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CLBC September 2023

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Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 109 No. 9The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 SEPTEMBER 2023 | Vol. 109 No. 9DROUGHT Water curtailments squeeze forage production 7 LAND Task force looks to protect property rights 13 DAIRY Marketing board chooses new entrant finalists 15 PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – Rising exports of BC agri-food producers are set for a further boost with the launch of the new BC Agriculture and Food Export Program. BC Statistics reports that exports of agriculture and food products other than fish totalled $4.6 billion last year, a 24% increase from 2021. The gains were broad-based, with meat products being alone in seeing a decline. But a new program launched August 28 with funding under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) promises to assist with export market development. The project is one of the first launched as part of the new five-year funding framework, which succeeded the Canadian Agricultural Partnership on April 1. The cost-shared BC Agriculture and Food Export Program is administered by accounting firm MNP LLP and will support a range of marketing efforts focused on regions outside of BC. Producers will receive up to 50% of project costs while industry associations will receive up to 70%. Producers, processors and cooperatives are eligible to receive up to $50,000 a year, while industry associations are eligible for up to $75,000 a year. Eligible activities include participation in interprovincial/international tradeshows, food fairs, and Sheep ock to Amanda Forrest at Forrest Farm in Salmo, who with her husband Ewan has launched BC's rst and only licensed sheep milk processor. The couple's Forrest Farm Sheep and Goat Cheese Creamery is a small-scale processor that sees big opportunities to contribute to their community. Read the Forrests' story on page 31. FORREST FARMInternational exports climbPETER MITHAM & TOM WALKER WEST KELOWNA – The worst wildre season in BC’s history has upped the ante for several sectors, which are being pushed to the breaking point by successive disasters. Cattle continued to move to market in record numbers in August, with the are-up of several res at mid-month prompting BC Livestock Co-op to schedule a special sale August 22 in Kamloops to receive cattle intended for market from producers under evacuation orders. “Last week we had 1,100 animals and at Tuesday’s sale (August 22), another 220,” says BC Livestock Co-op marketing specialist Darrell Comazzetto. Breaking pointCumulative effect of disasters hits hardSummer lovin’Wildfires uExport potential u1-800-661-4559www.tlhort.comForage & Turf Seed • Plant Nutrition Crop Protection•Supplies•ServiceRooted in your community® since 1973

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2 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCsales exhibitions to connect with commercial buyers; consumer-focused promotional activities in export markets; and the development and delivery of export-focused marketing materials. The initial application deadline is September 15, with all projects required to complete by March 31, 2024. “Last August, a sale would be around 180 animals.” The majority of animals that moved through the yard were cow-calf pairs, with a selection of calves and yearlings. The activity is driven by smaller producers who don’t have access to pasture or produce their own hay, or who lack the money to buy it. “There’s a shortage of feed with the drought and the res, and ranchers don’t have the money to pay $350-$400 per ton of hay,” Comazzetto says. Economic pressure The res have compounded the economic issues producers have been facing from drought conditions that began last year on the heels of several years of below-average precipitation as well as increases in input costs over the same period. “People were struggling with [feed] before the res, but if you’ve just gone through a re and lost what little grass you have it’s a matter of what do we bring them back to?” says Kevin Boon, general manager with the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “It’s not always a cost factor; in some ways it’s just a management decision of having to [sell].” Ranchers are impacted by most of the wildres of note in the province, with the Ross Moore Lake re south of Kamloops and Bush Creek East complex north of Salmon Arm being particular concerns. Despite confrontations with property owners seeking access to their properties in the Columbia-Shuswap, BC Wildre Service reports good relations with the agriculture sector this year. “The relationship between farmers and ranchers in the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District emergency operation centre has been eective,” the BC Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness reports. “An experienced agriculture liaison is there, helping co-ordinate re-entry permits so producers can return to their farms and look after livestock. BC Cattlemen’s piloted the liaison program in 2021 and it’s now in its second full year of operation with liaisons active in emergency operations centres across the southern Interior. “They are supporting farmers and ranchers in those communities access their properties when it’s safe to do so, and helping them arrange for other support and supplies as needed,” the province reports, a view Boon shares. “Rancher liaisons are going well,” he says. “We’ve had a fairly smooth year from our point of view – maybe people are getting more accustomed to it.” The permitting process for temporary access into areas under an evacuation order for purposes such as livestock relocation, maintaining critical infrastructure or retrieving important medication remains the jurisdiction of local authorities. This has left plenty up to the discretion of those manning the checkpoints, says Merritt rancher Julia Smith, executive director with the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. Small-lot producers in the Shuswap with PremisesID, for example, have been denied access to their properties to check on and evacuate remaining livestock. BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food sta reported 6,500 cattle and 8,200 poultry under evacuation orders or alerts at 168 properties at the peak on August 22. Of these, 58 farm premises were under evacuation orders, with 1,000 livestock (primarily cattle) relocated. All told, wildres have consumed more than 1.8 million hectares this year to date, making it far and away the province’s worst wildre season on record. But it ain’t over till it’s over, Boon cautions, with some res never extinguished until the snow ies. “These res will take some time before they are out. I was talking with Ian Meier, one of the [BC Wildre Service] ADMs, and he said he has never wanted to see it snow so bad in his life,” Boon says. “If u Wildfires push producers to breaking pointu Export potentialFamily Farm Friendly Financial Planning Services.Holistic financial planning for your family farm now and into the future. Patrick’s proven financial and estate planning program provides income, security, and tax minimization to help ensure the most effective decisions are made now, and on an ongoing basis.Please contact me to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation discussion at 604.467.5321 | References are available.1.877.272.2002 | 227th St. Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X 6J2Prudent | Practical | ProfessionalDr. Patrick O’Brien, DVM, FMA, CIMSenior Wealth Advisor | Financial Plannerwe can get these res at bay and some moisture and get them to where they’ve got a chance of stopping, then the guys get a little better handle. Right now they’re worried about winter feed being burned.” Grapes smoked The grape sector is also bracing for a hit this fall. Winds drove the plume from the McDougall Creek re in West Kelowna across Okanagan Lake to vineyards in East Kelowna. Other res in Lake Country and in the backcountry east of Osoyoos and Penticton cast a pall over vineyards in those regions. Smoke in mid-August is never a good thing for vineyards. Grapes are experiencing veraison, the period at which colour and avour compounds are developing, and the fruit is most vulnerable to smoke taint. Wine Growers BC was cautious with respect to the impacts in its initial assessment of the situation. “It is too early to know how the wildres will impact this vintage for select producers in the impacted regions,” it said in a statement, August 21. Production Insurance sta report no notices of loss related to quality or quantity of fruit from fruit growers as a result of wildre. Growers were already expecting a crop less than half the size of usual this year thanks to an extreme cold event in late December, but the threat of smoke taint will further reduce this year’s yield of top-quality grapes. Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country account for about 7.5% of the provincial wine grape crop. While hot weather earlier in the season saw the BC cherry crop collide in markets with cheaper US fruit, it may also have saved growers from re impacts. The season came to an early end August 17, according to Lake Country packer World Fresh Exports Inc., the day the McDougall Creek wildre started. This avoided cherry pickers from having to work in conditions widely considered hazardous thanks to the heavy smoke. World Fresh notes that conditions were poor enough that growers would likely have left any remaining fruit unpicked. The question now is what government will do to support aected producers. While the province has pointed producers to AgriStability for shortfalls in revenue, Boon expects an AgriRecovery package to assist with rebuilding following this year’s wildres. “We are anxiously awaiting Ottawa to see if they will come up with an AgriRecovery program,” Boon says. “We are sure that they will for re, but whether they will for drought it’s hard to say, but they are tied in together.” www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 email: tractorparts4sale@shaw.caWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard KUBOTA M7030 4WD, LOADER TRACTOR. 70 HP, FWD-REV, OPEN STATION, LOW HOURS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19,500 JAYLOR 3650 MIXER 650CU FT, VERTICAL TWIN AUGER, WORKING SCALE, FAIR CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,500 SHELBOURNE VERTICAL MIXER, 325 CU FT, NEW SCALE, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 JD 950 TRACTOR 4X4, LOADER, FAIR CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,500 FORD 755 BACK HOE LOADER, 100 HP, FWD REV, POWER SHIFT TRANS GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,500 VICON PS602 FERTILIZER SPREADER, 3 PT, 1,000 KG CAPACITY . . 2,200 MASHIO CM4500 14’ PWR HARROW W/ROLLER GD COND. . . . 11,500 NH 256 ROLLARBAR 10 FT SIDE DELIVERY RAKE, GROUND DRIVEN, PULL TYPE, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,200 MF 1135 WITH CAB, 6 CYL TURBO, 2WD, DECENT RUBBER . . . . . 6,500 WINPOWER PTO DRIVE GENSET 80KVA, 200 AMP BREAKER SINGLE PHASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,000 NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service AvailableThe story, “Island couple future-proof new farm operation,” in our August edition incorrectly identied Cumberland as home to Forest Valley Acres. The farm is located in Courtenay.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 3YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESURg YougYouWSTinhorn Creek viticulturist honoured with industry award TOM WALKER PENTICTON -- The BC Grapegrowers Association’s fth annual Viticulturist of the Year award has gone to an industry veteran from a commercial winery. “The Viticulturist of the Year award recognizes those in our industry who strive to grow the very best grapes,” BCGA president John Bayley says. “Vineyard management, environmental stewardship, equipment, human resources, peer perception and innovation are all categories that are considered in the award.” Andrew Moon, head viticulturist and vineyard manager at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards south of Oliver, excels in these areas. “The judges noted that your love and dedication to your job is shown in the healthy and well-balanced vines, something that has been dicult to achieve this year with the extensive winter damage and high mildew pressure,” Bayley said on presenting the award, August 3. His accomplishments illustrate the objectives of Sustainable Winegrowing BC, which has certied Tinhorn’s vineyards since 2021. “It’s an excellent program that has strong requirements for continued improvement,” Moon says. A brand new between-the-row seed drill will support Moon’s expanding work with cover crops at Tinhorn. “We are looking at a combination planting that includes several native varieties,” he explains during a tour of the Diamondback Vineyard on the opposite side of the valley. “Vines here on the Black Sage Bench are essentially growing in beach sand and we have to improve the organic matter. Compost is expensive and hard to nd so we are really building our cover crop program between the rows.” Cover cropping requires extra watering, especially on sandy soil. Tinhorn pumps water from the Okanagan River some 400 feet below and that requires a lot of electricity. To reduce power demands, Moon has ordered new sprinkler heads for his overhead watering system that run on 50% less pressure. “That will save us a lot of hydro”, he notes. Sandra Oldeld and her husband Kenn started Tinhorn in 1993. Moon is a “once in a lifetime employee,” she says. “His expertise and support really allowed us to grow the business.” Tinhorn's acquisition by Andrew Peller Ltd. in 2017 has been good for the winery and the whole industry, Moon says. “The family-owned companies reach a point where they don’t have the cash for any rejuvenation” he says. “[Buy-outs are] a normal thing worldwide, and it often provides a much-needed infusion of cash that allows for a lot of innovation.” It’s meant more work for Moon, however, who now serves as southern vineyard manager for Peller. Moon not only manages Tinhorn’s original 120 acres but 50 acres at Black Hills Estate Winery as well as the team that consults with Peller’s independent growers. “As one of the big three in the valley, we have the largest proportion of individual growers,” he says. “We have about 30% estate grapes and 70% growers.” Moon has always been a quick study. Three years after completing his viticulture diploma at Melbourne University in 1999, he was managing vineyards. “I was the youngest grape manager in my area in northern Victoria state. My rst vineyards were around 250 acres, which was considered small. There were three of us doing all the work, so we pretty much learned how to do everything ourselves.” The range of sites and varieties in the Okanagan and Similkameen is exciting, Moon says. “A thousand-acre vineyard in the at land of Oz will have the same soil and climate throughout,” he says, “where here in the 100-acre Diamondback vineyard, there are three or four dierent microclimates.” BC’s challenge is learning what grows best in a location, something underscored by last winter’s extreme cold. “My Syrah survived, but I’ve replanted it in three dierent locations since 2009,” he notes. “It’s a viticulture nightmare, but when we get it right, it makes one of the best wines BC can make.” The Black Sage Bench is undergoing a massive replant and Moon says Peller has committed $10 million to replanting over the next three years. “[It’s] going to be all Bordeaux and Rhone red varieties with the addition of some Spanish and Italian reds,” Moon explains. Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc are Moon’s favourite grapes to grow. “Those are some of the best varieties for the land that Tinhorn has, and I think I have those grapes worked out,” he says. Innovation is important to Moon, as is teaching and learning from others “But the greatest satisfaction is understanding the exact style of grapes that the winemaker wants and growing them,” he says. “I can water the heck out of Chardonnay to produce lots of green apple avours for a wine that’s going into a steel tank, or I can open up the canopy and get some big tropical fruit notes because it’s going to be aged in oak barrels.” The recognition by his peers means much to Moon. “I have such respect and admiration for the growers in this valley,” he says. “I am tremendously proud and humbled by this award.” Viticulturist of the Year Andrew Moon stands in Tinhorn Creek's 100-acre Diamondback vineyard, home to multiple microclimates that require close attention to variety selection. TOM WALKERMoon shines among BC grape growers2023Nov. 7 - 9 | Penticton, BCBC Organic ConferenceReconnect. Exchange ideas. Learn from experts.Keynotes: ELAINE INGHAM (Soil Food Web) & KELLY TERBASKET (kinSHIFT & IndigenEYEZ)EDUCATIONALSESSIONSFARMTOURPACKEDTRADE SHOWORGANIC MEALSRESEARCH TOURREGISTER

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Advertising is accepted on the condition that in the event of a typographical error, that portion of the advertising space occupied by the erroneous item, together with reasonable allowance for signature will not be charged, but the balance of the advertisement will be paid for at the applicable rate. In the event of a typographical error which advertises goods or services at a wrong price, such goods or services need not be sold at the advertised price. Advertising is an offer to sell, and may be withdrawn at any time. All advertising is accepted subject to publisher’s approval. All of Country Life in British Columbia’s content is covered by Canadian copyright law. Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Country Life in British Columbia. Letters are welcome, though they may be edited in the interest of brevity before publication. All errors brought to our attention will be corrected.36 Dale Road, Enderby BC V0E 1V4 . Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.109 No. 9 . SEPTEMBER 2023Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comWhile taking my soon-to-be three-year-old grandson on an inspection tour to check the progress in the pumpkin eld, we wound up at the blackberry-covered fence at the far end of the eld. Thanks to regular irrigation, there is a bumper crop of huge berries. I picked a particularly robust specimen and dropped it into his hand. He studied it critically for several seconds then looked up and said, “Gwandad, this is not a bewwie I would care to eat.” He handed it back to me and set o to nd others more to his liking. This had me feeling thankful for the life we have made here and the land we have made it on, but as thick smoke from throughout the province descended the next day, my appreciation of home changed to concern for the sheer scope of the unfolding wildre catastrophe. The rapidly changing numbers become meaningless: how many res, how many out of control, how many being actively fought, how many are being monitored because there is no one or no way to ght them, how many people have been evacuated, how many are under evacuation alert, how many buildings destroyed, how many hectares burned. Along with weather forecasts of high temperatures, little or no rainfall, expected high winds and lightning strikes, news coverage of narrow escapes, exhausted reghters and heartbreaking loss, it all makes a sobering illustration of how fragile and impermanent what we have – and perhaps take for granted – truly is. It is inevitable that farm and ranch families have been impacted. Some loss will be immediately apparent; some will unfold over time, even years. Given the general shortage of forage, any damage to rangeland will be devastating for impacted livestock operations. Smoke-tainted grapes could be equally disastrous for vineyards and wineries. Burned infrastructure might well be existential losses. Increasingly hot and dry weather with frequent and widespread wildres are no longer an aberration. It is likely that years with cool, moist weather and few wildres will be a welcome rarity. That said, we might assume that every farmer and rancher in BC could be in the line of re eventually. What’s to be done? On a provincial scale, the new wildre reality will require a more robust response. Prevention, mitigation, evacuation and re response preparation on every farm and ranch should be a given, but all of these eorts could be quickly overwhelmed by the speed and ferocity of a randomly ignited wind-driven wildre. As the images of people eeing into Okanagan Lake to escape the re in West Kelowna demonstrate, there may not be an evacuation order or the time to do any more than ee. How, how soon and to where would you do that? Full disclosure: I am not a trained wildre responder. I have some years of volunteer reghting experience and one night of wildre response experience. That night was in 1971 at a construction camp in Donald Station, BC. What became known as the Sue Fire (named after the BC Forest Service lookout tower near Susan Lake) began with an afternoon lightning strike seen by many on the job site. Smoke quickly followed and a small crew of reghters was dispatched. The re seemed contained the next day but overwhelmed the reghters the day after. The lookout tower was surrounded and the university student manning it was rescued by helicopter. The re was out of control, hitchhikers were being conscripted from the Trans-Canada along with every bulldozer in the area. Within a week it seemed to have been held within a mile of Donald Station. Then the wind shifted and embers started landing in the sawmill log yard. People who lived in the little community were told to evacuate. Everyone in the construction camp was rousted from their beds at midnight to ght the res breaking out in the log piles and waste-wood pile. The logs were saved but the waste-wood pile burned out of control with a near-death incident. The wind changed again and the re proper never made it to Donald. It burned for weeks, consumed thousands of hectares of forest and ruined the lake it was named after, which was covered with six inches of ash and bloated deer carcasses. It was an expensive endeavour and I never think of it without recalling the words of an old millwright in camp as he studied the far-o smoke at the end of the second day: “They’re going to be damned sorry they didn’t get a handle on that yesterday.” Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCExodusOne of the foundational epics of Western civilization is Israel’s exodus from Egypt, the very name of the event becoming shorthand for any dramatic, mass departure. The epic series of unfortunate events that befell ancient Egypt will sound familiar to BC farmers, aicted as they’ve been in recent years by COVID-19, ooding, landslides, re and drought. And let’s not forget the grasshoppers, our native locusts, which descended on drought-struck pastures earlier this summer. The combined eect has been an exodus of sorts. On one level, livestock have headed to market far earlier than usual, and several thousand of those that haven’t have been evacuated to safer areas with their owners. On another, many farmers stand to exit the industry as another year of disruptions pushes them to the breaking point. The successive natural disasters have made it hard for many farmers to meet the nancial demands facing them, notwithstanding business risk management programs such as AgriStability. You can only make do so long before you don’t. The latest Census of Agriculture reported a 10% decline in the number of farms in BC between 2016 and 2021, and a 20% decline since 2011. With the operating environment for farms shifting as extreme weather and nancial blows pummel the industry, don’t expect a net increase at the next census in 2026. “Older guys in their 70s are saying that given all the government regulations, diculty nding range hands and the lack of government help, to hell with it! It’s time to quit,” notes Darrell Comazzetto, marketing specialist with BC Livestock Co-op. While the optimism of younger farmers has time on its side, it also faces challenges. Water is becoming more dicult to access, with many basins overallocated. The scepticism of the millennial generation has sharpened the gimlet eye congenital to many farmers, meaning even the best of government intentions face greater scrutiny. Relationship building is welcome, but it won’t be easy. But this summer has yielded notable successes, especially around access to water. The line of fire raises burning questionsThe Back 40 BOB COLLINSPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover Production Designer Tina Rezansoff We got ‘er done like we always do, PWWith hundreds of farms losing access to water this summer, many were left wondering where to turn. Cutting through the angst and confusion, the province repeatedly stepped up to arrange water access for watering livestock, underscoring that action is possible when needed. And more action is needed, because water is as critical to the welfare of crops that feed livestock as well as people. The last estimate, in 2006, estimated that an additional quarter million acres of irrigated farmland was needed by 2025 for BC farms to continue supplying 48% of the province’s food needs. Instead, water has become more tightly regulated, just when it’s needed most. And without water, farming as we know it will quite literally dry up.

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Targeted grazing could help FireSmart communitiesCattle could be partners in fire prevention, if we let themCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 5two years ago. Crews had removed small trees and shrubs, limbed large trees and opened up the forest with the aim of leaving less fuel for wildres. Curious about how those eorts had made a dierence this year, I hiked up into the area a few days after the re and was surprised at seeing nearly shoulder-high grass and weeds. It was a reminder that while Firestorm 2003, a report commissioned by the BC government, recommended fuel treatment and re-proong for high-risk BC communities, plenty of work remains to be done even in areas where progress has been made. Kelowna is one of those areas, with ongoing fuel removal projects on all public lands with the aim of balancing the forest as amenity with the inherent risk factors. “We try to do a balance between opening up the canopy too much and having grass grow,” explains Andrew Hunsberger, who was formerly the city’s urban forestry supervisor and now works for the Regional District of North Okanagan. “We might not be able to stop a re from starting, but if we can keep it close to the ground and out of the canopy, it will be easier to manage.” Kelowna has also made sure there are navigable routes in more rural areas to be sure that evacuees can get out and reghters can get in. Additionally, new subdivisions must have rebreaks around the perimeter. That leaves only private land, which is much of what burned in the Glenmore area north of Kelowna’s core. The city has no tools to require the reproong of private property. There is also no appetite for building a community re break to reduce the risk of re reaching those properties. This isn’t to say it hasn’t been tried elsewhere. The town of Logan Lake is known for its eorts to construct a community-wide re break. But the terrain there is at, and the initiative was led by the local re department, which enjoys wide support in the community. Logan Lake has also embraced the FireSmart program, with the town funding rooftop sprinklers to protect individual properties. Hunsberger says it would be hard to get the urban residents of the Okanagan to do the same thing. “A year after this re, people will have forgotten about it and it will be hard to get them to come to FireSmart meetings,” he says. This is why reducing fuels on public land, such as Knox Mountain Park, is so important. Hunsberger says that mowing areas like the one I noticed would be expensive, while controlled burns to limit fuels would be unpopular. Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association, suggested targeted grazing, which the association has piloted in southeast Kelowna. The pilot has shown that cattle are able to check the growth of ne fuels, although they’re not the only livestock that work. Quesnel uses goats, Logan Lake uses summer students to keep their re break cleared, and several First Nations organize crews to protect their communities. A proactive plan of constructing re breaks and reducing fuel loads around communities costs money, but it’s minor compared to the nancial and personal costs a wildre inicts. When the northern tip of the McDougall Creek re headed east and roared down the slopes to Okanagan Lake, it burned through several homes and a resort. It also crossed an active grazing tenure. I can’t help but think of what might have been saved if fuel along Westside Road had been cleared and that rancher’s fences had been run down to the highway so his cattle could grazing there, maintaining a re break. Tom Walker is a regular contributor to Country Life in BC living in Kelowna. Just one day after the 20th anniversary of the devastating 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park re south of Kelowna, the exact same conditions sparked the McDougall Creek re in West Kelowna, directly across Okanagan Lake. In both years, the res came later in a hot dry summer. The terrain is similar – a steep, rugged and rocky landscape, covered with dense pine and Douglas r forest, and a forest oor littered with tinder-dry fuel. Sadly, the toll is similar as well. Approximately 27,000 residents were evacuated in 2003, 239 homes were lost and damage was estimated at $200 million. This year saw 10,000 evacuated in what was billed the Grouse complex, which included the original re in West Kelowna and two smaller res across the lake in Glenmore and Lake Country. BC Wildre Service reports that 189 properties were destroyed or damaged, with the value of losses yet to be calculated. When the McDougall Creek re jumped Okanagan Lake on the night of August 17, my address was placed under evacuation alert. My family spent a sleepless night watching the ames reecting against the clouds and the next couple of days worrying about the re burning approximately three kilometres away. I took some comfort in the fact that much of the forested area of Knox Mountain Park, some 500 metres from my house, had been FireSmarted Viewpoint TOM WALKER%PXOUPXO3FBMUZtOE4U7FSOPO#$t0óDFPat | 250.308.0938QBUEVHHBO!SPZBMMFQBHFDBThea | 250.308.5807UIFBNDMBVHIMJO!SPZBMMFQBHFDB6475 COSENS BAY RD, “Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”Working 320 acre ranch w/current 1,386 Crown lease adjoining. Two good homes, fenced/ cross-fenced. 65 irrigated hay & pasture lands. Several good outbuildings incl insulated shop, vet room, hay cover and horse barn. 15 min from Kamloops. MLS®10281180 $4,448,0006332 BEATON RD, KAMLOOPSPERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION Don’t forget to RENEW yourSubscription. Allan passed away August 18 at Vernon Jubilee Hospital after a summer lled with family visits and loving care. He leaves behind his partner of 34 years, Cathy Glover, his daughter and the joy of his life Devon Smith, his stepson Dean Little (Kelsey) and his beloved grandchildren Mercer and Savannah, as well as his sister Anne Braund, nieces Catherine and Jennifer and nephew Kevin Braund and their families. He was predeceased by his parents Frank (1994) and Catherine (2009), sister Helen (2015), and his brother-in-law Peter Braund (2023). Allan grew up on the family farm on Goudy Road in Ladner, graduating as his father did before him and his daughter after, from Delta Secondary in 1961. He worked for Delta Foam Board before investing in Richmond Plywood in 1966 where he retired as production manager (and number one on the payroll) in 2013. In his father’s footsteps, he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Delta Lodge 21 in 1961, serving as provincial Grand Master in 2009-2010. He continued to be an active member of Coronation #48 in Armstrong and Rebekah Excelsior #23 of Kamloops after moving to Enderby with Cathy and Devon in 2013. He relished his role as the unocial patriarch and historian for both orders and truly enjoyed the fellowship he received right up until his passing. Allan raised purebred Angus cattle in Ladner, launching his Aleden herd in 1972. The herd grew to more than 60 Red and Black mother cows by the early 90s and were visible from Hwy 17 between Ladner and Tsawwassen. He was an active member of the BC Angus Association and marketed his bulls at sales throughout the Southern Interior every spring. He was deeply honoured when the Canadian Angus Association commemorated his 50 year membership earlier this summer. He was a lifetime member of the Delta Agricultural Society, a member of Delta Farmers’ Institute and the Canadian Red Angus Promotional Society. His ties to the beef industry in BC and the agricultural community in Ladner ultimately led to the purchase of Country Life in BC in 2016 with Cathy when she assumed the role as publisher. Allan loved his cows, but he loved his family even more. He was a loving son and brother, a favourite “Unca,” an adoring and very proud father and stepdad, a delighted grandfather and an “enabling” partner. He’s touched all our lives in dierent ways and will be forever missed – in Friendship, Love and Truth. Family will gather for Internment at the family plot at Boundary Bay Cemetery in Tsawwassen followed by a reception for all at his IOOF home lodge in Ladner, 5425 Ladner Trunk Road, on Saturday, September 16, 1-3 pm. Allan Frank SmithMay 19, 1943 – August 18, 2023An Angus for me, An Angus for meIf it’s not an Angus it’s naa use ta meThe Shorthorns are braw, the Hereford an a’But the Aberdeen Angus is the best of them all

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6 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCVisit to learn more and get your card today.Tired of carrying around paperwork to prove farm status?Look no further! The BC Farmer ID Card conveniently allows you to show proof of farm status at the retailer to receive PST exemptions. It also grants you access to exclusive discounts and offers from participating businesses. BC Farmer ID Card PST exemptions, the easy way.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 7Water curtailments squeeze forage productionProducers worry shutdowns a sign of things to comeCritics say banning irrigation of forage could be counterproductive when it comes to wildre 1-866-567-4162 VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | The World’s Most Durable Manure SpreaderBuild it strong. Keep it simple.PETER MITHAM KAMLOOPS – Deepening drought conditions prompted the province to ban irrigation of forage crops in four watersheds in mid-August, drawing re from producers who say the restrictions are making a bad situation worse. The rst of the orders on August 15 banned the use of water for forage crop irrigation in the Bessette and Lower Salmon River watersheds through the end of September in order to protect sh populations. The following days saw similar orders issued under Section 88 of the Water Sustainability Act for the Tsolum and Koksilah watersheds. “Irrigation of forage crops is one of the most water-intensive agricultural water uses,” the BC Ministry of Forests said in announcing the orders, directing aected farmers to the federal-provincial AgriStability program for support. A total of 551 licensees or transitioning groundwater users were aected, many of whom did not anticipate the shutdowns. “They were expecting that there would be further restrictions but they weren’t expecting it quite as soon,” says BC Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. “None of them knew that a shutdown was coming. … They expected at least a week’s notice.” The province issued several notices to water licence holders, beginning with letters encouraging voluntary conservation followed by requests for 25% and 50% reductions. When streamows fell to levels that put aquatic life at risk, the province cut o forage producers. However, many producers say they didn’t receive any notice until shut-o notices were hand-delivered. “Some of the producers hadn’t received any letters, even of the voluntary shutdowns, so for them it came as quite a surprise,” Boon says. “One of the things that would be benecial in future going forward with these is that there be some given timeline.” This wasn’t the rst time some of the watersheds had been hit with curtailment orders. Two years ago, orders were issued for four basins, including the Koksilah, Bessette Creek, Lower Salmon River and West Kettle. In 2019, the Koksilah had the distinction of being the rst basin ever placed under a curtailment order, which prompted 19 local producers to develop an irrigation schedule that would mitigate the risk of a shutdown. But this year is dierent, with record dry conditions preventing low feed stocks from being replenished. Producers typically keep a year’s worth of feed on hand, but as the livestock sector pulled together to support each other during the 2021 heat dome, wildres and ooding, reserves dropped. Drought conditions that began last summer have also depleted reserves. On July 25, the province announced Access to Feed, a $150,000 program delivered in partnership with the BC Cattlemen's Association designed to match sellers of hay and feed both domestically and internationally with producers who need it. Cattlemen’s is engaging with the BC Grain Producers, BC Dairy Association, BC Forage Council and the BC Horse Council as part of the initiative. Boon says the volume of hay needed is undetermined, but that the quest for feed is bearing fruit. “The big part of this is giving some insight and some answers to the ranchers so that they’re equipped to make the decisions that are necessary for them to carry on their operations and produce the beef and food Irrigation supports u

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8 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Irrigation supports firebreaks as well as livestock feedEXCELLENCE INOCMIS HOSE REELSLINDSAY ZIMMATIC PIVOTSFRANKLIN PUMP SYSTEMSHDPE MAINLINESEXCELLENCE IN WATER604.265.6486southernirrigation.comIncludes a 7% discount on all machinesAll orders must be in by September 15thContact us today to learn more!OCMIS EARLYORDER PROGRAMthat’s required,” he said at the July 25 announcement. “We have individuals out searching for hay in other jurisdictions and we are nding it, and we are nding it at what I believe are reasonable prices to get here.” Wildfire defences affected Some areas aected by the curtailment orders are also battling wildres, such as the Lower Salmon, which aects producers east of Westwold. Green elds are a natural re break, meaning a ban on irrigation could be counterproductive. “[It] isn’t sitting well,” Boon says. “When we have res going, the irrigation is the one thing that keeps it green and helps keep res out of the valleys by supporting green space. They’d like to keep irrigating in there in a limited capacity.” Producers have written forests minister Bruce Ralston pleading their case but had not heard back as of August 28. Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone of BC United has also taken up the cause. Many producers fear what forage producers are experiencing is a sign of things to come. While livestock groups in the Lower Mainland, which has been elevated to the highest drought level, report minimal eect on operations thanks to provisions allowing livestock watering and no local government restrictions on agricultural water use, BC Dairy Association vice-chair Sarah Sache says restrictions can’t be ruled out in the future. “It is a major concern of farms throughout the province, but specifically in the Lower Mainland, cutting off our water is not something we expect to come our way,” she says. “[But] unprecedented is on the table now. I think as we go forward we’re likely to see all kinds of things we haven’t seen before with climate change.” Sache farms in Rosedale, and says producers are challenged to find a way to continue grow the amount of feed locally needed to feed their animals. High land costs makes this a challenge at the best of times, but restrictions on irrigation would complicate things event further. “We’ll continue to try to be resilient through those times,” she says. “We need to adjust to the new normal.” The Lower Mainland is among the areas where producers are eligible to participate in the Livestock Tax Deferral Program, which allows income on livestock sold in response to drought conditions to be deferred until the following tax year, when it can be offset by livestock purchases. This year has seen a record number of cattle move to market early in the season as producers opt to sell for record high pricing rather than pay sharply higher prices for feed. Dairy producers have also been right-sizing their herds in the face of tighter margins. But for ranchers, the challenges are particularly acute. Typically, shipping hay into the Vanderhoof area, usually a net supplier of hay to the province but one of the hardest hit by this year’s shortage, costs $150-$180 a ton; this year, it’s closer to $450 a ton. “The transportation to get it in there will be the deciding factor,” Boon says. “It’s going to be a tough pill for them to swallow, no matter what the price of calves are, to have a feed bill that high.” The disbursement of $5 million in advance payments to 100 producers as well as support for the Access to Feed program will give some producers the confidence to hold onto animals, as will scattered rain in late August, which could see restrictions in some areas lifted. Nevertheless, the BC beef herd is on track to start next year much lower than in recent years. BC cow-calf operations reported 353,300 head on January 1 this year, according to Statistics Canada, down from 358,600 five years earlier. With files from Tom Walker Hay in the barn is on the wish list of many producers after this year's drought. FILE

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Greenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmProtection NetsMulch Film Landscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTwine & Net WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain Seed1.800.663.6022office@silagrow.com5121 - 46 Ave S.E. Salmon Arm, BCPick Up & Delivery Only 112-18860 24 Ave. Surrey, BCVisit our website for informative content and detailedproduct descriptions.silagrow.comCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 9Committee report recommends apple commissionNew proposal comes two years after idea first discussedA marketing commission could help BC apple growers secure better returns for their fruit in a highly competitive market, according to a US consultant's report. MYRNA STARK LEADERTOM WALKER KELOWNA – A marketing commission remains the best option for establishing an orderly marketing environment for BC apples, according to a new report developed after more than a year of meetings. First proposed in 2021 to succeed the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council which wound up this spring, a commission would have a variety of powers but stop short of being a marketing board. “I want to make it very clear that this is not a single selling desk model such as was common with old-style marketing boards,” says BC Fruit Growers Association general manager Glen Lucas, a member of the orderly marketing project management committee established as part of the province’s tree fruit stabilization initiative. “The proposed commission will not be controlling prices or setting production quotas.” Prepared by Washington State consulting rm Globalwise Inc., whose clients include the Washington Apple Commission and Washington State Tree Fruit Association, the report recommending a commission was adopted by the marketing committee in August. Working together is key to the proposed commission, says a website developed to keep growers informed of the initiative. “It is a way of taking a co-ordinated approach to selling apples; a suite of tools designed and administered by growers to give them more collective strength in the marketplace,” the site explains. That collective strength is currently lacking, and it shows in the low nancial returns for orchardists. BC apple growers receive the lowest price of any growers in North America, according to a summary of the Globalwise report posted online. “The average farm price of BC apples lags behind that in Ontario, Michigan, California and New York, and was less than 70% of the price received by growers in Washington,” the summary states. Part of the problem is that BC growers have less than a 40% share of the BC market and the volume of Washington apples entering the market gives them leverage on pricing. Data for the 18 months from January 2022 to June 2023 indicate Washington growers received 9 cents a pound more for Ambrosia sold in BC than BC growers received. The dierence was even greater, at 32 cents, for Gala. Retailer policies further aect what growers receive. Data from the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council indicates that the distribution of retailer return per carton of BC apples has increased signicantly since 2008 while grower return has declined signicantly. The new commission hopes to address those low returns by focusing on marketing and promotion, Lucas says. “The commission would allow industry to collect information on apple prices, volumes sold, amounts in storage and enable the packers to share and discuss this information – something that is currently illegal for them to do,” Lucas explains. “It would also develop quality standards for individual varieties, something that the packer group has agreed to for last year’s crop but because it wasn’t enforced it wasn’t eective.” The commission will not have the power to set minimum pricing. “It is just too complicated, given all the dierent varieties and grades that we sell,” Lucas says. Globalwise points out that in order to set pricing for just one grade of BC’s ve major varieties would require setting 120 price points weekly. Price-setting is also risky, the report cautions, because the industry may demand too high a price and drive away retailers. “If the BC apple industry has a major say in setting their own minimum prices, there is a clear possibility they will attempt to set prices above the market level,” it explains. “In this case, retailers and other buyers can shift purchases to competitors such as Washington State.” Lucas hopes the lack of price-setting powers won’t be a deal-breaker. “I hope that growers will see that good pricing can be achieved by other means,” he The BC Fruit Growers’ AssociationDID YOU KNOW?supports research projects for the tree fruit sector:BCFGA funds research projectsApple Pests and Alternative Control StrategiesUÊApple Crop Load Management: Enhancing UÊThinning Predictability and Tree ResponseExtending Storage Life and Maximizing UÊQuality to Reduce Post-harvest Apple LossIntroducing our new Horticulture and Research Project Manager, Gail NelsonResearch funding:Effect of water stress on Ambrosia fruit.UÊCover crops for drive alleys.UÊHot water fumigation of fruit trees.UÊMolecular markers in cherries.UÊDetection of Little cherry disease.UÊCherry fruitlet nutrient analysis.UÊ 1.800.619.9022 Grower input u

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10 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCView over 100 listings of farm properties at www.bcfarmandranch.comBC FARM & RANCH REALTY CORP.Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage?GORD HOUWELING Cell: 604/793-8660GREG WALTON Cell: 604/864-1610Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI Call BC’s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100% to Agriculture!PROFESSIONAL SERVICESBC Tree CEO takes leave of absencelow for the last several years and Sarafinchan has worked to introduce minimum pricing, sell off assets and make changes to the board of directors. Yet a number of top growers have left the co-op, seeking better returns from independent packing houses. A decision last year to not build a proposed state-of-the-art plant in Kelowna and instead renovate and expand the Oliver packing house, led to a special general meeting in November 2022. Grower members forced the meeting over concerns they had not been adequately consulted. Among the special resolutions presented at the meeting, growers proposed removing the entire board of directors. The vote was 59% in favour, short of the two-thirds majority required. The co-op broke ground on the renovation and expansion of the Oliver plant earlier this year, with a public ceremony marking the event on July 5. BC Fruit Growers Association president Peter Simonsen says he wishes Sarafinchan well in his return to health. — Tom Walker Hargreaves to lead cranberries A familiar face is returning to the agriculture sector as Trevor Hargreaves steps into a part-time role as general manager of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission. Hargreaves spent nearly six years as director of communications, government and public relations with the BC Dairy Association before joining the BC Real Estate Association. He begins his new role with the cranberry commission on September 1. Hargreaves succeeds Coreen Rodger Berrisford, who stepped into a full-time role with the BC Landscape and Nursery Association – this summer as grower's sector coordinator and the main contact for the retail sector and Japanese Beetle response team. His part-time role means Hargreaves will continue to do some work for the BCREA but he looks forward to returning to the agriculture sector with a deeper appreciation of the real estate challenges facing growers. The commission oversees 71 licensed growers, seven producer-vendors and three marketing agencies, including Ocean Spray, BC Tree Fruits Cooperative CEO Warren Sarafinchan took an extended leave of absence, effective August 5, following a battle with COVID-19 and the toll four years of transformation at the co-op has taken. “This decision comes as he focuses on recovering from COVID and takes some much-needed time to rest with his family,” co-op chair Andre Scheepers says in a letter to staff and members. “He is also taking that time to consider his future with BC Tree Fruits Cooperative.” Co-op chief financial officer Doug Pankiw will double as acting CEO in Sarafinchan’s absence. Sarafinchan was hired as CEO in the fall of 2019, the co-op’s fourth hire for the position in eight years. Grower returns have been Expert farm taxation adviceApproved consultants for Government funding throughBC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramEnderby 250-838-7337Armstrong 250-546-8665 |t1VSDIBTFBOETBMFPGGBSNTt5SBOTGFSPGGBSNTUPDIJMESFOt(PWFSONFOUTVCTJEZQSPHSBNTt1SFQBSBUJPOPGGBSNUBYSFUVSOTt6TFPG$BQJUBM(BJOT&YFNQUJPOT$ISJT)FOEFSTPO$1"$"-PSFO)VUUPO$1"$"5PMM 'SFF1-888-818-FARM |www.farmtax.comRossworn HendersonLLPChartered Professional Accountants - Tax Consultantsartered Professional Accountants - Tax ConsultanCALL 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 BCu Grower input sought on commission proposalAg Briefs PETER MITHAMwhich handles 95% of the province’s marketed production. BC growers harvested approximately 900,000 barrels of berries in 2022. ”I think he’s going to be a good t,” says commission chair Jack DeWit, noting Hargreaves’ previous experience in the dairy sector. Hargreaves will be joining the commission at a busy time, just as harvest ramps up, but this will give him a good grounding in advance of winter trade shows and spring education events. “I think he’s looking forward to the challenge,” DeWit says. This year’s cranberry crop is in good shape, DeWit notes. While the heat and other factors reduced yields for blueberries, cranberries have so far come along well and growers are anticipating a decent harvest. “It’s not a disappointment,” DeWit says, projecting an average to above-average crop. The BC cranberry harvest typically begins mid-September and runs until the end of October. — Peter Mitham New federal minister Lawrence MacAulay has been reappointed as federal agriculture minister portfolio in a July 26 cabinet shue many say sets the stage for a general election. He succeeds Marie-Claude Bibeau, who is now minister of national revenue. MacAulay, a potato farmer before entering politics as MP for the riding of Cardigan, PEI, was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s rst choice for agriculture minister in 2015. “We look forward to working with Minister MacAulay, whose experience and expertise as a former Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will be an asset at pivotal time for Canadian agriculture,” CFA president Keith Currie said in a statement. “As this transition takes place, I would stress the importance of maintaining momentum and a continued focus on key issues, such as continued collaboration with CFA and farmers across Canada on the development of the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy.” — Peter Mitham says. “If the packers can discuss and share market information, we will get to the right price.” There is also a strong emphasis on increased marketing and promotion activities under the proposed commission. While a 2021 report regarding a marketing commission by Ference & Co. for the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council spoke of possibilities, the current proposal is the rst time industry has agreed upon an approved set of descriptors for what it considers the best solution. This consensus will allow industry to move forward with developing a budget and a business plan, Lucas says. All apple growers are urged to become familiar with the proposals by visiting [], discussing the recommendations and completing the grower survey attached to the website.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 11Starling control program meets expectationsJuvenile birds haven’t shown up as initiative marks 20 yearsThe best trapping sites for starlings are near readily available feed sources, like landlls, feedlots and dairy farms. TYRION MISKELL MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – A grower-led initiative to control invasive starlings in the Okanagan has plenty to celebrate and –appropriately enough – the birds haven’t shown up. Juvenile starlings typically show up in the Okanagan in July but that hasn’t happened this year, highlighting the long-term success of the Okanagan starling control program launched in 2003. “The ock numbers are really down (this year),” says Tyrion Miskell, executive director of the BC Grape Growers Association, which manages the program. She says variables such as weather and wildres may have contributed to the decline but it also points to growers’ success in controlling starlings, which once cost fruit growers millions of dollars each year. Close to a million birds have been caught and euthanized over the past 20 years, addressing both the losses to growers and disturbance neighbours experienced from the propane cannons and other bird deterrents growers used to use. The program places about 40 traps each year, moving around ve routes as far north as Salmon Arm and south to Osoyoos. While trapping happens year-round, the best sites are typically near landlls, dairy farms and feedlots. Birds congregate around these readily available feed sources prior to descending on fruit and grape crops. However, Miskell says that’s changing. Some landlls now cover garbage piles to prevent attracting wildlife, while a few of the region’s large feedlots have shut down. “It probably has a good overall impact on the number of and the size of the ocks when there's not as much food available year-round ... but it also means that we have to get more creative in where we put our traps,” she says. Naramata grapegrower Rod King calls the program a godsend. “In the last ve years, none of us have picked up a shotgun,” says the third-generation grower. He recalls how before the program launched, his brother would join him and his son to re 3,000 to 4,000 rounds a year trying to scare birds from their 40-acre vineyard. “In terms of protecting our crops, it is by far the cheapest investment we make every year,” says King of the program. The program’s annual budget of approximately $120,000 supports trapping, education and research. It’s funded by the Okanagan’s three regional districts, the BC Cherry Association, BC Fruit Growers Association, BC Tree Fruits and voluntary donations from growers. The recommended grower contribution is $10 per acre, with grape growers contributing more than $25,000 annually. Miskell says greater funding would help fund more research to better understand nesting patterns and other aspects of bird behaviour, for example. Starlings can have as many as 16 chicks a year, hatched in two broods. 79 Acres Irrigated250+ Cow Dairy Farm4 Bed Main House & 2 MobilesNEWLISTING *112 Acres + House Listed Separately& 200+ Acres Pot. for Sale or Rent“I think we could have more impact if we knew more about nesting so we could stop them before they nested, or around their nests, before they're out in the orchards and vineyards eating the fruit,” says Miskell. In previous years, research conducted by UBC Okanagan determined that the birds in the valley mostly originate locally. Another pilot project tried a funnel trap to eliminate a whole ock within a dairy barn. “Starlings are really smart,” says Miskell. “When we were setting up the trap with new people around the barn, the birds were scared away. These are also working barns so you can’t leave the traps up for long periods to wait for birds to come back. We've shelved it for now, but I still have hope, trying to gure out a new way to implement it.” Cannons work somewhat, but they only move the birds along to another location. Eradication is not possible with this invasive species. Control is the goal. However, a pitfall of success at trapping and euthanizing is that newer growers haven’t experienced thousands of birds descending to devour a crop in 10 minutes. “I get calls from growers quite regularly about a few hundred birds, and we do want to try and trap those, but in the grand scheme of the program, that’s a very manageable number,” Miskell says. “We continue to educate because we want growers to know the success, and need support to continue. We want to continue to see ocks of a few hundred birds, not ocks in the thousands.”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 13The house was full as the newly formed Land Keepers Leadership Society met to discuss a variety of concerns related to agricultural land and water management in the Cowichan Valley on August 14. KATE AYERSALC approval not sought uTaking your safety program to the next level?Certificate ofSAFETYCORRecognitionYou may already be on the path to COR.Contact AgSafe to find out!LANGLEY CHILLIWACK CHEMAINUS KELOWNA 1-800-665-9060NEW! NH DB313F flail disc mower [N32824] ................................................ $49,500 POETTINGER SERVO 35S Reversible 5-furrow plough (N32886)...... 48,000 NEW HOLLAND C345 skid-steer, tracks, ROPS (N40117)................... 97,000 USED TRACTORS KUBOTA BX1860 no loader (CNS816).................................................. $13,015 KUBOTA L3901 STRC w/loader, 1310 hrs (CNS815)............................ 28,000 KUBOTA M6-141 2018, 1,300 HOURS , SL LOADER (CNS820) .......... 98,000 KUBOTA M7060 2019, cab, no loader, 200 hRS [U32830].................... 67,000 NH POWERSTAR T4.75 2017, 1,500 HOURS, SL LOADER (U40223) .. 55,000 NH T3.80F orchard tractor, 25 hours (U32843) .................................... 45,000 NH WORKMASTER 105 cab, loader, low hours (U32946) .................. 87,000 QUALITY USED EQUIPMENT NH H7230 FLAIL-MOWER CONDITIONER, 2012 (U40221) .............. $18,000 MCHALE FUSION VARIO 2017, 14,000 bales [U32135] ....................... 73,900 MASCHIO 105 Rototiller, like new (CNS810) .......................................... 3,750 WALLENSTEIN MX50G Manure spreader (CNS813) ........................... 4,800 BUHLER Triplex mower 18’, like new [CNS794] .................................. 19,900 KVERNELAND 9084C Rake, 26’ (U33029) .............................................. 18,900 KVERNELAND 9476C Rake 2017 (U32957)............................................. 33,700 NH FP240 Chopper 29P Grass, 3PN Corn Crop Proc (CNS786) ........ 47,500 KATE AYERS COWICHAN BAY – A large crowd of concerned citizens gathered on August 14 to learn more about the newly formed Land Keepers Leadership Society. Recent events in the Cowichan Valley, including non-farm uses within the Agricultural Land Reserve, lack of consultation and a crackdown on suspected unauthorized water use has property owners on edge. Co-founders, directors and local residents Jack McLeod and Wally Smith, along with other community members, formed the society on July 3 after learning about the planned destruction of the historic Dinsdale property as part of the $3 million Cowichan Estuary Restoration Project. The volunteer-led group is dedicated to protecting landowners from government overreach and creating a balance between societal goals, property ownership rights and environmental protection. “I can’t get my head around it but there is tremendous pressure and for some reason they want to shut farming down,” McLeod says. On June 6, the Nature Trust of BC announced its plans to remove two kilometres of agricultural dikes at the farm and Koksilah marsh with the goal of restoring estuary habitat and enhancing resilience against rising sea-levels. This date was the rst time many local residents had heard of the project. Long-term tenure-holder and Sunny Vale Farm Ltd. owner Gerald Poelman was not consulted before project launch. In fact, the regional district was largely kept out of the conversation. “In late May, the entire board was invited to having a closed meeting on site … and for many of us, including myself, who is a longtime resident of Cowichan Bay, this was the rst we had heard about [the project],” says Cowichan Valley Regional District director Hilary Abbott. “It was a courtesy to let us know what was in store and that this was going to be printed in the press in June. That is about as much conversation [that has occurred], except some daily bellyaching from me and a few others that this seems to have been foisted upon us.” The Nature Trust told attending CVRD board members that any information disclosed in the meeting was embargoed until the press release, McLeod says. “How do you direct the directors to not say anything when they actually represent the people?” he asks. The Nature Trust and Ducks Unlimited Canada purchased the Dinsdale lands in 1990 and leased them to the province for 99 years as conservation lands under the West Coast Conservation Lands Management Program, says the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship. “The Cowichan Estuary Restoration Project recognizes the important role of farming and local agriculture within the region,” the ministry adds. “The Nature Trust of British Columbia, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the province have invested 25 years in the relationship with farmer licence-holders on these lands to reach agreement on this project.” However, Nigel Dinsdale was at the table in 1990 and he’s not in agreement with the ooding of his family’s farm. Ducks Unlimited wrote the cheque and Nature Trust was to manage the land, Dinsdale says. As part of the deal, the agencies allegedly included a covenant that the land would remain in agricultural production in perpetuity. “I’m totally appalled,” an emotional Dinsdale said at the August 14 meeting. “To think after all these years, it’s going to [get ooded out]. It’s shocking. Farmland is in a crisis right now.” This covenant has raised signicant concerns in the community and is a driving force behind the society’s work. The lack of transparency, overreach of New society looks to protect property rightsLand Keepers group responds to planned flooding of Dinsdale Farmcountrylifeinbc.comThe agricultural news source in BC since 1915.

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14 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu ALC approval not sought for estuary restoration projectSave 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. Low pressure R2000FX Rotator® has unparalleled radius of throw. Maximize radius and uniformity with the R3030 Pivot Rotator®. R2000FXROTATOR®R3030ROTATOR®SR150 BIG GUN®ARC TIMERIRRIGATION TECHNOLOGY50 YEARSFIELD-PROVEN CONTACT YOUR LOCAL NELSON DEALER TODAY!government and failure of due process are some of the areas the Land Keepers is looking to address, Smith adds. The society believes that the Nature Trust has somehow circumvented ALC protocol for non-farm uses and the removal of agricultural dikes. Generally, for such projects, the landowner must submit an application to their local regional district and then a government representative brings the application to the Agricultural Land Commission for consideration. Abbott is not aware of any non-farm use applications going through the CVRD and ALC chair Jennifer Dyson has yet to see an application cross her desk from the organizations involved with the Cowichan Estuary project. “Our oce has reached out to the agencies involved,” Dyson says. “This land is in the ALR. There has to be a non-farm use application that would go the natural course through local government, allowing for some public input as well. We as a commission were certainly unaware of the project until it was raised at a media level.” The commission has made it clear an application is necessary for next steps, Dyson says. She did not comment on whether the project could legally move forward without approval from the ALC, but she says, “there is still an opportunity to submit an application.” BC agriculture minister Pam Alexis has not responded to landowners’ concerns. The province and Nature Trust claim that no land is being removed or lost from the ALR, but local farmers don’t agree. “By removing the agricultural dike and rendering the farmland useless, you are in essence taking it out of the ALR. … The whole thing is so underhanded,” Smith says. Dike decommissioning rules require that applicants have records of notication and invitation for comment from all property owners who are currently protected by the structure. While Nature Trust of BC program manager Thomas Reid says community engagement occurred, residents claim no public outreach was conducted before the project was purportedly given the green light. The Nature Trust claims to have implemented in-depth monitoring programs to assess the resilience of the estuary to sea level rise and conducted modelling and assessments of the impacts of the historical dike within the estuary. “Based on the results of this work, a decision was made by all of the partners to implement the Cowichan Estuary Restoration Project to focus on overall ecosystem health and resilience of the estuary,” Nature Trust says. But these results were never made publicly available, says McLeod, who believes the project will cause even more expansive ooding in an area that is already prone to high waters in the spring. “You can’t ood your neighbours,” he says of the three adjacent properties, including his own, that he expects will be signicantly impacted. While the potential reach of and damages from ooding are hard to predict, large tracts of Cowichan Tribes land could face inundation, McLeod says. The society has contacted the Cowichan Tribes to discuss collaboration and engagement opportunities, but the groups have not yet met in person. But the province is already engaged in a separate process with the Cowichan regarding water issues under the Xwulqw'selu (Koksilah) Watershed Planning Agreement. This long-term plan for the watershed will see the Cowichan Tribes and province jointly lead the planning process and approach decisions as equal authorities with distinct legal traditions and responsibilities. The Cowichan Tribes were unavailable for an interview before deadline. Since the estuary project has progressed so quickly, the society has sought legal counsel to build a case with a view to seeking an injunction against the project. The society has also led Freedom of Information requests to all agencies involved in the approval process, but no responses had been received as of August 17. The society has requested an independent assessment from a hydrologist. Seven projects similar to the one in the Cowichan Estuary are planned at locations around Vancouver Island, McLeod says, and he expects a cascade eect if this project goes through. While the group is working hard locally, members see the society moving beyond Vancouver Island to support small, medium and large farm owners and rural landholders across BC. “By removing the agricultural dike and rendering the farmland useless, you are in essence taking it out of the ALR. … The whole thing is so underhanded.” WALLY SMITH

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 15Adrian and Kelsey Oosterhoff of Telkwa are among ve producers shortlisted from a host of applications for the BC Milk Marketing Board’s New Entrant Program. SUBMITTEDMarketing board chooses new entrant finalistsOrganic stream added to meet growing consumer demand Serving the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We’ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976. And with two blending plants, we’re one of BC’s largest distributors of granular, liquid and foliar fertilizers. Our buying power and proximity to the Fraser Valley makes us the logical choice for truckload shipments. OKANAGAN FERTILIZER LTD 1-800-361-4600 or 250-838-6414Flotation Tiresto replace11R22.5 Tires orSilage Boxes620/45R22.5 Scale Repairs for ALL Makes of Feeder MixersHydraulic Hose RepairsHubs, Spindles, Tires & Wheelsfor Artex, Dirks and TyCrop WagonsFloor Chain Assembliesfor all makes of Forage and Manure BoxesCamlock Fittings, Pipe Fittings, and Pressure Washer AccessoriesRENT OURLoewen 925 cubic foot 20ft. Forage Box $600/dayRENT OUR2,000 gal. tank w/boom$600/dayWe carry Interstate Batteries and light kits for farm machinery.Manure Agitators 3 Point Hitch - Size: 18-30, lg.Lagoon Style - Size: 30-40, lg.Slotted Floor BarnWe sell knives for Supreme, Trioliet, Jaylor and Kuhn Vertical Mixers. Vertical Mixer KnivesKATE AYERS & PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – The BC Milk Marketing Board has selected five producers to participate in this year’s New Entrant Program. The board chose four producers from a shortlist of seven candidates selected by random draw earlier this year to enter conventional production. One producer was chosen to meet the demand for organic production out of a pool of 10 applicants, with a further three placed on a three-year waitlist. “It was good to see such strong interest from potential new dairy entrants during these challenging times in the sector, as we grapple with rising costs and weather conditions. We are seeing moderate growth in organic dairy, so opened up a dedicated stream for the first time this year,” says BC Milk general manager Rob Delage. “The review committee identified one farm that can start right away and three others it recommended for a waitlist in the event additional organic production is needed in the coming years. We don’t have any immediate plans on that front but will wait to see how the market evolves.” The successful candidates, who formally accepted the opportunity August 18, include conventional producers Adrian and Kelsey Oosterhoff of Telkwa; Jessie Weststrate of Delta; Melissa Schalin of Armstrong; Peter and Hertha Muller of Langley; and organic producer Brad Bennik of Langley. The organic waitlist includes Scott Syme, Andrew Johnson and Jeremy Goosen. Conventional producers will have until December 31, 2024, to start production and meet the requirements to receive incentive quota from BC Milk. The new entrant in the organic stream will have until September 1, 2026, to commence production. Conventional producers receive 15 kg of Continuous Daily Quota (CDQ) at startup, plus up to 8 kg of matching CDQ provided on a 1:1 ratio basis during the 10 years of the program. New entrants under the organic stream will receive an initial 19.5 kg Specialty Continuous Daily Quota (SCDQ) as well as up to 8 kg of matching SCDQ on a 1:1 ratio over the 10-year program. Additionally, organic candidates receive a 30% organic bonus on first-year matching quota purchases, bringing their total potential quota to 40.3 kg. Family legacy As a third-generation farmer, Adrian Oosterhoff and his wife Kelsey look forward to diversifying their operation and continuing the New entrants u

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16 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu New entrants ready to rollShare Your ViewsHow do we improve soil health and carbon capture in BC’s agricultural sector? What technology and supports are needed?Register to speak by September 18, 2023 (DEADLINE EXTENDED)Provide written or video input by November 17, 2023For more information, visit or call 250 356 2933 or toll-free 1 877 428 8337Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Foodlegacy of dairy farming in the family as new producers. The path towards milking cows full-time has been more like a roller coaster, Oosterhoff says. He was raised on a dairy farm on Round Lake, about 10 kilometres southeast of Telkwa, but his father sold the farm in 2000, when Oosterhoff was 12. But then in 2012, his father started up the family dairy farm again and Oosterhoff came home to help with operations. “For probably about five years, I was much more involved. I was taking on the cow nutrition part of it, did a lot of field work and milking,” Oosterhoff says. Then, his father was ready to retire from milking but Oosterhoff was not in a position to buy the cows and quota and they were sold. A year later, in 2017, Oosterhoff bought the family farm and started a beef operation which now has about 120 cows under the name Lacroix Ranch, a slight change from his father’s Lacroix Acres. Returning to dairy was a long-term plan, but an initial bid in 2021 wasn’t successful. This year’s success gives Oosterhoff a chance to continue work his grandfather started after World War II, originally raising broilers on the family homestead before entering dairy production. Kelsey also comes from a farming family. She grew up on a beef and cash crop operation in the Bulkley Valley. She completed a degree in environmental science at UNBC and now works in the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “She had her own beef herd along with her dad's and she always came back every summer [during university] and was very passionate about being involved,” Oosterhoff says. “That was kind of the start of our beef herd when we got married.” The couple plan to run the beef and dairy operations side by side. “We feel in our location that they complement each other quite well. We have a lot of non-arable land up here in the north,” Oosterhoff says, “and so we have access to a fair amount of grazing which works well for the beef and the dairy then would take most of the arable land right around the house here and the barnyard.” However, the drought has greatly reduced forage production this year. In anticipation of being chosen as a finalist, the Oosterhoffs started securing feed early this year. “We pretty much realized as soon as we started cutting our own crops that the yields were way down,” Oosterhoff says. While the couple didn’t know for sure if they would eventually need to feed two herds, they were confident in their application and planned for success and reached out to forage producers from Telkwa to Prince George. “We don't want to go backwards on the hard work we've done in our growth so far,” Oosterhoff says. “It may be tough but we're committed to growing and doing this for the long term.” The Oosterhoffs plan to purchase the full 23 kilograms of quota and hope to be up and running by the end of November. Oosterhoff has kept the dairy barn in good shape and has secured a new herd from a retiring dairy farmer in the region. “What we're looking forward to most is simply being at home and working with animals. We both absolutely love agriculture and we're quite passionate about it,” he says. Mullers come with dairy background Finalists Peter Muller and his wife Hertha of Langley also grew up in the industry. Peter’s parents had beef cows and horses in Cloverdale, and he often worked on his uncle’s dairy farm in Maple Ridge and aunt’s farm in Duncan. Hertha is from a dairy farm in Agassiz. Muller is renting a dairy facility in Fort Langley, which he hopes to fill with 30 cows in the first year and work up to between 40 and 50 animals in the second year of operations. The couple, along with their three adult children and grandchildren, look forward to getting started in the dairy sector. Muller plans to be milking by the end of January 2024. Bennik transitions from water buffalo to Jerseys Organic stream finalist Brad Bennik is shifting from milking water buffalo to Jerseys, thanks to the New Entrant Program. The absence of supply management drew him towards water buffalo over a decade ago but supply management has drawn him back to dairy cattle. With water buffalo, Bennik needed to do everything from scratch, including marketing and securing retailers. Now, he looks forward to a milk truck showing up, taking away not only his milk but his responsibility for marketing and selling the product. Bennik milked water buffalo in Langley Township for 11 years but has now sold most of the milking herd and is renting a dairy barn on Barnston Island. Bennik is ready to start organic production by September 1, pending milk inspector approval. “We hope to get the total 40.3 kilograms,” Bennik says. “I’m going to be milking mostly Jerseys because the facility I have secured is designed for 1960 Holsteins, not 2023 Holsteins.” The Jerseys’ smaller stature is a better fit for his barn. Conventional finalists Schalin and Weststrate and were not available before deadline. Schalin mentioned that she was busy with barn renovations. On Facebook, Weststrate wrote, “Well, my dreams just became reality. I was accepted into the New Entrant Program through the BC Milk Board. I’m so thankful to be able to start farming next year, and I’m even more thankful for everyone who’s helped guide me here.”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 17New funding for First Nations agricultureIndigenous-led support ‘hugely’ impactfulThe Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program is a three-year $30 million initiative that aims to increase Indigenous participation in BC’s agricultural industry, empower a broader denition of food security initiatives to be inclusive of traditional Indigenous food systems and grow Indigenous supply chain participation. NEW RELATIONSHIP TRUSTKATE AYERS VERNON – New funding is now available to support food sovereignty, food security and Indigenous-led agriculture. On July 27, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food announced the three-year, $30 million Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program administered by the New Relationship Trust (NRT), an independent non-profit dedicated to empowering First Nations communities. “It's huge, to have a large grant that is dedicated to working with Indigenous groups,” says Okanagan Indian Band food security coordinator Nikki Lorentz. “This is impactful for everyone. And it kind of starts a wave and opens up opportunities for so many different Indigenous groups and communities because some people still don't have food initiatives. And it gives you the opportunity to actually go full into it. … This is a pretty big deal.” OKIB has experienced first-hand how Indigenous-focused grants can have significant impacts on communities. OKIB received $80,000 through the Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program, launched in September 2022, which has provided $1.1 million to 15 projects across BC. OKIB used its funding to provide culturally safe and affordable foods through band-owned land, which was recently designated to grow fruits and vegetables, traditional foods, livestock and process meat; and to provide a kitchen and pantry, cooking pit and root cellars, as well as space for cultural activities. Before this support, Lorentz managed the food security program out of OKIB’s small community garden. This year, the community will complete its first growing season on its newly designated ranch, which gives members a larger, permanent location for food production. Many community members rely on the food security program, including the homecare, diabetes, youth and Elders, and prenatal and neonatal programs, as well as the schools. Through the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program, Lorentz hopes OKIB can complete the foundations of their ranch, including installing water infrastructure, upgrading the power supply and integrating livestock so that the community can grow produce and raise meat as well as process and access local food year-round. “It'll just help us close that food loop,” Lorentz says. Two funding streams Applicants can apply for funding through two streams. Stream 1 provides funding for activities and costs associated with the planning and design phase of a food security project, and is capped at $150,000. Stream 2 provides funding for activities and costs associated with the implementation of a food security project. It is capped at $250,000. Not only do these sizeable grants help communities endure the challenges of starting up a food program, but the Indigenous leadership of the program promotes First Nation community success. Indeed, Indigenous-led support is often more flexible and adaptable to a community’s needs, emphasizing stories of impact rather than just straight financials. “Most Indigenous cultures have measurables that aren't always in statistics,” Lorentz says. “A lot of these funders actually gather annually, which is huge. Because it's one thing to write numbers YOURHelping YouHelping YouSignSign up today forfor freeupy eeWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESNRT funding uQuality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentAGCO ALLIS 9655 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35,000 ANDEX 773 Rake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 BOBCAT 751 Skidsteer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coming soon JAYLOR Mixer Wagon 4575 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 JD 348 Baler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,500 MF 1742 tractor, AWD with cab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27,500 MF 4609 tractor with 931 loader, 2215 Hours . . . . . 49,000 MF 6713 tractor, cab, AWD, 207 hrs . . . . . . . Coming soon TURBOMATIC 600 lt sprayer with side cannon . . . . 8,500 VICON fertilizer spreader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,500 WALLENSTEIN M130 manure spreader . . . . . . . . . 17,500 WN WL60T articulating loader 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85,000WEIDEMANN T4512 COMPACT TELEHANDLERBETTER WORK FLOW

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18 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu NRT funding will help grow knowledge of traditional foodsMarketing British Columbia to the World®www.landquest.comToll Free 1-866-558-LAND (5263)“The Source” for Oceanfront, Lakefront, Islands, Ranches, Resorts & Land in BC®Visit our WebsiteHISTORIC WILDERNESS RANCHGREENWOOD, BCWILDERNESS ACREAGE ADJACENT TO BOYA LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK, BCCUSTOM TIMBER FRAME HOMEON 12 ACRES - DE COURCY ISLANDMOOSEHORN MEADOWS RANCHBURNS LAKE, BCTROPHY LOG HOME WITH VIEWS OF THE TATLAYOKO VALLEY - TATLA LAKE, BCLAKEFRONT ACREAGE AND CUSTOM-BUILT LOG HOME - CANIM LAKEOFF-GRID ACREAGEGRAND FORKS, BCBRAND NEW LAKEFRONT HOMEGALENA SHORES - UPPER ARROW LAKE310 acre farm 4 km to Highway 3 with no  $1,190,000 Lake Provincial Park is an environmental      $3,150,0002rare opportunity! NOW $739,000       south of Francois Lake. This property fronts water license. A 2,850 ft2 home, guest cabin, 3,200 ft2 shop. 3,000 ft² barn with shop space,  $799,000 3,600 ft2 elegant log home with 3 large guest cabins crowning a hill in the Tatlayoko  Now $999,999lakefront retreat in a prime location with income potential. $719,000 $329,900What an amazing opportunity for your     living … a beautiful 2,400 ft2 lakefront home 2  $999,000SAM HODSON 604-809-2616 Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comRICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605BC LANDPRO GROUPKEVIN KITTMER 250-951-8631kevin@landquest.comCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 Personal Real Estate CorporationWESTERN LAND GROUPFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comMATT CAMERON 250-200-1199matt@landquest.comMATT CAMERON 250-200-1199matt@landquest.comA UNIQUE PROPERTY ON A SKI HILL IN THE SOUTH OKANAGAN, BCFISHIN’ HUNTIN’ AND LOVIN’ EVERY DAYNECHAKO LODGE - KNEWSTUBB LAKE, BCproperty ownership of any other Okanagan ski is a blank slate! $219,000     launch. $795,000ROB GREENE 604-830-2020rob@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100Personal Real Estate Corporationjohn@landquest.comon paper and just check a box, but it's another thing to be in a partnership.” NRT prioritizes collaborative partnerships to enhance community projects and resources. “The funding provided by NRT is not regarded as a mere handout but rather a supportive hand-up, assisting BC First Nations in applying for various funding streams to bolster their vibrant food sovereignty and security initiatives,” says NRT director of programs Lisa Paull. In the Lower Mainland, Tsawwassen First Nation partnered with Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Earthwise Society to promote agricultural production and education on the landscape, but the First Nation only grows food for the community on 1.5 acres, which also provides food for the youth and elders programs and daycare centre. Inherent rights “We're in the process of revitalizing our agriculture but it kind of goes hand-in-hand with revitalizing culture and agriculture at the same time because we're reclaiming our inherent right over the farming lands,” says Steven Stark, a member of the BC Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food and Tsawwassen First Nation. “Communities like Tsawwassen are having to hire full-time farmers to participate and to keep the farms growing.” Stark says NRT funding will help build capacity and grow the knowledge of traditional foods and harvesting within the Tsawwassen community. He’s happy to see it rolled out after two and half years of discussions within the advisory council. “Our voices are being heard,” he says. Tsawwassen First Nation is working on developing a brand akin to Grow BC, called Grow Indigenous, and Stark would like to see his community support other First Nations in their food security endeavours. “We just need to concentrate on taking care of British Columbians first and share opportunities and land,” he says. In the future, Stark envisions TFN hosting other First Nations to help members grow food for their own nations. Increase participation The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program aims to increase Indigenous participation in the agriculture and food sector, empower a broader definition of food security initiatives to be inclusive of traditional Indigenous food systems and growing Indigenous supply chain participation. “Speaking on a holistic level, we believe the Indigenous food security initiative holds great significance for communities across the province as it empowers Indigenous peoples to reclaim their food systems, strengthen cultural connections and promote self-determination in shaping their own sustainable and nourishing food future,” Paull says. “It’s important they exercise their right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the meaningful development and stewardship of their interconnected lands, water and food systems.” The province’s Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program helped the Okanagan Indian Band purchase a tractor, which has made a “huge impact” on the First Nation’s food security initiative, says program coordinator Nikki Lorentz. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 19Wildre smoke in mid-August made a challenging season that much more uncertain for Okanagan growers, who anticipate replanting nearly a third of their vineyards following a severe cold event last December. MYRNA STARK LEADERAmmonia Calculator saves Nitrogen! Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingEconomical Reliable Low Maintenance Safe and Proven Order now for guaranteed next season delivery.Tine Weeders Row Crop CultivatorsRotary Hoes Camera GuidanceSystemsOrder now forguaranteed next season delivery.DELTA Drain Tile CleanersImproves Drainage & Conditions SoilEmail us today at: info@reimersfarmservices.comTOM WALKER PENTICTON – The annual joint BC Grapegrowers Association and BC Wine Grape Council grower day August 3 was focused on the future under the theme of “replant and renewal.” “It’s good to see so many of you here,” said BCGA president John Bayley. “We all need to be part of the conversation going forward.” While the BC wine grape industry saw a larger harvest in 2022 after three years of declines, growers and winemakers are looking at substantial losses for the 2023 harvest and subsequent years. “This is the worst vintage I have ever seen in my 30 years’ experience,” says Andrew Moon, head viticulturist for Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in Oliver. An extreme cold event in December 2022 produced three kinds of damage. Grape buds that would have produced the 2023 crop were frozen, leading to estimates that this year’s harvest could be down by more than 50%. Approximately 45% of the province’s 11,000 acres suffered long-term damage that will take several years to recover before returning to full production. But worst of all, nearly 30% of vines will need to be removed and replaced. Some blocks of tender varieties like Malbec, Tempranillo and Carmenere were completely killed. Other vines that have been compromised by disease in the past may have looked okay early in the season but don’t look so hot now. “Now that the grapes have gone through veraison, we are seeing later-season die off,” explains Moon. Grower day presentations focused on recovery, highlighting government assistance available under the Perennial Crop Replant Program (PCRP) launched earlier this year as well as through AgriStability and the possibility of AgriRecovery funding. There were panel discussions on sourcing and purchasing vines for replanting, sustainability considerations for new plantings and a forthcoming report on industry opportunities Cascadia Partners is developing that's a prerequisite for replant funding. While the recently introduced PCRP is the first time replant funds have been available for grapes since the early 1990s, demand has been strong and applications have been put on hold to ensure the $15 million isn’t exhausted in its first year. To date, $8 million has been awarded. BC agriculture minister Pam Alexis spoke to growers and says funds for removal Grape growers strategize for recoveryGenerational shift in the offing as growers prepare to replant a third of vineyardsRemoval funding u

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20 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411Uncompromising Excellence is Your Standard - and We Deliver. Avenue Machinery, Your Reliable Source for AGCO Genuine Parts.projects have been put on hold pending further evaluation while replant applications will not be accepted until later this year. Removal funding does not guarantee replant funding, according to Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, which is administering the program. Alexis also said funding will be made available to each commodity based on their farmgate value. For grapes, that means they’ll receive just 16.4% of the available funding. In addition, maximum acreage per farm has dropped from 20 to just 15. Production Insurance and AgriStability can help grapegrowers manage financial risks. Risk programs complementary Geoff McIntyre, agriculture lead for the Okanagan with accounting firm MNP LLP, told growers the programs complement each other. “AgriStability is broader than Production Insurance, so it makes sense to enroll in both,” McIntyre says. “It’s pretty straight-forward for grapegrowers as primary producers, but if you are a winery that does not grow most of your own grapes, you will need to talk to your accountant.” A significant number of BC wineries purchase grapes for wine, McIntyre says. “Wineries weren’t interested in AgriStability in the past and there are many issues that need clarification from government such as what percentage of grapes you are allowed to purchase, and the ongoing impact of this harvest as white wines will be released in 2024, yet it may be several years for reds,” he says. “And at what price will they cover wine?” While industry reps are lobbying for an AgriRecovery program, the province has yet to request one from Ottawa but McIntyre is optimistic. “It is quite likely we will see an announcement,” he says, noting that a program for Ontario growers was announced earlier this year for damage in the winter of 2021-22. The first panel discussion of the day focused on sourcing clean material to plant vineyards. “We have yet to learn what will be permitted under the PCRP,” says Bayley. “But we know the importance of getting virus-free material.” Grapevine leafroll virus and grapevine red blotch virus are the two most significant pathogens BC wine grapes face. Both enter vineyards on contaminated vines, and both are incurable. Red blotch has no known vectors to spread the disease to other plants, but leafroll has several insect vectors in the Okanagan. “You want your new vineyard to stay healthy for 30 or 40 years,” says Sudarsana Poojari, a scientist from Brock University. “To do that you must be planting certified virus-free vines, and both the rootstock and the scion must be from clean plant material.” A number of nurseries in Canada and the US are able to offer certified virus-free material for both diseases. Red blotch is not present in France or Germany, the only other countries CFIA has approved for supplying grapevines. But this also means French and German nurseries may not routinely test for red blotch. The important thing is to work closely with your nursery, and know their certification standards, panellists explained. “This is a big investment,” says Ross Wise, director of winemaking for Andrew Peller Ltd. and a board member of the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network. “You have to know what their certification means, how often they are testing and what they are testing for.” Bringing material across the border doesn’t have to be daunting, says Devin Methven, senior viticulturist with Andrew Peller Ltd. “Talk with others in the industry, your neighbours and learn from their experiences.” While starting over will be a daunting task for any grower, a panel on vineyard sustainability offered some tips. “You do get a chance to get a number of things right,” suggests SWBC program manager and The Hatch winemaker Ruth King. Variety selection, row orientation and spacing, irrigation and trellis systems can all be reworked and virus-affected material can be replaced with clean vines. AAFC Summerland scientist Tom Forge advocated for soil testing across a variety of locations in a block, given the Okanagan’s wide variation in soil types. “Do the initial investigation before you plant. It’s much better than trying to catch up later,” he says. “We dug 23 pits in a block in Naramata and almost all of them were different.” The industry opportunity assessment by Cascadia Partners analyzes the industry’s future market potential. Crossroads “We believe that the grape wine industry in BC could be at a crossroads,” says Jonathan Snoek, managing partner with Cascadia. “Similar to the response to NAFTA that took place in the early 1990s that saw the industry switch from hybrid grapes that produced bulk wine to the viniferas that we grow today and the adoption of the VQA program, we see an opportunity. How industry and government respond will set up how the industry looks like in the 2050s.” Cascadia believes that there will be a continually growing market for BC wines, both nationally and in the form of exports. “In most scenarios we investigate, BC will not be able to meet the demand for wine and should increase production,” says Snoek. “The overall market for BC wine could increase by as much as 28.8 million litres by 2027-2030, which could require an additional 1,200 acres to be planted.” u Removal funding does not guarantee replant funding

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 21Helpingyou growyour Business.‘Next gen’ hops for today’s brewersResearch aims to support the sector’s growth to 1,000 acresthat these hops are worthwhile growing.” This is where recent funding of $250,000 aims to accelerate variety development by giving Schuetz and his team new tools to identify desireable traits among the most promising varieties in local fields. The funding, through the Genomic Innovation for Regenerative Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (GIRAFF) program, a collaboration between Genome BC and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with support from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, will “develop genomic tools to build a selection system that will screen thousands of hops seedlings for genetic markers and determine which are linked to positive traits.” Those traits include disease and drought resistance as well as sensory attributes. “We are a traditional hop breeding program, but we are using these techniques to really try and identify the value-added varieties quickly, and the next step is to find the genetics that govern these traits,” Schuetz says. “It would really revolutionize our hop breeding program.” To date, the program has been running samples through a mass spectrometer as well as a GC Olfactory detection port, a combination that can analyze the components as well as give a read on how they might be perceived. “Sensory perception matters, not just total amount,” Schuetz says, noting there are 120 possible components in a hop contributing to – or detracting – from its appeal. “Mass spec tells you what it is, but it doesn’t tell you how it smells.” One particularly attractive component is 2-methylbutyl isobutyrate, responsible for guava and tropical fruit qualities. It’s a prominent in 20MA02-13, a Magnum cross with good potential for acid and total oils. “Overall, a really nice hop. I can’t wait to brew with that one next year,” Schuetz says. It’s among the most promising varieties of 88 crosses the program made in 2021. “Our population is super-diverse, and we’re taking some different ways and different strategies to try and narrow it down so we can move faster,” Schuetz says. “We have too many promising varieties. We need to narrow it down to five, or something more manageable.” In the meantime, the hop growers KPU works with are looking forward to another harvest. While heat waves from May onward led to uneven flower sets, complicating the timing of harvest, and irrigation was essential thanks to dry weather that has delivered a Level 5 drought to the Fraser Valley, overall quality looks good. “We are predicting slightly above average for yield and quality on most varieties,” says Ray Bredenhof of Bredenhof Hop Farms in Abbotsford. PETER MITHAM SURREY – This year’s hot, dry summer has been a boon for hop growers, who have enjoyed near-perfect growing conditions. But with few locally adapted hop varieties, researchers at KPU aim to breed hops that will take the good times with the bad and deliver the oils and aromatics brewers value year in and year out. “A lot of existing varieties are not adapted to grow here, they were field-trialled in much different areas,” says Mathias Schuetz, an associate professor and hops program lead at KPU’s Applied Genomics Centre in Surrey. When the heat dome of 2021 hit, just one variety reached its full stature – Lupulus neomexicanus, the westernmost of the three species native to North America. “They were the only ones that made it to the top of the wire,” Schuetz told the annual growers short course at the Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford earlier this year. But in the 1940s, the Fraser Valley had more than 2,000 acres of hops and was the largest supplier in the British Commonwealth. Today, Canada as a whole imports 2,500 tonnes of hops a year for its brewers, with locally grown hops making up just a fraction of the market. Schuetz sees the potential for locally adapted hops to reclaim some of Canada’s market share. While the province has approximately 100 acres in production, Schuetz says reliable, local hops could boost that to 1,000 acres by 2030. “We have available land, and more important, we have the water, which other regions are struggling with,” he says. But new varieties won’t work if they don’t appeal to brewers or the consumers who ultimately consume the beer they flavour. “The reason we’re making these hops is not necessarily for the growers who will grow the hops; they will happily grow it if they can sell it,” Schuetz says. “Ultimately, it’s the brewers that we need to convince SAVE THE DATE:Farm Fest - November 16, 2023A day 昀lled with educational sessions, farm tours and networking with like-minded young farmers like yourself! Tickets on sale mid-September. Visit for tickets and full event details.Young farmers between the ages of 19 - 40 can apply for funding to attend various skill development events, conferences, and training opportunities through the 2023 Skill Development Program. Upcoming events include:Calling all B.C. young farmers!Skill development funding is available.• Agricultural Land Reserve webinar • Speak Up! webinar• Small Business BC webinars• COGA webinars, and more!Visit for a full list of events and to apply.

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22 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSafely dispose of unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides and livestock/equine medications –no charge! Take them to the following locations on the dates noted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.Farmers! Got unwanted pesticides or livestock/equine medications?British ColumbiaSCAN ME• Next Cleanfarms collection in these areas in 2026.• To view collection site maps or for collection dates elsewhere: @cleanfarmsCUMBERLANDMon., October 2Comox Valley Waste Management3699 Bevan Rd.250-336-8083DUNCANTues., October 3Bings Creek Recycling Centre3900 Drinkwater Rd.250-746-2540VICTORIAWed., October 4Hartland Landfill Victoria1 Hartland Ave.250-360-3410ABBOTSFORDThurs., October 12Terralink464 Riverside Rd.604-864-9044Fri., October 13Evergro, Division of Nutrien Solutions1454 Riverside Rd.,Unit B604-850-9500DELTATues., October 10Evergro, Division of Nutrien Solutions7430 Hopcott Rd.604-940-0290LANGLEYWed., October 11Professional Ag Distribution Inc. #1, 6285 – 205 St.604-768-5602PartnerVancouver Island Fraser ValleyCleanfarms 2023 Unwanted Pesticides & Old Livestock/Equine Medications CollectionVancouver Island – October 2 to 4 Fraser Valley – October 10 to 132023-CF-BC COUNTRY LIFE_10.25x14.65.indd 1 2023-07-13 3:24 PM

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 23Carbon has found a home on the range, with grasslands securely storing the element underground, where it's protected from wildre and other dangers. TOM WALKERTOM WALKER PRINCE GEORGE – Grasslands may be better at sequestering carbon than Douglas fir forests, according to a Prince George researcher, and that’s good news for ranchers. “Things are looking to be great for grassland carbon storage,” says Lila DeLury, a Master’s student at Victoria’s Royal Roads University and a rangeland practices specialist with the BC Ministry of Forests based in Prince George. DeLury discussed her research with members and friends of the Grasslands Conservation Council as part of the council’s annual general meeting in Williams Lake, June 9-10. While trees are top of mind when it comes to storing carbon, grasslands are also important. But each stores carbon differently, with trees being the show-offs. “Trees store carbon above ground in their biomass, something people can easily relate to, while grasslands store carbon in their root systems,” explains DeLury. “That underground grasslands storage is sometimes harder for people to connect with.” DeLury’s work aims for a better understanding of grassland carbon storage. “We don’t have a lot of data on grassland carbon storage, so what I wanted to do was to provide another piece to that story that people could build on,” she explains. “The more data that is available, the better decisions can be made about what we do on the landbase.” DeLury conducted a tour of a research site on the Cotton Ranch, situated east of Williams Lake across the Fraser River and part of the Douglas Lake Cattle Co. The site was at approximately 800 metres elevation in an area where grasslands and Douglas fir interface. “I was interested in studying mid- to upper-elevation grasslands that had evidence of some Douglas fir encroachment, something that is often due to fire suppression,” says DeLury. Samples were taken from three different locations with a 25 km radius. “I took three samples of both grasslands and forest at each site. The first was of the ground litter, the second between 0-15cm and the third from 15-30cm,” DeLury says. “I collected bulk soil samples to measure soil carbon in the lab, and did filter fractionation to determine the amounts and type of soil organic matter.” High carbon content At each of the three sites, the grassland soil samples had a higher percentage of carbon than the forested sites. “The results show us that there is a higher amount of mineral-associated carbon stored in the grasslands,” DeLury says. This has important long-term implications, she adds. “Other studies that have been done point to this type of carbon being our long-term carbon sink storing sequestered carbon from our atmosphere and withstanding climate change,” she explains. DeLury believes that her findings will further conversations on carbon storage. “To me, it is not a case of one over the other, but looking at it from a whole ecosystem perspective. This is another piece of the picture and I think this is the best of both worlds,” she says. Wildfires are an important part of the conversation Grasslands take carbon storage undergroundResearch aims for a better appreciation of grasslandsFOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.794.3701organicfeeds@gmail.comwww.canadianorganicfeeds.comCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.Wildfires uTRACTOR TIME VICTORIA 250.474.3301 4377C Metchosin Rd. 30 mins from Victoria and 15 mins from Hwy#1 in Metchosin.HANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD 604.850.3601 339 Sumas WayHOUSTON 250.845.3333 2990 Highway CrescentMORE Built-in WeightMahindra6075Financing programs are subject to change at any time..

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24 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu WildfiresEARLY ORDER PROGRAMNOW OPEN FOR SPRING 2024HUGE FACTORY DISCOUNTS -ORDER BEFORE OCTOBER 27TH!Self-Propelled Harvesters| PRINCE GEORGE | KAMLOOPS | KELOWNA| CHILLIWACK | LANGLEY | NANAIMO WWW.PCE.CA | 1-877-553-3373Triple-Mounted MoCo’sSP WindrowersLarge Square Balersaround carbon storage right now, says DeLury. “We have so much carbon locked up in a forest, but when a wildfire comes through it is all released in one season and it takes so long for it to rejuvenate,” she notes. “But with grasslands, unless the fire is extremely hot, the roots remain alive and continue to put carbon into the soil and there is new growth the next year to regenerate the roots.” Further implications DeLury says that an understanding of grasslands soil carbon is important for future decision making. “We are starting to implement the way we do management on the land because of soil carbon, so it is really good to understand what it looks like and what is there before we go ahead and make changes to alter the carbon in the soil,” she explains. “We should have a greater understanding, if we can, of what is there. These are all those pieces that will build into that conversation so that we can be making the decisions that make sense for the specific soils that we are working on.” Crop flops amid potato perfectionWell, I suppose I could talk about crop ops, although I prefer it to be an internal conversation. My three contenders for the crop-op championships are really looking terrible and there’s no use averting my eyes from one, because I’ll just notice the other two. It’s irritating and top of mind. Late edit: it took so long to get this article written that my outlook changed and updates became necessary. The peas are nally drying up, having yielded nowhere near the lofty expectations I had set for them. Much to blame, and too little space. Primarily at fault, the y infestation that involved making a house with the blossoms and sucking them dry. Those that escaped that fate produced mangled, startlingly fat pods of underdeveloped peas. Late edit: they produced a little boom crop in the cooler weather; there are now enough in the freezer to add to mashed potatoes this winter thanks entirely to mom who kept the faith long after I had despaired. The carrots are a tragic scene, too. With them it’s been a germination problem. I would say that roughly three-quarters failed. Same with the replant, perhaps even less. We use pelleted seed in the seeder, and it seems like that coating failed to dissolve. I am still nding little pelleted seeds in the ground. It’s not an irrigation problem. Late edit: The quarter-crop is looking fabulous and thank goodness we over-planted by so much. The parsnips are also a failed-emergence quarter-crop, and reseeding just compounded the problem. They are not going to get to size before November. I should have left them alone. Late edit: I have not identied any redeeming qualities by press time. Parsnips are the crop-op champions. Anyways. Another reason I am talking about crop ops is that the potatoes are looking marvellous and denitely not oppy. However, being somewhat superstitious, nervous and of northern Anglo-European descent, it behooves me to focus on negatives when in fact faced with success. I really don’t think I have ever seen a nicer looking crop of potatoes on our farm, and we are above all a potato farm. There’s basically been no weeds. I mean honestly. No weeds? There are a few. They are quite stunted, however, and doing nothing to break the unending horizon of potato plants. For the record, it was a matter of good timing. We got it right ve years ago, the last time there were potatoes in this eld. The cover crop went down early, took well straight away and we were somehow able to mow it frequently enough over the ensuing four years to deter seed-setting weeds. During seed bed prep this spring, there were well-timed weed-germinating intervals between cultivations, resulting in further weed suppression. Finally, the hilling was done at just precisely the perfect time, completely obliterating the major weed bloom, and allowing the potatoes themselves to break ground without any competition. It was a thing of beauty. We are now making serious inroads into the eld with the harvester and getting a good look at the potatoes. They are lovely looking, and the yield is almost there but I just know they are about to get ugly (see how I add a timely dash of negativity, aware that the positivity was becoming unseemly). I am painfully aware that perfect-looking potatoes can, in a few short weeks, become over-sized, dull, pock-marked, worm-ridden and hollow-hearted. It’s a fact. Every year we try to dig them at the perfect moment – big enough, but not too ugly. Late edit: Sadly, we are busy fang about with mixed vegetables, agritourism and a looming CanadaGAP audit. Potato perfection may have to wait another year. Anna Helmer farms in the Pemberton Valley and is about to be faced with an agritourism monster of her own making. Farm Story ANNA HELMER

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 25Gary Diers and Inanna Judd have developed a thriving farm business in the thin mountain soils of the Kootenays. SUBMITTEDVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeFAST MOWING, FAST DRYDOWNStandard drawbar or 2-point Gyrodine® swivel hitch for tight turnsAllows wide spreading to over 90%of cut width for accelerated drydownRubber roller, steel roller or finger conditioning - adjustable for any cropLubed-for-life Optidisc® cutterbar and Fast-Fit® bladesFC TC CENTER-PIVOT Mower Conditioners10’2” - 14’4” working widthsTRACEY FREDRICKSON ARGENTA – Tucked away in a large virgin forest at the north end of Kootenay Lake, Tipiland Organic Produce has its roots in the back-to-the land movement of the 1970s. The area has changed very little since hippies, draft dodgers and others settled there, and connections to community and the land remain strong. Among the approximately 120 residents who live in the area today are Inanna Judd and partner Gary Diers who owned a tree planting business in northern BC in the early 70s. After several years, the couple found that the clearcut plantation system in our primary forests no longer jibed with their environmental values and they turned their sights towards farming. In 1978, they moved onto one of 12 homesites held in common by the Kootenay Co-operative Land Settlement Society in Argenta, the oldest rural land co-operative in BC, established in 1972. Although the couple started with the intention of growing enough food for themselves, they became friends with their neighbor Sarah Ross, then in her mid-20s, who had started a market garden in the co-op called Tipiland. The name recalls a tipi set up on the land when the co-op was rst established and used as a tool shed. “A neighbour referred to the garden as Tipiland and somehow it just stuck,” Diers explains. Ross was a founding member of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society (KOGS). When Tipiland was certied organic, it received certication number 001. The farm’s evolution and the organic movement also aligned with the opening of Kootenay Co-op in Nelson, now one of the largest natural foods retail co-operatives in Canada. When the Nelson co-op committed to selling only organic produce in 1990 – a radical decision for a food retailer at the time – it took on Tipiland as a supplier. Judd worked with Ross on the garden for a short while before she and Diers took over the operation in 1998. “A farm on a land co-op, selling to a food co-op: what a great t!” says Diers. “After Off-the-grid organic farm thrives on efficiencyTipiland was the Kootenays' first organic farmnearly three decades supplying produce to Kootenay Co-op, we haven’t missed a single delivery,” Tipiland is located on a eld within the land co-op that is separate from the homesites. The main garden has hoop houses, and Judd and Diers have a pasture and greenhouses on their own homestead with a total of 2.5 acres devoted to organic production. They grow more than 25 types of organic fruit and vegetables as well as organic owers which are Judd’s domain. They raise ducks and geese for their own egg supply while the ducks provide the added benet of eating insects. The geese mow the orchard. “Rather than expand our land base, we focus on quality and constantly look for ways to become more ecient,” says Judd. “Our goal is to supply the healthiest organic produce to people in our region by caring for the soil and using labour-intensive methods with a low carbon footprint.” And yet the location is hardly typical farmland. “We have thin mountain soil that needs a lot of Organic farm u

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26 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Organic farm hires up to seven part-time employees in seasonGood business is repeat business, for all of us.Get your used oil to us and we’ll get new oil back to you. Recycling is fast, safe and crucial for the environment.Get started at interchangerecycling.combuilding up,” Judd says. “Every year we add compost – endless loads of manure, rock powders (pulverized rocks which add trace minerals and nutrients to the soil) and some organic sh fertilizer. We also use green intercropping whenever we can.” Judd, 68, and Diers, 69, do most of the work themselves and typically hire up to seven part-time employees each year, all locals. Ross has been their main employee from March to November and is their only eld hand while the other workers help with harvesting and processing for deliveries. In addition to the Kootenay Co-op, Tipiland supplies Kootenay Bakery Co-operative Café, Save-On Foods and Ellison’s Market in Nelson as well as two small grocers in Kaslo. With limited cell reception in the area, the couple relies on a landline and email to stay in touch with customers. They use almost no electricity or heavy equipment, employing a Grillo brand diesel rototiller from Italy. “Some folks call it a walking tractor,” says Diers. “It’s inexpensive, ecient and durable, and minimizes our impact on the environment.” Irrigation consists of a gravity-fed system and sprinklers provided through the land co-op. The farm has no refrigeration, so as produce is picked, it is hydrocooled (immersed in very cold water after harvesting to stop the ripening process) and delivered to stores soon afterwards. Judd and Diers have explored various sales channels in their quest for eciency. “There was no social media to market ourselves when we started out,” says Judd. “The terms ‘local’ and ‘organic’ weren’t a thing and hardly anyone knew what kale was. Now garlic and kale are among our best-selling crops.” They have sold at farmer’s markets and festivals but found the time spent loading up, unpacking and reloading what was left over combined with travel time created more of a carbon footprint than they wanted. They also operated a CSA program, but the local population wasn’t large enough to support it. For them, working with wholesalers who provide regular orders has been the best approach. “We have a modest income,” says Judd. “You have to be ecient to make it work, and not having a huge mortgage or expensive equipment really helps.” This year has been pivotal for the couple as they rearranged their schedule to make deliveries every second week instead of weekly to have time for other things they enjoy. For Judd, that includes cycling 50 km every morning through the hills of North Kootenay Lake on her mountain bike, and hiking with Gary locally and abroad. They have made seven winter hiking trips to Nepal. When Diers is not farming, he volunteers with environmental groups, the result, he says of “being born into a family of social justice activists.” He participated in a campaign by the Valhalla Wilderness Society dedicating to protecting old growth forests and is also a spokesperson for Mt. Willet Wilderness Forever which campaigns to protect the Argenta-Johnston’s Landing face and have it included in the in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park. “This area includes watersheds that are vital to farmers, and is also home to mountain caribou, grizzlies, wolverine and old growth forest,” he points out. Judd laughs when she recalls the challenges the couple has experienced over the years, from severe hailstorms to the Columbia Mountain squirrel that devoured thousands of pounds of romaine lettuce, and the growing number of bears that consume their carrots in the fall. But their greatest challenge has been adapting to climate change and the impact of extreme uctuations in temperature. “We could retire completely, but that’s not what we want to do,” Judd adds. “We farm because it is such a great feeling to provide beautiful food.” Inanna Judd cradles one of the domestic geese that mow the orchard. SUBMITTED

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 27XY Ranch – and the Boufoux family that operates it – was honoured with a Century Farm award this summer. SUBMITTED BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 Farm & Rural ResidentialProperties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, CRA P www.aspengrovepropertyservices.caKATE AYERS FORT ST. JOHN – The Bououx family of Fort St. John recently received recognition for its 100-plus years of farming in BC with a Century Farm Award. The ranch’s story starts in 1913, when George Bououx travelled through Fort St. John while making the trek from his home in Wisconsin to the Klondike gold elds. Throughout his travels, George envisioned starting a farm in the BC Peace and three years later bought 160 acres for $10 and began raising cattle. “The rst years were really rough because with no money around he had to trap to get a bit of money in the wintertime to clear a little bit more land,” says George’s son and second-generation rancher Bill Bououx. “On one trap line, he fell into a beaver dam and froze the toes on one foot. There was nobody around, so he had to take an axe and chop his toes o. That was how hard he struggled.” Following a few years of trapping and borrowing, George acquired nearly 2,250 additional acres in Fort St. John. George married Elaine Cooper in 1939 and the couple raised four children: Bill, Betty Anne, Joyce and John. Bill was interested in farming, so attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology for a farm mechanics diploma and UBC for an agriculture diploma. Bill and his wife Fayette purchased the operation in 1965. “I got some forms from [Farm Credit Canada] to buy the farm but I was just too scared to borrow that much money, so I threw the forms out,” Bououx says. “We used to have burn barrels in the wintertime, and the next spring, I went over to them and here are those forms from Farm Credit right on top and they weren’t weathered too bad. So, I lled them out and got approved and that's when we bought the farm.” But the couple still had more hurdles to overcome once they acquired the family ranch. “When I took over the farm, we had Farm Credit mortgage payments, and there just wasn't quite enough to go around. So, I used to milk cows and my wife would sell cream and butter and eggs to kind of help pay for the groceries,” Bououx says. At the same time, the Bououxs raised purebred horned Hereford cattle and did so for about 27 years. Then in 1989, the couple decided to go in a dierent direction. “My wife got stuck out on the dam. An old cow was out there calving, and she had to stay out on the ice for a few hours. She came back in the house at around 5 o’clock in the morning, fairly cheesed o,” Bououx says. “So, we decided to get out of the cows and into bison, which are 10 times easier to raise. An unbelievable dierence.” Around this time, Bououx expanded the ranch by another 1,310 acres. At its peak, XY Ranch had around 230 head of bison and the family had won multiple awards for the herd’s quality, including Best in BC at the AgAware BC competition, and about 100 trophies and over 20 grand and reserve champion ribbons from the Canadian Bison Agribition Show and Wildrose Bison Show. When not ranching or showing, Bououx was heavily involved in organizing XY Ranch celebrates 100 years in PeaceCentury Farm Award honours a commitment to raising livestockLeading bison breeder u

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28 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Leading bison breeder   !  "#$$ % &'  ( ) *+,-  . /012314526437777local producer associations and improving bison welfare practices. He helped bring together the Peace Country Bison Association, BC Southern Bison Association and BC Interior Bison Association to create the province-wide BC Bison Association. Bououx also spent nearly two years developing a bison code of practice manual. “He's always been one of the leaders in the industry in BC as far as I can tell. He was early into the game and his bison are highly sought,” says BC Bison Association president Conrad Schiebel of Bououx’s herd. “His breeding program has been very successful, and his animals have the characteristics that people are looking for for breeding and also for meat production.” Bououx regularly brought together BC bison producers who often cover large geographical areas to disseminate important information and create community. “There are no secrets in the bison industry, and we try to help each other out as much as we can because we are a small niche commodity,” Schiebel says. Coming together gives producers a stronger voice and community to lean on. “Bill has certainly been instrumental in putting bison onto the plates of so many BC residents,” he adds. In 2020, XY Ranch held a large bison sale to downsize the herd and sold most of its cows. “They were some really old cows, like 20 to 25 years old. We kept 17 and ended up with 13 calves,” he said. “So, we were back in the business.” This year, the family is relieved to be running fewer numbers because of the sheer lack of feed. “The drought is really severe. Thank God we only have a small herd,” Bououx says. “We're about 20% to 25% of a normal hay crop. We barely got enough out of 500 acres to feed the herd this winter.” The family runs about 80 bison on 3,300 acres. Bououx’s daughters Cyndy and Sandy are involved with day-to-day ranching operations. Cyndy is ranch manager and Sandy is bookkeeper. Their partners Monty Donally and Cole Busche, respectively, help on the ranch whenever possible. Sandy’s son Trent and daughter-in-law Kirsten also oer helping hands on the ranch and brought the fth generation into the world with their young children Kohen and Brielle. “We have some land down by the river and that’s in trust for Kohen and Brielle,” Bououx says. Overall, the Century Farm award is a nod to George Bououx and the family’s continued commitment to ranching in the Peace Region, even during tough times. Over 65 people gathered at the ranch over the August long weekend where Peace River North MLA Dan Davies presented the family with the award. “It's a bigger award for my father and all his hard work and development,” Bououx says. YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESURg YougYouWSToo close for comfortThe massive Bush Creek East wildre that closed Hwy 1 between Sorrento and Chase August 18 also prompted an evacuation order for Turtle Valley Bison Ranch. CONRAD SCHIEBEL

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 29Ranchers get the backstory on public perceptionIndustry team spins good PR for Canada’s beef sectoremail: audreycifca@gmail.com395 Kinchant Street, 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.Have you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops or Webinarsare Free!Looking to learn moreabout how to raisehealthy beef cattle?Open to producers of allsizes!free to all beef producersin bc!Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry 1.877.688.2333TOM WALKER VERNON – Ranchers might be concerned about how the public sees their industry, but a producer-funded team at the Canadian Cattle Association has their back. Amy Peck, manager of the Canadian Cattle Association’s public and stakeholder engagement program, gave an overview of her team’s work on behalf of the industry at the BC Cattlemen’s Association annual convention in Vernon in May. “My team focuses on public perception of beef and the beef industry,” Peck says. “We work to build public trust in the way cattle are raised in Canada.” Peck’s team, funded by the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-O, was behind the award-winning Guardians of the Grasslands movie. This spring, it released the Alberta edition of the new Guardians of the Grasslands game, with the BC edition set to launch this fall. Peck’s team also conducts on-going research into public perceptions and issues, as well as conducting advocacy work for the industry. “Our research gives us a feel of how Canadians think about agriculture and beef production, and we can use that information in our future work,” she explains. Peck says Canadians have a very positive impression of the cattle industry overall. Her team sees a lot of public trust from Canadians in ranchers’ ability to produce quality food and to have a positive economic impact, particularly in rural Canada. “There is lots of trust in the people and the product,” she says. “But somewhat less trust in how we produce it, whether that is using innovation, being good stewards, limiting our carbon footprint and treating animals well. And that is because they don’t understand what happens on farms and ranches.” But there is a lot of anity for beef among Canadian consumers, with 80% to 90% considering beef a good source of protein. “They love the taste and think that it is a safe, high quality and healthy food,” Peck says. The program also considers other research, such as the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s annual report on public trust and perception of the food system. The top ve issues CCFI identied in its latest survey were the cost of food, ination, the cost of energy, keeping healthy food aordable and the Canadian economy, Peck says. “We are seeing that environmental concerns are not in the top 10,” she says. “If you are concerned about being able to aord to feed your family, the environment becomes less important.” Peck also shared research from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. AAFC has found the dierences in how consumers view Canadian farmers isn’t based on a particular practice, as few are able to reference one. “The dierence is not a statistic; it’s not something they have read along the way, it is how they feel about farmers,” she says. “So the average Canadian is not saying we want you to do more cover cropping or rotational grazing or no till. They simply don’t know enough about them.” Millennials, Peck says, are more sceptical. They’re less positive about ranchers’ environmental impact and their humane treatment of animals than the rest of the population. They are also more likely to eat plant-based meat alternatives than beef. Millennial focus u@countrylifeinbcFollow Us for farm newsFfnbcwsThis year's Beef Zone at the PNE in Vancouver was a hit as volunteers including, left to right, Erika Fossen and her daughters Adele, Reine and Jade of Bar 7 Ranch in Rock Creek shared their love of beef and ranching with fairgoers. Highlights of this year's display included the roping station and the newly released Guardians of the Grasslands video game. BC CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

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30 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Millennial focus“Part of that is that millennials are further removed from food production than the older generation,” she says. “So we focus on 35-year-old moms who are making the majority of food purchasing decisions. That’s who Guardians of the Grasslands was created for. That is why it is so emotional. It’s to reach these people.” Part of the advocacy work Peck undertakes is an on-going presence in national media. “We write letters to the editor and then invite local producers to author them so that they come from a primary producer, but we save time,” she explains. They also compose op-eds such as a recent one they credited to Ann Wasko about how reducing beef consumption would actually be worse for achieving Canada’s climate goals. “That was all about the loss of native grasslands,” Peck says. Submitting op-eds costs nothing, Peck points out. “And this particular one ran in six dierent publications, with a reach of close to six million views,” she says. Peck’s team targets TV as well, often picking an event such as Canada’s Agriculture Day in February and pitching TV producers to interview local farmers. “We had Melissa Atchison from the Manitoba Beef Producers talking about wildlife habitat on Manitoba ranches on CTV News Winnipeg,” she says. Social media is also included. “We organized an inuencers’ tour last summer inviting them to come out and meet a local ranching family and hear their story,” explains Peck. One of them was celebrity chef Antonio Park of Park Restaurant in Montreal who avows a love of beef but had never been on a cattle ranch. “We took him to Brylee Farm who were the 2021 Quebec Cattle Producers Environmental Stewardship award winners. They have formed a lifelong friendship and Park is able to share the rancher’s story,” says Peck. The ultimate aim of the public and stakeholder engagement team is to build public trust and maintain the industry’s social licence. “The good thing is that Canadians, and millennials in particular, are very interested in learning more about beef, and that is an opportunity for us,” she says. Producers should focus on the positive when they engage the public, says the Canadian Cattle Association’s engagement guru. “You should not focus so much on the idea that the public is pressuring us to change, and instead be thinking about the vast amount of trust that exists,” says Amy Peck, manager of the Canadian Cattle Association’s public and stakeholder engagement program. Peck addressed ranchers at the BC Cattlemen’s Association annual convention in Vernon on May 25-27, and said the public’s trust of ranchers was critical. “Pretty much any key message we have about raising beef improves trust,” she says. “We need your stories; we need your authenticity. I know it doesn’t feel that way when we see things on the news or social media, but that is not the average Canadian.” She says increases in knowledge lead to more positive impressions of the industry. “Millennials in particular are interested in nding out more and they want to hear it from farmers and ranchers,” she says. But it has to be in plain language, not industry jargon. “I recall a conversation where a rancher was speaking about a ‘cow-calf operation’ and the listener mistook it as a Caesarian,” she recalls. Social media is amazing and horrible at the same time, Peck says, but It is a useful vehicle. Producers who want to leverage it to communicate with the public should aim to integrate three elements into their posts. “Make it personal and visual and conversational,” says Peck. “You have expert knowledge about what you do.” A casual conversation will do more good than a lecture, she adds. “If you take anything away from this presentation, remember, this is about conversation, not education,” she says. Ranchers’ stories, experiences and analogies are what will have an impact. “You can start with, ‘I’d love to tell you what I do on my farm,’” she says. Peck adds that part of a conversation is listening and looking for shared values. “You could say things like, ‘I want healthy food for my kids, too’ and ‘Caring for the environment is a key part of our fourth-generation ranch,’” she suggests. “Be kind rst, be right later, and give facts only when you are asked.” There were a few warnings of what not to do. “Do not engage with animal rights activists or vegans,” Peck says. “There are no shared values when their aim is to eliminate animal agriculture.” She also warns producers to consider the photos and videos they post. “Using a quad to catch an escaped animal? That could be taken out of context,” she says. “And do not respond when you are upset; give it time.” She also advises social media users to watch what they read because the algorithms are geared to deliver more of the same. “Don’t click on negative posts from others,” she warns. “The platform will think you like it and go on to show you more of the same.” —Tom Walker Build on the public’s trust, not its criticismIt's AlmostHere!Fall AuctionOctober 19thConsign &RegisterTo Bid!

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 31Say cheese! Brad and Dena Leier of Graham Acres in Terrace see small-scale cheesemaking as supporting food security in northern BC and have plans to expand their offerings. 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onTL360BF8000The TL360 high speed individual wrapper, is designed to wrap on the move. The TL360 allows operators to pick up and carry another bale while one is still in the chamber. The BF8000 SL is equipped with a loading arm and has a bale capacity of 2,500 lbs. The Bale Feeder can carry two bales, one on the table and one on the loading arm maximizing each trip to the field.Visit us online for complete listing of features and options.KATE AYERS TERRACE – A decline in the number of goat dairies in BC over the last decade isn’t discouraging producers, who say diversied small-scale creameries contribute to local food security and sustainable production. Indeed, two couples from nearly opposite sides of the province recently received licences to process goat milk and become the 55th and 56th provincially licenced dairy plants in BC. Dena and Brad Leier of Terrace’s Graham Acres Homestead and Creamery got the green light at the end of June, while Amanda and Ewan Forrest of Forrest Farm Sheep and Goat Cheese Creamery in Salmo received their licence the following month – the rst and only licensed sheep milk processor in the province. This year, seven licensed goat dairies are active in the province, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food says, down from 18 in 2015, which was the province’s highest count over the last 10 years, according to Statistics Canada. For the Leiers, what started as a passion project about three years ago has blossomed into a full-blown business venture. “I started making cheese in my kitchen,” says Dena Leier says, who liked what she was tasting so much that she wanted to share it with others and contacted the BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC). “Three years and a month to the day later, we were licensed,” she says. Dena and her husband bought their nine-acre farm in August 2018 and the next month were gifted pet goats. This kickstarted the couple’s love for the animals. The following spring, they bought a couple of pregnant does and one ended up losing her kid. “So I'm looking at this mom who's full of milk. I'd never milked a goat, never milked an animal,” says Leier, who nevertheless devised a small milking stanchion and found the goat cooperative. “She just stood there and let me fumble around, guring it out. We got into a rhythm and then all of a sudden, we're swimming in milk and we're like, what are we going to do with all this milk?” And so began Dena’s adventure as a rst-generation goat farmer and creamery plant owner. “When I started looking into it and doing the research, I'm like, there's no one producing milk or cheese on this side of Salmon Arm,” says Leier, a registered dietician by trade. “Food security and sovereignty are really important to me. I've got two small children. I love cooking, I love making food. And so, it kind of [checked] all my boxes.” Once the creamery seed was planted, Leier began to navigate the several steps required to launch a dairy processing plant in BC. Small scale, big challenge The Forrests found themselves in a similar situation. The couple bought their eight-acre farm in 2014 and started with two goats, two sheep and two pigs and then gradually grew the farm. It took them ve years to attain a small-scale dairy processing licence. “It's not set up for people with 12 goats and 20 sheep,” says Amanda Forrest, commenting on the current size of her ock. “So, it was a lot of navigating.” For example, most of the infrastructure required for large-scale dairies is not Small-scale goat, sheep dairies approvedNewly licensed micro-dairies are passionate about cheesemaking Hurdles abound uUSED EQUIPMENT KUBOTA K76249H 76” SKIDSTEER SNOWBLOWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 KUBOTA AP-SC2572, 72” SKID CUTTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 KUB DMC8032T, 2022, MOWER-COND, AS NEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36,000 KUB RTV-X1100C, 2021, V-BLADE, SANDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45,000 JD XUV560E 4S GATOR 2019, 4 SEATER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,500 NH 1033 BALE WAGON, 105 BALES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,500 NH 1036 BALE WAGON, 70 BALES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 SHAVER #10 POST DRIVER, SKIDSTEER MOUNT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,500 USED TRACTORS KUBOTA T2380 2017, 48” DECK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,500 TORO 328D 48” MOWERS, 2,900 HRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,500 KUB F2880 2006, 1,411HRS, 60” REAR DISCHARGE . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,500 JD 4200 2001, TLB, 1,570 HRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22,500 KUB M5-111HDCC24, 2021, TRACW/ M32 LDR, 35HRS . . . . . . 115,000 KUB GF1800-4W, 2010, 1,100HRS, NEW 60” MOWER DECK . . . . . 16,900 NEW INVENTORY KUBOTA RAKES, TEDDERS, MOWERS, POWER HARROWS - CALL! 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32 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Hurdles abound for small-scale milk | 1.800.265.7863 |C.J Brookes Chilliwack (604) 846-2100Dares Country FeedsLangley (604) 856-1611Smithers Feed Store Smithers (250) 847-9810Spruce Capital Feeds LTDPrince George (250) 564-6010Agri-Supply LTDKamloops (250) 372-7446Barriere Country Feeds Inc. Barriere (250) 672-5256Beavervalley FeedsWilliams Lake (250) 392-6282Country West SupplyArmstrong (250) 546-9174Chilliwack (604) 847-3737Find Grober products at the following DairyCrop B.C. area dealers:Top Shelf FeedsCourtenay (250) 897-3302 Duncan (250) 746-5101 Powell River (604) 485-2244Victoria (250) 478-8012Contact the DairyCrop teamGerry DeGroot (604) 819-4139James Robinson 236.986.7693Evan Davidson (604) 991-6708FUEL YOUR ANIMALS,RIGHT FROM THE START™A natural solution for optimized young animal health, the addition of DOSTO® Oregano Reduced scours and other treatment needsIncreased average daily gain Improved gut health and digestion aordable or feasible for smaller operations, so small-scale processors must develop their own work-arounds to meet BC CDC requirements. And each farm needs a plethora of licences. “You have to become a licensed dairy. So, you have to meet the ministry of agriculture standards. You have to then become a dairy plant worker, so take two courses through BCIT,” Leier says. “Do you have a bulk milk tank? So, I became a bulk milk tank grader. All these things require time, energy, studying, and then meeting those standards set out by the milk industry. And so there's an act that you have to follow for public safety.” At Forrest Farm, they also needed to take courses through BCIT and acquire a bulk tank transfer licence to move the milk from the milking parlour to the processing equipment in the basement of their home. A licence was needed to run the farmstand at their home in Salmo. This multi-year licencing process gave Leier and Forrest plenty of time to work on and rene their cheese recipes. “With my degree in food science, we had to learn about food quality and how to produce food,” Leier says. “I took a course by David Asher on cheesemaking and just the more you work with it, the more you kind of get comfortable with it and the more you have a sense of how the milk is going to respond and how it's going to create the curd and it's just a learning experience day in and day out.” For now, Leier sells three avours of soft chevre goat milk cheese. “We do a plain, a black true, and then a seasonal, really showcasing what's in season,” she says. Forrest started making cheese in her Victoria apartment kitchen before they moved to Salmo. When they got animals, she began making soap from surplus milk and gradually learned the ways of artisan cheesemaking. “It was a really great way for me to sort of get out into the community and introduce ourselves and our farm,” Forrest says. Now, she makes a variety of cheeses, including Rosebud, which is a sheep’s milk cheese, as well as chevre and Dark Woods out of goat’s milk. Halfway is a cheese is made from both sheep and goat milk. “We chose these cheeses because we wanted to do something that you can't really get at the store,” Forrest says. “We want to be able to get enough people interested in what we're doing that our farmstand is a draw, and that people will come and they will buy the cheese and then they can sort of see that you can be a small farm and it is sustainable.” Indeed, the sheep and goats make use of the small pastures and create compost for the market vegetable garden; the sheep’s wool is made into yarn; and the pigs consume the leftover whey from the cheesemaking. At Forrest Farm, the kids and lambs are raised for meat, which is available for sale at the farmstand, too. “So, everything all sort of goes together and works well together,” Forrest says. In addition to self-guided cheesemaking lessons, Forrest and Leier relied on mentors. A tour of the facilities at Salt Spring Island Cheese was inspirational for Leier. Mentorship “When we rst bought the farm or maybe even before that, I had said to my husband, you know, it'd be really cool to become the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company of the north, and so sort of that's been our driving force,” Leier says. “I got to go into their plants and ask them questions, and they were great mentors.” The family-owned and operated Salt Spring Island Cheese sold its rst cheese in 1996 after founder David Wood spent six years developing recipes. The family started with sheep’s milk but eventually transitioned to making goat milk cheeses from farms in the Fraser Valley. Today, the plant can process 70,000 litres a day and the family are happy to share their experiences with up-and-coming cheesemakers. “Luckily in BC, within the artisan space, the small-scale [businesses] like us, we don't really see ourselves, frankly, as in competition with other small cheesemakers. It's really more cooperation than anything,” says Salt Spring Island Cheese general manager and David Wood’s son Daniel Wood. “By no means is the market saturated when it comes to high-end cheese.” Wood says he competes more with regional businesses, like wineries, than other creameries. “It is a much more sort of collaborative cooperative process. So, we're always thrilled to talk to and work with other cheesemakers … and the more the merrier as far as we’re concerned,” Wood says. At Graham Acres, the Leiers want to teach about the seasonality of food. “We'll start seeing the milk production go down in about September, by a litre every other week type of deal, and then by November, I'll probably be only getting half of what I'm getting now, from all the goats. And then there's this drying o period, because, again, we don't want to work the goats to the point of exhaustion,” Leier says. “So, the goats will dry up in December and then we'll have no cheese through until May of the following year when the kids have come through and they've been with mom for a few weeks.” Looking ahead, she would like to add paneer and feta to the product line up. “So that will be for the next two to three years just new recipes, new cheeses, keeping it fresh, keeping it local,” she says. “And then, you know, we might look at some cows. Who knows?”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 33Don (far right) and Deborah (far left) Wytinck of Coneygeers in Nanaimo took home the Supreme Flock Award at the All Canada Sheep Classic this summer. The award highlights decades of work to develop a top-tier ock. BC PUREBRED SHEEP BREEDERS ASSOCIATION1.604.363.8483FARMREALESTATE.COMEXCLUSIVE FARMREALESTATE.COMGorgeous water and mountain viewsLot close to lakeLOT ON MARCER ROADID#1102350 • JAFFRAY, BC194.2 ACRES194.2 ACRES403.308.1737HANKVANHIERDENLOT 66LOT 66$184,000$184,000FEATURED PROPERTIES403.849.8211CHRISVEENENDAAL403.308.1737HANKVANHIERDEN18.56 ACRES18.56 ACRES EXCLUSIVE FARMREALESTATE.COMMARKET GREENHOUSEID#1102272 • NANTON, AB2.09 ACRES2.09 ACRES91.78 ACRES91.78 ACRES$1,450,000$1,450,000MLS® FARMREALESTATE.COMRECREATIONAL INVESTMENTID#1102333 • VANDERHOOF, BC194.2 ACRES194.2 ACRES403.308.1737HANKVANHIERDEN1097 ACRES1097 ACRES$1,495,000$1,495,000New iceNew iceNew iceNew iceKATE AYERS NANAIMO – Between moving to Vancouver Island in 1980 and winning the Supreme Flock Award at the All Canada Sheep Classic this summer, Don and Deborah Wytinck have spent more than 40 years travelling across Canada and the US showing their North Country Cheviot ock. But this year’s trip to the national show and sale in Barriere was particularly rewarding. The couple not only met up with several long-time friends and colleagues, but they also received the Supreme Flock Award, an acknowledgement of the decades of work Don, now 84 and diagnosed with Parkinson’s, put into developing a top-tier ock at Coneygeers, their farm in Nanaimo. The Wytincks have shown their sheep at nearly 40 All Canada Classic events and taken home plenty of awards throughout the years, including a champion ram that went on to win supreme champion at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. “He’s a bit of peacock and likes showing sheep,” Deborah Wytinck, 74, says of Don. The couple even travelled to Los Angeles one year for the World Sheep Congress, but the Wytincks originally bought the farm out of the necessity to eat. “My husband found work in Nanaimo and then actually things went down again. He had been a builder with a construction company, and I was a qualied nurse,” Wytinck says of the decision to move to Vancouver Island in 1980. “The recession, which we had moved from in the Yukon, followed us here and with that, we set out with the goal of buying a piece of property which could feed us.” As an operating room nurse, Wytinck needed to live within 20 minutes of the hospital. “When I got a full-time job, I had one two-week paycheque and I was laid o. I think I was the rst nurse in BC to be laid o,” she laughs. “We actually are a perfect example of how you subsist and subsistence farm.” Don had enough farming background for the two of them as he’d grown up on a 2,000-acre grain farm in Manitoba. He was a full-time farmer at the age of 14, as his father passed away when he was a young child. Deborah grew up in rural England and wanted to farm but her father, who was a master butcher in Northamptonshire, told her it wasn’t possible because, she recalls him saying, “we don’t own any land and we’re not likely to.” Deborah emigrated at the age of 24 and was surprised at how rare sheep were in Canada. “The basic need of food and having travelled across this country as an immigrant, I was horried that Canadians eat beef and pork and chicken and nothing else,” Wytinck says. “And there was all this land that wasn't grazed, I saw as I travelled from coast to coast on the Greyhound bus. Why wouldn't they have sheep?” Fortunately, the property in Nanaimo had “some lovely old fruit trees” that were planted during the war. Cows and horses wouldn’t t in the pasture with these small trees, so the couple bought their rst sheep in 1981. “There used to be a livestock auction every week … near Duncan, and [Don] bought these cull ewes that were obviously from a pedigree ock, and that's how we got into North Country Cheviots,” Wytinck says. At that time, the Inter Island Sheep Breeders Association, which was only recently reinstated, hosted an annual ram sale and monthly speaker program to help producers improve their ocks. The Wytincks continued to grow their ock and registered as a purebred farm around 1982. At one time they had over 100 ewes and were substantial breeders. While their herd has since shrunk to four breeding ewes and a single ram, Wytinck encourages producers to attend the sheep classic as it oers an immersive learning experience. “They will see all the dierent breeds of sheep … all under one roof, but also dierent breeders. And if they're looking at going into sheep, or they're looking for stock to improve their ock, they [can] go into the pens, feel the animals, speak with the producer and see what's going on in the judging ring, which is absolutely ideal,” she says. Wytincks honoured at national showFour decades of success recognized with top awardAt the three-day event in Barriere, 47 consignors of 14 breeds presented their sheep to judges Andy Pittman and Greg Rosenke who provided the show placements for 172 animals. The Supreme Champion Ewe was an Ile de France (Wrangler 240K) consigned by Sheep Wrangler Farms from Barrhead, Alta. The Supreme Champion Ram was a Dorset (G&L Brien 1K) consigned by G&L Brien from Ridgetown, Ontario. In the eece competition, 40 eeces were judged by Carole Berube. Laurie Morris of Disdero Ranch in Barriere took the Best in Show award. She also received top marks in the white long wool and colour long wool categories. Other BC sheep producers who placed in the top three include Lynne Anderson of Tappen, Jean and Mary Anderson from Billabong Farm in Lower Nicola, Margaret Sampson from Semiahmoo Suolks in Surrey and Rebecca Kneen from Left Field Farm in Sorrento. “I’m new to eece competitions and so, for me, the Canadian classic was a learning curve,” Morris says. Her ock consists of Corriedale, Romney, and CVM/Romeldale sheep. They are all dual-purpose breeds and Morris has worked over the last 10 years to improve her ock’s eece. She breeds and processes eece from her 100 ewes. While this year’s award is encouraging and validates her work, Morris would like to see more support and participation in BC’s bre sector. “The Canadian classic sheep competition was not well represented throughout BC and Canada. So, although my wins at the classic were encouraging in that I'm on the right track as far as raising dual-purpose sheep, I take it all with a grain of salt,” she says. “The wool industry and sheep farmers continue to struggle with little or no support and prices on supplies continue to go up, so it's a tough go.” —Kate Ayers Best in Show goes to BC producer

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34 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCNO COSTLY DPF@matsquiagrepairCall today to demo any of our McHale models today!www.matsquiagrepair.com34856 Harris Rd, Abbotsford BC V3G 1R7604-826-3281BUILT TO LAST THE NEW FUSION 4 PLUSMCHALE FUSION 4 - THE MOST ADVANCED INTEGRATED BALER WRAPPER RANGEThe McHale Fusion 4 Range has been developed with a focus on operator comfort and machine performance, while still ensuring the renowned simplicity and reliability is maintained.Some Fusion 4 Plus Standard Features Include: - 2.1 m Profi-Flo Heavy Duty Pick-Up,- 25 Knife Heavy Duty Rotor, - Drop Floor Unblocking System, - 18 Roller Bale Chamber,-11/4” Chain on the Bale Chamber,- Automatic Progressive Greasing System, - Film or Net Binding, - Automatic Oiling System,- ISOBUS Compatibility

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 35Amy and Scott Hay are the owners of Waikikahei Ranch, where they raise about 300 head of cattle, including Wagyu, Highland, Galloway and Angus. BRIAN LAWRENCE KAMLOOPS BCCIRCLE CREEK RANCH, HWY 5A,*BEEF-SHEEP-HORSE-PHOTOGRAPHY-POULTRY*WWW.PROVINCIALWINTERFAIR.COMVISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR SCHEDULE OF EVENTS -WWW.P ROVIN CIA LWI NTE RFA IR. COMVISI T O UR WE BS ITE F OR SC HE DUL E O F E VEN TS -WWW.PROVINCIALWINTERFAIR.COMVISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR SCHEDULE OF EVENTS -PROVINCIALWINTER FAIR4-H & OPEN SHOW AND SALE4-H & OPEN SHOW AND S ALE4-H & OPEN SHOW AND SALESEPTEMBER 202322-25,SEPTEMBER 202322-25,SEPTEMBER 202322-25,Come celebrate local agriculture withfun family events!Livestock ShowsLivestock Auction“Buy Local”SuperDogsEntertainmentVendorsKid Zone&ScavengerHuntGrapes & Grill Wineand Food PairingEvent“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 ashiq@meadowvalleymeats.comBRIAN LAWRENCE GREENWOOD – While working as a chief engineer on luxury yachts, Scott Hay dreamed of starting a grass-fed cattle ranch. Several years of hard work later, he and his wife Amy made that dream come true with over 300 head of cattle on Waikikahei Ranch near Greenwood, including Highland, Galloway, Angus and the revered Wagyu. “It’s the same concept as in yachting: You have high-range brand and middle-range brand,” says the New Zealand-born Scott. “People who have the need to buy high-end beef will always buy high-end beef.” The couple met in Monaco where Amy, from Scotland, was installing a communications system on a yacht. After working for a couple of years in China, they moved to Vancouver in 2009 before starting a family. “It’s halfway between Scotland and New Zealand, so neither grandparents can complain,” Scott says. They are often asked about the ranch’s Maori name, meaning “tranquility over running water.” It’s highly fitting, not only because of a few creeks on their property, but because the farm allows a less hectic lifestyle than their previous careers. The farm is now their sole income, and they no longer juggle their careers, cattle and three children, as they did at their original six-acre farm in Aldergrove. They’ve found significant success in focusing on regenerative agriculture in raising beef since moving to Greenwood in 2018, increasing sales from two head a month in early 2019 to 20 a month this year. In January, they started Sell Beef Direct with Amy – a former vegetarian – offering coaching and how-to guides for current and potential beef farmers worldwide. “It’s as much a product of passion as anything else,” Sustainable practices attract a followingQuality over quantity keeps demand high for ranch in GreenwoodScott says. “In the end, it’s about raising a smaller number of high-quality animals rather than mass production. In many ways, we have to stop trying to maximize what we get per square inch, and maximize what we get per property.” Their real estate agent’s response was lacklustre when they mentioned an MLS listing for what would become Waikikahei, so they dropped the idea – until a cross-BC trip in 2017 Demand outstrips supply uDon’t forget to RENEW yourSubscription.

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With the help of a new real estate agent, they bought the home and 150 acres as well as two neigbouring parcels for a total of 499 acres. Not wanting to move their cattle from the Lower Mainland to Greenwood in the winter, they ended up holding two mortgages. That situation landed them in the headlines in 2021 when Farm Credit Canada wanted to foreclose on one of the properties, not accepting six months of deposit-secured bookings for eight to 10 head per month as booked sales. Scott and Amy put up a fight, and FCC eventually worked with them to a mutually agreeable solution. To start their herd, they chose to buy 11 Wagyu embryos which they implanted in dairy cows, although only four took. “We learned they don’t do well in dairy cows,” says Amy. Those four – two females, a bull and a steer – are now part of a mixed-breed herd numbering over 300. Scott and Amy’s success caught up with them about a year ago, when in one 48-hour stint in August 2022, they sold 38 head – a demand so great that they were still trying to catch up this spring. That’s when they turned to other meat producers to help keep customers fed while they wait for their own order of beef. Customers can simply visit the Waikikahei website and order something extra. “Customers waiting two or three months for their beef can get a lamb, or get half a pig,” says Scott. “We’re trying to diversify without having to raise all these animals ourselves. We’re trying to bring more to our customers to make our customers happy.” It proved to be a popular idea. They’ve sold five or six pigs a month, with 80 lambs scheduled for the fall. They have other innovative plans in mind, as well. Their beef is currently butchered at Rangeland Meats, the processing division of Devick’s Ranch in Heffley Creek north of Kamloops, but they would like to reduce the thousands of kilometres of travel that requires. Their long-term goal is to process the meat at home by building a facility on their own property with a permanent farm market attached to it to offer meats, fruit and vegetables from other producers. Although their initial career paths ultimately went in far different directions, farming wasn’t a new concept. Amy grew up in a northern Scotland farming community where her mom was a teacher and her father an engineer who had moved there during the 1970s oil boom. Scott had a closer connection to farming, growing up helping his grandfather raise sheep and beef. “When I was at boarding school, I used to go help out on his property,” he says. “Even the boarding school I went to, we actually had a dairy farm and orchard as part of the school.” Scott and Amy’s approach to farming was influenced by the book For the Love of Soil by Nicole Masters. It helped them develop a plan for their fields and soil development. Their cattle enjoy a diet that includes a wide range of greenery, including barley, millet, vetch, brassicas and radishes. The plant growth not only encourages healthy soil, but also allows more frequent rotational grazing, three or four times a year. “We were blown away by the correlation between soil health and the end product, which is regenerative meat,” Amy says. “By including nutrient-dense soil, we have nutrient-dense meat.” “The cows are products of the soil,” says Scott. Another book, When Weeds Talk by Jay L. McCaman, explained that the growth of specific weeds indicates specific needs in the soil. “I admit I moved here with jugs of weed killer,” says Scott. “Unfortunately, more people are prepared to kill the weed than understand why that weed is there.” In addition to a weed killer-free diet, the cattle enjoy as low-stress a lifestyle as the Hays can offer. Callicrate Banders are used for castration and liquid nitrogen for branding. “The freeze branding is less painful to them,” says Scott. “It’s a nice white brand. I’m quite happy not to smell burning hair all day long.” He and Amy are pleased to see so many consumers appreciate the practices they follow at Waikikahei, but they’re also happy to see consumers supporting the local beef industry. “Even if you eat feedlot beef, eat beef,” Scott says. “We’re not here to say anybody’s doing anything wrong — this is just how we do it. We need to be more of an accepting industry and society as a whole and accept that people do things differently, rather than saying they’re doing it wrong.” “I admit I moved here with jugs of weed killer ... more people are prepared to kill the weed than understand why the weed is there.” SCOTT HAY

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 37BAUMALIGHT.COMAdair Sales & Marketing Company Inc. | 306-773-0996 | info@adairreps.comMFG OF MINI SKID STEERS AND A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDINGDRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SPADES | TREE SAWS & SHEARS | BOOM MOWERS | PTO POWER PACKSBRUSH MULCHERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS | PTO GENERATORS | AUGER DRIVES | FLAIL MOWERSTREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | TRENCHERS | STUMP GRINDERSRONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – This year’s dry conditions have meant lower risk of rot for Fraser Valley berry growers, but growing resistance to fungicides means botrytis remains a going concern. Often known as grey mould, botrytis is a signicant problem for berries and more than 200 other crops as well as myriad weeds. “It’s everywhere,” said Katie Goldenhar, plant pathologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Aairs in a talk at the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford earlier this year. “Berries have denitely grabbed my focus. What we’re trying to protect is that bloom. It can aect the bloom, then also express itself at fruit.” The Fraser Valley tends to be wetter than other areas, creating ideal conditions for botrytis. It means farmers want to know about fungicide options. While they’re not the rst step in control, it’s one to be aware of given the growing resistance botrytis has to specic groups of fungicides. “Fungicides work on these funguses in dierent ways,” Goldenhar explains. “Fungicide resistance can be passed down to ospring. Using fungicide does not cause mutations, it selects for mutations.” When fungicides are inadequate, allowing botrytis spores to slip through, the survivors give rise to hardier, more resistant versions of the fungus. Several groups The international, supplier-driven Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) has classied fungicides in several groups. Botrytis is 50% to 80% resistant against FRAC Group 9 (Switch, Luna Tranquility and Scala) products, and 70% resistance to Group 7 (Pristine). There is also cross-resistance in almost all others (Miravis Prime, Fontelis, Sercadis). Resistance to one product in a group means resistance to all. “There is a lot of resistance,” Goldenhar says. “It won’t help, even if you’ve never used it but have used that group before.” When trying a new spray, she recommends leaving one row unsprayed to determine the spray’s eectiveness. Since no one spray or group of sprays is any better than another, Goldenhar advises rotating among the groups to mitigate resistance in any one group. A mix of products from dierent FRAC groups that are both active on botrytis can also be benecial for control, as each group has a dierent mode of action. Fungicides are the last step in controlling an outbreak, however. The rst step is identifying botrytis (as opposed to another fungus) and developing controls based on how it manifests in a given location specic to the farm situation. “You need to understand what you’re trying to kill and what you’re trying to manage,” Goldenhar says. Ultimately, Goldenhar suggests growers focus on prevention through strong management practices. Diseased plants can be symptomless, making it possible for nursery stock to silently introduce the disease. Once the spores are activated, usually following a signicant moisture event at bloom, neighbouring plants can become infected. Before and after bloom, spores from infected tissue can spread to nearby crops, weeds outside the eld or decaying plants in the eld, where they’ll overwinter to await their opportunity the following season. Alternatively, the fungus can spread from infected, symptomless fruit during rain events prior to harvest. The moisture activates spores nestled in the calyx, or from decaying petals to the fruit. Not only does this destroy the fruit, it allows the further spread of spores. Sound management Sound management practices can help prevent and slow the spread of the disease. Goldenhar says that good phytosanitary practices and choosing botrytis-resistant cultivars are important steps. Planting where there is wind ow, to keep plants drier, can also help reduce disease pressure as can regular removal of dead plant material that can harbour the fungus. From there, control goes from prevention to intervention with biological and chemical controls. When sprays become necessary, she advises growers use lower-risk fungicides such as those from FRAC groups M and BM, limit the number of applications per season and to apply preventatively, following application rates through a properly calibrated sprayer for the berry type and the disease. Fungicide resistance of botrytis studied Grey mould shows up in everything, everywhere, when conditions are rightcountrylifeinbc.comThe agricultural news source in BC since 1915.

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38 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWE DIG DIRTUnlimited HourPowertrain Warranty0%FinancingCASHBack OffersRangeland Equipment Ltd Cranbrook B.C. 250-426-0600 Timberstar Tractor Vernon B.C. 250-545-5441 Harbour City Equipment Duncan B.C. 778-422-3376Matsqui Ag Repair Abbotsford B.C. 604-826-3281 Northern Acreage Supply Prince George B.C. 250-596-2273*Cannot be combined with any other offer. Rebates and/or financing based on the purchase of eligible equipment defined in promotional program. Additional fees including, but not limited to, taxes, freight, setup and delivery charges may apply. Customers must take delivery prior to the end of the program period. Some customers will not qualify. Some restrictions apply. Unlimited Hour Warranty available only on non-commercial use. Offer available on new equipment only. Pricing and rebates in Canadian dollars. Prior purchases are not eligible. Offer valid only at participating Dealers. Offer subject to change without notice. See your dealer for details. © 2022 DAEDONG CANADA, INC. KIOTI CANADA.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 39Farmers urge a coordinated drought responseCollaborative response part of regional watershed plan 100 Mile HouseNew Cal Rabbit FarmAbbotsfordBlackwood Building CentreAgassiz Building SupplyAldergroveOtter Co-OpArmstrongCountry West SupplyAshcroftAshcroft Building Centre Black CreekBlack Creek Farm and Feed SupplyCastlegarMitchell SupplyChilliwackCANEX Building SuppliesCountry West SupplyClintonClinton Building SupplyCranbrook / KootenaysTop CropCrestonGrowers Supply CourtenayTop Shelf FeedsDuncanTop Shelf FeedsGrand ForksBoundary Home Building CentreHoustonBulkley Valley Home CentreKamloops / MerrittPurity FeedKelownaGrowers SupplyKeremeosQC Ltd LangleyCountry LumberDawson Brill LumberLillooetLillooet BuildersLogan LakeFence ‘N More Supplies LtdMaple RidgeHaney Building CentreNanaimoCountry West SupplyOkanagan / OliverGrowers SupplyParksvilleFenceline ProductsPembertonAnimal BarnPentictonGrowers SupplyDan ZellerPitt MeadowsOtter Co-OpPowell RiverPowell River Building Supply Top Shelf FeedsPort AlberniBeaver Creek Home CentrePrincetonFletcher’s Building CentreQuadra IslandQuadra Island BuildersRock CreekFreeman’s Farm & Vet SupplySalt Spring IslandWindsor PlywoodSecheltGibsons Building CentreSmithersSmithers Feed StoreSorrentoSorrento Building CentreTelkwaBulkley Valley Home CentreVernon Growers SupplyWasa / East KootenaysWasa Hardware & Building CentreWilliams LakeBeaver Valley FeedWinlawSlocan Valley Home Hardware 250.295.7911 TF 1 877.797.7678 1821 Crowsnest Hwy. Princeton, BC V0X 1W0 PWPPrinceton Wood Preservers is proudly Celebrating 50 Yearsfence postspoles grapevine stakestree stakestrellisingdoweled post & rail fencingrewoodBill EveriThe Everitt-Marion family is also celebrating 30-years of owner-operation at the mill and treating plant. PWP’s focus continues to be PWP Premium brand high quality kiln dried, pressure-treated products that meet CSA standards for MOTI and MOF projects. Our team also launched a PWP Select economy grade line in 2022.From Vancouver Island to Quebec, the Yukon Territory to California, buy the name that lasts. Buy Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd.Preferred Supplier for British Columbia Ministries and Parks Canada.Black CreekAsk For Us By Name PWP Premium & PWP Select at the following trusted dealers.Tsolum watershed, where a sh protection order was issued August 18, with representatives from the province, First Nations, farmers institutes, forest industry and conservation groups, in line with its own CVRD’s watershed plan. “You are the level of government that’s closest to the farmers,” she says. “You have relationships with many of the others, and have the ability to bring people together, to bring organizations together.” YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESURg YougYouWSPETER MITHAM COURTENAY – Mid-Island Farmers Institute representatives urged the Comox Valley Regional District to pursue a coordinated response to the region’s water shortage as Vancouver Island experiences a Level 5 drought for the third year in a row. “We have a dugout at our farm and it’s virtually empty,” institute president and produce grower Diane Jackson of Fitzgerald Farms in Merville told CVRD directors on August 15. Jackson says she has been watering her crops just once a week since early July in order to conserve water. “We’re looking at having to truck water in for our cistern in the future, which will cost about $200 a week to water once a week in order to feed the valley,” says Jackson, who sells her produce locally through farmers markets and other channels. “We’re really hoping that we can get the CVRD along with some of the other people that are involved to come up with a good crisis management plan.” Jackson also typically irrigates pasture for her sheep, but low yields mean she ordered winter hay in early July knowing supplies would be short, a theme expanded on by institute director Arzeena Hamir of Amara Farms in Courtenay. Hamir says some livestock growers began feeding winter hay this summer because yields were so low. Produce growers have also been caught short by the lack of moisture. “Vegetable growers are now having to sacrice crops and pull them out because there’s no water left,” Hamir adds. “We are having to face, as farms, natural resource ocers coming to our properties and telling us that, potentially, we can no longer water.” Hamir says the Mid-Island Farmers Institute would like the CVRD to convene a roundtable focused on the The pear harvest was underway at Day’s Century Growers in Kelowna in spite of smoky skies that settled into the Okanagan Valley and Shuswap in mid-August. MYRNA STARK LEADERPear-y nice

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40 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWater finds its level for Gladdie, and Kenneth When we left o last time, Gladdie was telling Ashley about the rst time she caught Avery’s eye when he had caught her stark-naked coming out of the river and she “brained” him with a rock. Rural Redemption, Part 162, continues. Ashley was momentarily speechless when Gladdie said she had brained young Avery Harrison with a rock while she was knee-deep in the river wearing her birthday suit. “Brained him? You mean you hit him in the head with a rock?” “Right over his left eye. He never saw it coming. The sun was in his eyes.” “Did you hurt him.”? “Dropped him like a ton of bricks. Scared the wits out of the whole lot of us. He was out cold the whole time it took me to get dressed. He was just coming to when I got to him. There was a two-inch cut on his forehead and there was blood running down the side of his face. Astrid ruined her silk neckerchief trying to stop the blood. I was afraid I’d killed him until he started groaning and opened his other eye.” “What did he say?” “Nothing at all. He tried to stand up but he was so woozy we made him sit back down. After a few minutes he kind of got his bearings so we got him on his feet and helped him up the bank. Between Astrid’s neckerchief and a handful of Kleenex we managed to get the bleeding under control, and we walked him home.” “What did his family say?” “They wanted to know what happened, of course, and I wasn’t looking forward to telling them he saw me wading around naked so I threw a rock at his head. The rock was bad enough but me naked in broad daylight would have been an absolute scandal. Before any of us could say anything, Avery said he tripped going down the bank and hit his head on a rock and we came to his rescue. His mother thanked us very much and we were on our way.” “And that was the end of it?” “More like the beginning, I would say. I saw him outside the store a few days later and said I was sorry. He said he gured it was him that owed me an apology and I shouldn’t worry because he couldn’t remember exactly what happened and as far as he was concerned he fell down and hit his head. And he never told another soul. That was more than 80 years ago, and you are the rst person who wasn’t there who has heard the real story.” “How did it happen, you started seeing each other?” “No time at all. He walked me home and asked me out to the movie the same day. A week later, Avery was the rst boy who kissed me.” “How long was it before you got married?” “Oh, that was years later. Avery joined the Army in the spring, and he went away to the war for nearly ve years. But that’s a story for another day.” vvv Kenneth Henderson pulled into the driveway of the old Corbett place. He was resigned to the fact it was always going to be the old Corbett place. Corbett may have been gone for more than 50 years but he was alive and well in the local vernacular. Kenneth was certain that Corbett himself wouldn’t want anything to do with the place if he could see how much it had cost to x everything. All of the repairs and renovations had gone much smoother once Kenneth had resigned himself to quit trying to manage anything and just pay the bills. He had come to take Delta out for lunch. The Jiy electric truck was in the driveway. Al from Jiy Electric was coming out of the house. “What are you doing here?” asked Kenneth. “The new thermostats nally got here. I just came by to put them in.” “You’re all done? No problems?” “I wouldn’t say that,” said Al, “The thermostats are all good but there’s trouble with the water.” “What kind of trouble?” “There isn’t any.” “Is there a problem with the pump?” “I don’t think so. I checked it out and it seems to be running ne.” “Is there a leak anywhere?” “Not that I know of, but it would be kind of hard to tell.” Kenneth rubbed the back of his neck, then took a deep breath and reset the narrative. “Let me put it this way, Al: Why do you think there is no water?” “Well, plumbing’s not my calling but I’d bet money it’s because the well’s run dry.” “How do you know it’s run dry?” “Your missus asked me to look, and I did, and the intake is high and dry.” “Sayles, the real estate agent who sold me this place, said the well was ne.” “Maybe you should give him a call then. He likely knows a lot more about it than I do.” Kenneth shook his head slowly. “What next?” he asked. “You might think of giving old Charlie Kramer a call.” “Is Charlie a plumber?” “Nope. He’s a retired mechanic.” “And what would be the point of calling a retired mechanic?” “Because after Charlie retired from mechanicing, he took up dowsing.” “Dowsing? What on earth is dowsing?” It hadn’t occurred to Al there might be folks around who didn’t know what dowsing was. “A dowser’s a fella who can nd water for you with a forked stick.” Kenneth looked at Al sceptically. More hayseed malarky, he thought. “A bent stick is it? Why not three pencils and a rubber band?” “Can’t say I’ve ever heard of that,” said Al. “Though there are folks who swear by two bent wires.” “Okay, then, Al. Thanks for the advice. I’ll be sure to give Charlie a call and I’ll mention you told me about him, shall I,” said Kenneth sarcastically. “Suit yourself,” said Al. “I’ll send you the bill for the thermostats.” Al drove away and Delta came onto the front porch. “Did Al tell you about the water? she asked. “Oh, he certainly did, and he told me all about a retired mechanic who can nd water with a forked stick. Now there’s something I’d love to see.” “Charlie Kramer?” asked Delta. “That’s him.” “Well then, you’re in luck,” said Delta. “I just called him and he’s going to come by at 2.” ... to be continued Woodshed Chronicles BOB COLLINSThousands of BC farmers and ranchers turn to Country Life in BC every month to nd out what (and who!) is making news in BC agriculture and how it may affect their farms and agri-businesses! CREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV __________ o NEW o RENEWAL | o ONE YEAR ($18.90) oT WO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Your Name ______________________________________________________________________________ Farm Name _____________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________ Postal Code __________________________________ Phone _____________________ Email ______________________________________________________ MAIL TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 subscriptions@ send a _______ year gift subscription to _______________________________________________ Farm Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _______________ Phone _________________________ Email ________________________________________________

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 41Titanium SponsorSilver SponsorGold SponsorChampion SponsorPlatinum SponsorTHANK YOU!4-H BC SPONSORSMYRNA STARK LEADER SUMMERLAND – A solid plan, hard work and branding that speaks directly to their location has enabled two former Alberta growers to achieve their business goals. Seven years ago, Janet and Brett Annable were in their early 50s and searching for inspiring work they could run as a family business after careers spent growing alfalfa, oilseeds and grain in Alberta. Brett wanted to focus on intensive, small-scale agriculture, bucking the trend of ever-larger Prairie farms and creating a business that could be passed on. The Annables found the answer in a 10-acre apple orchard in Summerland, which they purchased in 2016. Brett says it might have been fate, because the property was originally purchased exactly a century earlier by another Alberta family. Initially, the Annables continued growing the orchard’s Gala and Ambrosia apples while determining their best business option. They shipped their crop to BC Tree Fruits and CFP before realizing the low returns didn’t make business sense. A nancial analyst, Janet examined a few alternative scenarios, including making cider from some of the existing apples. “I wanted to see what our blend would actually produce,” she says. “It was good. Then we knew we could just add cider apples to the mix.” Given their resources and location on Bottleneck Drive, an established beverage tour route, they built a business plan for a cidery, christened Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. “It was the one that could make a living for the family, rather than just cover our taxes,” says Janet. To date, about two acres have been grafted over to cider varieties like Dabinette, Kingston Black, Stoke Red, and Medaille d’Or. All told, the couple grow 20 apple varieties. They’ve also increased the proportion of Summerland-bred Salish on the property nding that it produces great cider, as do the crab apples planted by the previous owner to encourage pollination. “Sometimes you catch a break,” says Brett, who enjoys the challenge of creating a cider orchard. The couple’s remaining Ambrosia are sold for juice. The couple have gone from 100 boxes to 800 in four years, sold from their tasting room and farmers markets in Summerland and Penticton. With help from their sons Nelson, 26, and Nolan, 24, their rst cider as well as a tasting room was completed in spring 2020. Public health rules designating agriculture an essential service turned what could have been a disaster into a boon as guests, limited by border closures to local travel, began arriving that summer. That, together with strong local support and referrals by other area businesses, helped the couple meet the targets laid out in their three-year start-up plan. In 2022, their cider earned Best in Class Silver in the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition, the world’s largest cider-judging event held that year in Michigan. This year, the cidery was named New Business of the Year by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Food and Beverage Production Business of Year in the Thompson Okanagan Business Excellence Awards. Both awards came through external nominations. “Those awards have given us a lever reputation-wise because then industry people are talking about you,” Brett explains. Nelson was an important element in the family’s success. “Although we overlap, I’m the main orchardist,” says Brett. “Janet is the main cidermaker and Nelson's the main schmoozer. He’s the face of our brand and our millionaire social convener.” New to Summerland and building on local lore, they selected Millionaires’ Row because their orchard was across the street from property owned by Sir Herbert Holt, a president of the Royal Bank of Canada who had interests in some 300 companies, mostly electric utilities but also Holt Renfrew and Paramount Pictures. “We're really able to have a great tasting room experience because there's a historical story and it has meaning for our visitors,” says Janet. “It’s a great story to go with our modest place,” adds Brett. “We converted an old farm building into the production facility and tasting room. We’re no Mission Hill Winery, that's for darn sure.” With four cideries in the area, competition could have been sti, but it’s not. “I believe we actually benet each other,” says Brett. “We get people in the tasting room that would like to taste a wider variety of ciders than we oer. We send them o to the other cideries in the area. We know the other cideries do that for us, too." Brett says it’s inspiring to be able to write the next chapter on their land, rst with cider but also a carbonated juice that taps into the low and no-alcohol trend. More recently, they’ve entered the grocery channel. Their cider is now in Save-On Foods and Loblaw stores in the Okanagan, Lower Mainland and Victoria licensed to sell alcohol. All this has led to another business decision. “We know that we're growing. We have the apples to do that. And it's going to grow. But I’m very conservative so we probably will grow at a slower rate. And I think we're all more comfortable with that,” says Janet. With inspiration and perspiration, Brett says they’ve achieved their vision, but have advice for others. “Don’t go into business with a lottery-ticket mentality just hoping it works out,” says Brett “Find whatever resources are available and if you are not a planner, go nd somebody that is and get at least a reasonable trajectory before you start.” Cidery harvests opportunity from old orchardCouple diversifies sales channels as business growsJanet, Brett and Nelson Annable have turned their 10-acre orchard into a money-making cidery. Millionaires' Row Cider Co. has received several awards for their product and their business. MYRNA STARK LEADER

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42 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAlthough ocially, autumn doesn’t begin until Sept. 22, it always seems like September is the beginning of fall with its cooler weather and shorter days. It also seems more like a new year than the new year does, somehow. I think it’s because educational institutions all begin anew in September. Because of that, and the end of summer holidays for many people, all sorts of classes start up this month. Our cooking habits tend to change along with these new interests, or a resumption of ‘more-normal’ activities, after the summer of vacations and summery pursuits. So, what better time to New flavours for fallA tagine makes this Moroccan chicken dish extra special. JUDIE STEEVESMOROCCAN CHICKEN IN A TAGINEMIDDLE EASTERN BULGUR PILAFIf you haven’t a tagine, this could be made in a casserole dish or deep frypan with a good lid, but reduce the cooking time to an hour or so, and don’t expect to experience quite the same mellow avours. 2 lb. (1 kg) chicken thighs 1 tbsp. (15 ml) Ras el Hanout spice 1 lemon 2 cloves garlic 1 large onion 2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh ginger • Skin and remove fat from chicken parts, then drizzle them with lemon juice and a spoonful of Ras el Hanout Moroccan spice mix. Let marinate overnight, or at least for a few hours, if possible. • When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325° F. • Chop the onion. Remove several chunks of lemon zest and mince very nely with one of the garlic cloves. Set aside. • Finely mince the other garlic clove and fresh ginger. • Mince fresh tomatoes and add honey to chicken broth. • Rinse and chop cilantro. • Drizzle a little oil into a frypan on medium heat and brown the chicken briey. Place the pieces into the bottom of the tagine. If you have a tagine which can be used on top of the stove, just set them aside while you soften the ginger and onions in the tagine. Add the other spoonful of Moroccan spice mix and stir in, then add the minced garlic clove and stir it all together. • Add tomatoes and stir in; then the chicken broth mixture. Top with the minced lemon zest and garlic. • Pour this over the chicken pieces in the tagine and cover with its distinctive hooded lid. • Put in the oven and roast for about an hour and a half, leaving the lid on to do its magic. • Top with the chopped fresh cilantro before serving. • Serves 4-6. RAS EL HANOUT SPICE MIXYou may omit the salt from this Moroccan spice blend, and add more or less, to your taste, when you’re cooking. It is excellent on grilled meats, seafood or vegetables, but it really shines when used in tagine cooking. 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cumin 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground ginger 1 tsp. (5 ml) turmeric 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground black pepper 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) paprika 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) ground coriander 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) cinnamon 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) allspice 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) ground cloves pinch of cardamom • Whisk together all these ingredients and store in a tightly closed glass container, like a spice jar. Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESThe season calls for the best in comfort food1 tbsp. (15 ml) Ras el Hanout spice 1 c. (250 ml) minced fresh tomatoes 1/2 - 1 c. (250 ml) chicken broth 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) honey 1-2 tbsp. (15-30 ml) fresh cilantro drizzle of oil This is a delicious accompaniment to Moroccan tagine dishes, such as the chicken recipe to the left. 1 onion 2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh ginger 1 garlic clove 2 young carrots 2 c. (500 ml) spinach or other greens drizzle of oil 1 tsp. (5 ml) turmeric 1 tsp. (5 ml) cumin salt & pepper, to taste 1 c. (250 ml) bulgur 1 c. (250 ml) chicken broth Lemon juice Fresh chopped parsley • Chop onion; mince ginger and garlic ; thinly slice young carrots and chop spinach or other greens such as kale or chard. • Drizzle a little oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and add onion and ginger. Add turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper, to taste. • Stir until softened and add garlic and carrots. Cook for a minute or two before adding greens and letting them wilt down. • Add bulgur and chicken broth, and bring to bubbling. Cover and turn the heat down to its lowest and leave it for 15 minutes or so, until the liquid is absorbed and the bulgur is tender. • Garnish with lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley. • Serves 4 or so. explore a new cultural cuisine? I received a tagine for Christmas, so I’ve spent half a year experimenting with it, coming up with new dishes and spice blends and learning about it. A tagine is a cooking vessel with a domed or conical-shaped lid which would traditionally be used to slowly cook a combination of foods, liquids and spices over a smouldering charcoal re, likely in North Africa or the Middle East. The top design is intended to return all condensation from the high lid, to the bottom, where the stew is waiting, and the food is cooked long and slow, on low heat. Meat remains moist and succulent. Dried fruits such as apricots or prunes are frequently added near the end of cooking, to contrast with the spices and provide complexity. Lemon is a frequent avour as well. Flatbreads, bulgur, couscous and vegetables are common side dishes. To begin with, it’s important to use the right spice mix. You can buy a Moroccan spice mix, or make your own.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SEPTEMBER 2023 | 43TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTREAL ESTATEFOR SALEFOR SALEHAYHAYEVENTSSERVICESSEEDBERRIESIRRIGATIONFor Tissue Culture Derived Plants of New Varieties of Haskaps, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoon Berries and Sour Cherries, Please Contact:DISEASE FREE PLANTING STOCK OF NEW BERRY CROPS 4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W NEW polyethylene tanks of all shapes & sizes for septic and water storage. Ideal for irrigation, hydroponics, washdown, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spray-ing. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics Feeders & Panels that maintain their value!ROUND BALE FEEDERS BIG SQUARE BALE FEEDERS FENCE PANELS CATTLE & HORSE FEEDERSHEAVY DUTY OIL FIELD PIPE CRADLE FEEDERS. Single big square or 2 round bales Outside measurement is 8 feet x 12 feet Silage bunk feeders For product pictures, check out Double Delichte Stables on Facebook Dan 250/308-9218 Coldstream DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? COURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE.RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Purebred North Country Cheviot yearling ewes and rams for sale. 250-722-1882. NanaimoLIVESTOCKLIVESTOCKIt’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-7733DeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCJD 1630 W/LDR 15,000 MF 165 DSL W/LDR, CANOPY 9,000 JD 5500 4WD, DSL, ROLL BAR & CANOPY W/LDR, 5,200 HRS 28,000 JD 6400 W/CAB & LDR 60,000 JD 1630 W/LDR 16,000 ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147CUSTOM BALING 3x4 BIG SQUARES SILAGE BALING/WRAPPING ED DEBOER 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/804-6147EDVENTURE HAY SALES ENDERBYAvailable now, 4- 1/4 mile Used VALLEY, ZIMMATIC, T.L. PIVOTS, 3- Used 1,000 ft, 1,250 ft Hose reels, 10,000 ft 12 in 8,000ft 10 in HDPE, Steel pipe in all sizes used. Dealer for Pierce Pivots, T.L Pivots, lease your new or used pivot, Hose reels, RM, Idrio, diesel pumps, centrifugal, sub-mersible, freq drives, pump stations, 30 years experience. Talk to Brock! 250 319 3044<dX`c1ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$8l^ljk@jjl\;\X[c`e\1Alcp).#)')' EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • FIRESTONE radial 8000, 460/85R38 (18.4/R38) 70% tread, $950 • LOEWEN BOX SCRAPER, 3 pt, with rubber, like new, $800 • JD CLAMP-ON DUALS 18.4-38, $2,500 TONY 604-850-4718Craig Elachie ShorthornsGrant & Barbara Smith | Balmoral Farms 250.835.0133 1802 Tappen-Notch Hill Rd Tappen BC V0E 2X3Manure Spreader, JOHN DEERE Model 40T, $3,500; Hay BALE SLED, bunches up approx. 40 bales, $1,500; HAY RAKE, 4 wheels, $1,200; HAY WAGON 16’6” with new deck, $1,500. Call Shawn (604) 615-3646PACIFIC JET OPTICAL SORTER Designed for use with blueberries or cranberries. Ready to place in a production line to reduce labour costs in sorting. Located on Vancouver Island. Asking $19,980. CALL 250-743-9464 or email svanhouwe@outlook.comCall us today for a free consult: 604-835-5155WE PAY CA$H FOR TREES!HAY FOR SALE Large quantities of 3x4 hay & 4x4 WRAPPED SILAGE BALES. Located in Salmon Arm. WE DELIVER. 250-804-6081FALL RYE SEED FOR SALE: Germination and cleaning certificate available. Produced from certified seed in Armstrong, BC. $650/MT or $16.58/ bushel. Call Alden at 204-979-7457 or email at a_braul@hotmail.comSUMMERS 700 ROCK PICKER Almost New Condition $9500 Call Loren @ 778-241-1665 or REGISTERED TEXEL LAMB RAMS March 2023 ram lambs for sale at the farm ALBERT & DENA FINLAY 250-546-6223  | nlayfarm.comTOP DORPER ram lambs, ready to go. Text or call 250-706-7077 or email: cunningham@bcinternet.netHAY/SILEAGE, dry, well-wrapped, good quality bales for horses/cows; also well wrapped haylage and silage, good tight bales, $120/bale, 604-825-9108OCTOBER DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 23EXTREMELY RARE ORCHARD LAND OPPORTUNITY in Grand Forks, BC Over 17 acres of southern slope, in the Sion Irrigation District. Breathtaking view property with 4 bedroom custom built home. Established orchard with lots of further development potential. MLS # 2472415 NORTH OKANAGAN PLOWING MATCH inquiries: Arthur, 250-346-3411YOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESkBOOK YOUR MARKETPLACE AD BY SEPTEMBER 23ADVERTISING THAT WORKS!Have you moved?604.328.3814subscriptions@countrylifeinbc.comOr has Canada Post changed your mailing address?We won’t know unless you tell us.

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44 | SEPTEMBER 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThe new Kubota L2502 and L4802 joined the L02 series to outperform their affordable price with power and versatility. Handle loads of applications from a spacious workstation with quiet operation and Kubota dependability.ALL-IN ON | PROUD PARTNER OFAVENUE MACHINERY CORP ABBOTSFORD • 604-864-2665 KELOWNA • 250-769-8700 VERNON • 250-545-3355 DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT DAWSON CREEK • 250-782-5281 KAMLOOPS • 250-851-2044 SURREY • 604-576-7506 GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD OLIVER • 250-498-2524 HUBER EQUIPMENT PRINCE GEORGE • 250-560-5431 SMITHERS • 250-847-3610 ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD COURTENAY • 250-334-0801 DUNCAN • 250-746-1755 KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD CRESTON • 250-428-2254