBC restructured its operations by adding land sales and retail sales divisions to the historic fur trade. In 1913, it started building huge department stores in western Canadian cities that didn’t exist in 1870. There were other factors at play in 1870. Two years earlier, a 21-year-old Thomas Edison registered his rst patent and established a staed research laboratory specically to pursue useful invention and improvements to existing inventions. Contrary to widely held belief, Edison did not invent the electric light bulb, but improvements he patented in 1879 allowed the bulb to burn for 1,200 hours and turned an unreliable curiosity into a saleable household necessity. When he died in 1931, Edison had registered 1,093 patents. In the same timeframe, Nikola Tesla championed alternating electric current which paved the way for practical electricity distribution and the arrival of the AC induction motor in 1887. In 1886, Karl Benz began the rst commercial production of internal combustion-powered vehicles. In 1902, Guglielmo Marconi made a radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1903, the Wright brothers pioneered powered ight. And on it goes, from the turn of the 20th century to now, a seemingly endless stream of technological innovation and employment. Imagine a young Scots clerk at an HBC trading post in 1870 trying to wrap his head around the idea that less than a hundred years hence humanity would have set foot on the moon. Or the day would come when he could speak to and see his dear old Mom and Dad in their home in the Orkneys – every day if he wished. Poverty is a matter of perspective. It is dened as a lack of adequate housing, water, food, medical access and basic education. Among the many achievements and results of the global economy is a food system capable of feeding 8 billion people every day. That there are still people living in food poverty is almost certainly a failure of political and social will than a failure of supply. Perhaps the best indication of how fundamentally the global economy has changed is that agriculture now accounts for just 6% of global GDP. In 1950, agriculture accounted for 51.9% of Canadian GDP. In 2018, agriculture accounted for 1.7% of GDP, compared to industry at 24.6% and the service sector at 66.9%. A hundred and fty years of continuously accelerating technological advancement has created a truly global supply chain network and economy. We are awash with goods, services, luxuries and entertainments our forebears couldn’t have imagined, and though 90% of we 8 billion souls have escaped dire poverty, how many of us, I wonder, are genuinely happy? Or deeply appreciate our daily bread? It seems a hallmark of the human condition that simply having what you’ve never had to do without is never quite enough. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. The Back 40 BOB COLLINSWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCGood news, bad newsThe ongoing presence of avian inuenza in BC has been wildly unlike the two major outbreaks that preceded it in 2014-2015 and in 2004. This is both good news and bad news. On the one hand, the total depopulation of domestic poultry ocks seen in 2004 has not been required. The sacrice of 17 million birds seen then will not be repeated. There are also no known instances of farm-to-farm spread (not at this writing, anyway), pointing to the vital importance of the strong biosecurity protocols adopted after 2004 in protecting farms from one another. But the aggressive spread of the disease this year also points to the uncomfortable fact that even the best biosecurity practices simply reduce risk rather than eliminate it. While farm-to-farm transmission doesn’t appear to be happening, infections continue. This has put producers, already under signicant nancial pressure from soaring input costs and scant margins, under the existential weight that comes from knowing even your best isn’t enough. This is not an easy burden to bear. The spread of the virus also sends up any notion of virtue attributable to production systems. Similar to what many of us learned during the pandemic, all have proven equally vulnerable to the disease, regardless of our protocols. Best practices matter, but pathogens have a knack for undercutting the moral high ground we assign to them. All growers, commercial and otherwise, are birds of a feather these days. This is something former agriculture minister Lana Popham recognized. While often seen as championing small producers (mink farmers would disagree), dairy and other sectors came to hail her as a fast friend. Coming from an urban riding, Popham knew she had to work hard to build bridges and showed herself adept at deploying personal stories that putting human faces on the challenges farmers faced during her tenure. The recent cabinet shue handed her portfolio to Mission’s Pam Alexis, who acknowledges she has big shoes to ll. Some say the cabinet shue positions the government for an election. But the loss of a veteran minister such as Popham, with her 13 years’ experience in Victoria advocating for the sector, sends a message to farmers. While the environment, health, labour, public safety and transportation portfolios all retained their ministers, agriculture did not. Alexis represents a riding that includes some of the most productive farmland in Canada but her appointment shows that continuity of leadership on the agriculture le wasn’t a priority for the Eby government. The winds of politics are like those blowing the dust now alleged to be smuggling the H5N1 virus into commercial poultry barns. We’re all vulnerable to them. Yet the dawn of a new year calls for optimism. Whatever the winds of change bring, we must let them be the winds at our back as we face the future. Give us this day our daily bread
Changing the playing field for farmersEby’s new set of ministers demands strategic action by agricultureCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 5aordable housing, safer communities, improved health care, and a sustainable, clean, secure and fair economy. Specics for agriculture include continuing work on the recommendations of the Food Security Task Force. However, former go-to jobs and innovation minister Ravi Kahlon has been moved to the new stand-alone housing ministry, and his former portfolio, now named Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, has gone to cabinet newcomer Brenda Bailey. Unlike the mandate letter Kahlon received in 2020, Bailey’s does not reference the agriculture ministry: emphasis on this connection may diminish. Another priority is to work with Indigenous peoples on agricultural initiatives. This item has less substance for Alexis than for Popham because the sheries and aquaculture parliamentary secretary support role, which formerly reported to Popham, will now report to Water, Land and Resource Stewardship minister Nathan Cullen. Alexis is directed to “ensure government has all of the information required about land use in the Agricultural Land Reserve to support partnerships with farmers, industry and government in developing long-term planning and food security in the province.” This rather odd wording will require investigation. Does the Eby team have plans for the ALR that may be led by ministries other than agriculture? Several priorities sound like a continuation of the current course. The minister is expected to work with partners to increase food processing in BC; to continue to support the Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC programs; and to support the Education and Child Care minister to integrate Feed BC into expanded school meal programs. On climate matters, Alexis is directed to work with Emergency Management and Climate Readiness minister Bowinn Ma on an emergency preparedness strategy for food security, and to work with industry on best practices to reduce carbon pollution. The BC Agriculture Council’s key issues are agriculture education, labour, environment and climate change, farm business, land use and water. Nathan Cullen will be a key contact. But in the agriculture minister’s mandate letter, explicit mention of access to labour is missing. BCAC will need to ask Alexis who can speak to each of its key issues, and seek meetings on labour and climate – portfolios overseen by cabinet veterans Harry Bains (labour) and George Heyman (environment and climate change strategy). Under the Election Act, BC’s next provincial election is scheduled for October 19, 2024. Some political commentators, spooked by John Horgan’s premature election call in 2020, suggest that Eby will go to the polls as soon as enough stars seem to align in the NDP’s favour. Eby himself insists he will honour the 2024 set date. Other commentators argue that Eby will need all the time he can get to show progress on key les. He takes the reins in the backwash of the pandemic amid economic (e.g. supply chain) and social (e.g. housing and health) crises and the ever-encroaching climate emergency. The run-up to an election is a time for industry to review its key issue pitches for resonance with both the government and also the Opposition caucus. In politics, mandate is everything. Whenever the mandate is coming up for renewal, industry should ne-tune its advocacy strategy. Given the general lack of eective succession planning in government, it’s best to assume that each new incumbent in a decision-making role important to industry will need to be briefed from scratch, each time. Something like Ag Day could be hosted on an as-needed basis. Government, positioning to renew its mandate, will be more prepared than usual to listen to, collaborate with, help solve and fund ideas that can serve its agenda. For agriculture, the more broadly its issues are spread around the province, the more relevant they are to government’s top priorities; and the more those issues aect swing ridings, the more government MLAs will be inclined to lean in. In the confusion following a cabinet shue, industry can nd benets from new relationships and policy opportunities. Kathleen Gibson lives and grows food in Lekwungen territory/Victoria. She is a policy analyst and founding member of several non-prot food system organizations.Lana Popham’s departure leaves the portfolio without her farming experience, passion for rural BC and the full spectrum of BC’s agri-food diversity.The provincial cabinet shue December 7 brought more change than such moves usually do. BC has a new premier with a new sta leadership team, reworked priorities, a new cabinet of 27 (85% of the total caucus) and role changes for many of its members. The expanded cabinet includes eight newbies, Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis among them. Alexis succeeds Lana Popham as the province’s new minister of agriculture and food. How will this aect BC agriculture, and how should industry regroup and re-engage? The new NDP team does not yet have the approval of the electorate. Many see the new cabinet as positioning the government for a provincial election: swing ridings (those with close results in 2020) may receive special attention. Abbotsford-Mission is one of them. For agriculture, Alexis’ appointment signals the importance of the Fraser Valley. Her previous experience as mayor of Mission should provide some practical understanding of the sector and its challenges, oods in particular. On the downside, Lana Popham’s departure leaves the portfolio without her farming experience, passion for rural BC and the full spectrum of BC’s agri-food diversity. Alexis’ mandate letter from the premier emphasizes continuity, “delivering on the mandate British Columbians gave us in 2020” rooted in four cross-government priorities: attainable and Viewpoint by KATHLEEN GIBSON%PXOUPXO3FBMUZtOE4U7FSOPO#$t0óDFPat | 250.308.0938QBUEVHHBO!SPZBMMFQBHFDBThea | 250.308.5807UIFBNDMBVHIMJO!SPZBMMFQBHFDB6475 COSENS BAY RD, COLDSTREAMwww.FarmRanchResidential.ca “Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”Perfect for vineyard or orchard, 57.485 acres of mostly flat useable land with great water supply 15 minutes from Oliver. Game fenced, 4 wells, water licence. Currently w/cattle & Crown grazing permit. 30X100 farm bldg w/living quarters. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 7Popham ends term with strong ambitionsPopham’s passion for the sector celebrated In deep: Lana Popham's personal experience as a farmer was a key strength during her time as agriculture minister, laying a foundation for her successor Pam Alexis. BCMAF / FLICKRPETER MITHAM VICTORIA – Taking the stage at the BC Dairy Industry Conference on November 24, the passion and charisma former agriculture minister Lana Popham brought to her role was on full display. Since becoming agriculture minister in 2017, Popham was often praised for her eorts to promote local purchasing and small-scale farmers and criticized for initiatives including revamping the Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission, rural slaughter capacity. But she was nothing if not positive, at one point quipping that some called her “Pollylana” for her sunny outlook. That spirit shone through as she addressed dairy farmers in November. “I see you doing your level best,” she said. “I want to continue to be the wind at your back as you navigate an even more complex world.” But a cabinet shue on December 7 dealt Popham the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, a shift for someone groomed to be agriculture minister since rst being elected MLA for Saanich South following a career growing organic salad greens and grapes and eight years as Opposition critic for agriculture. And she still had plenty to do, as she shared in a November interview with Country Life in BC. Priorities for the year ahead included marking the 30th anniversary of Buy BC, a program she restored in her initial days as minister in 2017. “It wasn’t always functional as a progam over those 30 years but it certainly has picked up major steam and people are depending on it now,” she said. “It’s to the credit of consumers and farmers that we found this momentum at one of the most dicult times that we’ve ever seen in our agricultural history.” She also highlighted eorts to mitigate climate change. BC farmers are on the front lines, said Popham, who took oce during the unprecedented wildre season of 2017 and secured a historic $238 million recovery package for farmers and ranchers aected by the equally unprecedented atmospheric river events in 2021. “Five years ago when I became minister, climate change was kind of there in the discussion but now nobody can ignore it,” she said. “There’ll be funding not just for the insurance and recovery packages we need after an event happens, but there will be funding for prevention and mitigation, which is really critical for us.” Rebuilding extension programs is also high on the ministry’s agenda through initiatives such as the small-farm accelerator program, which will relaunch later this year with an increased emphasis on business planning. Business planning was chosen because many farmers don’t have a business plan, and even fewer have one written down they can review at regular intervals to determine their progress. “What people really needed was business support as they tried to gure out what would make their farm work better,” she said. “I think farmers are so busy they don’t have time to spend on the business planning side.” Building on recent investments in regional agrologists on Vancouver Island and in the Interior, Popham said knowledge transfer programs were also set for greater investment. “We still need extension services right across the board, but we’re building it back,” she said. A recent example is funding for two extension workers to serve the tree fruit and grape sector in the Okanagan, something highlighted in the ministry’s revitalization task force. “We’ve looked at what they’ve been trying to do without the proper supports and it’s going in the wrong direction,” she said. “Making sure there’s a replant program with extension services and business planning, all of that will get us growing in a dierent direction.” While fruit growers haven’t yet oered her a jacket for the support oered by the stabilization initiative, BC Dairy executive director Jeremy Dunn presented her with one in recognition of her being a key BC Dairy team member. “She is there for farmers always,” remarked Dunn as he welcomed her to the stage. “She has gone to bat for us so many times, and on behalf of our board and all dairy farmers I really want to thank the minister for how much she cares for us.” It’s an example Popham’s successor, Pam Alexis, hopes to continue as she takes up Popham’s work. “She had a wonderful way with people, and had wonderful connections, and certainly laid incredible groundwork for me to build on,” Alexis said.Rotary RakesKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeTHE MOST COMPLETE HAY LINE Cut • Dry • HarvestSave time, money and improve hay quality with KUHN.THE HAY AND FORAGE TOOL SPECIALISTS Mowers Mower Conditioners Mergers Wheel Rakes Tedders Harvesting high-quality hay and forage is the focus of KUHN's hay tool innovation. 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8 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCHigher food prices make little difference to farmersRetail prices don’t reflect increasing on-farm costs PETER MITHAM VANCOUVER – Rising food prices are squeezing the budgets of consumers, but they’re not necessarily benetting farmers, either. An increase of up to 7% in food prices is likely this year, on top of the 9% increase BC families saw in 2022, according to the annual Canada Food Price Report prepared by researchers at UBC, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Guelph under the direction of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. A family of four could end up spending an extra $1,000 on food this year, the report says. Ongoing ination for food items as well as declining disposable income thanks to higher interest rates and other costs will make it not just more expensive but harder for consumers to feed themselves. But producers are also facing rising costs, thanks in large measure to geopolitical factors such as the war in Ukraine, which has tightened supplies of wheat and vegetable oils and driven energy prices higher. The higher input costs throughout the food supply chain are driving higher retail prices. Statistics Canada reports that the shelf price of a 4L jug of milk increased 17% in the 12 months ended September while butter increased 19%. Eggs increased 13% while chicken drumsticks increased 31%. But much of the retail price isn’t passed onto producers, who say that returns aren’t keeping up with escalating costs of feed, fertilizer and fuel. “The link between farm prices and retail prices is generally weak because the farm share of the retail selling price is generally quite small,” says James Vercammen, a professor in food and resource economics with UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Since farmers, particularly in Canada, are price-takers, rising prices for commodities such as grains and meats are not specically due to their higher input costs but rather reect strong global demand for these products. Similarly, a large volume of the produce sold in BC is imported, meaning local producers don’t set the price. Retail clout also limits the prices they can ask. “I don't believe local producers have much market power and so higher prices for produce at the retail level may not necessarily [have] translated into higher prices for growers,” says Vercammen. Rising food prices are a top concern of consumers, according to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, which released its annual public trust report in early November. Most don’t blame farmers for higher shelf prices, though. “Rather than blaming any specic food system stakeholder, Canadians have an accurate understanding of what is impacting the price of food,” the report says. “Most Canadians (56%) believe that food prices are increasing due to costs associated with food production supply chains.” Lettuce reached a staggering $7 each in downtown Vancouver this fall – and that was the sale price. The bump in retail prices isn’t reaching growers, however. PETER MITHAMMEET THE TRACTORS THAT STEP UP TO THE CHALLENGE IN OUR 2022 CLEAROUT SALE*O.A.C. QID# 27732586 (1023E) QID# 27926872 (1025R) QID# 27927027 (2025R) Items may not be exactly as pictured. Some restrictions may apply. Contact PrairieCoast equipment for full details. Offer valid until 1/31/2023.2022 EQUIPMENT INCLUDES A FACTORY INSTALLED LOADER$199/MOGOODBETTERBEST$302/MO.20221023E20221025R20222025R0% FOR 72 MONTHS OR $1000 OFF ON CASH PURCHASE*$345/MO.$267/MO.ONLY 9 AVAILABLEONLY 12 AVAILABLEONLY 7 AVAILABLESCAN THE QR CODETO BE DIRECTEDTO OUR WEBSITEPRINCE GEORGE | KAMLOOPS | KELOWNA | CHILLIWACK | LANGLEY | NANAIMO WWW.PCE.CA 1-877-553-3373
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 9Growers fail to block co-op consolidation BC Tree Fruits on track for Oliver move after emergency meetingA decision to move BC Tree Fruit operations to Oliver prompted co-op members to challenge the board’s governing powers at a special general meeting at the end of November. FILETOM WALKER PEACHLAND – All motions against the current board and management of BC Tree Fruits Cooperative at a special general meeting in Peachland on November 20 failed to pass, but grower members hope that their displeasure has been heard. “Members feel that there has been a lack of transparency from the board and management, particularly around the move to Oliver,” says outgoing board member Amarjit Lalli. “We hope that grower dissension in the direction of the co-op has been noted.” When members voted on the special resolutions, an average of 60% of growers present supported the motions. But co-op rules required a two-thirds majority for the motions to pass. The special general meeting was held in advance of the co-op’s annual general meeting on December 12. “A group of member growers petitioned the board for a special general meeting,” explains BCTF CEO Warren Saranchan. “There were 34 signatures on the petition although only 22 were required.” Attendance was strong, with 152 of the co-op’s 215 registered members attending. Members considered 11 special resolutions, with 10 voted on. One was considered redundant. Two rules adopted by the co-op in November 2021 concerning board members and how they are nominated were a particular sore spot. A resolution to remove a section of the co-op’s rules providing for two independent (non-grower) board members was nearly carried with 64% supporting it. A resolution to eliminate the nominations committee that pre-screens and selects suitable candidates to stand for election received support from 63% of members. “Members don’t feel that the make-up of the board reects the make-up of the grower community, which is largely Indo-Canadian,” says Lalli, who is Indo-Canadian himself. “They question the need for independent board members and are not happy with the process of selecting board candidates.” Parm Saini, who has represented his mother at co-op meetings and has organized growers against the Oliver move, agrees. “There isn’t anyone who The BC Fruit Growers’ AssociationDID YOU KNOW?supports members through programs:BCFGA provides free magazine subscriptions to Orchard and Vine, Country Life in BC, The Grower and Good Fruit Grower (NEW!).BCFGA provides assistance to members to complete Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program applications, backed by an accredited Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant.Free printed spray schedules.EFP Incentive Program ($250). Green Spark Consulting Services - Discount on housing bylaw assistance. COR Safety Certiﬁcation Incentive ($250). NEW!1234LAKE COUNTRY – Gurjit Pabla has been growing apples in Wineld since 1977, shipping rst to the Vernon Fruit Union and now BC Tree Fruits as the valley’s fruit co-ops merged and consolidated. But this year has been a wake-up call for growers, as changes in how the co-op does business have stirred strong emotions among long-time growers. “You know when things are going well everyone kind of dozes along,” says Pabla. “But when the move to Oliver was announced in August, it was a real surprise. Several of us asked about board nominations because we don’t think the move is in the best interest of growers and we were told that nominations were closed.” Pabla says that in 2019 and 2020, board nominations closed just three weeks before the co-op’s annual general meeting. This year, the two-month nomination period closed August 1, more than three months before the co-op’s December 12 annual general meeting. It was also two weeks before the board surprised growers by announcing the consolidation of packing operations in Oliver. “Nominations were opened June 1 of this year and closed August 1,” he says. “The membership was told of the move to Oliver on August 17.” Pabla started digging into the board minutes for an explanation for the early closure of nominations and was shocked by what he found. “In the May 24, 2022 minutes there is a very suspicious comment,” he says. “The chair of the nominations committee is on record as saying that nominations should be closed before the move to Oliver is announced so that they don’t have growers wanting to run for the board who don’t support the move.” BC Tree Fruits CEO Warren Saranchan says co-op rules don’t specify a timeframe for nominations. “The nominations committee are free to choose the timeline as they see t,” he says. While management and the board followed the rules, Pabla says it isn’t in the spirit of the co-op. “In olden times, any big decision like the $85 million move to Oliver was discussed at a special AGM and all members would get their say,” he says. “The directors say that they are acting for the good of the company but there are only nine of them and directors can think wrong, too.” Pabla says members were told co-op directors can’t discuss decisions in detail because of privacy rules. “But it should be a moral responsibility. Directors should be able to explain to growers about their decisions,” he says, noting that a majority of co-op members expressed dissatisfaction with the board at a special general meeting held November 22. “The board should think that when 60% of the growers are not happy with them, they should go out and talk to the growers,” he says. Co-op nomination process sidelines criticsspeaks as a champion for growers,” he says. A resolution to remove the entire board received 59% support from members, while votes to remove individual board members ranged from 47% to 64%. While individual board members enjoy dierent levels of support, several speakers at the SGM warned of ‘chaos’ if the entire board was disbanded and interim directors appointed. The co-op has a substantial portfolio of real estate and recently sold three properties for $38.7 million. Current holdings include packing houses, controlled atmosphere storage facilities, Growers Supply locations and See GROWERS on next page o
10 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCView over 100 listings of farm properties at www.bcfarmandranch.comBC FARM & RANCH REALTY CORP.Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage?GORD HOUWELING Cell: 604/793-8660GREG WALTON Cell: 604/864-1610Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI Call BC’s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100% to Agriculture!PROFESSIONAL SERVICESFormer BCFGA president, co-op chair diesHis work on behalf of growers led him into several leadership positions. He was elected BCFGA president in 2013, becoming the rst Vernon-area grower to lead the organization. His election marked the industry’s shift towards the northern half of the valley, now home to 70% of apple production. In 2018, Dukhia became chair of BC Tree Fruits Co-op as it wrestled with management turnover and nancial woes. Co-op eld sta were let go as the board and management sought a sound nancial footing. A plan to consolidate operations at a new site in Kelowna was put forward and the co-op purchased an 85-acre property on Old Vernon Road. The current board shelved that plan this summer, shortly after Dukhia was diagnosed with lung cancer. Complications related to the disease led to his death December 14. A public funeral is planned. Details were not available at press time. — Peter Mitham New chairs announced A shuing of roles gives several of the province’s regulated marketing organizations new leadership for the new year. A series of three Orders in Council signed November 25 appointed new chairs for the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission, BC Chicken Marketing Board, BC Turkey Marketing Board, BC Hog Marketing Commission, BC Cranberry Marketing Commission and the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission. The orders appoint Bill Vanderspek chair of the hatching egg commission, a year after his appointment to the BC Chicken board, where he served as vice-chair following his retirement as the board’s executive director. His knowledge of the industry will be invaluable as broiler producers work out cost-of-production and pricing formulas in the new year. Vanderspek succeeds Jim Collins, appointed a member of the BC Chicken board. Kevin Klippenstein replaces Harvey Sasaki as chair of BC Chicken. Klippenstein takes up the role following a run as chair of BC Turkey, where he is succeeded by Kalpna Solanki, chair of BC Cranberry since 2021. Solanki is being succeeded at BC Cranberry by Stephanie Nelson, formerly executive director of the hatching egg commission. Meanwhile, the end of Debbie Etsell’s term as chair of BC Veg will see her succeeded by Derek Sturko, a former deputy minister of agriculture. Sturko previously served as chair of the BC Hog Marketing Commission and is a principal with Inner Harbour Consulting Inc. in Victoria and a consulting partner with Cascadia Strategy Consulting Partners, whose recent work includes addressing issues within the province’s fruit sector. Succeeding Sturko at the hog commission is meat industry veteran Bonnie Windsor, who retired from her role as plant manager at Johnston Packers Ltd. in Chilliwack in 2020. All appointees have two-year terms running through December 21, 2024. — Peter Mitham COVID-19 response reviewed “Government and society pulled together to do what needed to be done” when COVID-19 hit the province in early 2020, despite being unprepared for a province-wide emergency. That’s the nding of an independent review of the province’s response to the pandemic, released December 2. Report authors Bob de Faye, Dan Perrin and Chris Trumpy – all former senior public servants – reviewed a total of 15,000 submissions from the public. Many were critical of government’s response, given that people were not selected at random but chose to give their opinions. The report also drew on interviews with about 145 organizations. Agriculture organizations did not participate, having beneted from a several initiatives, including a generous provincially funded quarantine program delivered by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food hailed as an example for other provinces. Pioneering orchardist Jeet Dukhia has died. Dukhia was a former president of the BC Fruit Growers Association and also chaired the BC Tree Fruits Co-op, whose tenure in the latter role included the 2019 purchase of property near the Kelowna International Airport for a new packing plant. Born in 1948, Dukhia emigrated to Canada and eventually landed in Vernon where he rose to become chief engineer at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital. However, he was also an outspoken fruit grower. Beginning in the BX area of Vernon in 1977, Dukhia worked to keep abreast with new developments. He grafted over his orchard to newer, more protable apple varieties including Ambrosia and Honeycrisp as well as sweet cherries. Ag Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAMExpert farm taxation adviceApproved consultants for Government funding throughBC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramEnderby 250-838-7337Armstrong 250-546-8665 |t1VSDIBTFBOETBMFPGGBSNTt5SBOTGFSPGGBSNTUPDIJMESFOt(PWFSONFOUTVCTJEZQSPHSBNTt1SFQBSBUJPOPGGBSNUBYSFUVSOTt6TFPG$BQJUBM(BJOT&YFNQUJPOT$ISJT)FOEFSTPO$1"$"-PSFO)VUUPO$1"$"5PMM 'SFF1-888-818-FARM |www.farmtax.comRossworn HendersonLLPChartered Professional Accountants - Tax Consultantsartered Professional Accountants - Tax ConsultanReport authors did hear from individual farmers and ranchers, however, many of whom initially felt ignored by the Oce of the Provincial Health Ocer. While the province set up sector roundtables to hear industry concerns, the report notes that there was often more talking than listening done. “Some felt they were just being talked at and not engaged, largely depending on whether there was an opportunity to ask questions and raise issues at the table,” the report notes. The report is short on references to the farm sector due to a lack of input but its 26 ndings and recommendations identify “the need for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to take on an enhanced food supply security focus in another essential goods supply chain implication.” In February, Emergency Management BC is participating in Exercise Coastal Response, wherein logistics-related emergency response activities can be tested as a part of broader supply chain management. Agriculture ministry sta will be participating in the exercise as part of eorts to build resilience. “There is always an opportunity to look at ways to enhance food security and food system resilience in the province,” the ministry said in a statement, noting that it is reviewing the report’s recommendations. — Peter Mitham CALL FOR AN ESTIMATE LARRY 604.209.5523 TROY 604.209.5524 TRI-WAY FARMS LASER LEVELLING LTD.IMPROVED DRAINAGE UNIFORM GERMINATION UNIFORM IRRIGATION FAST, ACCURATE SURVEYING INCREASE CROP YIELDS We service all of Southern BCa Kelowna property purchased in 2019 for a new centralized packing facility. The facility was nixed when the decision was made to consolidate operations in Oliver. Two resolutions that sought to restrain the sale of any of these properties without prior consideration at a general meeting also failed to pass. The surprise announcement in August that packing operations would relocate to Oliver was the catalyst for the special general meeting. But a resolution to restrain the board from making decisions pertaining to the move to Oliver was supported by only 54% of the members. Lalli maintains that there is still much that is unknown about the move. “The original gure of $85 million that was given to upgrade the plant in Oliver has been scaled back as there will only be renovations, not a major expansion,” he says. “But I’m a member of the nance and audit committee and I haven’t seen an updated budget. Growers keep asking me for information and I can’t provide it.” Saranchan acknowledges a need for better communications with members. “With the turnout we had, it shows that we need to be continuing to talk to our members,” he says. “Growers care deeply about the success of the cooperative and we need to be continuing to do all the right things with our communication.” Lalli hopes for a change. “When you have more than 60% of growers showing their disapproval by supporting these resolutions, that shows a real lack of condence in the board,” he says. “Members are feeling marginalized and that they have no opportunity for their interests to be expressed at the board level.” GROWERS unhappy nfrom page 9
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 11BC loses a champion of agriculture Respectful, clear approach leaves a legacyJack Brown’s lifelong career in agriculture spanned more sectors than most. He is being remembered as a charismatic, thoughtful champion of BC agriculture. RONDA PAYNEPETER MITHAM SURREY – A long-time friend and outspoken champion of BC agriculture has died. Jack Brown passed away unexpectedly November 26, just a year after stepping down as chair of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission. “[Jack] stood out as one of those key directors who could see past his own direct interests and appreciate the overall good,” recalls Andy Dolberg, a commission director who worked with Brown in various capacities over the course of 30 years. “Positive leadership fosters positive outcomes.” Born in 1940, Brown grew up on his family’s dairy and potato farm on 168th Street in Surrey. In 1958, he began managing the family farm, operating it until 1988. When it sold to become Northview Golf & Country Club, he and his wife Lorrie moved to North Langley and hung out their shingle as Jalormi Red Angus. Brown had high standards when it came to cattle and he quickly developed a solid reputation among Angus breeders, not just in BC, but across Canada. He travelled all over the province as fieldman for the BC Angus Association and invested an enormous amount of time reaching out to buyers and fellow Angus breeders as part of the Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society. The professional skills he developed in his youth as a Jaycees (Junior Chamber) member helped him to achieve multiple leadership roles in various organizations, including the BC Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Horticulture Council, BC Coast Vegetable Marketing Co-op and BC Cattlemen’s Association. He also contributed to the broader community through the Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department and Surrey Dyking District. Brown was elected president of the BC Federation of Agriculture in 1989 and became an outspoken voice for the sector at the dawn of a massive free trade push that began with the Canada-US free trade agreement that took effect earlier that year. But if market access was important, farmers’ financial viability was even more so. “All agriculture prefers to make money in the market rather than on some aid program,” he remarked as tree fruit growers sought provincial assistance in 1990 in response to low prices. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t work well when you're competing with countries that are heavily subsidizing their industries.” A sense of fairness A sense of fairness and cooperation also made him keen for the province to resolve land claims with First Nations while including agriculture interests as part of the discussions. “We definitely want to be part of the system,” he said on behalf of the agriculture sector. “He always put his heart and soul into every challenge that he undertook, whether it was growing potatoes or serving industry at the BCFA,” says Jack DeWit, who knew Brown for nearly 50 years. “Producers respected him, and so did others that worked with him at all the different levels. He took pride in knowing the industry he served and always looked for new and innovative ways to improve grower returns.” BC Cranberry general manager Coreen Rodger Berrisford says the respect and clarity Brown brought to his work have left a lasting legacy. This includes the BC Cranberry Research Farm, with which he remained involved until his death. “His professionalism, ability to communicate and negotiate were instrumental in developing consensus and moving decisions forward,” she says. Brown is survived by Lorrie, his wife of 58 years, son Michael (Kristen), daughter Jamie, grandchildren Emily (Liam) and Greg. A mentor to many, Brown will be missed by all who knew him. A public gathering in Brown’s honour will be held at Northview Golf and Country Club in Surrey on January 28 at 11 am. HIGH EFFICIENCY. HIGH ACREAGE. HIGH YIELDS. 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PETER MITHAM VANCOUVER – Canada is one of the best-placed countries in the world for dairy production as the global market shrinks and producers elsewhere face growing limits on production. “Canada is a place where you could grow your milk production,” says Christophe LaFougère, who oversees international consulting and market research rm Gira Food’s dairy practice, and addressed the BC Dairy Industry Conference in Vancouver, November 24. “You’ve got everything here – you’ve got the land, you’ve got the feed and on top of that you’ve got decarbonated energy –you’ve got green energy – and also less expensive.” Canada stands out in a world where many countries face constraints largely driven by economics and new regulations designed to green their economies. New Zealand, for example, has no further room to grow its dairy sector while the Netherlands aims to cut the size of its national livestock herd by a third as part of eorts to halve nitrogen emissions by 2030. LaFougère says EU environmental ambitions could see the continent’s top seven dairy producers cut their herds 23% by 2030, resulting in 26.3 million tonnes less milk collected. Tighter margins are also forcing many growers to exit the sector, further squeezing supplies. “These guys are producing less and less milk and quitting the business because they’re not paid enough – margins are not good enough,” LaFougère says, describing the situation as unprecedented. “We have entered a completely new situation with less milk,” he says. “We were all expecting less milk, but not to that level and not to the point where in the future we will continue to have less milk.” North America is bucking the global trend, with production in Canada rising from 10,072 million tonnes in 2022 to 10,236 million tonnes in 2027. Unlike in Europe, eorts to achieve environmental commitments are having less impact on farmers. Dairy producers in Canada already produce milk with half the carbon emissions of the global average and aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Ottawa has assured producers that they won’t be limited by a new sustainable agriculture strategy now under development. “Our spirit is really to go in a collaborative manner and through incentives. Our reality here in Canada is very dierent than in other countries,” federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told Country Life in BC when consultations on the strategy opened last month. “We are blessed with the land we have, the water we have. We have made a lot of progress through the years.” But to capitalize on the opportunities, producers need to nd a way to adapt not just to changing marketing conditions in Canada but adapt to serve export markets. Canada’s dairy exports are subject to limits under CUSMA, but LaFougère pointed to new plants in Abbotsford and Blackfalds, Alberta as examples of where the opportunities lie. Vitalus Nutrition Inc. is building a milk protein isolate plant in Abbotsford and will also manage the Dairy Innovation West project planned for Alberta that will condense uid milk and reduce transportation costs. Originally announced by the Western Milk Pool in 2019, the project’s funding application to Farm Credit Canada remains in process. “We have lots of indication that it will turn out very positive,” Manitoba dairy farmer and WMP chair Henry Holtmann told the BC conference. The nal maximum price contract as part of the design-build arrangement with Pacic Process Canada was set for completion by the end of December. The original $50 million price tag has increased, but Holtmann reassured producers that it hasn’t changed as much as they might have expected. “Pricing from pre-COVID times, surprisingly, is up but not to the point where it puts the project out of spec,” Holtmann says. While new processing capacity is the imperative, Western Dairy Council president Dan Wong says a strategy is needed for an expected increase in solid non-fat product for which there’s limited markets. “We can no longer ask the [Canadian Dairy Commission] to export skim milk powder and fat. We are capped under the terms of CUSMA,” Wong told the conference, noting that eorts to grow domestic markets to absorb the surplus will likely cost up to a billion dollars. “We’ve got some hard work ahead of us if we really want to address this issue and there may be hard choices required,” he says. Ben Brandsma received the BC Dairy Industry Historical Society award at the BC Dairy Industry Conference for his decades of service and accomplishments as a producer. He spearheaded BC’s production of organic milk in 1999 and oversaw the growth of Agrifoods International Cooperative from $25 million in annual revenues to $250 million over his 15 years as president. PETER MITHAMHonoured
14 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMNP is a proud sponsor of the 2023 Paciﬁc Ag Show and we look forward to connecting with you there!When it comes to your accounting, consulting, and tax needs, you deserve an advisor who really gets what’s on the line. It’s more than your livelihood, it’s your lifeMNP.caDenise Parker, CPA, CGA | 604.792.1915 | firstname.lastname@example.orgDairy producers raise alarm on costsMargins fall below 4% as fuel, feed costs post double-digit increasesPETER MITHAM BURNABY – Producer income loomed large on the minds of dairy producers as the province’s three dairy organizations gathered online for their annual general meetings November 22. During the open discussion that followed the meetings, held online to facilitate attendance from across the province, the leading question asked was what was being done to improve producer income. BC Dairy Association chair Holger Schwichtenberg said there was no easy answer to the problem, which isn’t unique to BC. “It is more of a national question than a BCDA or BC Milk [Marketing Board] one,” he said. “We are looking at ways, but that is not solved overnight.” Rising production costs and federally mandated price hikes that have failed to keep pace with them have pushed producer margins below 4% this year. Dairy prices, set by the Canadian Dairy Commission, rose 8.5% last February and 2.5% in September, with a further 2.2% increase set for this February. The result has added more than a dollar to the retail cost of staples like a 4L jug of milk and a pound of butter, but it hasn’t been enough to oset rising costs for feed, fuel and other inputs. But total input costs have increased by an average of 19%, according to information presented by the Western Dairy Council at the BC Dairy Industry Conference in late November. Key drivers include fuel, up 71%, and feed, up 39%. According to BC Milk, transportation costs this year are set to rise 12% thanks to higher fuel costs, adding nearly $4 million to producer expenses. This is a signicant shift from the additional $1.2 million last year, which took a bite out of the $15 million in revenue added by higher milk prices. Two key initiatives that could help improve BC producer incomes include greater dairy processing capacity in Western Canada. BC Dairy executive director Jeremy Dunn reports that a feasibility study is underway for a co-pack facility in the region that will provide space for small runs of products by multiple processors. The feasibility study, undertaken by KPMG in partnership with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, is expected early this year. Dairy Innovation West, a new processing plant planned for central Alberta, will concentrate raw milk to reduce the transportation costs producers pay. Undertaken by the Western Milk Pool, the plant is jointly owned by the provincial dairy organizations. BC Dairy holds a 35% interest in the project, and contributed $1.1 million to the project over the past year. Despite the challenges, producers continue to work on producing top-quality milk. BC Dairy’s annual milk quality award this year went to Dave and Melinda Matlak of Deroche, who maintained a high level of cleanliness over the course of the year. The farm’s somatic cell count (SCC) averaged 41,000 per ml while plate counts of anaerobic bacteria stood at 3,500 per ml. “We like to be meticulous, and we’re concerned about what our numbers are, but those are truly astounding numbers over a whole year,” Schwichtenberg said in announcing the award. “Some of us may get there on occasion but it’s maintaining those numbers and not having the odd hiccup. … They should be commended for that.” According to the latest Agriculture Canada numbers, the average SCC for BC over the course of the last dairy year was 152,896 while plate counts averaged 24,707. The meetings updated producers on several in-house initiatives, including a new three-year strategic plan for BC Dairy. BC Dairy members also voted on an overhaul of association bylaws as part of a regular review. The changes include provisions related to the new WMP governance structure, allowing the executive to act on members’ behalf at the regional level. The bylaws were revised to implement gender-neutral language throughout. FILE PHOTO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 15A special event to mark the closure of United Flower Growers’ 500-seat viewing gallery in Burnaby was well-attended. Joining CEO Michel Benoit, far left, were Andries Quik, Stan Vander Waal, Herb van der Ende and Brian Minter. ANNA KLOCHKOwww.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onNITRO 275RS SPREADERSACCUMUL8 & RETRIEVERBALEWRAPPERS SILAGE RAKEFlower growers shutter auction gallery Pandemic saw flower auction blossom onlineSANDRA TRETICK BURNABY – Following the regular Thursday morning flower auction in Burnaby on December 15, growers and buyers got together to celebrate the end of an era. The crowd was a throwback to auctions held before COVID-19 health restrictions took hold in spring 2020 and buying went entirely online. Many returned to mark the closing of United Flower Growers Cooperative Association’s (UFG) large viewing gallery. For one long-time grower, being back on site brought back memories of the old days when the viewing gallery on Marine Way was full and the auctions were lively events. “There would be a number of growers there and we’d be interacting with buyers,” recalls Herb van der Ende of Burnaby Lake Greenhouses, a UFG past president and guest speaker at the event. “Quite a few growers were actively involved in trying to maintain a price for their product. It was a lot of fun.” Van der Ende has fond memories of the drama and the camaraderie, although he says that was even more evident in UFG’s older, smaller auction galleries, in the days before buyers brought their laptops to the gallery and hand signals were the norm. UFG operates the largest Dutch auction in North America with a staff of 80. In a Dutch flower auction, the price starts high and drops until a buyer purchases each lot. Originally established by six founding growers, UFG held its first auction in Vancouver in 1963. In 1968, the co-op moved to Malkin Avenue, the heart of Produce Row in Vancouver, before eventually relocating to the Burnaby location in 1977. Continued growth led to another move from the original Roseberry building into the current adjacent premises in 1986. At that time, the gallery had seating for 375. By 1998, attendance had grown to require an even larger gallery with seating for 520. UFG introduced a remote buyer platform in 2008 to accommodate out-of-town buyers. That group steadily increased in the years leading up to the pandemic and by early 2020, half of buyers were already online. In-house buyers have not returned en masse since pandemic restrictions were eased last year. Now about 10% of buyers show up in See UFG on next page oUnited Flower Growers in Burnaby operates the largest Dutch ower auction in North America. ANNA KLOCHKO
16 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCUFG nfrom page 15FCC.CADREAM. GROW. THRIVE. We’re FCC, the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food, serving diverse people, projects and passions with financing and knowledge.Let’s talk about what’s next for your operation.You’re behind Canadian agriculture and we’re behind you87398-8_FCC_2023_AP_Greenhouse_Ad_8-167x9.indd 1 2022-12-02 10:20 AMperson to any one of the three weekly auctions. That’s about a dozen people on any given day and a far cry from the peak a decade ago when the gallery was often full. The online auction offers convenience. It saves time and it can be accessed from anywhere, but one of the long-time buyers says a drawback is missing out on seeing the product in person. “You could be there at 5 in the morning and take time to go through and look at all the product,” says Brian Minter of Minter Gardens in Chilliwack, another guest speaker. “You knew what you were getting.” That aspect is missing with online technology, but Minter says it’s the auction itself that is invaluable to all types of buyers, from small flower shops to garden shops and large chain store buyers. “You’d never have this selection of plants that is so quickly available and [in] such diversity,” added Minter. “Buyers have been incredibly fortunate to be in that situation. Everybody’s on equal footing.” COVID casualty With the onset of COVID, the auction moved completely online and buyers simply got used to it. For the last three years, the gallery has been virtually empty. That meant the large viewing gallery and the three-acre parking lot buyers used has become redundant. UFG decided it would remove the stadium-style seating and convert the viewing gallery into an additional 4,000 square feet of warehouse space for auction use. It should be ready in time for Mother’s Day. The former cafeteria has already been converted into a smaller gallery with 24 stations and room to grow to 50 if needed. The co-op’s subsidiary, United Floral, handles wholesale flower distribution while a separate holding company owns the buildings. The old Roseberry building is slated for demolition this spring to allow a new 144,000-square-foot warehouse providing future capacity. Building is scheduled to get underway this fall. Andries Quik, a cut flower grower with Quik’s Farm in Chilliwack, is UFG’s current chair. He expects virtual selling will eventually replace the need for a physical gallery altogether. “When the auction started 60 years ago, you wouldn’t have an auction without a gallery,” said Quik. “Now you have a very live auction today without a gallery. It’s done online.” Eight months ago, Michel Benoit took over as CEO of the United Flower Growers Co-operative Association (UFG) and its auction from Bob Pringle, now CEO of the co-op’s distribution wing, United Floral, and the holding company that owns the buildings in Burnaby. The two work together closely. Benoit, who has a background in the horticulture sector, spent the last 15 years as general manager of the BC Turkey Marketing Board and BC Turkey Growers Association. Benoit says auction sales are up this year and Christmas sales are more in line with pre-COVID numbers. “Direct sales of flowers are still strong, but since the economy has turned around and inflation has been substantial, some of the buyers that were buying direct have cut some of their orders just because they’re nervous about the economy,” says Benoit. “That has brought some of that product back on to the auction. Right now, 57% of all of the auction’s business is done on the auction clock.” He notes that people had a lot of disposable income during COVID because they couldn’t travel or do much. “Buying flowers became quite the fulfilling purchase of choice,” he says. “[Now] we’ve gone back more towards the pre-COVID prices. Volumes haven’t really gone down very much, but the prices have gone down to pre-COVID numbers.” Brian Minter of Minter Gardens in Chilliwack says, historically, recessions don’t hit the floriculture industry as badly as some other sectors even though flowers are a discretionary purchase. “We’ve taken a little bit of hit, but we seem to be hit last and come out of it first. That’s been a normal scenario,” he says. Minter notes that millennials are now the main consumers and they are very concerned about the environment. “They are going to want to plant climate-adaptable plants that will be carbon sequesters, that will be oxygen producers, that will provide habitat for wildlife, trees that will be able to shade and cool,” he says. “They’re very in tune with this. Far more than our generation was. That’s going to be the one thing in our favour as an industry.” Minter says “flowers became the new hug” during the pandemic and he doesn’t think that’s going away any time soon. “I think that’s going to make our industry a lot more resilient to the upcoming storm of recession and high prices,” he adds. —Sandra TretickTalking turkey about flower sales
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 17MFG OF MINI SKID STEERS AND A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDINGDRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SPADES | TREE SAWS & SHEARS | BOOM MOWERS | PTO POWER PACKSBRUSH MULCHERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS | PTO GENERATORS | AUGER DRIVES | FLAIL MOWERSTREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | TRENCHERS | STUMP GRINDERSBAUMALIGHT.COMAdair Sales & Marketing Company Inc. 306-773-0996 | email@example.comLocate A Dealer OnlineKATE AYERS RICHMOND – Overexertion, falls and being struck continue to be the top accidents in agriculture. In 2021, there were 14,000 work days lost and more than $11 million in claims. To help reduce injuries and improve productivity, producers should regularly take time to identify the hazards present in their operations, evaluate the risks they present, and implement appropriate measures to mitigate or eliminate them. “One of the rst steps is really understanding the risks. … Really looking at accurately identifying hazards,” says WorkSafeBC occupational health and safety consultant Terry Bertram. “One of the best ways to do that is to talk to the workers that are actually performing the work.” WorkSafeBC’s risk management basics oer a useful guide to hazard assessment. For example, in winter, slips, trips and falls are a greater risk on farms. “The arrival of snow and ice presents a really big challenge for everybody because everything in farming seems to be in such a hurry all the time,” says AgSafe BC executive director Wendy Bennett. “Taking the extra time to walk extremely carefully and cautiously is pretty important. And there's not just the ice … manure and things like that that can cause those slips. Some of the biggest hazards that are out there are the slippery surfaces that people are walking on on a daily basis.” When risks in the workplace are understood, business owners should implement appropriate measures, communicate policies and protocols to all workers, and monitor measures regularly and update as required, WorkSafeBC says. One example is the prevention of musculoskeletal injuries, which are caused by wear and tear on muscles, tissues, ligaments and joints due to lifting, reaching or repeating the same movements. “MSI injuries make up the largest portion of our claims across all sectors, and it's certainly no dierent in agriculture,” Bertram says. “There's a number of controls that you can look at – engineering controls or are there lifting aids that we can use? Can we change the workstation so that it’s not necessary to work in those awkward positions? Can you make the size of the load a little bit smaller, to reduce some of the weight or the force involved?” Other potential solutions are to rotate tasks so that workers are not repeating the same movements every day. Providing personal protective equipment including gloves, ear plugs and knee pads also help. Just as every operation should have a business plan, farms should also have safety plans. “All employers have an obligation to foster and create a safe workplace. There's a regulatory obligation under the occupational health and safety regulations in BC. So, that's certainly one reason why it's important to have those safety plans for compliance,” Bertram says. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Engaged, productive A healthy and safe workforce is an engaged and productive workforce, Bertram adds. Injuries and time o work are huge losses on farms and skilled labour is hard to come by across all industries. “If you're recognized as a safe place to work that has a positive culture around safety, it's great for recruitment and retention of your people. So again, another great business outcome,” Bertram says. “It's the right thing to do … but it's good for business as well.” Safety and risk management plans demonstrate to employees and family members that the producer cares about everyone’s health and well-being and can often help resolve situations faster if an event does occur. “Producers are encouraged to have risk management plans for their business, for all their nancial situations, for their environmental situations, for animal care … all those things,” Bennett says. “So, to have something for safety in general, to look at risk management, it's going to help them have a much more robust business, and [benet] their own health and well-being and that of everybody that comes on their farm.” A risk management plan is an excellent rst step, but cultivating and perpetuating a safety-based culture in the farm workforce comes from leadership. “I think the whole safety culture truly has to come from the top and by ensuring that time is taken for safety, rather than be a response to a situation that went sideways,” Bennett says. It is important that producers encourage and model safe behaviour and create an environment where workers feel comfortable speaking up about hazards and asking questions, Bennett adds. Risk management plans make safety senseA safety culture starts at the top, advocates sayYOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comSign up for FREE today.YOURping Youpingpgpping Youc.comSignupfor
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 19Biodynamic workshops receive fundingRegenerative ag push benefits organic, biodynamic programsCountry Life in BC columnist and organic/biodynamic potato grower Anna Helmer and biodynamic farmer Travis Forstbauer enjoyed the ability to socialize and talk shop at a soil workshop in Langley. RONDA PAYNEFarm & Rural ResidentialProperties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, CRA P AppAppraiser250.firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspengrovepropertyser vices.caRONDA PAYNE LANGLEY – Biodynamic agriculture and regenerative practices are the focus of a new series of provincially funded workshops taking place at ReFeed Farms in Langley. Supported by $6,000 from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the workshops organized by the Biodynamic Agriculture Society of BC (BASBC) focus on bringing soil back to good health through farm-specic composting and an understanding of the living environment within soil. “This is the rst of many biodynamic workshops,” says BASBC chair Thomas Schneider, who attended the rst of the current series on November 23. “It all blends in with what ReFeed does.” ReFeed’s primary business is rescuing fresh produce headed for the landll to feed hungry mouths. What can’t be redistributed is turned into farm-specic composts for use by growers. “We’re re-sorting [fresh produce], making sure the edible food for people goes to people, then animals, then worms,” says Robby Gass, farm manager and soil specialist with ReFeed as well as a board member of BASBC. To help farmers bring life back to their soils, Gass makes custom composts at ReFeed but he says creating a healthy farm is more than compost. It’s understanding what the farm needs, especially when growing regeneratively and particularly in growing systems like organic or biodynamic that limit what can be applied to the earth. “You need to know how to get the dirt to be living soil,” he says. While he’s been in Canada for less than a year, Gass has decades of experience as an organic farmer as well as a Master’s degree in the eld and a certicate in soil microscopy. He ran a 100-hectare medicinal herb farm in South Africa and served as a consultant to Mossgiel Organic Farm in Scotland. “Soil health is key to produce a bountiful crop, healthy herd and prosperous population within the natural world,” he says. “It is merely how we get there that diers from one approach [organic, regenerative, biodynamic] to another.” Travis Forstbauer of Forstbauer farm in Chilliwack attended the workshop. His family farms 110 acres biodynamically. BASBC’s workshops are key to his wellbeing as a farmer. “It brings a community of like-minded people together,” he says. “We can learn from each other and from the experts, especially in this time when we’ve been so separated.” Gass says the November workshop at ReFeed aimed to remove the stigma around biodynamic farming. Many farmers are already aligned with the seven biodynamic principles: soil fertility, healthy plants, respect for the nature of animals, biodiversity, highest organic quality, ecologically responsible and socially responsible. Gass explains that organic, regenerative and biodynamic farming systems have standards growers must respect in order to maintain certication. Annual inspections ensure compliance with each method. Biodynamic farming involves a number of preparations that distinguish it from organic and regenerative farming. Proof of application of these preparations are part of the certication process. “The Biodynamic Federation Demeter International requires biodynamic producers to be organically certied by a nationally approved organic certication body before the biodynamic certication can take place,” he says. “What is not well understood is the contentious fact that conventional farms, applying poisonous chemicals and water-soluble synthetic fertilizers, are not required to meet standards or be certied at all.” 1.800.282.7856 Now is the time to over-seed those worn out hay elds and pastures. Discover this nitrogen xing cover crop & forage, and what makes Frosty such a unique legume.Find out more at terraseco.comLow hard seed counts allows for quick establishment.
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The 22 attendees started o the day with the Lessons, Legends and Laughter session, which included a producer panel reecting on the 30-year history of the PRFA. “It was great. We had a panel of three folks who have been involved in various positions with the organization,” says PRFA coordinator Nadia Mori. “I put together a presentation with pictures and impressions of many of the things that had happened across the 30 years, just kind of reliving some of the memories and then prompting the panel to contribute some of their perspectives on things.” The presentation also recognized and acknowledged former contractors involved in projects that had contributed to the association’s accomplishments. When the association started in 1992, the group’s rst project was conducting forage variety trials in collaboration with the BC Forage Council. “That was such a neat start o because even today, it's one of the most asked-for information pieces, but it's really hard to fund that type of research,” Mori says. Over the last three decades the association has produced over 100 forage factsheets, conducted projects investigating wildlife crop damage and collaborated with the oil and gas industry to restore and reseed forage lands in a meaningful way. The association’s AGM marked the completion of Mori’s rst year as coordinator for the PRFA, which was a year of signicant change. “We had myself stepping into the role of coordinator,” Mori says. “It was exciting because we had our rst eld tour again this summer, in person, and it was very visible how people were quite hungry for an opportunity to just get together and socialize and learn from each other on a personal level.” Return to in-person events welcomed The return to in-person events last year was a highlight for PRFA communications contractor Heather Fossum. “We really tried hard doing as much as we could virtually but … you just don't feel quite as connected to people,” she says. “It was really nice to be able to organize those events and connect with producers again. I think they really appreciated it based on how many people came to the eld day and how many people just kept talking well after supper. … Chatting with each other about things that had worked on their operations or not worked on their operations.” The association held its rst webinar series of 2022 in February and held other events such as wildland re school, low-stress livestock handling techniques and workshops for advanced grazing systems. Another big milestone last year was the kickstart of the Peace Region Living Lab project, which includes PRFA along with eight other partner organizations. This ve-year federally funded project with the PRLL is the only inter-provincial agricultural living lab in Canada and out of the 55 producer sites, 10 belong to PFRA members. “Which is amazing when you think how small our association is in terms of people power compared to other organizations that have a lot more permanent sta and nances to run their association,” Mori says. “So, I feel like we're a little organization that could.” The association is planning many informative extension events for members over the next 12 months. “There's a lot of potential projects on the horizon,” Mori says. “Some projects that we’re hoping to materialize are around prescribed re and looking at how prescribed re aects the carbon storage in the soil, how quickly it may be replenished after using re and then also the impact as a forage rejuvenation tool.” Mori hopes that this project could encourage collaboration between First Nations, producers and PRFA. “I know a lot of the First Nation communities here; they're very interested in bringing back more of their cultural learning practices. So, I think there's a lot of sort of working hand-in-hand opportunities,” she says. “And then hopefully [we] can also maybe do some work again with oil and gas, just looking at some more research projects that would be relevant to them, but also to forage and livestock producers.” New board During the business portion of the AGM, Chris Moat succeeded Kristina Schweitzer as secretary-treasurer. Neil Ward continues as president and Shellie English remains vice-president. Rounding out the board are directors Brian Gilbert, Jody Watson, Josh Stobbe and new member Charissa Enns. Producers reflect on past, plan for futurePeace River Forage Association marks 30-year anniversary at AGM
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 21—— 2023 ——Regenerative Agriculture and Growers’ Short Course January 26 - 28, 2023 | TRADEX, Abbotsford, BC THURSDAY, January 26Regenerative Agriculture • Floriculture • Greenhouse Vegetable Agri-Tech/Innovation • Raspberry/Strawberry FRIDAY, January 27 All Berry • Potato • Cannabis • Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef • Vegetable • HazelnutSATURDAY, January 28 Blueberries • Organic • Hops To register or for more information, visit : www.agricultureshow.netPresented by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food together with the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association and the Pacic Agriculture ShowFunding for the Short Course is provided in part by the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.Attend in Person or by WebinarThe Pacic Agriculture Show marks its 25th anniversary this year with a full roster of exhibitors and a wait list, showing that people are glad to come together after nearly three years of upheaval driven by the pandemic and extreme weather events. “What a dierence from the past two years – that almost seems like a bad dream now,” says show organizer Jim Shepard, The show takes place January 26-28 at Tradex in Abbotsford. It returns to its regular end-of-January date this year at the dawn of a new era for Tradex and a new economic cycle. Tradex is back to full food service under new management company Fraser Valley Exhibition Centre Inc., a subsidiary of Vancouver-based Harbour Event and Convention Centre which also operates a facility on False Creek in Vancouver. The entire building is now licensed, which will permit socializing within booths during the show as well as during the opening reception at the MNP Pavilion on January 26. Younger visitors will be able to catch up with friends old and new in the petting zoo on Friday and Saturday. It has doubled in size and scope and will delight children young and old. On the economic front, surging input costs and rising interest rates have put pressure on farmers, but it’s also encouraging reinvestment and innovation. “There will be lots of new and interesting equipment and cool technology on display,” Shepard says. Farm Credit Canada forecasts strong demand for large farm equipment in 2023, including high horsepower tractors and implements. One of the larger equipment makers, Kubota, will once again sponsor parking. General admission has been set at $15 this year. Visitors registered for the annual growers short course will also pay the same low fee for the education component of the program that runs alongside the trade show, thanks to the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The annual short course, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, will be organized by the province after assuming responsibilities from the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association, which has hosted the event since its inception in 1958. Rebranded as the Regenerative Agriculture and Growers’ Short Course, the program was drafted in partnership with LMHIA and the Pacic Agriculture Show. “We are expecting the 2023 event to be bigger and better than ever,” said LMHIA executive director Sandy Dunn in announcing the change. The ministry has hired a conference planner to assist with delivering the show, which will see sessions on regenerative agriculture and Indigenous reconciliation added to the lineup in addition to the usual array of presentations on all aspects of horticulture from cauliower to cannabis. The province is also scheduling its Every Chef Needs a Farmer event during the show. The three new provincial events will be free of charge to all show attendees, not just short-course registrants.Pacific Agriculture Show on track for 2023Province takes the lead and expands growers short courseStand up for the BCAC gala This year’s events at Tradex will kick o with the BC Agriculture Council gala on January 25, which returns to an in-person venue for farmers, ranchers and stakeholders for the rst time in three years. BCAC expects more than 500 participants for this year’s event, scheduled for the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford. Doors open at 5 pm. The event has been reimagined this year, with a stand-up format that will allow guests to mix, mingle and socialize to the sounds of live entertainment. There will be no table service, but tables of eight will be provided where groups can gather throughout the evening. A mix of interactive and stationary food stations will showcase the best of BC produce, including the highly sought-after cheese table. The program will also include presentation of the Scotiabank Champion of Agriculture and BCAC Leadership awards, recognizing British Columbians who have made signicant contributions to agriculture in the province. The silent auction will support future agricultural leaders. All proceeds will go to BC Young Farmers to support programming in governance and farm nancial literacy. Bid items will be located throughout the event oor. Bidding will begin online January 18 and continue through January 25 at 9 pm. Preview by PETER MITHAM
22 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCohortWholesale.comTechnical and sales support provided byAlways read and follow label directions. Gatten® is a registered trademark of OAT Agrio Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2021 Nichino America, Inc. Worried aboutPowdery Mildew?Get Gatten!Gatten® fungicide Gatten®acts on multiple stages of powdery mildew development, delivering both preventative and post-infection control.The province’s lead role on the Regenerative Agriculture and Growers’ Short Course will see several sessions added that showcase provincial programs and priorities. Given the new name of the program, proceedings kick o January 26 with a First Nations welcome to a full day of regenerative agriculture, agritech and innovation sessions in the Terralink room. The opening session will see agriculture minister Pam Alexis announce the regenerative and agriculture framework under development since last fall as well as the composition of the advisory board. Jacob Beaton of Tea Creek Enterprises will speak to the importance of Indigenous engagement. Two panel discussions featuring a cross-section of local farmers and suppliers will discuss opportunities for BC to lead Canada in adopting regenerative agriculture. Strategies for making a transition to regenerative practices and scaling operations to circumstances across the province will be discussed. Certication of regenerative practices is an ongoing concern, and the province has secured Je Moyer, executive director of the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, to give his perspective on issues facing farmers. The role of technology in helping farmers be both regenerative and protable will also feature in the morning’s panel discussions, ushering in an afternoon devoted to innovation. Glen Lougheed, co-chair of BC’s Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Task Force will moderate a panel discussion of funding options. It will be followed by a conversation of smart farms and their role in the future of food with presenters from UBC, the BC Centre for Agritech Innovation at SFU and University of the Fraser Valley’s Food and Agriculture Institute. On the marketing side, the province will oer two events aimed at fostering connections between food service and farmers on January 27. A 90-minute edition of Every Chef Needs a Farmer will take place at 1 pm that afternoon, showcasing the demand from the local restaurant sector for sustainably produced agricultural products. Free of charge to all visitors, it will showcase stories to consumers of how crops are produced, highlighting connections with regenerative agriculture. Kristina Bouris, senior manager, value chain innovation with the ministry, will take the stage at 3pm to unpack the Feed BC program, oering tips and resources to get ready to sell food and beverage products to BC’s hospitals, universities and colleges. Provincial priorities in focus at ag showGet crackin’ at the Pacic Agriculture Show. MYRNA STARK LEADER PHOTOS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 23The Pacic Agriculture Show is a one-stop shop for new farm equipment. Greenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmProtection NetsMulch Film Landscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTwine & Net WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain Seed1.800.663.6022ofﬁce@silagrow.com5121 - 46 Ave S.E. Salmon Arm, BCPick Up & Delivery Only 112-18860 24 Ave. Surrey, BCsilagrow.comWe look forward to seeing you at thePaci昀c Ag Show in Abbotsford Jan 26-28Booth #1229Berried treasure Berries are perhaps the most signicant and sweetest of the horticultural crops grown in BC, and a key topic of interest for local growers. Strawberries and raspberries have become a smaller part of local production in recent years, but innovations are creating fresh opportunities for growers. The raspberry and strawberry sessions in the Terralink room the afternoon of January 26 will focus on how to defend the crops from threats. In the case of strawberry growers, powdery mildew control using ultraviolet light will be discussed as well as strawberry blossom weevil. Raspberry growers will be updated on market threats and opportunities to help them make the most of the 2023 market. The all-berry sessions the morning of January 27 will amp things up with a focus on the use of robots for weed management based on experiences in Ontario. Soil health will also be covered o, including a presentation by Okanagan grower Gene Covert on cover cropping in perennial cropping systems. Spotted wing drosophila, a pest common to all soft fruits, gets its due with a review of seasonal control strategies. Blueberries are the largest berry crop in BC, and growers will have their ll of information in the Terralink room on Saturday, January 28. But the action will kick o the previous day with a presentation on the forces shaping the future of the global berry Industries by David Magaña, vice-president and senior analyst based in Mexico with RaboResearch’s food & agribusiness division. Magaña will review trends in global production, seasonality of supply and consumption for caneberries and blueberries. Saturday opens with a series of presentations on the biggest threat facing blueberry growers right now, scorch virus. Best practices for managing the disease, as well as novel Insights into the virus load of diseased plants and aphid populations will equip growers to do what they can to protect their elds. Fungal pathogens, pollination and irrigation practices will follow, providing growers with key management tips to keep their plants healthy and productive. The day will close with three informative sessions that will position the BC industry to weather global market dynamics. BC Blueberry Council research director Eric Gerbrandt will present the latest data regarding eld performance of new blueberry cultivars and future prospects. New cultivars are critical for BC growers, who face challenges from high-quality berries from Peru, whose impact on global markets will be the subject of a panel discussion. Cort Brazelton of Fall Creek Nursery will close out the day with a review of global blueberry market dynamics and what it means for Pacic Northwest growers. Risks meet innovation Sessions for greenhouse and ower growers take place January 26 in the Nutrien room, with a focus on risk and innovation. Controlling greenhouse pests will the key topic for ower growers, while labour, economic risks and innovations to address the challenges will be the focus for greenhouse vegetable growers. Netherlands-based Kubo Greenhouse Projects has recently opened a Vancouver oce and will present a variety of innovations and trends that focus on achieving energy and water savings, reduced CO2 emissions and increasing yields in the BC sector. The day will complete with federal research scientist Xiuming Hao discussing lighting solutions for year-round production. Potato and eld vegetable growers will take over the Nutrien room on January 27 for their sessions. Provincial pesticide specialist Ken Sapsford will kick o the day with an update of key pest management tools. Subsequent sessions will focus on wireworm, late blight, and addressing pests during cool spring weather such as growers experienced in 2022. Provincial soil specialist Dieter Geesing will be the segue to the eld vegetable sessions with his discussion of practical soil health indicators for growers. The afternoon sessions begin with a presentation on nitrogen inputs for eld vegetable growers. A discussion of pest and fungicide management in brassicas will follow as well as an overview of new vegetable varieties. Growers of all crops will appreciate a presentation on preventing burnout by Do More Agriculture Foundation executive director Megz Reynolds on January 26 at 11 am. With so many pressures facing farmers, Reynolds will coach growers to recognize the signs of stress and understand the importance of self-care. u YOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWSUPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comSign up for FREE today.Happy Happy New New YearYearHappy Happy New New YearYear
24 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411AGCO Genuine parts are built to work hard everyday, so they can keep up with you. Organic reality check Organic farmers like to consider themselves the original regenerative growers, but are they really? UBC soil scientist Sean Smukler will delve into how regenerative organic vegetable nutrient management practices really are on January 28 when organic growers meet in the Nutrien room. Several other sessions during the day will also address soil health, with discussions of wire worm control, no-till practices and the use of spent mushroom substrate as a replacement for peat. Agritech will get its due with a discussion of autonomous tractors as a regenerative agriculture tool. The province has invested heavily in a replant initiative to help hazelnut growers recover from Eastern Filbert Blight. Now, it hopes growers will help the province address climate change and has invited University of Tuscia associate professor Valerio Cristofori to speak on the role of the hazelnut agro-ecosystem in the carbon sink. Hazlenuts are also participants in a living lab project focused on climate change mitigation, and the opportunities for producers will be unpacked by UBC’s Sean Smukler. Growers can also hear the latest on new varieties, water management and brown marmorated stink bug. New varieties, including development work at Langara College and KPU, will be the focus of the hops sessions, which take place January 28 in the Belchim room. Soil health will also be discussed. Relegated to a separate forum airside prior to the pandemic, cannabis will be rmly housed under the Tradex roof this year with a half-day session in the Belchim room on Friday morning, January 27. Sessions will cover an emerging viral threat to cannabis plants, the development of new genetics and how living soils can improve THC concentration in cannabis owers. Dairy events return Seeing what others are doing and how they structure their operations is a key way to get new ideas to improve your own. This year, the dairy industry will resume farm tours with a research workshop focused on the latest research and best practices at Prime Acres in Abbotsford on January 25. Research stations will be set up across the farm featuring the latest research by Dan Weary and Nina von Keyserlingk of UBC and Herman Barkema of the University of Calgary. Topics include calf housing, health and animal welfare; best practices for preventing and controlling infectious diseases; and new findings related to antimicrobial use and resistance. Visitors can proceed at their own pace as they tour the farm beginning at 10 am. A hot lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required. The following day, Scotiabank is sponsoring BC Dairy's Lunch & Learn in the Scotiabank room at Tradex beginning at 11:30 am. Registration is required for this free event, which will present recent research on topics relevant to local dairies. Details of the lunch & learn topics will be released closer to the date of the event. There’s lots to learn at the Pacic Agriculture Show.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 25Islands farm show gears up for next month in DuncanThe event returns to its winter date The Islands Agriculture Show is returning to its early February slot at the Cowichan fairgrounds in Duncan. The show expects to host over 80 exhibitors and two days of presentations. FILEKATE AYERS DUNCAN – The Islands Agriculture Show is preparing to kick o its 11th year at the Cowichan Exhibition in Duncan on February 3-4. After shifting last year’s schedule to July due to COVID-19, the 2023 show hopes to welcome up to 1,800 visitors next month. The Islands Agriculture Show provides a venue for farmers, rural landowners, farm organizations, equipment dealers, service providers and the general public to learn, connect and engage. “A group of agricultural and economic development organizations from across Vancouver Island come together to put on this show, which represents the local farming community that's unique to this Island,” says Cowichan Exhibition Park executive director Shari Paterson. “A lot of our agricultural needs and techniques are dierent than in larger-scale areas such as the Lower Mainland.” The show’s theme this year is “Growing stability in uncertain times,” which reects a lot of what’s going on globally, Paterson says. To help equip producers with the information and tools they need to maintain business viability during these turbulent times, the show has an extensive workshop agenda that features pertinent topics for all sectors. Some of the general sessions include material about the benets of working with local agrologists, ministry programs and resources, stress management, and succession and transition planning. For livestock and forage producers, workshops include information on silage trials and silage crop management, alfalfa, overseeding and how to build operational resilience through integrated pest management, soil nutrient management and new crop opportunities. The show will also have a panel discussion on rotational grazing. Keynote This year’s keynote speaker is Jesse Hirsh, owner of Toronto-based Metaviews Media Management Ltd. Hirsh focuses on research and consulting around new media business models, and strategic use of social media. His presentation “Smart farms – how technology is changing agriculture” examines the roles technology and transparency play in sustainability and success in agriculture. Hirsh’s session, which also covers the potential to improve agricultural practices and the relationship between producers and consumers, will take place February 3 at 1 pm. The Islands Agriculture Show is also hosting “Young Farmers Day.” On Friday, local schools are invited to tour the show and attend education sessions on farming practices. “The local 4-H club will be there to share their knowledge and display their livestock,” Paterson says The 2023 Islands Agriculture Show will boast an expansive tradeshow with close to 80 vendors, Paterson adds. “Our goal is to bring information to the farming community and address current issues in the agriculture industry. You will nd everything from equipment dealers to feed companies, water installation companies, and production, as well as government agents – everything you can imagine,” Paterson says. “There's something here for every size farm and sector.” A welcome reception featuring a “Taste of Cowichan” hosted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District will round out the rst day. The Islands Agriculture Show is made possible through the generous support of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Farm Credit Canada, Cowichan Valley Regional District, BMO, MNP and Island Coastal Economic Trust. FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.email@example.comCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.Jesse Hirsh consults around new media business models and the strategic use of social media. As technology continues to impact our relationship with the world, Jesse believes it should be used in responsible and creative ways. His talk, “Smart Farms: How technology is transforming agriculture” examines the potential to improve agriculture practices and the relationship between growers and eaters. The pandemic illustrated how brittle our food supply chain can be and the subsequent economic crisis has left farmers struggling. Jesse asks, “How can technology and transparency ensure sustainability and success?”Vancouver Island’s Largest Agriculture Trade Show of the YearShowcasing the latest and most innovative equipment and technology for the Agriculture industry. Conference Sessions - “Growing Stability in Uncertain Times” - www.iashow.caTo Register for Conference Sessions, Go to: www.iashow.caFEB 3-4, 2023 • DUNCAN, BC • WWW.IASHOW.CA • 250-748-0822 • COWEX@SHAW.CAFriday, February 3rd @ 1 pmKeynote Speaker: Jesse Hirsh - “Smart Farms - How Technology is Changing Agriculture”
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 27Labour a key challenge a year after meat licensing overhauled February 25, 2023 - 28th Annual Pine Butte Ranch Hereford Bull Sale BC Livestock, Kamloops March 4, 2023 - Richardson Ranch Online Hereford Bull Sale Farm Gate Sale, DLMS.ca March 7 2023 - Briar Ridge Stock Farm 4th Annual Bull Sale VJV Auction, Dawson Creek April 8, 2023 - 48th Annual Vanderhoof All Breeds Bull Sale BC Livestock, Vanderhoof April 13 & 14, 2023 - 86th Annual Williams Lake Bull Show & Sale BC Livestock, Williams Lake BCHA President: John Lewis 250-218-2537 BCHA Secretary: Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 Have you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops or Webinarsare Free!Looking to learn moreabout how to raisehealthy beef cattle?Open to producers of allsizes!free to all beef producersin bc!Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333TOM WALKER MERRITT – It’s been four years since the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food tabled its report, Local Meat Production and Inspection in British Columbia. Some things have changed for meat processing in the province, but much remains the same. “The rst positive outcome has been bringing all categories under the Meat Inspection Branch,” says Julia Smith, executive director with the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. In Fall 2020, the province transferred oversight of what were then known as D&E licences from the regional health authorities to the Meat Inspection Branch within the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food. It was the rst of the standing committee recommendations to be acted upon. “Our members who have smaller processing operations welcome the increased oversight and the opportunity to learn from meat inspection professionals,” Smith says. New regulations that took eect October 1, 2021 classied the old A&B licences simply as “abattoirs” and replaced the D and E licences with new Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licences. Many regional restrictions on selling meat were dropped. Farmgate Plus licences allow operators to slaughter 25 animal units of their own and others’ animals and to sell within a 50 km radius to consumers as well as retailers. The new Farmgate licences allow ve animal units. “Allowing small-scale processing and local sales throughout the province without restricting them to certain regions has also been positive,” Smith says. The new licensing regime has seen the number of Farmgate Plus licences which replaced the old D licences nearly double from 54 in 2020 to 104 as of December 2022. Meanwhile, the new Farmgate category has just seven licenses, down from 46 Class E licenses in 2020. But has this changed the availability of meat processing across the province, particularly during the busy fall months? “Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licences have had a positive eect on those producers in areas of the province where abattoir-licensed operators don’t exist,” says Nova Woodbury, executive director of the BC Association of Abattoirs (BC Meats). “We are waiting to see what the impact has been on the total numbers of animals processed in BC, and if it’s signicantly dierent than it was with the former D and E licences.” See SLAUGHTER on next page oNew opportunities but little progress for meat capacityRoll callThe main cow herd at Ogilvie Stock Ranch in Kamloops falls into line behind the tractor as it gets in position to roll out a round bale on a cold, winter day. FACEBOOK / OGILVIE STOCK RANCH
28 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSLAUGHTER licences fail to address cut-and-wrap challenges nfrom page 27Save water, save energy, save labor and do a better job of irrigating. NELSONIRRIGATION.COM Automatically change the arc of throw on traveling Big Gun® sprinklers. Find efciency and heavy-duty reliability in Nelson Control Valves. Achieve unmatched uniformity with eld-proven Rotator® technology.SR150 BIG GUN®ARC TIMERACV200800 SERIESCONTROL VALVESR2000WF ROTATOR® & MINI REGULATOR DRAIN CHECKFully inspected abattoirs (the former A&B categories) have actually dropped by one with the closing of Rocana Meats in August of this year. The province says there are just 56 licensed abattoirs today, down from 57 A&B licensees in 2020. “I know of two producers who have started Farmgate Plus operations to process their own animals in response to the Rocana closure,” Woodbury notes. The limit of 25 animal units of a Farmgate Plus licence does little to contribute to a full-time farmer’s business, Smith says. “The 25,000 pounds of a Farmgate Plus still keeps you in the hobby farm category,” says Smith. “If I had a Farmgate Plus, that would allow me to process about 100 hogs. It’s okay if I want to run a side business but if I want to make money, I need to be processing about 300 hogs.” In order to do that, Smith says she would still have to take the extra 200 animals to a provincially licensed abattoir. The closest for her is an hour’s drive away in Kamloops. While slaughter at Farmgate and Farmgate Plus facilities comes under provincial regulation, cut and wrap remains the responsibility of regional health authorities, with separate regulations and licensing. “I’m not sure where they are going to get that done,” says Smith. “It is one of the reasons we are advocating for regional butcher hubs to be established across the province.” If there are Farmgate Plus licensees who are not processing their full 25 AU allotment, Woodbury doesn’t see them as an alternative for their neighbours. “I don’t hear that a lot of Farmgate Plus operators are interested in processing other people’s animals; it is a big responsibility,” she says. “With the transport regulations, transfer of care documents, retiring of ear tags and ensuring that all medications have had proper withdrawal times, that’s a lot of extra work for a small operation.” Smith says Farmgate Plus licences provide a way for producers to try out the meat processing business. “It is a way for people to dip their toes in. I know of a least one Farmgate Plus who started out with a D licence and is likely on his way to building a fully inspected abattoir,” she says. Bottlenecks Bottlenecks that the select standing committee identied still exist, however. “Without more skilled workers for the sector, any changes that the government makes will all be for naught,” Smith says. “Four of the 21 recommendations in the report were specic to labour.” Woodbury notes that it wouldn’t take many workers to make a signicant impact for abattoirs. “Some of our members are down to three or four trained sta,” she says. “If one worker was added to a multi-species abattoir licence holder that fully processes 960 cattle a year with eight workers, the volume of cattle would increase by 120,” she explains. “Those extra 120 animals would be the equivalent of ve new Farmgate Plus facilities.” And more butchers and cut-and-wrap facilities would support more capacity. “Cut-and-wrap is still a signicant bottleneck,” says Woodbury. “Our members can’t run a full-time slaughter line when they have to stop and have their sta spend the next day on cut-and-wrap.” SSMPA is working with other stakeholders to establish training for butchers. “The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology is interested in running a butcher training program,” Smith says. “It would be great if we could raise the trade to the level we see in Europe with an apprenticeship.” BC Meats is investigating a provincial butcher competition, Woodbury says. “These are all steps forward,” says Smith. “But they aren’t a solution to the slaughter and processing crisis across the province.” Hub moneyMeat processing in the province will benet from a $40,000 grant from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior. “These funds ... will allow us to increase our knowledge network across the province,” says Small-Scale Meat Producers Association executive director Julia Smith, noting meat processing start-ups face many barriers. “It is very overwhelming, and discouraging, and expensive,” she says. “There is a real need for support if we want more of these facilities that we so desperately need.” Smith says SSMPA plans to build systems and eciencies to lower the barriers to entry or growth in the sector. “This is a pilot project starting o here in the Southern Interior working with butcher hubs in Kootenay-Boundary, Spallumcheen and the Nicola Valley,” she explains. “We want to identify the common threads so people don’t have to re-invent the wheel.” Feasibility studies, business plans, plant layouts and standard operating procedures have already been developed across the province. “We will use the money to develop a database so people can get their hands on information that they need, and we will hire a coordinator who will provide education and outreach,” Smith says. —Tom Walker
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 29Hidden costs cut into tight margins for small-lot producersSmall-Scale Meat Producers Association executive director Julia Smith says small-scale producers need to avoid false economies to make a buck. SUBMITTED“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 firstname.lastname@example.org@reimersfarmservice.comCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders Row Crop Cultivators Rotary Hoes Camera GuidanceSystems AND AEROSTAR 900 Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaners Improves Drainage & Conditions Soil Economical & Reliable Low Maintenance Safe and ProvenFALL PRICING ON IN STOCKTRACEY FREDRICKSON MERRITT – “Know your costs and do the math down to every penny,” Julia Smith, executive director of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association, told producers at the Basin Food & Buyers Expo in October. Smith did not hold back lessons learned at Blue Sky Ranch in Merritt, where she and her partner Ludo Ferrari raise pasture-fed pigs and cattle, and through her work with hundreds of other BC farmers and ranchers through SSMPA. “Regulatory changes in BC that became law in 2021 have helped to open more slaughter options and marketing opportunities for small-scale meat producers but the number of animals that can be processed under current regulations is still not enough for most producers to make a living,” said Smith. “There is work to be done for small-scale producers to sell their products locally and ll the demand for meat products in rural communities. In the meantime, with careful planning, there are things individual producers can do to maximize eciencies and reduce costs.” SSMPA conducted a comprehensive survey of BC’s small-scale meat sector in 2021 which provided unprecedented insight into the challenges preventing small-scale producers from growing their businesses. More than 700 operations responded, representing 2,110 workers across BC. The survey showed that 37% of respondents operate at a loss, 26% break even and 26% make a small prot. Just 1% said they made a signicant prot. Ninety percent supplement their income with work unrelated to their meat business. The high cost of insurance was one of the top challenges across the province. Small-scale producers often don’t qualify for insurance or nd coverage unaordable. Rates are determined by the size, location and type of farm operated. Many BC meat producers are located in areas at elevated risk for res, oods, mudslides and other natural events. “Until more insurance options become available, mitigating risks is one of the most eective things a farm can do to reduce expenses,” said Smith. “Keep your equipment and machinery in good condition. Make sure health and safety procedures are in place and followed, and take steps to protect your buildings and structures in case of natural disasters. Shop around for the best rates on insurance, and mortgage rates as well.” Many costs are hidden, she said. “I see people get excited about access to ‘free feed’ programs where grocery stores give fruit and vegetable scraps to farmers to use as feed. You need a large amount of fruit and vegetables to achieve the nutritional benets of concentrated animal feed,” she said. “Is it worth the wear and tear on your body, use of your vehicle and your time to obtain 400 pounds of scrap, which is mostly water, to replace 100 pounds of feed?” She said the cost of high-quality animal feed often delivers a better return than scraps in the form of healthier, more productive animals. Proper management of feed and bedding can also save money. “One hole in the bag of feed made by a squirrel can make a signicant dent in the feed budget,” she said. “Bedding is another area where costs are overlooked. If animals are cold, they burn calories instead of making meat.” SSMPA’s survey also showed that 96% of producers sell directly to consumers, which has its own cost considerations. “Consider if you should sell cuts of meat at the farmers market or sell your meat by the side,” she said. “You may be able to make more money selling the animal by the side when you consider the costs of butchering and your time and transportation to get it to the market. If your in-person presence at the market provides good promotion, however, it may be a worthwhile investment to be there.” With meat being readily available and often cheaper at the grocery store, Smith said direct marketing is about giving people an alternative and building relationships. “Consumers want to know about your family and how your animals are raised. Don’t just be in front of them when you have something to sell,” she said. “Keep your messaging fresh and interesting through social media, newsletters, and the way you present your yourself and your products in emails, phone calls and in-person.” Meat producers need to focus on cost management
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 31Greenhouse extends growing season, salesNew farmers find fertile ground north of CranbrookSee PLANNING on next page oIn just a few short growing seasons, Marie-Eve Fradette and her partner Michael Albert of Apple Quill Farm have found a niche in growing and selling fresh, locally produced vegetables well into the winter season. MICHAEL ALBERTTRACEY FREDRICKSON WYCLIFFE – When imported produce is in short supply at the grocery store and fresh produce becomes a winter luxury, it’s heartening to know dedicated farmers are producing good food locally through the season. Apple Quill Farm in Wyclie, a small community between Cranbrook and Kimberley, is one of the most prolic small-scale winter producers in the East Kootenays. Veterinarian Marie-Eve Fradette and photographer Michael Albert decided to move to the Kootenays from Vancouver Island in 2011 with their two young daughters. “We had no intention of farming when we bought this property,” says Fradette. “We started growing for the love of food and the health of our family and it snowballed from there.” Fradette grew up in St. Antoine de Tilly, a small community just up the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City known for its dairies, fruit and home gardening. Albert was raised in Wisconsin and inspired by his grandfather, a dairy farmer with a passion for experimenting with sustainable growing methods. “The property was in the Agricultural Land Reserve and had never been farmed when we purchased it,” Albert says. “The soil needed amendment in some areas but overall, we were amazed how fertile it was. We felt we had come across a buried treasure and that the land should be farmed. I found myself obsessing more about growing food than taking pictures. I realized I had to commit to farming full time and put my photography career aside to do this.” After only four growing seasons, Apple Quill Farm has developed a reputation for producing a wide range of produce throughout the year, including kale, spinach and lesser-known items such as mizuna, also known as Japanese mustard greens. They also produce herbs, berries, and heirloom tomatoes while raising ducks and chickens. Just four acres of the 15-acre property are farmed. “We’ve really adapted to the regional climate,” says Fradette. “We get a lot of sun here but the growing season is short and there are some deep frosts from September through June. So, for us, winter growing is all about the greenhouse.” Greenhouse growing requires a signicant capital investment but can deliver considerable benets. The growing season can be extended by growing plants from starts in late winter or early spring, then transplanting them to an outdoor garden once the weather and temperatures are ideal. The heat of the sun is trapped in the walls, frame and soil which heats up the plants. They are well protected from cold and frost so that even at the height of winter, the plants can get an excellent start. In preparation for the 2021 season, the couple invested $60,000 in a 90-foot greenhouse as well as propane heating. A few LED grow lights are used to start the plants in winter. “We really worked the numbers and used spreadsheets to determine our cost of production – what it costs to heat the greenhouse, maintain ecient space for storing plants and moving around while we work, and what we needed to produce to make the investment worthwhile,” says Albert. “I am blown away by what a valuable farm management tool a greenhouse can be.” After just one season using the greenhouse, Apple Quill has increased the amount of food it grows by 150% and it hopes to double that number within two years. “We are extending the growing season by reducing the time the plants are dormant. They get a head start in the greenhouse and begin producing sooner than usual. Our raspberries, for YOURHelping YouDon’t forget to RENEW your subscription toCountry Lifein BCYOURping Youpingpingpping Youription toon toe1626 with MowerMORE BUILD-IN WEIGHTTRACTOR TIME VICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.3301 30 minutes from Victoria and 15 minutes from Hwy#1 in Metchosin.HANDLERS EQUIPMENT ABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON 2990 Highway Crescent 250.845.3333
PLANNING critical for winter production nfrom page 3132 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCohortWholesale.comTechnical and sales support provided byAlways read and follow label directions. Gatten® is a registered trademark of OAT Agrio Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2021 Nichino America, Inc. Worried aboutPowdery Mildew?Get Gatten!Gatten® fungicide Gatten®acts on multiple stages of powdery mildew development, delivering both preventative and post-infection control.example, are ready for harvesting in June, which is much earlier than the typical August harvest,” adds Albert, noting that the couple enjoyed a last bowl of fruit from the greenhouse in November the day they turned o the heat. As the weather cools, the greenhouse temperature is allowed to drop; by November, it can be almost as cool in the greenhouse as it is outside. Heating and labour costs go down and the farm takes a break. The couple uses this quieter time of year to review what went well during the season and plan what they want to do dierently in the year ahead. One of the keys to winter growing is planting early enough that crops have a chance to get close to maturity before the short days of winter arrive. The period when daylight falls below 10 hours per day – known as the Persephone period (a nod to Persephone, daughter of Demeter, the harvest goddess in Greek mythology) – provides a guide for when to sow for fall/winter harvest and when crops need protection for overwintering. Related to latitude, it begins in late October and runs to mid-February in the East Kootenays. It is also important to plant enough to carry the farm through the cold season. Regrowth is very slow during the winter and there may be only one harvest of greens during the coldest months. Many crops do well in a tunnel, protected by a row cover on hoops, or in a greenhouse. The plastic coverings add protection from cold, frost and predators. Apple Quill uses tunnels both outside and inside the greenhouse. When used inside, hoop houses can help provide extra insulation and enhanced protection for the plant starts. “We have learned so much through our experimentations that educating people about how food is grown is another reason the farm exists,” says Fradette. Apple Quill hosts workshops through the summer in cooperation with Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors and Wildsight Society. Winter growing, extending the season and tomato production are recurring topics. With the addition of winter farmers markets in 2022, Apple Quill and other local farmers have more opportunity to bring products they grow through the winter to consumers. The Cranbrook market held three indoor market days in November and December attracting up to 150 people in one day. “It was great to see Apple Quill’s fresh greens and herbs when there was two feet of snow outside,” says Cranbrook Farmers Market manager Jessica Kazimi. Consumers won’t give up their desire for year-round greens any time soon, creating ongoing opportunities for small-scale producers to connect with customers, add to the food supply and involve consumers in the growing process. “This farm has allowed us to spend more time with our kids and put some serious roots down as stewards of our own land,” says Albert. “We work really hard because we believe the best food comes from small producers like ourselves committed to growing quality over quantity.” Marie-Eve Fradette waters seedlings started in Apple Quill Farm’s greenhouse. MICHAEL ALBERT
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 33Plant physiologist heads up BC grape researchChang brings extensive experience to his roleBen-Min Chang is bringing his extensive experience in grape physiology to his new role at the Summerland Research and Development Centre. SUBMITTEDTOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – It’s a long way from Taiwan to the Okanagan Valley, but Ben-Min Chang’s experience in Washington was a good prelude to his role as new grape physiologist at the Summerland Research and Development Centre. “Taiwan does have a grape and wine industry,” says Chang, who grew up on the island nation and completed his Master’s there in grape physiology. “But having a subtropical climate, they grow table grapes and Asian-style wine grapes, not the typical European varieties.” The torrential monsoon rains that hit the island from June to August led Chang to study splitting, a phenomenon common in sweet cherries that turned out to be his ticket to Washington State University. “Grapes can suer from rain splits similar to cherries, and it impacts the Taiwan industry,” he explains. “When I was applying to graduate programs, Marcus Keller from Washington State University was looking for a student to work on grape splitting and he accepted me as a PhD student in the viticulture and enology program.” Grape splitting is an understudied cause of vineyard losses in the arid grape growing regions of western North America. “You wouldn’t think it would be a problem in places like eastern Washington,” says Chang. “But it actually is the cause of a lot of what appears to be berry shrivel.” After completing his doctorate, Chang worked with Keller as a post-doc research associate in the WSU research lab for eight years. “We worked on irrigation, nutrition, cold hardiness, mechanical pruning,” he says. “My own research has evolved from berry splitting into mitigation of heat stress, which is a very important topic now.” Chang believes that his relationship with the local viticulture community is very important. “How we communicate and share information and technology, the extension piece, is a key for me,” he says. “When I know what challenges growers are facing, that gives me a direction for research. That was the way the WSU lab was run, so I am used to it.” Washington’s and BC’s grape industries have many similarities, says Chang, but also some signicant dierences. While weather and pest issues are similar, Washington vineyards are often larger and on more open terrain that allows them to orient the rows north-south for a consistent exposure. See GRAPE on next page o
34 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWork-life balance is a fallacy for farmersSetting priorities – including time for yourself – is essentialMegz Reynolds, executive director of the Do More Ag Foundation, spoke to BC Young Farmers during Farm Fest 2022 about the importance of coming to terms with work-life balance on the farm. SUBMITTEDGRAPE research nfrom page 33KATE AYERS ABBOTSFORD – Work-life balance has become a buzzword in recent years and became even more front-and-centre when the pandemic forced the merger of work and home. While farmers and ranchers have always faced this reality, they may be chasing an elusive dream. Speaking to the BC Young Farmers’ nal Farm Fest event of 2022, Do More Ag Foundation executive director Megz Reynolds told young BC farmers that there’s no ideal balance, just a constant prioritization of responsibilities in a given moment. “Work-life balance is a term that creates unrealistic expectations. We can't do everything. It doesn't matter how easy somebody else makes it look,” Reynolds says. “And I think the term work-life balance creates the expectation that we can. What we can do is prioritize and choose which balls that we keep in the air at any given time.” Indeed, prioritization is key and young farmers need to accept that they can set aside tasks until they have the capacity to take them up again. In addition, creating a safety net of family members and friends to lean on when needed is important. Being aware of stress levels and sleep can contribute to better well-being. Lack of sleep greatly impacts a person’s cognitive function and decision-making abilities. Inadequate sleep has effects similar to being impaired when at the wheel. Seventeen hours without sleep is similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%; 21 hours without sleep equates to a BAC of 0.08% and 24 hours is like having a BAC of 0.10%. To adequately manage stressors on the farm, producers must first acknowledge them and take steps to reduce the burden. Farm Fest participants said the inability to find and fund skilled labour for their farms tops their current challenges. A lack of staff leads to farmers taking on the jobs of many different people to get through the day and they’re often not able to take time away from the business. Instead of striving for balance between all on-farm demands, producers should try to take proactive measures to protect their mental health and well-being. “I always encourage folks to look for the little signs that, you know, things are starting to creep up – your stress level or your physical and mental health is deteriorating a bit – like you would with your animals,” says Tammy Thielman of Town and Country Counselling and Wellness in Salmon Arm. “We try to catch things early so, you know, before there's a full-blown case of mastitis, we're looking for signs all the time. … We're trying to be proactive that way. Do the same with yourself and your family.” Thielman is a registered Master’s level social worker as well as raising sheep with her husband. Some ways to be proactive are to allocate time each day or week to disconnect from the farm, bring awareness to your mental and physical state or set boundaries. “That can be maybe tinkering in the shop or going for a walk or putting your phone on mute,” Reynolds says. “It may sound like that's hard to do, and I totally understand that feeling, especially when you have animals. But if you think of equipment, our equipment doesn't work if we don't do maintenance. We're the same way if we're not taking care of ourselves.” Taking a pause or checking in must be intentional and built into your schedule, Reynolds adds, because it can be easy to skip past during a busy day on the farm. “With farming, we just keep going because there's a never-ending list of what has to happen, especially day-to-day. It does not stop and it's not going to go anywhere,” Reynolds says. Other helpful ways to deal with and overcome challenges are self-compassion and remembering you’re not alone. “Even if no one else is feeling what you’re feeling, what you're feeling is valid and it's important to take space to feel and to process what's going on in your life,” Reynolds says. “Don't talk to yourself in a negative or judgmental harmful way. We're all still learning.” “Here in BC, we have smaller vineyards that are tucked in around the lakes and valleys,” he says. The plantings are often dictated by the slope of the vineyard. Soil and microclimates vary a great deal across the valleys. “It creates a lot of dierent challenges which I nd very interesting,” Chang says. Chang says he approaches research from the perspective of whole plant physiology. “We have to integrate every bit of knowledge we know from the cultivar, to the rootstock, to cultural practices and the environment,” he says. Chang looks forward to his work in BC. “I hope to study the relationship between vine vigour, rootstock and irrigation frequency, and I am very interested in the role of automation to support labour,” he says. Collaborating with other scientists who work in viticulture is also an important role. “I know that I will be working with Mehdi Shari to continue to develop cover cropping strategies in vineyards,” he says. But rst o, Chang will be continuing research that Pat Bowen initiated prior to her retirement last year. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 35Pilot helps UBCO’s Feed BC initiative growAggregation creates opportunities for more suppliersUBC Okanagan executive chef Brad Vigue is working hard to source more locally produced food as part of UBCO’s participation in Feed BC and a pilot program with the North Okanagan Land to Table Network. MYRNA STARK LEADERWITH OVER 29 YEARS OF EXPERIENCEWe oer our clients the best service there is in the real estate industry ensuring there are no unanswered questions or concerns.5039 Lougheed Highway, Agassiz 109 acres of agricultural land. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the largest parcels of land in Agassiz.MLS C8046239 | Asking $9,200,000MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – A year-old pilot program at UBC Okanagan is showing that providing more locally sourced foods for students takes resources well as commitment. Since September 2021, UBC has been working with the North Okanagan Land to Table Network to bring more local food to campus. A participant in the province’s Feed BC program, which aims to increase local purchasing by provincially-funded institutions, the school currently sources between 30% and 35% of its produce from local suppliers, a marginal increase from 2021. However, there is potential for growth given that a typical UBCO student with a meal plan eats about 720 times during the school year. “Some of the best product in the world grows within 30 kilometres of Kelowna so I'm always exploring,” says UBCO executive chef Brad Vigue, who grew up in Salmon Arm. “My goal is 50% of produce purchased locally by 2024.” One of the rst partnerships under the pilot was with Shuswap Organics in Enderby, which supplies UBCO with almost all of its potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. “In 2022, because our catering program ran over summer, we started buying from Shuswap in mid-July and can do so as long as products keep in storage, which can be February or March, depending on the item,” says Vigue. Shuswap Organics owners Owen Madden and Emily Jubenvill have been farming about ve years. To meet UBCO’s needs, they also started aggregating produce from other growers, including Mara Valley Produce in Grindrod, Loveland Acres in Salmon Arm, Pilgrim’s Produce in Armstrong, Wild Flight Farm in Mara, and Green Croft Gardens in Grindrod. By working together, smaller local growers are able to meet UBCO’s needs while avoiding a series of small deliveries that can be logistically impractical and too labour-intensive for UBCO. See GROUP on next page oThe vls has received multiple international awards:Agritechnica innovation award 2011, silver Germanyeima innovation award 2012 ItalyEquitana innovation award 2013 GermanyWEIDEMANN T4512 COMPACT TELEHANDLERBETTER WORK FLOWVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com
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A must see!! $2,599,000point for a cattle rancher or to add to an existing operation. There is ample pasture and It is conveniently located a short drive south of Fort St James. NOW $815,000KURT NIELSEN email@example.comLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleyRICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605ROB GREENE firstname.lastname@example.orgFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 Personal Real Estate Corporationcole@landquest.comMATT CAMERON email@example.comJOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100Personal Real Estate Corporationjohn@landquest.comHIGH BAR RANCHCLINTON, BCNORTH END FARMSALT SPRING ISLANDRange permit. Climate suitable for vegetables front guest cabin. $2,900,000The iconic North End Farm is a rare on waterfront, 3 homes, multiple barns, & fully operation farm, long known as a popular market for island residents. $11,500,000SAM HODSON 604-809-2616 Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comKEVIN KITTMER firstname.lastname@example.org “Farms we're aggregating from are in the one to 15-acre range,” says Jubenvill. “There's lots of room to grow the amount of product sold. The university has real purchasing power and every dollar made at the farm is staying here in the community.” Jubenvill says working with UBCO is an example of how small to medium-sized farmers who want to work with large facilities can do so. “It’s possible to source locally, not only in our short growing season, but also by expanding capacity for winter storage enabling produce year-round. If we can grow the marketplace pie, it makes it viable for new farmers to start up,” she notes. Partnership instrumental Vigue says the school’s partnership with NOLTN, founded to help small to medium-sized farmers move beyond direct sales and farmers markets, has been instrumental in making connections with local suppliers. NOLTN director Liz Blakeway says the developing relationships between UBCO and local producers are a big step towards regaining the infrastructure needed for local sourcing. “There’s been a long-term de-investment in local food supply, supply chains and processing, which is a very real challenge,” she says. “We’ve largely lost local food infrastructure.” UBCO has also partnered with Curlew Orchard in Vernon for organic apples grown on six acres. They also worked intermittently with D Dutchmen Dairy Ltd. in Sicamous and Kyla King of Rad Jamz in West Kelowna for jams and jellies, as well as with a few local cured meat producers for charcuterie. But meat supplies are an issue, especially for niche products like halal-certied meat – an integral component of butter chicken, which creates the longest line at UBCO’s dining hall when it’s on the menu. “We are sourcing chicken from Vancouver because we want our poultry to be halal,” says Vigue. “While there's really good high-volume poultry producers in the Okanagan, they aren’t halal.” It’s the type of barrier he feels the university could help change. “Local providers are motivated to nd a way to work together. It’s in our shared best interests. I would rather buy from the farm that's close than shipped from Vancouver, especially when we saw the impact of last winter’s road shutdowns disrupting supply chain routes. The more local we are, the more resilient,” says Vigue. But keeping students who want more meal variety and more internationally inuenced foods means food items and volumes required change when UBCO’s menus change. Gathering potential farm and food partners takes time, and a lack of sta to seek out suppliers and make arrangements complicates the task. “The Okanagan produces beautiful pears available summer through the following spring. We should be buying them. We have farms within 10 kilometres, but it takes time to gure out aggregation, delivery and storage,” says Vigue. While sourcing locally takes more eort, Vigue knows it’s worth it. “When we got the rst delivery of Shuswap product, I was like a kid in a candy store running around with handfuls of carrots going, ‘Just try them. Don't ask any questions. Just taste this. This is why we buy local,’” he says. Over the past three years, UBCO has been having more conversations about the impact of food production, use, waste, sustainability and climate. The school’s new local sourcing pilot program is helping to make headway on several of these issues. Working with the same local food suppliers has facilitated the use of reusable tubs for bulk items like potatoes rather than disposable bagging. The new campus kitchen also has a composting system that turns 150 to 200 pounds of organic waste into about 15 pounds of compost. UBC Point Grey uses similar compost in its gardens, and UBC Okanagan executive chef Brad Vigue introduced the concept to the Kelowna campus. Procurement challenges are another issue. UBCO requires a competitive bidding process for suppliers, meaning it can’t choose a local supplier at random. “If we’re looking for something, they'll talk to three or four providers, find out pricing, distribution, all the components,” explains Vigue. “But the way they get connected with those providers is a lot of grassroots chatting.” Responding to RFPs can also be time-consuming for producers. Although UBCO food suppliers aren’t required to be certified organic, suppliers must meet certain food safety requirements. “We've explored that a lot when we switched to the Ocean Wise or Ocean Wise-equivalent program at UBC in 2019. Now conversations are asking if we are missing other providers who are more local because they don't have that? It’s tricky,” says Vigue. —Myrna Stark Leader Other factors at play
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 37Blueberry scorch virus is spread by aphids during the growing season but symptoms may take one to two years to develop. Drones are helping farmers and researchers pinpoint hotspots in elds faster. FILEv4200W Model ShownDESIGNEDFOR HARSH CONDITIONS• 34” high mouldboard• Spring trip on cutting edge• Bucket edge mount or Qtach available• Replaceable, reversible steel cutting edge• Replaceable, reversible rubber cutting edge (OPTIONAL)• Skid shoes optional• 36” deep ﬁxed endplates• Available in 10’ 12’ 14’ widths• 2 Year Commercial WarrantyMax Operating Weight 25,000 LB.• Spring trip on cutting edge• 34” high mouldboard• Lateral ﬂoat• Two angle cylinders• Hydraulic 35º angle either direction• Replaceable, reversible steel cutting edge• Replaceable, reversible rubber cutting edge (OPTIONAL)• Skid shoes• Cross-over relief valve protection• Heavy duty construction• Available in 9’ 10’ 12’ 14’ widths• 2 Year Commercial WarrantyMax Operating Weight 25,000 LB.1.866.567.4162 www.hlasnow.comRONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – Declining yields were the rst signal for BC Blueberry Council chair Jason Smith that something was amiss in his elds. Soon, the leaves of his plants began to look less than healthy. To validate his hunch, he reached out to Jonathon McIntyre, chief technology ocer with i-Open Group of Abbotsford. “I went and bought a drone,” says McIntyre. Using open-source technologies to program the drone’s ight path, capture and analyze images, the strategy provided an initial, low-cost, low-range assessment of the health of Smith’s elds, helping zero in on hot spots of what proved to be scorch – perhaps the biggest threat BC blueberry growers have ever faced. “We ew all his elds. We were able, with this low-cost drone, to determine that there was plant health issues –enough for him to pull his elds and order new berry plants,” says McIntyre. The initial work has led to signicant opportunities in research involving a wide-range of partners that researchers hope will give growers an edge over the fast-spreading disease, which has shown an increasing ability to evade standard diagnostics. Spread by aphids, scorch was rst identied in BC in 2000 but emerged as a signicant issue in 2022. Several growers have pulled out plants and either left elds fallow – a strategy now receiving provincial funding in Delta – or replanted. There is no cure or treatment for the disease, which takes time to show symptoms. The foliage of scorch-aected plants may turn yellowish or reddish; the canopy may be smaller. Host plants gradually decline but meanwhile allow the virus to move to adjacent plants via aphids. Growers’ only protection is aphid control; the only solution once plants become infected is removal. Eric Gerbrandt, research director with the BC Blueberry Council, says a combination of tools, including drone surveillance, may make a dierence in time. “This is pretty preliminary,” Gerbrandt says of the use of drone and satellite imagery. “It shows us the potential of what we can do. It’s not going to change the fact that we have scorch out there. But it could help us map out regional hot spots.” Gerbrandt is collaborating on a study that brings McIntyre’s mapping, data and analysis together with high-end drone and satellite imagery to see how technology can aid in scorch identication at the farm level as well as regionally. SFU assistant professor Bing Lu of the school’s Remote Sensing of Environmental Change (ReSEC) Lab is the principal investigator on the study, bringing advanced data collection via drones and satellite imagery to the web-based open-source tool McIntyre and i-Open Group created to become an evolving data repository. Within the site, images are stored, stitched together and analyzed. “We have built a tool on top of open-source technology with the understanding that it allows the farmers’ data to be their own,” McIntyre says. This ability to make data available to researchers for assessment while ensuring farmer data stays private is one of the strengths of the tool. No longer do people need to walk entire elds looking at every single bush. “If we send someone to walk the berry eld, they can detect [the virus],” Lu says. “However, the berry eld is huge, so it’s very time consuming.” Lu says drones are able to capture close-up images of individual bushes and through machine learning, those images can be assessed and potential hot spots agged. This allows eld sta to zero-in on suspected bushes or areas within elds. The drones can y about 30 minutes before needing to recharge batteries. Once they land, images are downloaded and processing begins. Information can be available on the website in a day or two. The technology identies anomalies like colour variations or canopy volumes that indicate scorch. Then, growers, ministry sta, researchers like Gerbrandt and crop consultants can visit the eld to conrm that assumption. “We likely will need to still go out and do ELISA [Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay] diagnostics of some symptomatic plants to dierentiate between scorch and shock, which has similar symptoms,” says Gerbrandt. “But we can make a model Drones provide a high-level view of scorchBlueberry researchers use imagery to pinpoint hotspotsServing the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We’ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976. And with two blending plants, we’re one of BC’s largest distributors of granular, liquid and foliar fertilizers. Our buying power and proximity to the Fraser Valley makes us the logical choice for truckload shipments. OKANAGAN FERTILIZER LTD 1-800-361-4600 or 250-838-6414See DRONES on next page o
38 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDRONES nfrom pg 37Multiple modes of actionson your toughest pests.Cormoran® Insecticide• Broad-spectrum rapid insect knockdown combined with extended residual control• Controls all damaging stages of target insects, including eggs, immatures & adults• Convenient co-formulation replaces the need to tank-mix different products• Registered for apples, blueberries, cherries, strawberries and many other fruit & vegetable cropsAlways read and follow label directions. Copyright ©2021 ADAMA Ltd. Cormoran® is a registered trademark of ADAMA Ltd.Technical and sales support provided byCohortWholesale.comThere are times when I sit down to write this column that I am lled with an urge to write about the people in my farming life. For the sake of the story, it is occasionally necessary to indulge. It’s a risky business, however, and the process is fraught with second thoughts, twinges of conscience and endless rewrites. The farming people in my life seem very sensitive to being written about. They read my column, they are expert in the subject matter, and they very much appreciate that I keep quiet about certain things. I honour their privacy, but you must know that the stories are fairly bursting from me. It is such rich ground if you will: fertile, well-prepared and poised for riotous growth. I must usually hold back. For as long as possible, I will do that. I’m back at big city markets. Although I’ve been skipping summer and fall markets with reckless disregard to the farm budget, I was never tempted to do the same with the winter session. The time has come, as I knew it would, to get the potatoes to the people, and their money to the bank. It’s been a reasonably triumphant return. My ability to specically comment on the conditions (weather, roads and business) are much hampered by a superstitious reluctance to jinx anything. I wouldn’t want fate to hear, for example, that the weather has unexpectedly cooperated four Saturdays in a row because this weekend coming up is not looking pretty and I would hate to ruin the chance that it might turn nice. I can tell you, however, that I have no complaints. Also open for comment are my stang levels because the worst has already happened: last weekend my regular sta couldn’t work for various reasons, the replacements jammed late, and I left the farm for market facing the very real possibility of having to do the whole thing on my own. However, as fate would have it, there was no need to fret. My cousin, a partner in a downtown law rm whose tennis club was closing early in preparation for the evening’s Christmas shindig, was unexpectedly free. So was her farm-friendly teenaged son, whose soccer game time, usually most unhelpfully scheduled for 8, was pushed to 11. Further relief, one of our longest-serving farm workers, whose longed-for Mexico holiday from her HR consultancy was due to start next week and not this week as I had thought, already knew I needed her and required only an ocial start time. The regular crew had arranged this most happy situation well in advance. The boy, there to exhibit youthful morning muscle, did thusly provide and the two others embodied and indeed outdid themselves in terms of being the coolly competent and wryly humoured market crew I am used to employing. It was a cracker of a market. Now, I would like to share with you the problem I am having propagating the La Ratte Fingerling in our aseptic propagation facility aka The Lab, and I see it must be done in 100 words. It has taken me 20 years to feel condent in my ability to describe the Pemberton Seed Potato Program, so I doubt it can be done. I fear I am losing this lovely variety and I am tempted to switch to the more mainstream variety, Banana Fingerling, as a replacement. The Banana does so much better in tissue culture, even if it doesn’t taste as good on the plate. I have one more chance to enliven the line of La Ratte that has served us so well for the past 15 years. A carefully selected, perfect tuber sits in The Lab, and I am urging it to break dormancy and sprout. Those can be cut and propagated. It is a long shot. Anna Helmer farms in Pemberton and evidently managed to jinx it after all. Aaargh. Mums the word on fellow farmersFarm Story by ANNA HELMERthat allows us to take an image and show us hot spots and new areas of infection.” As ELISA diagnostic results are fed back into the i-Open Group web system with GPS coordinates, the machine learning grows stronger and more accurate. It enhances the ability to look at various images, whether nite ones from drones or broad ones from satellite, and improve accuracy in identication of scorch-infected plants and areas within a eld. This ongoing aggregation of data is key to the tool’s ecacy. As McIntyre explains, taking public data available through the BC government and other sources of land scanning, more than 900 sources of data are used to create the initial model. “That’s the aggregation,” he says. “We can pull all that free data in and we can allow farmers or researchers to put their data on top of it.” Drones assessed four farms last summer. The primary study area was Pitt Meadows, with a minor study area in Abbotsford. “We have that data,” Lu says. “We are not sure of the success rate, but we are working on that. We will see the results rst and then we will decide. If the results are good we will expand the study.”
Placing bee hives directly in blueberry elds is proving detrimental to bee health, according to recent pollination research. SUBMITTEDCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023 | 39Bees better kept at a distanceBee health improves when hives placed away from berry fieldsRONDA PAYNE ROSEDALE – The location of beehives may not improve yields or income for blueberry growers, but it can help protect pollinators from pesticides. Researchers from Michigan State University, Oregon State University, the University of Florida and Washington State University came to the conclusion during the second year of a four-year study on optimizing pollination in blueberries. Lisa DeVetter, who leads the state-wide small fruit horticulture program at Washington State University in Mount Vernon, was a lead researcher on the study. In the Pacic Northwest, Duke was the main variety studied and the focus was on placement of hives. “Blueberry is a crop that really struggles to get sucient pollination,” says DeVetter. “In Washington, we looked at what role does the placement of the hives have in pollination? We had a total of 12 sites [in the study] and in Oregon they had six.” Placement was either the standard placement along the perimeter of the elds or in clusters about 20 feet away from a eld. “Our question was, does placement matter when it comes to crop pollination as well as exposure to pesticides,” she says. “Based on current data, we didn’t see any yield and income eect due to dierent colony placements.” What the study team found was that the direction the hives faced and the further they were from the eld correlated with reduced pesticide exposure. “We haven’t analyzed all the data. But, on the side of the colonies facing the eld, we’re seeing much higher residues of pesticides as opposed to on the side facing away,” she says. Pesticide residues were also lower in the hives placed further from the eld in a cluster. This results in healthier bees, a reduced nancial impact for the apiarist and ultimately better costs for blueberry growers who rent hives. “Choosing the right placement for both parties helps,” she says. Space constraints Worker Bee Honey Co. owner Peter Awram of Rosedale supplies hives to berry growers and says the study is important but most growers he works with don’t have the luxury of space. “Basically all the elds are so plugged up with everything else under the sun, there’s nowhere else to put them,” he says. “You try and make do with whatever you can, and it’s basically impossible to get too far from the berries.” Yet even having bees a short distance away from the eld on a driveway helps. He notes that bees will y up to 800 metres without thinking twice. DeVetter is curious to see how the ndings will aect practice. “It’s going to be interesting to see how the analysis proceeds forward and also how the beekeepers interpret that,” says DeVetter.A collaborative survey of growers conducted through Michigan State University, Oregon State University, University of Florida and Washington State University from May 2021 to April 2022 documented pollination practices and challenges. Among the 539 responses, 89% use managed bees, 64% use honeybees for blueberry pollination and 73% rent hives for blueberry pollination. Growers’ top three concerns included poor bee health during pollination, poor weather during pollination and rising prices for bees. The three top pollination practices growers reported include applying pesticides at night or no less than two hours prior to sunset, avoiding bloom time insecticide applications and avoiding pesticide application when dew is forecast. Habitat, weather, timing of sprays, optimal stocking rates and pollination time were phrases that came up most often in grower’s comments about concerns. A follow-up survey is planned to see if education leads to changes in practices. Survey says ...
Thousands of BC farmers and ranchers turn to Country Life in BC every month to nd out what (and who!) is making news in BC agriculture and how it may affect their farms and agri-businesses! CREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV __________ o NEW o RENEWAL | o ONE YEAR ($18.90) oT WO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Your Name ______________________________________________________________________________ Farm Name _____________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________ Postal Code __________________________________ Phone _____________________ Email ______________________________________________________ MAIL TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 subscriptions@ countrylifeinbc.com www.countrylifeinbc.com/subscribe40 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPlease send a _______ year gift subscription to _______________________________________________ Farm Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _______________ Phone _________________________ Email ________________________________________________ Kenneth’s MacGyver moment fails himWhen we left o last time, Kenneth’s self-tour of the Old Corbett farm he had just bought went awry when the ladder he used to climb into the hayloft slipped away to the barn oor beneath him. Just his luck, his cell phone met the same fate as the ladder. Rural Redemption, Part 154, continues ... Kenneth peered through the ladder hole in the hayloft oor. Oscar was wagging his tail exuberantly as he snied his way all through the barn. Something about the cell phone smelled familiar. “Hey, look up,” called Kenneth. “Look up! Look up! Look up here, you stupid mutt!” Oscar understood a small vocabulary of words and phrases. “Look up here you stupid mutt,” wasn’t in it, though something about the way it was said seemed vaguely familiar. Like the smell of the cell phone. Kenneth lost sight of him when he wandered o to check some of the petried horse droppings in one of the box stalls. “Come back! Come back, boy! Over here! Come on, boy! Come on,” wheedled Kenneth. “Come” and “boy” were words Oscar knew. He came back to see if he could make some sense of them. He gazed up quizzically. “Good boy! Go get help! Go get help! Good boy! Go get somebody to come and help us put the ladder back up so I can get out of here. Do you understand me? Go get help.” Oscar understood “good boy” and “go get.” All the rest was gibberish. He wagged his tail encouragingly, but he just got more of the same. It wasn’t much to go on, but he pieced it together as best he could and bolted out the barn door. Maybe he’s not that stupid after all, thought Kenneth. He remembered a TV show about a dog that saved people in jackpots exactly like this. He was in the middle of congratulating himself for having a knack for communicating with dogs when Oscar ran back into the barn. Kenneth could scarcely believe he’d found help so quickly. He called out to see who was there but there was no answer. He looked back at Oscar who was wagging his tail furiously and looking back and forth from Kenneth to the big stick he’d dropped in front of himself. “You stupid mutt! I didn’t say, “Go get a damned stick.” I said, “Get help.” How do you think I can throw a stick from up here?” asked Kenneth. To Oscar, it sounded like: “Blah blah blah, go get stick, blah blah blah, throw a stick, blah blah blah.” It seemed to him the guy way up there was all talk and no action, so he snied his way back to the horse stall. It took Kenneth ve minutes to regain a semblance of rational thought. He went back to rummaging through the hayloft for a means of escape. What would MacGyver do, he wondered. Ten minutes later he was on the verge of having another conversation with Oscar when he tripped over something. It was the remains of a garden hoe, badly worn with a broken handle. He carried it to the ladder hole for a better look and wondered what manner of fool would have gone to the trouble of stashing a broken hoe in the loft. Just as he was about to toss it back into darkness, Kenneth Henderson had his very own MacGyver moment. The brilliant means of his salvation crystallized in a single ash of inspiration. He set the hoe down and went to work pulling strings o the old hay bales. He tied several together with granny knots then tied one end to the foot-and-a-half long remains of the hoe handle. He stood beside the ladder hole and paused to bask in a brief moment of self- satisfaction as he envisioned the brilliant means of escape. He lowered the hoe through the hole and played the bale string out slowly. He lowered it until the hoe was almost touching the oor, then started swinging it slowly, like a clock pendulum. By the fourth swing, the hoe was passing over the ladder rungs. As it came to a stop at the end of swing, Kenneth let the hoe settle gently onto the oor between two of the rungs. As he pulled it in slowly, it hooked one of the rungs and the ladder lifted slightly and began sliding across the oor. Kenneth was euphoric. Oscar was curious about the scraping noise. He poked his head out of the horse stall and caught sight of a stick dancing tantalizingly on the end of a string. It was instinctive for Oscar. He made a bounding leap and snatched the stick out of mid air. Oscar could feel Kenneth pulling on the line as soon as he landed. He spun around and started yanking the stick vigorously. He might have yarded Kenneth right out of the loft but the knot on the hoe handle was badly overmatched by the spirited tug-of-war. Kenneth landed in the hay and Oscar and his prize shot out the barn door. He was followed by an irate stream of profanity. None of them were words Oscar understood. None of them were the good kind of words Lorne always said to him. vvv Twenty minutes before the hoe debacle, Mary Garrison wandered into the general store and picked out a bottle of wine to take to Deborah’s for dinner. While she was there, Lorne Davies arrived. He told Lois that Oscar was somewhere on the loose and wondered if she might have seen him around the store. Lois said no, but Junkyard Frank piped up and said there was some talk earlier of a dog barking in the bush somewhere across the road from the community hall. Lorne said that wasn’t all that far from his place as the crow ies, so he’d check it out. Mary said as long as they were on the subject of missing, no one had seen Kenneth all day and he wasn’t answering Delta’s calls. She had been calling all day and everyone was a little concerned. Lois said she hadn’t seen him since he came for the mail in the morning. Lorne said Kenneth and Oscar had met in his swamp the week before and maybe they were spending time together somewhere. Frank said he gured Lorne might not be far o the mark because the old Corbett place got sold and rumour had it Kenneth Henderson was the one it got sold to. And it was close to the community hall so maybe that’s where they should look. In a matter of minutes, they all drove down the driveway at Corbett’s old place. “Looks like Henderson’s truck right there,” said Frank. “And here comes Oscar,” said Lorne as Oscar bounded up and dropped the hoe at his feet. “You been doing a little gardening, have you, Oscar?” said Lorne. “There’s somebody down at the barn cussing a blue streak,” said Mary. Frank started to cackle like he’d just laid an egg. “Anyone care to bet who that might be.” ... to be continued Woodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023| 41Garlic lovers (and growers) Genevieve Jochimski and Colin Failler moved from Vancouver Island to the Cariboo in search of a region that might be less vulnerable to the effects of climate change. SUBMITTEDClimate, food security motivate changeIsland couple move to Cariboo to start farm KATE AYERS LONE BUTTE – A changing climate is one reason why a Vancouver Island couple moved to the Cariboo in 2021 to start a garlic farm. Genevieve Jochimski and her husband Colin Failler had moved around several times on the Island, into smaller homes with bigger yards to expand their gardens. However, their most recent move to the Cariboo was the rst time climate change factored into their decision. “I never would have thought about those things 10 or 15 years ago, but it's like, okay, where are the oods? Where are the res? Where is it too cold? Where's it too hot? Where are things going to grow?” Jochimski asks. “That, for us, is such a real-life thing now.” The price and availability of land also contributed to their move to the Cariboo. Fortunately, the couple found a piece of property that is mostly protected from potential natural disasters. “We have nice soil here. We're on a gentle slope. We're on a lake, so we have irrigation,” Jochimski says. “We have kind of set ourselves up for success here. … We're in an area where we never see landslides. … There were res up here when we moved here … but because there's so many lakes, it would have to jump multiple lakes.” Jochimski and Failler have always been avid gardeners, hunters, shers and foragers, but the couple wanted to scale up their food production capacity and began scouting property on the mainland. One weekend, Jochimski was driving along Hwy 24, also referred to as the Fishing Highway, between 100 Mile House and Little Fort. She was intrigued by the highway’s name since she and her husband love to sh but was also enamoured by the trees and landscapes. “I just pulled over and phoned him and I was like, ‘I think this is us,’” Jochimski says. “There are over 120 lakes up here in this area … and we were kind of drawn to it. And then that led us down the path of where we are.” Starting from scratch Jochimski and Failler started their business, Loon Legacy Farm, from scratch. The name serves as a tribute to the surrounding lakes, resident loon pairs and legacy they want to leave for their daughter. The couple’s rst order of business was clearing just under two acres by hand, as they did not have a tractor yet. They modelled their farm’s business plan after Norwegian Creek Farm in Midway. Norwegian Creek owner Len Caron grows between 85 and 90 varieties of certied organic seed-quality garlic on about two acres each year. He had a garlic farm in the Kootenays and then moved back to the family farm in Midway about a decade ago. Garlic is a suitable crop for the dryland farming area Caron is in, which is the main reason he continued farming garlic after moving to the West Kootenays. “We don't have a whole lot of water, but I do have enough that I can water an acre or two of garlic,” Caron says. In 2022, Jochimski and Failler jumped into their rst season as garlic farmers and recently wrapped up their second planting. Last year, they planted 8,000 bulbs in half an acre using four varieties including Susan Delaeld, Chesnok Red, Russian Red, and a homegrown strain of Russian Red called Mystery Red. They transplanted the Mystery Red variety from their previous property on Mystery Beach in Fanny Bay. The couple’s love of garlic made it a natural choice for their farm. “We love garlic. We put it in everything we make,” Jochimski says. “We just really like to know where our food comes from. And so that for us has been a big driving factor.” In their gardens on Vancouver Island, they planted more and more garlic each year and learned that it’s a relatively hardy and simple crop to grow. Their crop this year seemed to do well at 1,200 metres of elevation where Lone Butte received its rst snow in October, shortly after the completion of planting. (Garlic is planted in the fall, overwinters, and then harvested in the summer.) The couple focus on building soil organic matter through cover crops and tilling in crops they didn’t get a chance to harvest. They also want to work with nature, not against it. “The deer will be right in our garlic eld, eating the clover and that's okay. They're not damaging the garlic and they won't eat it – that's the other thing that's nice about garlic – nothing will eat it,” Jochimski says. “There are eagles here. There are ducks here. There are geese here. We really want to partner with the environment. … We kind of want to come from a place of do no harm to what's already here and let nature guide us a little bit.” Looking ahead, the couple are considering building a roadside stand and participating in the local farmers market to sell their produce alongside the handful of other garlic growers in the Cariboo. Garlic scapes grow well in the Cariboo. 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42 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAll the new gadgets we got over the holidays for use in the kitchen will require an adaptation of our usual, favourite recipes. That will give us optimum avour and best use of the new appliance to access the promises of their merit as time-saving, avour or texture-enhancing additions to our cooking lives. Using an electric ice cream maker is far easier than making it by hand and I love using fat-free plain yogurt, fresh fruit and just a little sugar to create delicious and healthy desserts. Some of these new gadgets will be single-use like the ice cream maker and the breakfast sandwich maker, but lots will open a whole new world of food for you, including the blender and hand blender, the food processor, the stand mixer, the breadmaker, Crockpot, Instant Pot and the air fryer. My newest one is the air fryer and it’s been lots of fun adapting old recipes to make use of its special ability to crisp anything and to cook small amounts of food very fast. That leaves it moist inside and as avourful as what you season it with. It has its drawbacks, such as really being suitable just for one or two people for a meal; or four for part of a meal. However, it does cook very fast and is a great tool for cooking food that seems it might have been deep-fried, without more than a teaspoon or a spray of oil, instead of being cooked in oil. I never deep fry food, but I love the crispness of deep- fried foods, and the wonderful moist interiors. That’s where the air fryer shines. You could call it healthier deep-frying. Of course, rst I tried yam fries and hash browns and both were pretty delicious, while being really easy and fat-free. You lose on the healthy side of things by buying frozen deep-fried snacks or meals and cooking them in the air fryer, but it does that very well too, without added fat—but probably still with a signicant fat content. I would advise sticking with the made-from-scratch recipes for use in the air fryer, so you’re not eating food that’s full of cooking fat. Likely, you’ll also avoid the extra salt and sugar that goes into anything you buy processed. Simple foods tend to be better for you. Another bit of advice on Adventure with your new kitchen gadgetsPeking Fish Fillets are a snap in the air fryer. JUDIE STEEVESJude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESthe air fryer: as with any appliance which creates heat, from irons to toasters, and including air fryers, don’t leave them plugged into the wall. There have been lots of accounts of res which have started as a result of these appliances. That said, do enjoy these clever appliances and adapting your favourite recipes, or new ones, to using them. PEKING FISH FILLETS IN THE AIR FRYER These are great served with baby bok choy, sliced in half, and also cooked in the air fryer for just a few minutes, or cooked on top of the stove. 1 lb. (454 g) snapper or cod fillets 1 tsp. (5 ml) sesame oil 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) salt drizzle of dry sherry sprinkle of flour 1 beaten egg 2 tsp. (10 ml) finely-minced ginger 1 small garlic clove crisp bread crumbs • Cut the fillets to fit into the basket of your air fryer in one layer, preferably without touching, and gently smooth a little sesame oil onto them. Sprinkle with salt and add a drizzle of dry sherry. • I fill a large shaker with flour, which makes it easy to evenly sprinkle flour over both sides of the fillets. • Finely mince ginger and a small clove of garlic. Lightly beat an egg in a flatish bowl and add the finely minced ginger and garlic, combining well. • Dredge the fillets in the egg mixture, then in the crisp bread crumbs. • Preheat the air fryer to about 400° F, about three minutes, then spray a little oil over the bottom of the air fryer pan. • Lay the breaded fillets on the pan, lightly spray with oil, and return to the air fryer, for about 8-10 minutes. • Serves 2. LEMONY CHICKEN PARMESAN Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tbsp. (15 ml) grated Parmesan cheese This is very simple and quick to make after a day at work. You can add a handful of green beans to the air fryer for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Use a bit of parchment paper, dotted with holes or air fryer liners in the basket. 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 tbsp. (30 ml) mayonnaise 1 garlic clove 1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice • Trim fat from boneless chicken thighs and slash each a couple of times to get the seasonings into the meat. • Preheat the air fryer at 390° F for a few minutes. • Combine mayonnaise with nely minced garlic, salt and pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice in a small bowl and smear all over the chicken thighs. • Lay on the paper in the air fryer basket and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. • Cook for about 12 minutes. • Serves 2. TWO PIGS PORK ROAST Bacon Coarsely ground black pepper This is classic air fryer goodness: crispy outside and moist and tender inside. These delicate little pork roasts can often be found on sale. 1 pork tenderloin 1 tbsp. (15 ml) favourite BBQ sauce sprigs of fresh rosemary • Cut the whole tenderloin in half, to t into your air fryer. Smear your favourite barbecue sauce all over the trimmed pork. Dot with fresh rosemary leaves or sprigs of fresh rosemary. • Wrap with bacon, securing each slice with a toothpick, so there’s a layer of bacon all around the tenderloin. (You could substitute prosciutto) • Pre-heat the air fryer for a few minutes at 400° F. • Sprinkle a generous quantity of coarsely ground black pepper over the bacon-wrapped meat, and spray the air fryer pan lightly with oil. • Put in the meat and cook for about 20 minutes. • Slice to serve. Serves 2.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2023| 43BOOKYOURMarketplace Adby JUNE 19TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTREAL ESTATEREAL ESTATEFOR SALEFOR SALEHAYHAYBERRIESIRRIGATIONFor Tissue Culture Derived Plants of New Varieties of Haskaps, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoon Berries and Sour Cherries, Please Contact:DISEASE FREE PLANTING STOCK OF NEW BERRY CROPS 4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4B6info@agriforestbiotech.com250.764.2224www.agriforestbiotech.com NEW polyethylene tanks of all shapes & sizes for septic and water storage. Ideal for irrigation, hydroponics, wash-down, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spraying. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics premierplastics.com Feeders & Panels that maintain their value!ROUND BALE FEEDERS BIG SQUARE BALE FEEDERS FENCE PANELS CATTLE & HORSE FEEDERSHEAVY DUTY OIL FIELD PIPE CRADLE FEEDERS. Single big square or 2 round bales Outside measurement is 8 feet x 12 feet Silage bunk feeders For product pictures, check out Double Delichte Stables on Facebook Dan 250/308-9218 Coldstream DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? COURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 email@example.com www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE.RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Coneygeers stock - ewe lambs available. 250-722-1882. NanaimoLIVESTOCKIt’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-7733DeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCWANTED: USED JD TRACTORS 60-100 HP JD 115 12’ DISK 6,500 JD 6400 W/CAB&LDR 60,000 JD 1830 W/LDR 16,000 JD 1830 W/LDR 15,000 JD 7200 4WD OPEN STATION PWR QUAD TRANSMISSION CALL JD 1630 W/LDR 16,000 OLIVER 12’ disc 3,750 ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147CUSTOM BALING 3x4 BIG SQUARES SILAGE BALING/WRAPPING ED DEBOER 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/804-6147EDVENTURE HAY SALES ENDERBYFOR SALE in Osoyoos: 2 electronic cherry PACKING LINES, 1 apple packing line, harvest bins, and other assorted packinghouse equipment. Please contact Tony for more details 250-498-7705Available now, 4- 1/4 mile Used VALLEY, ZIMMATIC, T.L. PIVOTS, 3- Used 1,000 ft, 1,250 ft Hose reels, 10,000 ft 12 in 8,000ft 10 in HDPE, Steel pipe in all sizes used. Dealer for Pierce Pivots, T.L Pivots, lease your new or used pivot, Hose reels, RM, Idrio, diesel pumps, centrifugal, sub-mersible, freq drives, pump stations, 30 years experience. Talk to Brock! 250 319 3044ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • LOEWEN 422 MIXER WAGON, good condition, $13,500 • LOEWEN SUBSOILER, 2 shank, 3 pt hitch, $2,500 • LOEWEN BOX SCRAPER, 3 pt, with rubber, like new, $800 • LOEWEN AGITATOR 18’, 100 HP prop, nice condition, $2,000 • WINPOWER 30/20 kw pto generator on trailer, exc cond. $3,500 • JD CLAMP-ON DUALS 18.4-38, $2,500 TONY 604-850-4718Craig Elachie ShorthornsGrant & Barbara Smith | Balmoral Farms 250.835.0133 firstname.lastname@example.org 1802 Tappen-Notch Hill Rd Tappen BC V0E 2X3FEBRUARY DEADLINE JAN 21DISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE PRINCE GEORGE & AREA SUBDIVISION LOTS: PARADISE ESTATES: R2688574; R2688580; R2688588; R2588581 and more lots available in this sub-division. GLADTIDING ESTATES: R2687614; R2687593; R2687125; R2687155 and more lots available in this subdivision. CHIEF LAKE ROAD: R2689813; R2689815; R2689817 and more lots available in this subdivision. 56 CITY ACRES Zoned AF, bring your ideas MLS R2716736 $2,499,900 160 ACRES west of PG, Zoned RU3, MLS R27229 $369,000 PARADISE FOUND updated log home on 42 acres. $749,900 MLS R2691271 COUNTRY GEM 3 bed/1 bath home of 2.2 acres. R2711734 $379,900 DOME CREEK 160 acres with tons of potential. MLS R2702148 $599,900 SALMON VALLEY 370 acres; 3 titles. 150 ac cleared, MLS R2675843 $599,000 STUNNING MTN RESORT on 82.25 acres, 17 chalets, 50 camps. MLS C8040948 $4,850,000 CATTLE RANCH 1,280 acres; 5 bed/3 bath home. Fenced, outbuild-ings; MLS R2677116 $2,100,000 CONCRETE BUSINESS Robson Valley, MLS C8040939, $759,000 PARADISE IN THE VALLEY 192 acre private estate, custom home, out-buildings to die for. MLS R2720083 $1,450,000 SAXTON LAKE ROAD: R2610535 R2610527; R2610554 and more lots available in this area. CRANBROOK HILL 77 acres w/dev potential minutes from UNBC. MLS R2640598 $1,500,000 HART HWY 54.95 acres. MLS R2640583. $699,900 CLOSE TO THE LAKE 8.3 acres. MLS R2610880 $250,000 74 ACRES w/ 20,000 sq ft bldg., 40 acres cultivated. MLS C8041167 $1,700,000 ESCAPE the city. Two lots in Willow River, 22,500 sq ft. MLS R2591708, $28,900 69+ ACRES ON RIVER Approx 50 acres in hay. River, road access. MLS R2685535 $838,000 55 ACRES Dev potential close to airport. MLS R2707390, $675,000 TREED LOT on edge of the Fraser. MLS R2622560 $229,900 2 LOTS IN ONE PKG! 3.55 acres residential Quesnel R2657274 $289,000 80 ACRES/TIMBER VALUE Zoning allows ag, housing, forestry & more. MLS R2665497 $449,900 15 MINUTES TO PG ~58 acres with timber value. Mostly flat lot with lots of potential. MLS R2665474, $349,900 HWY FRONTAGE 190 acres w/exc potential for subdivision/commercial ventures. MLS R2660646 $749,900 CHIEF LAKE RD 5 acres ready to build. MLS R2715818 $150,000 HUGE POTENTIAL! 64 acres, RR1 zoning, close to amenities. MLS R2736609 $995,000 BRAND NEW! 2022 SR1-built home by owner. 1 bed/1 bath, open floor plan, Whirlpool appliances, soaker tub. $170,000. Buyer to move. 250/832-4729 SALMON VALLEY 120 acres 30 min from downtown PG. MLS R2736769 $239,900 42-ACRE PARADISE Updated 3 bed/3bath 3248 sq ft log home, 35 minutes from downtown PG. MLS R2726021 $664,900 WRIGHT CR RD 195 acres undisturbed bare land. MLS R2655719 $649,900 36+ACRES in PG, prime for busi-ness. MLS C8046015 $6,390,000 21 ACRES PG in city limits on Hwy 16, MLS R27163337 $559,900 TABOR 7.61 acres short drive from town. MLS R2716743 $129,900 DOME CREEK 160 acres with tons of potential. MLS R2702148 $549,900by December 17Baler, NEW HOLLAND 2004’ Model 570, $14,000; Tedder, CLAAS 2006’ Model 52T, 17’6” Hyd. Fold, $7,000; Tedder, CASE 2003’ Model IH 8309, 540 PTO, 9’2” Cut, $8,000; Manure Spreader, JOHN DEERE Model 40T, $4,000; Hay BALE SLED, bunches up approx. 40 bales, $2,000; HAY RAKE, 4 wheels, $1,500. Call Shawn (604) 615-3646 DISCOVER PRINCE GEORGESEEDADVERTISING THAT WORKS!4x3 BIG SQUARES, first crop, $250/ton; Round bales, first crop, $90 ea. 250-833-6699; 250-804-6147First cut 3X4 BIG SQUARE bales, various hay, Creston. Call Stewart, 604-308-6222.ROUND BALES Good grass , tight, well-wrapped $70/bale CARL 604-825-9108HAY FOR SALE Large quantities of 3x4 hay & 4x4 WRAPPED SILAGE BALES. Located in Salmon Arm. WE DELIVER. 250-804-6081ALFALFA SEED For Sale. Tap root blend for hay and pasture. North Okanagan produced. Common #2, $125 for 44 lb bag. Larry 306-580-3002, Armstrong
44 | JANUARY 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCkubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010From raising livestock to growing crops, farming is an all-year-round lifestyle. That’s why Kubota equipment is built to work hard with you. Our winter event is the perfect time to save on Kubota tractors, implements and attachments. Our dedicated team is ready to support and put in the hours, because we know you do, day in and day out.THIS WINTER, GET IT DONE AND THEN SOME.1521 Sumas Way, Box 369avenuemachinery.caPROUD PARTNER OFkubota.ca | OLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/847-3610 SURREY DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 604/576-7506 VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355 ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665 COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801 CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254 DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281 DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755 KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044 KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700