by PETER MITHAM
OTTAWA – Capital spending across BC is set
for a fall this year but crop growers have little
intention of paring their spending.
Statistics Canada’s annual survey of
investment intentions indicates that business
across BC expects to spend 3.8% less on
capital expenses in 2016. But investments by
the province’s farmers will drop just 2.8%,
thanks largely to lower spending by livestock
producers.
Statscan had bullishly predicted $143.5
million in fresh spending on capital
expenses by the livestock sector last year
but preliminary figures indicate actual
spending totalled $136.8 million. Now,
estimates are calling for a more conservative
investment of $131.4 million.
Meanwhile, crop producers are expected to
spend $108.5 million in 2016, a gure that’s
been virtually unchanged for the past four
years.
Strong demand for local produce and
favourable exchange rates for those who
export have given producers money to spend
on land, buildings and equipment.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s
overview of financial conditions for
Canada’s farmers reported that BC crop
receipts rose 4% between 2014 and 2015
and would rise another percentage point
this year to top $1.5 billion. By contrast,
livestock receipts are set to pull back 3%
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Vol. 102 No. 6
Infrastructure Federal spending overlooks farmers, ranchers 11
Poultry Avian influenza response training exercise 17
Investment Demand, low taxes make farmland attractive 19
Life
in BC
The agricultural news source in
British Columbia since 1915
June 2016 • Vol. 102 No. 6
FIRB proffers stinging rebuke to hatching egg commission order
Capital investment trends lower for BC
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD
In a March 29 decision,
the BC Farm Industry Review Board has not
just thrown out the BC Broiler Hatching Egg
Commission’s Amending Order 11 which
“regularized” production of BC’s six Silkie
and Taiwanese chicken hatching egg
producers, it has severely criticized the
BCBHEC’s process in creating the order,
going so far as to award costs to the three
appellants, something FIRB almost never
does.
After ignoring BC’s specialty broiler
breeders for years, the commission decided
in 2011 that these producers were “non-
compliant “ and would be “regularized.”
In November 2013, it issued its
regularization program as Amending Order
11. The program would give producers a
quota amounting to half of their production
between 2009 and 2012.
The order was almost immediately
appealed by three of the producers: Trevor
Allen of Skye Hi Farms Inc, Casey Van Ginkel
of V3 Farm and Wilhelm Friesen and Lillian
Fehr of W. Friesen Enterprises. Skye Hi and
Please see “FARM” page 2
Please see “UNFAIR” page 2
Y
COUNTRY
Former land commission chair Richard Bullock and long-time Richmond city councillor and outspoken farming
advocate Harold Steves are travelling the province on a public speaking tour on the “Future of Farming” in BC.
They were in Duncan last month. Please see story on page 7. (Tamara Leigh photo)
In a rare decision, Farm
Industry Review Board
awards costs to appellants
On the road, again and again
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UNFAIR PROCESS From page 1
Country Life in BC • June 20162
V3 also jointly operate T&C
Chick Sales. The three claimed
BCBHEC used an unfair
process to set the order, that
it does not represent “sound
marketing policy,” that its
allotment decision was wrong
and that the 24% pro rata
quota allocation increase
would still not permit a
minimum ecient farm size.
FIRB said using the 2009-
2012 production as the base
for quota allocations “appears
to benet” the two largest
producers, Coastline Chicks
(Kelly and Teresa Boonstra)
and Rob and Pat Donaldson
(Bradner Farms).
Off and on production
It notes Coastline, Bradner,
Friesen and John Giesbrecht
were pioneer Asian egg
producers but Friesen’s egg
production had lapsed
before restarting in 2009.
Sensing a market
opportunity, Skye Hi and V3
started production in mid-
2010. The sixth producer, K &
R Farms (Ken Huttema and
Rob Vane), also began in
2010 after acquiring
Giesbrecht’s genetics.
In its 39-page decision, the
FIRB panel of Daphne Stancil,
FIRB chair John Les and FIRB
vice-chair Andy Dolberg says
the BCBHEC decision violates
every one of FIRB’s cherished
SAFETI principles: Strategic,
Accountable, Fair, Eective,
Transparent, Inclusive.
Specialty sector
Strategic: “We nd a
complete lack of any strategic
rationale in respect of the
decision-making to actively
regulate the Asian hatching
egg sector,” the panel states,
noting the commission had
made it clear after FIRB’s 2005
Specialty Review that it had
no intention of regulating the
specialty sector. FIRB even
complimented Skye-Hi and V3
for “helping to develop a
stronger and more resilient
Asian hatching egg sector.”
Accountable: The panel
stressed the BCBHEC was not
accountable to all
stakeholders, calling its
“preferential treatment of two
producers … troubling.” In
particular, FIRB noted the
BCBHEC only allowed Skye Hi
and V3 to comment on the
proposed order if they agreed
to allow their comments to be
circulated to all six producers,
yet withheld Donaldson’s
comments until the order was
issued.
Fair: FIRB pointed out that
not all industry participants
were consulted prior to the
order being issued “which, in
itself, is unfair.” It added that
the outcome of the order was
also unfair, as it “signicantly
jeopardized the businesses of
four of the producers while …
allocating more quota to the
two dominant producers than
they had requested.”
Eective: That led FIRB to
conclude the order “would
have destroyed the
appellants’ business … (and)
… does not provide for or
reect the current state of the
industry.
“The outcome could have
been damaging to a sector
where BC is a strong national
leader,” it says.
Transparent: FIRB states
categorically that the BCBHEC
“did not nd the appropriate
balance” between openness
and the risk of a ‘race for
base.’ It notes there were
inadequate records of the
consultation process and
decries the commission
members’ “lack of awareness
of the 2005 Specialty Review
which provided advice for …
developing and
implementing a specialty or
niche program.”
Legal argument
BHBEC’s Reasons for
Decision “do not read like a
decision of a regulator
making a strategic decision in
the best interests of the
industry. Instead, they read
like a legal argument
FARM REVENUES From page 1
this year to just under $1.5 billion.
The retrenchment is consistent with slightly lower
expectations for overall farm revenues this year and ongoing
losses in the sector (at least on paper).
Aggregate farm revenues will come in at just under $3
billion this year, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada. This will translate into net cash income for the sector
of $327.8 million.
However, when depreciation and other factors are factored
in, federal analysts expect the sector to post a net loss of $70.8
million – the tenth year of red ink in the past 11.
The bleeding is unprecedented in the province’s history,
surpassing both the recession of the early 1980s and the Great
Depression. While the province has pledged to grow the agri-
food sector’s revenues, margins have remained incredibly tight
for producers.
Year Crops Livestock Total
2007 77.5 139.8 217.3
2008 79.1 142.6 221.7
2009 93.3 140.1 233.4
2010 93.3 140.1 233.4
2011 96.2 129.3 225.5
2012 102.7 127.4 230.1
2013 108.0 123.6 231.6
2014 109.6 134.2 243.8
2015
1
110.1 136.8
246.9
2016
2
108.5 131.4
239.9
1
preliminary
2
forecast Source: Statistics Canada
TABLE: Capital moves
New capital investment in B.C. farms, 2007-2016 ($ millions)
justifying a particular decision
irrespective of industry
realities,” FIRB states.
Inclusive: FIRB concludes
the commission “started from
a narrow perspective and
gave disproportionate weight
to the views of the two
largest producers, to the
detriment of the overall
interests of the industry.”
FIRB therefore threw out
the Order and has given the
BCBHEC 90 days to determine
whether or not to regulate
Asian egg production (using
SAFETI principles to make
that determination). If the
commission chooses to
exempt the production of
Silkie or TC broiler hatching
breeders, eggs or chicks, its
report must include draft
changes to the scheme to
support the exemption.
If it decides to pursue
some form of regulation, FIRB
has given the BCBHEC a
further 90 days to complete
an appropriate consultation,
enact a regulation and create
an advisory committee to
assist it going forward.
Although FIRB declined to
award the appellants all their
costs, it did order the BCBHEC
to pay $7,500 each to Skye Hi,
V3 and Friesen for their
troubles.
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The panel stressed the BCBHEC was not accountable
to all stakeholders, calling its “preferential
treatment of two producers ... troubling.”
June 2016• Country Life in BC 3
Fun with feces
Dan Hopkins, far left,
was one of several
members of the
Okanagan Shuswap
Sheep Producers
Association learning
how to use the
FAMACHA card to
detect anaemia in
sheep at a “Fun with
Feces” workshop
with Dr Shaun Tryon,
right, in Armstrong
last month. The
presentation also
included fecal
sample collection
and examination to
help producers
increase their
husbandry skills
when it comes to
dealing with internal
parasites in sheep.
(Photo courtesy of
Karen Mernett)
Ag council initiative hopes to increase public trust
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD
The BC
Agriculture Council (BCAC) is
scrambling for a new
communications strategist
and member relations
manager after the abrupt
departure of Jaclyn Laic at the
end of April.
“It’s a super-high priority for
us,” BCAC executive director
Reg Ens said. “We want
someone as soon as possible.”
He oered no explanation
for Laic’s departure, saying
only it was by “mutual
agreement.”
In the meantime, Kathy
James, who has been working
with ARDCorp as a program
manager, is helping out with
communication.
Communication is a key
issue for the BCAC, having just
spent part of their annual
meeting discussing how to
build more public trust in the
farming community.
Speaking at the BC
Greenhouse Growers
Association annual meeting at
the end of April, BCAC chair
Stan Vander Waal says the
council is wrestling with “how
we get the average public to
understand what it takes to
get food on their table.”
He notes a Farm Credit
Canada survey showed just
58% of the public trust
farmers, a drop of 4% since its
survey ve years earlier.
“Our objective is to raise
the level of trust from 58%
back to 62% or even up to
70%,” Vander Waal said.
Ens said the council is
working with Jennifer Woron
of the BC Dairy Association to
develop details of the
strategy.
“We hope to present a
proposed strategy to our
board by the end of July, have
our member associations
agree to it by the end of
September and start the
implementation in
November,” Vander Waal said.
EFP continues with ARDCorp
Meanwhile, the council is
pulling back on its
involvement in federally-
funded programs. Ens notes
neither BCAC/ARDCorp nor
the BC Food Processors
Associations applied to deliver
the new federal-provincial
traceability and food safety
programs in BC. While
ARDCorp continues to deliver
the Environmental Farm Plan
program, Ens expects to be
out of 2016 funding for EFP
Benecial Management
Practices (BMP’s) by the end of
May.
“We had good uptake from
all over the province,” he said.
An enhanced EFP program
with increased BMP funding is
one of the things the
Canadian Federation of
Agriculture is looking for in
the next federal-provincial-
territorial agriculture
agreement to begin in 2018.
With agriculture ministers
set to discuss Growing
Forward 3 at their next
meeting in July, the CFA has
released its report titled
“Positioning Canadian
Agriculture for Continued
Success,” detailing its “asks”
for the new agreement.
In its summary, the CFA
says its policy and program
recommendations will enable
increased investment in the
sector, promote adaptability
to a changing climate and
position Canadian agri-food
products as the rst choice for
safe, quality food.
The CFA is also calling for
increased investments in
public sector research, provide
a higher percentage of
funding for research clusters
in specialty sectors and
additional funding for
research in new sectors.
It wants the government to
rescind the current Agri-
Stability payment triggers and
go back to using a trigger of
85% of the historical reference
margin. It also wants
government to develop a
supplementary program more
suitable to diversied farm
operations which often nd
prots in one area mean they
are unable to access supports
even though their losses in
another area may be the same
as farmers only involved in
that one sector.
The CFA continues to call
for a national food policy,
stressing it needs to include
integrated national food
safety assurance systems
which meet the needs of
“producers, processors,
retailers, regulators and
consumers.”
The CFA also wants the
next agreement to support
provincial branding initiatives,
such as BC’s Buy Local
program. Because these
programs try to dierentiate
products from one province
to the next, they are barred
from accessing GF2 funding.
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We spoke in this space last month about the BC
Hydro and Power Authority’s (Hydro) accumulated
debt of more than $76 billion. That sum is more than
three quarters of the total provincial debt. What is
not included in Hydro’s total is the cost of the Site C
dam on the Peace River.
Site C will be the third Peace River dam on sites
proposed more than 60 years ago and will be
Hydro’s rst major dam project in more than 30
years. There is no small amount of controversy
surrounding the project.
Hydro claims Site C power is necessary to meet
predicted demand in the coming decades and notes
that once in place, it will be the source of clean,
reliable energy for the next 100 years.
Opponents point to current demand, which has
grown little in the past decade. The 5,100 GW annual
Site C output is not currently required to meet
domestic demand and export markets are weak.
All of this could change if and when the much
touted LNG industry ever reaches lift-o and though
there is plenty of noise and engine revving, the rst
ight looks to be a long way o.
This would explain the government proposing
(somewhat ironically, many would say) to sell Site C
power to Alberta as a low carbon power source for
the oilsand industry. I suspect Alberta might be
interested, all the more if they could somehow solve
that pesky bitumen pipeline dilemma.
There is a long list of environmental concerns
backed up behind Site C.
The ooding of 107 km of the Peace and its
tributaries will submerge a total of 5,304 ha,
including 3,433 ha of Class 1 to 3 land formerly in
the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The ALR issue was solved in April 2015 when
Order in Council No. 148 removed all the aected
lands in the largest exclusion in the ALR’s 44 year
history.
Concerns from local First Nations as well as
riparian wildlife habitat loss and risk to endangered
species have been dealt with as well. Work is
underway and completion is currently projected for
2024.
Of course, we have no way of knowing what the
whole thing will cost in the end. The Site C feasibility
study in 2007 cited a cost of $6.6 billion. By 2011, the
gure had grown to $7.9 billion and now that the
project is up and running, the projected price tag
exceeds $9 billion.
Large construction projects seldom meet their
initial cost estimates. The Johnson Street Bridge
replacement in Victoria was originally estimated to
cost $63 million with completion in 2015. As it now
sits, they are aiming for completion in 2017 and the
cost has ballooned to $97 million and rising.
In 2009, the provincial government projected the
cost of a new roof for BC Place Stadium at $365
million. It was completed in 2012 at a cost of $514
million and we will remember the Fast Cat ferries
that started at $210 million and grew to $463
million. My guess would be that in 2024, the nal
Site C cost will be at least double the original
estimate.
The pros and cons of the project are almost
limitless but the big question we need to ask is
should a Crown corporation already packing a $76
billion decit be taking a $10 billion yer to
generate power it might not need?
If Hydro wasn’t so far in hock, Site C might seem
like a prudent gamble but it is dicult to see how it
solves the problem of servicing a debt nearing (or
over) $90 billion or gives any comfort to the
agencies that scrutinize our nances and set the
province’s credit rating.
While it will provide employment opportunities
during construction and give the government
something more substantial than LNG dreams to
hang its hat on at election time next year, it
ultimately leads to the very real possibility that
Hydro will end up parted out and sold o to relieve
the government from the discomfort of shouldering
the blame for its troubles.
Sold or not, there is no scenario that doesn’t lead
to ongoing consumer price increases.
Editor & Publisher Peter Wilding
Phone: 604/871-0001 • Fax: 604/871-0003
E-mail: countrylifeinbc@shaw.ca • Web: countrylifeinbc.com
Associate Editor David Schmidt
Phone: 604-793-9193
E-mail: davidschmidt@shaw.ca
Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover
Phone: 604/328-3814
E-mail: cathyglover@telus.net
Production Ass’t: Ann Morris • Senior Researcher: Phil “Piffles” Gordon
COUNTRY
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The agricultural news source
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Published monthly by
Country Life 2000 Ltd.
Vol. 102 No. 6
June 2016
in B.C.
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Site C is risky business for BC Hydro, consumers
The Back 40
BOB COLLINS
Country Life in BC • June 20164
Speaking to producers at the Pacic
Agriculture Show earlier this year, farm
business consultant Charlie Touchette
told producers they need to be asking
themselves what people think of their
farming. The generation that came of
age during the biotech debates of the
late 1990s has put food on the political
agenda. Whereas the price of food
used to be the biggest concern for
consumers, now it’s the way that food
is produced. Was the animal treated
well? Were the pastures it grazed
treated with pesticides? Were the
workers who picked the fruit and
vegetables paid a living wage?
When the furore over the
mistreatment of animals by a few
employees at Chilliwack Cattle Sales
made headlines in 2014, it wasn’t just
the farm caught in the crosshairs of
activists. Saputo refused to accept milk
from the farm and then, a year ago,
announced that it wouldn’t buy milk
from dairies that didn’t treat their
animals well.
Earls Restaurants recently followed
suit, announcing it would only source
beef from suppliers who could
guarantee that their animals were
treated humanely. But the
announcement from Earls triggered a
backlash because it claimed it couldn’t
nd beef in Canada that met its
requirements.
It soon backtracked on the decision
to source exclusively from the US
because sourcing local beef was just as
important as sourcing animals that
died free from distress.
But more clashes between social
objectives are likely in the future as
emotion trumps science in the battle
for hearts, minds and dollars.
Defenders of animals rights met in
Vancouver over the May long
weekend to rally the troops and the
group Direct Action Everywhere
regularly meets to put pressure on
grocers to stop selling animal
products on the grounds that there’s
nothing humane about treating
animals as food. Restaurants, retailers
and suppliers will face a greater array
of social pressure to do what these so-
called activists claim to be the right
thing in any given moment and cater
to consumer demand.
On the bright side, this may mean a
greater range of niche markets for
vendors to supply, and in turn a greater
ability to secure premium pricing as
Social objectives have a cost
people ante up to keep a clean
conscience. The province, meanwhile,
has pledged to enforce claims of
organic certication (and potentially
others) with legal protection.
Greater revenues will help make
farming more viable. But the cost will
be greater scrutiny of farm practices by
an unpredictable and self-righteous
judge, yet another variable demanding
management in what may well be the
world’s most unpredictable profession.
Growing up on the farm in
the 1960s, two events caused
a dramatic shift in the family’s
eating habits.
First, the cow died. She was
replaced with skim milk
powder, which scientically
speaking, oered similar
nutrition, was less expensive,
stored better and was much
more convenient than
maintaining a cow and
milking two times a day.
But it tasted terrible. The
family lore is my older
brothers paid for their rst
bicycles by drinking milk after
my parents oered to pay
them a penny a glass.
The dangers of butter!
The second major shift also
involved dairy. Butter at the
dinner table was replaced by a
similarly sized brick
resembling lard. Except it was
made from plant-based
sources and came with a
bright orange packet of dye to
make it look more like the
butter. This occurred after my
father was diagnosed with
high cholesterol and told to
avoid eating saturated fats. At
that time, eggs were also
deemed dangerous.
The science of the day
pronounced margarine as a
much healthier choice and
that was widely disseminated
to the public through media,
dietitians and the medical
profession. Thirty years later,
they started reporting the
new science that showed that
hydrogenating vegetable oil
to make it solid created trans
fats, which are now
considered worse than the
saturated fats in butter.
We are now told the links
between cholesterol
in our foods,
cholesterol in our
bodies and our long-
term health are much
more nebulous.
All of this came to
mind last month while sitting
in on an Agricultural Institute
of Canada (AIC) conference
and workshop on how to get
research results into the
hands of end-users.
A background document
identied key challenges
facing researchers
communicating about
science. One is that the
process from research to end
use is no longer “linear” or a
“pipeline” as it was back in the
days when most research was
conducted by public
institutions. Researchers made
a nding, they told everyone
about it, industry adopted it
and the public good was
realized.
More stakeholders involved
Sandra Schillo, assistant
professor of the Telfer School
of Management at the
University of Ottawa, told the
conference that taking
research ndings through to
conference had a lot to say
about so-called “mommy
bloggers” and unscientic
attacks on modern production
practices. They point to
publications such as The Real
Dirt on Farming as a credible
source of information.
However, it also makes some
challengeable claims, such as
saying Canadians enjoy one of
the lowest-cost food baskets
in the world.
That assertion is based on
the percentage of annual
income spent. By global
standards, Canadians are
relatively wealthy and their
food is relatively expensive.
When people are told to
“trust the science” or “the
science says … ” it comes
across as doctrine. Science is a
process for discovery, not a
belief system.
The trouble with science is
that it keeps changing.
Presenting the latest ndings
as a fact leads to confusion
and skepticism as new
information comes forward.
The public becomes
especially wary when “The
science says … ” lecture
comes from someone with
something to prove – whether
it is a company seeking
regulatory approval for a new
product or critics of modern
agriculture.
Do farmers really want all
decisions about food to be
based strictly on science? If
that were the case, consumers
would be gobbling up the
scientically-proven safe
protein sources such as
mealworms and yeast grown
on waste paper. The science
says those protein sources are
far more ecient than beef or
chicken.
Larura Rance is editor of
Manitoba Co-operator.
The trouble with science is that it constantly changes
The scientific method is a process for discovery, not a belief system
Viewpoint
LAURA RANCE
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 5
implementation these days is
much more complex and not
always driven by end-user
needs. There are more
stakeholders involved, ranging
from regulatory agencies,
public/private partnerships,
and a public that appears to
be increasingly skeptical that
the purveyors of science have
its best interests at heart.
“Social licence”
The public is distanced
from the farm and has no
direct economic stake in the
value chain, yet – to the
industry’s chagrin – it can
inuence when and how new
technologies or practices are
introduced through
something that’s come to be
known as “social licence.”
“Ninety per cent of
respondents agreed there is a
need to bridge the gap
between researchers and
consumers in order to retain
agriculture’s social licence to
operate and produce,” the AIC
backgrounder said.
The document
acknowledged that the
consumer’s role in the
research value chain has been
poorly recognized in the past.
But respondents also noted
“that many consumers are not
open to learning facts based
on science.”
What constitutes a fact
when it comes to food
science? Was the now-
disproven science on
margarine 30 years ago “good
science” or “junk science?”
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 7
by TAMARA LEIGH
DUNCAN – Former
Agricultural Land Commission
(ALC) chair Richard Bullock has
joined with Richmond City
councillor Harold Steves to
tour the province advocating
for the protection of farmland
and the Agricultural Land
Reserve (ALR).
On a sunny spring evening
in the Cowichan Valley, the
pair drew a mix of local
farmers, interested public and
representatives from all levels
of local government for a
compelling talk on the past,
present and future of farmland
in BC. It was the sixth in a
growing list of joint speaking
engagements that has had the
pair on the road since October.
Threats to the ALR
After providing a concise
history of the ALR, Steves
turned the discussion to what
local government can do to
promote local agriculture and
address threats to the ALR.
The veteran councillor
described how the City of
Richmond is using
development cost charges to
buy parkland and move it into
agricultural production.
“When we brought in the
ALR, it provided farmland
protection, farm income
assurance, industrial land
protection, BC’s rst allotment
gardens and a land bank to
provide land for young
farmers. It was provincially
supported agriculture,” says
Steves. “Today in Richmond,
we have municipally-
supported agriculture.”
Community garden plots
In recent years, the City of
Richmond has bought lands,
including the Terra Nova
development, now know as
the Terra Nova Rural Park, to
be used for non-prot farming
through the Kwantlen Farm
School, as well as community
garden plots for individuals
and schools.
“Most people see it as a
park; we see it as a way of
providing food to the future,”
says Steves.
Other initiatives include
returning the old “Fantasy
Gardens” property back into
production as incubator farms
and allotment gardens. It may
be one of the only golf
courses in the province to be
returned to farming.
Despite the progress being
made in Richmond, Steves
says speculative real estate
investments, the removal of
the Massey Tunnel and the
Site C dam are all major
threats to the future of
farmland and the ALR.
“With the Site C dam, we’ll
lose 30,000 acres of the best
alluvial soil in the province. It’s
enough land to feed a million
people. We need to expand
our vegetable production
capacity, not take it away,” he
says. “This dam is not clean
power when we are losing the
ability to feed ourselves in the
future.”
Bullock carried the second
half of the evening with a
passionate condemnation of
the current provincial
government and their
changes to the ALC.
Rare and precious
“We’ve been talking about
farmland and problems with
keeping it for 40 years,” says
the past chair of the
commission. “We all agree that
farmland is rare and precious.
It’s high time that somebody
in provincial oce stands up
and says hands o of
farmland. Agricultural land
shouldn’t be the rst option
for municipal growth; it should
be the last one. That’s why I
got red.”
Bullock is critical of the
changes to the ALC since his
dismissal in May 2015. In
High profile farm advocates take Future of Farming on the road
addition to establishing two-
tiered protection for
agricultural land in dierent
parts of the province, the
government decentralized
the decision-making authority
by replacing the provincial
review panel with six regional
panels.
Six land commissions
“There is no single ALC
anymore – we have six ALCs
and nobody is talking for the
province. The only thing the
chair does now is direct trac;
there’s no input or direction,”
says Bullock.
“They are trying to ne-tune
the ALR through individual
applications and the
commissioners have pressures
coming at them from every
direction,” he adds.
According to both Bullock
and Steves, the future of
farmland in BC rests with the
emerging awareness of the
importance of local food
among urban consumers and
the growing desire of young
people to take up the business
of farming.
When asked how
municipalities can help, Steves
says local governments have a
role to play in helping make
land available to young
farmers. He points to the City
of Richmond’s incubator farm
program and the need to
change tax structures to
prevent people from buying
farmland and letting it go
fallow.
“Regional districts and
municipalities need to have
sta dedicated to agriculture.
That would go a long way to
codifying agriculture as
business in our communities,”
says Bullock.
“On ALR land, the best and
highest use of the land is
agriculture. This is the most
precious resource we have in
this country,” he adds. “If you
think somebody else is going
to feed us when we get
hungry, think again.”
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Country Life in BC • June 20168
by DAVID SCHMIDT
SURREY BC greenhouse vegetable
growers and other “carbon-intensive
and trade-sensitive” industries could
be “severely impacted” if Canada
doesn’t get its proposed national
carbon pricing tax plan right, says
Abbotsford MP Ed Fast.
“Every time we adopt environmental
and climate change policy, it has an
eect on our economy,” he told the BC
Greenhouse Growers Association
(BCGGA) annual meeting in Surrey,
April 22. “I am concerned we will
embark on a (carbon tax) program
which will be a disaster.”
He says Ontario’s green energy plan
has resulted in the highest electricity
cost in North America and called
Europe’s cap and trade system an
“absolute disaster.” He said BC’s
“revenue-neutral” system (which
provides a carbon tax rebate to
greenhouse growers) the “best model.”
Now the opposition critic for
environment and climate change, Fast
was the architect behind both the
European Union (CETA) and Trans
Pacic Partnership (TPP) trade deals
when he was Minister of International
Trade in the previous Conservative
government and strongly defended
both initiatives.
He said CETA puts Canada“ three to
ve years ahead of the US” in that
market while TPP “sets the rules for
21st century trade in the Asia-Pacic
region. If we don’t set those rules,
China will.”
He said the TPP protects Canada’s
North American trade. Since that is
important to them, he exhorted
growers to “assert yourselves to the
new trade minister. Let her know you
support the TPP.”
While the US continues to be a
major market for BC greenhouse
vegetables, the BCGGA is also pursuing
markets in Japan and India.
“We are in the nal stages of getting
approvals to allow peppers into Japan
and have initiated the process to allow
greenhouse vegetables to be sold in
India,” BCGGA executive director Linda
Delli Santi reported.
While a new carbon tax policy could
be a concern, the cost of carbon
shouldn’t be, says Nick Caumanns of
Cascadia Energy.
“Don’t worry,” he told growers,
saying proven natural gas reserves
have doubled in the past decade.
“There’s lots of gas and it’s everywhere.
There’s lots of pipeline capacity and
you won’t have to compete with
China. There’s enough gas to meet
every need until 2035 at a price below
$4 per gigajoule.”
Growers may have the trade deals,
natural gas pricing and carbon rebates
they need, but do they have the public
support they also need? That’s where
BC Veggie Day comes in.
Previous veggie days have been a
“great success” and the next was to be
held in late May with open
greenhouses in Abbotsford and Delta
and displays in 27 Superstores and 158
Overwaitea/Save-On Foods stores,
BCGGA president Peter Cummings
said. While those help build public
trust, he is concerned the current focus
on social licence has the potential to
get “out of control.” He notes all
retailers now conduct food safety
audits and some are even auditing
growers’ employment practices.
Delli Santi says WorksafeBC is also
putting more pressure on the industry
to improve worker safety. “In the fall,
WSBC started a concentrated eort to
have our employers prove the stability
of the pipe support/pipe rail/cart
systems.”
As a result, WSBC and the BCGGA
will cost-share a study to develop a
practical and aordable solution,
which could include changes to both
the systems and the WSBC
requirements.
While making strides in some areas,
the BCGGA has yet to get
cogeneration back into BC Hydro’s
standing oer program.
“We will continue to talk about it
but I’m not hopeful,” Delli Santi told
growers.
Greenhouse growers cautioned about federal carbon tax
Ed Fast Nick Caumanns
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 9
Feds promise dairy
industry mitigation
package: CETA
by DAVID SCHMIDT
OTTAWA Dairy Farmers of
Canada (DFC) are relieved the
government has committed
to provide compensation for
any losses farmers may incur
as a result of the Canada-
Europe free trade agreement
(CETA).
When ratied, CETA will
allow the European Union to
ship an additional 17,700
tonnes of cheese into Canada
per year, which DFC estimates
will cost dairy farmers
between $110-150 million per
year in revenues and market
share.
Concessions
On May 2, federal Minister
of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Lawrence MacAulay and
Minister of International Trade
Chrystia Freeland announced
plans to help the Canadian
dairy industry adjust to those
market access concessions.
Saying the government
remains committed to the
supply managed sector, the
two ministers noted an
“appropriate mitigation
package is necessary for the
Canadian dairy industry.”
They promised to meet
with industry by the
beginning of June to discuss
the government’s proposed
mitigation package, saying it
will include transition support
for both producers and
processors.
DFC said it is “looking
forward to working together
to discuss what (the
mitigation) will look like –
using the joint CETA/TPP
(Trans Pacic Partnership)
package announced October
5, 2015 as a starting point.”
That day, the then-
Conservative government
committed up to $4.3 billion
to support supply-managed
producers and processors
through the implementation
of CETA and the TPP trade
deals.
“Keep producers whole
Their proposed package
included an Income
Guarantee Program to “keep
producers whole” by
providing 100% income
protection to producers for 10
years and additional income
support for ve more years; a
10-year Quota Value
Guarantee program to protect
producers against reductions
in quota value when the
quota is sold; a Processor
Modernization Program to
help processors improve their
competitiveness and growth;
and a Market Development
Initiative to help supply-
managed groups promote
and market their products.
Amounts estimated
At the time, the
government estimated a
typical dairy farm could
receive about $165,600 over
the 15 years of the program, a
typical chicken farm could
expect about $84,100, a
typical turkey farm could
expect about $88,000, a
typical egg farm could expect
about $71,500 and a typical
hatching egg farm could
expect about $191,700.
Those initiatives were never
passed by either Parliament or
the Cabinet and therefore
need not be honoured by the
current government.
DFC wants government to
immediately include a funding
program for new investments
into additional processing
capacity, saying “the time to
make those investments is
before the implementation of
the deal.”
Nat’l turkey stocks up; BC
under-produced in 2015
by DAVID SCHMIDT
SURREY BC turkey growers
did not quite ll their quota in
the last quota year, ending
April 30.
“Our year-end production
came in 0.2% under
allocation,” BC Turkey
Marketing Board vice-chair Les
Burm told growers at their
meeting in Surrey, May 10.
That may be a good thing
as Canadian turkey stocks are
up 5.6 million kg.
“The market is too soft right
now,” said Shawn Heppell, BC’s
former national and now
alternate national director.
“Sales were down at both
Christmas and Easter.”
Underproduction has not
been an issue in Ontario which
was recently ned for
overproduction. Turkey
Farmers of Canada rules
governing overproduction
penalties mean BC will receive
$36,000 per year for the next
three years to be used in
marketing.
Burm said the board is
developing a marketing
program targeting Asian and
South Asian consumers. Asians
consume a lot of chicken but
not much turkey. In fact, some
Asian languages do not even
have a word for turkey.
Burm acknowledged the BC
live price is still below the
margin the board and growers
want, but that
could change.
“Ontario feed
costs went up so
that should help
us,” he told
growers, but noted
BC costs are also
increasing so that
may not be as
much help as
growers need.
Growers also
heard a
presentation on
darkling beetle control from
Je Glover of Elanco. Known in
the poultry industry primarily
for its coccidiods, Elanco
purchased Novartis Animal
Health two years ago, bringing
with it the relatively new Agita
beetle and y control products.
Darkling beetles “can keep
a lot of diseases percolating in
your barn” by acting as
vectors. They are usually found
in the litter under the feed
pans as that gives them a
warm, damp home with plenty
of feed. When birds are gone
and feed pans are empty, they
will burrow into the insulation
in the walls until the next ock
arrives, causing damage to the
barns themselves.
If not controlled, a darkling
beetle infestation can quickly
get out of hand. Glover notes
an adult female can
live 10-12 months
and lay up to 2,000
eggs in a lifetime.
“A full cycle can
happen in 46 days
at 32°C.”
He told growers
to get the beetles
“when they’re
travelling” by
painting a one-
metre strip of
pesticide along the
base of the wall
and the edge of the oor after
the barn has been cleaned and
disinfected. He urged growers
to monitor their barns before
and after a treatment to
ensure the program is
working.
He stressed Agita is not
registered for whole barn
treatments, saying if growers
need to do a whole barn
treatment, “it’s a sign your
control program is not
working.”
Currently, Elanco’s Agita
and Bayer’s Tempo are the two
products available for darkling
beetle control. Since Agita is a
neonicitinoid and Tempo a
pyrethroid, Glover says each
should be used for two to
three ocks, then alternated
with the other to avoid a
buildup of resistance.
A Firsthand
Understanding
Of Your Familys
Wealth Priorities
Mark Driediger, CFP, Senior Wealth Advisor
Assante Financial Management Ltd.
www.MarkDriediger.com | (604) 859-4890
Farm Transition Coaching
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Retirement Income Planning
Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200
f
or in
f
ormation with respect
to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.
Your Farm. Your Family. Your Future.
Les Burm
Eligibility Requirements
• Schedule 2 Highways, Schedule 1 Highways, and Railway Corridors.
Secondary (sideroad) paved routes may also be considered.
• Must be a livestock producer.
• Fence must be part of an existing fencing system to contain livestock.
Application forms available at:
http://www.cattlemen.bc.ca/fencing.htm
Call TOLL FREE 1.866.398.2848 to have an application mailed to you.
Application Deadline
August 31, 2016 for consideration for the 2017 construction year.
NOW accepting applications for the
Provincial Livestock Fencing Program
along travel corridors
Provincial Livestock Fencing Program
Country Life in BC • June 201610
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 11
by PETER MITHAM
KAMLOOPS – The federal
budget may have grabbed
headlines with plans for $120
billion worth of infrastructure
spending over the next
decade but the news was
little comfort to residents of
rural BC who want attention
paid to roads, dykes and other
works in their communities.
While the province has
invested millions in highway
upgrades over the past
decade, information provided
to Country Life in BC by
provincial sta indicate
funding for rural and forest
service roads has languished.
The last major infusion of
cash occurred nearly a decade
ago when Victoria allocated
$75 million for rural side road
improvement and $72 million
to maintain roads worn down
by the resource sector.
Today, engineers with the
BC Ministry of Forests, Lands
and Natural Resource
Operations – headed by
former BC Agriculture Council
executive director Steve
Thomson – receive $18
million a year for capital
projects and maintenance of
approximately 12,000
kilometres of forest service
roads, bridges and major
culverts. The money is spent
largely on high-trac routes
serving communities, rural
residences and high-value
recreation sites.
Out in the cold are
ranchers such as Tom and
Linda Hancock of Chisholm
Canyon Ranch, who live three
and a half hours north of
Lillooet on West Pavilion
Road.
When the Hancocks started
ranching on the area in 1979,
the road was regularly
maintained. By 2004, summer
maintenance had been
terminated. Then, a year ago,
the province informed the six
ranching families at the
farthest end of the road that
winter maintenance would
also end.
“We got a letter saying they
weren’t going to maintain it in
winter; they were just going
to drop it and if we wanted to
use that road, then we would
have to hire a contractor and
get insurance for liability and
look after the road ourselves,”
Linda Hancock explains.
“There’s no way we can aord
to go hire a contractor and
then buy the insurance to top
it all o and do the road for
everyone else to use. It’s just
crazy.”
Hancock contacted the
premier as well as the
Rural road maintenance and fencing are big issues in BC’s interior where, in some instances, cost,
labour and even liability have been downloaded onto farmers and ranchers. (Photo courtesy of BC
Cattlemens Association)
Federal infrastructure spending overlooks farmers
Government downloading maintenance on roads, dykes a hazard to agriculture
ministers responsible for
transportation, forestry and
agriculture but was told the
road was a forestry road and
not eligible for regular
maintenance – regardless of
what it received in the past.
“They don’t get it,” says
Hancock. “I’m really at a loss if
the government won’t
actually talk to you.”
Poor road conditions are
hampering the delivery of hay
and other necessities for
farming operations and the
Hancocks have had to invest
in maintenance to ensure
access to the Big Bar ferry,
which shortens the trip to 100
Mile House where Tom
receives cancer treatments.
Blackwater Rd needs help
Other communities face
similar challenges.
The Blackwater Road
between Quesnel and Prince
George, for example, hasn’t
been maintained since
upgrades to Highway 97; it
runs through several popular
recreation areas as well as the
provincially-funded Baldy
Hughes Therapeutic
Community and Farm.
Kevin Boon, general
manager of the BC
Cattlemen’s Association, says
the province’s practice of
contracting out maintenance
leaves roads vulnerable to
neglect. While he doesn’t
think the issue’s widespread,
it isn’t uncommon.
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“Rural roads just don’t get
as much of the maintenance,”
he says. “The maintenance
company that’s hired to look
after it … may concentrate
more on the used, tracked
roads and just do [the others]
when they have to.”
Dyke trouble
Another element of BC’s
rural landscape that’s
concerned some residents is
the state of dyking along the
Kootenay River.
Construction of the Libby
dam in Montana under the
Columbia River Treaty has
meant better ood control
and, in turn, the ow of the
river such that erosion has
decreased.
But a report BCG
Engineering Inc. of Vancouver
prepared for the province in
2012 noted that variations in
river ows through the late
1990s “induced a cycle of
wetting and drying that
appears to weaken the banks
and result in bank erosion
from toppling of soil wedges.”
Changes since 2000 have
reduced the damage and
vegetation has taken root that
has helped stabilize the
levees, but Cyril Colonel, a
long-time resident of the
Creston Valley, believes more
could be done.
Dyking systems continue to
deteriorate, he feels, undoing
the dyke improvements local
farmers undertook following
the devastating oods of 1938
and 1948.
He would like to see
greater reinforcing of local
dykes to prevent erosion and
protect the several cattle
operations in the Creston
Valley, among other
agricultural businesses.
“Downstream benets in
the millions of dollars
(possibly now billions) have
been funnelled into
government coers and the
Columbia Basin Trust,” he said
in a letter to Country Life in BC.
“[But] it seems they are
content to let hundreds of
thousands of tons … of dyke
material slough into the river
annually.”
The province’s
communications sta were
unable to provide any
interviews or insights on the
issue.
Neglected issue
But for Boon, maintenance
is a neglected issue when it
comes to infrastructure.
While he cheers the
province’s investment in new
fencing along highways, he
says there needs to be a long-
term vision for maintaining
what’s been created. Between
regular wear and tear, not to
mention natural disasters –
last summer’s Rock Creek re
destroyed several kilometres
of new fencing – it’s
impossible for the province to
maintain what it has without a
strategy.
“We’ll never keep up with it
at the rate we’re working on
it,” he says. “By the time you
work your way through it, the
ones you rebuilt 20 years ago
are up for replacement again.”
And many stretches of
highway fencing are much
older than 20 years; fencing
along the Coquihalla, for
example, is approaching 30
years old, and some stretches
near Kamloops are
approaching 40 years.
“All of that fence is going
to have to be replaced,” Boon
says, bluntly. “I don’t think our
government plans enough for
that.”
Variations in river ows on the Columbia River are causing huge wedges of the dyke to slough into
the river. Locals are calling for government to invest in ongoing dyke maintenance to the situation
before it has any further impact on farms and ranches in the region. (Photo courtesy of Cyril Colonel)
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 13
Langley Township to pay farmers for enhancing environment
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD
The
Township of Langley is the
latest organization to throw
its weight, and its money,
behind the non-profit
Ecological Services Initiative
(ESI).
Long championed by
Kootenay rancher Dave
Zehnder, the ESI program
coordinator, ESI is a research
and development pilot
project which contracts
farmers to enhance the
environment. Farmers receive
annual payments for
contributing to a healthy
ecosystem by maintaining
and enhancing their land to
ensure a clean water supply,
erosion control, pest
management and habitat
preservation.
A single ranch
It began in 2010 with a
single ranch in the Kootenays.
Supported by the Regional
District of the East Kootenays
Local Conservancy Fund
(LCF), the farmer was
contracted to fence a riparian
area to protect and enhance a
sensitive lakeshore.
After that project showed
positive results, the program
moved onto Phase 2,
establishing another 30
demonstration sites across
different regions of BC and
Alberta.
“This phase
helped determine
the viability of the
concept in the
larger inter-
provincial context
and laid the
groundwork for
Phase 3,” Zehnder
says.
Phase 3 began in
2014 with the aim
of further
developing the
payment model
and expanding it to
include 60 sites in
three regions: the
Kootenays,
Okanagan and
Lower Mainland. Each region
has been further divided into
three sub-regions: Columbia
Valley and Koocanusa in the
Kootenays, South and North
Central Okanagan Valley and
Langley and Agassiz in the
Lower Mainland.
Langley has been a strong
supporter of the program
since coming on board last
year, hosting a meeting in
early March to promote the
concept. Despite minimal
publicity, the meeting
attracted about 50 people.
“We are committed to
signing up 10 farmers for the
three-year pilot project and
we already have six or seven,”
says Dave Melnychuk, chair of
the Langley Sustainable
Agriculture Foundation
(LSAF) and an Environmental
Farm Plan (EFP) advisor.
Participating farmers must be
located along the main stem
of Bertrand Creek and allow
access to their lands for
monitoring and ecological
assessments.
Comes at a cost”
“Farmers take care of the
land so that the land can take
care of us,” Melnychuk says,
stressing that while farmers
want the resource to remain
sustainable, “it comes at a
cost.”
Langley Township mayor
Jack Froese, a specialty turkey
producer and processor,
notes agriculture “plays a
huge role in the township
and it is vital to all of us that
we ensure our sustainable
food production. Our
community is home to half
the farms in Metro
Vancouver, and we also have
acres of wetlands, forests and
creeks to protect.”
Noting the township
created a Sustainability
Charter to help guide it into
the future, Froese says the
Langley ESI “addresses many
of the charter’s objectives,
including strengthening our
agricultural economy,
conserving and enhancing
our environment and
increasing biodiversity and
natural capital.”
Diverse funding
The township is providing
up to $120,000 for the three-
year project estimated to cost
about $350,000. The balance
of the funding will come from
ESI’s other funding partners
which include LCF, the Real
Estate Foundation, Fraser
Valley Conservancy, Columbia
Basin Trust, the Canadian
Wildlife Service and
Environment Canada’s
Habitat Stewardship Program.
Zehnder says Langley has
been “exceptionally
supportive,” calling the
project one of ESI’s “more
advanced” projects. “They
had the foresight to want a
program like this and came to
us for help with it.”
Although the pilot ESI
program is aiming for a
conclusion in 2020, Zehnder’s
ultimate goal is to have a
Payment for Ecological
Services (PES) program
included as an adjunct to the
EFP program.
“We have trained EFP
advisors to be the front end
of the program,” he says.
“They go out to the farms,
work with the farmers to get
them signed on, then do the
assessments.”
“We’re very pleased with
the interest,” Melnychuk says,
noting Metro Vancouver has
already done a video for local
community TV as part of its
Sustainability Initiatives
series. The LSAF is also
hoping to highlight the
program at its annual fall
workshop.
Dave Zehnder Dave Melnychuk
“We are committed
to signing up 10 famers
for the three‑year pilot project,
and we already have
six or seven.”
... Participating farmers
must be located
along the main stem
of Bertrand Creek ...
Ecological Services Initiative will
provide annual payments to
contribute to a healthy ecosystem
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OF THE
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Country Life in BC • June 201614
by DAVID SCHMIDT
AGASSIZ – Goodbye PARC.
Hello ARDC and SRDC.
Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada has decided to
rename its 20 research centres
as Research & Development
Centre and name each one
after the town or city it is
located in.
As a result AAFC has retired
the Pacic Agriculture
Research Centre (PARC) name
and replaced it with the
Agassiz Research &
Development Centre (ARDC)
and the Summerland Research
& Development Centre (SRDC).
“It was very confusing when
both the Agassiz and
Summerland sites were named
PARC,” ARDC associate
director Sankaran Krishna-Raj
told the University of BC Dairy
Education and Research
Centre advisory meeting in
late April.
When the two centres
operated under the PARC
banner, Agassiz was
subservient to Summerland.
Although Krishna-Raj says
each centre now operates
independently, the federal
government directory lists
Agassiz, Summerland and the
Grassland Applied Technology
Centre in Kamloops under the
Coastal Region (Pacic)
umbrella. All three report to
regional director Joyce Boye,
whose oce remains in
Summerland.
After AAFC ended its dairy
program in Agassiz a few years
ago, losing four scientist
positions, and other scientists
were moved or not replaced
after retirement, the centre
appeared to be on its last legs.
However, the Liberal
government appears to be
giving the ARDC new life.
Berry production research
Feds rename research and development centres
by PETER MITHAM
FORT ST JOHN – Wildres
have kept residents of Fort St
John and area on tenterhooks
as evacuation alerts have
shifted with the ames over
the past six weeks.
The re season got o to an
early start in mid April when a
wildre near the farming
community of Baldonnel
prompted an evacuation
order. When the order was
rescinded, the Beatton-Airport
Road re had taken centre
stage, and it continued to
burn into May. At deadline,
130 properties were under an
evacuation order and an
additional 95 were on alert.
Meanwhile, the Siphon
Road blaze, which has
consumed more than 150,000
acres in BC and Alberta,
continued to burn, triggering
its own evacuation alerts.
The res, while minor in
comparison to the devastating
conagration that swept
through Fort McMurray at the
beginning of May and
displaced close to 100,000
people, come following a
remarkably dry winter.
While parts of northern BC
found themselves snowbound
last winter, this year brought
less snow than expected. Sta
with the river forecast centre
with the BC Ministry of Forests,
Lands and Natural Resource
Operations reported that the
province’s snowpack was its
lowest ever on May 1, at 53%
of normal.
Regional snowpacks ranged
from 12% in the Northwest to
17% in the Liard region, while
the Peace was a relatively
comfortable 68% –
comparable to Vancouver
Island (70%) and the South
Coast (78%). By contrast, the
May 1 report pegged the
South Coast and Vancouver
Island at 14% and 12%,
respectively. The Okanagan, by
contrast, was at 57% a year
ago, whereas this year it’s at
75% of normal.
But the fact that all but the
Thompson region is well
below historic norms is a
wake-up call for resource
managers, which are both
eyeing water supplies as
warm, dry conditions kick o
the summer and attempting to
gauge re risks across the
province.
Steps have been taken to
bolster buer zones between
residential communities and
the backcountry in the Lower
Mainland while in the
Omineca region west of the
Rockies in the North Central
Interior, controlled burns have
occurred to limit the risk of
wildre.
Berry early
Meanwhile, in the Fraser
Valley, warm dry weather has
prompted one of the earliest-
ever strawberry harvests.
Some growers were picking
fruit on May 10 with
raspberries not far behind.
The early onset of ripe fruit
had some growers anxious
that this growing season could
see a repeat of last year when
berries ripened so quickly that
growers couldn’t keep up with
the crops. Strawberries were
no sooner on the market than
raspberries began owing in –
and then a rush of blueberries
meant many growers
abandoned raspberries for the
more lucrative blue tide.
This year, many growers
expect raspberries and
blueberries to hit markets by
the rst week of June.
Snowpack points to tough fire season in the north
Early heat, low precipitation kick-starting early crop for FV berries
scientist Martine Dorais
moved to Agassiz from
Quebec last summer, Paul
Abram is coming from Quebec
to replace Agassiz’s retiring
resident entomologist Dave
Gillespie, and the centre has
been given approval to add at
least three more scientists in
the next few months.
“We expect to add a plant
pathologist, weed scientist
and an agro-ecosystems
ecologist,” Krishna-Raj said.
AAFC regional
communications ocer Sarah
Godin reports that between
the time Krishna-Raj addressed
the advisory meeting and mid-
May, the centre had already
added two more people.
While Krishna-Raj told the
meeting ARDC has about 40
employees, including ve
scientists and seven
professionals, Godin told
Country Life in BC “as of May
11th, there are 56 sta and 23
students working at our
Agassiz centre.”
AAFC says ARDC’s mission
is to be “a world leader in
research on peri-urban
agriculture. This research will
seek to improve
understanding of the ows,
interactions and impacts of
agriculture systems within
densely populated regions.”
Krishna-Raj says Agassiz is
particularly suited to that
research, noting the Fraser
Valley features agriculture “in
its most intensive form in the
most densely-populated area.”
He says its research will
focus on PEAT: improve
Productivity, enhance
Environment, improve
Attributes and address
Threats.
There are other signs of
revitalization at Agassiz as
workers reroof, repair and
repaint its iconic heritage barn.
AAFC senior media relations
ocer Patrick Girard says the
$375,000 project will “protect
and maintain existing
infrastructure while also
preserving the nature of a
building of historical
signicance.” Built in 1892, the
barn is now primarily used for
storage as it is deemed unsafe
for occupancy.
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 15
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by PETER MITHAM
VANCOUVER – Consumers
have developed an appetite
for local food that respects
social values, but farmers are
nding themselves caught in
the crossre as restaurants use
pastoral farm scenes to
illustrate what goes on at the
feedlot and slaughterhouse.
The latest battle saw Earls
Restaurants Ltd., a 66-location
chain of upscale eateries
based in Vancouver, come
under re for announcing it
would source its beef from
Kansas. Earls claimed that
because Canada couldn’t
provide enough beef raised in
accordance with the Certied
Humane standard developed
by Humane Farm Animal Care
of Herndon, Virginia.
Humane Farm Animal
Care’s 53-page document for
beef production covers
everything from food, water,
windbreaks and lighting to
farm management (including
farm dogs), transportation and
slaughter, which must occur in
abattoirs that meet the
requirements of animal
welfare celebrity Temple
Grandin.
Earls said its chefs “looked
for a ranch that could supply
their volume and still meet the
strict Certied Humane
standards,” going so far as to
put themselves into the
animals’ hoofprints.
“Chefs headed out to see
the ranches and the
butchering facilities for
themselves. They lled their
water bottles up from the
A screen image of Earl’s home
page on April 28 extols the
Vancouver-based restaurant
chain’s commitment to
“conscious sourcing” but public
pushback has put local (or at
the very least, Canadian) beef at
the top of their priority list.
Ranchers take heat from Earls over finishing practices
BC-based restaurant chain backtracks on its purchasing decision to source beef only with Certified Humane standard
cows’ water sources and
tasted the feed, a mix of
naturally ranch-grown grains
and grasses and the spent
grains from the local brewery,”
Earls said.
But according to Earls
spokesperson Cate Simpson,
ranch conditions are the least
of the chain’s worries.
“The concern is rarely if
ever at the ranch or the farm.
It’s the next couple of stages
of the cattle’s life; one would
be the feedlot, and then one
would be the slaughterhouse,”
she told Country Life in BC. “A
lot of ranchers contacted us
and said to us, ‘Y’know, we
don’t give our cattle
antibiotics as a rule (unless
they’re sick). We don’t give our
cattle any growth hormones,
we don’t give our cattle any
steroids, and we send our
cattle o to market and we
would love to know at that
next stage that they also
aren’t getting antibiotics or
growth steroids. But we don’t
know that.’”
Simpson said “there’s a very
strong lobby group” that
“chose to make the fact that
we weren’t getting our beef
from Canada the issue.”
However, the lack of a
single supplier able to provide
the volume of Certied
Humane beef that Earls
required prompted the
company to rethink its
purchasing decision. People
love local farmers, Earls
discovered, and as a result it
has chosen to use several
Ironically, while the pressure is on industry to certify its
production practices, Earls Restaurants Ltd. continues to
purchase several products that either lack third-party
certication or aren’t advertised as such on its menu.
Cate Simpson, spokesperson for Earls, says that suppliers
across Canada supply it with chicken and eggs produced in
accordance with Humane Farm Animal Care’s Certied
Humane standard.
However, chicken sold at its Ontario locations aren’t
audited and can’t be advertised as such.
Similarly, all pork comes from suppliers in Canada but
remains “ethically treated” because Earls has been unable
to work with audited Certied Humane suppliers.
Vegetables are organic where possible, with Evergreen
Farms of Surrey supplying produce for all of Earls’ BC
restaurants from June to October, Simpson says.
Since a year-round supply of fresh, local organic
produce isn’t available and it doesn’t use frozen
vegetables, Earls keeps its supply options open by never
describing its produce as organic.
“There’s times of the year that we have to bring in some
vegetables from California, just because of the nature of
the growing season,” Simpson says. “We get 100% of our
vegetables locally, out of BC, from June until late October,
and then we have to start looking elsewhere.”
Multiple sources for Earls’ food
Please see “MULTIPLE” page 16
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Country Life in BC • June 201616
feedlots and abattoirs that
don’t meet Earls’ standards.
Kevin Boon, general
manager of the BC Cattlemen’s
Association, doesn’t blame
Earls for trying to do the right
thing, but he doesn’t think
ranchers should take the rap
for nishing practices.
“They are being pushed, a
lot of times, by consumers that
want to make sure they’re
doing the right thing and
eating properly and I get that
– I agree – but there’s not
enough investigation done
into what is actually being
done,” he says. “Part of that
comes from the fact that while
we make the information
available, we don’t push it out
there.”
He would like to see
ranchers and the rest of the
industry respected for doing
the right thing, even it isn’t
subject to a third-party audit.
Canada’s traceability systems
are top-notch and ranchers are
sending animals to market in
the best possible condition.
“We’re doing pretty much
everything on there and better
and more; it’s just that we do it
voluntarily and we don’t have
someone come in and put a
stamp on it,” he says. “People
think that when we produce
cattle, we’re just in a factory
mode and we’re just in it for
the money and everything
else. They don’t understand
the true feeling and emotion
that goes into this.”
by PETER MITHAM
Securing stable supplies of certied products isn’t the only
hurdle restaurants face as consumers demand more local menu
items. McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. is scrambling to nd
eggs that will allow it to launch an all-day breakfast option which
has proven popular with time-strapped consumers in the US.
Cheap and portable, Egg McMuns are a handheld breakfast
solution that would boost business for Canada’s egg farmers by
up to 30 million eggs a year – 25% more than McDonald’s
currently buys.
But it simply isn’t able to secure enough under Canada’s
existing interprovincial trade regime.
Sylvain Charlebois of the University of Guelph’s Food Institute
and a professor in Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture
says McDonald’s commitment to fully source its eggs from cage-
free hens by 2025 will be dicult under supply management in
Canada.
“With Canada's quota-based egg supply system, that kind of
growth would be complicated,” he wrote recently.
A faint hope lies in a recent decision in New Brunswick
favouring the interprovincial movement of alcohol under
Section 121 of the British North America Act, which could free
the movement of all manner of agricultural products in Canada.
Dan Albas, the Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, is
urging that the New Brunswick decision be referred to the
Supreme Court of Canada to avoid confusion – a move that
could reshape interprovincial trade rules.
“Our supply management system will have eggs destroyed
before they cross provincial borders,” says Arnold Schwisberg, a
ery lawyer who represented the defendant in the New
Brunswick case. “McDonald’s is being stymied from rolling out a
program that their customers want … because they don’t know
that they can get a reliable supply of sucient eggs because of
our supply management system.”
suppliers to meet its needs
rather than just one.
“We’ve changed how we do
our purchasing so that we will
now reach out to dierent
suppliers in Alberta than we
are for the rest of Canada for
our beef,” Simpson said. “We’ll
try to get as much as we can
by working with multiple
suppliers instead of working
with one supplier.”
The majority of BC beef
goes to Alberta for nishing
and slaughter, ending its life in
Supply management
blamed for lack of
all-day Egg McMuffins
MULTIPLE SUPPLIERS From page 15
BC ranchers are largely doing the “right thing” when it comes to their beef herds but many can’t
provide third party audits and have no control over what happens when those animals are shipped to
feedlots and slaughter. That’s creating supply challenges for companies basing their marketing
strategies on certiable humane or ethical allegiances. (File photo)
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 17
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD
On May 16-
19, the BC Ministry of
Agriculture, with the support
of the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency, held an
avian inuenza response
training exercise for industry
reps, BCMA and CFIA sta in
Abbotsford. The sessions also
included observers from the
BC Centre of Disease Control,
the BC Ministry of
Environment, the City of
Abbotsford, and Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada.
The $25,000 exercise was
funded by Growing Forward 2
and follows the BCMA’s
purchase of two sets of mobile
gassing equipment. Each set
of equipment ts into the back
of a pickup truck and includes
three in-barn distribution
manifolds, one truck manifold
and 500 feet of hose.
Depending on the size of an
infected barn, one or both sets
can be used. The equipment is
housed at the BCMA’s
Abbotsford Agriculture Centre
so it can be deployed as soon
as the BCMA animal health lab
conrms an AI outbreak.
“We’re trying to focus on
that rst barn,” says BCMA
chief veterinary ocer Dr. Jane
Pritchard, who led the exercise
in conjunction with CFIA
national operations specialist
Dr. Sandra Stephens.
“We want to do the rst 48
hours really, really well,”
Pritchard said. “Our goal is to
have the gas turned on (to
euthanize the infected birds)
within 48 hours of when my
lab conrms the diagnosis.”
Industry spokesman Ray
Nickel had an infected farm
during the 2004 AI outbreak
which resulted in the total
destruction of the Fraser
Valley’s commercial poultry
population. Although his
farms escaped the 2014-15
outbreak, he noted it still took
ve days before the birds in
the rst infected premises
were euthanized.
“The quicker we can contain
an incident, the better it
protects the industry,” Nickel
said, pointing out each
infected premise results in a
quarantine zone. That not only
impacts the infected farm but
every other producer within
the quarantine zone. Given the
density of the Fraser Valley
poultry industry, each
incidence could impact
multiple farms.
“Our objective is to get a
rapid response,” agrees turkey
grower Garnet Etsell, who has
been intimately involved in
developing industry’s
biosecurity protocols. He
called the training exercise a
good experience for both
industry and government
participants.
“If we can get any closer to
being prepared then (the
exercise) is well worth it,” says
BC Chicken Growers
Association president Dale
Krahn, noting almost everyone
from the industry’s Emergency
Operations Committee was
involved in the exercise.
BC Broiler Hatching Egg
Commission director Allan
Cross, who has yet to
experience an actual outbreak
on his farm, called it
“invaluable. It’s really
important that we have all the
protocols in place and that all
partners are trained.”
He says industry has already
made great strides, noting 2014-
15’s extremely infectious H5N2
strain only hit 11 premises.
He gave much of the credit
to the supply management
system, calling it “a real
advantage we have as
Canadians. It’s good for food
security and good for farm
security. As producers, we all
know each other and through
our marketing boards, we can
work together.”
The on-farm training took
place on a local broiler-
breeder farm using a barn
which had just had its ock
removed (at the end of its
normal 60-week lifespan).
Although there were no birds
in the barn and no disease
outbreak, the farm was treated
as if it had just been hit by AI.
That meant the farm was
divided into “cool,” “warm”
and “hot” zones, with separate
lanes established for foot and
vehicular trac. Protocols
within each zone and for
movement between zones
were explained in detail and,
in most cases, practiced by
participants in the exercise.
Even the media invited to a
short demonstration were
required to don supplied
boots, coveralls, hairnets,
gloves and respirators before
moving into the hot zone,
then get their boots
disinfected and plastic booties
added before going into the
barn itself. They then had to
remove all the extra clothing
and have their boots
disinfected again before
leaving the hot zone.
“Since some strains of AI
have the potential to transfer
to humans, we have to ensure
humans are fully protected
before they enter a hot zone,”
Stephens explained.
That means anyone
entering a hot zone is wearing
two sets of coveralls, gloves, a
respirator, two sets of boots,
goggles and head coverings,
with everything fully sealed to
ensure nothing gets into
contact with the person.
Large turnout for AI drill
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Two BC
Ministry of
Agriculture
employees
demonstrate
the procedure
which would
be involved in
leaving the
“hot zone”
during an AI
outbreak.
(David
Schmidt
photo)
Country Life in BC • June 201618
by SEAN MCINTYRE
SALT SPRING – A small,
community run abattoir on
Salt Spring Island is on the
cusp of reaching the next
level following major
renovations to expand
services and draw in new
livestock producers.
“We've done the crawling;
now we're ready to do the
walking,” says Michael Hogan,
a Salt Spring Island Abattoir
Society board member.
“We’re not running yet, but
it's going to make it. We just
need a bit more enthusiasm.”
The push to build an
abattoir on the island of
roughly 10,000 residents
arose about a decade ago
when stringent provincial
regulations all but slammed
the door on meat producers
in the Gulf Islands. The
consequences were
immediate. Production of
lamb, chickens and beef
plummeted to all-time lows
because of the high cost to
transport animals to certied
abattoirs on Vancouver Island.
Farming advocates formed
the not-for-prot Salt Spring
Island Abattoir Society based
on recommendations in the
island’s 2008 Community
Farm Plan, a road map that
outlined how Salt Spring
could restore its cherished
agricultural legacy.
Six part-timers
According to 2015 statistics
presented at the group’s
annual general meeting last
month, the abattoir
processed nearly 10,000 lbs of
lamb, about 9,000 lbs of
chicken and a little less than
4,500 of turkey. The facility
employs six part-time
employees and contributes
about $55,000 to the local
economy through wages
alone.
Abattoir sta and
volunteers say a big push to
market the facility and getting
Salt Spring abattoir
eyes big payoff after
years of investment
the green light for beef and
pork production this summer
bode well for the society’s
future.
“We are just starting to
generate income and revenue
now,” says David Astill, the
society’s president. “We’re
hoping to be open more
often and to oer more
variety of animals, of course,
and just hoping to expand as
a business.
“We’re growing strong, and
we’ve got great hopes.”
Renovations in excess of
$25,000 have produced
upgraded pen and kill areas,
reinforced gates and a bigger
oor area.
Healthier now
“The working area is so
much healthier,” Astill says, on
a recent tour of the kill oor.
“We thought we could get
away with what we had, but
we really couldn’t. The whole
idea was to strengthen it all
up so we can handle beef and
pork because we couldn’t
handle that before. It was
hard enough working with a
sheep so trying to put a cow
in here was impossible.”
By working with other
farming groups in the Gulf
Islands, the abattoir society
has made modest inroads to
get local products to markets
in the Gulf Islands, Victoria
area and the Lower Mainland.
In spite of the progress, Astill
likens the task of spreading
word about local meat to
pulling hen's teeth.
He says training and
keeping sta is a persistent
problem, one that’s being
increasingly felt at facilities
across the province.
Nurtured employees
Astill says the Salt Spring
abattoir emphasizes continual
training and safety awareness
to nurture employees. He
wants to see further work in
the community devoted to
awareness of island-bred
meats and online marketing.
“We’re going to be a really
rare bird because most
abattoirs only deal with one
or two types of meat, and
we’re trying to do
everything,” Astill says.
“There's a real lack of capacity
on Vancouver Island. There's
opportunity there, and if
there's opportunity that is
positive,. I think we'll take it.”
From left, Salt Spring Island Abattoir Society president David Astill with volunteers Murray Coates and
Michael Hogan. The team devoted many hours and much building expertise to the facility's recent
upgrades. (Sean McIntyre photo)
Renovations and upgrades will
allow processing of beef, hogs
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 19
by PETER MITHAM
LANGLEY – High land values
make it dicult to justify
farming in the Lower
Mainland.
Just ask Bonneeld Inc., a
Toronto company that invests
in farmland. Bonneeld has
scouted a number of
investment opportunities in
BC but has largely ruled out
Metro Vancouver and the
Fraser Valley because the cost
of acquiring land undercuts
any return possible from sales.
“We haven’t really looked,
frankly, in the Lower Mainland
area because valuations tend
to be a bit stretched,” says
Marcus Mitchell, director,
portfolio operations for
Bonneeld.
Kent Mullinix, director of the
Institute for Sustainable Food
Systems at Kwantlen
Polytechnic University,
recently made a similar point
to Country Life in BC.
“We essentially have a false
farmland price economy, and a
food economy delinked from
the price of farmland here,” he
said. “The value of farmland in
Metro Vancouver … really isn’t
economically serviceable by
agriculture.”
The conundrum raises the
question of what to do with
farmland if farming doesn’t
make sense.
While urbanites do battle
over the question of vacant
homes, Vicki Huntington, the
independent MLA
representing Delta South, took
the province to task in May
over vacant farm properties.
Kwantlen researchers
recently completed a report
for credit union Vancity that
estimated that just half the
agricultural land in the Lower
Mainland is being used for
farming. Another quarter of
local farmland has potential
but isn’t in production.
Huntington pointed to the
Emri Group’s control of 774
acres on Barnston Island, and
the renewal through industrial
property broker Ron Emerson
of options on farmland in her
own riding as deals that will
displace farming in favour of
other uses.
“We know holdings
companies are buying up
farmland,” Huntington said in
a statement distributed to
media. “These companies
seem convinced the ALR is in
its dying days and that the
Agricultural Land Commission
will be sympathetic to
removing land for non-farm
purposes. The government
could end this attitude
tomorrow if it took a rm
position that farmland was for
farming, period, end of story.”
Emri Group principal David
Demand pressures, low taxes make farmland an attractive investment
Emri sees matters quite
dierently, however.
Situated within the
Agricultural Land Reserve and
protected as green space
under Metro Vancouver’s
Regional Growth Strategy, his
parcels are designated and
used for farming.
Contacted by Country Life in
BC, Emri said he has no
immediate plans to redevelop
his holdings on Barnston
Island. (Huntington hadn’t
asked him this before making
issuing her statement.) Given
the number of variables at
play, he refused to speculate
on what the future could hold.
Situated in the middle of
the Fraser River between
Surrey and Pitt Meadows,
without standard municipal
planning oversight, Barnston
Island is home to the Katzie
First Nation and farms; land
use is subject to the province
and Metro Vancouver.
“There is no way an
individual is going to go in
there and say, ‘This is what the
land is going to be,’” Emri says.
An application to exclude
1,100 acres, or about 85%, of
the island from the ALR in
2003 was quashed in 2006.
This saved it from industrial
development but it also made
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Vicki Huntington
the island an anomaly at the
heart of a rapidly urbanizing
region that’s in short supply of
industrial land.
It’s that pressure that’s
made it an attractive prospect
for investors like Emri, who is
taking the long view. Whatever
happens to the land, he’s
condent that it will deliver a
return as the region evolves –
as a showcase for local food
production, or some more
intensive use.
Moreover, barring a disaster,
the land itself can only
increase in value as the region
grows.
The options Emerson has
with landowners in Delta
originally pegged land values
at close to $200,000 an acre, a
handsome sum for farmers
looking to retire.
Tom Davido
would bring land into
production while investors – if
that’s what they are – patiently
wait for land to appreciate in
value.
Ultimately, this would keep
land in production, and bolster
arguments against rezoning
for other uses.
“The continuation of low
income thresholds may
actually discourage further
investment in agriculture,
particularly in Metro
Vancouver where the pressure
to use highly productive
agricultural land for non‐farm
purposes is high,” the Upland
report stated. “One of the best
ways to protect the
agricultural land base and
promote agricultural
investment is to use farmland
for farming.”
Given the tax regime in BC,
the long game is fair ball, says
Tom Davido, director of the
UBC Centre for Urban
Economics and Real Estate.
Speaking to the Vancouver
chapter of the Appraisal
Institute of Canada-British
Columbia, Davido said BC
real estate oers returns that
are “very capital gains-driven”
compared to rental income or
some other form of dividend.
Appreciation in land value is
attractive because it avoids the
tax consequences associated
with dividends.
“You can hold real estate
vacant or use it as an
occasional use property, and
you’re not giving up much of
your return,” he said.
While the protected nature
of farmland limits the upward
pressure on values, a recent
report that Upland Agricultural
Consulting prepared for Metro
Vancouver echoed Davido’s
concerns by urging a higher
income threshold for
properties to receive farm tax
status – something between
$3,500 and $7,500.
The aim would be to
encourage production on
zoned agricultural land in
order to receive the benet of
lower holding costs. This
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Country Life in BC • June 201620
by JUDIE STEEVES
KELOWNA – Growers can’t remember ever picking cherries
in the south of the valley at the end of May before, yet early
and warm spring weather has brought
all tree fruits on in the Okanagan weeks
ahead of normal this year.
Estimates by the BC Tree Fruits
Co-operative are for a record crop of
cherries, at 12 million pounds, up from
last year’s 10.5 million pounds.
Not only did spring begin early, it was
punctuated by record hot weather on a
number of days and no signicant frost
events that would cause damage to
trees or fruit.
Growers were on pins and needles
through spring, anticipating a frost that
could
wipe
out the
early crop while it was
especially vulnerable to low
temperatures. But, there was
no frost through March and
April, which is unusual.
Early, warmer spring
The agriculture ministry’s
tree fruit specialist, Carl
Withler, reports fruit maturity
is three weeks earlier than
normal and at least ve days
earlier even than last year,
which was another very early
spring that stayed warmer
than normal.
Oddly, fruit is at a similar
level of maturity throughout
the valley, he notes, where in
a normal year, it’s a week or
so earlier in the southern part
of the Okanagan than the
north.
“It’s pretty uniform up and
down the valley,” he says,
adding, “That could cause
some issues and challenges
when it comes time to
harvest. Finding enough
labour could be an issue.
Crops will come o in a
shorter time frame.”
Collapsed season?
All fruits, from cherries,
through apricots, peaches,
apples and pears, are at
earlier stages of growth than
normal and it’s looking like it
will be a collapsed season,
instead of strung out.
Last year surprised growers
Early crop could
create labour issues
for fruit growers
British Columbians will probably have local fruit sooner than usual this summer. (Judie Steeves le photo)
Carl Withler
www.AgSafeBC.ca
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 21
MILD WINTER MEANS MORE PESTS From page 20
Number of growing days increasing in Okanagan
with continued early maturity from
spring through harvest making it a good
learning experience for them for this
year, he added.
“They went through last season in
denial that things could be as early as
they were,” Withler says.
Anyone who is still calendar spraying,
he adds, had better throw the calendar
out the window.
On the other side of the coin, it was
also a very mild winter, aected by the
warmer ocean currents of El Nino, which
means insect pests had no diculty
surviving winter. Withler says growers
will have to be very alert to keep on top
of controls.
“I expect there will be challenges with
insects,” he says. “Growers will have to
be careful.”
Last year was also the lowest year ever
for production insurance claims, Withler
notes, despite the fact it was also a very
early year. There were no signicant hail
or frost events to cause losses.
BCTF forecasts an increase in tonnage
of 20 to 25% across all commodities this
year.
“Mother Nature has provided our
growers with very warm spring days
leading up to bloom, resulting in
another early start to the summer fruit
season this year,” notes BCTF marketing
manager Chris Pollock.
To help celebrate the grower families
behind the favourite summer fruits, BCTF
will launch two pre-roll video ads
beginning in late June telling the stories
of two of the 500-plus grower families of
the co-operative. They will be on social
media as well.
Western Canada and the US remain
the primary market for BCTF cherries,
with the remainder marketed and sold to
key o-shore markets through
partnership with Sutherland SA Produce
Inc.
Withler is predicting a good crop of
smaller-sized apples this year, due to an
expected hot summer and larger crop.
It’s always possible the weather
pattern could change and the early start
to the season could slow down but that’s
not the forecast, he adds.
by JUDIE STEEVES
SUMMERLAND – Extreme
weather is having a variety of
impacts on tree fruits, reports
research scientist Denise
Neilsen of the Summerland
Research and Development
Centre.
For instance, last year was
a very stressful growing
season for trees, fruit and for
tree fruit growers. The
climate is changing and
weather is becoming more
variable, she warns.
Enough heat
Generally, climate tells us
where things can be grown,
she explains. For instance,
it’s important there be
enough heat to mature a
crop and the growing season
needs to be long enough.
For tree fruits, it’s also
important to know what the
minimum winter
temperatures are.
Growing
degree days have
increased at
Summerland
since the 1980s
and there are
more frost-free
days and a
phenomenal
decrease in the
number of very
cold days in
winter – days
with
temperatures
lower than -20 C,
In fact, there have
been none since
1996, she reports.
At the other
end, there has
been an increase
in the number of
hot days (over 35
C) since the mid
1990s and that
can reduce fruit
size and cause damage to
fruit.
High temperatures at the
end of the growing season
also make it difficult to get
good colour on apples, she
notes.
In 2015, warm
temperatures began early in
spring and they remained
higher throughout the
season, making bloom and
harvest earlier for both
cherries and apples.
As well, there was an early
drought, which could impact
fruit development early on in
the season for both cherries
and apples.
More soil moisture
Not enough water was
being supplied at important
periods in the development
of fruit, she explains.
This year, there is more soil
moisture as growth began in
the spring, so she feels there
won’t be the issues with early
water stress.
However, warm
temperatures early on mirror
last year’s (and may even be
ahead of 2015) so another
early spring will keep
growers on their toes.
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AUGUST 24–SEPTEMBER 5
Competitions in: Junior Amateur
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and HCBC Heritage Qualifi er classes
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Also featuring HCBC Horse Day on
August 27.
ENTRY DEADLINE: JULY 22, 2016
604-252-3581 • agriculture@pne.ca •
COME CELEBRATE AT BC’S
LARGEST AGRICULTURE SHOWCASE
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Offering over 30 types of project competitions
as well as provincial programs for judging,
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Travel assistance offered to clubs outside
of the Fraser Valley through the
BC Youth in Agriculture Foundation.
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LEASE PRO
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AM Valid from April 8 2016 to June 30 2016. Items may not be exactly as shown, accessories & attachments cost extra. Taxes, set-up, delivery, freight, and preparation charges not included. Pricing may vary between models, see dealer for details. Additional fees may apply. Programs and prices subject to change without notice, at any time, see dealer for full details, some restrictions apply. Lease oer: 60 months / 5 year term at a nance rate of 2.9%. The personal lease max hour usage will be 100 per year.
500 in total. A charge w
ill oc
cur if the equipm
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t goes over these hours. The residual value at the end of the term will be 60%. Quoted Prices may or may not include property & sales tax. Insurance, warranty, and fees quoted with this oer are included in the Cost/Hour Calculation. Please see in store for full lease details. Items may not be exactly as shown, accessories & attachments cost extra. Taxes, set-up, delivery, freight, and preparation charges not included. Prices are based on the US exchange are subject to
change. A docum
en
tation fee of up to $250 will be applied on all nance oerings. Additional fees may apply. Programs and prices subject to change w
ithout notic
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vary depending on amount borrowed/ down payment. MSRP cash price based on highest priced product in series: $75,087 (includes $50 docum
en
tation fee). Cost of borrowing based on Representative Amount Fin *Oer valid from March 1, 2016 to July 31 2016. Minimum nance amount may be required; representative amount does not guarantee oer applies. The charge for amounts past due is 24% per annum
. A
dditional dealer fees m
a
y apply. Financing on approved John Deere Financial credit only. See dealer for
details. Limited time oer which may not be combined with other oers. Discounts or other incentives may be available for cash purchases. By selecting the purchase nancing oer, consumers may be foregoing such discounts and incentives which may result in a higher eective interest rate. 0% APR purchase nancing for 60 months on select new John Deere Tractor. Down payment may be required. Representative Amount Financed: $50,000, at 0% APR, monthly payment is $833.33 for 60 months, total obligation is
$50,000, cost of borrowing is $0. Monthly payments/cost of borrowing will vary depending on amount borrowed/down payment. MSRP cash price based on highest priced product in series: $80,186 (includes $50 documentation fee). Cost of borrowing based on Representative Amount. March 1, 2016 to July 31 2016 Minim
um
nanc
e am
oun
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a
y be required
;
representative amount does not guarantee oer applies. The charge for amounts past due is 24% per annum. Additional dealer fees m
a
y apply. Financing on
approved John Deere Financial credit only. See dealer for details. Limited time oer which may not be combined with other oers. Discounts or other incentives may be available for cash purchases. By selecting the purchase nancing oer, consumers may be foregoing such discounts and incentives which may result in a higher eective interest rate.
0% FOR 48 MONTHS OR
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Country Life in BC • June 201622
MFWD | 954 Hours |
24 speed PowerQuad | H340
loader | GreenStar Ready |
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brakes
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 23
by DAVID SCHMIDT
AGASSIZ
The University of
BC Dairy Education and
Research Centre in Agassiz
keeps getting bigger. Last
year, it completed its scholars
(student) residence, step ve
in its six-step plan. Now it is on
to step six: attracting and
retaining more “top-notch”
graduate students and sta,
DERC director Jim Thompson
told the annual UBC DERC
advisory committee meeting,
April 21.
“We just got the go-ahead
for a new faculty position,”
Thompson said, adding he
expects it will take one to one
and a half years to get the
right person.
Thompson expects the new
faculty member to work with
dairy cattle but the exact area
has not been determined. “It
could be animal nutrition or
environmental impact.”
“We will make the criteria
solutions to reproduction. He
has been trying to nd ways
to “mitigate the use of timed
AI programs and still get the
same reproductive
performance.” He believes it is
possible, saying there is very
little dierence in pregnancy
rates “if you maximize estrous
detection.”
One of his students, Bruna
Silper, is now trying to gure
out why some cows exhibit
higher estrous expression and
whether estrous activity can
be increased.
“Can we select for it?” she
asks.
To keep students like Silber
coming, Thompson says DERC
needs to up its scholarships.
Students can already apply for
a $5,000 per year scholarship
from the Jim Shelford
Endowment funds, and $2,500
scholarships from the John
Young Endowment Fund and
the BC Dairy Association Dairy
Industry Research and
Education Committee. Children
of Westgen members are also
eligible for scholarships from
Westgen (not limited to
studying at UBC).
Calling graduate students
“the engine in the lab,”
Thompson said “we have to
fund them so they can aord
to be in the lab full-time,”
noting that requires about
$20,000 per year per student.
One of those students,
Alison Vaughan, described
the project she has been
working on, trying to toilet
train calves. If they can be
trained to urinate and
defecate in a specic area, it
would reduce bedding costs,
disease and lameness issues
and improve overall
cleanliness.
While there was “a lot of
skepticism,” Vaughan’s
research shows it is possible.
“Six of seven calves were
Country Life in BC • June 201624
UBC dairy research centre attracting new hires, grad students
quite broad and see what we
get,” notes NSERC industrial
research chair in animal
welfare Nina von Keyserlingk.
“The richness of our group is
that we work well as a group
and we need someone who
will t.”
The most recent addition to
UBC’s faculty was Renaldo
Cerri who is in the third year
of a study into sustainable
DERC director Jim Thompson
UBC PhD student Alison Vaughan (David Schmidt photos)
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COUNTRY
Life
in BC
trainable.”
She is now developing a
computerized system which
uses visual and thermal
imaging to detect when and
where calves are urinating and
defecating and reward them
when they “go” where they
are supposed to.
DERC is not only educating
students and, as in Vaughan’s
case, animals, it is also helping
educate farm workers and the
public.
Dan McDermid of
Greenbelt Veterinary Service
said DERC is critical to the
dairy production technician
Level 1 apprenticeship
program. The program
includes three months of self-
study combined with ve
afternoons and two days at
DERC in the fall, three ve-day
weeks of intensive study and
practicums at DERC in the
spring and 1,000 hours of on-
farm experience. It includes
training on safety, proper use
of pharmaceuticals, cow
milking and cow handling.
“We had 10 people
complete the program this
past year,” he reported, saying
seven of nine passed the nal
exam. (One has yet to write it.)
He notes the program has
trained about 50 apprentices
since it was begun in 2010.
Thompson said DERC
hosted over 3,000 people last
year, giving them “a broad
education about the dairy
industry in Canada.” Although
the annual Agassiz Cycle Tour
brings out the most visitors,
individuals and groups can
show up at any time. As an
example, he noted the centre
hosted 62 students from a
Coquitlam middle school
earlier in the week.
Let’s grow together.
BMO is pleased to announce the appointment of Carlie Fleenor to our GVCC
Agriculture Team, based in Chilliwack.
Carlie joined BMO in June 2014 as a commercial account manager. Born
and raised in Chilliwack, she is very involved in the community, serving on
boards for the Chilliwack Society for Community Living and Big Brothers
Big Sisters. She is currently vice president of the Chilliwack Minor Hockey
Association.
When not at work you can find Carlie at the hockey rink with her
husband watching their son, Ryan. Carlie is excited about her new role and
is looking forward to working within the agriculture community.
CARLIE FLEENOR
carlie.fleenor@bmo.com
604-793-7256
You can call on your
BMO Agri-Specialist
to help you
grow your business.
IAIN SUTHERLAND, P.Ag
AGRICULTURE MANAGER
604-504-4978
604-751-0292
iain.sutherland@bmo.com
STEVE SACCOMANO
SENIOR AGRICULTURE MANAGER
604-504-4976
604-703-5161
steve.saccomano@bmo.com
LYNN LASHUK, P.Ag
AGRICULTURE MANAGER
250-979-7827
lynn.lashuk@bmo.com
DIANE MURPHY
VICE PRESIDENT, AGRICULTURE
604-504-4980
604-302-8784
diane2.murphy@bmo.com
www.tjequipmentllc.com
360-815-1597
LYNDEN, WA
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 25
Sequestering carbon through soil management
The ability to decrease
greenhouse gases and
sequester carbon to mitigate
global warming is right at our
feet.
Well, actually, under them.
While farm soil produces
the world’s food and bre, it
also has huge potential to
hold carbon. The Earth’s
atmosphere holds about 830
petagrams (1 trillion
kilograms) of carbon, and
humans add about 20
petagrams of carbon to the
atmosphere every year. Soils,
however, hold about 4,800
petagrams of carbon to a
depth of two metres, six times
the amount of carbon in the
atmosphere. And scientists
believe soils can hold more.
The key lies in sound
agricultural practices to
tighten the soil-nitrogen cycle.
The benets, of course, are
enhanced soil fertility, greater
crop yields, improved soil
diversity and a reduction of
erosion, runo and water
pollution.
Technology now
“We can substantially
reduce atmospheric carbon by
using soil,” says Johannes
Lehmann, Cornell University
professor of soil and crop
sciences and co-author of
Climate-smart Soils published
in Nature, April 6. “We have the
technology now to begin
employing good soil practices.
We will always need to
develop better soil
management practices and
the developments in the past
decade show us that we can
still improve on our current
practices. But we already have
a basket full of options that
have not been fully explored.
And what is more, choosing
the most appropriate
management at the right
location and time is the
approach that will generate
the most benet over the
short term. That requires
knowledge and an integration
of information leveraging
modern information
technology.”
Lehmann says the critical
technology to tackle both
production and carbon
sequestering will include the
need to take advantage of
data that addresses a
particular problem. And that
could be very site-specic.
“We [will] need to know the
data for each part of a farmer’s
eld, what its properties are,
and merge that with weather
data and management
information to optimize the
system.”
There is no one single
approach that ts all
conditions to soil
management. All approaches,
Lehmann said, should be on
the table in order to choose
where they generate the
greatest environmental and
societal benets for everyone.
One huge plus, he
emphasized, is to preserve
native ecosystems while
restoring marginal land to
perennial forest or
grassland. While in many
cases we see extensive
land clearing for
monoculture production,
many old-time farmers
understood decades ago
the value of preserving some
bush or slough for wildlife
conservation. This land
management approach was
based on personal values. As
Lehmann says, carbon
sequestering is not just about
the science. It is about all the
cultural, political and socio-
economic components that
best benet soil management.
Land users, farmers and
producers can address
greenhouse gas emissions and
sequester carbon using several
methods. Some stakeholders
will benet from the latest
information and decision tools
to deal with their own unique
situations.
Those tools, or approaches,
may include reduced tillage,
improved grazing
management, crop rotation,
nutritional management,
application of biochar, cover
crops and perennial
vegetation for inactive
production elds. The key is to
apply the tools with the
greatest benets to climate,
income and crop productivity.
Currently, Lehmann
believes, opportunities to
sequester carbon and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions
through soil management
techniques are
underappreciated.
Carbon capture and
sequestration is a set of
technologies in which CO2 is
captured from power plants or
industrial sources and injected
into deep porous rock
formations at least a mile
underground. Overlaying the
rock formations are non-
porous layers that serve to
trap the gas and keep it from
seeping upwards to the
surface. Geologic formations
that often make suitable
sequestration sites include
depleted oil and gas elds,
deep coal seams, and saline
formations. However,
sequestering carbon through
good soil management
practices has huge benets
beyond simply trapping
carbon underground.
Invest in food security
“If we pump CO2 in
geological layers, we have just
mitigated climate change,
often at enormous costs,” says
Lehmann. “If we restore the
world’s soil organic matter, we
have not only mitigated
climate change but also
invested in food security and
natural resources for future
generations.”
He adds just how much is
achievable depends on the
implementation strategies and
the socio-economic and policy
constraints. The shift in this
approach to soil management
should be a global shift since
carbon knows no geopolitical
boundaries.
Helping farmers everywhere
understand the many
advantages of good soil
practices will clearly be a huge
benet to many generations
to come.
Research
MARGARET EVANS
Cattle producers in British Columbia are invited to attend the annual meeting of the Cattle Industry
Development Council on June 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the South Thompson Inn in Kamloops.
A proposal to increase the cattle check-off (levy) in BC from $3 to $5 per head will be pre-
sented to the meeting. Special guests will report on work successes and plans related to
the check-off funds. This meeting is your opportunity to learn about the proposed increase
in the check-off and to share your views.
The Canadian beef industry came together to develop the National Beef Strategy presenting a
5-year plan about how organizations can work together to best position the Canadian beef
industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high quality beef product of
choice in the world. Achieving the Strategy goals requires an increase in the national check-off from
the current $1 per head to $2.50 per head. The provincial levy which supports project work of the
four provincial cattle associations is proposed to increase from $2 per head to $2.50 per head.
Agenda:
• CIDC Annual Report from Chair (Linda Allison)
• Auditors Report & Financial Statements for 2015-16
Cattle Industry Development Council & Beef Cattle Industry Development Fund
• Provincial Association Reports
• National Check-off Agency Presentation (Melinda German)
• Other Business
All cattle producers who pay check-off are eligible to attend and participate in discussion and vote
on any motions or resolutions.
Meeting will be followed by a social hour with light refreshments. To assist with arrangements,
please let us know if you plan to attend. Call our secretary, Hallie MacDonald, at 1-877-688-2333
or email hallie@cattlemen.bc.ca
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
Monday June 20, 2016
1:30 p.m.
South ompson Inn & Conference Centre
3438 Shuswap Road East, Kamloops, BC ph: 250-573-3777
Cattle
Industry
Development
Council
Cattle
Industry
Development
Council
The Cattle Industry Development Council is a group of volunteer
cattle producers elected by the four provincial cattle associations
to administer the CIDC levy (check-off), the Beef Cattle Industry
Development Fund and the Horn Levy Fund.
Cattle Industry Development Council
#4-10145 Dallas Drive, Kamloops, BC V2C 6T4
Phone 250-573-3611 www.cattlefund.net
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Country Life in BC • June 201626
by RONDA PAYNE
MAPLE RIDGE – It’s always
good for a laugh among
farmers when “city folk” don’t
understand that only female
momma cows produce milk.
That’s just one of many
misnomers about the dairy
industry that sisters Emma
Davison and Jenna Bock work
to change on a regular basis.
While farmers understand
that girls (cows) make the milk,
they may not know that girls
(the sisters) make the best
cheese. It’s a symbiotic
relationship between Golden
Ears Cheesecrafters and their
neighbouring uncle’s (Kevin
Davison) Jersey dairy cows.
The Davison family has
been on the land in Maple
Ridge since 1902 when the
girls’ great, great grandfather
started the farm.
“Jenna and I are fth
generation,” says Emma.
“There are roughly 300
cows; it uctuates, they milk
about 100 at a time,” Emma
says.
It’s a special situation of
location that makes it possible
for the girls to get the milk
from their uncle’s cows and
only those cows.
“He is the rst pick up in the
Maple Meadows area,” Jenna
explains of her uncle’s farm.
Given that the Davison’s
cow’s milk is sold through the
BC Milk Marketing Board
(BCMMB) like any other dairy
producer in the province, it’s
this rst pick-up at the farm
that leads to the rst delivery,
next door. The remainder of
the Jersey milk stays in the
transport tank to be mixed
with milk from other dairy
farms in the area.
“They always pick up
around 5,000 liters every two
days,” says Jenna, who is the
cheesemaker at Golden Ears
Cheesecrafters. “We’re getting
between 3,000 and 6,000 liters
a week.”
It’s a signicant amount of
milk and while the sisters
aren’t involved in the daily
Girls make the best cheese
operations with the cows, they
do talk to the herd nutritionist
and can state with certainty
that these are grass-fed Jersey
cows.
“We’re hoping to be able to
take more [milk],” Jenna says
of growth of the cheese-
making business. She adds
having the BCMMB is a good
thing. “It’s a good system, it
means the dairy farmers are
getting paid.”
The system certainly works
well here. Jenna gets the high
protein and high butterfat
content she needs to make
the best cheese and Emma
takes on the tasks of
marketing, sales and front-end
management.
“We help each other out,”
says Emma. “But we’re totally
polar opposites. She’s totally
happy being behind the
scenes.”
Behind the scenes is exactly
where the magic happens and
it all starts with the milk.
Including butter, there are
close to 18 kinds of cheese
products produced at Golden
Ears Cheesecrafters and Jenna
explains the milk stage
determines what variety of
cheese will be made.
“There’s a lot of time
management,” she notes.
“We’ll do three to ve cheeses
in a day.”
In their fth year of
business, things have changed
and grown in the retail end of
things. In addition to cheeses
and other locally produced
products, the on-site bistro
oers breakfast, lunch and
high-tea as well as special
events.
No matter what it is, it all
comes back to the cows and
the farming. The sisters do
seminars and events to help
the public understand the
importance of the Canadian
milk supply.
“We teach milk seminars,”
Emma says. “Specically on
Canadian dairies… but you’d
be surprised how many
people have no idea there are
no antibiotics, hormones or
steroids in Canadian milk.”
“It’s crazy how many people
just don’t understand,” Jenna
adds.
The girls regularly advise
people to look for the blue
cow symbol on all dairy
products so they know they
are getting 100% Canadian
milk products.
Value added. Sisters Jenna Bock (with baby Daphne) and Emma
Davison are using milk from their uncle’s Jersey farm to create
artisan cheeses in Maple Ridge. (Ronda Payne photo)
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 27
Cattlemen confident over outcome of pending trade deal
Stories by TOM WALKER
KELOWNA – BC Cattlemen
are hopeful that the Trans
Pacic Partnership (TPP) will
be signed.
“Any trade deal is huge for
us,” says BCCA general
manager Kevin Boon. “But the
Trans Pacic Partnership
especially.”
If the agreed-upon trade
deal is ratied by the 12
member countries, it will
create the largest free trade
zone in the world. Canada’s
free trade status will continue
with the US (with some
changes) but expand to
include Japan and other
Pacic Rim countries, for a
trading bloc of 800 million.
Those people encompass 40%
of the world’s gross domestic
product.
“Japan is the crown jewel,”
says Boon. “Any deal that
Japan is a part of, we have to
be there at the table,
especially when you get 11
other countries.”
Right now, Canadian beef is
at a disadvantage to Australia,
the dominate player in the
Japanese market.
“Japan and Australia
already have a bilateral free
trade agreement so, currently,
we are paying a 38.5% tari
into Japan and Australia is
down to 27.5,” Boon explains.
“Australia is in the process
with their deal to get down to
9%, so coming on to the TPP
puts us immediately on the
same footing as Australia.”
Not being on board would
be costly.
“If other countries do
bilateral agreements and we
are not part of it, we feel we
would lose about 80% of our
business into Japan.”
“Canadian cattle producers
sold about 19,000 tonnes to
Japan for about $103 million
in 2014,” Boon says. “We
dropped 5,000 tonnes to
14,000 tonnes and the value
KAMLOOPS – Foreign
ownership of feedlots and
processing facilities could limit
returns to BC cattle producers
and the processing industry,
says BCCA general manager
Kevin Boon.
“While we don’t mind some
foreign investment, we want
to be very careful that they
don’t own the whole thing,”
says Boon, as he outlined
processing and marketing
strategies for Country Life in
BC.
With foreign ownership,
Boon says there is a risk that
the whole beef carcass gets
shipped back to the owning
country, or it goes over as a
quarter or a half.
“We want to keep the
processing dollars here in
Canada,” he says.
“When you are selling beef,
I kind of look at it as a chop
shop,” Boon quips. “When you
carve up a car, you sell this
part here to the guy who pays
the most.”
Both Japan and China will
take nearly everything as they
are such big markets and they
do have similar eating habits,
but they will pay more for
certain cuts, Boon explains.
“They don’t use as big a cut.
It’s a smaller amount and they
use a lot of what we call
secondary cuts,” Boon says.
“Short ribs are huge over
there. We get a huge prot. In
fact, you go and try and buy
short ribs in Canada (but) the
price has gone up because we
have so much demand for
them in Asia. We can’t supply
enough.”
Vietnam pays a premium
for oal, he adds.
“While we can still sell
tongues here, the liver the
heart and organ meats tend
to bring in a higher price in
Vietnam or South America,”
Boon says. “Cuba takes as
much liver as we can supply,
as the Big Mac is 80% liver
there. It is getting that cut to
the best market.”
Its not just about the
tonnage.
“After BSE hit and we were
able to get rid of our livers to
Cuba, it upped our value on
every carcass by $11.00.”
BC ranchers wary of foreign investment
dropped by $10 million to $93
million in 2015. Part of the
reason is Australia came in
with their free trade
agreement.
“If the TPP goes through,
we feel we could go up to
about $300 million in sales,
double to triple where we are
now so, right there, it is huge,”
Boon adds. And if it is not
ratied, “we would probably
drop to $23 million. It would
just be specialty cuts; very
limited access.”
Boon says he understands
it will have an impact on
Japanese beef producers.
“The consumers love our
product; the farmers over
there don’t,” he says.
“My understanding is that
the 38.5% tari is what pays
their subsidies. When the tari
disappears, their subsidies
disappear, so that is why the
farmers don’t like it.”
A round of the negotiations
that Boon attended
representing Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada in talks with
Japanese farmers “was the
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Country Life in BC • June 201628
Fungicides hope to limit botrytis resistance in raspberries
TARIFFS From page 27
most uncomfortable meeting I think I have ever been in,” he
says. “They literally told us, ‘Why don’t you guys go to China;
they really want your beef.’”
“That 38.5 is a high tari but we still sold $100 million of
product into there,” Boon points out. “You bring that down to
9% and it is going to do nothing but increase.”
It is not just about the tari, Boon points out.
“He who is there rst establishes the clients and once you
have those, it is harder to get them to change. If Australia, New
Zealand and the US are in there and we are not or we are in
there at a dierent rate, we are still going to lose.”
“If we had not got into Korea when we did (at the beginning
of the year), we would probably have lost so much ground we
would have spent ve years trying to regain it.”
“The other part of TPP is the developing countries that have
large populations that are going to evolve somewhat the way
China and Japan have,” Boon says. “In Vietnam, Malaysia (and)
Singapore, we are starting to see more wealth. We don’t have a
lot going in, but we are starting to see huge potential there and
again, being on the same playing eld as our other trading
competitors is huge.”
Boon says he recognizes the impact the TPP will have on
supply managed industries.
“But remember, 20% of our beef sales are dairy cattle.”
“If TTP fails and doesn’t go ahead, then the biggest priority
for us is to do a bilateral agreement with Japan.”
by RONDA PAYNE
ABBOTSFORD – Botrytis,
also known as grey mold, is
still something of a mystery,
which doesn’t make
controlling it any easier. Tobin
Peever of Washington State
University spoke to growers at
the 2016 Pacic Agriculture
Show to help them improve
the ecacy and longevity of
fungicides in controlling the
disease in raspberries.
Unfortunately, Botrytis is
found virtually everywhere –
from the eld to the
greenhouse – and can grow
on all kinds of plants. It travels
quickly and loves the mild,
wet winters common in the
Lower Mainland.
Fungicide focus
“We don’t really understand
the raspberry and how that
infection works,” Peever says.
“We’re very focused on using
fungicide in controlling this
disease.”
What is known is that the
disease gets into the plants
through multiple points – not
just the owers as was once
believed. This may be why the
BC product guide
recommends starting the
spray of fungicides at 10%
bloom of owers and to
repeat weekly or as necessary.
“Do we really know what ‘as
necessary’ is?” Peever asks.
“Not really. We are currently
very reliant on these calendar-
based sprays.”
Peever’s study took wild
Himilayan blackberries as the
baseline of sensitivity to
dierent fungicides. In 2015, a
number of Washington berry
crops were also sampled. The
fungicides tested in the
studies included Elevate (a
FRAC group 17), Rovral (FRAC
2), Switch (FRAC 9), Switch
(FRAC 12) and Pristine (FRAC
7).
“There is a lot of variation
from eld to eld,” Peever
says. “There’s a lot of
insensitivity in all these
populations.”
Reuse the spray
Fortunately, what is
becoming more commonly
known in all crops is that as a
certain fungicide is removed,
in time, the insensitive strains
of Botrytis decline and that
spray can be eectively used
again. This was seen with
Rovral (though use was kept
to a minimum to prevent the
previous insensitivity) and
Elevate. In the case of Elevate,
it was removed from use in
2012 but by 2015, four of 13
elds that weren’t sensitive to
the product in 2012 were
once again sensitive to it.
“We need to reduce the
number of sprays from each
FRAC group,” he notes.
Knowing the FRAC groups
is very important according to
Peever who says to not pay as
much attention to product
names or trademarks as to
FRAC groups. He also advises
reducing reliance on site-
specic fungicides by mixing
them with non-site-specic
fungicides like Captan.
He also points to
alternating high-risk
[sensitivity] fungicides with
other fungicides from
dierent FRAC groups.
Aside from fungicides,
Peever stresses the
importance of management
and knowing the eld.
“Use alternative disease
control methods whenever
possible, integrated disease
control” says Peever. “I think
monitoring is very important.”
He adds it is important to
follow the need of the plants
rather than a calendar when it
comes to spraying and to be
aware of the correlation of the
history of fungicide use to its
insensitivity. Selections must
be made to help reduce
insensitivity and keep ecacy
of certain sprays high.
To further promote plant
health, he pointed to the
basics: promote air circulation
by pruning the canopy so
plants are not left wet for long
periods of time. Plus, dead
plant matter and other
sources of inoculum must be
cleared and minimized.
By observing the historical
use of fungicides and paying
strict attention to FRAC
groups, growers may be able
to increase the tools in their
tool box to ght Botrytis.
Tobin Peever
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Grey mold, or botrytis, can build up resistance to sprays. Growers
need to have an educated approach to control. (File photo)
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 29
by TOM WALKER
ROCK CREEK – Fred Marshall
has a separate shed for his re
ghting equipment. A water
pump, 1,500 feet of hoses, a
back-pack sprayer and a drip
torch are neatly arranged next
to shovels and a polasky. A
sharpened chain saw sits
opposite gas cans that are
ready to be lled. (The fuel is
stored further away.) There’s a
water tank that goes in the
back of his pick up and a
generator to provide back-up
power for his house.
The family property has
been “re safe” prepared:
brush and trees cleared back
from buildings and fuels
removed from the nearby
forest oor. A green lawn
surrounds the house and an
adjacent pond holds water for
an emergency.
That might seem like over-
kill to a resident of Langley,
but Marshall is a registered
forester, agrologist, arborist,
rancher and rural property
owner. He teaches reghting
courses and consults on re
safe plans.
Marshall is ready to “stay
and defend,” a term rst
coined by the Australians who
have a well-developed
program for rural property
owners to protect their
homes. He says stay and
defend is a property owner’s
right under BC law. And it is a
right that was not respected
during the Rock Creek re last
summer.
“There was a lot of
confusion and a lot of hard
feelings during the re,” says
Marshall from his ranch just
outside of Midway, about 20
km east of Rock Creek.
“One woman was even
arrested by the RCMP for
refusing to evacuate after she
went through a roadblock to
go and support her husband,”
says Marshall, with obvious
indignation. “She was led away
in hand cus and taken to a
neighboring farm.”
Luckily, she was able to
sneak back and help her
husband. They successfully
defended their property and
protected 20 Arabian horses.
“This should absolutely not
have happened,” says
Marshall. “These were
experienced reghters who
have spent time in Australia.
They had the equipment, the
skills and the escape routes
necessary to be safe and
proactive.”
The RCMP was caught in
the middle, Marshall explains.
“They were enforcing what
is incorrectly called an
evacuation ‘order’ when it is
really only a
recommendation.”
He says it comes down to
misleading wording in
legislation surrounding
evacuation procedures and a
need for more education for
all levels of service involved in
re command.
While Marshall fully
supports the need for safety of
the general public, he says
when the highways are closed
and road blocks set up,
residents can’t get in and out
of their land.
“What about someone who
was away when the
evacuation alert was given but
wants to go in and check on or
defend their property,” he
asks. “What about going for
supplies to sustain you to stay
and ght, or taking equipment
over to your neighbours?”
Marshall believes it would
be relatively easy for residents
to sign a waiver absolving the
government of responsibility.
“When the regional district
issues the evacuation
recommendation, that
concludes their liability to
inform the public,” he says.
“If you have the proper
equipment and are trained to
use it, if you have proper
escape routes and are
physically and mentally
prepared to do the job, then
you should be allowed to stay
and protect your property,”
Marshall says. “In fact, you will
be helping out the re
ghters.”
The public has a
responsibility to be educated,
Marshall stresses.
“You can’t force somebody
to be informed and the home
owner ultimately has to make
the decision for themselves,”
says Marshall. “I would hate
the government to ever take
that right and freedom away
from us.”
When to stay and defend, and when to leave
Being prepared is crucial when it comes to protecting farm, livestock from wild fires
Nine months after the re that ripped through Rock Creek last summer, a new highway fence is up
but it will be a while before the area will have enough grass to support cattle. (Tom Walker photo)
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Country Life in BC • June 201630
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 31
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD – Cover
cropping is certainly a
commendable soil
conservation practice. It has
become so commonplace on
BC farms, it may even be
considered a “normal farm
practice” but only when
conditions permit.
That was the conclusion the
BC Farm Industry Review
Board (FIRB) reached in a
dispute between the City of
Abbotsford and Mohinder
Kapoor and the lessee of
Kapoor’s Sumas Prairie farm,
Randy Sihota of Canadian
Farms Produce. Sihota has
been growing carrots,
pumpkins, potatoes and other
vegetables on Kapoor’s and/or
other Sumas Prairie farms
since 1991.
Abbotsford brought the
complaint to FIRB in
September 2014, in its role as
arbiter of the Farm Practices
Protection (Right to Farm) Act.
Abbotsford City director of
drainage and waste water Rob
Isaac complained that Kapoor
(Sihota) failed to plant a cover
crop or use other mitigation
methods following the 2013
growing season. He claimed
that resulted in soil inlling the
city’s ditch in the following
months through wind erosion,
resulting in maintenance costs
which the city was
unsuccessful in recovering
from Kapoor/Sihota.
FIRB acknowledged that at
least some of the soil “resulted
from a farm operation (the
harvesting of potatoes from
one eld in the fall of 2013)
conducted as part of a farm
business” on the Kapoor
property and accepted that
the city was “aggrieved” by the
inlled ditch.
The city cleans its network
of drainage and irrigation
ditches across Sumas Prairie
and the former Sumas Lake
bottom annually, recovering
the costs through annual
drainage and dyking charges.
It hoped to use this decision to
assist its initiative to charge
individual landowners when
multiple cleaning measures
are required.
Abbotsford’s expert witness,
consultant Bruce McTavish,
said winter winds are a major
source of soil erosion on
Sumas Prairie, with sandy soil,
like that on Kapoor’s farm,
being particularly susceptible.
Abbotsford Soil
Conservation Association
president Peter Reus, who has
been growing vegetables on a
nearby property for over 30
years, told FIRB cover cropping
is an important soil protection
practice, as are avoiding soil
compaction, leaving anchored
crop residue (e.g. stubble) on
the eld, establishing tree
rows, snow fences or other
windbreaks. He harvests his
potatoes in September, then
grows cereal crops and uses
straw for eld cover.
Sihota does not disagree
with Reus’ suite of
conservation practices, noting
he grew cover crops on the
Kapoor property before 2013
as well as in 2014 and 2015.
However, Sihota said heavy
rains delayed his harvest in
2013. Because heavy rains also
followed the harvest, he was
unable to take equipment
onto the eld to employ a soil
conservation measure.
“Weather dictates what you
are going to do,” Dave Khakh, a
neighbouring farmer, told the
FIRB panel, adding “when the
weather allows you – you use
the best measure possible.”
Both McTavish and Sihota’s
expert, University of the Fraser
Valley professor of horticulture
and crop consultant Tom
Baumann, noted there is great
variability in cover cropping
from year to year. They
pointed out 5% of the land in
Sumas Prairie was not planted
with a cover crop in 2014
while only 1% did not have a
cover crop in 2015 when
conditions were near ideal.
Baumann said this shows
farmers will plant cover crops
when conditions make it
possible.
That said, the panel had no
choice in nding that “soil
conservation practices can be
limited, and at times
prevented, by weather and
eld conditions, especially for
farmers who harvest late in the
growing season.”
It concluded that failure to
use a cover crop is a normal
farm practice when elds are
too wet or it is too late in the
year while planting a cover crop
is a normal farm practice when
weather conditions permit.
FIRB rules in favour of farmer in cover crop dispute
Workshops establish priorities for climate adaptation
by TOM WALKER
KELOWNA – The Climate Action
Initiative held a second series of
meetings in the Okanagan earlier this
year, focusing on climate change
adaptation strategies and actions where
grower, industry and municipal
participants discussed priority needs
established in December workshops.
Important issues facing the Okanagan
include changes to pest populations, an
increase in extreme precipitation events,
warmer and drier summers and
increasing wildre risk.
As group facilitators reported out, a
common problem emerged. Much work
is underway by individual groups, but it is
hard to get the word out.
Communication and networking
around pests was a concern, says Lisa
Scott, who facilitated the changes to pest
population discussions.
“Loss of extension services through
the Ministry of Agriculture and loss of
resources has been identied as
problematic,” Scott says. “There is lots of
information and groups available but
they are spread out. We could use a
central place to pull it together.”
Participants heard about the
Washington State University Decision Aid
System, a web-based platform designed
to transfer information on weather,
insects and diseases and provide
management recommendations for tree
fruit growers.
Knowledge transfer, improving
education and out reach around the why
and how to take action to repair riparian
areas was key.
“That knowledge transfer is ne,” says
Emily MacNair, “but there needs to be
enough resources to assist the
implementation.”
“There is a challenge doing anything
with a very complex and dicult system
of regulations and policies,” MacNair
adds. “It will discourage people from
taking action on riparian issues.”
Better farm, municipal and regional
planning around re breaks, road and
egress locations and human and
livestock evacuation were seen as
important wild re strategies.
Attendees saw a need for more
consistent and clear communication of
drought levels. Provincial levels are not in
line with basin levels, Samantha Charlton
points out. Okanagan farmers want a
voice in how water reductions are
undertaken.
“If there is to be a cut back, can some
producers reduce more or less
depending on crops or whether the farm
is just for tax status?” Charlton asked.
“The most important idea for me today
was the tool that Washington state is
using (for pest management) and
bringing the farmers together to use
that,” says Lake Country orchardist Alan
Gatzke. “I see that as something that is
realistic, can happen quick and can make
See “MEETINGS” page 31
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Country Life in BC • June 201632
by DAVID SCHMIDT
ABBOTSFORD
When you
come to a fork in the road,
take it.
David Janssens of Nikomekl
Farms in Surrey used that
iconic Yogi Berra quote to
describe his progression from
a young lad growing up on his
father’s dairy farm to his
position today as owner of
that farm, its conversion to
organics and his travels
through various dairy
organizations.
Janssens’ route has included
many twists and turns, and
each turn (or fork) even those
which turned out to be dead
ends
was worth it.
“Each fork oers new
challenges and new
opportunities,” he told
Mainland Young Milk
Producers (MYMP) at their
annual meeting in Abbotsford
earlier this spring.
Janssens lives in the same
house he grew up in but has
not spent his entire life on the
farm. After graduating, he
went to the University of BC,
earning rst a bachelor’s
degree in agriculture then a
Master’s in Business
Administration. Although
many young farmers now
have a postsecondary
education, that was rare in
Janssens’ day. “I know of only
two other BC dairymen of my
age who have a university
degree,” he stated.
Armed with his degrees, he
was hired by a bank to
evaluate farms struggling with
the 20% or more interest rates
of the early 1980’s. He had a
unique, yet simple and highly
accurate way to determine
which farms the bank should
continue to support.
“I would visit a farm four
times. If the farmer came out
of the house two or more
times, I wouldn’t support it,”
Janssens said. “I wanted to see
that the farmer was willing to
put in the work required
because hard work does pay
o.”
His experience with the
bank proved the value of hard
work and that money has a
value over time, even if
today’s interest rates now
make it a very low value.
He took another fork when
he returned to the family farm.
He soon realized he was not
as good a cowman as some of
his friends so he joined the BC
Holstein Branch “to surround
myself with cow people,”
eventually becoming
president.
“You absorb some of that
knowledge by osmosis,” he
told young producers, “which
allowed me to improve my
operation at home.”
During his tenure with the
BC Holstein Branch, he was
involved in hosting the
national Holstein convention.
That provided the opportunity
to interact with top cowmen
Young dairy farmers urged to embrace opportunities and challenges
from across the country,
creating lifelong friends.
“You can develop a real
sense of camaraderie on a
board,” Janssens says. “Even
casual conversations are at a
higher level with people you
have served with on
organizations.”
His next fork was joining
the Westgen board, where he
was instrumental in creating
the Westgen Endowment
Fund. Again he rose to the
top, becoming president.
“I was president when the
bulls left in 2010,” Janssens
noted. He learned the value of
teamwork as the organization
pulled together to get
through that challenging and
traumatic time.
His time at Westgen
included a lot of travel and
visits to farms across the
country. Some of those farms
were organic and he returned
home convinced “we could
duplicate that on a larger
scale.” So, in 2008, Janssens
took another fork, converting
and now milking just over 500
cows organically.
After completing his time at
Westgen, Janssens took
another fork, running for the
BC Milk Marketing Board.
Although he lost the election,
he says that eort, too, was
worth it.
“If I hadn’t done it, I might
have spent the rest of my life
asking ‘what if’,” he said,
adding “defeats are as good a
learning experience as
successes.”
With that fork proving a
dead end, Dave took the next
fork, joining the Mainland Milk
Producers and BC Dairy
Association boards and being
named BC’s representative to
Dairy Farmers of Canada
(DFC).
Janssens says his time on all
the boards has been
extremely rewarding. “It’s a
real pleasure to work with
farmers who are thinking
provincially or nationally.”
He concluded by urging
young dairymen to follow his
example and take the forks in
the road when they come up.
Doing just that is Jared
de Jong of Rose Gate Dairy
Farm in Abbotsford, who
stepped o the MYMP board
to become the dairy
representative at the BC
Agriculture Council.
De Jong credited MYMP for
preparing him for his new role.
“I thank this association for all
the opportunities it aorded
me the past two years,” he
said, noting that included
attending the DFC annual
meeting in Vancouver last
summer and the Future
Leaders Conference in
Calgary.
MYMP members then
re-elected Lorene Barnum,
Nicholas Janssens (David’s
son) and Ryan Thibaudier to
new two-year terms and chose
Kevin Mammel over Adrian
Westeringh to take over the
position De Jong formerly
held.
a big dierence. I hope that
you make progress in making
that a reality for us.”
Recent meetings have
nalized the Okanagan
Regional Adaptation
Strategies plan and it is
awaiting government
approval. Projects that address
the priority needs are being
drawn up and will announced
in the coming months.
MEETINGS From page 31
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CASE 8630 BALE WRAPPER, 2001, SELF-CONTAINED HYD PACK 7,500
N/H BR740A ROUND BALER, 2007, SILAGE SPEC, TWINE ONLY 20,000
JOHN DEERE 925 MOWER CONDITIONER 9’ 9” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,000
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HOW CAN WE HELP?
The directors of the Mainland Young Milk Producers gathered following their annual meeting in
Abbotsford. They are (back row left to right) Kevin Mammel, chair Jason Prinse, vice-chair Andrew
Vink, Nick Janssens and Ryan Thibaudier. Front row, left to right, are secretary Brittney Schurmann,
Carla Soutar and treasurer Lorene Barnum. (David Schmidt photo)
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 33
by PETER MITHAM
ABBOTSFORD – Tighter
groundwater management is
here but even though rules
governing extractions have
kicked in, there’s nothing to
prevent contamination.
Decades of nitrates
percolating into the
Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer
have yet to end despite years
of analysis; a similar situation
now faces households that
depend on the Hullcar aquifer
near Spallumcheen.
There’s simply no process
for addressing groundwater
contamination in Canada, says
Cathy Ryan, a geoscience
professor at the University of
Calgary who has studied
aquifers in the Fraser Valley.
“It’s quite remarkable to me
that in the Abbotsford aquifer
case, the contamination has
been known about and
monitored in some detail for
decades,” she told Country Life
in BC. “It behoves us as a
society to do something about
it.”
But that’s not likely to
happen because of the
complex nature of aquifers
and government reluctance to
regulate the farm sector.
Despite running under
particular properties, there’s
often not a single source of
contamination.
“The deeper you get into
the groundwater system, the
longer the water has been in
the ground and the further it’s
travelled from,” she said. “To
nger one farmer for one well,
unless they have a really
signicant amount of land in
the capture zone of the well,
wouldn’t be appropriate,
wouldn’t be fair. That’s the
hard thing.”
What is known is that even
common agricultural practices
increase the risk of aquifer
contamination. Variables such
as precipitation and soil
permeability may aect how
quickly contamination occurs,
however, contamination is
always possible under the
right mix of circumstances.
“We have sucient scientic
information to understand
standard agricultural practices
cannot be conducted over all
vulnerable aquifers without
having groundwater
contamination,” she says. “So
best management practices
are ineective, I think.”
But that isn’t how
government has approached
the issue.
“All levels of government,
the way that they have dealt
with our understanding of
agricultural impacts on water
quality, is to have best
management practices,” Ryan
says. “The problem is that
Province reluctant to regulate aquifer contamination
farmers will not
implement best
management
practices if they’re
going to cut their
bottom line.”
Nevertheless,
industry has stepped
up in an eort to
avoid regulation.
Better manure
management has
owed from the Sustainable
Poultry Farming Group while
the Mainland Milk Producers
Association issues advisories
to its members in an eort to
raise awareness and forestall
problems.
“We encourage our
producers for November,
December and January not to
spread, and then there’s also
the manure spreading
advisory,” says Holger
Schwichtenberg,
president of the
Mainland Milk
Producers
Association and a
participant in the BC
Nutrient
Management
Working Group. “But
it’s not written in the
law. It’s up to each
producer. We trust the
producer to adhere to the
rules and, of course, not all of
them always do.”
Schwichtenberg isn’t aware
of elevated levels of nitrates in
the Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer,
a marked change from the
1990s and early 2000s when
studies indicated that as many
as 40% of wells drawing from
the aquifer recorded nitrate
levels in excess of 10 parts per
million – the acceptable
threshold for drinking water in
Canada and the US.
Centre of the storm
While industry action has
helped mitigate
contamination in the Fraser
Valley, the farm at the centre
of the storm near
Spallumcheen is eectively
ghting a solo battle made
worse by the fact that it’s the
newcomer to the region.
While the aquifer has seen
elevated nitrate levels in the
past, matters changed when
HS Jansen & Sons brought
their herd to the area in 2006.
When nitrate levels in the
aquifer rose and authorities
eventually ordered locals not
to drink the water, locals
looked to the farm as the
cause.
“It’s the new kid on the
block,” Schwichtenberg says.
“That was going to be a
lightning rod no matter what
happened.”
But the province has
downplayed the suspicions,
saying more tests are
necessary and arguing that
large livestock operations
have been present in the area
for decades (implying that an
additional 1,000 dairy cattle
are of little import).
Schwichtenberg, for his
part, would prefer to see
industry self-regulate and be a
good neighbour.
“That may be a bit of a
naïve, utopian way of looking
at it, but that’s what we’re
hoping for,” he says.
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Country Life in BC • June 201634
by TOM WALKER
GRAND FORKS – In 2008,
Grand Forks needed a
provincially licensed meat
processing facility. That’s when
local agriculture interests
formed the Grand Forks and
Boundary Regional
Agricultural Society and began
the process of acquiring a
mobile abattoir for their
community. The ag society has
gone on to be a leader in
supporting the local food
system and the abattoir they
purchased could best be
described as a “Cadillac.”
“The cost was nearly
$400,000,” recalls Danna
O’Donnell, who with her
husband Brandon and three
children, farm just outside of
Grand Forks. That cost was
covered by local fund raising
and grants, including a
$240,000 contribution by
Western Economic
Diversication Canada.
Danna knows there was a
need for the plant. Her family
raises a full complement of
2,000 free range meat
chickens that she sells at
farmers markets in Grand
Forks, Rossland and Nelson.
Twice a year
“Okanagan Poultry
Processing has a mobile unit,”
says Danna. “They would make
arrangements ahead of time
and come down to Grand
Forks twice a year. She would
be here a week or however
long it took, and we would
take our birds there.”
But there was a real need
for local processing services.
“She got so busy in the
Okanagan – her business really
took o. It wasn’t worth her
coming down here,” says
Danna. That meant the
O’Donnells and other Boundary
area poultry producers were
driving to Kelowna, more than
200 km away.
“It puts so much extra stress
on the birds,” she says.
Self-contained unit
The 40-foot state-of-the-art
plant was built by Tri Van
Truck Body in Ferndale, WA.
The completely self-contained
unit is lined with stainless
steel. It has a UV ltration
water system that can supply
the 300 gallon water tank. An
on-demand hot water heater
provides water for sterilization
and there is a diesel back-up
generator that can run the
plant, the chill room and the
on-board air conditioner.
“It’s probably the most
advanced unit in the
province,” says Danna.
The mechanical room has a
desk for the on-site provincial
inspector and there is a built-
in washroom as well.
The plant is mobile and the
ag society plans on taking it to
the Grand Forks Fall Fair to
show how meat is processed
(and to keep the wheels
turning), but it has a
permanent home at the
O’Donnell farm.
Grow the business
“It is owned by the
agricultural society,” explains
Danna. “They hire my husband
to be the manager and as a
family, we donate our
Cadillac of mobile abattoirs sets up in Grand Forks
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management skills to take the
phone calls and do the
bookings. We work in the unit
for an hourly wage when it is
time to process so it is in our
interest to grow the business.”
That gives the plant a
permanent home with
electrical, potable tested water
and grey water (for the
discharge) hook ups.
Processing starts at the
back of the unit. A 10-foot tail-
gate drops to become a
platform where the kill rack,
scalder and plucker are set up
for poultry. An overhead
canopy provides shade.
The birds are passed
through into the main room
for evisceration and cleaning
and then into the chill room to
be brought down to 4C.
Unique labels
A $10,000 electronic scale
and label machine combo
produces an individually
designed label for the
customers that goes on the
vacuum-sealed package.
Dana says while the full cost
of the unit was covered by
grants, there wasn’t money for
start up.
“Community Futures
stepped in and provided a
loan. Retired butcher Dave
Sloan helped get them going.
“We worked through the
process and wrote operating
procedures for each step,” says
Danna. “Nova Woodbury, now
with the BC Association of
Abattoirs, really helped us
organize the steps into a
binder.”
The majority of the business
is poultry with a Class A
license.
“At this time, people are
able to sell their chickens
whole; the demand for cut and
wrap is not there,” says Danna.
“But we are starting to
develop operating procedures
Danna O’Donnell is dwarfed by a state-of-the-art mobile abattoir she helps manage on behalf of the
agricultural society that spearheaded its $400,000 purchase. (Tom Walker photo)
Please see “KILL” page 35
BCHA Secretary
Janice Tapp
250-699-6466
BCHA President
Murray Gore
604-582-3499
bchereford.ca
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 35
Victor Vesely and Margit Nelleman pick tea leaves from the “rst ush” of
bushes they started planting in 2010. They plan to market their tea
starting this fall through their tasting room near Duncan and online.
(Tamara Leigh photo)
KILL AND CHILL From page 34
It’s finally tea time in Duncan
by TAMARA LEIGH
DUNCAN – Vancouver Island’s
only tea farm is celebrating its rst
full harvest this spring and
expects to release its rst
Cowichan tea by early fall. Victor
Vesely and Margit Nelleman
planted their rst 100 tea plants
(Camellia sinensis) in 2010 and
now have 800 plants over two
acres. It takes three or four years
before plants are in full
production.
“Honouring the way of tea, the
slowness and tradition, we waited
an extra year until the plants were
really ready,” says Teafarm co-
owner Vesely. “We are thrilled to
nally be able to share it.”
Tea is one of the most labour
intensive agricultural crops in the
world. All of the harvesting work
is done by hand, picking only the
rst two leaves and bud of the
plant. The crop comes in seasonal
“ushes” and each ush has
several harvests as the bud sets
regenerate after plucking. The
rst ush is in early spring, then
plants go semi-dormant and not
ush again until mid-summer,
then again in late-summer and
early fall.
Leaves from the “rst ush” will
be used to make Canada’s rst
estate-grown green tea, to be
released at a special celebration
on Canada Day. In the Chinese tea
naming tradition, Vesely and
Nelleman have called their rst
oering Frog Green Spring
Harvest, inspired by the sounds of
spring on the farm.
“A green tea is going to be the
nicest tasting with the leaves that
we have picked this spring,”
Vesely explains, noting the
character of the leaves changes
seasonally, making it suited to
dierent styles throughout the
year.
“The summer ush will involve
more hot, dry weather and
probably lend itself to more of an
oolong style. For the winter, we
are looking at a white tea and are
experimenting with a maple-
smoked tea.”
Canada’s rst estate-grown
teas will be available in limited
quantities at the Teafarm tasting
room near Duncan, or through
their online store,
[www.teafarm.ca].
to cut and wrap for the future.”
The Class B license allows
them to slaughter (“kill and
chill,” quips Danna) beef, pork
and lamb but those animals
must be cut and wrapped
elsewhere. Most of the poultry
equipment is packed away to
provide room for the larger
animals.
“We have great
co-operation with the regional
district composting program,”
says Danna. “They take all of
our oal. (SRM are frozen for
correct disposal.) We call them
ahead of time and they have
someone there with a back
hoe and they cover it up
immediately. There is no
smell.”
Danna says the
convenience of the plant is
helping to grow the local
industry.
“People are saying ‘I’ve
always wanted to try meat
birds and now that the facility
is convenient, I can,’” she says.
“You catch them the night
before when they are
sleeping; you drop them o at
the abattoir in the morning,
you come back after dinner
and pick them up.”
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by TAMARA LEIGH
DUNCAN – Southern and Central Vancouver
Island farmers bade farewell to two regional
agrologists at the end of
April.
Wayne Haddow spent 26
years in the Cowichan
Valley as the regional
agrologist for the BC
Ministry of Agriculture. He
received a warm send o
from a hall full of local
farmers and politicians in
the Duncan area. Haddow,
who has an apple orchard
in the area, is looking forward to focusing on
expanding and diversifying his farm
operations.
Rob Kline has also retired from his position
as regional agrologist for the Victoria area. The
retirements leave the farming community
without a regional agrologist from the
Regional District of Nanaimo south to Victoria.
According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, no
decision has been made yet on their
replacements.
In the meantime, local governments and
farmers can contact any of the ministry’s
oces or sta for assistance through the
recently launched AgriService BC, at
1 888-221-4141 or [AgriServiceBC@gov.bc.ca].
AgriService BC is a toll-free phone and e-mail
service to connect farmers and agri-businesses
with the people and information they need to
help their businesses succeed and grow.
Southern Vancouver
Island loses two
regional agrologists
Wayne Haddow
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 37
by RONDA PAYNE
ALDERGROVE – A new crop
is making news in BC – a
surprising one at that. Trues.
The pricey delicacy does well
in the Lower Mainland’s
climate but potential farmers
need to have more than land.
They need time and luck.
It’s a 10-year wait before
trues start to form on oak
roots, according to John
Neudorf who has a true farm
in Aldergrove.
“It’s been a very steep
learning curve on this whole
thing, but it’s interesting,”
Neudorf says. “A lot has been
trial and error.”
On his 10 acre farm, three
acres are planted with trees in
soil inoculated with the
Perigord true, sometimes
known as the French black
true.
It may sound simple: buy
inoculated soil, sprout trees,
plant trees, then wait, and
wait. And wait. But like so
many things in life, it’s far from
simple. Farming trues is part
science and part great luck.
It’s not like crops where you
plant a seed and based on
germination rates, a plant
grows – there are no
guarantees with trues.
Because the soil is inoculated
and the trues form their
symbiotic relationship with the
tree roots, how the soil is
prepared is key.
“Obviously, it’s the soil,”
Neudorf says. “Personally, I
really think the success the
folks in Western Australia have
had is the soil chemistry.”
Neudorf knows it can be
done in BC. The few true
growers in the province have
proven they can do it. Neudorf
had a handful of Bianchetto
trues this year, which he says
can coexist with the desired
Perigords.
Surprisingly, with trues
seeming like a fairly new crop,
the True Association of BC
was formed back in 2004 (a
little before Neudorf planted
his trees) with the intent of
coming together to create a
viable Perigord true industry
in the province. Neudorf is the
vice president of the
association which provides an
incredible amount of
information on the website at
[www.bctrues.ca].
“There are a number of
people in Vancouver that have
fully trained true
dogs,” says Neudorf,
explaining the level
of interest in the
industry.
While trues can
grow on the roots
of oaks, they also do well on
roots of hazelnuts, which due
to Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB),
has added another wrinkle to
the local true plan. Neudorf’s
350 hazelnut trees have either
died or will be dead soon, but
the trues will continue to
grow as long as the roots are
viable.
“Five years from now, I
probably won’t have any
hazelnuts,” he says.
He hopes by the time the
roots are no longer viable, the
roots of his 150 oak trees will
have spread throughout the
site to take over true
production.
EFB is not the only
challenge with true farming;
there is also the case of
mistaken identity. The true
Brumale and the true
Indicum look identical to
Perigord but apparently don’t
taste as good, making them
less valuable.
The Bianchetto trues
Neudorf harvested earlier this
year were not the target
variety – and are a sign of
true contamination in the
original inoculation – but it’s
not bad news given their
ability to co-exist with the
Perigord.
In terms of value,
Truffles require luck and a whole lot of patience
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Bianchetto trues are worth
about $500 a kilo, less than
half of what Neuforf says
Perigords are valued.
“With the Bianchettos,
production should ramp up.
We should get some Perigords
this winter,” Neudorf notes.
“I’m on the right track at least.”
Neudorf believes the key is
keeping the pH level high, in
the range of 7.5 to 7.8. In
addition to the liming required
to maintain those levels, the
trees need to be pruned and
there is eld maintenance.
“The liming is probably the
number one thing we have to
do,” he says.
In giving advice to those
interested in the industry
(along with the spare land and
time required), Neudorf points
to the approach of the
Australians.
“They cultivate the soil
under the trees, it drives the
trues a little bit deeper and
keeps the eld mice from
them,” he says. “Just a very
light tilling of the soil. Till the
soil two to three years before
you plant [the trees] with
heavy applications of lime. I
think that would change a lot
of things.”
Trial and error is inching John Neudorf closer to a successful harvest of (mostly) Perigord trues on
his Aldergrove acreage. Grown at the base of oak or hazelnut trees, it can take 10 years before trues
will start to appear. (Ronda Payne photo)
Country Life in BC • June 201638
Shana and Gavin Miller own and operate Upper Bench
Winery and Creamery in Penticton. It’s a country meets
city couple with a shared background in knowing how
to work hard. (Susan McIver photo)
Wine and cheese make the perfect business plan
Penticton couple merge skill sets for a delicious pairing
by SUSAN MCIVER
PENTICTON – Gavin and Shana Miller have
combined their respective skills as award-winning
wine and cheese makers and a capacity for hard
work to build a thriving business.
The Millers own Upper Bench Winery and
Creamery located in Penticton. The couple
purchased their seven acre vineyard, wine making
facilities and tasting room in February 2011.
“It was in receivership and the vineyard had been
neglected badly,” says Gavin, who is in charge of the
vineyard and wine production.
The couple spent the following year restoring the
vineyard, renovating the tasting room and building a
creamery. Upper Bench opened in May 2012.
“Our reception has been great and our business
continues to grow year after year,” Shana says.
At the time they purchased the Upper Bench
property, Gavin was the winemaker at Painted Rock
Estate Winery.
“Painted Rock won four Lieutenant Governor’s
awards for the wines he made,” says Shana, who has
received national recognition for her cheese. She was
featured as the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Cheese
Hero in the fall 2015 edition of All You Need is Cheese.
Originally from near London, England, Gavin met
Shana, a native of rural Nova Scotia, in the Okanagan.
“We’re a country meets city couple with a shared
background of knowing how to work hard,” says
Shana. The Millers recently celebrated their 20th
wedding anniversary.
In 1997, Gavin took the viticulture course at
Okanagan College and subsequently worked as an
assistant winemaker for several local wineries.
Meanwhile, Shana was busy caring for the couple’s
two children and for some years, honed her skills as
cheese maker at Poplar Grove.
Today, she hand-crafts a variety of washed-rind,
brie and blue cheeses made from 100% pasteurized
Canadian cow’s milk from D-Dutchmen Dairy in
Sicamous.
All cheeses are gluten and additive free.
“We also make cheese cakes for special occasions,”
Shana says.
During the season, Shana sells cheese at the
Penticton Farmers’ Market.
“It’s great to talk with the customers,” she says.
Upper Bench’s 2016 wine list contains seven wines
including the newly released 2012 Estate Cabernet
Sauvignon and 2014 Riesling.
“I believe that great wine starts in the vineyard.
Our bold reds and crisp whites reect the vintage
and soil of the vineyards where they are grown,”
Gavin says.
Upper Bench wine is made from grapes grown by
the Millers and other select Naramata farmers and
without the use of chemicals.
“My goal is to produce 5,000 cases. Last year, we
did 3,800,” Gavin says.
Upper Bench wine and cheese are available at the
tasting room and online.
“Our Curds and Corks Club is the coolest club in
the whole world,” Shana says. Members receive
quarterly shipments of wine and cheese and enjoy
many perks such as invitations to the annual Pick-up
Party and discounts on additional purchases.
The Millers attribute much of their success to their
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Now, take your empty fertilizer containers along for the ride!
excellent employees, several of whom have worked
at Upper Bench for years.
“It gives us great satisfaction to see the young
people who work for us prosper and succeed in life,”
Shana says.
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 39
by RONDA PAYNE
LANGLEY – Along 16th
Avenue in Langley is a new
addition to the Campbell
Valley Wine region – Fraser
Valley Cider, the product of
UK expat Rachel Bolongaro.
It may not be wine but the
independent, farmer-made
approach will likely appeal to
local wine connoisseurs.
While this year’s batch of
cider comes from apples off
leased land in the Okanagan,
next year Bolongaro expects
to be using her own apples
which are far from the eating
type. This is where her cider
process mirrors that of the
wineries.
Different apples
The Okanagan apples
weren’t exactly what she was
looking for but what she’s
planted is – similar to how
table grapes and wine
grapes differ, so too do
apples. And, just like a
vineyard has different tasting
vintages of the same grape,
so will her cider.
“I’m not going to grow
anything that the Okanagan
growers grow better,” she
says. “We grow apples that
are called spitters.”
Named because of the
heavy tannins that cause the
need to spit them out after
taking a bite, the 30-plus
varieties of sour heritage
English and French apples
(including a few russets and
Cox’s orange pippins) she
has chosen will make great
cider. Bolongaro believes the
planting done in 2015 will
produce enough to manage
the second round of cider
when she begins production
in the fall of this year.
Cheap labour used!
There are now close to
4,000 trees planted on six of
the site’s 12 acres. Bolongaro
and her husband made use
of cheap labour (friends and
family bribed with a pulled
pork lunch made from local
heritage pig) to get the first
1,800 in. While resources
from the Ministry of
Agriculture helped in tree
selection, Bolongaro also has
a consultant agrologist she
relies on.
“Some of the grafting
didn’t take,” she notes. “And
we lost some [of the trees]
over the winter. We hand
watered all our trees through
the summer. It was just a
killer year. I tried to focus on
what we had done right; 95%
[of the trees] are still okay.”
There are also a few pear
trees (about 60 in total)
around the edge of the
orchard to allow for pear
cider in the future.
Mystery trees
Unfortunately, there will
be some mystery trees in the
orchard as the labelling done
in 2015 bleached in the sun
making the tags illegible.
Eventually, Bolongaro plans
to label the rows knowing
what varieties are in each.
There is still plenty of
space to add more trees
which will come as
Bolongaro learns what
apples work best for the
cider. It will come down to
what grows and produces
well, combined with what
cider customers enjoy.
Before buying the land, she
had soil tests done and
found the site rough and
bare, but perfect for growing
apples.
Two passions
It is the culmination of two
of Bologaro’s passions.
“I’ve always wanted a plot
of land,” notes Bolongaro.
“And I have always made my
own cider.”
This year, her cider will
New craft apple cidery
focuses on unique fruit
30-plus varieties of sour heritage English and French “spitters” cultivated
UK-born Rachel Bolongaro is taking her passion for making cider
to new heights on a Langley property she has planted with a
variety of cider apple trees. (Ronda Payne photo)
include several choices for
customers. Ice cider – where
the apple juice is frozen,
similar to ice wine; cyser – a
mix of apple juice and
honey; and four different
types of cider: dry, house
cider, honey blend and
elderflower cider. She hopes
to add an apple raspberry
cider in the future.
The cider market,
according to Bolongaro, is
the fastest growing beverage
market in North America.
Much like the craft beer
industry moved north from
Oregon and Washington, so
too is the craft cider market.
Although the building
that houses the cidery
turned out well, Bolongaro
notes it could have been
larger.
“We’re so pleased with
how it turned out,” she said.
Unfortunately, it was
created as large as the
Langley Township would
allow on the site, so any
expansion plans will have to
wait.
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When we left o last time,
the town folk had gathered for
the celebration of Cec
Montgomery’s life and, of
course, Henderson wouldn’t
attend. At the same time, he
was becoming more
disenchanted with the veal
business. Rural Redemption
(part 73) continues ...
Four days after the
celebration for Cec
Montgomery, a cold ridge of
high pressure gusted in and
collided with the seemingly
endless parade of winter
rainstorms overnight.
Christopher alerted the
household Friday morning.
“Guess what? It snowed and
the power’s o and there’s no
water.”
Deborah glanced at the
bedside radio by habit. Its
blank face was lost in the
darkness. She found her robe
and slippers with the glow
from her cell phone and made
her way downstairs. The house
was noticeably cold. Ashley
was in the kitchen with her
arms wrapped tightly around
herself.
“It’s freezing out there and
the snow is like past Chris’s
knees.”
“Where is Chris?”
“He’s gone to the barn to
check the calves. He can’t mix
milk replacer because there’s
no water.”
Deborah turned the kitchen
tap just in case the water
wasn’t really o.
“Trust me, Mom. I tried it
too; there’s no water.”
Kenneth arrived rubbing the
sleep from his eyes.
“What time did the power
go out?”
“I don’t know,” said
Deborah.
“Me either, Daddy.
What dierence does it
make?”
“If we knew what time
it went out, we’d know
how long it’s been o.”
Ashley looked toward her
father.
“Really, Dad?”
“I’m going to phone Hydro
and I’d like to know how long
we’ve been without power.”
“Ten minutes at least, Dad.”
Deborah wrapped her
hands around the carafe in the
coee maker. “It can’t have
been o for very long. The
coee is still pretty warm.”
Kenneth poured himself a
large cup of the lukewarm
brew and called the hydro
emergency number. He put
the phone down two minutes
later.
“What do those idiots
expect us to do now?”
“What idiots are you talking
about?”
“The hydro idiots! According
Country Life in BC • June 201640
The Woodshed
Chronicles
BOB COLLINS
Sudden snowstorm finds Henderson in a foul mood
Fact checking on fences
to the message on their so-
called emergency line, the
power is out all over the place
and it might be tomorrow
before they get all of it xed. In
the meantime, we’re supposed
to sit here in the cold and dark
with half a pot of cold coee.
How long do you think it will
be any of the stupid roads get
plowed?”
Deborah was chuckling.
“That’s hard to say. They
probably plow them as fast as
they can. I don’t think they
save the stupid ones for last.”
“Fine, Deborah. Laugh it up.
All of this might look like just
another exciting day in Hillbilly
Heaven right now but I’ll bet
you’ll be singing a dierent
tune before the day is over. It’s
bloody cold in here already.”
Christopher stamped the
snow o his boots on the back
porch and opened the door
into the summer kitchen. He
was carrying an armful of
rewood and kindling.
“I bet there won’t be any
school today. The snow’s over
my knees and there was ice on
the calves’ water pail. With any
luck, it will take them days to
plow the road.”
“What are you going to do
with all this?” asked Kenneth
nodding to wood and kindling.
“I’m going to light a re in
Mr. Olson’s old stove so we can
cook some breakfast and I can
melt some snow to make the
calves milk replacer.”
“This old relic. How do you
know if it even works?”
Christopher shrugged his
shoulders.
“What’s not to work? All you
do is light a re in it and it
goes.”
“And who taught you to
light a stove?”
“C’mon, Dad, it’s not rocket
science. Paper, kindling, match.
Lisa lights the stove at her
place all the time.”
“Are you telling me that the
Lundgren’s still use a wood
stove?”
“I bet they do when the
power’s out. And Lisa’s
grandma still uses it when she
makes bread every week. Lisa
says bread tastes better if it’s
baked in a woodstove.”
In the kitchen, Ashley
cocked an ear.
“Hear that? I think there’s
water running in the toilet. Try
the tap, Mom.”
“The water is on,” they said
in unison.
Kenneth returned to the
kitchen.
“What do you mean the
water’s on?” He toggled the
light switch several times.
“How can there be water when
there’s no power? It doesn’t
make any sense.”
Deborah realized that
Kenneth still didn’t know the
truth about the real source of
their water.
The rst re in two years
was crackling in Tiny Olson’s
old Enterprise wood stove.
“There are lights down on
the road,” said Ashley, “and
they‘re turning up our
driveway.”
A farm tractor with a front
end loader chugged up the
driveway and stopped beside
the house. A moment later
Christopher greeted Newt
Pullman at the back door.
“Morning, everyone. Just
wanted to drop over and see
how you folks are making out. I
see smoke in the chimney and
your water should be back on
so it looks like everything is
under control.”
“Why should our water be
back on?” demanded Kenneth.
Newt glanced at Henderson
and gave his head a little twist.
“If you folks are all set, I’ll be
on my way. I’ll plow your
driveway on my way out. I
expect I’ll be doing driveways
most of the morning but I’ll
drop back in this afternoon to
see how you’re making out.
Maybe we can have a little chat
about your water then.”
To be continued ...
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but in most of the rest of BC, it
is not necessarily correct that if
you have cattle on private land,
it is your responsibility to fence
them in. That only applies if the
adjacent land is private land in
a pound district or is Crown
land over which you do not
have a range agreement
(grazing licence or permit).
It is also not always true that
if your cattle are on Crown
range, you do not have to
fence them. If the adjacent
land is private land outside a
pound district, that would be
true. But if it’s within a pound
district, the landowner could
seize the livestock and/or sue
for damage (regardless of
whether they came o Crown
land or private land). Under the
Forest and Range Practices Act,
you would be responsible for
keeping the livestock o of any
Crown land over which you do
not have a range agreement or
grazing lease.
The clearest reference I’ve
seen on this issue is page 6 to 8
of the BC Ministry of Agriculture
Fencing Fact Sheet 307.050-1,
New Fence Construction
(originally chapter 1 of the BC
Ministry of Agriculture Fencing
Handbook).
Keith Carroll, Dawson Creek
Editor:
Re: Fences aren’t Forever,
page 18, May 2016
I’m afraid the fourth
paragraph may have added to
the confusion on this issue. I
can’t speak for areas (such as
northwest BC, West Kootenays,
Vancouver Island, and the
Lower Mainland) without
designated livestock districts,
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June 2016 • Country Life in BC 41
The wallpaper on my
computer monitor with an
accompanying message, “Life
is short, enjoy the simple
things,” says it all. Someone
has photographed three pots
of geraniums, multi-coloured
and in full bloom, a tiny
cactus in a fourth pot, a May
calendar and those powerful
words. Within that
combination is a daily
reminder of what’s really
important.
In the days prior to
submitting this piece, I tried
hard to force my mind to go
in a different direction but it
simply wouldn’t co-operate.
For me, and for millions of
others, raging, wild forest
fires in Alberta, BC and now
Saskatchewan dominate the
Tragedy brings out the best of human kindness, gratitude
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news as well as my musings.
The sad reality is that
something as essential to life
as fire, if out of control, can
become a force of
destruction. Over
the centuries, we’ve
harnessed fire to
cook our food, heat
our homes and
bring light into
darkness. In fact, the
discovery of fire is lauded as a
major step forward in the
progress of mankind; the
problem is, when it’s
mishandled or even worse,
deliberately set, it unleashes
a behemoth of devastation.
Deep gratitude
Although I try to avoid
politically charged or time-
sensitive events, this month I
want to record not only my
shared sense of sadness for
those who have lost so much
but also deep gratitude for
those who have given so
much. And yes, I’ve also
experienced a sense of
intense anger at hearing
arson is suspected in as many
as ten of the British Columbia
conflagrations. In it all,
however, there’s a sense of
deep gratitude for those men
and women who have put
themselves in harm’s way for
the greater good.
Back to the importance of
enjoying the simple things of
life. A recent media interview
with an appreciation-filled
Fort Mac evacuee reinforced
the importance of
remembering what really
matters. He expressed his
thanks, then added this
thought: “If only we could get
used to treating each other
with kindness.” So succinctly
profound.
Life is short so let’s take
advantage of the time we
have to stamp out the
destruction caused by
bitterness and replace it with
the kind of generosity and
compassion that’s currently
being displayed by Canadians
across this nation. But
enough of my ramblings and
on to another subject.
Musical choral feast
By the time this issue of
Country Life in BC is
published, it will be June.
Gardens should be
flourishing and crop seeding
and spraying pretty much
completed. Here in Powell
River, we’re getting set for
our biannual (as in every
other year) musical choral
feast. Instructors and
performers of all ages and
from countries around the
world are welcomed to our
community for a week of
performance and
competition.
It probably was the first
thing that convinced me I
really wanted to live here.
Over the years, I’ve also
learned to love and
appreciate the geographic
isolation we enjoy.
Having said that,
geographic isolation does
have its challenges, a reality
our community is currently
experiencing. Between
vandals and thugs dumping
and setting fires to all sorts of
flammable products and a
nearby wildfire not far from a
heavily forested area, we are
faced with the fact we could
easily need to evacuate our
quiet community.
Trouble is, there’s no
highway out of here except
for ferries and other boats.
Great appreciation goes out
to those volunteer fire
fighters who extinguished
the blaze as well as to those
city and emergency services
planners who are dedicating
time to figuring out an
evacuation plan. (Well, to my
credit, I did try to change the
subject!)
A Wannabe Farmer
LINDA WEGNER
Keeping Worksafe costs under control
It’s late in the day and
there’s still so much work to
be done but it’s time for
everyone to go home – the
work will still be there
tomorrow. As a worker comes
around the corner, he slips
and falls and you can tell he’s
hurt. After helping him up, he
says he’s ne and that a good
night’s rest will be all he
needs.
But the next morning, he
calls and tells you he can’t
walk very well and that he is
going to see a doctor. Now it’s
a WCB claim and there’s
nothing you can do about it,
right? Wrong!
You have a transitional
work program at your place
and you are able to oer your
worker modied duties until
he is ready to return to his
regular role.
This worker will stop by the
workplace on his way to the
doctor and pick up the
paperwork. The doctor will
evaluate his functional
abilities and provide you with
a form that details what
modications to make to keep
this person at work. You
planned for this, so you have a
list of possible tasks that can
be done within the limitations
of this injury.
Your WCB cost now
consists of one doctor visit
and one day of wage loss.
Your worker will be happy
because there is no
interruption of wages and it is
clear that you care for your
sta. You will be happy
because you have continuity
and have minimal down-time
and you save money now and
for years to come. It really is
that simple.
Contact AgSafe to put your
transitional work program into
action.
Wendy Bennett is the executive
director of AgSafeBC.
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Life
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Country Life in BC • June 201642
The power of pulses
Socca Tart with Oliver Tapenade (Judie Steeves photo)
I was worried they’d find something
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Socca Tart with Olive Tapenade
Since this is the UN International Year of Pulses, it seems
appropriate somehow to discuss a book that’s all about those
little beans and peas and lentils – along with one that takes
that a couple of steps further, into foraging for some really wild
food.
I knew pulses were really good for me, but after reading The
Power of Pulses, published by Douglas & McIntyre, I’m amazed
at how many benets there are to this mighty little vegetable,
including environmental and economic as well as nutritional.
Just so you know:
they use half the non-
renewable energy; are
self-sustaining and self-
fertilizing; renew
nitrogen in the soil, are a
high-value protein; rich
in bre, vitamin B and low on the glycemic index.
Contributing to this book is Dan Jason, who owns Salt
Spring Seeds on Salt Spring Island, and who is passionate
about the growing and eating of pulses. He provides pages of
detailed information in this book on dierent varieties of peas
and beans, and he oers hundreds of varieties of seeds on his
website.
About half the book contains Dan’s information about
growing and harvesting them while the other half is vegetarian
recipes using them, by Hilary Malone and Alison Malone
Eathorne.
I decided to try the recipe for a Socca Tart, a traditional
snack in southern France and in Italy, made from chickpea
our. It’s known as chana our in India, and readily available
here.
I really hope that my experience with it is no indication of
how usable the other recipes in the book are because I had
to get rid of my rst batch of
batter and start
again. After doing
a bit of research
into what the usual
ratio of our to
water is for this tart,
I reduced the
amount of our by
1.75 cups and the
result was much
better, so that’s
what I’ve altered the
recipe to.
Not inspired
I also received a
book called The Urban
Homesteading
Cookbook: forage,
farm, ferment and feast
for a better world, by
Michelle Catherine
Nelson, which was also published by Douglas & McIntyre.
However, I’m afraid I couldn’t nd a single recipe in it that I felt
inspired to try, so you’re on your own there.
It is, however, an intriguing look at ethical eating and
earthwise consumption, written by an urbanite with a
doctorate in conservation biology, who advises you to keep
‘micro-livestock’ such as rabbits, quail, honeybees and crickets
in your high-rise apartment to produce gourmet food.
I guess I’m a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, but I draw the line at
grinding up insects to make our, and I’m not sure I want to
share my home with rabbits and chickens. One large, orange
cat is bad enough.
I’ve had the experience of growing interesting things on the
food in my fridge without resorting to discovering mushrooms
and sprouts in my closet.
However, it’s a lovely-looking book, with some fascinating
information, and I do cheer on the idea of digging out and
serving up invasive plants like purple loosestrife, Japanese
knotweed and daisies.
While I’m not averse to picking wild blackberries or
harvesting young nettles or dandelion greens, it’s all a matter
of how far you’re committed, I guess.
If you’re adventurous or looking to start a conversation, pick
it up and learn how to cook a new dish.
Friends and family will love you for it, as long as you don’t
tell them until afterwards what was in it.
Once I altered this recipe from the pulses book, this was delicious, with a good tapenade
recipe to spread on top. The recipe authors, while admitting the original recipe called for too
much chickpea our, suggest two cups of loosely-packed our rather than one cup is needed,
but suggest you use up to 1.5 c. lukewarm water, added gradually, until the batter is like pancake
batter, so you may wish to take their advice.
1 c. (250 ml) chickpea our 1/2 tbsp. (7.5 ml) cumin 2 tbsp. (30 ml) oil, divided
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt 1 c. (250 ml) water
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the chickpea our, salt, cumin, water and a spoonful
of the oil. Rest this batter for at least an hour at room temperature.
TAPENADE:
1 garlic clove 1/3 c. (80 ml) Cerignola olives, pitted juice of half a lemon
1 rounded tbsp. (20 ml) capers small bunch parsley 1/3 c. (80 ml) olive oil
1/3 c. (80 ml) Nicoise or Kalamata olives 1/4 c. (60 ml) feta cheese pea shoots or baby greens
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all tapenade ingredients except the olive oil and
garnish. Pulse the mixture to coarsely chop. Pour olive oil (I used less) through the top of the
machine and pulse the mixture until just combined. Place in a at dish and set aside.
About 15 minutes before baking, pre-heat oven to 450 F. Place remaining spoonful of oil on a
large baking sheet and pre-heat the pan in the oven until the oil is hot, about ve minutes.
With a spatula, carefully add a quarter-inch layer of batter to the hot oil, tilting the sheet so the
batter covers the entire surface. Cook just until the sides and middle begin to colour, about two
minutes. (I doubled that, and I feel it should have cooked a bit longer yet...)
Flip socca onto a cutting board. Slice and serve warm topped with the tapenade, garnished
with pea shoots or baby greens. I haven’t tried this yet, but this recipe from the pulses book
looks really good, so I hope you like it.
1/2 c. (125 ml) brown lentils, rinsed 1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil pinch of allspice
1 c. (250 ml) water 2 shallots, nely chopped 3 tbsp. (45 ml) 35% cream
1 bay leaf 2 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper, to taste
Jude’s Kitchen
JUDIE STEEVES
Please see “LENTIL” page 43
Lentil & Mushroom Pate
June 2016 • Country Life in BC 43
LENTIL & MUSHROOM PATE From page 42
FIRE ORDERS From page 29
1 sprig fresh thyme 2 c. (500 ml) thinly-sliced crimini mushrooms
2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter 1 tbsp. (15 ml) Madeira wine
In a pot over high heat, bring lentils and water to a boil. Add bay leaf and thyme and reduce
to a simmer; cover and cook until lentils are tender and water has been absorbed, about 20
minutes. Remove from heat and let stand.
Combine butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and
translucent; add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook until soft.
Remove from pan and deglaze it with Madeira wine.
In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine lentils, mushroom mixture and
allspice. With the motor running, add cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
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COUNTRY
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1120 East 13th Ave
Vancouver, B.C. V5T 2M1
Email: countrylifeinbc@shaw.ca
Phone 604/871-0001 • Fax: 604/871-0003
June 16
CHANGE OF
ADDRESS?
Lola!
Regional districts are in
charge of emergency
operations (re, ood,
earthquake, wind events).
They issue the three levels of
evacuation notice: Alert, Order
and Rescindment. While the
chair of the regional district
issues the notice, the chief
administrative ocer directs
emergency operations.
An ALERT is just that. It tells
residents that danger levels
are rising and they should be
ready to evacuate and move
livestock to safe areas.
An ORDER, however, is not
an order. It means that
residents should evacuate as
there is imminent danger.
“It’s really a
recommendation,” says
Boundary area resident Fred
Marshall, commenting on
events during last summer’s
Rock Creek re. You cannot be
forced to leave your property.
To make things worse, the
media often calls it a
“mandatory” evacuation order.
It sounds scary and it’s
supposed to; it got most of the
residents of Fort McMurray out
to safety. (That is, “most”
In Australia the policy is
“prepare, stay and defend, or
leave early.”
Australians are encouraged to
stay home and actively defend
their property from wildres. The
key word is “Prepare.”
Homeowners go through
an annual training program
run by local re agencies and
are provided with supplies
such as hoses, radios and
protective clothing.
A paper published by
researchers at the University of
California Berkley and the
RMIT University in Melbourne
points out the “benecial
culture of preparation
inherent in the policy.”
Residents take ownership to
re safe their homes.
That can be compared to
the ‘evacuate and let the
reghters take care of it ‘
practice common across North
America. This approach has
not reduced property loss and
it could increase the risk for
people if evacuations are
carried out at the last minute.
Indeed, many of the civilian
injuries that occur in a wildre
are when people are caught
outside or in their vehicles
trying to escape.
because some chose to stay
behind.)
The government, of course,
will intervene in the case of
minors or persons with
disabilities.
A RESCINDMENT tells
people it is safe to return to
their property.
BC’s provincial Emergency
Program Act is currently under
review. When Marshall
contacted the Ministry of
Forest, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations with his
concerns, he received a reply
from the Minister of State
Naomi Yamamoto.
“You are correct regarding
your observation that although
the current Act provides local
governments or the Minister the
authority to issue an evacuation
order, there is no authority to
compel competent adults to
leave their private property
once the order is made,” she
wrote. “While emergency
responders warn residents of
the imminent risks of remaining
in an area subject to evacuation,
it is ultimately the responsibility
of the individual to voluntarily
evacuate.”
Marshall says he hopes the
review will lead to a change in
the wording. “If someone
orders you to do something,
common understanding
means you have to do it.”
What they do in Australia
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of all shapes & sizes for septic and water
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1120 East 13th Avenue, Vancouver V5T 2M1
Phone: 604/871-0001
Fax: 604/871-0003
E-mail: countrylifeinbc@shaw.ca
Web: www.countrylifeinbc.com
FOR SALE NEW/USED EQUIPMENT
LIVESTOCK
FURTHER REDUCTION IN FLOCK SIZE after
36 years of specializing in PB Dorsets, and
white and coloured Romneys. All matures
are registered, but can sell without papers:
lambs as requested. Genetically selected for
desirable qualities - production, correct
conformation, and detailed attention to
health. Discount on 3 or more head. For
larger numbers may be able to help arrange
transport. Call 604/462-9465.
USED EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: 1975 Mack
Tandem Truck with Artex silage box, front
& rear unload. $16,000; 9 foot Ag Bagger,
$5,000; 892 New Holland Forage Harvester,
$3,000. Call David 250/567-2885.
Toll Free 1-888-357-0011
www.ultra-kelp.com
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Flack’s Bakerview
Kelp Products Inc, Pritchard, BC
MF 2775 TRACTOR, 166 HP, CAB, DUALS,
rear hydraulic outlets, low hours, $7,000.
Call 250/567-2607.
TAKE YOUR PICK!
$6500
David Brown 885, 46 HP
David Brown 1200, 67 HP
Massey Ferguson 1085, 85 HP
Massey Ferguson 1155, 155 HP
Leyland 385 c/w Loader,
2 buckets & bale fork
Belarus 10M3, 3 pt hitch
(open to offers)
Phone 250/838-7173
PUREBRED SHORTHORN YEARLING bulls
for sale. Call 778/240-7233.
FOR SALE APPROX 75 KM NORTH OF Yorton
SK, Very productive 4620 acre grain farm in
the black soil zone. In a good rainfall area with
all the land in one block. Lots of grain storage
and machine sheds house, natural gas, good
water supply. Enquire via E-mail at
saskfarm@outlook.com or call 306/516-0070.
STEEL
STORAGE
CONTAINERS
FOR SALE
OR RENT
jentonstorage@gmail.com
604-534-2775
NH 1049 BALE WAGON. 162 bales. Very
good shape. $14,500. Call 778/574-5869.
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)
EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL:
2010 JD 946 centre pivot mower
conditioner 13.5’, steel rollers, nice
condition, $12,650.
NH 790 harvester, grass head, metal
detector, nice condition, $3,500.
NH 900 forage harvester, c/w grass head,
metal detector, good condition, $5,500.
LEWIS CATTLE OILER DOUBLE ARM cattle
scratcher, $550.
8’ 3-PT MOUNT aerator, $850.
OVERUM HD 3 BOTTOM PLOW, spring trip
bottoms skimmers coulters $3,000;
TWO BADGER 16’ TANDEM AXLE silage
wagons, w/roofs, shop stored, excellent
condition, $6,500 ea.
Call Tony 604/850-4718.
NATURALLY GROWN, ORGANIC HORSE
hay, $250 per ton. Also dairy hay, alfalfa,
$250 per ton. Call 250/838-7173
DeBOER’S USED
TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT
GRINDROD, BC
JD 7400 MFWD c/w cab, 3 pt, ldr 64,000
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
JD 1830 diesel, with loader 10,500
JD 2630 diesel, 65 HP w/ldr,
comp engine rebuild 12,500
JD 1120 diesel, w/ldr 10,500
NH 1032 bale wagon, 70 cap. 5,500
NH 1400 SP combine, diesel w/14’ direct
cut platform, 1400 original hours 8,500
JD 220 20’ disc, ctr fold, complete new
set of blades 16,500
Ed DeBoer • 250/838-7362
cell 250/833-6699
Curt DeBoer • 250/838-9612
cell 250/804-6147
Country Life in BC • June 201644
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