Special report by PETER MITHAM
SPALLUMCHEEN – It’s a warm autumn
afternoon, and Dale Jansen is between chores
on his farm in the Hullcar Valley near
Armstrong. A hawk soars overhead while
Jansen’s cattle await the afternoon milking
crew.
Despite critics who point to the farm – the
second largest in the area – as the source of
nitrates found in the water the Steele Springs
Water District supplies to about 160 people,
the farm isn’t a faceless corporate dairy.
“It’ll be my son, my daughter and then two
gals from down the road that are helping,”
Jansen says in the lunch room just down from
the 50-stall carousel milking parlour. “I fed the
cows this morning. Everyone thinks this is a big
corporation. This is the family farm. This is as
much a family farm as the majority of dairies
that are milking 120 cows.”
While the farm is a newcomer to the area,
arriving in 2006, the Jansens have been
dairying for three generations.
Brothers Andrew, Dale and Harold relocated
the farm from Matsqui when it couldn’t
acquire the land it needed to grow. Dairying
has become a volume business, and greater
production keeps farmers such as the Jansens
in the game as a tide of cheap imports keeps
prices down.
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Beef TRU program marks one-year anniversary 15
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Biosecurity Poultry producers encouraged to stay vigilant 27
Farm over troubled water
Province
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Past its prime, this horse-drawn hay mower is a treasured lawn ornament at a farm near Enderby. NAOMI MCGEACHY PHOTO
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by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – The BC
Agriculture Council is asking
the provincial government for
$15 million over the next
three years to help agriculture
producers and processors
adapt to changing consumer
demands. Although the
request is part of its election
strategy, BCAC executive
director Reg Ens hopes
government will cough up
before the May election is
called.
He says the money is
needed to harmonize
traceability, biosecurity and
environmental programs
across the sector and to
“engage society in a
meaningful way.”
The council has identied
maintaining and enhancing
public trust in farmers as a
The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 December 2016 | Vol 102 No.12
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o
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 20162
priority. That trust has been
declining steadily in recent
years and the council is
working on ways to rebuild it.
Ens calls the funding “an
opportunity for government to
invest some of its surplus in
agriculture,” claiming “too
many opportunities have been
stalled” because of a lack of co-
ordination among programs.
While $15 million is a large
ask, he notes that with almost
30 commodity organizations
under the BCAC umbrella, “the
money will go quickly.”
Speaking of going quickly,
Ens told Mainland Milk
Producers that this year’s Best
Management Practices
funding under the
Environmental Farm Plan is
long gone but another round
of funding will be available in
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Innovators challenged to make agriculture better
April 2017, the nal year in
BCAC’s contract to deliver the
EFP program. He therefore
urged producers to look at
and/or complete their EFPs
over the winter so they will be
ready to apply for the new
funding in the spring.
One area they should focus
on is nutrient management as
that is expected to be a
cornerstone of the new
agriculture waste
management regulation.
“We expect a new
regulation by Christmas,” Ens
told the MMP meeting on
November 2.
BC Dairy Association
nancial ocer Paul
Hargreaves, who has been
involved in BC Ministry of the
Environment consultations on
the proposed new regulations,
says MoE is looking at a risk-
based approach. As part of
that eort, it has mapped out
areas where applications of
phosphorus and/or nitrogen
pose a high risk to the
environment. It has also
mapped sensitive aquifers and
other watercourses which will
need special attention.
“If you are in a high-risk
area, you will have to balance
nutrient loading with crop
usage of those nutrients so
there is no negative impact on
the environment,” Hargreaves
told producers.
The new regulations will
require farmers to “prove that
manure is a resource and not a
waste,” Ens added.
Although the industry is not
likely to see a draft of the
regulation before it is passed,
he told producers he hopes
the input the sector has
provided during the
consultation will result in rules
they can live with. To that end,
both he and Hargreaves
complimented Ministry of
Agriculture sta, saying they
have been extremely
supportive during
development of the
regulation.
by DAVID SCHMIDT
KELOWNA – Four BC
agritech innovators will each
receive $20,000 to work on a
solution for one or more
problems facing BC
agriculture.
The BC Ministry of
Agriculture and BC Innovation
Council (BCIC) launched its
Agritech Innovation Challenge
just prior to the BC Agrifood
and Seafood Conference in
Kelowna on November 14.
Saying “technology will help
us sustain BC food security,”
BC Minister of Agriculture
Norm Letnick called the
challenge an opportunity to
“identify needs in agriculture
and marry technology with
agriculture.”
Because of the world’s
skyrocketing population,
farmers will have to produce
more food in 2050 than they
have in the entire history of
the world, says Bioenterprise
Corporation president Dave
Smardon.
“The only way to meet that
demand is through
innovation,” he said.
Innovators have been asked
to focus on enhancing
productivity and protability
in blueberries through
mechanization, minimizing
losses through improved pest
management, promoting
sustainable practices and
nding eciencies in
greenhouses, and developing
revenue streams for and/or
addressing environmental
concerns in nutrient
management.
During the day-long closed
session, innovators were given
descriptions of the challenges
from former BC Blueberry
Council chair Jason Smith,
BCMA regional agrologist Julie
Robinson, greenhouse
industry specialist Dave
Woodske and Hallbar
Consulting managing director
Michael Gilbert.
“Some things blueberry
growers and packers are
looking for are a better
machine harvester and
improved colour-
sorting
technology,”
Smith said by way
of example.
Innovators
have been asked
to submit
“solution
templates” to
BCIC by
December 16. A
panel of
representatives
from BCIC, BCMA, Western
Economic Diversication and
other potential funding
agencies will then review the
applications. In
early January, one
proposal in each
challenge area
will be selected
for mentorship to
further develop
their solution.
“We hope to
have some
proposals ready
for the BC Tech
Summit in March,”
says BCMA
innovation and adaptation
services branch executive
director Joan Easton.
Mentorship will come from
such technology incubators as
Bioenterprise, Accelerate
Okanagan and the Sumas
Regional Consortium for High
Tech.
“Five years ago, there were
only ve to seven agritech
incubators in the world. Now,
they’re everywhere,” Smardon
said.
Although the BCMA is only
putting up $80,000 for the four
successful innovators, Easton
notes the adjudication panel
includes other funders who
may be able to provide
additional funding to support
each project.
Ag ministry partners with Innovation Council to offer technology development incentive
NORM LETNICK
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ABBOTSFORD, BC
Bus. 604/807-2391
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
3
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BC agriculture on
sound foundation
Sustainability conference filled
with “optimism and opportunity”
November rains ooded farms from Port Alberni to Pemberton. BOB COLLINS PHOTO
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by DAVID SCHMIDT
KELOWNA – BC Minister of
Agriculture Norm Letnick
hopes the BC Agrifood and
Seafood Conference will not
only be repeated next year
but be held in a larger venue.
About 300 people crowded
into the Capri Hotel in
Kelowna on November 14-15,
for an evening networking
reception followed by a day of
presentations covering such
topics as new sector
development, urban
agriculture, succession
planning, climate change,
agri-tech, nancing, zero
waste, traceability and food
safety, food science, branding
and marketing, e-commerce,
selling to retailers and
institutions and exporting.
Delegates who stayed to
the end gave the conference a
rousing ovation, instantly
raising their hands when
Letnick asked if another such
conference should be held
next year.
He called the conference “a
conversation about how we
can develop, strengthen and
build relationships, and
support BC's food supply
security,” saying BC’s food
security “needs to be the top
goal of the BC Ministry of
Agriculture going forward.”
Letnick believes the two
days were lled with
“optimism and opportunity,”
saying “our conference rooms
were lled with people who
care about food production in
BC and have the creative,
innovative, business or
entrepreneurial skills and
drive to make a successful
career of it.”
He noted BC agriculture has
a sound foundation. Not only
did the sector generate record
revenues of $13 billion in 2015
but farmers and ranchers
actually made a net prot for
the rst time in 10 years.
“Agrifood is now the
number two manufacturing
sector in the province and my
aim is for it to become
number one.”
Buy BC key
He believes the key is to get
BC residents buying BC
products.
“If we can convince more
people to buy BC agrifood
products, it will drive our
agrifood sector,” Letnick said,
missing an obvious
opportunity to commit
additional funds to the Buy
Local program.
However, he did promote
the Grow Local program
announced at the Union of BC
Municipalities convention at
the end of September. The
program received over 60
applications which are now
being vetted by the
Investment Agriculture
Foundation of BC. IAF will
recommend 10 applications
as pilot projects to be
announced in January.
“We are looking for
programs with the best
options for scalability and
sustainability,” explains IAF
executive director Peter
Donkers, noting the objective
of the program is to develop
and implement education
and awareness programs for
food security and build
capacity for people to grow
their own food. He stresses
the program will support
backyard, frontyard and
balcony gardens but not
projects which could
compete with commercial
agriculture.
“We have received
applications from regional
districts, local security
organizations, community
gardens and co-op gardens,”
Donkers said.
He expects the successful
applicants to be announced in
late January. Each will then
receive up to $25,000 and
have two years to complete
their project and report back
its accomplishments.
Letnick downplayed
concerns over monster homes
on agricultural land and
foreign ownership of
agricultural land. He insisted
“local governments have the
ability to specify the size of
home and where it can be
located on agricultural land,”
urging them to pass bylaws
ensuring homes on land are
“appropriate.”
He also reported that only
four of the 205 agricultural
properties transferred in BC
since April 2016 were sold to
foreign buyers.
For more information,
contact Greenbelt Vet at:
(604) 792-1501
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Publisher Cathy Glover
604-328-3814 . publisher@countrylifeinbc.com
Associate Editor David Schmidt
604-793-9193 . davidschmidt@shaw.ca
Contributing Editors Peter Mitham . Tamara Leigh
news@countrylifeinbc.com
Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover
sales@countrylifeinbc.com
Production Ass’t: Naomi McGeachy . Merry Christmas, Peter!
www.countrylifeinbc.com
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Country Life in British Columbia
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Country Life in British Columbia
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 20164
Bright ideas
Why understanding social licence matters
The Back Forty occupies this space every month
in the expectation that it will oer reasonably lucid
and thoughtful opinion and observation on matters
pertaining to commercial agriculture in BC. It strives
to take
reasonably
informed and
balanced aim at
this target.
Because it does,
the publishers
past and present have allowed it signicant latitude,
albeit with the monthly proviso that the opinions
expressed are not necessarily those of the paper.
Regular readers will know that on occasion The
Back Forty takes advantage of its editorial leeway
and wanders o to ponder other matters not
necessarily exclusive to the business aims of
commercial agriculture.
Most of the time, the topics in the bullseye the
Back Forty aims to hit relate to the pitfalls and
hurdles strewn across the agricultural landscape –
from frustrating regulation and bureaucracy to
Mother Nature on the rampage, and as many
diverse complications imaginable.
There is never a shortage of relevant targets to
shoot at. So many in fact, that some of them remain
out of the crosshairs altogether. By speaking so
regularly to agriculture’s challenges, the Back Forty
runs the risk of being seen as gloomy. It has been
perceived as such by some readers from outside the
farm and ranch community who also wonder why
there isn’t any “good news about farming.”
I expect this column has little circulation outside
of those it seeks to address so it is a simple matter to
ignore comments and complaints from beyond, but
it does raise some interesting questions. What is
good news in agriculture? Does the broader public
accept it as good news, too?
Optimistic, or not?
There are two stories on the front page of the
November issue of Country Life in BC: Hazelnut
growers have reasons to be optimistic and Animal
welfare bill defeated. Both appear to be good news
stories but you have to wonder how they would
play among the 98% of British Columbians who
have no direct involvement in the industry.
The hazelnut optimism is of a light-at-the-end-of-
the-tunnel variety after a decade of disease
devastation. Like so many stories in agriculture, the
good news is that someone’s nightmare is over and
they can start rebuilding all that has been lost.
As for ‘Animal welfare bill defeated,’ an
ambiguous bill of the are-you-still-beating-your-
spouse variety has been denied second reading.
Most of animal agriculture will see this as good
news but I suspect that status would not survive a
trip to the city.
It is part of an industry-wide dilemma.
There is a great deal of discussion about social
license. Social license in very simple terms boils
down to: the public at large has perceptions,
concerns and expectations about what you are
doing and you need to address their concerns and
meet their expectations if you want their permission
to keep doing it.
Concerns and expectations grow out of
perceptions, and perceptions are notoriously
dicult to change. Especially so at arm’s length,
which is what production agriculture is from most of
the population.
In the absence of any hands-on agricultural
experiences, most perceptions will be inherited
(from others they know) or informed by the media.
Left to their own considerations, it is unlikely
many of the broader public would perceive the
defeat of an animal welfare bill to be good news
which might easily lead to a concern that will likely
result in an expectation. It is a tall order.
In the world beyond itself (and this column),
agriculture needs to inform the public perceptions
that in turn determine concerns and expectations.
The good news for agriculture, in a damned-if you-
do and damned–if-you-don’t sort of way, is that
perceptions aren’t cast in stone. Concerns can be
allayed and expectations can be met. The bad news
is that uninformed or misinformed perceptions
leading to unallayed concerns and unmet
expectations will lead to a negative belief, and
changing a perception is a cake-walk compared to
changing a belief.
Perhaps we’ll end with some good news for
farmers and ranchers. As far as the public might be
removed from what we do week in and week out,
most of them do have a personal engagement with
the end result of our labours three times every day.
Merry Christmas from The Back Forty to all of you
and those you love.
The Back 40
BOB COLLINS
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 GST
The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915
Vol 102 No 12 . December 2016
Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd.
December brings the shortest days and darkest nights of the year. Hunkering
down for the end of the year, we have a chance to reect on everything we’ve seen
over the past 12 months and think about what we might do dierently in the months
to come.
South of the border, many are predicting dark times, indeed. A storm erupted over
the election of Donald Trump last month, even if Hillary Clinton didn’t inspire voters.
Trump’s repugnant views and inward-looking policies have the world wondering
what’s to come. (Chances are the incoming president won’t cop a line from our own
prime minister and say the White House has taken certain actions “because it’s 2017.”)
There’s always uncertainty around the future, and the latest round of changes is no
dierent.
However, we can give thanks that there’s a lot going right here in BC. Our food is
safe and, for all our shortcomings, we’re doing a respectable job of protecting our
livestock from diseases such as avian inuenza. We’ve earned enough respect that we
won access to new export markets for our greenhouse peppers this year, and
blueberries enjoyed their rst full season of access to China.
Getting things right at home has been a sure way to open doors abroad.
It doesn’t really matter how other countries approach the world, our farmers have
embraced the protocols needed to make sure the world feels it can count on us.
We’re ready to serve our best, and invite the world to enjoy what we’ve got to oer.
A founding myth of the US was the idea of it being a city on a hill; a beacon to
others. Some fear the light is growing dim. Canada, by contrast, has often seen itself
as an outpost, a place where the candle burns bright for travellers.
Nowhere did the candle burn more brightly last month than at the BC Agrifood
and Seafood Conference in Kelowna. The conference was a welcome meeting of the
minds as about 300 agriculture, industry and government representatives
met to network and start to address the challenges of feeding not only our
own population but our trading partners, too.
As this year draws to a close and a new year lled with promise and
potential beckons us, let’s come together to build on our
accomplishments, keep the candle burning, and create a feast on the table
for the world.
CETA undermines the Canadian dairy industry
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
5
CATHY GLOVER
publisher & editor
DAVID SCHMIDT
associate editor
PETER MITHAM
contributing editor
TAMARA LEIGH
contributing editor
From everyone at Country Life in BC,
may the spirit of the holiday season
be yours now & in the new year!
Jo Sleigh
Liz Twan
Linda Wegner
Cam Fortems
Terry Fries
Philip Gordon
columnists
Bob Collins
Margaret Evans
Laura Rance
contributors
Emily Bulmer
Lindsay Chung
Lyonel Doherty
Gina Haambuckers
Franya Jedwab
Tamara Leigh
Naomi McGeachy
Sean McIntyre
Susan McIver
Kathy Michaels
Ronda Payne
Jennifer Smith
Judie Steeves
Joan Trask
Tom Walker
Jonny Wakefield
Chris Yates
graphics
Tina Rezansoff
NAOMI MCGEACHY
by TREVOR HARGREAVES
As I write this column,
federal minister of agriculture
Lawrence MacAulay has just
announced a government
investment of $250 million
over ve years to help update
equipment on Canadian dairy
farms, and an additional $100
million over four years to
assist with updating Canada’s
aging dairy processing
infrastructure.
This funding comes as a
result of the recent signing by
Prime Minister Trudeau of
CETA, the Comprehensive
Economic and Trade
Agreement. Once ratied, the
deal will usher in tari-free
imports of a wide range of
goods between Canada and
numerous European
countries.
For many sectors, this will
be a positive. For the
Canadian dairy industry,
however – and specically
Canadian cheese-crafters – it’s
a decided negative.
As part of the deal, an
additional 17,700 tonnes of
foreign ne cheese will now
be entering the Canadian
market yearly. As Dairy
Farmers of Canada noted in a
recent press release, this is
equivalent to the entire yearly
production of the province of
Nova Scotia and it will cost
Canadian dairy farmers up to
$116 million a year in
perpetual lost revenues. This
equates to a market loss of
about 2%.
Critics of the Canadian dairy
industry will view our
lukewarm response to the
recently announced funding
with skepticism. They often
view Canadian dairy to be a
coddled industry, with what
they consider to be unfairly
protective measures due to
our economic structure of
supply-managed production.
But what many people fail
to realize is that this is an
industry that has built itself up
via internal investment.
Across the border, the US
Farm Bill osets a good
amount of the cost of
production for many dairy
farmers. In Canada, by
contrast, our structure is self-
supporting. The stability of
supply management has
fostered ongoing
reinvestment amidst multiple
generations of Canadian dairy
farmers. The controlled
aspects of the industry have
fostered slow but extremely
stable growth. Farmer dollars
have built this
industry up.
Now, factor
this against the
political climate
of recent years.
First, dairy
farmers have
had to accept the impending
market losses of CETA. This
was soon paired with an
intensive negotiation period
for the Trans-Pacic
Partnership. In the end, that
deal granted an additional
market loss of 3.24% should
TPP move forward to
implementation.
These slices of the industry
given away as part of trade
agreements are worth vast
amounts of money and – to
some degree – our industry
falls victim to foreign interests
amidst these trade
negotiations. Thankfully, with
the impending Trump
administration soon
occupying the White House,
as per his outward
protectionist rhetoric, TPP
appears to be quite likely
dead in the water.
Another common criticism
by free-trade devotees critical
of supply management is that
the Canadian dairy industry
doesn’t focus suciently on
export markets. In regards to
uid milk, we operate as a
domestic-focused market that
provides high quality, locally
supplied product to local
consumers. When you drink
milk, you are supporting your
surrounding provincial
communities and local
economy.
A quick glance at the
current global dairy market
and the foresight of our
structure is clear. In England,
their dairy industry is in literal
free-fall with record numbers
of farm bankruptcies as milk
ships for less than the cost of
production. This is a common
issue around the world right
now due to price volatility, a
global pricing glut and
signicant issues of
oversupply.
In the US, the situation is
equally challenging in certain
regions. With funding under
the US Farm Bill ever
diminishing and a downward
spiral of global prices in
recent years, their outlook is
bleak. Yet these are the very
markets our critics feel we
should be pushing to enter.
Moving forward, the
underlying focus for Canadian
dairy – as it should be in any
well-run industry – is
sustainability. Canadian dairy
farmers want this industry to
endure and prosper for
generations to come. This is
represented in the high
quality standards adhered to
in the dairy farming practices
in this country. So, I urge you,
have a glass of milk right
now. Drink your milk. Drink
Canadian.
Trevor Hargreaves is the
director of producer relations
and communications for the
BC Dairy Association.
Viewpoint
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Slicing up the dairy industry as trade incentives set a bad precedent for agriculture
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 20166
Re: Urban Farm Seeks Stable
Financial Footing, November
2016, by Peter Mitham
Sole Food Street Farms is
working with the Vancity
Community Foundation to
establish an endowment fund
because, quite simply, we are
not a typical farm.
Sole Food was established
with the specic purpose of
providing training and
meaningful employment to
individuals from the
Downtown Eastside of
Vancouver, most of whom
have been characterized as
“hard to employ.” Many have
addictions, mental health
issues, or both.
They come to us with little
or no farming skills. We
provide in-depth agricultural
training and a range of
support from nancial literacy
to breakfast in the morning.
For many, working at our
farms is the only meaningful
engagement in their lives. A
2013 Queen’s University study
concluded for every dollar we
pay our sta there is a $1.70
savings to the public health
care, social assistance and
legal systems. ‘Regular’ farm
operations don’t do what we
do.
Comparing us to other for-
prot urban farming
operations such as the
bankrupt Alterrus Systems and
the Vancouver Food Pedalers
Co-operative is like comparing
apples to oranges.
When I helped start this
project, I believed that we
should operate like I operate
my own personal farm on Salt
Spring Island – generating all
of our income “by the
pound,” one pound of
tomatoes, carrots or salad at a
time.
If we wanted to just operate
just a farm as the article
implies, we would hire skilled
farmers and farm workers, not
folks who are down and out
and dealing with some pretty
heavy stu. As such, we do
have to raise the funds to
support the social goals that
are rst and foremost in our
mandate.
We appreciate Country Life
in BC’s coverage of our
endowment fund and, armed
with a few more facts, we
sincerely hope your readers
will have a clearer
understanding of our work
and the critical value we
provide to the Downtown
Eastside community we
support.
Michael Ableman
Co-founder, Director
Sole Food Street Farms
RE: Port development trumps BC
agriculture, November 2016, by Peter
Mitham
Your recent article covering federal
agriculture minister Lawrence
MacAulay’s presentation to the Greater
Vancouver Board of Trade may have
drawn readers to inaccurate conclusions
about Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s
approach to agricultural land.
Rather than contacting the port
authority directly as journalists generally
do, Mr. Mitham chose to repeat quotes
that were inaccurately reported long
ago. While a federal entity may have
legal primacy or supremacy over
provincial legislation such as the
Agricultural Land Commission,
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has
stated our intent is to work with all
potentially aected stakeholders,
including the Agricultural Land
Commission, to ensure we appropriately
mitigate for any agricultural lands we
may seek to convert for transportation
and trade use.
A study we commissioned identied a
gure of 2,500 acres as the amount of
industrial land that needs to be
preserved for warehousing and
distribution to handle growing trade
through Canada’s west coast for the
foreseeable future.
However, it has never been the intent
of the port authority to secure that land
base through our own purchases, nor
have we said it should be sourced
through the conversion of agricultural
land.
In the same way that agricultural land
in BC is protected by the Agricultural
Land Commission, we have been
advocating for a halt to the rezoning of
current industrial land and a more
thoughtful, multi-party discussion about
management of land planning that will
protect the region’s agricultural land and
ensure Canada’s trade interests are
similarly protected.
Together, working with municipalities
and others, we must protect what’s left
before it is too late.
Robin Silvester
President and CEO
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Port’s intentions misrepresented
Letters
Study recognizes need for 2,500 acres of industrial land but farmland is not on port’s radar
Story lacks
context
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
7
Stories by DAVID SCHMIDT
OTTAWA – The Canadian
Federation of Agriculture and
most non-supply managed
agricultural commodities were
united in welcoming the new
Comprehensive Economic
and Trade Agreement (CETA)
with the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
and European Council
president Donald Tusk signed
the trade deal in Brussels on
October 30.
The deal, seven years in the
making, is the rst multilateral
trade deal signed by the EU
and another nation. With the
recent election of Donald
Trump as US president and
protectionism running
rampant south of the border,
it could be years before the
US reaches a similar deal with
the EU. Trump’s election also
puts the Trans-Pacic
Partnership, another trade
deal welcomed by almost all
of Canadian agriculture, in
serious jeopardy.
When fully implemented,
CETA will remove taris from
94% of Canadian agriculture
and agri-food products
exported to the EU.
CFA president Ron Bonnett
called CETA “a very positive
step” that could allow
Canadian agricultural
exporters to capture
signicant business
opportunities throughout the
EU's 28 member countries
because of the market access
concessions which were
negotiated.
Beef and pork producers
were particularly eusive in
their praise of the deal.
Canadian Pork Council
chair Rick Bergmann notes the
agreement will secure tari-
free access for Canadian
processed pork products in
Europe. The Canadian pork
industry will acquire a quota
volume equivalent to 80,000
tonnes of pork cuts after a ve
year phase-in period.
“We look forward to the
government ocials resolving
the outstanding technical
barriers that limit our ability to
capitalize on what was
achieved,” Bergmann said.
Although very little, if any,
BC pork is exported, new BC
Hog Marketing Commission
general manager Mike Wallis
noted that anything that
helps to increase returns for
pork producers in the rest of
the country will have a
positive impact for BC
producers.
The Canadian Cattlemen’s
Association (CCA) noted that
it has been “a long-time
champion of the CETA” and is
“pleased with the prospective
elimination of EU import
taris on nearly 65,000 tonnes
of Canadian beef.”
It says the new access gives
the EU the potential to
become a $600 million annual
market for Canadian beef, up
from current levels of $6 to
$10 million per year.
“Beef access to the EU is a
core expected benet from
Canada and we will expect a
further eort to be put into
removing the remaining
technical barriers,” CCA
director and foreign trade
vice-chair Doug Sawyer said.
BC cattle producers are
particularly hopeful of gaining
signicant benets from the
deal. Europe is the world’s
largest market for grass-fed
beef, something more and
more BC ranchers are focusing
on.
Dairy fears
Dairy farmers in both
Canada and the EU are not as
ecstatic. In fact, signing of the
deal was held up for several
weeks as the Belgian region of
Wallonia refused to give its
approval for the agreement.
That refusal was based on an
intense lobby from its dairy
producers who feared they
could lose production as a
result of it.
Canadian dairy farmers
have the same fears since
CETA provides tari-free
access for an additional
17,700 tonnes of European
cheese annually. Dairy
Farmers of Canada says “the
market access granted in
CETA will cost Canadian dairy
farmers as much as $116
million in lost milk sales each
year.”
Farmers see potential in CETA trade deal
OTTAWA – On November 10, the federal government
moved to allay some of the concerns Canadian dairy
farmers have about the Comprehensive Economic and
Trade Agreement (CETA), announcing a $350 million
mitigation package for dairy producers and processors.
It is providing $250 million over ve years for a Dairy
Farm Investment Program that will help Canadian dairy
farmers update farm technologies and systems and
improve productivity through upgrades to their
equipment. This could include the adoption of robotic
milkers, automated feeding systems and herd
management tools. It is also providing $100 million over
four years for a Dairy Processing Investment Fund to help
dairy processors modernize their operations and diversify
their products to pursue new market opportunities.
Federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay called
the two new programs “a major infusion of cash for one
sector,” insisting it shows the government’s commitment
to supply management.
Dairy Farmers of Canada president Wally Smith called
the announcement “a signicant step in demonstrating
(government’s) commitment to supply management, and
to the continued innovation and growth of Canada’s dairy
sector.”
However DFC director Bruno Letendre notes the two
programs do not address DFC’s issues with Canada’s
domestic regulations nor the continued leakage of
dialtered milk and other milk ingredients across the border.
While MacAulay acknowledged the concerns, calling
dialtered milk “an issue I inherited,” he believes the issue
is abating, claiming the amount of dialtered milk coming
across the border has been decreasing.
Money for dairy
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 9
“Milk prices get tighter, our
margins get smaller, you have
to get more ecient,” Dale
Jansen says.
What was a 600-cow farm
in 2006 has expanded to 960
head, all of them Holsteins.
The farm now owns 1,300
acres, up from 760 a decade
ago, and has access to a
further 700 as far away as
Lavington, east of Vernon.
Andrew and Dale recently
bought out their brother’s
interest.
While not uncommon in
the Lower Mainland, the size
of the farm has spooked local
residents. What are common
farm practices elsewhere have
sparked concern here.
When the Interior Health
Authority told Steele Springs
households to test their water
after nitrates twice the
allowable limit of 10 parts per
million (ppm) were found in
2014, it was a case of déjà vu.
A feedlot on a 220-acre
property the Jansens acquired
for their operation had been
pegged as leaching nitrates
into the local aquifer in the
1980s.
With the latest
contamination, all
eyes turned to the
Jansens.
“We’ve had people
ask, ‘You don’t live
near that big dairy do
you?’” he says, noting how
things become uncomfortable
when people nd out they’re
actually the operators. “You
tend to make friends that
aren’t right here.”
It’s a shift from 2008 when
an open house attracted 900
people to the farm to see
what was considered a state-
of-the-art operation. The
family had planned the move
carefully when it found it
couldn’t expand in Matsqui.
The farm drafted an
Environmental Farm Plan –
something it hadn’t had in the
Fraser Valley – to guide its
work. A ush system, common
at some of the province’s
largest operations, was
chosen to clear manure.
An earthen lagoon 500 feet
by 300 feet, with a volume of
3.3 million cubic feet, was
constructed. Similar to
municipal sewage lagoons,
the facility was equipped with
a liner in accordance with
provincial standards. All
manure cleared from the barn
undergoes mechanical
separation into solids, which
are dried into akes for use at
a farm in Lavington and liquid
(eectively, grey water) that’s
reused for ushing the barn.
Any excess liquid is deposited
in the lagoon and used on the
elds.
The liquid euent is less
dense, typically with 10
pounds of solid per 1,000
gallons rather than 30 to 40
pounds per 1,000 gallons. This
makes it easier to pipe to the
elds than solids, and the
nitrates are more readily
absorbed.
However, the critics don’t
see it that way.
Brian Upper, a retired
livestock vet who oversees the
Steele Springs Water District,
and the Save Hullcar Aquifer
Team (SHAT), a local advocacy
group headed by retired
Dairy acquired a legacy of trouble with ‘field of concern’
Special report
PETER MITHAM
The dairy farm near Armstrong at the centre of concern regarding water quality. PETER MITHAM PHOTO
DAIRY
n
from page 1
See WATER WOES page 10
o
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201610
Andrew Jansen (above) and brother Dale farm 1,200 acres near Armstrong, where
aquifer contamination has placed practices at local farms under scrutiny.
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ALEXANDER KNIVES VERTICAL KNIVES
journalist Al Price, argue that euent
from the Jansen operation is
responsible for elevated nitrate levels
in the Hullcar aquifer.
By separating out the solids, the
critics say Jansens aren’t practicing
wise nutrient management – at least
not for the local hydrology.
Provincial maps describe the Hullcar
aquifer as unconned and of low
vulnerability. Jansen notes that the
aquifer wasn’t identied as a concern
prior to the family relocating the farm
to the area in 2006.
“When I went and got my permit, I
asked a whole bunch of times before I
bought the land, before I built – it was
zoned A-3, intensive agriculture – so
they gave me the permits,” he says.
Difficult history
Yet the dicult history of the area’s
aquifer wasn’t entirely unknown to the
Jansens.
Water drawn from a well at the
southwest corner of the property was
known to be dirty. The eld of concern
– a parcel of about 200 acres above
Deep Creek, a stream that ows south
and is fed by the Hullcar aquifer – was
originally planted with alfalfa in order
to scavenge nitrates from the soil.
The idea was to remove excess
nutrients and prepare the ground for
corn, a crop with shallower roots and a
lower nitrate requirement.
“We were hoping that if there was a
problem in that eld, [the alfalfa]
would scavenge anything,” Jansen
explains.
But in March 2014 the B.C. Ministry
of the Environment issued a
compliance order requiring the farm
to conduct regular soil and water
sampling and report the results to the
ministry, prepare an annual nutrient
management plan and limit euent
applications to the eld of concern.
“I’ve been happy to jump through
WATER WOES nfrom 9
the hoops for those previous two
years,” he says. “A lot of this stu,
when this thing rst started, it actually
made me a better farmer.”
The nutrient management plan the
government required was a helpful
exercise, and prompted him to
increase his land holdings to
accommodate euent from his herd.
“I’ve probably double the land I
need now,” he says. “I was so
concerned that they weren’t going to
let me put any nutrients on the eld
… that I started looking into these
other other elds.”
The compliance order was cancelled
this past May, and pollution abatement
orders issued to the Jansens and eight
other farms in the valley. Designed to
address immediate risks to human
health and the environment, the new
order required that the farm
implement a monitoring program and
action plan to address the
contamination the ministry had
reasonable grounds to believe was
leaching into the local aquifer.
Jansen has spent approximately
$70,000 to date drilling ve monitoring
wells. While other farms are contesting
the orders, with one winning a
cancellation, the total cost to local
producers to implement monitoring
programs could be well in excess of
$200,000.
Unlike the management plans that
helped him do his job better, Jansen
said the wells are a cost with no benet
– though they might help everyone
understand what’s taking place
beneath the ground.
“We’re going to be on the forefront
of what goes in ag and nutrient
management, because I don’t know of
anybody who’s gone through the stu
we’ve gone through,” he says.
Uncertain future
Jansen doesn’t know what will come
next, regardless of whether the
government nds the nitrates are
coming from his farm or someone
else’s, or a combination of several
sources.
The environment ministry’s zero-
tolerance policy regarding pollution
jeopardizes the signicant capital
investment he and others have made
in the valley, and the eorts local
farmers have made to implement best
management practices.
Worse, the situation is playing out in
uncertain times.
Regulations regarding the discharge
of agricultural waste remain in ux,
while comprehensive mapping and
assessment of the province’s aquifers
has only just begun. The registration of
wells is in its early stages, and has
drawn meagre participation in its rst
year. There is much left to learn about
the volume and habits of the water that
ows under our feet.
“We can’t protect our groundwater if
we don’t know what’s there,” points
out Brent Mooney, a Fraser Valley
nursery owner who represented the BC
Agriculture Council at Metro
Vancouver’s recent agricultural water
forum.
Jansen hopes a resolution will result
from the time, eort and cash spent on
wells, government studies, and
consultants’ review of the results that a
resolution of sorts will be possible.
“I’ve come to accept that we’re not
going to please everybody, that’s
impossible,” he says. “But I hope we
come to a solution between us and the
government, because they’re the ones
who control it.”
However, it’s government that’s at
fault, says Al Price.
Blame for the drawn-out
investigation of the matter and the fact
that local residents still can’t drink the
water from Steele Springs, falls squarely
at the feet of government in his mind.
“Nobody’s really blaming this farm,”
he said. “Our issue is with the way the
farm is managed and that is directed by
the provincial government.”
The mistrust makes Jansen uneasy.
What happens if Price and other
critics don’t agree with the science the
government presents?
“You know what the scariest part
about this thing is?” he asks. “If they
don’t believe the science and they just
believe it’s me … I will be dealing with
this for the rest of my life.”
CATHY GLOVER
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 11
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Government has farmers thinking about leaving
Regulations, nitrates complicate life for local growers
by PETER MITHAM
SPALLUMCHEEN – While
the troubles in the Hullcar
Valley have thrust the Jansen
family into the limelight,
neighbouring farms have also
been aected.
The province slapped
pollution abatement orders
on nine properties earlier this
year, expressing satisfaction,
“on reasonable grounds that
pollution is being caused by
the introduction into the
environment of agriculture
waste.”
Many say the move
violated provincial protocols,
and tarred all farmers with the
same brush.
Three recipients of the
A lack of
communication
has created a
climate of
mistrust among
residents of the
Hullcar Valley,
says Al Price of
the Save Hullcar
Aquifer Team
(SHAT).
“Communication
has been a
major issue, for sure,” he
told Country Life in BC
during a recent tour of the
valley. “For most of us, that
translates to fear.”
The breakdown in
communication began
when the Interior Health
Authority issued a drinking
water advisory solely to
households with registered
septic systems.
“[It] should have
published a notice in the
local papers to reach those
whose septic systems and
wells were not registered,”
he says.
The local Splatsin First
Nation weren’t alerted to
the issue, either. Band
members didn’t nd out
until late 2015, Price says.
The fact that complete
local water
quality
information was
only disclosed at
the order of
B.C.’s information
and privacy
commissioner
earlier this year
also troubles
him.
Price believes
only full
disclosure of practices at
the Jansen farm will help
clear the air regarding the
eects the farm – the
largest addition to the
valley in the past decade –
is having on the Hullcar
aquifer.
Price hopes to form a
coalition of like-minded
groups, one that brings
together those facing water
quality issues from the
Nicola Valley, where
biosolids have been an
issue, to Shawnigan Lake,
where domestic sewage is
an issue.
“We all seem to be
ghting the same sort of
battle, where the
government doesn’t really
care what happens to our
drinking water,” Price says.
AL PRICE
An aquifer of mistrust
orders challenged the
government; one had the
order rescinded.
Ted Curtis, who operates a
feedlot west of the Jansen
property, launched his own
challenge, arguing that the
orders treat everyone as
oenders rather than seek to
determine guilt.
“We were blindsided by the
abatement order as the
Ministry of Environment has
never indicated that Curtis
Farms was doing anything to
harm the environment,” Curtis
wrote in a letter to B.C.
Environment Minister Mary
Polak provided to Country Life
in BC and other media outlets.
(Curtis didn’t answer a request
for an interview.) “The Ministry
of Environment either cannot
or will not identify the source
of the nitrates and have
decided to blame everyone
who farms over the Hullcar
aquifer.”
Curtis noted that his family
has farmed in the Hullcar
Valley since 1974, and takes its
commitment to sustainable
farming practices very
seriously.
“We avoid over-fertilizing
and over-irrigating, and
minimize runo from the
feedlot pens and elds,” he
wrote, noting that nitrate
levels in the three wells on the
farm consistently test below
0.010 parts per million (ppm).
Government’s handling of
the issue has prompted Curtis
to consider leaving,
something he says he doesn’t
want to do.
“We moved here to farm
and had no intention or
desire to sell o sections of
the farm or develop it,” he
said. “However, if our ability
to farm is compromised, we
might have to look at our
options.”
Shelley Baumborough, who
with partner David Doran
operates Deerfoot Farm on
Hullcar Road, is also
considering her options.
Deerfoot sits north of the
aquifer and didn’t receive an
abatement order, however,
Baumborough feels her
proximity to the Jansen
operation exposes her to
undue risk.
Deerfoot holds Certied
Naturally Grown certication
and farms as close to
organically as possible. Rising
nitrate levels in the water her
poultry drink and which
irrigate her market garden
isn’t something she wants to
see, arguing these could pose
a risk to both the livestock
and consumers.
Tests at the farm have
typically found nitrate levels
below 2 PPM, but
Baumborough said it’s tough
to know how the application
of so much euent will aect
the environment.
“If our nitrate levels rise,
we’re not going to be able to
raise healthy poultry on our
farm,” she said.
A lifelong resident of the
North Okanagan, she feels
compelled to relocate to
another part of the region.
“It just creates fear when
you don’t know what’s going
on,” she said. “I want to stay
around, I just don’t want to be
in that valley anymore.”
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Country Life in BC • December 201612
www.AgSafeBC.ca
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
by PETER MITHAM
RICHMOND – Lower
Mainland municipalities keen
on food security should
prepare for a 25% increase in
irrigated crop acreage by
2060, says one of the
province’s foremost water
experts.
Right now, there are more
than 290,000 acres of irrigated
farmland in BC. The best place
to boost that total in order to
meet future food needs is the
Fraser Valley, says Ted van der
Gulik, a retired senior engineer
with the BC Ministry of
Agriculture who now serves as
president of the Partnership
for Water Sustainability in BC.
Van der Gulik made the
case for greater irrigation in
the Lower Mainland at a
November 3 forum Metro
Vancouver organized to
address agricultural water
issues.
The quest for food security
could boost the region’s
overall irrigation demand to
140.1 million cubic metres a
year from the present 60.7
million cubic metres.
The fertility of the Fraser
Valley as well as proximity to
surface water make the region
a natural location for irrigated
acreage.
The big question is who will
pay to get water where it will
do farmers the most good.
“It’s all about infrastructure,”
van der Gulik told the forum.
“It could be done if we had the
infrastructure dollars.”
Bruce May, a cranberry
farmer in Richmond and Delta,
agreed.
“There’s no shortage of
water; there’s a shortage of
pipes,” he said.
Emphasis on drainage
Ironically, much of the
infrastructure investment to
date has focused on
protecting farmland from
water rather than developing
irrigation systems.
Some of the best farmland
in the Fraser Valley is located
on the oodplain and the
latter half of the 20th century
saw extensive investment in
drainage ditches and diking
systems that added to the
arable land base.
Many of the systems are
built to the ARDSA
(Agriculture and Rural
Development Subsidiary
Agreement) standard, which
aims to limit ooding on
farmland to ve days a winter.
Surrey drainage manager
Carrie Baron said the city has
invested more than $50
million in drainage systems
and pump houses to date.
The improvements were
originally intended to
accommodate vegetable
growers but as the region’s
crop mix shifted in favour of
blueberries, fruit growers took
advantage of the new lands.
Blueberries don’t like getting
Metro Vancouver farmers need water, but costs bite
their feet wet, however,
meaning drainage remained
an issue in some areas.
The bigger issue, though,
has been access to irrigation
water in the summer. Both the
Serpentine and Nicomekl
rivers are closed to new water
licenses and have been for 20
years but Baron suspects that
many producers have
unauthorized connections that
have facilitated their growth.
She said new farmers –
whether new to farming or
new to Canada – need to be
educated about what they can
and cannot do, as well as their
responsibilities to other users.
“We’re seeing people invest
a ton of money and the
resource is just not there.”
While a diversion of water
from the Fraser River has been
discussed, such a project
would cost at least $13 million
and as much as $50 million.
Ongoing maintenance could
add another $6,400 per acre
annually in costs.
“These are not easy
solutions,” she said. “Water is
not an innite resource.”
Or rather, the nancing
required to get it to users is
not innite, with almost every
speaker saying that the current
distribution system isn’t
designed for irrigation. Its
focus is delivering water for
drinking and re suppression.
Other uses are eectively
beyond the system’s mandate
and no one’s about to pony up
money to support food
production, which draws
about ve million cubic metres
annually from the regional
water system.
Indeed, Metro Vancouver
water policy and planning
director Inder Singh told
Country Life in BC during the
2015 drought that the ongoing
emphasis on conservation isn’t
because the supply of water is
limited but because
infrastructure is costly.
Singh said limiting demand
is needed to ensure existing
water supplies go further and
that the system can eectively
deliver water for the
population – not the food
production – to come.
“We still will want to
continue on with our
messaging and consumer
behaviour around
conservation,” Singh said. “We
can build for more water [but]
we don’t want to build sooner
than we have to.”
Local governments have prioritized drainage, not irrigation
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 13
by PETER MITHAM
RICHMOND – Despite widespread
opposition to the George Massey tunnel
removal by mayors and
environmentalists, engineers addressing
the water forum Metro Vancouver
convened on November 3 said the
agricultural impacts are likely to be
limited.
The removal of the tunnel isn’t the
issue, said Albert Leung, a hydrotechnical
engineer with Tetra Tech EBA in
Vancouver. What really matters are
changes in the river’s conguration.
“We all know the Massey tunnel will be
removed,” he told forum participants. “It could open
the door to deeper dredging.”
Critics of the tunnel’s removal – and replacement
with a massive, $3.5 billion bridge – fear dredging
will occur to facilitate ship movements to inland
port facilities. This could allow salt water to ow
further inland than it already does, limiting the
intake of fresh water for agricultural uses in Delta
and Richmond.
This is a particular concern of Richmond
councillor Harold Steves, a member of Metro
Vancouver’s agricultural advisory committee and
beef farmer on the western edge of Richmond
overlooking the Georgia Strait.
Steves, who recalls when fresh water used to
surround all but the outer edge of Lulu Island – on
which Richmond stands – already uses municipal
water for many farm uses. He doesn’t want to see
other farmers to the east prevented from using river
water if the river is dredged.
However, Leung said that salt water already ows
as far inland as the Pattullo bridge, which connects
New Westminster and Surrey.
Any immediate changes in the conguration of
the river over the next 10 to 25 years will have
minimal impact, but future changes – say, in 50 to
100 years – could create signicant challenges.
Right now, the river can accommodate draughts
of 11.5 to 13.5 metres but in the future, the dredged
depth could increase to 16 to 20 metres.
While this would allow a greater volume of salt
water to penetrate further upriver, the key issue is
that projected ow rates of the river wouldn’t be
sucient at peak tide to repel the salt inows.
These inows form a wedge of salt water along
the river bottom where intake pipes for local
irrigation ditches lie waiting. When the tide goes
out, fresh water prevails; at high tide, the salt wedge
is present.
Under climate change scenarios, ow rates in the
Fraser River could fall while sea levels could rise by
one to two metres. This means less water to push
against a greater wedge of salt.
This spring, for example, the peak ow
rate of the Fraser at Hope was 6,000
cubic metres a second but at the height
of summer, the ow rate was less than
half that.
The long-term outlook is for an
average ow of less than 2,000 cubic
metres a second.
This could eliminate the availability of
fresh water in east Delta and east
Richmond.
“We’re in a marginal position at times
as it is,” said Bruce May, a cranberry
grower who farms on both sides of the
river.
While acknowledging that the federal
government wants to get products to market, he
says government needs to be aware of the impact
port and port-related developments will have.
“We want to make sure that everybody’s aware of
the risks,” he said. “We have to make all
governments aware of the risks of their decisions.”
The risks are already quite real.
Delta deputy director of engineering Hugh Fraser
told forum attendees that the 80th Street pump
station was shut down this past August when ow
rates dropped to 2,100 cubic metres per second and
salinity levels spiked.
Fraser suggested that future intakes may be
scheduled with the outgoing tide. A few hours of
intake might even be possible under such
conditions at ow rates of just 1,800 cubic metres a
second.
Generally, however, higher ow rates are better.
“We’re getting really good water 24/7 as long as
our ows are 2,500 [cubic metres a second],” he
said.
Climate change bigger threat than tunnel removal
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 15
Gillian Watt and Darlene Freding present the Bill Freding Memorial Award to Vicki Granberg, a rst year
student in the Applied Sustainable Ranching program, November 4. “This award in memory of Bill represents
two things that Bill exemplied,” says Watt. “They are his resilience and his innovation. These traits were
the foundation of how Bill ourished in the ranching industry.” LIZ TWAN PHOTO
by TOM WALKER
KAMLOOPS – The Applied
Sustainable Ranching
program at the Williams Lake
campus of Thompson Rivers
University moved into its
second year courses in
November, following a very
successful rst year.
“If you ask the students, I
know they will say it is the eld
trips that have made the year
so special,” says program
co-ordinator Gillian Watt. “Our
nal trip to the Gang Ranch
was an excellent way to wind
up the year.”
Students lived and worked
at the Gang Ranch, northwest
of Clinton, for three days in
September. One of the largest
ranches in North America, the
Gang Ranch has been in
operation since 1860.
The ranch visit was all about
animal care and featured a
stockmanship clinic by Curt
Pate from Montana. Students
practiced horsemanship and
herding, penning, loading and
processing animals in a
sustainable, low stress and
protable way.
“We all picked up some
tips,” says Watt. “ I started
moving cows with my dad
when I was a kid but Pate
really delves into the brain
chemistry of a cow.”
But the highlight for many
was living on the ranch and
appreciating the full scope of
the operation. Managers Larry
and Beverly Ramstad extended
a warm welcome to the
students.
“One of the strengths of the
program is that we are able to
teach both the business and
hands-on practical aspects,”
Watt points out. Indeed, many
of the instructors are local
ranchers with advanced
degrees that support their
years of experience.
“We had just nished a
grazing management unit,
including building a grazing
plan on a spreadsheet,” recalls
Watt. “When we went out to
Rafter 25 Ranch to learn about
fencing, there was a grazing
plan on the wall of the barn
and they talked about how
they are working with mob
grazing.
“Grassland Equipment in
Williams Lake invited us into
their shop and had their techs
talked about preventative
maintenance – the things that
can save ranchers money,
otherwise known as getting
out the grease gun,” Watt
chuckles.
Ranching program marks first-year milestone
Highlight of year for students was
field trip to Gang Ranch
Watt says the program was
developed largely in response
to local interest for a
continued exchange of ideas.
Part of the funding for
program development came
from the Cariboo Cattlemens’
Association.
A core group of about 12
students are enrolled in the
program at any one time. But
that varies as students may
take each module separately
or as a full course load. The
courses are not sequential.
Intake is available year-round.
The program is designed to be
completed in two years but
some students may take four
or ve years to nish.
“They may take a couple of
courses and then leave to
work on their ranch through
the summer or pick up courses
as they can aord it,” says
Watt. “We had one student
from Switzerland take an
introductory course last spring
and she will be back in January
to continue,” she notes. “We
will have students from
Belgium, South Africa and
Ghana starting in January.”
That’s another of the
program features. Students
can remain in their home
community. The weekly day-
long seminars are all
conducted through video
conferencing, allowing
students to participate online.
And the seminars are also
taped so they can be reviewed
at a later date.
“We have a videographer
along to record all our eld
trips,” Watt adds. “That’s an
expensive extra and shows the
level of support the Williams
Lake campus is giving our
program.”
The one requirement is that
the students must be on a
working ranch while they are
studying, explains Watt.
“About half of the students
are at their home farms and
half are billeted on ranches in
the Williams Lake area,” she
says. “The ranching
community has stepped up
with their support and opened
their homes to our students.”
Billeted students exchange
their 15 to 20 hours of work
experience requirement to
support their room and board.
Course work takes three to
four hours a day.
“We feel there is a real
opportunity to encourage and
develop the sustainable, low
input ranching style that the
Cariboo is known for and that
serves the consumer in BC,”
Watt says.
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201616
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – After
working with and for BC
farmers for almost 25 years,
Geraldine Auston has pulled
up stakes and moved to
Ontario.
“It is going to be a change
for me and my family but we
are looking forward to new
opportunities,” Auston told
Country Life in BC. “I have lots
of great memories and am
fortunate to have made
friends with so many people.
It has been a privilege to work
with the four major berry
groups, the mushroom sector,
many of the animal
agriculture groups, livestock
transport and more. I am
honoured to have been
trusted by so many to
represent them.”
Auston began her career as
the executive director of the
BC Blueberry Industry
Development Council in 1994,
a position she held for over 12
years. She has also been
executive director of the
Mushroom Industry
Development Council, general
manager of the BC Farm
Animal Care Council and
project co-ordinator of the
Canadian Livestock Transport
Certication Program.
Most recently, she has
been general manager of the
BC Hog Marketing
Commission and BC Pork
Producers Association (since
2012) and the director of
marketing and
communications for the BC
Cranberry Marketing
Commission (since 2006).
“It’s going to be hard to
replace someone as talented
as Geraldine,” says BCCMC
executive director Heather
Carriere, who also worked
with Auston during her tenure
with the BCHMC.
Carriere says the BCCMC
has not yet decided whether
to replace Auston and is
currently looking at its
options, adding she expects
Auston will continue to
support the sector.
“She has a soft spot for the
cranberry industry and will
always be there to answer
questions.”
In Ontario, Auston is
expected to continue to
consult for Mushrooms
Canada and the Ag & Food
Exchange, two of her other
clients.
“In my heart, I will always
be a BC girl and will miss
everyone. I hope that from
time to time our paths may
cross as I move to Ottawa to
continue consulting on a
national level in my never-
ending support of agriculture.
I remain the city girl who
moved to the country and
never looked back,” she says.
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – After a
successful three-month
probation, Katie Lowe had the
“interim” removed from her
title and was ocially named
the executive director of the
BC Egg Marketing Board as of
November 1.
“Katie has done a solid job
of managing the organization
over the last three months and
has the full support of the
board of directors and her
fellow team members for this
role,” says BCEMB chair Brad
Bond.
The BCEMB has had a
checkered history with
executive directors over the
past few years, with all but Al
Sakalauskas holding the
position for only brief tenures.
The board’s most recent ED,
Dwight Yochim, held the
position for less than a year.
Lowe, who moved over to the
egg board after a long tenure
at the BC Chicken Marketing
Board over a year ago, hopes
to change that.
“I’m hoping to be here for a
long time,” she says. “It’s a
good industry to be part of.”
Since being named interim
ED in August, Lowe has begun
rebranding the BC Egg
Marketing Board to make it
more responsive to
consumers.
“We’re going to put a face
to our farmers. Consumers
have a lot of questions and we
have to educate them as to
who we are,” she says, insisting
“we have a really good story to
tell.”
She notes the industry
needs to tell consumers about
the robust food safety and
animal care programs it has in
place. Bond says that is part of
the board’s eorts to become
“more inclusive, transparent
and engaging of its
stakeholders.”
The BC egg industry
includes 120 producers with a
total of about 2.5 million birds
in production, an average of
about 21,000 birds per farm. In
2015, individual farms ranged
in size from as few as 2,300 to
as many as 119,000 birds.
Those numbers continue to
increase as the board has
issued new quota three times
in the past two years.
Lowe says the next few
years will be “interesting” for
the board and producers,
noting the Retail Council of
Canada has called for all laying
hens to be cage-free by 2025.
Auston pulls up stakes for Ontario
Executive
director for
egg board
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 17
Stories by PETER MITHAM
DELTA – Since 2002, Village
Farms International Inc. has
tapped methane gas from the
regional landll in Delta to
power a co-generation facility
that yields heat for the 110
acres of greenhouses it
operates right across the
street, as well as electricity for
BC Hydro.
But the quality of landll
gas is such that using the
carbon dioxide the
combustion process releases
hasn’t been a good idea. It’s
dicult to make food-grade
carbon dioxide from the
boilers’ exhaust, so Village
Farms has had no choice but
to pump the gas into the air
to the tune of 19,000 tonnes a
year.
That’s the equivalent of the
annual emissions from 4,000
vehicles, or burning 45,000
barrels of oil.
Now, a study funded by the
Investment Agriculture
Foundation of BC is looking at
ways to take those
greenhouse gases and put
them to use for Village Farms
and other food producers
around the Lower Mainland.
“[Landll gas] is very nasty
in its components,” says
Jonathan Bos, vice-president
of asset development for
Village Farms.
“The project was a world-
wide lit[erature] review and
feasibility study on various
technologies that might be
used to create a CO2 stream
that might be safe for people
and plants.”
Vancouver-based Hallbar
Consulting Inc. undertook the
study in partnership with the
Swedish Institute of
Agricultural and
Environmental Engineering
and identied three potential
options for recovering carbon
dioxide from the exhaust.
“We’ve shown there are
three legitimate options for
making this work with two
world-class companies,” Bos
says. “This isn’t bleeding-edge
technology; this is
commercially available
technology that can be
brought to bear on our
project.”
The options include
scrubbing the gas before
combustion, which would
render it similar to
conventional natural gas
sources, or removing
contaminants after
combustion. Then, the carbon
dioxide would be collected
and maintained in a gaseous
state, or liqueed for storage
and transport.
While heat is a constant
necessity for climate control,
plants don’t need carbon
dioxide around the clock. This
makes the storage element
critical.
While capturing carbon
dioxide as a gas is ne for on-
site uses, he would prefer to
see it cooled and liqueed so
that other local food
companies could use it.
“The exibility of storage
with liquid is tremendous; it’s
the most exible,” he says.
The project received in-kind
support from gas distributor
Air Liquide and the BC Food
Processors Association to
investigate the possibilities of
liquefaction and alternative
uses for the gas. The BC
Greenhouse Growers’
Association also lent its
support.
However, the big unknown
is whether or not Village
Farms will have continued
access to landll gases when
its 20-year contract with the
city and BC Hydro comes up
for renewal in 2022.
“Without the actual supply
of the gas, we don’t really
have any potential to do an
investment,” Bos says. “We
would never be able to do
that without some sort of
commitment, long-term, for
the fuel.”
BC Hydro didn’t comment
prior to deadline but
Vancouver sta downplayed
the fears.
“They’ve already got the
infrastructure in place so it
doesn’t make a lot of sense to
try and go down a dierent
path,” Albert Shamess, the
city’s director of waste
management and resource
recovery, says. “We’ll be in
discussion with them closer
to the time the contract
ends.”
Village Farms currently
uses about 60% of the
landll’s methane, which
Shamess says will continue to
ow well into the future.
“Over time, as more and
more organics get diverted,
there will be some reductions
in gas generation, but we’re
talking many years into the
future,” he says. “There’s lots
of supply for Village Farms.”
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Village Farms investigates carbon capture for food production
BC greenhouse pepper growers saw
markets expand earlier this fall with the start
of exports to Japan. Windset Farms of Delta
is one of three producers registered to ship
peppers; the others are Westcoast Produce
and Sun Select Produce Inc.
Shipments began on September 30,
following an arduous 25-year battle to allay
Japanese concerns regarding the risk of BC
peppers bearing tobacco blue mould to the
island country.
Citing studies from the late 19th century,
Japan had argued against the importation
of greenhouse-grown peppers from BC.
Tobacco plants at the Windset farm and
elsewhere were monitored for a quarter-
century to prove that tobacco blue mould,
while discovered in the similarly moist
environment of Puget Sound, wasn’t a
naturally occurring part of the local
environment.
“We have proven to them through this
process that it doesn’t exist in nature in BC,”
says Linda Delli Santi, executive director of
the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association.
“Therefore, we are a pest-free zone.”
But not all of Canada is. Growers outside
BC’s Lower Mainland are still barred from
sending greenhouse peppers to Japan.
Growers within the Lower Mainland must
also seek recertication each year to assure
Japan that tobacco blue mould is absent.
BC exported $90 million worth of fresh
peppers in 2015, almost entirely to the US.
The opening of Japanese markets could add
$20 million a year to its export trade. The
rst shipment of peppers hit the shelves of a
Costco store in Tokyo.
Peppers account for approximately a
third of BC’s greenhouse vegetable
production, which totals 124,000 tonnes
annually. However, they’re the most
lucrative crop, with sales of $72 million in
2014 – half the sector’s total receipts.
Tomatoes, which account for 43% of
greenhouse produce sales, have long been
accepted in Japan. Delli Santi says the
acceptance of peppers means that growers
will now be able to send two products,
making better use of shipping channels.
Pepping up exports
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201618
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GRAPEVINE, TX – The sales team at
Avenue Machinery Corp. in Abbotsford
were presented with the platinum award
for top sales performance from Kubota
Canada during the Canadian national
dealer meeting in Grapevine, Texas in late
October.
Avenue co-owners Chris Britten, Al Short,
Dave Brandsma and Andy Mitchell accepted
the award on behalf of their dealership from
Kubota Canada president Bob Hickey.
The Kubota platinum award recognizes
sales excellence for Kubota dealerships in
the western provinces.
The ownership group recognizes the
hard work and dedication of the Avenue
sta and thanks all their customers for
making this award possible.
Avenue Machinery of Abbotsford receives national sales award
Chris Britten, Al Short, Dave Brandsma and Andy Mitchell | KUBOTA CANADA PHOTO
SURREY – Surrey-based
Evergreen Herbs Ltd is
partnering with Jaycee Herb
Traders of Guelph, Ontario
under the new banner of
Green Thyme Herbs Ltd.
“Evergreen Herbs has a
longer growing
season which has
allowed us to work
out certain
techniques for nicky
herbs and produce,
and Jaycee has a
larger importing
operation,” says Ron Brar,
president of Evergreen Herbs.
“It’s a perfect match and both
parties are really excited about
it. This strategic partnership
will also allow the discerning
consumer to purchase “Grown
in Canada” products coast-to-
coast for up to 10 months of
the year.”
Tamara Leigh
Niagara bound
CHILLIWACK – Chilliwack
poultry farmers Brian and
Jewel Pauls were set to attend
the national Outstanding
Young Farmer event in
Niagara Falls, Ontario on
November 29 as this issue
went to press.
The couple won the BC-
Yukon Outstanding Young
Farmer competition earlier
this year for their
management of multiple egg,
broiler and turkey farms in
both BC and Saskatchewan.
The farms in Chilliwack
include 17,000 broilers and
55,000 caged white and free-
range brown layers.
The couple is the second
generation of the Pauls family
to win the provincial award.
Brian’s parents, Frank and
Emma Pauls, won the 1990
competition.
Under the banner of the
Pauls Group, the family
pursues a business model that
seeks to acquire family farms
and sta them with families
who live on the premises. This
allows them to grow revenues
while remaining a small,
family-scale operation on the
ground.
Winners from OYF
competitions across Canada
will gather in Niagara Falls
from November 29 to
December 4 for the national
Outstanding Young Farmer
competition. The winner of
the national competition will
be announced December 2.
Peter Mitham
4-H BC and Kubota
Canada announce
partnership
KELOWNA – Kubota Canada
Ltd. is stepping up to support
4-H British Columbia with a
three-year funding
commitment of $10,000 per
year. The contribution will
support programs and
initiatives including Youth
Action, Agri-Career Quest,
Provincial Club Week and
Food For Thought.
Kubota Canada is also
oering a 1% discount on
equipment for all 4-H
members in good standing
and their families, and will be
oering opportunities for
youth to learn about careers
with-in Kubota dealerships
across the province.
Tamara Leigh
Ag Briefs
EDITED BY TAMARA LEIGH
Fresh herb companies to
unite under new brand
See BRIEFS page 19
o
For more information
or to pursue an idea
contact:
Annette Moore
B.Sc.(Agr), M.Sc., P.Ag.
Ph: 604.309.3509
E: qfirst@telus.net
www.qfirst.ca
Quality First in Agriculture Inc.
Helping industry build practical & sustainable programs
Wishing you a very
Merry Christmas
and a safe & prosperous
New Year!
Wishing you and
your employees
a holiday season
filled with peace
& happiness
Crystal & Barb
agri-jobs.ca . 604-823-6222 . info@agri-jobs.ca
Visit our booth at the Pacific Ag Show!
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 19
BRIEFS nfrom page 18
Take moo to your
leader! 4-H BC has
announced the winners
of their annual photo
contest. This winning
picture was taken by 4-H
parent Sabrina Lydan,
from the Matsqui 4-H
Holstein Club. It will be
one of 12 photos
featured in the youth
organization’s 2017
calendar which is being
mailed to all 4-H
members and
association partners.
4-H BC PHOTO
BC Hereford to
host national
conference
KAMLOOPS – The BC
Hereford Association has a
new executive for 2017.
John Lewis of Courtenay
was named president during a
conference call meeting in
early November.
Greg Peter of Langley is
vice president; Vic Redekop of
Aldergove is treasurer and
Janice Tapp of Fraser Lake is
secretary. Rounding out the
new board are directors Phil
Brown of Princeton, Bob
Gowans of Kamloops, Don
Richardson of Tlell, Sheila
Solmonson of Vanderhoof and
Maureen Ziemer of Lumby.
Daryl Kirton of Abbotsford is
the Canadian Hereford
representative and Murray
Gore is past president.
The board agreed to
continue to support both the
Vanderhoof and Williams Lake
bull sales, April 8 and April
13/14, in the new year.
The association is installing
new signs at auction markets
around the province, and
plans are continuing for
Hereford Week in Canada, July
17 to 21, when the club will be
hosting Bonanza 2017, the
premiere Hereford event for
youth members and their
cattle, as well as the Canadian
Hereford annual meeting.
Participants and cattle are
expected from across Canada.
Cathy Glover
Test subjects
wanted
LETHBRIDGE – Researchers
with Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada and
Livestock Gentec are looking
for beef producers interested
in taking part in a genomics
trial they say could help
improve eciency and carcass
quality in Canadian cattle.
The trial was featured in the
November edition of Country
Life in BC.
AAFC research assistant
Michael Vinsky says they are
seeking hair, tissue or blood
samples as well as the animal’s
birth date and birth weight.
Samples will cost $45 each,
Vinsky said.
The trial is open to
purebred and commercial
producers and researchers are
hoping to attract a varied
group that reects all of the
beef industry. Producers who
are interested in submitting
samples can contact Vinsky at
[Michael.vinsky@ualberta.ca].
Chris Yates
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201620
Thank You
to our Partners of the 2016 BC Dairy Industry Conference.
The success of this conference is largely due to their
generosity and commitment to the dairy industry.
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ESTABLISHED 1970
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
21
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – New BC Milk
Marketing Board chair Ben Janzen
faced a full house of producers when
he addressed Mainland Milk Producers
in Abbotsford, one of a series of
meetings across the province in early
November. While it was his rst time at
the helm, Janzen is familiar to the
industry, having been an elected
BCMMB director from 1996 until
retiring as a dairy producer in 2012.
“It’s amazing what happens to the
turnout when you drop the milk price,”
Janzen said, only partly in jest.
In June, the blend price bottomed
out at just $70.37/hl, a drop of over
$6/hl from the previous month. The
price rebounded by almost $5/hl the
following month but has slid back
down again since, dropping to
$71.48/hl for August and $73.25 for
September, the last month for which
gures are available.
Janzen blamed two factors for the
lower blend price: continued imports
of dialtered milk and milk ingredients,
and costs associated with an ever-
increasing stock of skim milk powder.
“Every $600,000 we transfer to the
Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) for
powder storage costs equals $1 o the
blend price,” he pointed out.
“The market demand for BF
(butterfat) was up 5.65% in the last
dairy year. I haven’t seen numbers like
that in my time,” Janzen said, noting
the increased demand is coming from
both uid and industrial milk classes.
“High BF demand means more skim
milk powder,” he added.
The National Ingredient Strategy is
supposed to resolve most issues but is
taking longer than expected to
implement. All provinces signed the
agreement-in-principle in early July
with hopes of having it in place by
November 1. However, the CDC has
yet to approve it and Janzen expects it
will be at least February before all the
details are worked out.
Under the NIS, processors will be
responsible for all components of the
milk they obtain, meaning the CDC will
no longer buy back their surplus
powder. In exchange, processors will
be encouraged to turn the powder
into milk protein ingredients (MPIs)
and milk protein concentrates (MPCs)
and allowed to use them in cheese
and other products.
It is hoped this will encourage
processors to increase dryer capacity
and update aging plants. Although the
Canadian dairy industry can’t restrict
imports of MPIs and MPCs, Janzen says
domestically-produced MPIs and MPCs
will be priced at the world price so
“we’re hoping there will be no
advantage for processors to bring in
imports.”
MPIs and MPCs are now included in
all Class 5 categories and two Class 4
categories and represent 23% of milk
production.
Quota increases
Although the price is not as high as
producers would like, the increasing
demand means more quota for
producers. Producers received another
2% quota increase at the beginning of
November. BC’s milk quota has more
than doubled since the turn of the
century, with increases in the last three
years totaling over 16%.
While that applies to mainstream
milk production, there is even more
growth in specialty milk categories.
Janzen pointed out organic milk
demand has increased 11% in the past
year. As a result, four more farms were
added to the organic production list in
the past year and the board expects to
add another four organic producers in
the coming year. It also expects an
increase in the demand for grass-fed
milk, now being produced by only one
farm.
Although it has been left to each
processor to set its own grass-fed milk
standards, the industry is trying to
develop national standards and a
national certication program to avoid
a potential hodge-podge of standards.
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by RONDA PAYNE
ABBOTSFORD – Blueberry
growers will soon have a new
reason to walk their elds with
smart phones in-hand. The BC
Blueberry Council is wrapping
up work on the new web-
based blueberry eld guide
app.
Karina Sakalauskas is the
contracted research
co-ordinator with the council
who manages a variety of
extension projects including
the new app for growers
which will launch at the Pacic
Agriculture Show’s
Horticultural Growers’ Short
Course set for the end of
January.
The current guide (A Field
Guide to Identication of Pest,
Diseases and other Disorders in
Blueberry Fields) is printed on
pocket-sized, eld-friendly
paper, but obviously is a static
tool.
The new web-based app
will allow growers to zoom in
on pictures for better detail,
watch videos for further pest
information and receive the
latest updates to the guide
which, as Sakalauskas
explains, was in dire need of a
refresh.
“Because the guide was
done in about 2008, we have
to update the information,”
she says.
In fact, that version of the
guide doesn’t even include
the Spotted Wing Drosophila
(SWD).
Funding provided by
Investment Agriculture
Foundation of British
Columbia (IAF) has helped to
bring the project to fruition. It
began in 2015 when a
discussion about the uses of
smart phones and technology
led to the idea that the eld
guide could be adapted to
mobile devices.
Like the pocket guide, this
version will have pictures of
pests, diseases and other
disorders that impact
blueberries along with
descriptions and details. While
accessible from smart phones,
the app will be web-based,
which means growers can
access it from any phone or
desktop or laptop computer.
This new, mobile-friendly
guide will replace the printed
version in delivery of
information on the biology of
pests, benecial insects,
diseases, weather-related
disorders, pesticide damage
and nutritional disorders.
“Every grower has a
dierent mobile,” Sakalauskas
says of phones. “Developing
an app is very costly; it has to
be developed for all the
dierent phone platforms.”
Functionality and user
access were priorities in
development. Growers will
be able to download PDFs
and other documents from
the web-based app on their
phone, allowing them to
take their device into the
eld and review
information.
“We want growers to
have that information…
without having any
internet connection or
anything,” she says.
The guide is all about
identication.
Comparisons are easier in
the eld, which is why the
paper guide was originally
created. Now, growers will
have access to more
information and the ability to
identify issues with a tool they
already carry – their phone.
This online focus will also
make it easier for a blueberry
grower to determine their
next steps, according to
Sakalauskas.
“They can easily get the
answer they need,” she says.
“If they want more
information, they can go to
our website. They can answer,
“Now that I know I have that,
what do I do?’”
Growers will be better
informed as a result of the
mobile app and can take their
ndings to the berry
production guide, eld rep or
the ministry lab to determine
next steps.
Of course, some issues will
still require a lab test to verify
look-alikes but management
becomes easier when
identication is clearer. This
will allow for more tailored,
precise and accurate use of
sprays and other
management tools for better
yields and improved fruit
quality.
“We want to
give the growers
more tools in
order for them to
have a better
approach to the
solution,” notes
Sakalauskas. “The
rst thing they have
to do is
identication.”
Feedback sought
After the launch
of the rst version of
the app, growers will
be able to use it,
provide feedback via
surveys and help
steer changes
towards the nal
version. Updates will
be ongoing past the
April project end
date.
Sakalauskas
received input and
assistance from a
wide-range of
individuals to update
the information and
create the app.
“It was a long project,” she
says. “It takes time and
required input from a lot of
people.”
Those individuals include
pathologists Siva Sabaratnam
and Vippen Joshi;
entomologists Tracy
Hueppelsheuser and Carolyn
Teasdale; Eric Gerbrandt; Mark
Sweeney; Doug Ransome; ES
Cropconsult; BCBC blueberry
growers and executive
director Debbie Etsell.
The blueberry growers eld
app has the potential to be
extended to other types of
berries in the future.
There’s an app for that
Blueberry field guide coming to your smart phone
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
23
First time winner! Davi Machial’s Red Delicious and Royal Galas were the judges’ favorites this year at the
Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. FAIRVIEW ORCHARDS PHOTO
by DAVID SCHMIDT
TORONTO – British
Columbia may not have the
most apples in Canada but
they certainly have some of
the best.
BC apples again captured
many of the top spots at the
National Apple Competition
at the Royal Agricultural
Winter Fair (RAWF) in Toronto.
The annual event attracts
entries from Nova Scotia,
Quebec, Ontario and BC.
BC topped three of the
nine commercial apple
categories and all four of the
new varieties categories.
Leading the way was Dave
Machial of Fairview Orchards
in Oliver. Machial and his
parents, Joe and Anna, have
grown top-quality apples,
cherries and soft-fruits since
1979. A director of the
Summerland Varieties
Corporation who entered the
RAWF competition for the rst
time this year, Machial earned
rst-place honours in the Red
Delicious and Royal Gala
categories and placed second
in the Ambrosia category,
which was dominated by BC
growers.
Repeat winners
First place among
Ambrosia apples went to
Michel and Elma Labelle from
the Naramata Bench area of
Penticton. After starting o
growing pears, prunes,
cherries and older varieties of
apples 35 years ago, they
have more recently
concentrated on such newer
varieties as Ambrosia and
Royal Gala. They clearly have
done very well at both as their
Royal Galas also placed
second in that category.
These are not Labelle’s rst
accolades, having received
the BC Fruit Growers
Association’s prestigious
Golden Apple Award for
sound horticultural practices
in 2013.
Other BC winners at the
RAWF competition were Billy
and Shauna Boerboom of
Windmill Growers in
Summerland (Golden
Delicious), Kashmir and
Kulwinder Bengag of the
Mariposa Fruit Stand in
Keremeos (Aurora Golden
Gala), Dave, Arlene and James
Sloan of Matheson Creek
Farms in Okanagan Falls
(Salish) and Jad Nijer of Nijer
Family Farms in Kelowna
(Nicola).
BC not only grows good
apples, but grows them big.
Devon Jell of Summerland
won the title for the Heaviest
Apple at the competition, a
Honeycrisp apple weighing in
at 1.9 kg.
How’s them apples?
BC growers blossom at the Royal
and bring home national awards
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January 26-28
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201624
TIMBER! A faller works to take out 50-year-old Anjou pear trees in
Steve Day's orchard in Kelowna. Planted by Day's father in the 1950s,
they will be replanted with Bartletts in a high density system which
will give a much higher yield per acre. TOM WALKER PHOTO
by TOM WALKER
KELOWNA – Resolutions, replants and
renegotiations are occupying the BC Fruit
Growers Association (BCFGA) these days.
The BCFGA annual convention is slated for
February 2-3 in Penticton. A number of
resolutions have been drawn up this fall and
will be nalized by the December 3 deadline.
The proliferation of food safety regulations
is a concern to the organization. The BCFGA is
calling for a common sense approach and
supports a national program, such as Canada
GAP.
Members are also looking for a more
consistent, regional approach to Agricultural
Land Reserve decisions to avoid a patchwork
of policy by individual municipalities.
Increased pest monitoring is a priority as
well, and a deer cull is proposed.
BCFGA general manager Glen Lucas doesn’t
see any of the resolutions as being particularly
contentious.
“Some will generate discussion,” he says,
“while others will clarify “Is this the right
direction to move in?””
For the third time, incumbent Fred Steele
will be challenged for president by Jeet Dukhia.
Applications for the third year of the current
replant program closed October 31 and Lucas
says both the number and quality of
applications is up.
“We have had 170 applications this year.
That’s compared to 140 last year,” he notes.
The provincial government provided an
extra $300,000 for last year’s program that
enabled all eligible 2015/16 applications to be
funded. Only one application was denied.
“Someone was applying to replant grapes
with apples,” he says.
“I don’t know the size of the individual
applications yet,” says Lucas, “so I can’t
estimate whether or not we will have enough
funding to cover all the applications this year.”
Lucas says he feels the government is
leading the industry toward better orchard
planning.
“Putting the replant plans together can be a
hassle but I think they put the growers in a
better place.”
“(Ministry of Agriculture tree fruit specialist)
Carl Withler gave a couple of presentations on
how to make the best application possible,”
says Lucas, adding that any replant plan has to
be a good business decision on the part of the
grower. Replant assistance only covers a
quarter to a third of the total replant costs
growers incur to convert to varieties that
provide a higher return.
Progress continues to be made toward a
national tree fruit rejuvenation plan that
proposes interest free loans to growers looking
to plant bare ground not currently being
cropped.
“We have nalized the proposal and are
co-ordinating how we will present it to the
government,” says Lucas “We are making as
many MPs aware of the proposal as we can. So
far, they have been positive about it.”
Columbia River treaty
BCFGA continues to keep an eye on the
Columbia River Treaty renegotiation process.
The current treaty provides extensive irrigation
opportunities for Washington tree fruit, onion
and potato growers. Lucas says he is
encouraged by the recent announcement that
the US is ready to start negotiations.
“There will be signicant changes to ood
provisions in eight years that will create
uncertainty for the US and I think that, as that
date creeps closer, the Americans have got
more serious.
“We hope that there will be continue to be
representation from the Ministry of
Agriculture,” says Lucas. “The (BCMA) sta
position in the provincial negotiating team has
lapsed and we hope it will be renewed.”
Fruit growers pack agenda
Talk to a BMO Agri-Specialist for assistance. We’re here to help.
ABBOTSFORD
Randy Lam 604-504-4626
Rick Tilitzky 604-504-4970
Satpal Gill 604-504-4975
Greg Ksinan 604-504-4647
CHILLIWACK
Carlie Fleenor 604-793-7256
David Fuerst 604-793-7274
CLOVERDALE
Igor Koblizka 604-574-6885
John Howard 604-574-6855
Philip Kunz 604-574-6878
COURTENAY
Caroline Neumann 250-703-5330
CRESTON / CRANBROOK
Christine Cooper 250-426-1179
DUNCAN
Ryan Wettlaufer 250-715-2705
MAPLE RIDGE
Roland Lazar 604-574-6890
NORTH OKANAGAN
Teri Kopp 250-838-5820
PRINCE GEORGE / NORTH
Ante Cirko 250-612-3030
WILLIAMS LAKE
Darlene Campbell 250-305-6828
Let’s grow together.
Let’s grow together.
DIANE MURPHY
VICE PRESIDENT COMMERCIAL
AGRICULTURAL MARKETS
604-504-4980
diane2.murphy@bmo.com
STEVE SACCOMANO
SENIOR AGRICULTURAL
MANAGER
604-504-4976
steve.saccomano@bmo.com
IAIN SUTHERLAND, P .Ag
AGRICULTURE MANAGER
604-504-4978
iain.sutherland@bmo.com
LYNN LASHUK, P .Ag
AGRICULTURE MANAGER
604-979-7827
lynn.lashuk@bmo.com
Committed to Agriculture
Under the Terms of the Bylaws of the Association
Members are Directed to Take Notice of the
128th Annual General Meeting of the
BRITISH COLUMBIA
FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION
February 2-3, 2017
At the PENTICTON LAKESIDE RESORT, PENTICTON, BC
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2017 BUSINESS SESSION (1 PM–5 PM)
Annual Report of the Executive;
Financial statements, budget, and any Special Resolutions;
Annual reports of subsidiaries:
• BC Research and Development Orchard Ltd.
• Summerland Varieties Corporation;
Guest speakers and reports of industry organizations and companies;
Committee reports and resolutions for delegate consideration.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017 POLICY SESSION (8:30 AM–2 PM)
• Guest speakers and reports of industry organizations & companies;
• Special reports;
• Committee reports and resolutions for delegate consideration;
• Election of the BCFGA Executive at 2:00 pm
SOCIAL - A Social will be held on Friday evening. All members and
government and industry organization representatives are invited to
attend the social from 6 – 8 pm on Thursday, February 2 at the
Penticton Lakeside Resort, Penticton.
BC FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION office:
880 Vaughan Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 7E4
250-762-5226 (T) (250) 861-9089 (F) www.bcfga.com
All members and industry and
government representatives welcome.
Lunch provided on Saturday.
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 25
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201626
by PETER MITHAM
ABBOTSFORD – With more
than a decade of biosecurity
experience behind them since
the cataclysmic avian
inuenza outbreak of 2004
that saw more than 17 million
birds killed throughout the
Fraser Valley, BC poultry
producers have never been
more prepared for an
outbreak than they are today.
The big question is, will it
be enough?
The limited outbreak of
2014 tested industry defences,
but panelists convened to
discuss biosecurity at a recent
industry workshop in
Abbotsford highlighted
shortcomings on the ground.
Auditors for the four key
poultry sectors – eggs,
broilers, hatching eggs and
BC protocols praised but international experience shows that growers can't rest easy
Complacency a big risk in the fight against AI
turkeys – pinpointed a
number of areas where
producers are becoming
complacent.
Demarcation and barriers at
the threshold of biosecure
zones are often missing or
inadequate, for example, and
control
zones are not
well-
maintained –
not just for
humans, but
for rodents.
Susan
Mallory, who
audits turkey
producers,
said 43% of
the cards she issues are for
infractions of the
requirements for biosecurity
zones.
Broiler-breeder producer
Sharmain Bennie of
Willowgrove Poultry in
Chilliwack said she nds it
tough to see biosecurity
working and that can lead to
complacency, echoing the
opinion of others that a good
defense fails when there’s no
obvious threat.
Dave Martens of Bright
Meadow Farms in Abbotsford
said that positive attitudes can
blind producers to the risks
their ocks face.
Reporting on the 2015
avian inuenza outbreak in
the US Midwest, avian health
professor Carol Cardona of
the University of Minnesota
highlighted the dangers of
complacence and weak
response protocols.
The troubles began with
detection, with the initial
producer missing any sign of
infection. By the time test
results identied the H5N2
strain as the cause, 90% of the
ock was dead.
The delay allowed the virus
to adapt to the population
and become more adept at
spreading, until the industry
was on the defensive.
“We allowed [the risks] to
build up with no idea
anything bad could ever
happen,” Cardona said. “We’d
like to tell you we saved a lot
of birds in how this was
handled, but there’s a lot of
kinks to be worked out.”
The kinks were costly, with
43 million birds killed by May
30, 2015. Iowa egg producers
alone lost 30 million hens,
contributing to a 120% rise in
egg prices locally and a boost
of more than 70% in
California. US poultry exports
were also hit with 16 markets
shut in response to the
outbreak.
Cardona
said the
Minnesota
industry is
investing in
additional
foamers and
other
measures to
ensure the
prompt
depopulation
of infected ocks but better
biosecurity protocols are also
needed.
“Part of it is preserving
biosecurity,” she said. “We
know that if we don’t kill
them, millions more will be
dead.”
Global issue
Unfortunately, global will to
eradicate the disease and
improve biosecurity is lacking.
Tighter biosecurity in
China, for example, would
destabilize local production,
which would have political
consequences for the
country’s leadership.
Authoritarian and grappling
with an economic slowdown,
it isn’t about to invite further
instability.
However, this facilitates the
movement of the virus
between populations and its
adaptation to domestic ocks.
The highly pathogenic H5N2
strain that emerged in BC in
2014 is thought to have come
from Asia, highlighting the
globe-trotting nature of the
virus.
Moreover, the amount of
virus needed to infect a
population is diminishing,
contributing to the volatile
and unpredictable risk
producers face.
“The threat is changing and
it’s becoming greater,”
Cardona said. “It’s time to
rethink how we do
biosecurity. … Are we really
learning the lessons the facts
are teaching us?”
Cardona didn’t have an
answer, and while she praised
the local industry, her
counterparts in BC were no
more condent of what lies
ahead.
Allan Cross, a hatching egg
producer and broiler grower
in Aldergrove who oversees
control eorts as part of the
industry’s emergency
operations centre, said rapid
destruction of ocks is what’s
wanted.
“Our new goal is complete
destruction within 24 hours
after detection,” he said. “If
we respond fast enough, we
can minimize the exposure
time.”
Growers should have 72-
hour response plans in place,
Cross said, and improve on-
farm data collection so they
know what’s happening in
their ocks. Carbon dioxide
suppliers should also be in
place and ready to go in the
event of an outbreak. Growers
are also expected to be able
to compost birds on site as of
January 1, 2018 to limit the
movement of carcasses and
potentially infected tissues.
“We’ve never been more
prepared than we are today,”
Cross said. “We’re just not sure
what we’re prepared for.”
The troubles began with detection,
with the initial producer missing any sign of infection.
By the time the test results identied the H5N2 strain
as the cause, 90% of the ock was dead.
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 27
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Poultry farmers should worry less about wild birds ying overhead and focus on limiting contact between
ocks on the ground, both wild and domestic. FILE PHOTO
by PETER MITHAM
ABBOTSFORD – Biosecurity
trumps birds when it comes to
ghting avian inuenza,
according to several speakers
at an industry workshop in
Abbotsford on October 20.
“The evidence that
migratory waterfowl are the
main point of introduction, I
don’t agree with it,” declared
Armando Mirande, principal of
Supervet Inc., a poultry
consulting rm just outside
Houston, Texas. “The evidence
against them is circumstantial
at best.”
Mirande capped a day of
presentations with a high-
powered talk that targeted
everything from corruption in
his native Mexico, where avian
inuenza is endemic, to
unhelpful practices among
producers.
While interactions between
waterfowl and domestic ocks
are a risk factor, wild birds
have become a kind of
scapegoose that take the
blame for lax biosecurity
protocols and other practices
that create favourable
conditions for the spread of
disease.
While it’s become
politically and socially
acceptable to blame
migratory birds, Mirande said
this has also diverted
attention from the old target:
live bird markets where birds
are kept in close proximity.
Similarly, no one is addressing
backyard ocks which can
legally number as many as
3,000 birds.
Moreover, the movement
of birds within Mexico (to
plants that grant sick birds a
clean bill of health), not to
mention litter – a cheap
source of protein for feedlot
cattle in northern Mexico – are
major risk factors that
conceivably contribute to the
spread of the disease.
Stronger biosecurity
protocols on the ground
could do far more to combat
the disease than casting eyes
to the skies, where Daniel
Schwartz, a biosecurity
specialist with the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency, said
the sight of geese above
shouldn’t ll farmers with
alarm.
In one of the more
fascinating facts of the day,
Schwartz said Canada geese
typically don’t engage in
excretion while ying. Rather,
they do so prior to take o
and once every four to ve
minutes while foraging.
Schwartz reassured
producers that neither they
nor their ocks are likely to be
pelted with virus-laden poop
from airborne fowl.
The greater danger – as in
Mexico and elsewhere – lies in
the close proximity of wild
and domestic birds, and the
high concentration of
domestic ocks through
which avian inuenza, once
it’s taken hold in a population,
can spread.
Victoria Bowes, a diagnostic
avian pathologist with the BC
Ministry of Agriculture, told
producers that wild birds are
typically a stable reservoir of
low-pathogenic avian
inuenza. Because the virus
has evolved with the
population “since forever,”
there’s a relatively peaceful
coexistence between the two.
The greater danger
emerges when bird
populations start mingling.
It’s ne and dandy for birds
of a feather to ock together,
but when viruses jump to a
new population, the risks
increase.
The virus’ presence in
waterfowl doesn’t guarantee
its leap to domestic ocks but
regular contact between the
two groups helps the virus
adapt into a risk to domestic
birds.
Avian inuenza has been
found in 20 of 42 migratory
species, with strains H3, H4,
H6 and H11 being the most
common. Yet, not every
species will be aected the
same way and even if the
virus is found, it doesn’t
necessarily mean that the
species itself is a stable
reservoir of the virus.
The variables make it
tough to predict the
likelihood or the
consequences of a jump
between populations. A case
in point is the 2014 outbreak
in BC, when birds from Asia
very likely introduced a new
strain of the virus. Producers
faced a potentially
unpredictable element,
demanding a prompt
response.
“You have to be continually
monitoring, because things
do change,” Bowes said.
The high concentration of
poultry farms in the Fraser
Valley makes it a particularly
susceptible area for
transmission and adaptation
of the virus, requiring a better
understanding of the exact
dynamic at play very
important.
“We can be proud of the
fact that we’ve had early
detection,” Bowes said, noting
that lab capacity has typically
exceeded the number of
incoming samples. “That may
not happen next time.”
Don’t blame the birds
Biosecurity key to the spread and
prevention of avian influenza
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201628
“To the consumer, our
story doesn’t exist
until we tell it.”
Andrew Campbell, Agvocate
Dairy Producer
Learn more at AgMoreThanEver.ca.
Be somebody who does something.
Be an agvocate.
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – In February 1958, Country Life in
BC ran an ad (at right) for Rump & Sendall, then a
prominent Fraser Valley chick hatchery, advertising
the Ames In-Cross layer as being 58 years ahead of
its time. In a hyperbole common to advertising at
the time, the ad proclaimed the Ames In-Cross
would put poultry producers into 2016!
Informed of the ad, George Gray of Pacic Pride
Chicks in Abbotsford could only laugh.
“Where are they now?” he asked rhetorically,
noting the Ames layer hasn’t existed for decades,
and probably for good reason.
Just ve years after this ad appeared, Ames
In-cross was swallowed up by DeKalb, another
prominent line of layers at the time. Although
DeKalb outlasted Ames, they too exited the poultry
(and hog) genetics business in the mid-1990s and
their stock is now part of Hendrix Genetics of the
Netherlands.
Although the Ames name has disappeared, the
DeKalb, Shaver and H&N Chicks names, all from
prominent North American layer poultry breeding
companies in the mid 20th century, remain but
their ownership now rests in Europe.
“There are no longer any Shaver or DeKalb
breeders in North America,” Gray says. He notes
Hendrix (DeKalb, Shaver & ISA), the Erich Wesjohann
Group in Germany (Hyline-Lohman & H&N) and
Groupe Grimaud in France (Novogen) are now the
three primary sources of layer product in the world.
“When I started selling chicks in the 1970s, Shaver
came out with the Shaver 288. Their goal was to produce 288 eggs in a cycle but
farmers were lucky to get 270 eggs,” Gray recalls. “Today, if a producer isn’t
getting 340 eggs, they wonder what’s wrong with their ock.
Birds today are more ecient. They have been bred for persistence, shell
quality and livability. Now producers expect 2.5%
mortality for the life of the ock but back then, a
mortality rate of 12% was commonplace.
“The French and German product is almost
beyond belief,” Gray says, claiming farmers from
1958 wouldn’t recognize today’s layers and
certainly wouldn’t believe the rates of production
and mortality producers now enjoy.
When he started, hatcheries gave trophies to
producers who could get their ocks to produce at
90% for 12 weeks.
“Now, if you aren’t getting 97% until well past
week 50, you’re doing something wrong. I have one
producer who’s shipping his birds out in two weeks
who’s still getting 90% production from his ock.”
Pacic Pride was selling H&N Chicks until two
years ago but have now switched to the Novogen
bird, Gray calling Novogen “the latest poultry
genetics in Europe.”
Both he and his boss, Marvin Friesen, note
Novogen has been proactively breeding birds for
aviaries, free range and free run systems, saying
that is the direction the industry is going.
Friesen notes their main competitor in BC, Hyline
International, “is struggling now because their
genetics has been focused on cage production. All
of us in the layer chick business have to look for
traits which birds bred for cages have lost over the
years.”
Gray says breeders are also breeding for more
longevity in their ocks. Although BC poultry
producers expect 52 to 56 weeks of production
from their ocks (since birds start to lay at 18 to 20
weeks of age, that translates to a ock age of 70 to 76 weeks), he says that will
increase.
“The primary breeder manuals have gone from 72 to 90 weeks. That’s now
considered a single ock.”
Poultry farmers in 1958 wouldn’t recognize today’s birds
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 29
by CHRIS YATES
QUICK – In an information-
packed two-hour presentation
to 60 Bulkley Valley cattlemen
recently, Alberta-based beef
and forage specialist Barry
Yaremcio both supported and
debunked some of the
common wisdom among
livestock producers. The
audience was interested and
engaged as they were told,
among many other things,
that loose minerals are best
for cattle in winter; next best
is the brown or green blocks
and the blue blocks are great
to use as a door stop.
The specialist started by
reminding ranchers that cattle
can eat, breathe and drink on
their own but “we’re
responsible for the balance of
the rations.”
He added that cattle do
have a craving for salt and will
continue to eat it until they’ve
had enough. Then, he went
on to outline the who, what,
when, where and why of
feeding to support a healthy
and protable herd.
All feed should be tested,
he insisted, for protein,
calcium, phosphorous,
magnesium, potassium and
sodium.
“You want about 20 core
samples from a batch of hay
to have a good representative
sample.”
NIR (Near Infra Red) and
wet chemistry are used to test
for minerals in forage and
according to Yaremcio, “wet
chemistry is the standard.
There’s no dierence in results
in protein (between the two
methods) but there’s a big
dierence in calcium,
magnesium and phosphorous,
which makes a big dierence
in what minerals you use to
supplement the cows.” For the
most accurate information,
livestock producers should ask
their lab for analysis by wet
chemistry if possible.
He also addressed the
desirability of testing for Acid
Detergent Fibre (ADF) to
calculate energy content and
said that a mixed hay sample
from the Edmonton area in
1996 showed a loss of 1% to
1.5% protein per week and 2%
to 4% Total Digestible
Nutrients (TDN) after heading.
Producers testing a pure
alfalfa crop can rely on the
Relative Feed Value (RFV)
results on their forage but
anyone testing mixed alfalfa
or mixed grasses should look
to feed test results for a
reliable evaluation.
The formula for calculating
energy values varies from lab
to lab and can result in a ve
point dierence for the same
forage, Yaremcio says. He
suggests ranchers rely on their
own observations and weigh
growing animals to keep track
of how they’re doing.
As a beef specialist,
Yaremcio stressed the
importance of a cow’s body
condition score (BCS)
throughout the year.
“Get the cows into shape in
the fall before it gets cold,” he
said. “Up to one bale per cow
less feed is needed for winter
with a good fall BCS. If they’re
in good shape, you can bring
the weight down before
calving.”
A cow in late pregnancy,
however, needs feed with 60%
TDN, he said, adding if the
TDN is lower than that in the
forage, ranchers should
supplement the ration to get
it to 60%. He added additional
rations can be necessary
during harsh weather
conditions.
He emphasized the
importance of managing the
herd to develop strong
heifers, keep body scores up
and provide the minerals
necessary to ensure good
calving and colostrum
production for calves. He
suggested a herd
management computer
program such as CowBytes,
available from the Alberta
Ministry of Agriculture and
Forestry for $50, to determine
how to eectively supplement
an individual herd based on
its feed analysis.
The audience was told
when and how to harvest,
which minerals and vitamins
to feed and to whom, salt and
mineral supplementation (100
cows should consume one
bag of salt/mineral mix a week;
cows crave salt not minerals),
best storage methods for hay
and silage, dry hay feeding
costs compared to stockpiled
forage grazing, and much
more.
He also oered to help
those with individual
questions by email
[Barry.Yaremcio@gov.ab.ca].
“I don’t acknowledge
borders,” he said. “I’ve talked
to people from all over the
world, including Egypt.”
Yaremcio commended the
Bulkley Valley Cattlemen
Association for hosting the
annual eld day and said it
was gratifying to see so many
people in attendance,
including some young faces
among the crowd. Angus
breeders Monty and Tanya
Belsham of Poplar Meadows
Ranch in Quick provided the
venue for the event in their
spacious sale barn, and
nancial support came from
Growing Forward 2, Bulkley
Valley Cattlemen, Bulkley
Valley Dairymen and the BC
Horn Levy.
Know what you’re feeding
Beef cattle specialist says taking time to test
feed will improve herd health and profits
Alberta beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio examines an unusual third crop of alfalfa on a farm in the
Bulkley Valley in early October. Yaremcio detailed beef and forage management in a presentation during
the Bulkley Valley Cattlemen Association’s annual eld day. CHRIS YATES PHOTO
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Happy New Year
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201630
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 31
by RONDA PAYNE
LANGLEY – Each year, the
Langley Sustainable
Agriculture Foundation (LSAF)
hosts a farm tour together
with the Township of Langley.
Participants tour farms, learn
something new and carry on
with their day.
This year’s tour, however,
was perhaps the most
thought-provoking to date.
While the focus was on farms
located on Bertrand Creek in
Langley and the Ecological
Services Initiative (ESI) – also
known as Farmland
Advantage – the information
and principles readily apply to
any farming operation with a
body of water and/or other
natural habitats.
Dave Melnychuk, chair of
the LSAF, provided context for
the group of participants who
ranged from farmers to
politicians. ESI began in the
East Kootenays and includes
six regions (of which Langley
is one) in the three-year pilot;
2016 is year one. There are
eight farms participating in
the Langley program with
budget to bring on two more.
These farms allow access for
assessments and monitoring
of their ecosystems with a
goal to create clean water
supplies, erosion control, pest
management and habitat
preservation.
“We picked Bertrand Creek
because it has unique
features,” Melnychuk said.
“There are positive things
farmers can do and are doing
to look after their waterways.”
Two of the farms along
Bertrand Creek are 37-acre
Lakeview Farms Ltd. and 45-
acre Kensington Prairie Farms,
the two stops before a
luncheon discussion of ESI.
Dave Zehnder, program co-
ordinator for ESI, spoke at the
luncheon as well as at the
stops along the way.
At Lakeview, which is a
broiler production and beef
cattle operation, Zehnder
pointed out some basics
about farming, waterways and
the environment.
“The objective of the
initiative is to maintain the
health of the riparian area and
improve it wherever possible,”
he said. “Water quality is
better when the [creek] bank
is stable. We want to have
good healthy vegetation
Ecology and
farming
Langley farm tour puts spotlight
on habitat restoration projects
beside the creek.”
A number of indicators are
explored at each participating
farm site to determine the
health of the creek. Healthy
tree roots – alder, birch and
maple are the most preferable
– help hold the bank in place.
Invasive plants like ivy and
blackberries, which seem to
be aggressive in their roots,
actually have shallow root
systems and are poor at
retaining soil while they choke
out desired riparian species.
Fencing needs to be set back
from the bank edge, both for
the safety of animals as well as
for the ongoing safety of the
creek.
Zehnder understands fully
the sacrice farmers make by
getting involved in the
program and contributing to
the health of the creek.
“Financial experts are
analyzing the costs of this for
the farmer,” he said. “We are
contracting farmers to take
extraordinary actions. More
and more, we will depend on
farmers to provide this
service.”
Farmers in the program
receive a small amount of
money for their participation.
Zehnder knows the funding to
farmers will need to change as
the value is considered more
carefully throughout the
program.
“There is an incentive; it’s
really a token,” Melnychuk said
of the compensation. “Over
the three-year period, we
need to address what is the
true value of good sh habitat.
I think we have really good
potential to work with farms
and the environment to do
some really good stu.”
Overall, the site at Lakeview
was seen as excellent. In fact,
when Melnychuk and Zehnder
visited in their rst
assessment, they saw a
salmon jump out of the creek.
“It was the best day of my
job,” said Zehnder. “I was
really excited to have that
experience.”
The property’s owner,
Everett Friesen and his son,
Rob, were on site to answer
questions as well.
“I always wanted a salmon-
bearing stream,” Friesen said.
“It was a thrill to have salmon
here. I want to keep it
pristine.”
Different situation
Kensington Prairie Farms,
which breeds alpacas and
cattle, has a very dierent
situation to contend with.
Owner Catherine Simpson
noted there is work to be
done on the creek here. There
are lots of blackberries and ivy
which have killed trees and
caused the fences to be
moved three times.
“I actually had an alpaca
down the bank,” she said.
“What the ivy doesn’t get, the
beavers are getting.”
Here, the erosion is to the
point of being dangerous and
Simpson believes it has
increased exponentially over
the 12 years she has been on
the property. She estimates
up to eight feet of land has
been lost in some areas.
“That’s a real challenge,”
DAVE MELNYCHUK | RONDA PAYNE PHOTO
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201632
said Melnychuk. “There’s a
spot upstream by the house
where the bank erosion is
much more severe.”
Something has to be done
to prevent safety issues to the
Simpsons, the animals and the
creek. Erosion of the bank
causes sediment and this
creek is habitat not only for
salmon but also other much
more rare species according
to Mike Pearson, biologist with
Pearson Ecological.
“Ecologically, this is a very
important property,” Pearson
said. “The Nooksack Dace and
Salish Sucker [both
endangered] are at risk
because there is only a small
area they populate.”
Melnychuk notes there will
be a combination of
approaches used in this
section of Bertrand Creek
incorporating trees and other
methods.
“We think of it [trees] as a
low-tech solution,” he said.
“That low-tech solution is
better or complementary to
the high-tech. We’ll start
ECOLOGY & FARMING nfrom page 31
where it’s more critical, then
move on.”
Simpson is optimistic about
the ESI program and how it
can help deal with the issues
faced on her property.
“We were going to have to
do something anyway,” she
said. “So I think this is great. I’d
like to see the program go
across the province and
across the country.”
In Simpson’s case, she will
be paying for the majority of
the repairs to the bank but the
money from the program and
the advice certainly help.
Funding
“Funding is of primary
concern,” noted Zehnder.
“Unfortunately, creeks and
streams aren’t seen like a road
or a sewer when those are
built or repaired.”
He further explained that
while this is simply a research
and development phase of
what will hopefully be a future
program, the ultimate goal is
a larger roll-out.
“Farms aect so much
more than food production,”
he said. “The human
population is going through
the roof and if we don’t get
[preservation programs for
rural landscapes] right, we’re
really in trouble.”
The end goal of the three-
year program is to pay farmers
to take the steps necessary to
preserve land, streams and
other ecologically valuable
areas. By working with ESI,
farmers will have one point of
contact to develop the farm
plans and prevent the need
for contacting multiple
organizations for input and
the funding.
Once the pilot program is
complete, Zehnder and
Melnychuk believe there will
be a solid business case to
present to potential funders
to create a pool money from
various sources.
Zehnder says it’s about
preserving the things
everyone loves: shing,
swimming and enjoying
nature while respecting the
job the farmer does.
Better butter
by PETER MITHAM
LANGLEY – “You are what you eat,” and in the case of
Canada’s dairy products, you may be what the cow eats, too.
A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food
Chemistry by UBC-Okanagan biologist Sanjoy Ghosh
identies Canada’s butter as having the highest level of
omega-6 fatty acids of any from 13 countries. Russia and
Belarus had the least.
Omega-6 fatty acids are most commonly found in
saower, sunower and corn oils, all of which are used for
cooking, as well as nuts and seeds. Canada’s Heart and
Stroke Foundation recommends its consumption in
moderation because it may lower benecial forms of
cholesterol. Other research has linked it to heart disease
and certain cancers.
Ghosh and fellow researcher Amy Botta set out to
examine the eect of incorporating of oilseeds rich in
omega-6 fatty acids into the diet of dairy cattle. The pair
expected butter from countries with more than 5% of their
agricultural land dedicated to oilseed production would
have higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids in their butter.
This turned out to be the case, impacting the quality – and
potential health eects – of butter on the general
population.
While milk consumption across Canada has fallen in the
past decade, from approximately 83.6 litres per person in
2006 to less than 75 litres today (milk consumption in BC is
typically 10 litres less than the national average), uptake of
other forms of dairy – especially cheese and butter – have
increased.
“Canadians consume more dairy than they did
previously but they do it dierently. They don’t do it
through uid milk; they do it through other dairy
products,” notes Trevor Hargreaves, BC Dairy’s director of
producer relations and communications.
Ghosh warns that while the dierence in fat
composition may be signicant, most consumers in
Canada don’t consume enough butter to increase the
threat to their health. Still, the ndings are an endorsement
of the diets of those who consider grass-fed livestock a
healthier choice for dairy and meat products.
The ndings also support eorts to improve forage
resources for BC livestock, such as the trials the BC Forage
Council has been undertaking near Vanderhoof and work
in the Applied Sustainable Ranching program at
Thompson Rivers University.
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Merry Christmas!
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 33
Okay. Here’s a Christmas
quiz, herbivore style:
When is a ower just a leaf?
What are witches’ brooms?
Where can the rst
recorded Christmas tree be
found?
For sure, Christmas is about
Christ’s birth and snow and
plum pudding and gifts and
family gatherings. But it is also
one of the most colourful
times of year with all the
plants we bring indoors and
decorate.
Think of the rich reds,
oranges and pinks of
poinsettias, all the shades of
green of traditional r and
spruce trees, the soft greens
and pearly white berries of
mistletoe and the sharp
greens and red berries of
holly.
All this isn’t by accident, of
course, and there are some
pretty cool myths and stories
that launched our love of
plants at Christmas.
Poinsettias are native to
Central America and named
after Joel Poinsett, the rst US
envoy to Mexico who
introduced the plant to the US
in 1825.
But the plant already had a
Christmas connection
springing from 16th century
Mexico. A poor little girl called
Pepita was inspired by an
angel to gather weeds from
the roadside for Jesus’
birthday and place them in
front of the
church altar.
Crimson
leaves sprang
from the
weeds to
become the
Christmas
plant, the star-
shaped leaf pattern
resembling the Star of
Bethlehem and the red, of
course, the blood of Christ.
Coloured poinsetta leaves
aren’t actually owers but are
leafy bracts that will change
colour as the length of
daylight diminishes in fall. The
plant needs complete
darkness (at least 12 hours per
day for at least ve days) to
trigger the photoperiodism
that gives the leaves those
gorgeous red, orange, pink or
speckled colours.
Some 75 million poinsettias
are sold across North America
in December with over two
million sold in British
Columbia, alone generating a
consumer spending spree of
over $300 million. About 80%
of those poinsettias will be the
red variety with 20% being
novelty, designer-style or a
funky avant-garde type. There
are over 100 cultivated
varieties.
Celebrating the colours of Christmas
Christmas kisses
By contrast, mistletoe is not
something you want to grow.
As a hemi-parasite, it grows on
the branches of trees and
shrubs and earned the ancient
Greek name Phoradendron for
“tree thief.” Trees infested with
mistletoe invariably die from
the parasitic growth. There are
1,300 species worldwide and,
in Canada and the US, there
are about 30 species.
The mistletoe masses look
like tangled baskets and they
are sometimes called witches’
brooms, great for nesting birds
including wrens, chickadees,
mourning doves, pygmy
nuthatches, tree squirrels and
spotted owls. It’s pretty
signicant that, according to
the National Wildlife
Federation, researchers found
that 43% of spotted owl nests
in one forest were associated
with witches’ brooms and 64%
of all Cooper’s hawk nests in
northeastern Oregon were in
mistletoe.
A tiny sprig is all you need
for that puckering up custom
of kissing someone under the
mistletoe. A Scandinavian
myth tells of Baldur the
Beautiful, the god of light,
who dreamed his life was in
danger. His mother, Frigga,
travelled the world asking
everyone not to hurt her son.
But she forgot to ask
mistletoe. Loki, god of re and
envious of Baldur, used a dart
poisoned with mistletoe to kill
him. Frigg’s tears became the
white berries of the plant and
she vowed that never again
would it be used to kill
anyone but to bring peace
with a kiss on anyone who
passed under it.
Oh! Christmas tree!
Christmas tree farming is a
major seasonal industry.
The plants we covet during the holidays have had a big influence on the colours of the season
Research
MARGARET EVANS
Today, British Columbia
produces about 900,000
Christmas trees and there are
over 450 growers in the
province with 200 in the
Kootenay area, 200 in the
Fraser Valley and on
Vancouver Island, and 50 in
the Okanagan and Thompson
areas.
Nationally, some three to
six million trees are produced
annually on 2,381 farms. The
2014 farm cash receipts for
Christmas trees in Canada
amounted to $64.4 million, up
16.6% from $55.3 million in
2013.
Fir trees, wreaths and
garlands were in play as
decorative focal points to
symbolize eternal life among
the early Egyptians, Chinese
and Hebrews. But the modern
Christmas tree is thought to
have originated during the
Renaissance of early modern
Germany. Its 16th century
origins are sometimes
associated with Protestant
Christian reformer Martin
Luther who is said to have
been the rst person to add
lighted candles to an
evergreen tree – maybe not
the wisest move.
As for the rst recorded
Christmas tree, it is on the
keystone sculpture of a
private home in Turckheim,
north-eastern France, dating
from 1576. Turckheim is
known for its wines, Alsatian
cuisine, stunning scenery,
medieval wall and its black-
cloaked night watchman.
Merry colourful Christmas!
DAVID SCHMIDT
Van Der Wal Equipment (1989) Ltd.
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EXCAVATOR
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201634
by TOM WALKER
KAMLOOPS – Joey Bedard is
enthusiastic. He’s just completed
harvesting and processing his rst full
crop from Canada Hops, the largest hop
farm in the country at 220 acres.
“We had a pretty good yield of 60,000
pounds,” says Bedard. He explains that
included losing 20 acres that had to be
treated for crown rot.
“This was denitely a training year,”
Bedard adds. “When we are in full
production, we hope to see 500,000
pounds.”
Hops Canada sits in an old horse
pasture on a bench above the North
Thompson River, on Tk’emlups Indian
band land. Bedard says he was looking
for a large property to grow and
support his hops brokerage business.
“We had about a million in sales in 2015, buying
hops from other growers. I can contract out ve
years in the hop world. Things were going good.”
He had a small 20 acre hop farm in Ontario.
“It just made sense that the next step was to grow
to supplement what we are buying.”
“I approached the band to do just a lease and part
of the lease agreement is that they want to see your
business plan,” says Bedard. “And at that point, they
wouldn’t let me lease. They bought me out and I
formed a partnership with the band. So I own 33% of
the farm and brokerage, and the band owns 66%.”
“The land is part of the band’s capital investment.
We get the land at a good price for the rst three
years,” adds Bedard.
The elds are covered with 7,000 spruce poles.
“We got ours for $6 each,” says Bedard. “The
Tk’emlups Forestry Development Corporation was
doing a thinning contract. The cheapest I found
short of doing it yourself was US$35.”
“There is about 2 million feet of wire up there to
trellis the hops,” adds Bedard. “And 160 km of drip
irrigation.”
Bedard says there were challenges that
contributed to the rot.
“Part was issues with the irrigation system, the wet
summer, the contours of our land and a thick mat of
weeds that kept the moisture in.” The bench land
had been fallow for years, but when they began to
water it, the weeds just exploded.
“We tried 11 dierent hop varieties and four
turned out very well. We are going to be the only
commercial growers of Sorachi Ace,
developed by Sapporo breweries in
Japan,” says Bedard. “It grew and
yielded well and right now, it’s the
most expensive hop in the world. The
Yakima and Oregon guys are having a
hell of a time growing it. It needs cold
nights.”
“Cascade and Chinook are denitely
my two favorite ones, followed by
Centennial,” he says. “Even if Centennial
doesn’t do very well, it’s worth a pile of
money and it’s in high demand.”
“I think Kamloops could beat the rest
of the world in Chinook production,”
Bedard says. “It’s not very sexy but it’s in
high demand. I think I can get 3,000
pounds an acre and at $7 a pound,
that’s a great harvester for us.”
Established growing regions have
bred plants adapted to their local
climate that need fewer inputs.
“(Associate Professor of Microbiology) Jonathan
Van Hamme from TRU (Thompson Rivers University)
is amazing. He is helping us with our plant genetics.
We found a male plant at a golf course in a planting
that has been there over 25 years. They don’t water
these plants and they yield like crazy. We are trying
to breed Chinook with the local. Right now, for me
to get 3,000 pounds out of an acre, I’m going to put
on at least a $1,000 of fertilizer and a guy in Yakima
can get that yield from $200. That’s what we need to
do.”
“With the cool weather the end of August and
early September, it was like the hops waited for us
to harvest them,” says Bedard. “I’ve never smelled
hops that smell as strong as our hops do this year.”
Kamloops home to Canada’s largest hop farm
Operations manager Ian Matthews and founder Joey Bedard TOM WALKER PHOTO
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 35
by TOM WALKER
KAMLOOPS – “Give it ve
years and I think we are going
to see the same in hops as we
did in ginseng,” says Joey
Bedard, founder of Hops
Canada in Kamloops. “People
are just not seeing this”
“There was a shortage of
hops in 2012 when Hop Union
had a re in their warehouse,”
explains Bedard. “150,000
pounds were burned in the
re. It was just as the craft
brewing industry was peaking.
They were the largest
producer in the States and
that was a third of their
production, so the market was
short.”
As a hops grower and a
broker who sells on the world
market, Bedard has a good
perspective.
“You can’t build a business
model based on $15 or $16 a
pound for hops and expect
the market to last,” Bedard
says. “That is the same as
happened to ginseng with
growers who had smaller, less
ecient plots. They were
saying, “Well, everybody is
getting $70 a pound so I am
going to get $70 a pound.”
“I think the market is still
recovering from that re. This
is the last year where there
will be a slight shortage. There
will be a lot of hops but we
won’t meet the demand. I
think starting next year, we
are going to have a surplus.”
Take Cascade hops, Bedard
says.
“Everybody who starts a
hop farm has at least some
Cascade. It grows easily and
it’s great to harvest,” he says.
“Last year at this time, I was
the only one with Cascade left
over from the year before and
right now they are saying
there is 100,000 pounds of
Cascade left from last year. We
went from zero extra to
100,000 pounds.”
“When I started, you could
get $11.95 for Cascade – 12
bucks,” he says.
“I’m predicting
that for the 2018
harvest, Cascade
will be worth ve
bucks a pound.
It’s getting too
popular and too
well known.
People who
would only use
Cascade because
it was local are
now branching
out because
there are other
things available.”
“We will grow
Cascade for the
people on
contract but I
don’t think we
are going to
grow Cascade on
the spot. We are
stuck with
maybe 1,700 lbs
from last year,
which is not a lot.
We will sell it. I
would rather be out in August
than rushing to sell it in
September.”
Lots of growers
The number of growers in
BC has expanded quickly,
Bedard points out. He
recounts a list from Vancouver
Island, Chilliwack, Pemberton,
Lillooet, the Sunshine Coast,
up the Eagle River outside of
Sicamous and topping out in
Hazelton, the most northern
planting in the province.
Bedard says he has talked
with other growers about
contracting his processing
facilities next year as the
capital cost for harvesting,
drying and baling is a
signicant investment for a
farmer. But time is crucial to
preserve the aromatic oils in
hops.
“The problem is, if I am
bringing in my crop, I’m not
going to give up my
production space for
someone else.”
“We get every hop farmer
who is starting out come
through here,” Bedard says.
“I’m not the Negative-Nelly to
tell them don’t do it, but I ask
them are you sure?”
Are hops the new
ginseng for BC?
Ian Matthews with a hops rhizome.
by DAVID SCHMIDT
DELTA – BC cranberry growers are on
pace for what could be a record harvest.
“It may be the biggest cranberry harvest,
ever, for BC,” BC Cranberry Marketing
Commission chair Jack Brown said in mid-
October. “Quality is very good and all
indicators point to an exceptional year for
BC cranberry production.”
Last year, BC growers harvested about a
million barrels of cranberries, up from
850,000 barrels in 2014, and the BCCMC
expects this year’s nal gures to top those
numbers.
With about 85% of the crop harvested,
“we are still forecasting a record BC crop,”
BCCMC general manager Heather Carriere
said in early November.
There are about 70 cranberry growers in
BC, with farms in Richmond, Delta, Langley,
Chilliwack, Agassiz, South Burnaby, Pitt
Meadows, Maple Ridge and on Vancouver
Island. About 90% are members of the
Ocean Spray Co-op which has receiving
stations in Richmond and Langley. Most of
the BC cranberry crop is destined to
become Craisins.
The BCCMC notes BC may be bucking the
trend across North America.
“Not all cranberry growing regions in
North America have been as fortunate as
BC, but 2016 appears to be ‘our year,’” it
states.
Record cranberry harvest this year
TM
Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia. Used under license, where applicable.
As you celebrate the holiday season,
we thank you for your business and
wish you every success in the New Year.
For more information on our complete suite of services, contact one of our specialists
or visit us at scotiabank.com/agriculturalservices. You can also follow us on
Twitter at @scotiabankB2B and tweet using #ScotiaAg.
Kimberly Ross, M.Sc. (Ag.Ec.)
Sr. Client Relationship Manager
604-302-2620
kimberly.ross@scotiabank.com
Lee Gogal, BBA
Sr. Client Relationship Manager
604-308-1657
lee.gogal@scotiabank.com
TOM WALKER PHOTO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201636
The
Windemere
Farmers’
Institute has
ambitious
plans for an
agriculture
park. First
phase
includes an
abattoir to
service local
livestock
producers,
set to open
in January.
by TERRY FRIES
RADIUM – A farmers’
institute in the East Kootenays
plans to have its abattoir
open by the new year.
Construction is almost
complete at the site along
Highway 95 near Invermere,
with a planned opening set
for January 1.
“It’s just the nishing
touches we have to do,” says
Hedi Trescher, project
co-ordinator at the
Windermere District Farmers’
Institute.
The small abattoir was
originally scheduled to open
this autumn but was delayed
by zoning issues and the
need for high voltage
electrical hookups.
With those obstacles now
cleared, the rst phase of the
plan for a 23-acre agricultural
park on the site can proceed.
The plan would see the
abattoir situated at the back
of the agri-park, with a
summer fair grounds and
farmers market in front. There
are future plans to add
interpretive exhibits,
equestrian facilities, a deli or
restaurant, and a grain
processing centre.
The slaughterhouse will be
able to handle 10 animals at
once, with coolers giving it an
overall capacity of 22
carcasses. In addition to
cattle, it will be capable of
processing sheep, goats and
pigs.
While the facility isn’t
designed to handle big
volumes of animals from
larger farms, she says the
abattoir should help supply
the many restaurants, hotels
and other tourist destinations
in the area with local product.
“The reason we are
building this is to give our
local farmers the opportunity
for some creative selling,”
says Trescher.
The Windermere plant will
focus on custom slaughter
and wrapping, which enables
producers to oer specialty
products such as hormone-
free, organic or grass-fed
beef, says Trescher.
The Windermere Farmers’
District provided the land on
which the abattoir is located
and then raised $550,000 in
donations to build the facility.
The project also received
$50,000 in grant funding
through the Southern
Interior Development
Initiative Trust.
Even though the project is
too small to be of use for the
Treschers’ Brisco Charolais
operation, Trescher says the
abattoir and agri-park will
boost the economy of the
Columbia Valley, from Golden
to Canal Flats.
She says it will assist those
“hobby farmer-type people”
who want to raise a few
animals in an area well-suited
for that type of production.
“If you wait for help, you
wait forever. If something
needs to get done, you do it
yourself,” she says.
From our family to yours,
a very Merry Christmas
& Happy New Year
VALLEY FARM DRAINAGE
604-462-7213 | valleyfarmdrainage.com
To d d
Farmers institute behind new
abattoir in East Kootenays
Facility is set to open in January
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – Hogs and
bogs worked for Geraldine
Auston. Now, Mike Wallis is
discovering if it will work just
as well for him.
As of November 1, Wallis
replaced Auston as the
general manager of the BC
Hog Marketing Commission
and the BC Pork Producers
Association.
He will continue in his
existing role as manager of
the BC Cranberry Growers
Association as both are part-
time positions.
“It’s an exciting new
challenge for me,” Wallis says,
noting he already knew a lot
of the directors from his role
with the BCCGA (BCPPA chair
Jack DeWit is also a director of
the BC Cranberry Marketing
Commission) and his previous
roles as manager of the
Raspberry Industry
Development Council and the
Western Agriculture Labour
Initiative.
His rst order of business
with the hog sector is to
develop a new industry
strategic plan.
He expects the plan to
focus on how to meet
changing consumer demands,
particularly as they relate to
farm animal care and quality
assurance.
“We held our rst meeting
November 4 and will be
holding additional meetings
through the fall and winter,”
Wallis said, adding he hopes
to have the plan nalized
“early in the New Year.”
Wallis named new hog boss
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 37
by TERRY FRIES
OSOYOOS – MaryAnna Campbell and her
husband, Jim, have run an orchard in the southern
Okanagan Valley for 40 years. They’re not
transplanted urbanites who recently moved to the
country for peace and quiet only to be abruptly
introduced to the business side of agriculture.
When they complain about noise from cannons
being set o in neighbouring vineyards, they
understand the business. And, they say, the noise
problems are unnecessary.
MaryAnna says six growers plus their orchard
operate in their immediate area, on the Black Sage
bench near Osoyoos. Yet only two use noise
cannons – one independent grower and Kelowna-
based Mission Hill Winery.
“There aren’t that many starlings around this year.
Bird predation is not huge,” she says. Plus, she
wonders why growers who are setting o the
noisemakers don’t use netting to protect the grapes,
as the Campbells do to protect their cherries.
She acknowledges that ring cannons might be
necessary at times when bird predation is
particularly high. She admits they have used them at
their own orchard on occasion. But, she says, they
used them only in the morning, rather than having
them go o all day. She says the Mission Hill
cannons were going o from 6 am ‘til dark and had
been doing so since August 20.
“If they have enough money to buy the 50 acres,
then I think they should have money for (netting),”
she says.
The noise became so pervasive the dogs on the
property won’t go outside any more.
“It is a hugely invasive thing.”
Mission Hill did not grant requests for interviews
in time for this issue.
Ultimately, the noise problem will solve itself, at
least for the short term. With the grape
harvest complete, there is no need to use
noise cannons. But next year’s harvest
season is likely to cause similar situations.
That’s why Campbell wants the provincial
government to step in. She says the
province set up the regulations to allow
growers to use cannons, so it should answer
for it when problems arise.
She has led a complaint to the BC Farm
Industry Review Board (FIRB) and a
conference call was scheduled for
November 9. She says she has tried to get in
touch with BC Minister of Agriculture Norm
Letnick but received a form-letter reply.
In an emailed response to requests for an
interview, the BC Ministry of Agriculture says
it would be inappropriate to comment on a
case being heard by FIRB, an independent
agency set up to hear disturbance
complaints resulting from farm practices.
Campbell says she wants tighter
restrictions on cannon noisemakers and she
wants the province to nd ways to
encourage growers to use alternative control
methods where possible. She says the government
should explore the potential for a program to help
growers nance netting costs.
BC Fruit Growers Association president Fred
Steele says he hasn’t heard of any other problems in
the Okanagan this year, an indication, he says, of
how the situation has improved over the years.
While he had no information on the Campbell’s
case, he says the rst step in these situations is to
see if it can be solved neighbour-to-neighbour.
He doesn’t agree with the need to get the
provincial government involved. Instead, he says
regional districts could work together to eliminate
some of the patchwork regulations that now exist.
In a 2011 report, FIRB recommended local
governments not institute bans on noise cannons
until they have exhausted all other means of
resolving conicts. It recommended local
governments rst pursue other resolutions, such as
existing local noise bylaws, to persuade growers to
comply with the province’s Wildlife Damage Control
guidelines. It also suggested local governments
adopt provincial Wildlife Damage Control guidelines
into their noise bylaws or pass their own farm bylaw
to bring in added restrictions, which would be
subject to provincial approval. According to a
government website, these measures should make it
clearer to growers that “non-compliance is subject
to bylaw enforcement.”
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See you at the Pacific Ag Show!
by TAMARA LEIGH
RICHMOND – WorkSafeBC, 4-H
British Columbia and AgSafe have
teamed up to create two new
agriculture safety videos that reinforce
farm safety information for thousands
of young people on BC farms. The
videos, which will be shown at 4-H
club meetings and events province-
wide, promote safe work practices on
and around tractors and other farm
machinery.
“These 4-H members are the future
workers, owners and supervisors of
agriculture in the province. We are
connecting with them now about
safety and giving them the tools they
need to keep them safe in years to
come,” says Doug Pascoe, the industry
specialist with WorkSafe BC who
spearheaded the partnership.
“We sat down with 4-H BC to
discuss how to best get the message
out to their youth members and they
suggested that we create tractor
safety videos that leaders could use
and put online,” he says, adding they
will be developing resources to help
4-H leaders speak to the videos in the
coming year.
Over the last ve years, farm
vehicles or machinery have been
involved in over 430 of the 2,700
injuries in the agriculture sector across
British Columbia. The videos highlight
key safety points for operating farm
equipment, including:
• Read and follow the user’s manual
for all farm equipment
• Ensure the tractor’s roll-over
protection structures (ROPS) are
up and always wear your seatbelt
• Always keep three points of
contact when getting on and o
equipment
• Wear high visibility apparel when
working around farm equipment
• Ensure all power take o (PTO)
shields and guards are maintained
and in place
The videos, 4-H Working Safely on
Tractors and 4-H Working Safely
Around Tractors, were produced by
WorkSafeBC and lmed on location at
the farm of Albert and Dena Finlay in
Armstrong. Farm owner Dena Finlay
has been an active member of the 4-H
community since 1957.
by TOM WALKER
VERNON – My in-box pings with an email from
Michelle Tsutsumi reminding me of our scheduled
phone conversation. After we speak about the work
she does with Young Agrarians (YA), I reect that there
is some irony in the morning’s conversation. While I am
sure every Young Agrarian is more connected and tech
savvy than I and a ping from their in-box is a frequent
part of their day, it is the personal connections – the
sharing of ideas and the socializing – that brings them
together.
“That’s how Young Agrarians got started and why
they took o,” explains Tsutsumi. “A main thrust is
facilitating a personal connection. “Let’s get together
in person; let’s share food together; let’s do some
4-H BC partners with safety organizations to keep farm kids safe
New videos put focus on tractor safety
Business help for young farmers
interesting things.”
“As regional co-ordinator for the Okanagan, my main role is
to organize farm tours and potlucks and keep the networking
piece going within the region,” Tsutsumi explains. “I also
organize the two-day mixer event in Kelowna in January.”
Twenty-six Okanagan Young Agrarians spent a day in Vernon
learning and sharing about the business of small agriculture
and how Community Futures can be involved in their plans.
Hailing from Kelowna to 100 mile House, many participants
were starting up or on the path to farming, including growing
cider apples, organic owers and making cheese.
Clint Ellison is a business development specialist who works
with the BC Farm Business Advisory Service Program with the
Ministry of Agriculture. He shared the basics of farm business
planning with the group.
Without plans or on-going records, you can’t analyze how
your business is doing, Ellison pointed out.
“Yes, farming is a risky business,” Ellison agreed. “But the
translation of the Chinese character for risk is actually
‘dangerous opportunity.’
“Planning will help you take that passion that you have for
farming and turn it into a living,” Ellison says.
Community Futures loans co-ordinator Rob Short took
participants through the business loan application process and
showed them how to build and present a loan application.
“What I have been hearing from people who attend YA
events is that there is a deep thirst for knowledge but there is
also a nancing funding gap,” says Tsutsumi. “This was an
opportunity for people to meet Community Futures and the
workshop claried to me that they are really great for start ups,
especially companies or businesses that don’t t into a box.”
One of the participants had an appointment set up with the
bank.
See BUSINESS page 39
o
Roll-over protective
structures (ROPS)
and seatbelts
save lives
We’re working with you to make sure all farmers go
home safe. For resources and videos on safe equipment
operation, visit worksafebc.com/agriculture.
WORKSAFEBC PHOTO
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 39
BUSINESS nfrom page 38
“I am sure he had a much
better idea of the kind of
information he should bring
into the bank,” says Tsutsumi.
“If he is turned down, he
knows that Community
Futures is there.”
“I think with any YA
programming there will be a
continual thread around
business pieces,” says
Tsutsumi. “They really want to
go deeper into marketing,
especially around niche
themes such as CSAs. How do
you start one? How do you
contract with your members?
How do you organize what
goes in? That kind of thing.”
“They are also looking for
more hands on eld skills,
season extension, seeds and
animals,” Tsutsumi says.
“There is a huge interest in
permaculture from the YA
crowd.”
by TAMARA LEIGH
VANCOUVER – The BC
Young Agrarians are now in
their third year of the BC
Business Mentorship Network,
and the program is showing
the results of incorporating
good business practices from
the start.
“After mentorship, our rst
year farmer cohort saw an
increase in revenue 34%, a
33% increase in the amount of
land in production, and total
production increase over
70%,” says Kristen Nammour,
who manages the program for
the BC Young Agrarians.
The BC Business
Mentorship program pairs
new and seasoned farmers
together to cultivate the skills
for running ecologically-
sustainable and nancially-
viable businesses. Mentors
provide up to 40 hours of one-
on-one support to new
entrants, helping them
evaluate and improve their
business practices including
production, operations,
marketing, nancial and risk
management, as well as
developing and implementing
strategic business goals for
the upcoming season and
beyond.
Over the rst two years,
they have provided
mentorship to 23 farms across
the province. They have
received another dozen
applications to the program
for the coming year.
Program graduate
Graham Bradley farms at
40x40 Farm on Gabriola Island
and was a member of the
second group to go through
Mentorship program gives new farmers a boost
the mentorship program.
When he entered the
program, he was looking for
help growing his farm as well
as starting a food hub that
would help connect Gabriola
Island farmers, restaurants and
grocers. He paired with
mentor Niki Strutynski who
runs Tatlo Road Farm in the
Cowichan Valley and is the
administrator for Saanich
Organics.
“I’m trying to build a
business I can earn an income
o of and that the farmers
want to work with, so I
needed all of my I’s dotted
and T’s crossed,” he says. “Niki
is an incredibly detail-oriented
person, and had super-
relevant knowledge about
how to make farmers happy,
how to communicate with
them, and co-ordinate
deliveries, and even down to
what was an acceptable
percentage to earn o of
hard-working people and
helping clarify the baseline
philosophy my business will
operate under.”
The program helped
Graham realize his goal of
completing his business plan,
while rening his farm
operations and successfully
launching the Gabriola Food
Hub. Today, he is working
with three farms and up to six
commercial clients through
the food hub, as well as
running his own vegetable
box program.
“There is so much to do to
start any business and farming
is a complex,” he says. “The
Business Mentorship Network
provides exibility and the
ability to work with someone
who intimately understands
the kinds of pressure you’re
going through. They are an
amazing ally.”
As the program
co-ordinator, Nammour is
always on the look-out for
new mentors willing to join
the program.
“If you’re an established
farmer interested in helping
grow the next generation of
farmers in BC, then get in
touch with us,” she says. “The
mentors we are looking for
need to have a nancially
viable farm, have been in the
business for 10 years, and
have the time to dedicate to
supporting a new farmer in
business development.”
According to the BC Young
Agrarians, the lack of business
skills and understanding of
nancial management is the
second biggest barrier to new
entrants in agriculture after
access to land.
The program starts with a
series of four webinars put
together with Chris Bodner,
who teaches the Business of
Agriculture course in the
Sustainable Agriculture
degree program at Kwantlen
Polytechnic University. The
webinars focus on the
fundamentals of farm
business management,
including entry level
accounting, prot-loss
statements and
understanding equity, cash
ow and cost of production.
From there, participants are
encouraged to work with a
bookkeeper, set up an
accounting system, and
assess the value proposition
of working with an
accountant or hiring
employees.
“You’re not just a farmer,
you’re a business owner and
entrepreneur. When you focus
on business skills as a new
farmer, it has a positive impact
on your growth. This program
gives new farmers the
condence to run their new
business and move their
business forward. The peace
of mind of having wisdom to
draw from in a mentor has
been hugely benecial to
everyone in our program,”
says Nammour.
“Business development is
just one piece in the new
farmer journey. Young
Agrarians is looking at the
entire journey of the new
farmer and trying to meet the
needs on each level,” she adds.
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 41
by EMILY BULMER
PRINCE GEORGE –
Producers gathered to share
ideas and learn new business
strategies at the Agri-Food
Business Planning Workshop
held in Prince George in mid-
October. The two day
workshop, facilitated by Rita
Kim of Partners for Growth
and Sylvia Chong of
Foundtree Product Design,
introduced participants to the
wide range of skills and
information needed to launch
a successful food-based
business.
“It was a really great
collaborative session,” says
Christine Kinnie, program
co-ordinator of partnering
agency Beyond the Market.
“There was one participant
who was opening up a micro-
brewery in Prince George and
another participant who
grows hops ... I think part of
the value of our workshops is
the networking and the
connection that people make
with other participants.”
The course, developed by
the BC Ministry of Agriculture
(BCMA), consists of eight
modules taught over two days
and was designed specically
to address the business
development requirements
for food-based businesses.
Targeted at farmers and food
industry entrepreneurs
interested in value-added
products, food processor
start-ups and established
food-related businesses
looking to become more
ecient, the material was
created to include a wide
variety of food-based
operations in various stages of
their business development.
The materials and manuals are
supplied by BCMA and several
accredited instructors across
the province deliver the
materials, bringing their own
experience and backgrounds
to the table.
“The instructors are
certied by the ministry to
deliver the workshop and the
two of them (Kim and Chong)
are a really good team.” By
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the industry, the curriculum is
delivered by people who have
experience, making the
important connection
between the material and the
real world.
On the rst day, the
elements of business
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assessment, product
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provided so participants could
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While the workshop
material is established,
instructors and participants
have the opportunity to take
the conversation where it
needs to go. In addition, many
workshop participants have a
lot of insight and experience
Workshops offer business
planning for farmers
See BUSINESS page 42
o
Sylvia Chong and Rita Kim (third and fourth from left) stand with participants of the Agri-Food Business
Planning Workshop held in Prince George in October. COMMUNITY FUTURES, FRASER FORT GEORGE PHOTO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 2016
42
BUSINESS PLANNING WORKSHOPS nfrom page 41
to oer the group as well. As a
result, the workshop
progresses in a conversational
manner with the instructors
presenting material and
oering insights, as well as the
participants themselves
oering advice and examples
of what has worked for them,
or other challenges they are
facing.
“It is like a reside chat,”
explains Rita Kim. “Having
good conversation,
collaboration, sharing
thoughts and best practices.
People that are starting up
may get insight from people
who have been around a little
longer. Some of the younger
generation that comes in has
a lovely take on technology
that mature businesses may
not have. It is (also) an
opportunity for (participants)
to get clear and focused on
the purpose of the business
which drives how they handle
any opportunities, how they
build and grow, and
collaborate with dierent
folks. The industry itself is
about collaboration and is one
of the best I have had the
opportunity to work in.”
This is the second
workshop that has been
oered in Prince George in
2016. The workshop has been
presented all over the
province, including the
communities of Kamloops,
Williams Lake, Quesnel,
Ashcroft, Lillooett, Abbotsford,
Comox Valley and the Gulf
Islands. The program has
reached over 300 participants
since 2015 and will continue
into 2017.
For a schedule for
upcoming workshops, visit
[www.partnersforgrowth.ca].
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by TOM WALKER
KAMLOOPS – The recent BC Fairs
conference shows that fairs have a good future
in the province, with a growth in interest from
younger volunteers.
“It was an excellent conference,” says long
time director Keith Currie from Comox. “We’ve
had larger attendance numbers, but not this
level of positive interest.
“I’ve run a couple of roundtable discussions
for the last several years and I usually get a
couple of dozen participants,” says Currie. “This
year, I had standing room only and an
excellent sharing of ideas.”
“What was good about those workshops
and the whole conference was that there were
a lot of younger and new people there,” says
Currie. “Like most non-prots, many of our
members are aging and some can’t come to
the conferences any more.”
Currie says there was a group from northern
BC who were excellent contributors.
“They jumped right in; they were just like
sponges absorbing the information, plus
contributing, too.”
Making fairs relevant
Making fairs relevant to younger audiences
requires younger people to help run them.
“Two fairs that I know of have started junior
boards. Port Alberni had three or four kids who
were always volunteering at the fair and now
the junior board is 12 or 14 kids. Two of them
go to the regular board meetings and a
director goes to their meetings, and it’s
working out extremely well,” says Currie.
“It’s always been a challenge for fairs to
attract teenage kids,” he adds. “At our own
Comox fair about ve years ago, we thought,
“Let’s bring in a midway that will attract the
kids.” Well, it only brought in the
troublemakers. This year, we didn’t have the
midway and our numbers climbed.“
Volunteerism and board governance were
discussed, Currie said.
“Helping the young people to know about
running meetings and keeping people on
straight and narrow. Another one we had was
about judging. There is a standards manual on
how to judge but the biggest problem is, how
do you get judges? Is there a pool of judges?
How much do you pay them?
“At my fair, we have a young person who
has come up through 4-H who did some
judging last year.”
Sponsorships
Roxy Mayberry, corporate sponsorship
director with the Alaska State Fair, presented
two workshops on sponsorship.
“Next year, we are going to be in Victoria
and we want to connect with the minister of
ag and the minister of tourism and show them
what we can do.”
The board is working on a project called the
‘Nuts and Bolts of Fairs.’
“We are putting together a manual that you
could also use for a strawberry festival or a
music event,” says Currie.
Director Tom Harder has moved into the
president’s position. Karen Streeter is rst vice-
president, while out-going president Ann
Siddall is second vice-president. Finance chair
and longest serving board member Pamela
Brenner has agreed to stay on to help
transition new members onto the board. They
include Allison Bowers (Arrowsmith
Agricultural Association/Coombs Fair), Shari
Paterson (Cowichan Exhibition) and Tarah
Hauser (West Coast Amusements),
representing commercial/associate members.
“With an average attendance of some 1.3
million across the province, quite a few fairs
are the biggest event in their community,”
Currie points out. Several fairs in the province
are over 100 years old and the Sannich Fair,
along with Canada, turns 150 next year.
BC fairs encouraged by youth participation
Organizers recognize need for youth to replace aging volunteers
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DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
43
by EMILY BULMER
HAZELTON – The party was a-
hoppin' at Bulkley Canyon Ranch, just
outside of Hazelton, during their rst
ever Hazelton Hops Discovery Day,
September 17. Ranch owners Laurie
Gallant and Bill Crosson have set out
to become a northern hops producer
to supply local craft breweries with
their new enterprise, Hazelton Hops.
The event was a chance to see,
smell, touch and taste hops in their
common liquid form and promote
hops as a viable northern crop. Two
northern microbreweries, Wheelhouse
Brewing Company from Prince Rupert
and Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse
in Terrace, were present, providing
samples of their beer.
With the cones ripening and ready
for harvest, it was perfect timing to
show o all their hard work. Laurie
Gallant describes how it all began.
"Year one (was) a huge learning
curve. We did hours and hours of
research before we could even choose
which varieties we wanted to grow.
We did a market survey with the
brewers on Hwy 16 to ask them what
kind of varieties they are using right
now for brewing their beer and in
what quantities, how much they
spend per year on brewing hops right
now, and what their position is on
local hops and if they would be willing
to switch suppliers if we could provide
a product they were satised with,"
says Gallant.
After reading a feasibility study on
growing hops in BC and doing some
soil testing, Gallant and Crosson
decided to go ahead with a trial.
They selected a half acre site with
good sun exposure and a nearby
water source and began site
preparation in the spring.
"We are really do-it-yourselfers and
we picked the trees we wanted from
our property and we charred them
instead of using treated poles."
In addition to the site prep, they
researched what the climate change
projections were for the area.
"Based on (the climate change
scenarios), we decided we could
invest in some more late maturing
varieties. In the end, we planted 10
varieties based on the feedback from
the brewers, what was available from
the suppliers and based on our own
criteria of wanting to test early, mid
and late season varieties and a mix of
bittering and aroma and dual purpose
hops. It was quite a complicated
selection process."
Although the rst year only yields
about 5% of their estimated full
production, Gallant and Crosson have
started marketing their product and
selling or trading their rst hops this
year.
"As we got closer to harvest time
and other growers were sending
emails to brewers, it was hard not to
catch the wave... so we talked to the
local brewers and decided that we
were going to have Hazelton Hops
Discovery Day."
In addition to targeting breweries,
Hazelton Hops will be marketed for
their medicinal qualities. Gallant
recently held a plant medicine
Hops are flourishing
in the north, too
Country Ways
Hops are hardier than you think. EMILY BULMER PHOTO
workshop at the Bulkley Canyon
Ranch, providing the opportunity to
introduce an entirely dierent group
of people to the benets of the plant
outside of brewing beer.
"Mostly we want to build
relationships... We are trying to
position ourselves as promoting
sustainable agriculture and
promoting a sustainable local
economy," she says.
Gallant and Crosson have much to
do even after all the cones are
harvested. Branding, creating a logo
and waiting for the lab results from all
the varieties they tested is just the
beginning. The pair will also be
attending hops festivals and touring
established hops farms after the
harvest this year to make connections
and get more ideas.
"We want to project how much we
want to expand next year and what
varieties we want to concentrate on.
In order to decide that, we need to
stay abreast of what is going on (in
the industry)."
Gallant and Crosson are certainly
enjoying the process of starting this
new venture,
"It’s exciting and really fun. The
industry is full of great people."
Does your water well need
a License?
The new BC Water Sustainability Act (WSA)
came into effect in BC in 2016. All groundwater
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The directors and staff of the Investment
Agriculture Foundation would like to wish
you and your families all the best for the
upcoming holiday season.
Wishing all involved
in British Columbia’s
agri-food industry
a healthy and
prosperous 2015.
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Wishing all involved
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a healthy and
prosperous 2017.
2017
H
ORTICULTURE
G
ROWERS
SHORT COURSE
Ph: 604-556-3001
growers@agricultureshow.net
This project is supported by Growing Forward, a federal-provincial initiative
Horticulture Growers
Short Course 2017
January 26-28
Tradex, Abbotsford
In partnership with the
Pacific Agriculture Show
Lower Mainland Horticultural
Improvement Association
THURSDAY
Raspberries t Strawberries t Vegetables t Potatoes t Greenhouse
Agro-Forestry t Opening Reception
FRIDA
Y
Farm Business Management t Keynote Address
All Berries t Direct Farm Markets t Vegetables
Agricultural W
ater Management
Agricultural & Municipal Biogas Forum
SATURDAY
Blueberries t Organic t Hazelnuts
Urban Agriculture t Hops
REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.AGRICULTURESHOW.NET
Registration includes Trade Show entry and all Growers’ Short Course Sessions
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 2016
44
When we left o last time, a
frustrated Janice told a
confused Henderson,
unequivocally, to work from
home, while Deborah and Doug
agreed to keep their distance
from one another. Woodshed
Chronicles, part 81, continues ...
Janice Newberry stepped
from Kenneth’s oce and
closed the door rmly behind
her. It thumped loudly against
the jamb. She strode briskly to
Erica Swift’s desk.
“Mr. Henderson will be
working away from this oce.
Please see that all of the
pertinent les are available to
him tomorrow morning.”
There was a questioning
look in Erica’s eyes.
“Certainly. How long will he
be away?”
Janice looked sternly into
Erica’s eyes and held her gaze
for several seconds.
“Back-stabbing cow,”she
thought, knowing only too
well that she was as much
under Erica Swift’s
surveillance as
Kenneth was.
“That hasn’t
been determined
yet. Is there a
problem?”
Erica averted her eyes.
“Not at all. I only asked in
case there are any
communications for him.”
“I expect that Mr.
Henderson will monitor his
oce email, and I’m sure you
have his cell number,” said
Janice. Her tone was
impatient and ended their
conversation.
Janice returned to her
oce and stood looking out
the window at the cold winter
drizzle, anticipating the
questions Grimwood would
ask and the answers she
would give him. She wagered
that he would hear from Erica
Swift within the hour.
Erica Swift sat trying to
grasp what had happened:
Janice had an unplanned
meeting with Kenneth in his
oce, but there was a
plausible explanation for it.
Her voice and mannerisms
seemed impersonal enough,
slightly hostile if anything, and
the meeting seemed far too
brief for anything personal.
But why was he going to
work away from the oce? If
she was suspending him, he
wouldn’t need access to any
les. Maybe she was planning
to meet with him. For what
reason?
She began to imagine trysts
and conspiracies and decided
that it would be best to land it
all – fact and speculation – in
Mr. Grimwood’s lap. And the
sooner the better.
Perplexed
Kenneth sat at his desk
trying to fathom the meaning
of Janice’s parting statement:
“The answer to your last
question is a denite no.”
What was the last question?
Did she mean she wasn’t
seeing the New Year’s Eve
guy? Or did it mean he didn’t
need to know if she was
seeing the New Year’s Eve guy
or not?
Did she mean there was no
chance of them patching
things up? Or did she mean
there was no need for him to
apologize? Was it pointless to
apologize because they were
nished? Or was there no
need for an apology because
she still loved him. Did she
ever really love him?
Interested in, maybe, but
he couldn’t remember her
ever saying love. Could he?
Had he said it himself?
Probably not. Should he have?
Maybe. Should he now?
Probably not.
His thinking was turning
into a runaway train and there
was a dull ache in his temples.
He decided to call it a day and
go somewhere to clear his
mind with a good sti drink –
or two – of Scotch and ponder
the possibilities again.
Sleepless night
Deborah laid awake
thinking about Doug McLeod
and their rehearsal kiss until
nearly four o’clock in the
morning. It was the rst time
she’d really kissed any man
but Kenneth since she was in
high school. And there was no
mistaking the fact she’d kissed
him. Willingly. She
remembered when they rst
met – the day Edna invited her
and the kids to a picnic by the
river with Gladdie. The day
Ashley said he “was so
checking her out” while she
was swimming. She denied it
but she knew then Ashley was
right and she’d felt somehow
attered by the attention. And
the day he startled her in
Tiny’s shop when he came to
talk about the song selections
for the for the Community
Hall Coee House, and they
came face to face when he
kneeled down to help pick up
the pieces of wood she
dropped. Something stirred in
her even then. And it did
again when they sang
together the next week. And
now Lil Abner and their kiss.
Eventually, she fell into a
tful sleep and dreamt about
standing at the edge of a cli.
The kids were almost ready
for school when she came
down in the morning.
“You look really tired, Mom.
Are you alright?” asked Ashley.
“I didn’t sleep well, that’s
all.”
“Is everything alright?”
“Yeah. Everything is ne. I’ll
catch a nap later.”
Deborah’s head was still full
of Doug McLeod and the
evening rehearsal. When the
kids were gone, she made a
thermos of tea then coached
Duchess into a hike through
the woods to the little rock
blus at the back of the
property. Fair skies were
moving in from the west and
the sun was shining now and
then through the scattering
clouds. There was no sound
save their own footfalls and
the whisper of condensed
dew dripping from the trees.
At the row of low blu,
Deborah picked her way to
the at slab that marked the
very height of land in the
entire community. She sat
with her legs hanging over
the edge, sipping tea and
gazing at the snowy mountain
in the distance while Duchess
scuttled mindlessly through
the underbrush below.
Deborah leaned forward
and peered over the edge to
the ground 15 feet below. She
thought of the cli edge in
her dream. And she thought
about Doug McLeod.
Perhaps he was the cli in
her dream, and their kiss was
the edge of it.
Best to step away from that
precipice, she realized, but she
couldn’t deny being drawn
toward it. There was more to it
than Doug McLeod. There was
Kenneth. She should have
been able to reach for his
hand and be drawn back,
pulled away to his love and
comfort.
But there was no saving
grasp. All she felt there was a
cold rough hand in her back,
shoving her ever closer to the
threshold. In a branch, 40 feet
above, a raven spoke its
wisdom to her.
... To be continued
The Hendersons toil with their obsessions
The Woodshed
Chronicles
BOB COLLINS
Presented by:
biogasassociation.ca/value_of_biogas_conference
January 27th 2017
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Country Life in BC is the gift that keeps giving all year long!
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Christmas list got
you stumped?
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
45
Evelyn 4-H Club member Ben Glanz, 10, from Smithers, donated
$100 from the sale of his 4-H swine project this fall to the Smithers
Public Library. Library director Wendy Wright, left, says the money
will be used to buy new books on pigs and 4-H. Sharing runs in the
Glanz family. Ben’s brother, Thomas, 12, donated 10% from the sale
of his 4-H sheep project to the Northwest Animal Shelter. Both
animals were sold during the 4-H auction at the Smithers Fall Fair.
KATHY WILFORD PHOTO
It’s time to sing the songs of
the season and no, I’m not
referring to the traditional
carols. I’m talking about the
refrains of “Where did the time
go?” “Is it already a year?” and
“It can’t be December; it was
just August!”
October marked a
signicant anniversary of 24
years for me. After a erce
battle in 1992 and 1993, I’m
celebrating being cancer-free
for nearly a quarter century. I
consider that very special and
although I celebrated quietly
and within myself, there was
no lack of thanksgiving.
Then, just as this column
was due to be submitted, the
unexpected took place.
Frustrated, I found myself
counting seven long and very
slow days. Signicant but for
the wrong reasons, I spent ve
of the seven days without a
computer, during which time
deadlines for three writing
assignments passed. I ended
up wandering aimlessly
around the house in search of
a keyboard that was
connected to something other
than the piano in our living
room.
By the time this piece goes
to press, another milestone
will have come and gone and
our neighbours to the south
will have exercised their right
to vote. Here in Canada, we
will be waiting for whatever
fallout may or may not result.
In this province, we’ve set a
few records ourselves. Nothing
like a Noah-style downpour for
28 out of 31 days to dampen
the verbiage and spirits.
I admit that all this rain
hasn’t done anything for my
spirits. While I always
wondered what Seasonal
Aected Disorder (SAD) felt
like and whether or not it
actually aected me, I certainly
discovered how constant rain
and erce winds can dampen
the spirits along with
everything else.
In all my ramblings, I’m
going somewhere with this.
We can’t control the weather,
and even if we could,
individual preferences and
priorities would result in as
mixed a bag as we already
have. So it is in life: good
things happen; so do bad
things. But in all that, we still
can choose our attitude.
I’m reminded of a
conversation I recently had
with our six year old
granddaughter.
“I counted up to 100 all by
myself,” she announced and
I’m not sure who was more
proud: she, her parents or me.
She also reminded me of the
signicance of numbers and,
consequently, of time.
Lucy has her life ahead of
her while for me, there are
more decades behind me than
ahead. The most important
thing, I decided long ago, is to
make the minutes count. I
don’t always remember to do
that (as proven in my
computer-less week) but as I
remind myself each morning
that today I have the
opportunity to utilize 1,440
minutes, seven days in this
week and nearly 8,800 hours in
a year I am oered yet another
chance to truly live. Sobering,
but exciting stu. My
December and next year’s
wish: May your minutes, days
and weeks be rich with the
things that really count.
PS: Lucy would be proud of
my ability to calculate such
numbers.
A Wannabe Farmer
LINDA WEGNER
Counting the days
SSeason’s Greetings & Happy New Year!
Thank You To Our 2016 Partners
Friends
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AssociaƟon
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Store
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Ward Cider
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Faculty
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Armstrong
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201646
It’s time to entertain as we
celebrate the arrival of the
longest night of the year and
then the gradual lengthening
of daylight each day until the
March equinox. December 21
marks the winter solstice this
year and the beginning,
ocially, of winter.
It’s the time of year I like to
light the candles and invite
friends and family to join me
for lively conversation,
laughter, and good food and
drink.
Many will celebrate
Christmas December 25 while
others will welcome the start
of Hannukah, December 24,
also known as the Jewish
Festival of Lights, and we will
all welcome in a new year at
the end of December.
All are great opportunities
to push back the long dark
days by lighting a re and
enjoying a bite of some of the
fresh foods available to us
despite the snow and rain that
makes the outdoors
inhospitable at this time of
year.
Pop open that jar of salsa or
antipasto; thaw the basil pesto
and dig some potatoes out of
the root cellar or the
bottom of the fridge.
Focus on what’s local
and still seasonal,
despite the weather
outside.
To my mind, there’s
nothing like a glass of
sparkling wine to celebrate
and champagne-like bubblies
are amazingly versatile in the
foods you can pair with them.
BC grape growers and
winemakers produce some
world-class bubblies, among
them the award-winning
products from Summerhill
Pyramid Winery, such as the
popular Cipes Brut.
For dessert, try some of the
many award-winning ice
wines produced by our cold
weather in local vineyards,
including those from
CedarCreek and Quails’ Gate
Estate Wineries.
Have a wonderful month of
baking and serving your
favourite recipes, made with
love for the friends and family
you’ll entertain in the coming
weeks.
Jude’s Kitchen
JUDIE STEEVES
Entertaining
appies
These make tasty, refreshing bites for the appie tray and they come in seasonal colours, which is a
bonus. If fresh chives are unavailable, substitute a fresh green onion.
24 cherry tomatoes 1/3 c. (75 ml) cream cheese 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh chives
1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh parsley 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh basil salt and pepper, to taste
fresh basil leaves, to garnish cocktail skewers
• Using a small, sharp knife, cut out the top of each cherry tomato, or make a cross in the top and
open it up to receive the cheese lling.
• Bring the soft cream cheese to room temperature and chop all the herbs nely. Combine the •
herbs and cream cheese with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, seasoning to taste.
• Put a dollop of the cream cheese lling in each little tomato.
• Using small bamboo cocktail skewers or plastic ones, skewer a tomato or two on each and
arrange on a serving dish.
• Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Makes two dozen appies.
These also look very seasonal with the green pesto and red tomato and they’re crisp and light and
tasty. Luckily, BC’s greenhouse growers keep us supplied in winter with lovely fresh little tomatoes.
thin toasts cream cheese basil pesto
cherry tomatoes parmesan cheese
• I made my own toast crisps by thinly slicing a whole grain baguette and toasting the slices in a
250 F oven for about 25 minutes but you could use store-bought Melba toasts instead.
• Cool and smear each with cream cheese, then a thin layer of basil pesto. I used the pesto I’d
made at the end of summer when the garden was full of lush basil. I froze it in dabs for winter
use.
• Top with a slice of cherry tomato and sprinkle with dried parmesan cheese.
• Arrange on a serving plate and serve immediately before the toast softens up.
• If you must make them ahead of time, try arranging a tender baby spinach leaf between the
toast and cream cheese, but ensure it’s very dry rst.
These make delightful appies and who doesn’t love potatoes? Latkes are a traditional food that is
served to celebrate Hannukah, the Festival of Light, which begins at sundown December 24. You could
also make these larger to serve with a meal, or for breakfast or a snack.
2 potatoes 1 small onion 2 eggs
2 tbsp. (30 ml) our salt freshly-ground black pepper
oil, for frying butter, for avour
• Grate Russet potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 lbs.) and mince onion into a medium-sized bowl. Add eggs
and beat, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
• Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat and dab small spoonfuls
of the mixture onto the pan, pressing down to make a bite-sized, at cake. I add a tiny dab of
butter to the top of each before ipping, for avour.
• Turn when the bottoms are nice and brown and crisp. Remove when the other side is brown
too, about 10-15 minutes in total. Serve hot. Makes about three dozen appies.
Cheese stuffed tomatoes: easy-peasy JUDIE STEEVES PHOTO
CHEESE-STUFFED TOMATOES
BASIL PESTO CRISPS WITH TOMATO
MINI POTATO LATKES
Tim Armstrong
Memorial Bursary
in Agriculture and Journalism
In memory of JR (Tim) Armstrong's outstanding contribution to
British Columbia journalism and the agricultural industry,
a bursary in the minimum amount of $1,000 is awarded each year
from the proceeds of the JR (Tim) Armstrong Memorial Fund.
The fund is raised by public subscription and administered
by the BC Farm Writers' Association.
Applications are now being accepted
Contact Bob Mitchell
604-951-8223 . robert_mitchell@telus.net.
We are pleased to
congratulate Kasha Foster
of North Vancouver on being
awarded the Tim Armstrong
Memorial Bursary for 2015.
At the time of receiving the
award Kasha was enrolled
in third year in the Global
Resource Systems program at
the University of British
Columbia in the Faculty of
Land and Food Systems.
www.bcfwa.ca
DECEMBER 2016 • COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 47
IRRIGATION
REAL ESTATE
LIVESTOCK
FOR SALE
FOR SALEHAY
NEW/USED EQUIPMENT
WEB HOSTING
COMMUNITY
WATERTEC
IRRIGATION
LTD
604/882-7405
1-888-675-7999
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 & spraying.
Call 1-800-661-4473
for closest distributor.
Web: [www.premierplastics.com]
Manufactured in Delta by
Premier Plastics Inc.
EZEE-ON
FRONT END
LOADERS
#125 Hi-Lift, c/w 8’ bucket, $4,000
#90 c/w Q/A 7’ bucket
& Q/A bale spike, $3,500
Both are in excellent condition.
Call
250/567-2607
(Vanderhoof)
COURTENAY HEREFORDS. FIVE
POLLED Hereford bulls for sale. One
two year old/four yearlings. Cow/calf
pairs also for sale. 250/334-3252.
HORSE HAY, Timothy Grass mix with
some alfalfa, approx. 750 lb bales.
Single wrapped in plastic, no rain, $50
each. 250-567-9092 Vanderhoof.
HAY FOR SALE Big squares, excellent
quality, barn-storied, delivered prices,
Vanderhoof 250-567-3287
Host your website with us.
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FIELD READY EQUIPMENT:
NH 1033 BALE WAGON, 104 bales,
nice cond, $6,200
JD 467 SQUARE BALER, hyd tension,
low bale count, $9,000
NH 258 AND 260 V-rake combo
$6,000
JD 670 RAKE, drawbar pull, wheel
drive, $1,800
KUHN FC300G DISC MOWER,10’, low
acres, finger conditioners, $12,500
NEIMEYER 6-STAR TEDDER, $2,400
CLAUS ROUND BALER, $4,900
2 JIFFY/CRAWFORD HYDUMPS, 14’
$3,200 and $6,500
NH CORN HEAD, 8-row, hyd folds to 6
row, Claus model, can be fitted onto
JD, $16,000
RANSOMES JAGUAR RIDE-ON
MOWER 4x4, 72”, Kubota diesel, 1200
total hrs, $8,500
NORTE CAR/EQUIPMENT TRAILER,
18’ tandem, 14,000 lbs GVW, beaver
tail, ramps, bumper pull, only 2000
original km, $,5400
Abbotsford, call Jim 604/852-6148.
Heavy duty oil field pipe bale feeders. Feed
savers, single round bale feeders outside
measurement is 8’x8.5’ Double round bale
feeder measurement is 15’x8’. Silage bunk
feeders. Prices start at $900. Also Drill
Pipe 2 3/8” or 2 7/8” by appr. 30’ long.
Call Dan 250/308-9218 Coldstream, BC
CATTLE AND HORSE FEEDERS
FOR SALE
These feeders maintain their value!
TIMOTHY HORSE HAY $150/TON,
Cow Hay $95/ton at Creston BC,
Trucking available. 250/428-6453 or
250/428-6520
.
Toll Free 1-888-357-0011
www.ultra-kelp.com
ULTRA-KELP
TM
Celebrating 30 Years
For Healthy Livestock
Animal Feed Supplement
100% Natural
60 Minerals • 12 Vitamins
• 21 Amino Acids
Flack’s Bakerview
Kelp Products Inc, Pritchard, BC
DeBOER’S USED
TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT
GRINDROD, BC
JD 2355 2WD, W/RB & LOADER,
NEW REAR TIRES 16,500
JD 2555 4WD, W/RB&LDR 23,000
JD 7400 MFWD cab, 3 pt, ldr64,000
JD 6410 MFWD, cab & ldr 54,000
JD 6400 MFWD, cab & ldr 49,000
JD 6400 MFWD, w/ldr 29,500
JD 4240 cab, 3pt hitch 18,500
NH 575 baler 10,500
JD 220 20’ disc, ctr fold 14,500
JD 4200 4 bot rollover plow 6,500
JD 450 10’ seed drill w/grass
seed attachment 4,950
JD 230 Dbl fold 24’ 16,500
JD 780 400 BU spreader, comp new
floor, hydraulic end gate 12,500
JD 346 baler 6,500
IH 14’ PULVERIZER 9,000
KVERNLAND 4x16” 3 pt plow 2,500
ED DEBOER
250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699
CURT DEBOER
250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147
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LOWER MAINLAND
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St George Anglican Church, Fort Langley
www.lmspa.ca
PURE GARLIC POWDER $2/ounce plus
shipping. Hardneck Garlic, Fishlake #3.
BC grown, 2016, Cinagro Organic.
250-397-2367.
EXCEPTIONAL 40 ACRE EQUESTRIAN
PROPERTY in Clearwater. 2 homes: 1 is 3
bedroom, seasonally rented; the other is
large beautifully crafted 2 bed. 4 stall barn,
connected to house by breezeway, large
heated shop with 200 amp power, flat land,
large paddocks. The opportunities are end-
less. Call today to tour this property 604
916 7881 Beverley@cascadiarealty.ca or
cascadiarealty.ca
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • DECEMBER 201648
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Your BC Kubota Dealers ...
ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665
COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801
CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254
DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281
DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755
KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044
KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700
OLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524
PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431
QUESNEL DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/991-0406
VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355
Proud
Partner of