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. 108 No. 10The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 OCTOBER 2022 | Vol. 108 No. 10PROCESSING Abattoir closure leaves producers scrambling 7 WEATHER Ranch suffers third natural disaster in a year 11 CROPS Peace producers engage in on-farm research 19PETER MITHAM CHILLIWACK – Poultry producers across the province are once more on high alert for highly pathogenic avian inuenza after three positive test results in mid September. The disease was conrmed at a commercial ock in Chilliwack with approximately 23,000 birds on September 14, with a 10-kilometre control zone announced the following day. Birds at O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon and at a property in Williams Lake tested positive shortly afterwards. The two ocks are classied as “non-poultry,” meaning the birds were kept for household use or non-food purposes. In the case of O’Keefe Ranch, pheasants and peacocks were aected. The outbreaks have prompted reinstatement of red-level biosecurity protocols for commercial ocks, boosted reporting requirements, and cancelled the APA Canadian National Poultry Show the Fraser Valley Poultry Fanciers Association scheduled for Abbotsford, October 28-30. The show typically attracts hundreds of birds, but the risk this year was too great. The three properties are the rst in the province to report cases since June 18. They follow the relaxing of restrictions in early August when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency revoked the last of the 10 control zones rst established following outbreaks this spring. A total of 21 ocks representing more than A state-of-the-art greenhouse is among the factors making Dutch Heritage Greenhouse in Chilliwack a leading domestic supplier of chrysanthemums. Backed by 50 years of family experience, the operation now sees its owers distributed as far east as Quebec. See story on page 29. ANNA KLOCHKOAvian influenza returnsSee BIRD on next page oPETER MITHAM VICTORIA – A third-party auditing program for commercial livestock operations is a provincial review of the framework governing animal welfare in BC. “The framework includes a review of provincial legislation, policies and practices related to the welfare of farmed animals in BC,” deputy agriculture minister Peter Porkorny explained in an August 25 letter to stakeholder groups. Third-party audits have been a long-standing wish of See THIRD on next page oAnimal welfare under reviewThird-party audits possibleGreenhouse effectForage Seed1-800-661-4559Produced by & available at
BIRD flu linked to wild bird migration nfrom page 1THIRD-party animal welfare audits raise concerns nfrom page 12 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC183,000 birds had been aected by this year’s outbreaks at press time. All have been linked to wild bird migrations. The lack of farm-to-farm transmission indicates that biosecurity protocols continue to be the best defence against infection, says Amanda Brittain, communications ocer with the BC Poultry Association’s emergency operations centre. “Wild birds are posing the biggest risk right now and all farmers – including backyard ock owners – should keep their birds inside,” she says. The initial cases in April the BC SPCA, which received permission from the province last year to pilot unannounced inspections of commercial livestock operations across the province. The inspections wrapped up this spring, and a report – yet to be released – was submitted to the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food. “The intention was to analyze whether a farm inspection program under section 15.1 of B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is an appropriate regulatory approach,” ministry sta told Country Life in BC in a statement. “Recommendations resulting from the pilot program will be considered as part of the Ministry’s farmed animal framework review being carried out between now and spring 2023.” The ministry referred questions on the report to the BC SPCA, which referred questions to the ministry, noting, “[we] have left it up to them what, if anything, they want to share.” The inspections marked a departure from the standard complaint-driven investigations BC SPCA – which is responsible for investigating complaints regarding animal welfare under provincial legislation – has conducted in the past. BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement ocer Marcie Moriarty told Country Life in BC last year that the inspections were needed to provide independent third-party verication of animal welfare. “This isn’t something we want to be doing … but we do feel there is a need for third-party auditing and so until that time happens, this was a very small sampling we were going to go forward with,” she said at the time. According to industry sources, the inspections went smoothly. Two farms each from the dairy, beef, broiler, egg, turkey and hog sectors were approached, with the two hog farms declining inspection. Moriarty said the pilot was too small to draw any general conclusions about the treatment of farmed animals in BC. “We only sampled a miniscule number of farms so to draw any type of conclusions around this would be seriously misleading,” she says. “We are working with government on the farm animal welfare issue and the recommendations coming out of the pilot.” BC SPCA has been lobbying the province’s agriculture minister since last October regarding the need for third-party audits of commercial livestock operations. On October 28, following months of lobbying regarding a ban on mink farming, BC SPCA CEO Craig Daniell contacted agriculture minister Lana Popham and then-deputy minister Tom Ethier about third-party audits. This year, on August 12, Daniell, Moriarty and SPCA government relations ocer Sarah Herring contacted Porkorny regarding “the need for an independent, third party auditing program for commercial farms in British Columbia to monitor animal welfare and adherence to industry codes of practice” and funding. Moriarty and Herring further engaged the ministry’s policy team lead, Tina Bodnar, on August 31 and September 8 regarding the matter. Representatives of the BC Agriculture Council met with Porkorny on September 9 to discuss the review. “What he told us was that this wasn’t in response to any of the previous work that the SPCA had been doing on the unannounced inspections,” says Danielle Synotte, executive director, BC Agriculture Council. “He said the status quo might be totally ne.” In 2019 the province incorporated industry codes of practice developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council in consultation with stakeholders, including the SPCA, in provincial animal welfare legislation. The codes became law in BC June 1, 2019, following a year-long consultation with the BC SPCA and industry groups. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the industry codes serve as the reference for what constitutes “reasonable and generally accepted practices of animal management” that do not cause animals distress. The prospect of third-party audits concerns Synotte, who notes that regular farm inspections are part of the industry codes of practice. “If the province is going to say there needs to be an additional third-party audit, then let’s talk about who that auditor is,” she says. “If there’s going to be a third-party auditor situation take place, we’d like to be consulted.” Any involvement of the BC SPCA in third-party audits would concern livestock groups, she adds. The agriculture ministry says it wants to nd “the right balance of accountability” to protect both animals and the rights of farmers. “We will continue to actively work with animal welfare stakeholders and farmers to identify solutions to further help strengthen animal welfare in BC,” it says. Patrick is an experienced portfolio manager that brings a focused 昀nancial and estate planning team to clients to ensure the best and most effective investment decisions are made now and in the future. 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CALL JOHN DEERE 510 WITH LOADER, COMPLETE OR PARTS . . . . . . . . . CALL NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service Availableresulted in commercial ocks being ordered indoors for the duration of the outbreak to prevent their exposure to wild birds. The province’s chief vet reissued the order on September 14 for an indenite period. Small ocks are exempt from the order, but small-lot producers have been encouraged to follow the protocols set forth by the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. With the fall bird migration beginning, the new cases underscore the importance of strong biosecurity protocols. “Poultry owners should pay particular attention for signs of illness in the months ahead, and work with their veterinarian for any diagnosis and disease reporting support,” a bulletin from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food states. The province is planning public information sessions in 11 communities for small-ock poultry owners to help them prevent, recognize and report the virus. “The sessions are being scheduled for late September until November to reach small ock owners in the Cariboo, Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Prince George area and Vancouver Island, with the schedules and locations to be announced once conrmed,” the province says. The rst was set for Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake on September 27. A second was scheduled for Kelowna on September 29. The events promised to advise small ock poultry owners “about the avian inuenza virus, how they can protect their ocks and how to prepare for potential impacts if their birds become sick.”
As the Okanagan apple harvest gets underway in earnest, orchardists are voicing their concerns about BC Tree Fruits’ plans to consolidate its packing operations in Oliver. MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 3BC Tree Fruit consolidation triggers revoltCo-op members force special meetingTOM WALKER KELOWNA – BC Tree Fruits members have served legal notice to the co-op demanding a special general meeting over plans to consolidate packing operations in Oliver. A date had not been set at press time, but growers are demanding that the meeting take place prior to the co-op’s annual general meeting planned for November 22. The meeting could see a major change to the board, and the reversal of plans announced August 17 to shutter and sell the co-op’s plants in Wineld and Kelowna and invest $84 million in the Oliver facility. The funds were previously marked for development of a new state-of-the art packing plant adjacent to Kelowna International Airport, which the co-op acquired in 2019. Co-op CEO Warren Saranchan had maintained as late as July in meetings with and video updates to growers that a new plant in Kelowna, not consolidating in Oliver, was the plan. “It was a denite turnaround,” says Mike Mitchell, a grower in Lake Country and former board member with the co-op. “With such a big issue, members should have been consulted. Even though the board has the mandate to make the decision, the members should have had a say.” There is a precedent for members having a say on major decisions. When the four cooperative packinghouses agreed to consolidate under the BCTF banner in 2008, the matter was put to a vote. Co-op members also voted in 2012 when the co-op rst proposed a new packing plant. Growers have made their displeasure known, turning out in force on September 1 for a meeting the co-op scheduled with members at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre in Kelowna. But hotel sta voiced security concerns and the co-op shifted the in-person meeting to Zoom. Growers showed up anyway, carrying signs and making speeches. While the co-op has held in-person meetings with growers since, the call for a special general meeting shows that growers remain unhappy. Mitchell worries about the impact a change to the board would have for the co-op, and wants to see both sides be candid about their visions for the future. “[Co-op] management and members need to put all the cards on the table and make the best nancial decision for the co-op,” he says. The math isn’t simple. Seventy percent of co-op members are in the central and north Okanagan. Trucking to Oliver would increase grower costs. A plant in the Kelowna area would be more central, and proximity to the airport would facilitate the exports that packers and growers alike say they want to increase. But several independent packinghouses are also in the South Okanagan, including CFP, and Mitchell acknowledges, “It seems to work for them.” Consolidating operations into one plant has its merits, says Peter Simonsen, a co-op member in Naramata and president of the BC Fruit Growers Association. “Spending money to renovate and upgrade in stages to meet current needs rather than building an entirely new plant does make some sense,” he says. The co-op needs about 100,000 bins to support its two existing packing lines in Wineld and Oliver, but with growers leaving the industry or shifting to cherries or wine grapes, it received just 70,000 bins last year. It is predicted to receive even less this year. According to the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program, Okanagan apple acreage has fallen from more than 9,000 acres in 2017 to 6,800 in January 2022. It is predicted to be as low as 4,300 acres by 2024. But the loss of packing capacity in the central Okanagan delivers a further blow to an already embattled industry. “The industry is in turmoil,” says Simonsen. “This certainly doesn’t help us to stabilize.” Mitchell agrees. “We need to focus on what is important and that is working together to make the cooperative as strong as possible,” he says. “Serving British Columbia proudly since 1946”Machinery LimitedROLLINS RToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.com firstname.lastname@example.orgChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 184.108.40.2063 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.comChilliack 1.800.242.9737 | 44725 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 | 21869 - 56th Ave Chemainus 1.250-246.1203 | 3306 Smiley RdChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 220.127.116.113 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StAre you READY for WINTER feeding?“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 email@example.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.108 No. 10 . OCTOBER 2022Published 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 Gobble, gobble, PW!In 1861, Samuel Clemens left Missouri and headed west for Nevada. After numerous failures he assumed the pen name Mark Twain. Among his many observations of the American West is: “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for ghting over.” In 1986, author Marc Reisner said: “That water ows uphill toward power and money is the West’s cardinal law.” Reisner’s book, Cadillac Desert; The American West and its Disappearing Water (1986), remains the seminal history and analysis of the rancour and wrangling that dene the prolonged battle for water in the Great American Desert. It is a story punctuated with hubris, avarice, naivety, obfuscation, absurd reasoning, pork barrel politics and mendacity. It is a long story with no happy ending in sight. The continental US is bisected from north to south by the 100th meridian. To the east of it, annual rainfall averages 30 inches or more; to the west, with the exception of a strip of Pacic Northwest Coast and a swath of northern Idaho, it rains much less and much less dependably. Annual rainfall in California’s Imperial Valley east of San Diego is 74mm – less than 3 inches. Thanks to irrigation water drawn from the Colorado River, agricultural production exceeds $1 billion a year. The story is similar in seven western states where 40 million people depend on the Colorado River to supply irrigation, industrial and domestic water. The Hoover Dam and its reservoir Lake Mead as well as the Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir Lake Powell are the source of prescribed allocations to the seven Colorado Basin states agreed to in 1922. When full, they have a collective capacity over 54 million acre feet. Due to the persistent drought that has gripped the Colorado Basin since 2000, the current volume has declined to 15 million acre feet. Surface levels have fallen 150 feet and both dams are nearing levels that will impact electrical generation. The US Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees the dam operations and water allocations, has imposed Tier 1 restrictions and Tier 2 restrictions appear imminent. These will start curtailing irrigation allocations. Lake Mead was last full in 1999. The spillways last saw water in 1983. At its current owrate, the Colorado River will remain severely oversubscribed. Unless water use is dramatically curtailed, the reservoirs will simply dry up. Considering 70% of the Colorado’s water is used for irrigation, it is obvious where the deepest cuts will have to occur. Water has allowed cities and agriculture to ourish throughout the American West, from Los Angeles to Phoenix and Albuquerque. That water has been coaxed and conjured by damming every watercourse and pumping every aquifer. As the climate changes and aquifers decline, the puzzle of where the water to keep desert life aoat will come from will need answering. All of this brings us home to British Columbia. We are a long way from the American Southwest but are, nonetheless, the most accessible and abundant source of water on the continent. Our water resources are woefully underutilized by American standards. It seems almost inevitable that water shortages south of the border will resurrect the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA). NAWAPA was the brainchild of a California engineering rm in the 1950s. The plan was to pump most of the Yukon and Tanana rivers into the Rocky Mountain Trench. Dams as high as 1,700 feet would be built on most of the river canyons in BC. The Fraser and Columbia would be drowned to create an 800 km-long reservoir holding 400 million acre feet of water, some of which would be directed into the Peace and some sent to the Great Lakes. Power generation at Niagara Falls would be doubled and some of the water would be directed into the Mississippi to enable ocean freighters to reach St. Louis. Alberta and Saskatchewan would get a dram for irrigation. The rest would head south, with enough leftover perhaps to allow America to honour its Colorado River allotment to Mexico and even let a little bit of the Colorado leak all the way back to the sea again. One of the downsides of NAWAPA would be the need to relocate the city of Prince George. Dicult but denitely not a deal-breaker in the planner’s eyes. The plan didn’t gain much traction in the 1960s, although US Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall bought into it. In Canada, there were worrying questions about salmon, wildlife habitat and Prince George. The plan was resurrected in 1980 at a conference in California called “A High-Technology Policy for U.S. Reindustrialization.” It was received enthusiastically. In 1981, Premier Bill Bennett spoke encouragingly in San Francisco about building dams and preserving the water pouring out to sea. In 1985 Quebec premier Robert Bourassa and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney spoke in muted support. With the pressures facing farmers in California and the US Southwest today, NAWAPA or something like it seems bound to lurch back to life like a zombie that won’t quite die. When the next federal or provincial election is called, you might want to ask the candidates where they stand. Especially if you live in Prince George! 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 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSovereign realitiesThe death of Queen Elizabeth on September 8 marked the end of an era, a reality quietly shaped by her image on our coins and stamps regardless of our political persuasion or thoughts on the monarchy itself. But she was also a person whose faith reminded her that death is a fact of life, and life continues: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” King Charles knows the old verse is rooted in practical wisdom, being a well-known advocate of organic and sustainable farming. The latest market research for Organic BC notes that consumers are rmly embracing organic products, with sales up 54% in the past ve years. Growers serving that segment of the market have a reason to embrace such practices, even as the so-called organic premium disappears. Other growers are embracing so-called regenerative practices without seeking certication, with governments at all levels jumping in to fund climate-friendly practices. This is the era in which we now live. Yet the severe weather of recent years has exacted a toll on the outlook of farmers. Wildres, landslides, tough new regulations and a simple absence of support services like slaughter capacity undermine the joy farmers take in their work. The challenges amount to the hard and rocky ground that resists the seed, no matter how good it is. A long, warm fall this year has given many growers more to cheer about than they expected this past spring. This is cause for Thanksgiving. But next year will be dierent, and many farmers are looking ahead with concern. Some of the challenges demand change. But our gratitude for the work Water remains a battleground in the US, BCof farmers can’t pick favourites. Government initiatives try to be on the right side of history, but history has only one direction and all farmers have the same hope. Our gratitude should encourage all of them forward into a new season.
Is agritech the tail wagging the dog?Farmers’ role in protecting natural capital should be the priorityCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 5labour costs, ne-tune inputs and reduce or repurpose waste. More eorts are needed to engage farmers with proof of concepts, nding ways to derisk and to compensate those who wish to assist with eld trials and pilots, perhaps by providing equipment for demonstration purposes, shares or a partnership role in the emerging business. Cheerleading for agritech as the only way to go doesn’t help attract farmers and can obscure some issues that deserve consideration, however. Volatile Tech businesses tend to be volatile: possibly a shrewd investment, not necessarily a reliable supplier or partner. Tech startups in particular are built around an idea and a speculative market with support from investors who take equity in the business and a share of its intellectual property. Proof of concept may or may not exist at rst; the purpose is to disrupt a given market, scaling as fast as possible, then grow the investor pool through a buyout or an initial public oering on a stock exchange. Farm businesses tend towards a less ashy model, usually nanced by bank loans that farmers repay with interest over time in order to retain ownership of their operation. A farm business grows into a market, seeking to be protable within it. Proof of concept – a marketable product – is assumed from the start, and scaling is usually incremental. Digital goods and services can move far and fast, seeming to escape physical limits. Amazon has gured this out: as long as it can keep adding customers to its platforms, the digital demand they create will outweigh its increasing costs of warehousing and delivery. Amazon can provide a global market, at least until the supply chain cracks and underlying resources like rare earth minerals run out. Digital activity is not without impact. Such technologies rely on extensive physical infrastructure and massive amounts of energy-hungry computing, in particular the blockchain that records transactions in a decentralized digital ledger linked across many computers. Data security remains a concern. Suppliers of “smart” equipment or sensors collect large amounts of data, aggregate it and sell it back to you in their proprietary analytics. Farmers worry about how, if at all, they can protect their farm data and their privacy in the absence of updated regulations. These practical considerations give farmers pause as they weigh up agritech participation. There are some deeper questions, too. Agritech suppliers oer measurement tools with promises of control. In a context of complex systems generally, let alone today’s accelerating uncertainty punctuated by random events like the heat dome, control is a mirage. Many critical variables, especially those related to carbon (such as carbon capture in soil) are not yet – and may never be – easy to measure. Common-sense, steady improvements in soil, water and biodiversity stewardship through practices such as cover cropping, crop rotations, decreased tillage and tree planting remain important and may be the best options available, whether or not measurements, regulation or oset markets usefully catch up. Lack of control does not, however, mean lack of agency. You can, and do, participate eectively in your environment without needing the sense that you control it. This became obvious at the height of the pandemic when farm and food businesses pulled together and innovated as never before, rebuilding business models and supply chains almost overnight. Innovation is not limited to agritech: it is a way of seeing how to do things better according to your priorities. Farmers and ranchers do this all the time. Indigenous neighbours are the original experts. We need a distinction between farming as a primary business attached to natural capital – the limited material resources of soil, water and biodiversity – and other food production businesses that derive from these but operate at further removes, in labs or elsewhere. We need more discussion about how dierent approaches to food security can coexist better, with as much or more value assigned to innovations on the land as well as in the lab. To the farmers, ranchers and shers working with lands and waters: thanks for choosing the boots. Kathleen Gibson lives and grows food in Lekwungen territory / Victoria, BC. She has been working on food security and sustainable food systems policy since 1982. “Agricultural tech heralded as future of BC farming in times of climate change” states a recent Vancouver Sun headline. The article promotes a vision of farmers “swapping boots for lab coats,” racing to catch up with agritech developments in the Netherlands, Singapore and California. Data and articial intelligence technologies supporting precision agriculture, robotics, smart machinery, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain systems are under discussion, as well as labs producing cellular products such as tuna without sh, cheese without cows and slaughter-free animal protein. Agriculture and food are high on tech developers’ and funders’ radar as truly critical to human survival in climate and related crises. This is creating a turbo-charged atmosphere of innovative speculation and investment, especially regarding carbon markets, that is running well ahead of government regulation. BC farmers, witnessing this whirlwind as they steer their businesses through pandemic and climate challenges, must decide whether and how to engage these options in their sectors and with their suppliers, asking which technologies may be relevant to their operations and which may be useful. Some technologies under development in BC and elsewhere are undoubtedly both relevant and useful, oering ways to reduce Viewpoint by KATHLEEN GIBSON1-866-709-3202 wecover.netTake your dairy operation to the next level with a WeCover barn. Promoting better airﬂow and natural light gives cattle a healthier environment for better production, and your building will look great while doing it. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 7Gates are locked and barriers set up at Rocana Meats in Salmon Arm. The abrupt closure of the hog processor has left producers scrambling for abattoir space this fall. DEB STERRITTInsurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.WITH 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.43013 Adams Road, Greendale Chilliwack A rare nd! Just under 10 acres oering a variety of opportunities. Operated as a state of the art dairy facility up to April 2022. 2907sq.ft. well maintained house, plus four barns. MLS C8044605 | Asking $3,499,000Abattoir closure leaves producers scramblingHog producers seek processing alternatives at peak season KATE AYERS SALMON ARM – Hog producers in the Thompson-Okanagan are without a processor after Salmon Arm’s Rocana Meats suddenly closed in August. “It has been really, really hard for producers in that area. It couldn't have come at a worse time,” says Small-Scale Meat Producers Association executive director and project manager Julia Smith. “Most people are nishing their hogs this time of year. You can't book them in anywhere else. Everywhere else is booking at least a year out now. So, it's put people in a really terrible situation.” Rocana’s website describes the business as a growing national brand. The company sourced most of its hogs from Alberta, but the plant also did custom processing for several producers in BC, including Grand View Family Farm in Salmon Arm. Grand View co-owner Deb Sterritt had a good working relationship with Rocana Meats, which processed the family’s pasture-raised Kunekune pigs. She visited the plant when she heard general manager Dave DeBoer was let go at the end of July, and was assured all was OK. It wasn’t. “I spoke to the new general manager about [custom processing], and she said that everything was the same, and not to worry about it,” says Sterritt says. “And then I went shopping and ran into one employee who told me that [the new] general manager quit. I'd only been in there like an hour before.” Sterritt is now unsure where or when her pigs will be processed and what she’ll be able to oer customers. Rocana has not been in touch, leaving producers unsure whether new owners will step in or if the plant and its equipment are being sold. The only rm information is that the plant is shuttered. “It’s closed. I drove by there the other day and it was all locked up. Nobody is working there anymore,” DeBoer says. “They told us to leave; said they could look after it themselves. I left and six weeks later they have no business left. They were basically out of business.” Foreclosure Court documents show that Rocana had been struggling nancially. Bank of Montreal demanded repayment of debt totalling $973,576 last October, and launched a foreclosure action the following month. The action was discontinued in January. DeBoer, who according to court documents had been making mortgage and tax payments, and covering the cost of renovations and other works for Rocana since November 2019, oered to buy the business from the owners – a consortium of Chinese-Canadian investors – in a share purchase agreement valued at $4.2 million in June 2021. But the deal didn’t proceed, and DeBoer sued the owners in March. The owners deny that such an agreement existed. But according to DeBoer, a new purchase agreement was drawn up in July and ready to sign. Rocana executives wanted to close three days later, but DeBoer told them that timing wouldn’t work. “So, they told me I was no longer needed,” DeBoer says. “I looked after the place from the beginning to the end and the [owners] gured they could do it cheaper.” DeBoer’s successor as general manager, Erika Zazzi, has also led a small claims action against Rocana. Rocana did not respond to requests for comment. Rocana’s abrupt closure has some producers looking to on-farm processing to stay in business. “We've had at least two of our members scrambling to get their farmgate licences set up so that they can slaughter See CLOSURE on next page o
8 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCLOSURE is the nail in the coffin for some producers nfrom page 7their hogs,” Smith says. “But for these two producers alone, the limits aren't high enough to process all their hogs. So this is really just a stopgap measure.” Because of increased feed and fuel costs, Smith says Rocana’s closure could “be the nal nail in the con for a lot of producers.” “My feed costs have gone up 40% over the last three years and I buy in bulk,” she says, noting that smaller producers who don’t buy in bulk face higher prices and now face higher transport costs. “Having to haul long, long distances to get your pigs slaughtered on top of that, I think we’re just going to lose a lot of producers over this,” she says. Sterritt’s business model hinged on access to local processing. Shipping elsewhere is too expensive, and she would also face the added expense of cut-and-wrap services and return shipping. She has no interest in obtaining a Farmgate Plus licence. “It's a matter of how do we process our pigs, that are ready to be processed, in a way that's not going to end up with a huge loss?” says Sterritt says, who would have shipped her animals in the spring if she’d known Rocana was going to shut down. “We're going to exit. The feed costs are too high, [there’s no] access to processing, … there’s too many risks in this business and not enough money. So, we’re done.” The repercussions of Rocana’s closure on producers’ livelihoods and food security underscore the long-standing issue of adequate local processing capacity. The issue was agged in a 2018 report by a select standing committee of the legislature on meat production in the province. An overhaul of the province’s meat licensing regime last year was meant to address the issue, but challenges remain. According to the province, there are 58 licensed abattoirs in the province as well as 124 Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licences. The licensing changes have improved poultry processing capacity, says Shelley Work of Ravenwood Acres in Salmon Arm, but she has yet to notice a dierence in red meat processing capacity. “Everything … started to bottleneck when COVID hit,” she says. “I haven't seen that let up yet. I think there are more people looking for processing and that's why we've got such a backlog, but I haven't seen that getting any better.” Ravenwood raises purebred registered Tamworth pigs, primarily supplying weaned piglets to others for nishing but also raising a few itself. Work says hog slaughter dates are impossible to get, and setting up a Farmgate Plus facility would be cost-prohibitive for them. The challenges in securing slaughter dates and setting up an on-farm facility mean fewer people are coming to them for young pigs to nish. “It impacts the breeder and the producer as well as the one who's selling the product,” she says of the lack of processing capacity. With les from Peter Mitham Some hog producers are considering phasing out after an abattoir shut down this fall. FILE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 9Canada comes up short on farm risk managementDomestic food security at risk from government inactionHelp us harvest your used oil.We know oil. All you need to know is that recycling used oil is fast, safe and crucial to the environment. Just get it to us and we’ll do the rest.You harvest acres of crops every year.Get started at bcusedoil.comPETER MITHAM LONDON, UK – Canada is among the top 10 most food-secure countries in the world, but it’s also among the least prepared for a major agricultural disaster. While the country gets top marks for its political commitment to managing risks to the agriculture sector, an analysis released September 20 by Economist Impact with the assistance of Corteva Agriscience gave Canada zero points for actually managing risks such as pest infestations and disease outbreaks. This lack of preparation also weakens its ability to recover quickly when disasters happen, jeopardizing food security. “On measures of sustainability and adaptation there’s a lot of room for improvement,” says Sardar Karim, one of the researchers who developed the report. While top-ranked countries like Canada performed well in terms of legislation protecting food quality and programs that limit malnutrition. But, many fall down in areas such as research, extension services and sustainability. “These countries also have areas where they can further improve on, things like agricultural R&D, irrigation infrastructure, access to agricultural inputs for women farmers,” he said. Nevertheless, Canada ranked seventh out of 113 countries surveyed for the 11th edition of the Global Food Security Index, attaining a score of 79.1. It ranked just after Japan (79.5) and on par with Sweden. Finland tops the list at 83.5, while war-ravaged Syria is last at 36.3. Ukraine, where Russia’s invasion February 24 is credited with supercharging a three-pronged food, energy and scal crisis, ranks 71st. “Armed conict is strongly linked to lower food security scores. Conict negatively aects almost every aspect of the food system, from production, harvesting, processing and transport to input supply, nancing, marketing and consumption,” the report states. But even the top-ranked countries face challenges. Canada, for example, has slipped over the past three years even as it has increased in the rankings. In 2019, it ranked eighth with a score of 82.4. Last year, it ranked seventh with a score of 79.8, just ahead of Japan. Researchers said rising food costs and less than optimal investment in sustainability and adaptation initiatives have been key drivers of poorer scores for even the top countries.The show must go onA 4-H dairy exhibitor at IPE puts the nishing touches on her heifer in front of a memorial for the 27 head of show cattle killed in a horric crash near Golden, August 28. Three drivers were also killed. The cattle were on their way back from the Western Canadian Classic junior dairy competition in Brandon, MB when the cattle liner collided head-on with a lumber truck. MYRNA STARK LEADER
10 | OCTOBER 2022 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 SERVICES4-H projects sell well at Pacific National Exhibitionserved as auctioneer for the sale for about four decades. His dad, also Ian Paton, was auctioneer before him. It’s not like the old days when the sale would run from morning to night, says Paton. Now, it takes just a few hours. Additionally, because the sale is held on a day when the PNE isn’t open, the attendees simply pack up and go home rather than enjoy the fair and contribute to the excitement, he says. This year’s 4-H festival at the show included the auction as well as animals and educational displays, August 20-23. Prizes worth more than $10,000 were awarded to 4-H members, made possible by more than 65 businesses, families and individuals. Lower numbers at the auction were echoed in the barns. PNE operations director Christie Kerr says this reects the ongoing impacts of COVID, wildres and last November’s oods. The most popular exhibit is always the sow and her litter. The PNE was built on agriculture, but as the face of Vancouver changed from suburban to urban, the fair’s focus has also shifted. Kerr says the focus on food producers has returned in importance in the last decade, however. “We are seeing strong relationships with producer groups like BC Egg,” she says. — Ronda Payne Strong growth for organics A new report by the Canadian Organic Trade Association pegs the value of the BC organic food and beverage market at $508.1 million in 2020, a 54% increase from $329.2 million in 2017. “Organic producers can be proud of participating in a growing sector, particularly when agriculture has faced many challenges in recent years,” Organic BC executive director Eva-Lena Lang said in a statement accompanying the report’s release. Organic BC collaborated with the national trade association on the study, funded by the federal and provincial governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The study drew on data from market research rm Nielsen to estimate the size of the organic market. The data reected sales at major supermarkets, mass merchandisers and drug stores. The data sources prevent a direct comparison with previous reports, such as the 2013 report pegging total organic food and beverage sales in BC at $662 million in 2012. However, the new report notes that the organic products market in BC has diversied signicantly in the province and elsewhere. While fresh fruits and vegetables lead organic sales in BC with nearly a third of total sales, coee, dairy and eggs are close behind with 22% of organic sales. Notably, organic milk was one of the fastest growing categories in terms of sales. The report notes that 23% of organic consumers in BC – more than anywhere else in Canada – have said they’re prioritizing organic dairy products in the wake of the pandemic and supply chain issues. “Organic food sales are expected to stay on a growth trajectory for the foreseeable future. The COVID-19 crisis has increased consumer awareness of the importance of health and nutrition — values that shoppers associate with organic foods,” the report states. “In fact, 25% of BC respondents are ready to expand their experience by trying new organic products.” BC agriculture minister and former organic grower Lana Popham pledged her support for the sector in a statement welcoming the report’s ndings. “It’s important that we continue to champion our vibrant organic sector and help them successfully grow, as they provide delicious, nutritious food for British Columbians while strengthening our provincial food system and local food economies,” she said. — Peter Mitham Rate hike demands planning The latest rate hike by the Bank of Canada is putting the onus on farmers to plan further ahead to stay on top of the financial impacts. The central bank’s policy Prices were good at the rst PNE 4-H auction since 2019 on August 22, but the number of animals oered for sale was down, auctioneer Ian Paton reports. “It was really good,” he says of this year’s show. “Prices were excellent but numbers were way down.” The auction featured just 38 steers, with the Grand Champion steer raised by Jean MacAuley of the Saanich Peninsula. The Reserve Grand came from Kaden Tamis from Rondriso Farms in Cloverdale; his steer Jerry was purchased by Manny Dacosta and chef David Jorge. Lambs and hogs together totalled about 40 animals, Paton says. Paton, also MLA for Delta South and opposition critic for agriculture and food, has 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 Consultanrate increased a further 75 basis points on September 7 to 3.25%, or 13 times the rate on March 1. It’s the fifth consecutive rate increase this year, with the intent being to curb consumer spending and rein in inflation even as the outlook for global growth weakens. The combination means agricultural businesses will need to sharpen their pencils, says Farm Credit Canada vice-president and chief economist JP Gervais. “The bank statement is quite clear: more will be needed,” he says. “It’s paramount that people have a good risk management plan and understand what the exposure is to elevated borrowing costs that last.” While domestic and international demand for food remains strong, supporting farm incomes, high input costs have meant narrowing margins for many producers. While there’s been some relief recently, Gervais says producers need to be prepared for ongoing volatility. “Inputs have been coming down, which is a good sign,” he says. “But I think there’s a lot of planning that needs to go into next year already given that there’s still a war in Ukraine and given that Russia holds a lot of cards when it comes to fertilizer, when it comes to different kinds of commodities.” The Bank of Canada schedules eight policy announcements each year The next announcement is scheduled for October 26. The rate aims to limit annual inflation to 2%. The bank’s core measures of inflation in July were between 5% and 5.5%. — 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 BCServing the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We’ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 11Ranch suffers third natural disaster in a yearFire, flood and now a mudslide batters Nicola Valley ranchers A landslide narrowly missed the home of Rhonda and Wayne MacDonald of Bar FX Ranch near Merritt, August 23. FACEBOOK / RHONDA MACDONALDKATE AYERS MERRITT – The latest of three natural disasters to hit their property in little over a year has the owners of Bar FX Ranch near Merritt wondering when the province will step up. A brief torrential downpour on August 23 triggered a mudslide that spread silt, rocks and logs across their hay eld and those of neighbours in the Nicola Valley. “We knew that due to the wildre of last summer, August 2021, and the terrain we have that we were potentially at risk for seeing some debris ow. But we had no idea how bad it was going to be,” says Rhonda MacDonald, who operates Bar FX with her husband Wayne. She was working outside by the house before the slide, while Wayne and a neighbour were checking elds on the other side of the Nicola River. MacDonald headed inside briey when the rain became torrential. Once the rain slowed down after about 10 minutes, she proceeded to pressure wash the side of the house. “I went back out and heard a noise that sounded like wind blowing. So, I glanced up the hill expecting to see trees moving up there from wind up top,” MacDonald says. “They weren’t moving, and I didn’t give it another thought.” A few short minutes later, her dog barked and MacDonald turned to watch mud owing down the driveway towards the house. “I had the Bobcat at the house so I hopped in it and started pushing mud o the road as it was coming down. I was only thinking about the house at that point,” MacDonald says. “I drove through the fence to keep pushing it. It was quite thick, and I didn’t want to build a berm at the fence.” Once the mud stopped owing towards the house and instead into the nearby hay eld, MacDonald had a chance to assess the initial damage. She worried that her son’s house had been swept away and it was hard to see up the mountain into the cloudy mist. Fortunately, neither home was impacted by the slide. MacDonald then hopped into a tractor at the edge of the hay eld that sat on higher ground to radio over to Wayne. “Just as I turned the radio on, he was trying to call me. They were far enough away that they had a bit of a dierent perspective being on the other side of the valley,” MacDonald says. “They saw the rainstorm on the mountain. It was so localized above our place.” MacDonald suspects the rain event was about 1.5 kilometres wide and it left Wayne and her stranded apart from each other. “They got partway home and where they had to cross the bridge over the Nicola River, it’s a forest service road,” MacDonald says. “They could see the road they had to go up and it was already gone, in mud ow. So, they turned around and got out of there.” While the debris ow spared their house, their hay eld is now “18 acres of rocks and debris” and the ranch is back to “square one” – recovery mode, just like it was a year ago. MacDonald estimates that a total of 38 acres have been impacted by the slide, mostly productive hay land. No support The family and four neighbours also aected by the mudslide say the province has yet to contact them about nancial support. The AgriRecovery program www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onNITRO 275RS SPREADERSACCUMUL8 & RETRIEVERBALEWRAPPERS SILAGE RAKESee RANCHERS on next page oNEW Asking Price!$2,200,000!Large Acreage Plot for Sale1001 Six Mile Creek Rd., Vernon, BCMLS # 10255499203 Acres3 Water licensesIrrigation well600 Amp serviceLarge home & legal second email@example.com
12 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRANCHERS frustrated by lack of support from authorities nfrom page 11announced in February to help growers impacted last November by ooding and mudslides stopped accepting applications at the end of August. “The crappiest part is that so far, the provincial government, even though this is directly wildre related, doesn’t have any AgriRecovery programs in place for it,” MacDonald says. “Because it’s a small, isolated incident and we’re not in a high-population area, it doesn’t seem to matter to the government. So, we’re left to gure it out on our own once again.” However, the ministry says sta members are providing ongoing support to Emergency Management BC, Shackan First Nation, Bar FX Ranch, Thompson Nicola Regional District and impacted producers. “Impacts reported last week were power outages, downed fences, and widespread but shallow debris ows impacting agricultural lands (pasture, hay elds, etc.),” the ministry reported August 31. “There were no signicant impacts to livestock, but the ministry has supported with the relocation and emergency feed for a small number of impacted horses from the Bar FX Ranch.” While the ministry paid to board the family’s horses elsewhere, MacDonald says it was up to them to relocate the animals and nd feed. Fellow rancher and Shackan First Nation’s temporary emergency operations centre lead Julia Smith has been involved in meetings that suggest no nancial support will be available for those impacted by the slide, despite several calls and emails to agriculture minister Lana Popham. Opposition critic for agriculture and food Ian Paton has spoken directly with MacDonald and Smith. “They're frustrated as can be because the province is saying that there's zero compensation for them because of the mudslide,” Paton says. Paton and a colleague are drafting a letter to public safety minister Mike Farnworth urging Disaster Financial Assistance for those impacted by the landslide. Paton plans to raise the issue when MLAs return to the legislature in October. “I can guarantee you that we will be hitting them hard in question period about why these folks aren't getting any compensation for these horrendous mudslides,” he says. The MacDonalds cannot predict but only prepare for what is to come this fall and winter. “There’s risk. We’ve seen in areas like Cache Creek and what not, the ground seems to be really unstable for at least two years afterwards. There can be movement for up to 10 years after a re,” MacDonald says. “We never used to get random downpours like we get now. That seems to be the only rain we get. It’s dry for so long, the soil is already hydrophobic from the re, now you add six weeks of over 30-degree heat with very little rain, it becomes more hydrophobic and then you have a quick 15-minute downpour that’s torrential. Of course, it’s going to slide.” The couple are evaluating their options moving forward. “Sadly, we are planning not to be here. We’ll stay here as long as we can, but we came to the sad conclusion quickly that we can’t have our cattle here. Not only is there danger but now we have no room,” MacDonald says. “Our eld is now under four feet of large rock, mud and silt and what if this happens again when the cattle are here? They would have all died if they were out in the hay eld. There’s no question about it. Everything is up in the air for all of us in the neighbourhood, especially with no help from the government.” Where was once a hayeld is now a sea of debris. FACEBOOK / RHONDA MACDONALD PRE-OWNED EQUIPMENT CASE IH FARMALL 95A MFD ROPS TRACTOR WITH LOADER CALL FOR DETAILS CLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12.5’ PICKUP & 6-ROW CORNHEAD $93,700 CLAAS JAG 870 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 6-ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 10-ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS NH T4.75 TRACTOR ROPS MFD WITH LOADER CALL FOR DETAILS www.caliberequipment.ca STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 SATURDAYS 8–12604-864-2273 860 RIVERSIDE ROAD ABBOTSFORD More Crops. Less Ash.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 13New abattoir opens in Pitt Meadows Hopcott Farms adds processing to enterpriseCattle are herded down a lane rather than shipped to the new on-farm abattoir at Hopcott Farms in Pitt Meadows. EMMA NICOLE DESIGN PHOTOGRAHYFOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.firstname.lastname@example.orgCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.Renovated home, barn, horse stable, storefront on 3 titles. Numerous opportunities. Creek runs through. | $2,177,000Stunning Log home overlooking beautiful North Okanagan. Fully operating poultry/processing facility business. | $3,247,000Anne Wolfe PREC*250.878.1920Century 21 Assurance Realtywww.annewolferealestate.caKATE AYERS PITT MEADOWS – The Hopcott family is growing its business by adding red meat processing to its Pitt Meadows farm, bistro, deli, butcher shop, wedding venue and cranberry bog. The new provincially inspected abattoir opened its doors August 23, says abattoir manager and co-owner Brad Hopcott. Conception to building construction was a two-year process. Hopcott toured various abattoirs to get a feel for the best layout. “We hired a consultant, and he helped out with the design. Halfway through the design, we kind of shifted a little bit because we were going to do a cradle system to begin with,” he says. “But from what we've been discovering with labour being a major issue in this industry, and just trying to nd guys who are familiar with the work, we decided that we wanted to try to make the work as easy as possible on the workers, as well as try to bring in certain types of equipment that will require less workers on the oor.” Hopcott decided to install an “on the rail” system instead. While the building was originally designed for the cradle system, the 8,000-square-foot space makes it easier for workers to help each other in dierent stations, he says. The three crew members, including Hopcott, process two days a week. They have learned a lot in the rst few weeks of business. “None of us has ever worked in a slaughterhouse before. We started o with two head on the very rst day just to see how things went,” Hopcott says. “And increased to three and then to ve and then eight and now we've been doing 10 the last couple of processing days.” This number will increase once the crew nails down their production ow. “With new builds, there's always going to be things that you don't see right away and we’ll make little tweaks and adjustments,” Hopcott says. “We've been discovering that over the past few weeks, making lots of changes and guring out ways to make things better.” With four workers, Hopcott sees them processing between 20 and 25 head a day. Throughout design and construction, the Hopcotts considered their present and future business needs. “The focus of this build was to be able to build it in a way that the business can grow. And that absolutely nothing had to change,” Hopcott says. “So, the way we built this abattoir, it was good. It's completely overkill for what we need right now. But in the future, I think we'll be able to grow into it.” While the abattoir is at capacity processing Hopcott’s own cattle at the moment, custom slaughter is a possibility. See CUSTOM on next page oProudly certifying Producers and Processorswithin BC and Alberta.FVOPA provides year round certiﬁcation services compliant with the Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB) and in accordance with the BC Certiﬁed Organic ISO 17065 recognized program. Products may be sold Canada-wide and in international markets. FVOPA ensures an efﬁcient, professional certiﬁcation process for all farm, processing and handling operations. Inspectors are lOlA trained and qualiﬁed making FVOPA a leading Certiﬁcation Agency.Message 604-607-1655Email: email@example.comPhone 604-789-7586P.O. Box 18591Delta, BC V4K 4V7Phone: 778-434-3070 202-4841 Delta Street firstname.lastname@example.org Delta, BC V4K 2T9 www.fvopa.ca Proudly certifying Producers and Processors across CanadaFraser Valley Organic Producers Association (FVOPA) offers year-round certication services for producers, processors, packaging and labelling contractors, retailers, distributors and various organic service providers. We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and are always happy to welcome new members. FVOPA certies to the Canadian Organic Standards and to the Canada Organic Regime (COR). Certied products may bear the Canada Organic logo and be marketed Canada-wide and internationally.
CUSTOM work nfrom page 1314 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThe 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!1234The new abattoir at Hopcott Farms is a family affair. EMMA NICOLE DESIGN PHOTOGRAHY“Our farm only goes through about 15 head on average per week. So that's all we really need for our operation as of right now,” Hopcott says. “I'm going to possibly grow when opportunities present themselves, but the focus right now is to kind of get up to 40 a week. And then from there, we'll see how things go. We're looking to do two processing days a week and then three days of production.” Prior to opening the abattoir, Hopcott was taking his feedlot cattle, about 900 head each year, to Meadow Valley Meats in Agassiz. Depending on Hwy 1 trac, this drive could take anywhere from 90 minutes and two and a half hours. Hopcott wanted better for the cattle. “The reason why we wanted to build this abattoir was for the health and the quality of the animals,” Hopcott says. “Obviously, you’re just putting so much added stress on them when you're loading them in the truck and then they're being trucked for two hours and then unloaded.” Construction included building a laneway directly from the farm to holding pens at the abattoir. “We’re trying to make it as calm as we possibly could for the animal to enter the building. And we didn't want to use a squeeze or anything because we felt that would put extra stress on the animal,” Hopcott says. Hopcott has already noticed improvements in meat quality during the rst few weeks of operation. Another benet of Hopcott’s abattoir is fertilizer production as a by-product. “We've been able to get some government grants … to get some help with our Ecodrums,” Hopcott says. “These are composters. They're like 50-foot-long drums. All of the slaughterhouse waste, we're composting on site.” The viscera, hides, and heads go through a bone grinder and then put into the Ecodrums and mixed with sawdust. “We'll have a nice high nutritional fertilizer available for use on our farm as well as to sell to the public,” Hopcott says. This product will be in addition to the composted steer manure the family sells as fertilizer. Diversication has been key to keeping family members in the family business. Hopcott’s parents Debbie and Bob are still involved in farm tasks, his sister Jenn is the operations manager of the on-farm retail store, his brother Travis runs the cranberry operation, and his wife Rachel is the wedding and events coordinator. They also have nine other sta members. 6 lanes with automatic drops and 3 semi-automatic drops. Comes with 6-person quality inspection table and macro bin tipper by BURG.email@example.comOver 30 0 Exhibitors Showcasing Innovative Agriculture TechnologyJanuary 26 - 28
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 15Milk producers keeping an eye on free fatty acidsResearchers working to understand, address the issueIt’s not the cows – it’s how they’re managed. Hannah Woodhouse from the University of Guelph presented some interesting ndings about non-foaming milk at the Mainland Milk Producers meeting last month. ANNA KLOCHKORoost Solar is committed to the highest level of quality, customer service and technical expertise. We are a licensed electrical contractor with Red Seal Journeyman electricians, and offer more than 15 years experience in solar.Contact us today for a free solar consultation and estimate.tf 1.877.707.5042 | 250.307.5042www.roostsolar.com | firstname.lastname@example.orgGrid-connected | O-grid systems | Back-up power | Standby generatorswww.silagrow.comSERVING All OF BC!Greenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmProtection NetsMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain Seed1.800.663.6022 | ofﬁce@silagrow.comSalmon Arm, BC 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. Surrey 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Non-foaming milk is what many would call a First World problem, but for dairy producers it’s key issue as the dairy market adapts to consumer demand. The issue emerged in late 2020, following complaints from Starbucks, which depends on high-quality milk for its lattes. “Coffee shops compete on the quality of their lattes and specialty drinks; no foam equals a loss of business,” the BC Milk Marketing Board advised producers at the time. Producers were told storage conditions, animal nutrition and the frequency of milking may make milk less likely to foam, points confirmed by Hannah Woodhouse, a graduate student at the University of Guelph. “Essentially, it’s milk fat breakdown. So anytime there is stress or agitation to the milk fat globule membrane, it breaks,” she told the fall meeting of the Mainland Milk Producers. “It releases some triglycerides, and those break down into the fatty acid components and results in free fatty acids.” Woodhouse visited 300 dairy farms, including 59 in BC last summer, as part of her research. She took notes on farm characteristics, practices and other variables, and requested milk sample records to determine free fatty acid (FFA) levels. (BC is the only province to regularly report FFA levels.) FFA levels above 1.2 mmol per 100 grams of fat is considered a concern, she says. “We found that the average free fatty acid level was 0.83 mmol, which is below the threshold, but around 10% of the herds that we visited had elevated free fatty acids,” she says. The range across all 300 farms visited was between 0.26 mmol to 3.67 mmol per 100 grams of fat. The research found FFAs tend to form spontaneously as a result of conditions within the herd as well as a result of bacteria. A greater milking frequency, the use of fat supplements in the lactating ration and less frequent changes to filters in the milking system were correlated with elevated FFAs. These tended to be more in evidence in smaller herds, where an issue with the milk of one cow were more prominent than in a larger herd. The study also found that farms with robotic milkers tended to report higher FFA levels than those with parlour systems. “Robot farms tend to be on the higher side compared to the parlour farms,” Woodhouse says. “Out of our study, none of the parlour systems – whether it be highline or lowline – that we visited had an elevated free fatty acid level.” In BC, the average for farms with robotic milkers was 0.95 mmol versus 0.79 mmol for parlours. But with so many variables affecting a herd and its milk, Woodhouse emphasized that the issue wasn’t with a particular milking system but how each system is managed. “We’re just trying to prevent a lot of unnecessary excess stress on the milk fat globule membrane,” she says. One of the most significant factors affecting milk quality is cooling. Bulk tanks should match herd size, while the use of plate coolers to pre-cool milk before it enters the tank can cut FFA levels by about 0.12 mmol. Keeping a close watch on milking frequency is also important. Robotic milking systems should be set to limit visits by low-yielding cows, giving time for milk to form before being drawn off. Parlour systems should consider limiting cows to morning milkings. “Set a maximum number of visits, especially for those late-lactation and low-yielding cows,” she says, noting that an additional milking can increase free fatty acids content by as much as 0.43 mmol. “When there’s a shorter time between milking, the milk fat globule membrane doesn’t have time to form a really strong membrane and is more susceptible to breaking.” Dairies should also change filters frequently. Robotic milking systems should have their filters changed three times a day. An extra change each day could reduce FFAs by 0.13 mmol. During her research, Woodhouse found some dairies changing as many as six times a day to less than once a day. The presentation was the highlight of the well-attended producer meeting, which began with a special general meeting to approve various changes to MMP’s bylaws. While generally held later in the fall, the meeting was moved up to early September as a result of this year’s late corn harvest.
16 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – So many growers got o to a late start with their forage crops this year that Alexis Arthur of Pacic Forage Bag Supply in Delta, thought the eld trials at Vyeeld Farms in Abbotsford wouldn’t happen. But they did, and a late start turned out to be ideal for testing low-heat unit corn varieties. Many growers planted two to four weeks late this spring due to high moisture and cool temperatures. Low-heat unit varieties gave them the best chance of harvesting a crop this season. Arthur says she has never seen so many growers switching from high to low heat unit varieties. “In a season like we had and when you’re going for yield, a low heat unit can get you if not totally to dry down, you at least have a cob there,” she says. “Corn is still what I’d call king for volume and potential quality production, but to try and get access to quality, or at least less stress, looking at lower heat values might be part of your package.” Four rows of nine varieties from seven suppliers were planted at Vyeeld Farms, a seed vendor for Pacic Forage, on June 30. The eld day took place just 10 weeks later on September 15. Arthur was surprised by how good the plot looked. “The ll on cobs has been impressive to me,” she says. However, the higher heat hybrids weren’t as big or showy as what she expected. “They look good, but not as far along,” she notes. There were about 100 guests at the eld day and the return to a full-scale event was appreciated. Danielle Dekker of Vaby Farms says her family enjoys the social aspect and the food, but there are other reasons to attend the eld day. “We’re checking out the dierent options for years where weather is not ideal and seeing what we can do in those years,” she says. “Ours looks good, consistent.” Vaby Farms, a family-run dairy on Sumas Prairie with a milking herd of 400 cows, planted 2450, a mid-heat unit corn, on May 30. It was lucky and had a successful forage growing season but Arthur says there are still things to watch. “Rootworm beetle is very much still here,” she says. “The [BC] Ministry of Agriculture is saying for you to rotate your elds out every three to four years is the best advice. It’s true and I see it out here.” Corn seed treated for rootworm exists, but it’s in higher heat unit varieties so is not an option for years when later planting is required. The other option for rootworm is a relatively new liquid in-furrow product from BASF called Cimegra that also addresses wireworm. “It kills wireworm,” Arthur says. “This is important because there will be no access to 1250 Poncho anymore, though Cimegra is more expensive.” Arthur says farmers are concerned about forage volumes this fall, but there is hope. “Their hope is that grain prices are going down,” she says. “Alfalfa is going crazy [expensive]. Their rst two cuts of grass are good, but not so much on the third or fourth. There may not be a fth for most of these farms.” A good growing season in Alberta is also good news as it will ensure a wider range of more aordable feed options. Results from the eld trial will be available in November through Pacic Forage. Cool season puts corn varieties to the testLow heat unit cobs deliver the goods as growers anxiously await final resultsAlexis Arthur of Pacic Forage Bag Supply. RONDA PAYNESave 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 CHECK
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 17Elizabeth Jeffs of Delta has been appointed to the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. SUBMITTEDKATE AYERS BARRIERE – Three youth will represent BC on Canada’s agricultural youth council, including one member reappointed for a second year. In August, Jacob Aarts, Elizabeth Jes and Sara Kate Smith were named as BC’s representatives on the 25-member council by federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Sara Kate Smith from Barriere was part of the original council rst appointed last year and will serve a second 18-month term. Smith grew up on a small family farm and participated in 4-H from 12 to 22. Smith’s commitment to the youth council builds on her undergraduate degree in political science from UBC. She is also nishing a post-graduate program in government relations management at Seneca College in Toronto. “It’s been fantastic to meet so many other passionate youth agriculture advocates across Canada,” Smith says. “Everyone has such varied experiences and backgrounds, so all of our conversations have been interesting. And having all of those perspectives has been super-valuable.” Last year’s council created three working groups focused on climate, education and career issues as they relate to agriculture. “It was a great rst model for us to approach all the things we wanted to cover, and I think we covered a lot of ground,” Smith says. As chair of the agri-careers working group, Smith and her team looked at how to engage more youth in agricultural careers, the challenges of succession planning and hurdles new entrants face. “When it came to youth engagement and getting people into ag careers, we decided on career pathways as being a valuable tool – resources that demonstrate the experience and education that you need to get into the many dierent roles that are related to agriculture,” says Smith. One of the most impactful things that has enhanced Smith’s council experience so far is the level of independence council members have. “We were able to really reect what the biggest concerns are for youth in agriculture today,” she says. “That made our work feel really meaningful because we were able to be so self-directed.” Beyond school and this council, Smith looks to pursue a career in government relations work within the agricultural industry. “I’ll always have a focus on youth engagement because that has been such a big part of my whole life,” she adds. Overall, she looks forward to more opportunities to showcase all that agriculture has to oer youth. “I think we’re at a really exciting and daunting point in time because our average farmer population is aging and we’re going to see the beginning of a massive transition within the industry,” Smith says. “I really want people outside of the sector to be able to see the breadth the sector can oer and all the dierent career paths and opportunities that can be found within agriculture.” Western perspective New member Jacob Aarts farms with his family in Chilliwack. He looks to bring experience and dairy perspectives to the council. “I think it’s really encouraging and I’m excited that the West has a voice at the table and that they’re involving youth in some of their decision-making,” he says. The third-generation farmer worked as a helicopter pilot in the Northwest Territories and overseas in agriculture before returning to the farm full-time. “I’m a young farmer and I feel it is important to have a voice at the table,” Aarts says. “I think it’s good to be involved not only within your region but in agriculture as a whole to keep this viable for the next generation.” Advocates Following the council’s rst meeting, Elizabeth Jes of Delta is eager to learn and contribute to a positive and welcoming environment. Jes grew up on her family’s blueberry farm and in 2021 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology from UBC, specializing in plant and soil science. Jes started working at ES Cropconsult Ltd. in 2018 and has been working there full time since nishing her degree. She is also working towards her professional agrologist designation. She wants to focus on agriculture’s sustainability, beyond the eld or barn. “I'm really interested in trying to make the future of youth in agriculture sustainable, in terms of careers or jobs – making sure that the industry is sustainable for youth and people to choose a job and choose a career in the industry and to continue to farm in the future,” Jes says. She also wants to be a strong advocate for the industry. “I'm really looking forward to developing stronger relationships with people on the council,” she says. “And then, basically, try and advocate for what we believe in. That's what I’m looking forward to most.” The youth council is a consultative body providing advice, enabling ongoing dialogue on food-related challenges and opportunities, sharing information on best practices and advising on the strengths and weaknesses of policies and programs aecting the agriculture and agri-food sectors.BC members added to national youth councilJacob Aarts and Elizabeth Jeffs join Sara Kate Smith on boardAlliance Concrete Pumps Avant HoldingsB.G.T. Enterprises LtdBeck Glass Ltd.Bertha GislerBlackwood Building CentreBonnetti MeatsCanex Building Supplies Ltd.Country Lumber: LangleyDennis EBy Dr. E William Dick Inc.Fox & Hounds Pub Fraser Valley RefrigerationFred KenmvirGeorey and Catherine KieftGrant Sauer Notary PublicHopcott Premium MeatsJohn & Margaret Freisen Kenmarank FarmsKingsvale Cattle Company Ltd. MDM Livestock and Custom FarmingMeadow Valley MeatsMeadow Valley MeatsMichel Canada CoO'brien Bro. HydovacPaciﬁc National ExhibitionQuiring TruckingR.D.M Equipment Sales & Rentals Ridge Field Cattle Co Ritchie Smith FeedsRosedale LiquorSanscorp Products Ltd.Scott's MeatsSelect Mortgage CorpSpady FarmsSpady Medical TechnologySteele Veterinary ServicesStevenson Farm Stillwater Farms Super Soil Inc.Sylvie VanderkerkhoveTD Canada Trust - Agriculture ServicesThompson Livestock Top of Steel ConstructionTraveland RVTriple Court FarmsValley Waste Recycling Inc. Vanderwal Equipment Ltd.WIIFM Management Ltd. Wade OishiWood Projects LTDWynnyk FarmsChampion Market Hog: Select Mortgage CorpReserve Hog: Kenmarank Farms LChampion Market Lamb: Paciﬁc National ExhibitionReserve Lamb: Meadow Valley Meats LChampion and Reserve Goat: Meadow Valley Meats LChampion Steer Meadow Valley MeatsReserve Steer: Avant Holdings 604-252- 3581 email@example.comTHE PNE AND PARTICIPATING 4-H CLUBS WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE GENEROUS BUYERS OF THE 2022 PNE 4-H AUCTION!
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 19Farm & Rural ResidentialProperties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. 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The area received nearly $6 million in funding through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions - Living Lab program to develop best management practices that solve climate change challenges. “I nd the Peace Region is often forgotten about or maybe is a second thought, so to have an agricultural initiative come to our region is extremely valuable and I believe will create a lot of spin-os,” says Peace Region Living Lab extension coordinator Nadia Mori. “Already I’ve noticed the BC and Alberta researchers, producers and commodity groups, through the application process, worked a lot closer together when usually we would work separately. I think just that has created a lot of synergies.” The project spans the BC and Alberta Peace Region and supports research over the next ve years to investigate such parameters as carbon sequestration; greenhouse gas emissions; environmental co-benets including water inltration rates, soil health and species diversity; and socioeconomic factors of best management practices. “There are roughly 13 Living Labs in total (nationally) and none of them are cross-provincial so … we were quite skeptical that our application would be accepted because it usually is a provincial initiative,” Mori says. “But at the same time, the Peace Region as a whole, especially if you look at it from a watershed basis, it does make sense to put it together [because] geographical, soil and climatic factors are all very similar.” 60 farms The project launched this fall, starting with baseline data collection of one-metre-deep soil core samples to measure carbon levels on each of the 60 participating farms. The region has been identied as one of the areas with the greatest carbon sequestration potential, Mori adds. “I think that is one of the reasons that the region was selected,” she says. Neil Ward, a rancher northwest of Fort St. John, echoes this sentiment. “This might be one of the largest carbon sinks in North America. It’s not recognized as that,” he says. “I think it may gain some recognition for how special the area is and how well agriculture does here and how important it all is.” Ward runs 850 cow-calf pairs and 600 yearling heifers on his ranch and looks forward to learning just how much carbon his land sequesters. “We all know we’re putting back quite a bit of carbon into the ground through grassland management and I’m quite excited to see how much,” he says. A unique aspect of Living Lab research is that they are in fact “living,” which means that experimental designs and practices can evolve over time. “It’s a five-year project. Usually you get a one-year project or maybe two or three but to have a five-year project to work on is really exciting and then to have the living portion of it,” Mori says. “So, if we do something for two years and we notice that we should tweak the practice, Peace producers engage in on-farm researchProjects aim to establish a baseline for soil carbon levelsSee LIVING on next page oLes and Hannah Willms and their family are hopeful their participating in the BC Grain Producers’ Living Labs study will help them nd new ways to improve their soils and adapt to climate change. SUBMITTEDYOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comSign up for Free today.YOURelping Youelpingpingplping Youlpinoe
20 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCLIVING Labs project will source data from real farms nfrom page 19PRINCE GEORGE | KAMLOOPS | KELOWNA | CHILLIWACK | LANGLEY | NANAIMO WWW.PCE.CA 1-877-553-3373• Powerful and fuel-efficient Tier IV Yanmar engine• 4WD transmission with TwinTouch™pedals for ease of use • Optional iMatch Quick-Hitch feature allowsfor easy implement hookup • Standard cruise control, 12-V outlet and premium seating$3673025ECOMPACT TRACTORWITH LOADER• Easily connect and remove backhoeis availableSUPPLIES ARE LIMITED0%OVER 84MONTHS*BONUSSAVE $700WITH 0% FOR 60MONTH TERMPer month over 84months or save anadditional $700 with 0%for 60 month program* O.A.C. 0% financing over 84 months. Items may not be exactly as shown. Offer valid with 20% of purchase price down. Prices are based on the US exchange are subject to change. Taxes not included in payment price. Some restrictions may apply. Offer valid until October 30, 2022. Quote ID# 27298697we can do that because we’re not locked in like if you have a rigid science experiment.” Other important distinctions of this type of research is that it is producer-driven and looks at agricultural operations as whole systems. “We really want to look at how the whole farm comes together around this practice. What are all the aspects that it inuences? It could change the labour needs or family dynamics, which are all kinds of little secondary eects that may also be important for why or why not something is being adopted,” Mori says. At Ward’s ranch, researchers will monitor his rotational grazing practices. “The biggest thing that they’re doing is that they’re actually studying regular agricultural practices of a rancher rather than in a controlled environment,” Ward says. “They’re on the ground studying what’s actually happening on an actual real ranch.” Solution-based At Willms Sunowers in Rose Prairie, Les and Hannah Willms have been conducting their own experimental projects for years, so they were eager to join the Living Lab through the BC Grain Producers Association. “It’s an interesting program … it’s investing in helping us nd solutions to improve our soils,” Hannah says. “We’re farmers so we grow stu but because the climate is changing, we need to nd solutions for our ground so we can improve soil inltration, manage the growing times here better.” The Willms have a no-till operation and they’ve planted such crops as radishes, turnips, clovers and alfalfa to break up compaction, x nitrogen and sequester carbon. But to adopt best management practices, they need to make dollars and sense, Hannah urges. ‘”It’s a struggle for farmers to gure out how to fund some of this stu,” she says. “Especially with cover crops up here in northeastern BC; they aren’t something you can do after your cash crops. The season is short. When we take our cash crops o, typically we’re getting snow.” Last year the Willms planted cover crops after receiving a grant from the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund. The Living Lab is an extension of this work. “It’s a really good connection to have because we can connect with these agrologists from across the province and Alberta to help build our soils,” Les says. “If we can increase our organic matter and grow better crops in the tough years, then we will sequester more carbon.” To disseminate ndings to the remaining 1,540 producers in the region, the participating groups will create learning clusters and facilitate on-farm gatherings. There will be opportunities for the community to visit farm research sites, be part of eld days and collect data as part of the peer-to-peer learning and adoption, Mori says. The project is led by the Peace Region Forage Seed Association and includes the Peace River Forage Association of BC, Northern Co-Hort/NEAT, BC Grain Producers Association, Fourth Sister Farm, North Peace Applied Research Association, Mackenzie Applied Research Association, SARDA Ag Research and the Peace Country Beef & Forage Association. Sunowers ourish in Rose Prairie, in BC’s Peace region. LES & HANNAH WILLMS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 21 BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333TOM WALKER PENTICTON – Ranchers’ use of growth-enhancing technologies (GETs) – better known as growth hormones – get a bad rap among the general public, but speakers at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Penticton this summer positioned them as environmentally friendly tools that can boost producer returns. GETs have been approved for use in the beef industry since the 1950s and are commonplace in background and feedlot operations. But an audience poll that led o a presentation indicated that 60% of cow-calf producers don’t administer hormone implants to pre-weaned calves. The most common reason was “don’t see the benets” followed by food safety concerns. Other reasons included lack of familiarity with the technology and the time required to administer. But for sustainable ranching businesses looking to improve animal productivity, implants are another tool alongside genetic selection, improved reproduction and feed management. “Thirty years ago we looked at GETs as part of our program,” says Manitoba rancher and session presenter Betty Green. “We could see the weight gains and the nancial benets and we have never really quit.” Green implants about 600 calves a year and calls the process “easy.” A small pellet is inserted into the cartilage of the calf’s ear, usually during branding and before spring turnout. “I do most of them myself and they really don’t move around as much as I thought they would,” she says. Green shared results from 2020 research published in the Journal of Animal Science that tracked weight gains in pre-weaned calves over a period of about ve and a half months. “At the end of the 168 days, there was a 31-pound dierence between the weights of the implanted and non-implanted animals,” notes Green. “For our operation, we see that as a signicant gain.” Veterinarian and session moderator Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky says producers who don’t use implants could be missing out on $50 per animal. “Unless you are getting paid not to use implants in your pre-weaned calves, you are losing at least 20 lbs of weight gain per calf,” she points out. “If you ship 100 calves this fall, you could be missing out on some $5,000.” Homerosky was referring to a possible price premium for an operator shipping into a “natural beef” program such as one that exports to Europe. But if those calves are sold in a typical auction situation, the implant status is only one of several factors a buyer will consider, including flesh and frame scores, body weight, vaccination programs and Verified Beef Program participation. “On auction day, your animals will go to the highest bidder and that is not necessarily a natural program,” she says. “Do you want to give up 20 pounds and the environmental benefits to the next guy down the chain?” Environmental bonus The environmental benefits are not often considered when discussing implants, but implanted calves produce more pounds of beef than smaller calves while having nearly the same environmental impact. University of Manitoba professor Kim Ominski shared the results of research she undertook at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at the University of Manitoba that found a 3% to 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 5% to 11% reduction in land use, a 5% to 11% reduction in water use and a 3% to 8% reduction in ammonia emissions per kilogram of boneless beef when GETs were used compared to when they were not. “GETs improve feed efficiency and average daily gain, and that leads to fewer days on feed and a lower cost of production as well,” notes Ominski. “This is critical information for producers to discuss with consumers.” Consumers who object to the use of growth hormones in beef might be surprised at what’s in some of the alternatives at the supermarket. A 75-gram serving of beef produced without hormones contains 1.1 nanograms of estrogen (a nanogram is a billionth of a gram) while GET puts that up 1.9 ng. By comparison, a 75-gram serving of chicken contains 2.1 ng of estrogen while pork weighs in at 2.5 ng. A 355 ml can of beer contains 15 ng of estrogen, or nearly eight times a 75 g serving of beef, while 355 ml of milk has 51 ng of estrogen. Coleslaw topped the chart speakers presented: A 75-gram serving of cabbage delivers 2,025 ng, more than 1,000 times the amount in a similar serving of beef. Growth implants deliver big returnsFinancial, environmental benefits are keyKatz a keeperThe BC Bison Association (BCBA) would like to invite all British Columbia bison producers and bison enthusiasts to our upcoming Annual General Meeting in Kamloops, BC.Join us for education, interaction, and socializing! Come and discover new technologies being developed to make bison ranching easier. The highlight event will be a ranch tour and barbeque hosted by Big Valley Bison Ranch outside of Kamloops.Conference Information available online: www.canadianbison.ca/bcba Follow us on Facebook for info and updates @British Columbia Bison Association British ColumbiaBISON ASSOCIATIONBCBA AGMOctober26-28, 2022TOPICS INCLUDE:Preparing for animal health emergencyCoping strategies for climate changeIndustry andgovernment updatescanadianbison.ca/bcbaJoin usEmail Isobel Vere for Conference & Registration Info: email@example.comRegisterTodayTlell 203D Katz 4K will be heading from Tlell on Haida Gwaii to her new home in Little Fort. The Jim family of Little Fort Herefords outbid challengers to the tune of $8,750.00 to make the January-born heifer calf the high-selling lot in the 13th annual Richardson Ranch online sale, September 16-17. SkyVirtu Ranch of Leduc, AB paid $4,700.00 for Don and Leslie Richardson’s top-selling bred heifer, Tlell 6153 Rita 24J, and their high-selling cow is also Alberta bound, selling to Jill Burkhartdt of Gwynne, for $2,700.00. Three heifer calves averaged $4,583.00; four bred heifers averaged $3,275.00. RICHARDSON RANCH
22 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDivisions of First West Credit UnionBank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.THE HARDWORK ONLY OTHER FARMERS UNDERSTAND IF IT’S WORTH IT TO YOU, IT’S WORTH IT TO US.Contact our agribusiness specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 23Cannabis creates jobs for lean ranch operationReduced labour demand prompts diversificationDiversication is more than a buzz word to the Casorso family of OK Falls. When they needed to branch out to keep family members on the ranch, they opted to grow cannabis. TOM WALKERHave 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!email: email@example.com St. Laurent Avenue Quesnel, B.C. V2J 5A3Producers can apply for an advance on calves, yearlings, lambs, bison, forage and grain up to $1,000,000.00 with the rst $250,000.00 being interest free. Plus, interest relief through the Advance Payments Program is available to association members on their feeder cattle purchases.TOM WALKER OKANAGAN FALLS – When Dean Casorso was looking for a way to return to the family ranch in Okanagan Falls, the location looked to be ideal for growing cannabis. “You don’t need as much extra muscle to run a cattle ranch anymore, so we needed to invest in something dierent,” Casorso, CEO of McIntyre Creek Cannabis, told the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Penticton on August 17. The legalization of cannabis in October 2018 created an opportunity. After looking at various options, the family and its business partners decided to leverage the South Okanagan climate. “Growing outdoors made the most sense for us,” says Casorso. “We wanted to be a low-cost producer. A lot of guys will grow it in $200 pots.” The highly regulated nature of Canada’s cannabis industry was the greatest challenge to entry, Casorso says. “The hardest part about getting started was applying for and waiting for the licence; that took gumption,” he says. “We had plants sourced and people hired and we waited.” They constructed a propagation greenhouse and freeze-drying facility in 2019 and were ready to go when their licence was issued in April 2020. Within the month, they had planted 8.5 acres of cannabis with the potential to expand to 150 acres. They will complete their third harvest this October. Casorso uses a special strain selected to grow in the region’s hot, arid climate. Feminized seeds or clones ensure all plants are female, which produce the owers ultimately harvested for sale. “We do a lot of our own cloning on site and start the seedlings in a greenhouse from January to May,” he explains. “During that time, we also prepare the elds. We use a lot of compost made from the leftover plant bre.” Planting occurs between May and late June in north-south rows behind a razor-wire fence. “It’s called weed for a reason,” Casorso quips. “We plant out by machine under black plastic using drip tape for irrigation, similar to tomato plants.” While not certied organic, he says the farm follows organic principles. “Our family has been farming using organic methods and the eld we are using has been fallow for several years so it was an easy progression and it is a focus of ours,” Casorso notes. Because cannabis is often inhaled, Health Canada tests for traces of 96 pesticides. Casorso says organic principles help reduce the chance of pesticide residues. “It just seems to be the best way for us to grow,” he says. The company has also sought GMP (good manufacturing practice) certication so its products can be sold in Europe. Through the summer, plants are pruned and shaped to focus on ower development. Harvest takes place from mid September through to October. The branches are cut, the ower buds are removed by machine and are frozen within an hour. “We either freeze or freeze-dry all of our product,” notes Casorso. “That gives us the condence we need to store it for more than a year and sell when prices are strong.” While eld cultivation allows them to save on production costs, they chose to invest in the freezing technology using cryogenic tunnels. This saves them the space, time and labour of the traditional drying process and guarantees a consistent and reliable product. “When we were starting, people told us we would need a drying shed that was 25% of our growing space. That’s a lot for just eight acres,” Casorso says. “We were pretty much the rst to use freeze and freeze-dry technology in Canada and the investment allowed us to secure a certain type of client in the market.” McIntyre Creek currently sells in bulk to the wholesale market. Buyers extract the oils and then market them directly or put them into products like vapes or drinks. “We feel like we’ve made it through a lot,” says Casorso. “But in the end we are all just farming. We call our freezers our grain bins.”
24 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAgricultural Environmental Management Code of Practice For more information, visit: gov.bc.ca/Agricultural-Environmental-Management or contact AEMCoPenquiries@gov.bc.ca Land application is prohibited in November, December and January to protect our groundwater and watercourses. In February, March and October you need to complete a risk assessment for eachﬁeld24 hours or less before you apply nutrients, and the risk ofcontaminated runoﬀ entering awatercourse mustbelow. You must keep records of your nutrient applications and the results of your risk assessment (ARM Tool assessment) for at least ﬁve years; if a government oﬃcial asksforcopies, youwill need tosubmit them within ﬁve days. To ﬁnd out if you’re located in a high-precipitation area and to complete ariskassessment, use the B.C. Application Risk Management (ARM) Tool at: agri-nmp-msa.apps.silver.devops.gov.bc.ca. If your farm is located in a high-precipitation area, such as the south coast andyou land apply manure or othernutrientsources (e.g., compost or fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus), then you are required to follow these guidelines and take some actions.MARFEBJANDECNOVOCTAPRMAYJUNEJULYAUGSEPTNutrientSpreadingRISKASSESSMENTRISKASSESSMENTRONDA PAYNE DELTA – Soil sampling and testing can make a huge dierence to the nancial outcome of eld vegetable crops, as growers learned during a workshop the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC organized as part of the BC Climate Agri-Solutions program in Delta, September 7. Post-harvest soil sampling gives growers the data they need in order to apply the right amount of nitrogen to a eld and maximize yields, according to ES Cropconsult supervisor Dru Yates and Josh Andrews, nutrient management specialist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food They walked growers through soil sampling and interpreting results at the late afternoon event in a Delta potato eld. “We need to take multiple soil samples throughout the eld,” Yates explains. “Exclude sections with known problems. If anything, you might take a separate sample of that patch. We don’t want to sample at the edge of the eld.” Dierent soil type areas should each be separate sample regions. She suggests visually drawing a W or a Z across each area and taking at least 15 samples along those lines. The soil probe must be inserted straight down in one continuous motion so the volume of soil captured at each depth is the same as in the eld. Push organic matter out of the way before inserting the probe. Depth depends on root depth of the crop, but each sample should be to the same depth. Keep notes of where samples are taken and clean the probe between sampling. “Typically, you need two cups of soil for sampling,” she says. “And it gives a good representation of the eld.” A probe with a foot step is best for breaking through tough soils, but growers also need to know when to stop pushing. If they can’t get through the hardpan, roots sure won’t. “At a certain point, we stop trying to sample because the roots can’t get through that,” Yates explains. All the samples should be deposited in a plastic bag, the clumps broken up and mixed to ensure samples are blended fully. Pull organic bits out, then keep two cups for testing in a labelled bag. Get the sample to the lab within 48 hours. “You’re going to want to keep this sample cooled,” she says. “Microorganisms will impact the nitrogen.” When the results come back, Andrews urges growers to give them a hard think. “We want to think about: did my crop take up all the nitrogen I applied, or did I apply too much?” he says. The math can be a challenge when results need to be converted from parts per million to kilograms per hectare, but a handy calculator [https://nmp.apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/] means there’s no need for second-guessing the amount of nitrate present post-harvest. “As a general rule, you want the amount of post-harvest nitrate to be 70% of what you applied or lower; 50% would be about the minimum,” he says. If the post-harvest amount from the test result is low but yields were high, chances are the amount of nitrogen applied was right. If the same crops are to be planted in the spring, the application should be the same. However, if nitrates in the soil are low and yields were poor, more nitrogen may be needed. On the ip side, if high volumes of nitrates remain in the soil post-harvest and yields were high, growers should consider reducing applications. If nitrates are high but crop yields are low, issues other than nitrogen need to be addressed. “We want to use this [remaining nitrate] gure to determine if we’re going to do the same things next year,” Andrews says. “But it only works if it’s the same crop. An annual crop like potato might take up 70%.” Applied nitrogen generally makes up the majority of a crop’s uptake, but there are many sources of nitrogen, including manure. Soil testing is the best place to start, and taking samples post-harvest gives growers a jump on next year. Post-harvest soil sampling yields input insightsKnowing how much nitrogen crops need is helpfulSoil samples hold key insights, says Dru Yates of ES Cropconsult. RONDA PAYNE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 25Cranberry field day showcases Vasanna varietyTelus weather station keeps tabs on bog climateTravis Hopcott shows off a weather station installed at Hopcott Farms’ cranberry bog in Pitt Meadows earlier this year by Telus, one of only two installed on farms in BC. RONDA PAYNERONDA PAYNE PITT MEADOWS – Hopcott Farms, the newest grower-vendor with the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission, hosted about 120 growers and families, suppliers and politicians at a eld day, August 30. The event was held at Hopcott Farms’ wedding and events venue across the road from the family’s cranberry elds. In 1932, the rst generation of Hopcotts to farm in Pitt Meadows bought a 100-acre dairy farm for $9,000, says Travis Hopcott, the third generation of the family to farm the property. In the 50s, the dairy was converted to a beef lot. Then in 1996 the family made the foray into cranberries. At the south end of the cranberry bog is a 17,000-square-foot market that sells a range of products including the family’s meats. A brand-new abattoir with an Ecodrum composting system takes care of organic waste from the store and abattoir. Hopcott feels the “bone meal-like product” produced from the composting system will reduce the operation’s carbon footprint as well as saving “tens of thousands” in amendments for the cranberry elds. “It was Dad’s love for cattle that led us to building the retail store in 2004,” he says. He took eld day guests on a hay-ride to view the more than 70 acres in cranberries. Along with a 2021 planting of 16-acres of the newer, promising variety Vasanna, the farm has Stevens, Pilgrim and Mullica Queen varieties which they have grown since 1996. The Vasanna will be ready for a production-scale harvest in 2024. “Cranberries are an evergreen, woody plant so it takes forever,” Hopcott says of the slow progress to harvestable berries. Developed by Rutgers University, Vasanna was trialed with strong success at the BC Cranberry Research Farm and select farms. Vasanna consistently averaged 438 barrels an acre and met Ocean Spray’s minimum size criteria at the research farm from 2015 to 2020. When it became available for commercial planting in 2020, the Hopcotts decided to convert part of a eld to replace a Stevens planting that wasn’t measuring up. “We started thinking we’d do just a couple of acres, then a few more, then we decided to do the whole eld,” Hopcott says of the Vasanna planting. Growers at the eld day were interested to see how the young eld was performing so far, given the variety’s potential for high yields. While no variety is perfect, Vasanna is a mid-season berry proven to do well in the peat soils that characterize many of BC’s cranberry bogs. Perfect venue The Hopcotts’ ability to cater the event, host a number of supplier booths and showcase elds made the location ideal for the eld day. BC agriculture minister Lana Popham attended as well as Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Marc Dalton. “You can see that people are just thrilled to be here,” says commission chair Kalpna Solanki. “It’s great to have our government people here to learn about us and what we do. We’re also showcasing the research that has been ongoing.” Another highlight of the cranberry elds was the weather station installed earlier this year. Part of Telus’ move into agri-tech, the real-time data from the station can be accessed on mobile or desktop devices. “We’re one of only two farms that have one in BC,” says Hopcott. “I wanted to be one of the rst to partner with them.” He believes the station would have helped with the late frosts experienced last year on May 28 and June 8. The bog temperatures dropped to -0.5° C for about 45 minutes, resulting in the loss of 90% of one eld’s yields in 2021. Frost protection concerns used to end by mid-May, but recent experience has Hopcott on watch until mid-June these days. The plants were at roughneck stage, where the stem has elongated and begins to form ower buds and leaves are tight to the stem. The freeze event caused damage that will take the eld years to reverse. At the eld day, Solanki announced that Miranda Elsby, senior agricultural scientist with Ocean Spray, will be leaving for a position with Syngenta at the end of cranberry harvest 2022. She has led a number of research projects for the industry over the last ve years. 6075 Cab with GrapplerMORE BUILD-IN WEIGHTTRACTOR TIME VICT ORIA 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
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 27Chilliwack tour showcases farm automationBetter quality, better efficiency drive tech adoptionDarren Jansen shows off the grain bins at Canadian Organic Feeds, which handle seven ingredients for his mill. ANNA KLOCHKOTurnin soi sinc 1899. Cultivatin Craf Bee sinc 2019.Grown and brewed on-farm in Ladner, B.C.www.barnsidebrewing.caAsk for us at your local beer storeAsk for us at your local beer storeAsk for us at your local beer firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck 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 STOCKPETER MITHAM CHILLIWACK – A better quality product with fewer workers was the common rationale for the adoption of technology at four agri-food businesses showcased during a recent tour Chilliwack Economic Partners Corp. hosted. The day-long event September 9 treated more than 50 representatives of government, business and the media to tours of Dutch Heritage Greenhouse, which specializes in cut chrysanthemums; Brooknook Farms, a robotic dairy operation; MolsonCoors, whose Chilliwack brewery uses local water and hops; and Canadian Organic Feeds. The businesses had made signicant investments in their operations over the past three years, and the tour was a chance to show o the latest technology and other innovations. MolsonCoors, which relocated its brewery to Chilliwack in 2019 from Vancouver, oered the best example of how technology is helping it do more with fewer people. Just six of the brewery’s 100 workers brew the plant’s annual production of 100 million litres of beer. Based in a control room o the main production oor, the workers monitor signals coming from the stainless steel vats where the malt is soaked, fermented and ultimately pumped into a high-tech “avour kitchen” for nal adjustment before canning. The majority of workers are employed in the packaging and distribution operations, themselves highly automated production lines that can ll 1,200 cases a minute. “Everything’s automation in this brewery,” said Wenji Liu, brewery team lead. Samples undergo regular analysis, verifying that brewing systems are delivering a consistent product. Samples are sent monthly to MolsonCoors’ corporate lab for further testing. The brewery is situated on land excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve to accommodate uses related to agriculture and food processing. However, MolsonCoors also chose the site because of access to clean water and local hops. With the revival of the local hop industry in the mid-2000s, Molson began sourcing hops from the Sartori property in Lindell Beach. Now, it uses hops from See PRECIOUS on next page o
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Multiple homes, gardens, endless NEW PRICE $795,000COLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 Personal Real Estate Corporationcole@landquest.comRICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comKURT NIELSEN email@example.comLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleyKEVIN KITTMER firstname.lastname@example.orgMATT CAMERON email@example.comJOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100Personal Real Estate Corporationjohn@landquest.comSAM HODSON 604-809-2616Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comBASE CAMP DESOLATION SOUNDSTRATA LOT 4 OCEAN VIEWBASE CAMP DESOLATION SOUNDSTRATA LOT 7 OCEANFRONTto Desolation Sound, minutes to Lund on being released with introductory pricing from $349,000. $399,0003.5 acre oceanfront lot located at the gateway to Desolation Sound, minutes to Lund on being released with introductory pricing from $349,000. $449,000JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605several properties in beers distributed coast to coast. Water, meanwhile, is managed like a precious resource. The brewery has invested $2 million in landscaping that requires minimal water use, among other conservation measures. “I like to use water for beer, and that’s it,” quipped brewery general manager David Hamel. High efficiency Water is also tightly managed at Dutch Heritage Greenhouse, which collects rainwater for use in its state-of-the-art greenhouse completed in 2019. Twice the size of its previous facility, it was built with automation and eciency in mind. This extends to water use. “We have a silo that collects rainwater, and also an irrigation ditch outside that collects rainwater. So in this greenhouse, even though we’re constantly irrigating, we actually use less than the annual rainfall,” co-owner Lukas Breugem told the tour. Water and resource conservation is also in play at Brooknook Farms, where Mark Ricka showcased an expansion completed last year. Purchased in 2015 with a view to making the leap to robotic milking, the dairy keeps close tabs on milk quality. While the DeLaval robots gather information on individual cattle and send alerts to Ricka, the dairy also employs simple strategies such as pre-cooling milk to ensure freshness and save energy in the bulk tank. During the precooling process, heat transfers from milk to water destined for the hot water boiler, reducing the energy requirement there, too. The nal stop on the tour, Canadian Organic Feeds, showed o its new feed mill built in the former Agropur plant on Yale Road. Purchased in 2017, the former butter and ice cream plant was converted and three-ton silos handling seven feed ingredients were erected. Overseen by owners Darren and Jen Jansen and three workers, the roller mill can be programmed for a specic grind at a set time. Grains can be milled overnight, for example, so workers can prepare mixes the next morning. This has made for an ecient operation that distributed to farms as far east as the Kootenays as well as through local businesses including Otter Co-op. Building on the dairy’s former retail operation, the feed mill has opened an ice cream parlour in response to locals who didn’t want to lose their favourite hangout. Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter, representing the provincial government, noted that technology was a common element helping each business adapt, and underscored the BC NDP’s support for agritech promoting as part of its economic strategy. Participants in the 2022 Chilliwack Agriculture Tour survey the workings of MolsonCoors' new brewery, which produces 100 million litres of beer a year. ANNA KLOCHKO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 29Chrysanthemums are propagated, grown and harvested by just 20 workers at Dutch Heritage Greenhouse in Chilliwack. ANNA KLOCHKOWinterize YourWorkplace Safety PlanWinterize YourWorkplace Safety PlanWinter conditions increase the riskof slips, trips and falls. Properly ﬁtted non-slip footwear improves safety.www.hlaattachments.com 1-866-567-4162 • Minimum 12 GPM required• Secondary metering drum regulates ﬂow onto the belt• 12” wide high abrasion rubber belt with 1 ½” paddles• Discharge from either side Straw/Lime model shown.• Includes 2-½”x 8” cylinders• Main bucket material ¼” end plates and clam ﬂoor bottom• Available widths 66”, 72”, 78”, 84”• Loader and skidsteer models available 4-in-1 BUCKETSIDE DISCHARGE BUCKET• Independent grapples for clamping of awkward loads• Tine and grapple tips are AR400 material• Compact models availableBRUSH GRAPPLEChilliwack blooms as Canada’s chrysanthemum capitalPETER MITHAM CHILLIWACK – Chilliwack is home to a broad cross-section of commodities, including dairy, poultry, blueberries and grains. But the city that once laid claim to being the hops capital of Canada has a new boast: it’s the country’s biggest producer of chrysanthemums for the cut ower market. A staple of ower arrangements, Chilliwack mums travel as far east as Quebec. Many come from Dutch Heritage Greenhouse, which expanded three years ago to meet demand that increased even more when the pandemic hit in spring 2020. The innovative production system relies heavily on automation, saving labour while increasing productivity and ower quality. Blooms last as long as three weeks when properly handled. The greenhouse’s sta of 20 workers – eight local and 12 foreign – do their best to treat the plants well from propagation to harvest, where bunches are laid on a conveyor suspended from overhead heating pipes. “All of our machinery runs on those heating pipes; they’re reinforced. Everything’s optimized to use machines,” says Lukas Breugem, who with his brother Floris oversees the operation. The conveyor sends 5,000 bunches an hour to be trimmed and packaged for shipment to the United Flower Growers ower market in Burnaby for sale by auction to the highest bidder. “If there’s lots of demand, you get high prices, and if there’s no demand you get low prices,” Breugem says. This year has seen strong sales, but also a return to pre-pandemic buying patterns. “COVID was exceptional: Many people were home, they were buying owers,” he explains. “We missed all the grads the last two years, so we had a soft June in 2021 and 2020, but this year we had a great grad then all of a sudden kids were out of school and the ower sales dried up.” Sales picked up as people returned from vacation, and prices followed suit. Workers are now tending the stems that will yield the white, red and green blooms that will be in demand at Christmas. But with more than 63 varieties of mums, including more than 20 developed in-house, Dutch Heritage has something to oer everyone regardless of season. “We develop new varieties all the time,” Breugem says. “Everyone likes new varieties, and there are also seasonal trends. … We always have to keep that stu in mind, and try to also introduce people to new things, too, because people don’t know what they want if they haven’t seen it. We try to keep it interesting.” Growth has been a hallmark of the operation since Breugem’s grandfather Dirk Breugem began growing greenhouse vegetables in the Netherlands in 1961. Production shifted to chrysanthemums in 1972, with Dirk’s son Art joining the family business in 1978. In 1994, Art emigrated with his wife and children to Canada, and three years later opened Dutch Heritage Greenhouse on Gillanders Road in Chilliwack. The operation grew steadily until it could grow no further and in 2018, it secured a former tree farm on Hope River Road in Rosedale that allowed it to nearly double the size of its operation and build a state-of-the-art facility. Now, backed by a combination of 50 years of growing experience and an upscale production facility in a temperate climate, Art’s son Breugem family ships across Canada from new greenhouseSee MUMS on next page o
30 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCChrysanthemums grown at Dutch Heritage Greenhouse are sold as far east as Quebec. The Chilliwack growers have found a niche in selling Canadian-grown product domestically. ANNA KLOCHKOMUMS nfrom page 29“Those three things are a good recipe for success,” he says. Crop production begins in the propagation area, where cuttings are taken from parents carefully tended to maintain quality. “Every single ower that’s in our big greenhouse was picked here as a cutting,” Breugem says. “Our 63, 64 varieties are all here in dierent sections. If we lose one, it’s gone. The only option then is we can take the roots from the owers in the greenhouse, plant them here again, and they’ll grow new cuttings.” It takes cuttings 10 days to form roots. Once roots appear, they’re ready for planting. Soil, built up with compost, manure or other organic material, is rototilled, and then the planting machine rolls in and plants the cuttings. “This machine does the work of 10 people. I have two guys on there that run it. Before we used to do it all by hand, so you had to get on your knees,” Breugem notes. “No one liked that work, so everyone is very happy to have that machine.” Once planted, it takes nine weeks for the crop to mature. But there are several variables along the way. Chrysanthemums are photo-sensitive. While they thrive with light, they need a certain amount of darkness to bloom. Curtains provide darkness at night, from 7:30pm to 7:30am. “We can compartmentalize every single section in the greenhouse, either having it light or dark,” says Breugem. “In the past they used to have to pull tarps over the owers and things like that. Very inecient. So everything’s nice and automatic in here.” The greenhouse roof employs new technology that diuses incoming light, providing more even coverage that ensures even growth of foliage the length of the stem. “When we rst got into this greenhouse … we noticed that, compared to the greenhouse we had before which didn’t have the diusers, there was way more growth at the bottom of the plant,” he says. “The light really just balances everywhere in the greenhouse, which is obviously benecial for the plant.” But in the summer, the light can sometimes be too intense. To address this challenge, the greenhouse roof is sprayed with chalk to reduce light levels by approximately 30%. “We bring a helicopter in in the spring and spray a chalk whitewash on the roof,” Breugem says. By late summer, the light levels have fallen and the chalk is washed o by brushes similar to those in a car wash. The growing intensity of summer heat events is a challenge for mums, which do best when daytime temperatures are in the vicinity of 22° Celsius and nightly temperatures fall to 18° Celsius. During last summer’s heat dome, with the outside temperature reaching into the 40s, even a combination of strategies including irrigation, shading and cooling failed to protect the crop. “With that heat dome, we lost probably six weeks worth of product. It just cooked in the greenhouse,” Breugem says. “This year is okay, but still worse than normal. … But that’s the business we’re in.” Besides chrysanthemums, Dutch Heritage also grows a small quantity of sunowers as well as lisianthus, whose rose-like ower is in high demand and delivers good margins. A focus on domestic markets has supported returns, Breugem says. Most chrysanthemums in the US are imported, reducing those from Canada to commodity status. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 31Grapegrower David Kozuki looks over his family’s original ve-acre farm in Summerland. TOM WALKERTOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – A medical researcher, a jazz pianist, a recording studio technician and a land developer move to Summerland to start a vineyard. That could be the beginning of a tall tale, but it’s actually the story of David Kozuki of Golden Retreat Vineyards, an award-winning viticulturist whose exploration of several careers early on helped him on the path to receiving the BC Grapegrowers Association’s second Viticulturist of the Year award for 2022. “My work in the vineyard is an extension of my earlier experiences,” says Kozuki. “My science degree and experience as a researcher gives me problem-solving skills and a background to understand the plant biology. The attention to detail that is required both in the science and in jazz is very important in the vineyard, and the lyricism in music helps too. There is an art to being a good farmer.” Kozuki is a quick study. Growing up in Williams Lake, he had never been on a tractor, but when family was considering what to do with their aging five-acre orchard in the Okanagan, he agreed to manage the property and replace the fruit trees with vines. “I moved up from Vancouver in 2007 and we pulled out the orchard that fall,” Kozuki recalls. “I ordered the vines and we planted the first blocks in 2009.” A weekend course through Okanagan College gave him a quick overview of viticulture and he went on to complete the college’s three-month program. Connecting with veteran Skaha grower Fritz Hollenbach started a mentorship that continues today. “The thing I like most about this industry is the relationships,” says Kozuki. “Fritz is just one of the many people I have been able to count on for advice.” In the early years, he would often go to the pub in Summerland for lunch. “There was usually an apple guy at one table and a grape or a peach guy at another and they were always willing to tell how they did things and even show me around their farms,” he said. The first plantings were Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer. Kozuki now leases a total of 20 acres and has added more Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and a block of Muscat. “I didn’t have a contract when I first started out, but I have been supplying both Bartier Brothers and Spearhead for the last 10 years,” he says. The relationship is based on a lot of respect, says Kozuki. “We communicate back and forth but they trust that I will deliver them quality grapes,” he says. “They are not cookie-cutter winemakers who follow a certain recipe. The way that they treat my grapes means a lot to me.” Those are award-winning grapes. Grape grower has a passion for perfectionAward-winning viticulturist has many talentsKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMasterdrive ® GIII gearbox provides increased toughness and reliabilityRight-hand delivery maximizesHydraulic headland lift allows for quick Double-curved tine arms are designed Patented StandardUNIFORM, FLUFFY WINDROWSGA 4230 T & GA 4231 T Single-Rotor Rotary Rakes13’10” Working WidthMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeSee EYE on next page o
32 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCEYE for detail nfrom page 31“I grow all the Pinot Gris for Spearhead and their 2020 vintage won two silver medals,” Kozuki says. “I also supply them with Pinot Noir.” Pinot Noir is considered a dicult grape to grow and the less common Pommard clone that Kozuki was able to source for some early plantings even more so but, he says, it is worth it. “The Pommard has small, really tight clusters, so the yield is lower almost by half and it is harder to keep the grapes free of rot at the end of ripening,” he explains. “But I think it adds a velvety richness to the wine.” The judges agree. Spearhead’s Golden Retreat Vineyard Pinot Noir earned Platinum at the 2021 BC Lieutenant Governor's Wine Awards. The care that Kozuki puts into the Pinot Noir is evident across the entire vineyard, notes BCGA president John MFG OF MINI SKID STEERS AND A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING: BRUSH MULCHERSPTO POWER PACKS | FLAIL MOWERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS | PTO GENERATORSTREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | STUMP GRINDERSAUGER DRIVES | DRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SPADES | TREE SAWS & SHEARS | BOOM MOWERS | TRENCHERSBAUMALIGHT.COMAdair Sales & Marketing Company Inc.306-773-0996 | firstname.lastname@example.orgPTO GENERATORSPRE-ORDER YOUR BAUMALIGHTGENERATOR NOW FOR DELIVERY IN8 WEEKS AND GET AN 8% DISCOUNT.Bayley. “It is the detail in the vineyard and his perfectionism that made David stand out.” The judges were impressed with his eye for detail in the fundamentals of grape growing: vine balance, uniformity throughout the vineyard, vertical shoots and good bunch spacing were all exceptional. The hours he spends in the vineyard tending to the vines are obvious. Bayley says Kozuki’s vines look relaxed, with no signs of pest or disease pressure. “The research and forethought David put into amending the soil and planting the vines paid off,” he says. Team effort Kozuki credits his vineyard team with much of his success, saying they are a key to things being done correctly and done on time. “I have a steady crew, some who been working with me since I first started and they teach me all the time,” he says. “I tell my Robyn, my foreman, that I actually work for her. It is my job to make sure that she has everything she needs to do her job well.” He says labour is the greatest challenge for the industry and he worries for small growers who can’t employ full-time help. “I pay my crew well, but it is hard to live in the Okanagan on farm wages and I lose good people to places like the oil fields.” They might stay around for a while, though. In recognition of their relationship, he took the entire crew out to dinner to celebrate the award. A future goal is to work towards Sustainable Winegrowing BC certification. “It is an excellent program,” says Kozuki. “The standards were all developed locally, and they will support continued excellence in BC winegrowing.” The award means a lot to Kozuki. “As a farmer you don’t often hear that you are doing a good job,” he says. “It feels good to be recognized by your peers – the people who are actually on the ground.” Kozuki is the second grower to receive BCGA’s Viticulturist of the Year Award this year. The association honoured Okanagan Falls grower Heidi Lorch in a virtual presentation but took advantage of its in-person annual general meeting in July to present a second award in the flesh. Kozuki joins a growing list of recipients, including Karnail Singh Sidhu and Hans Buchler. Plethora of pumpkinsHarkirat Sanghera from Don-O-Ray Farms in Kelowna shows off one of the hundreds of pumpkins harvested this year. The farm tried a new seed variety and it seems to have been the right choice for the right year. Production was prolic. Don-O-Ray sells the pumpkins at its market and the display of so many pumpkins outside the front of the shop helps to attract customers, many who stop to take photos. MYRNA STARK LEADER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 33Rebecca and Justin Dault quit their day jobs, sold their Langley hobby farm and bought a blueberry farm on Vancouver Island that they’ve diversied into a successful agri-tourism operation with produce sales, tours and baby goat yoga. TASHA HALL, BC FARM & FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHYCSA-spec Pressure Treated Barn PolesPreferred supplier for British Columbia Ministries & Parks Canada.Farm | Orchard | Vineyard | Berry TrellisingBill Everitt 250.295.7911 ext #102 email@example.com | Toll free 1.877.797.7678 ext #102PRINCETON WOOD PRESERVERS LTD. 1821 HWY 3 PRINCETON, B.C. V0X 1W0PV RanchHayshedPhoto: Allan Pauls TRACEY FREDRICKSON ROCK CREEK – Farmers and non-farmers wanting to buy farmland are increasingly migrating to BC’s rural communities to nd land that’s more aordable than in urban areas. The impacts of this trend are wide-reaching: land is in high demand and supply is limited, land values have increased and properties suited to growing food are being purchased for non-farm use. According to Farm Credit Canada (FCC), average farmland values in the province increased more than 18% in 2021, with the greatest increases in the South Coast/Lower Mainland (33.7%), Cariboo-Chilcotin (28.2%) and Okanagan (21.6%). Even in the Kootenays, where the increase is relatively low at 9.8%, demand for land has been steady. “After years of relatively low numbers of sales of farmland, we have seen a substantial increase in sales,” says Vicki Gee, director for Electoral Area ‘E’ (West Boundary) for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, an 8,200-square-kilometre region neighbouring the Okanagan. “Based on what I personally see and what my residents tell me, many of the purchasers are not farming the land after they buy. When the number of active farms decrease, it has a negative impact on the agricultural economy in general.” Two years ago, Gee had a call from a local real estate agent saying that ve farms in the area had sold to foreign buyers. “Not only were they not being farmed, lease arrangements for haying and grazing with neighbouring farms were discontinued. When farms are not managed, invasive species take over and spread into neighbouring properties,” she points out. “About the same time, two farms were purchased by dairy farms from the coast to provide hay to those operations. This took that supply of hay out of the sales pool for local use. A local farm with egg quota and infrastructure was purchased as a running concern and the new owners have since shut down. This is a huge loss to our area.” Hailey Troock, Kootenay/ Columbia Basin land matcher for the BC Land Matching Program delivered by Young Agrarians, says there were noticeably more inquiries about land availability in the region during the pandemic, especially from people Rural communities see surge in farmland salesBut not every buyer intends to farm and that’s putting pressure on existing farmsSee CHANGE on next page o
34 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCHANGE of ownership puts pressure on long-term leases, rentals nfrom page 33outside the region wanting to relocate to the Kootenays to homestead. “People who sell their property in Vancouver or the Okanagan can aord to purchase farmland for hobby farming or recreational use, while most young farmers can’t qualify for a mortgage to aord a property to farm,” says Troock. “If they do nd something they can aord, it will be a piece of land that has never been farmed and requires signicant infrastructure and soil development before it can be productive and protable.” Uncertainty during the pandemic also made landowners reticent to enter long-term leases with farmers, further limiting access to land. “People were hesitant to make long-term commitments to leasing farmers due to … the potential for a quick and unplanned land sale,” says Troock. “I also heard from landholders whose properties were not even on the market that they had received verbal oers through local real estate agents to buy land sight-unseen and above market value. This complexity around sales and nancial uncertainty still exists.” Willing to adapt Despite this challenging environment, agripreneurs in dierent parts of the province have found innovative ways to access the farmland they need and the lifestyle they want. Andrew Hope and his wife Janie have operated Hope Organics near Prince George since 2011. “There is an increase of folks moving to rural areas currently,” Hope says. “Unlike us when we moved out here, most seem to be in their late 30s all the way up to the 60s.” With one or two exceptions, most are starting o as hobby farmers but there are signicant challenges. While a changing climate has brought warmer temperatures and a longer growing season, extreme weather events and temperatures are also more frequent. But opportunities exist. “We are proof that you can work around that, as we are in the coldest, wettest, bio-geoclimatic zone in the Prince George Forest District. If folks come to the table preparing for climate change and weather events, Northern BC is a ne and aordable place to start your agriculture endeavour,” says Hope. Kendall Ballantine is a rst-generation farmer who runs Central Park Farms in Langley with her partner, Jay. When Ballantine started farming in 2015, she was fortunate to have access to land Jay owned to raise produce and free-range chickens. By 2018, the farm was also producing pasture-raised pork and grass-fed and nished Black Angus beef and needed more space. Ballantine quit her corporate job with an international trucking company and she and Jay moved to Rock Creek in south-central BC where they purchased 160 acres for ranching. “While the land was aordable, we had moved to a community of large, established ranches that could oer better prices than we could as a start-up,” says Ballantine. “Six years down the road our infrastructure is still in development. To be sustainable, we divide our time between Rock Creek and Langley where the buyers of the property we owned lease the land back to us so we can continue to farm it.” The availability of cheap land within a few hours of the Lower Mainland is a combination that works for many producers. “The Vancouver market will spend money on grass-fed, specialty food,” explains Ballantyne. “That’s why you’ll see so many vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Market bringing their products in every week from as far as Williams Lake and Cawston.” Open to ideas Cowichan Valley Regional District economic development analyst Brittney Taylor notes that farmland on Vancouver Island is the second most expensive in BC next to the Lower Mainland but it supports a wide range of farms and is a hub for agri-tourism. This combination also helps keep farms in production and protable. One such venture is Yellow Point Farms in Ladysmith. Rebecca and Justin Dault sold their hobby farm in Langley when they became overwhelmed by daily commutes to their full-time jobs. Rising land prices and the desire to spend more time at home with their children also contributed to their decision to relocate. They sold the Langley farm in 2018, quit their day jobs and bought a blueberry farm in Yellow Point. The sellers moved just minutes down the road and oered to mentor the couple for a year to help them expand the farm. “They were so happy that a young family would want to take it over,” Rebecca says. In addition to growing a variety of produce, Yellow Point Farms has an on-farm store, oers educational tours and baby goat yoga with the help of three full time sta. “We have all sorts of miniature animals that provide compost, milk and wool and everyone wants to see them,” says Rebecca. “Creating a petting farm/interactive barnyard addressed this need, created a new revenue stream, and encourages produce sales while people are at the farm.” It’s been a win-win for the Daults and their customers, who they hope will leave inspired, too. “We love the property and lifestyle we have and are keen to share what we’ve learned,” she adds. “Our hope is that when visitors leave, they will be equally inspired to pursue their farming dreams.” Helpingyou growyour Business."SFZPVSFBEZGPSXJOUFS :FTXFTIJQBMMPWFS$BOBEB$BMMVTGPSBRVPUF
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 35YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comYOURHelping YouHelpingpingplinYoulHHping YoeWSfeinbc.comCrops prevail in spite of challengesThe end of another season is in sight and the harvest has been glorious – so farNo, I never get bored of operating the potato harvester, thanks for asking, because it’s a very participatory activity for the tractor driver. The whole time is spent checking, adjusting and steering using the many available dials and levers. It seems that if I look at one thing for more than five seconds, something in the other direction is surely going awry. My physical body is completely occupied by the job. My mind, no longer slave to the machine, wanders at will. It’s a perfect farm job. I often think about my great-grandfather while I am driving because when we got this fancy harvester in 2008, it basically replaced the one that he himself used. We now use his for lifting carrots. I think he’d have approved of both the upgrade and the re-purposing. I don’t think that he would approve of all the time I can spend worrying about the farm’s unsophisticated social media presence, however. He never had to deal with the Internet. He had other problems, of course, like helping to form the farmers institute so they could get dynamite for blowing up stumps. Instagram gold, that would have been, but he never had to bother to remember to take a picture and post it. This week, the direction of my thoughts has been influenced by cooler mornings. If it wasn’t for the flies (unfazed, and apparently aggravated by the chill) and the absolutely sweltering afternoons, I would gleefully declare a major seasonal shift, bust out long johns and put up the Christmas lights. As it is, I am inspired to embark upon my annual early autumn seasonal analysis. How we managed to get a potato crop this year, and quite a nice one at that, when things looked so dire at the beginning of summer, forms my main line of enquiry. For once, I was convinced that we were headed for a major crop flop. I wonder a little, too, at that display of pessimism. I should know two things by now: (a) potatoes just want to grow, and (b) our fields are capable of coping with a wide assortment and combination of weather conditions. This year, the potatoes thrived under a very marginal and minimal tilth, with slabs of mud forming the hills. In other crop news, the garlic has avoided relegation to garden status. This I attribute to the use of the new tine weeder. Its regular use allowed us to keep ahead of the weeds until about a month before harvest. Hand weeding was still performed, but it was more of a rapid and pleasant pluck-and-fluff affair, as opposed to a series of resource-intensive, all-out rescue missions. The garlic remains commercial. The peas and beans were a commercial bust due to relentless weed pressure – the tine weeder of no use in crops with trellises. A very disciplined and long hoeing game was required. Mom was devoted but eventually even she flagged and I simply ignored the scene on account of the heat. We’ll probably try again next year because we can’t seem to stop ourselves at planting time. The celeriac still has a ghting chance, but here I again display pessimism – this time a little more founded. The weeds are not the problem as the tine weeder was stellar. I don’t know what the problem is exactly but if the celeriac can’t overcome it, we can’t grow commercial celeriac. I am not going to invest a single second more work or worry into this high maintenance crop. It is pleasing to think that the dark, restful days of winter are right around the corner, but in fact they are not. A lot of work remains and it’s important to keep moving: checking, adjusting and steering straight. Don’t stop till the coolers are full to the very roof. Anna Helmer farms in Pemberton with her family and friends and right now, that’s about it.Farm Story by ANNA HELMER
36 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCKenneth seeks some advice on real estateWhen we left o last time, Kenneth had made an unfavourable – but not surprising – impression on Clay Garrison’s mother. Rural Redemption, Part 151, continues. Mary Garrison bid Kenneth Henderson a terse farewell and left him sitting by himself on Newt’s front porch. Delta Faye joined him there as Mary drove away. “How did that go then?” she asked. “Hopeless. She’s as bad as all the rest.” “Newt speaks highly of her whole family.” “Big deal. I’ve heard him speak highly of the turnips in Deborah’s garden. You don’t have to amount to very much to get praised up by Newton Pullman.” “He does seem to be able to nd something good in nearly everyone. Funny he didn’t have a word to say about you,” said Delta. “My gramma used to tell me if you can’t nd something nice to say about someone, talk about somebody else.” “Maybe you should preach some of gramma’s gospel to all the half-wits and hayseeds around here. None of them has a good word for me but none of them are talking about anyone else either.” “Seems to me you’re all on the same page. You never seem to have a kind word for any of them either, but you’re always talking them down.” “I don’t need this, Delta. Whose side are you on anyhow?” “I’m not on anyone’s side, for Pete’s sake.” “Do you even care about me?” said Kenneth, “Because it’s really hard to tell.” “I’m here, aren’t I? That should tell you something.” “What does it tell me? You said at out no when I mentioned sharing a place.” “Okay, listen for a minute. I am attracted to you, but we just met. We don’t really know much of anything about each other yet. I’m trying to gure out where I’m going to end up. I’m trying to gure out why you seem to be butting heads with everybody. I’m trying to gure out why you’re so defensive, and I’m trying to gure out if you’re going to wind up lumping me in with everybody else you’re mad at. You’ve only been divorced for a matter of weeks, and it’s only been a few months for me. I don’t think either one of us is in a good spot to be making this kind of a decision. I don’t want to do this the same way I did the rst time. I want to take some time and fall in love, just like Ashley has. I want to be properly courted by someone who’s in love, too, just like Clay is. That’s possible, but if it’s something you were hoping to wrap up in the next couple of days then you’re barking up the wrong tree.” “So where are you going to live then?” asked Kenneth. Not quite the thoughtful response I was hoping for, thought Delta. “I don’t know yet; I haven’t found anything suitable here for rent. I might have to look a little further aeld.” “Where?” “Some other place, further aeld, not here.” Christopher came out of the house. “Hey, Dad. Take a look at this. Lisa just texted me; you’re trending on Twitter.” vvv Twenty minutes later, Kenneth walked into the general store. Junkyard Frank was sitting by himself at the coee club table. “My gawd, Lois! Look who it is! Kenneth K Henderson, our very own Internet sensation. The fella who’s going to put this place on the map. Lorne gures him and Oscar the wonder dog’ll be able to start giving folks guided tours of his beaver pond. He says he gures they’ll be lined up like the folks heading for the ballpark at the end of the Field of Dreams movie. Mr. Henderson, you probably owe some thanks to Old Jimmy Vincent’s granddaughter for making you famous on the tikker tok.” “I think it was Instagram,” said Lois. “Who cares?” said Kenneth, “Don’t you people have better things to do?” Frank knit his brow and twisted his head thoughtfully. “Nope, can’t say that I do. Can’t speak for Lois though.” Lois chuckled. “What can I do for you, Mr. Henderson?” “I was wondering if you knew of any small acreages for rent, say ve acres?” “Five acres of eld or bush? With a house and buildings?” asked Frank. “Yes, with a house and elds.” “Garden elds or pasture?” asked Frank. “Pasture.” “Big house or little?” “Doesn’t have to be too big, maybe two bedrooms.” “Indoor plumbing?” “Of course indoor plumbing,” said Kenneth. “How about electricity and a garage? “Fine.” “Got your heart set on ve acres then?” “Not necessarily,” said Woodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINSKenneth. “Do you know any small acreage with any of these things.” Frank spent several seconds massaging the stubble on his chin, then shook his head. “Can’t say that I do ‘cause I don’t.” Kenneth cursed Frank silently and turned to Lois. “Anything?” he asked. Lois shook her head. “Nothing o the top of my head. I’ll spread the word and keep an ear out. If I hear of anything, I’ll let you know.” Kenneth thanked her and headed for the door. “Hold your horses there, Mr. Henderson. Come around and see me if you don’t have any luck. I’ve got three bedrooms at my place and it’s just me and the dogs. I could rent you a room for $400 a month if you’re in a pinch.” “Very kind of you to oer,” said Kenneth. “Don’t hold your breath.” “You know?” said Lois, “I did hear the old Murdoch place might be coming up for sale. I think it’s ve acres.” “Where’s the old Murdoch place?” “Just up the road. First driveway past the community hall on the other side,” said Lois. “You don’t get much of a look at it from the road.” “You’re talking about the old Corbett place,” said Frank. “Isn’t it the same thing, Frank?” asked Lois. “It’s the same place alright, but it was Corbett’s for years before Murdoch got here. If you’re not going to acknowledge who was rst you might as well call it the Bowman place.” “There was someone before Corbett, I suppose?” said Lois. “Yeah, but if no one remembers who that was, all you can do is start where you can remember.” Kenneth rolled his eyes. “How long has Corbett been gone?” “Fifty years or more by now,” said Frank. “And Murdoch?” “Around 40.” “And Bowman?” “Peggy, you mean?” “I haven’t got a clue what any of this means,” said Kenneth. “Who is Peggy?” “She was Sid Bowman’s wife. Sid died 25 years ago, and Peggy stayed on until about ten years back and then the place was rented out until she passed, and her girls ended up with it. They’d be the ones putting it up for sale.” “Any idea how to contact any of them?” asked Kenneth. “Nope,” said Frank. “But that big shot real estate guy from town with his name plastered all over his fancy car drove by about ve minutes ago. Could be he’s there right now.” ... to be continued Please send a _______ year gift subscription to _______________________________________________ Farm Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _______________ Phone _________________________ Email ________________________________________________ SubscribeThousands 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! 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2022 | 37Day at the Farm delights visitors from the cityReal-life agriculture on display with hands-on demosDelta South MLA Ian Paton charms the crowd with his auctioneering skills during Day at the Farm on Westham Island in Delta, September 10. RONDA PAYNERONDA PAYNE DELTA – There was no shortage of volunteers helping at this year’s Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT) Day at the Farm held at Westham Island Herb Farm on September 10, the rst time the event was held since 2019. Volunteers, supporters and guests came together to share and educate about the joys and challenges of agriculture for the 14th edition of the event. “Everyone understands [the importance] because this event is in support of farmers and agriculture,” says DFWT coordinator Valerie Miller. Of the approximately 100 volunteers, at least 15 are residents of Westham Island, an agricultural enclave at the mouth of the Fraser River. Attendance was estimated at 5,000 with many more visitors coming from outside of Delta than in previous years. The hayride was enjoyed by 1,290 people and there were more than 2,000 viewings of Poultry in Motion, the mobile education unit set up by the BC Chicken Marketing Board. “We had a lot more people from Vancouver,” Miller says. Christine Terpsma, on parental leave as communications coordinator with the BC Dairy Association, served as the event’s MC. She previously worked for DFWT and jokes that when it comes to Day at the Farm, they “can’t get rid of me.” “It’s such a great event,” she says. “The weather is perfect and there’s so much enthusiasm.” In the afternoon, she was joined on stage by Delta South MLA Ian Paton, opposition critic for agriculture and food. The pair did a mini auction for three prizes and introduced three 4-H youth with their project calves. “It’s a time to show all the city slickers what farming is all about,” says volunteer Meaghan Snow with a laugh. “It’s awesome to show people not from out this way what it’s all about. And to show them that girls farm, too.” Snow helped guests onto the cart portion of one of the hayride setups and explained the various crops found on Westham Island, some of the machinery and other details about farming. She was paired up with Norman Tamboline, who drove the tractor. “To me, it’s to educate the kids,” says Tamboline. “It’s always good fun, especially seeing the kids enjoy it.” More than 20 display booths were on site, including BC Agriculture in the Classroom where chef Trevor Randle showcased a number of local BC ingredients in several cooking demos. Randle also judged the bread-and-jam competitions with a blueberry Grand Marnier jelly placing well among the competition. Orphaned Wildlife (OWL) brought a few raptors to educate people on the importance of supporting and saving the birds due to their contributions to farming and pest control. UBC Land and Food System and the UBC Dairy Research Centre shared a booth to explain the school’s programs and to outline their support of various agricultural initiatives. The potato dig was hugely successful with few spuds left in the dirt at the end of the day. (Some kids were still surprised potatoes came from the ground.) Adults and kids could take a turn at digging up potatoes in a special plot. Some used the provided tools while others used their hands. Paper bags were provided to take the tubers home to cook up for dinner. 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38 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCHave you ever considered spatchcocking your next chicken or turkey? Whether you cook it on the barbecue or in the oven, cooking time will be far less and the resulting roasted meat will retain moisture and be tender, while the skin browns. A 14-pound spatchcocked turkey will take one-and-a-half to two hours to cook, compared to that same bird, roasted whole and unstuffed, which would need more than three hours in the oven, until the thighs are done, but the breast meat is dry. To spatchcock the bird, lay it breast side down on a cutting board or mat and use sharp cooking shears to cut up both sides of the back bone. Use the bone for making turkey stock for your gravy. Once slit, use a meat cleaver to crack open the breastbone so the bird lays flat. Tap the top of the cleaver with a mallet to crack the bone. Much less force is needed to crack the breastbone of a chicken, so take care or the bird will be cut in two. If oven roasting, make a bed for the bird with a layer of coarsely-sliced celery and onions, and rub the skin all over with olive oil and fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme and salt and pepper. This recipe takes the traditional cranberry sauce to a whole new holiday level. You may omit the brandy and add that amount of orange juice if you wish. The combination of cooked and raw cranberries is sensational. 12 oz. (340 g) fresh cranberries 1/2 c. (125 ml) white sugar 1/4 c. (60 ml) brown sugar 2-3 tbsp. (30-45 ml) water • Add all but a half cup of the cranberries to a pot with the white and brown sugar, water and nely-minced orange zest. • Cook on low for about 10 minutes. • Add orange brandy such as Cointreau, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier and cook at a slightly-higher heat for a further 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper and remove from the heat. • Stir in the uncooked cranberries. • Can be stored in the fridge for several days or it can also be frozen for later use. ZUCCHINI FRITTERSHave a squish squash, very berry ThanksgivingFritters make use of all that extra zucchini growing in your garden. JUDIE STEEVESJude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESUse a meat thermometer to determine when it’s done. It should reach 155° F in the thickest part. Let it rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes before carving. Prepare and roast your dressing separately. Enjoy the harvest of autumn and give thanks for everything that’s around you. These little cakes made with tender summer squash can be served for breakfast or brunch, with cheese, bacon or sausages, or as a vegetable dish with your Thanksgiving dinner. 2 c. (500 ml) grated zucchini 1 small onion 1/2 c. (125 ml) whole wheat flour 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder 1 tsp. (5 ml) tarragon 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) pepper 1 egg drizzle of oil, or butter, for the pan • Coarsely grate zucchini and chop onion finely. • Stir dry ingredients and tarragon until well mixed and sprinkle over vegetables. • Mix thoroughly. • Beat egg and add it to the mixture, blending well. • Drop by spoonful onto greased frypan on medium-high heat, turning when they’re browned. BRANDIED BERRIESOVEN-ROASTED CAULIFLOWER1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced orange zest 1-2 tbsp. (15-30 ml) orange brandy 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) salt 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) pepperThis transforms the simple cauliower into a dramatic and very tasty accompaniment to any meat you choose, including turkey. You could substitute just salt and pepper for the spicy mix; or add a dusting of grated parmesan cheese near the end of cooking; or try lemon and fresh herbs instead, or curry powder and cumin. 1 head of cauliower generous drizzle of olive oil 1 tbsp. (15 ml) nutritional yeast • Cut rinsed head of cauliower into orets, leaving at cut sides to lay on the sheet pan. • Generously drizzle with olive oil, letting a bit land on each of the orets. This can be done in a bowl or on the sheet pan you’ll use to cook them. • Sprinkle with akes of nutritional yeast and a spicy mix such as the No-Salt Spice Mix recipe from my January 2022 column, salt and pepper, to taste, and dry bread crumbs. • Coat each oret, then space them out on the sheet pan. • Roast at 375° F for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft, but not squishy. 1 tsp. (5 ml) spice mix salt and pepper, to taste 1/4 c. (60 ml) dry bread crumbs
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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 sub-division. 56 CITY ACRES Zoned AF, bring your ideas MLS R2716736 $2,599,900 160 ACRES west of PG, Zoned RU3, MLS R2722976 $369,000 BUCKHORN LAKE Beautiful 8.5 acres with 2600 sqft log home. MLS R2707052 $740,000 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 $2,250,000 CONCRETE BUSINESS Robson Val-ley, MLSC8040939, $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. $750,000. CLOSE TO THE LAKE 8.3 acres. MLS R2610880 $295,000 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, $699,000 TREED LOT on edge of the Fraser. MLS R2622560 $250,000 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 $495,000 15 MINUTES TO PG ~58 acres with timber value. Mostly flat lot with lots of potential. MLS R2665474, $395,000 HWY FRONTAGE 190 acres w/exc potential for subdivision/commercial ventures. MLS R2660646 $799,000 CHIEF LAKE RD 5 acres ready to build. MLS R2715818 $150,000 BRAND NEW! 2022 SR1-built home by owner. 1 bed/1 bath, open floor plan, Whirlpool appliances, soaker tub. $170,000. Buyer to move. email@example.com 42-ACRE PARADISE Updated 3 bed/3bath 3248 sq ft log home, 35 minutes from downtown PG. MLS R2726021 $674,900 WRIGHT CR RD 195 acres undisturbed bare land. M LS R2655719 $699,000 36+ACRES in PG, prime for busi-ness. MLS C8046015 $6,900,000 21 ACRES PG in city limits on Hwy 16, MLS R27163337 $595,000 MOBILE home on 5 acres, Salmon Valley. MLS R2716962 $199,900 TABOR 7.61 acres short drive from town. MLS R2716743 $129,900by October 22Baler, NEW HOLLAND 2004’ Model 570, $16,000; 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 GEORGEGREENHOUSESouth Delta glass greenhouse for lease app. 50,000 sq. ft. consisting of growing area + header house under glass 44,500 sq. ft. and two 3,200 sq. ft. side poly houses Call John @ 778-877-7536
40 | OCTOBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTHIS FALL, GET IT DONE AND THEN SOME.From growing crops to raising livestock, farming is an all-year-round lifestyle. That’s why Kubota equipment is built to work hard with you. Our fall event is the perfect time to save on Kubota tractors, implements and attachments. Our dedicated team is ready to partner with you and put in the hours, because we know you do, day in and day out.1521 Sumas Way, Box 369avenuemachinery.caPROUD PARTNER OFkubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010OLIVER 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