Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 107 No. 3The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 MARCH 2021 | Vol. 107 No. 3ABATTOIRSSlaughterRight training launched by ministry 7 BERRIESBlueberry growers dodge US trade complaint 11 RANCHINGRanchers plead with province to address elk issue19by PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – Owners of existing non-domestic wells shouldn’t count on any further extensions of the province’s deadline for registering their wells and applying for a groundwater licence free of charge. “It is unlikely to change at this point,” says Maria Nguyen of FrontCounter BC. The province originally set a deadline of March 1, 2019, three years after the new registration and licensing provisions of the Water Sustainability Act took eect. Shortly before the deadline, however, the province extended the waiver on the application fee to March 1, 2022. Well owners now have until February 28, 2022 to register their wells and obtain a licence without paying fees. However, rents are owing on all water used since February 29, 2016, when registration was rst required. Speaking at the Pacic Agriculture Show on January 28, Nguyen encouraged producers to apply by the 2022 deadline, noting that ling an application is critical to determining a user’s priority even if a licence isn’t granted until several months later. Applications help the province anticipate the number of existing users and demand on the province’s water resources as applications for new wells continue to arrive. Nguyen pointed applicants seeking more information about their specic wells to [https://apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/gwells/]. Even though sales are slower during the winter months, Doug Haggerty keeps growing sprouts at his Oliver farm. He sells them and fresh multi-coloured carrots to high-end restaurants and delivers to Kelowna once a week. His business is called Fester's Peppers. MYRNA STARK LEADERNo extension for groundwater1-888-770-7333Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!YOUR BC SEED SOURCEoProvince to make Premises ID lawMost producers are on board, but some have concernsby BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER VICTORIA – Mandatory premises identication will become law early next year, requiring the registration of all properties where livestock and poultry may be present. In a statement February 5, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries announced that it’s moving forward with a new premises identication regulation under the BC Animal Health Act. According to the policy A wee bit of greenSee PREMISES on next page oGrowing more with less waterwatertecna.comttttttttIRRIGATION LTD1.888.675.7999 888 6 9999888669999 Diesel & PTO Pumps PVC & Aluminum PipeIrrigation ReelsDRIP IRRIGATIONCentre Pivots
PREMISES ID will be mandatory for all livestock operations nfrom page 1intentions paper, premises will include ranches, farms and backyard operations, as well as areas where livestock and poultry can commingle such as auctions, boarding stables, pastures, fairgrounds, slaughter facilities and veterinary clinics. The animals covered by the new regulation will range from alpacas and bees to wild boars and yaks, as well as cattle, horses and poultry. A voluntary premises identication system has been in place since 2011 to help with emergency management during disease outbreaks and natural disasters. To date, this system has been utilized 25 times for situations to protect animal health and welfare, including animal diseases such as avian inuenza (AI), natural disasters such as wildres and oods, and environmental pollution such as fuel spills and industrial res. Despite growing support in the farm and ranch community, just 64% of livestock and poultry premises have registered to date. An estimated 2,915 premises have yet to enroll. The gap in reliable information identifying the location of livestock limits the ability to respond quickly, putting both the animals and the producers at risk. In addition, the federal government is working on livestock traceability regulations that will require premises ID for reporting movements of animals. Premises ID is already mandatory in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Consultation A provincial public consultation process in 2019 attracted responses from 850 producers, governments and industry associations. A summary was published last month. While the report highlights the importance of premises ID in managing stock during natural disasters and disease outbreaks, it also indicates that 25% of respondents were unaware of the program. Other respondents were concerned that it would increase government interference in agriculture, adding to the costs and paperwork farmers face. Still others voiced privacy concerns, although a signicant number also hoped the information collected could be shared between ministries to reduce paperwork. Of the respondents who said they own farm animals, 83% of them had not registered their premises. Raquel Kolof, a small-scale mixed livestock farmer and president of the District A and Sunshine Coast farmers institutes, says the farmers she works with have privacy concerns regarding premises ID. Many feel that small-scale farmers are going to be held responsible for the next “pandemic.” “It is quite overwhelming. There is a growing burden of regulation and the ministry has stepped back in communicating,” says Kolof. “At the last District A meeting, mandatory premises ID was discussed at length.” Kolof has registered her own premises but questions agriculture minister Lana Popham’s assertions that the push for mandatory premises registration comes from farmers and ranchers. This concern is echoed by others, especially those who operate on a local scale and don’t serve national or export markets, such as the Small- Scale Meat Producers Association. But Barb Ydenberg, president of the BC Sheep Federation and BC director to the Canadian Sheep Federation, views premises ID as a helpful tool that will fulll the last pillar of traceability. Animal identication and movement reporting are the other two pillars. “Looking at other jurisdictions and sectors who already have premises ID, it is no big deal,” she says. “In the Fraser Valley, it was easier to handle the second AI outbreak [in 2014-2015]. Poultry were easier to locate, there was an immediate lockdown, and they weren’t scrambling around. There would have been more devastation for the industry [without it].” During the 2004 AI outbreak, responders lost precious time looking for the exact locations of poultry, since the poultry boards maintained producer 2 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCdatabases with civic addresses that weren’t necessarily the same as where the chickens were being raised. The disease spread quickly and the impact on farmers was severe. As part of a strategic plan for emergency management, the poultry industry included mandatory premises ID for all poultry locations in the regulated sector. When the disease came back in 2014, premises ID played a central role in drastically limiting the spread of the disease, minimizing economic and operational impacts to poultry operators. Now all supply-managed livestock and poultry farms have premises ID. BC Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon came to BC from Alberta in 2009, just as Alberta brought in mandatory premises ID. He remembers it was a “non-event.” After BSE, cattle producers were willing to try anything that could help track and control disease outbreaks. BC was just working on a voluntary system at the time. After 11 years, just 30% of the ranchers were enrolled. They did not see the value; they just saw Big Brother. That changed during the record and devastating wildre season of 2017. “The time is right, let’s get it done,” says Boon. “In order to have a market and to export, we need a good, strong traceability system in place. In Alberta, they saw the Patrick is an experienced portfolio manager that brings a focused nancial and estate planning team to clients to ensure the best and most eective investment decisions are made now and in the future. The RBC Wealth Management investment and planning program provides income security and tax minimization in the context of a holistic nancial plan and road map for each client.TAX TIPS“Multiple wills covering your farm corporation can save on probate costs.”www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 email: email@example.comWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard ARTEX HYDUMP 14FT FLOTATION TIRES, GOOD CONDITION . $16,000 YANMAR FX42D 2WD OPEN STATION, 42HP PSHIFT TRANS, 4 SPEED PTO. 2961 HRS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500 CLAAS 350T AND 370T PULL TYPE ROTARY RAKES . . . . 4,500 & $6,500 SIP 165G THREE POINT DRUM MOWERS, GD COND. . . . . . . . 2,800 ea KUHN 1219 SINGLE AXLE MANURE SPREADER WITH GATE . . . . 6,500 JOHN DEERE 7000 4 ROW, DRY FERT, MECH MARKERS, NEW FINGERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,500 JOHN DEERE HD BALE CONVEYOR 40FT ON ADJ FRAME WITH AXLE, PTO DRIVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 MF 265 2WD, CAB, 60 PTO HP, INDUSTRIAL LOADER . . . . . . . . 10,500 GMC CAB OVER 5 TON DIESEL TRUCK WITH 18 FT TYCROP SILAGE BOX, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,000 LOEWEN 9612 VERTICAL MIXER . GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . 14,000NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service Availablevalue, didn’t mind it, and thought everybody should participate for traceability to work.” Boon explains that the lack of mandatory premises ID is a broken link in the chain of traceability. “If we close the link, we will make the chain that much stronger,” he says. Both Boon and Ydenberg acknowledge that some producers are hesitant to sign on because of concerns around privacy. “One of the things that we need in the Premises ID regulation is the ability for condentiality and privacy,” says Boon. “It shouldn’t be shared with just anybody.” Assurances According to the agriculture ministry, protection of personal information is critically important to the premises ID initiative. In a statement to Country Life in BC, it says the BC Animal Health Act states that premises ID information cannot be disclosed for any purpose except those outlined in the act. These purposes are strictly limited to responding to disease outbreaks or environmental disasters aecting domestic animal health. In addition, the new regulation will also ensure that information provided to responders for emergency situations will be exclusively for planning and response to animal health or environmental emergency events. The policy intentions paper states that following introduction of the program, enforcement actions will be a last resort. Instead, education and outreach will be used in combination with cross-compliance to encourage registration. WHOOPS! The photo accompanying the story Researcher brings experience to sweet role, on page 17 of the February 2021 issue was incorrectly credited to Tom Walker. Amanda Goodman took the photo. We apologize for the error.
Pandemic trends a moving target as spring comesA year after COVID-19 hit, the only constant is changeWest Coast Seeds general manager Alex Augustyniak had his hands full last year, but the Delta seed company feels better prepared for 2021 as demand continues for its seeds. SUBMITTED PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 3by PETER MITHAM DELTA – The weekend before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the BC Association of Farmers Markets held its annual conference in Harrison Hot Springs. The resort was busy, no one maintained a two-metre separation let alone wore masks. “I think if we all wash our hands, we’ll be ne,” BCAFM president Vickey Brown told attendees. Within two weeks, the resort was shuttered, the closure of hotels and restaurants pivoted demand for food to retail outlets and farmers were trying to keep up with disruptions to labour and supply chains, not to mention public health protocols. While agriculture and farmers markets were quickly deemed essential services, it wasn’t until May that clarity about what the new normal might look like began to emerge. By then, fairs and events were being cancelled through September and hopes for a quick end to the pandemic had disappeared. Many farmers say they’re better prepared for the coming year following the turmoil of 2020, but how much will remain the same as the pandemic enters its second year? One of the most sudden developments of last year was the shift to home-based food production, an intensication of the buy-local trend. Work from home also meant cook from home for people, and gardening surged. By mid-April, West Coast Seeds Ltd. of Delta had shut down its phone lines, shuttered its retail store and stopped pickups from its warehouse to keep employees safe and try to manage a seven-week backlog of orders. With a business split 50-50 between farmers and home growers, the business made a decision to prioritize sales to food producers while trying to manage consumer demand. “Growers are a priority for us, because we know they’ve got to get it in the ground,” general manager Alex Augustyniak said at the time. “They grow the food for the many.” Breaking down 50-pound bags of seed into consumer-sized packages took not just time but space, as sta had to be physically distanced. This year, the company is better prepared as it braces for a second wave of pandemic planting. “We realized there was going to be quite a bit of demand and that COVID-19 wasn’t going anywhere,” says West Coast Seeds president Aaron Saks. “We bought extra seed to keep up with what we thought demand would be and demand has exceeded what we thought, so we’re in the process of topping up our orders.” The company invested in new software to track orders, added 10,000 square feet of warehouse space and hired additional sta. With widespread vaccination looking unlikely in Canada until 2022, Saks sees demand staying steady for another season, by which time home gardening may be one of the pandemic behaviours that sticks. “I can’t imagine people not wanting to garden,” he says, noting, “people have invested in garden beds.” The joys of poultry They’re also investing in laying hens. Suppliers such as Reliable Poultry Service Ltd. in Merville continue to see strong demand, with most layer chicks sold out until fall. While owners Shawn and Tanya Brown say it’s impossible to know if demand will continue, there have been “a lot of people introduced to the joys of poultry over the last year.” Kate Fraser of Bees Please Farms in Victoria agrees. Part of the popular Rent the Chicken franchise of Pennsylvania, Fraser saw a 40% jump in activity last year. She anticipates another 50% jump this year. “So far it looks like we will be right on that one,” she says. “Renting allows people to try backyard chickens without the commitment. We are also there for them every step of the way, so the guesswork is taken out of it.” She also leases bee hives to homeowners, but she did not notice dramatic growth during the pandemic. Most hive rentals are to people who want to support pollinators, not for honey production or a hobby. Demand for bees is up among commercial beekeepers, however, who have seen strong demand for local honey but challenges replenishing their colonies. A lack of skilled labour last year meant many colonies began the winter in a vulnerable state. This concerns Canadian Honey Council executive director Rod Scarlett. “We don’t know yet what the overwinter losses were,” he says. “[But] it will put pressure on everybody for supply.” The one relief is that air cargo capacity appears to have stabilized. “Normally in Canada, we’ll get about 80,000 packages. We received under 10,000 last year,” he says. “So far it appears to be better this year. The ights from New Zealand into Vancouver and Sydney into Vancouver are still scheduled. … The orders that we have for packaged bees, beginning early March, late February, they’re still scheduled.” Cuts in passenger service to so-called sun destinations have so far not impacted Hawaii, unlike cuts last year. However, there are fewer ights, which could reduce cargo capacity and the ability to secure queens. Shipments from northern California should be okay, because they’ve always moved by couriers such as UPS. Distribution within Canada will be an issue, however. Air Canada suspended service to Kamloops and Prince Rupert indenitely beginning January 23, and reduced service to larger centres will have beekeepers in northern BC waiting longer for packages. INCREASE SALES IN BC APPLY FOR THE BUY BC PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM Buy BC Partnership ProgramReceive cost-shared funding to enhance local marketing e昀orts to increase your sales of BC food and beverage products within the province.Learn more about the program and how to apply: www.iafbc.ca/buy-bc
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Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.107 No. 3 . MARCH 2021Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham email@example.com Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover firstname.lastname@example.org Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Raise a pint, PW! Safe and secureNational Farm Safety Week runs March 14-20 this year. It coincides with the one-year anniversary of the restrictions put in place to ght COVID-19, a disease that made “personal protective equipment” and “social distancing” part of everyday conversation and essential elements of on-farm safety. Preventing the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19 is more important than ever now that many insurers no longer cover such risks. But many familiar risks remain, too. The new risks presented by the pandemic didn’t stop parents from taking their kids with them in the tractor, letting them do age-inappropriate work or not wearing the proper attire or PPE – all practices the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association discourages, especially on farmers’ social media feeds. It doesn’t matter how safe we feel in a situation, when we’re in positions of leadership, we’re also setting an example. On-farm safety goes beyond the workplace, too. A long-standing concern of many farmers is that disease might hitch a ride onto their properties. This has spurred the development of stringent biosecurity protocols. But as interest in buying local has grown, it’s also made farms more aware of the potential for disease to spread from their farms into the community in the form of food-borne illnesses. While separate from occupational safety, food safety is part and parcel of a well-run farm that’s safe for workers as well as visitors. The province’s health authorities have strict standards for on-farm milk plants. There are standards for produce packing facilities and health ocers keep tabs with varying degrees of zeal on the province’s farmers markets and similar events. But one of the larger bones of contention in the area of on-farm food safety is around meat, responsibility for which is now wholly under the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for the rst time since 2009. Rather than being assessed through the lens of health ocers, as they were prior to December 1, smaller regional plants will now be inspected by the same branch that inspects their larger counterparts. The province’s agriculture minister says a consolidated inspection regime sets the stage for changes that will boost slaughter capacity in BC, helping more BC meat reach more people in the province – legally. Small-scale producers have long advocated for greater exibility in a system that, when rst introduced, was the only one of its kind in any industrialized country. The pandemic has underscored the importance of shorter supply chains and the ability of smaller plants to serve demand. By increasing opportunities for small-scale meat producers under a new training and inspection regime, BC has another chance to demonstrate how local food security and safety go hand in hand. One of the most notable results of life in a pandemic has been the return of simple pleasures. Board games, home baking, family camping trips and many others have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts. Among them is bird watching. There has always been an avid and active fraternity of would-be ornithologists, but their numbers began to swell noticeably last spring when the early days of sheltering in place coincided with the birds’ spring migration. Activity on bird-related websites and apps spiked. Birding, it turns out, is the ideal activity for anyone who wants to search for interesting species outdoors and nds birds more interesting than whatever it is the Pokémon Go crowd are looking for. Birding can be serious or casual. Most farmers and ranchers are at least casual bird watchers, even if they don’t say so. There are few farms and ranches without birds of some kind, and it is hard not to notice them – especially when they are helping themselves to crops and produce. Canada geese top the list of birds-we-could-do-with-less-of on our farm. A couple of dozen wouldn’t be much of a worry but left to their own devices, two dozen today will be 200 before the week is out. One farmer and six border collies have run themselves ragged over the past 40 years chasing geese here, with no end in sight. Eagles and hawks have made any outdoor poultry activity a risky business, though we have found much mirth in country lifestyle magazine articles promoting free-range chickens as the key to rural wealth and happiness. Ravens played havoc by pecking holes in our round bale silage for a few years. It all seemed very random and pointless until we realized every hole had a piece of bale string pulled out. We guessed the ravens mistook the strings for something tasty. They gave up when we changed wrap colour and went from string to net wrap. Steller’s jays were quick to show us the folly of expecting to harvest sunower seeds. Robins demonstrated a fondness for strawberries and crows have indulged in various misdemeanours. In their defense, the crows did yeoman front-line service during the war with the armyworms. Not all bad While the damage birds can do to is obvious, their benecial behaviours are easily overlooked. They are tireless rodent and bug hunters – in the air, on the ground and in the water. The wetland a hundred yards from our house teems with mosquitoes all summer but seldom is there one that survives a trip to join us on the deck. BC is home to 588 bird species for at least part of each year. Some are permanent residents, some are seasonal and others appear briey as they migrate. Twice over the years we have had sandhill cranes land in our elds for a brief stopover. Usually, we only spot and/or hear them high overhead. We look forward to seeing a ock of tiny least sandpipers in late April when they stop for a few days on their way to the high Arctic. And we once hosted a snowy owl on the barn roof for two days. Even in the dead of winter, there is an amazing variety of birds out and about. The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) started in 1900 is North America’s longest running citizen’s science project. Counts are made in more than 2,000 locations in the Western hemisphere to provide a single day census of bird species, numbers and location. There were 211 species counted in BC in 2019-20. In seven hours last December 27, two volunteers counted 1,143 birds of 43 species in our valley. They counted 24 species on our farm, including a ock of brightly coloured evening grosbeaks, but missed seeing the owls that hoot most nights or the pileated woodpecker that is destroying the alder snag behind the house. Birds are undeniably fascinating and for many farmers, undeniably frustrating as well. As entertainment they are hard to beat. They are right outside ying around free for the watching and you can start just by looking out a window. Even if you get serious, warm clothes, a pair of appropriate binoculars and a bird ID book is all there is to it. And if you can’t imagine being entertained in any way that doesn’t include a cell phone, yes, there is an app for that, too. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley.The Back Forty BOB COLLINSMaking the most of a simple pleasureWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Regenerative agriculture is the way of the futureCertification is helping define and recognize best practices for sustainabilityCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 5Soil health is the foundation of any healthy organic farm. While modern agriculture has primarily focused on the nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, soil health from an organic perspective focuses on the health and diversity of microscopic and macroscopic life in the soil. The foundation of all life is carbon, so on an organic farm, soil health can often be directly related to soil organic matter (soil carbon). So it is with cautious optimism that the BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture (BCARA) welcomes the renewed focus on regenerative agriculture. Use of the term “regenerative agriculture” has exploded over the past few years. However, this is not a new philosophy. In North America, Indigenous peoples had been practicing forms of regenerative agriculture for thousands of years before the Europeans came and settled. In more recent times, during the early 20th century after the industrialization of agriculture, European farmers were noticing signicant decreases in crop yields. Rudolf Steiner attributed this in part to depleted soil health and gave instruction that laid the foundation for biodynamic agriculture, a regenerative system of agriculture dedicated to building soil life. Then through the mid to late 20th century, pioneers like J.I. Rodale, Lady Balfour, Robert Rodale and the lesser-known Ehrenfried Pfeier championed organic agriculture practices that, at their heart, were regenerative. Through the 1980s and 1990s, this movement blossomed into what is known as organic agriculture. In 1986, as part of the early organic agriculture movement, a group of farmers in the Fraser Valley organized themselves to create the BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture (BCARA). An early denition of regenerative agriculture that they settled on was: "Regenerative Agriculture is both a philosophy and a farm management system. Philosophically, it says that there is within people, plants, animals and the world itself a way of recovery that both comes from within and carries the recovery process beyond previous levels of well-being. Robert Rodale says, 'Regeneration begins with the realization that the natural world around us is continually trying to get better and better.'” The expression of this philosophy is an active stewardship of the earth, through design and management practices, that seeks to create ecosystems which achieve sustainable productivity through a diverse mix of mutually dependent life forms. BCARA went on to become a leader in the early organic movement in BC where, at the grassroots of organic agriculture, was the belief that every organic farm should strive to be regenerative in its practices. Soil health has always been the foundation of organic agriculture. Over the past 30 years, much has changed in both organic and conventional agriculture and over the past few years the term “regenerative agriculture” has been loosely used for a variety of farming systems. There is a general understanding that a regenerative farming system captures carbon and helps to mitigate climate change. But Viewpoint by TRAVIS FORSTBAUERthe term “regenerative agriculture” is not regulated like the term organic. There is no governing body overseeing the use of this term and as a result it has been loosely used and often misused and this is of concern to BCARA. There are some that believe that no-till agriculture systems are more regenerative than organic systems that perform some tillage. However, we fundamentally disagree with this assertion. Many of these no-till systems still rely on the toxic herbicides such as glyphosate, and while we applaud actions to build soil life, capture carbon and mitigate climate change, BCARA holds the position that any form of agriculture with the goal to be regenerative should have a foundation of organic practices. BCARA believes that the healthiest, cleanest food is produced without the use of herbicides, pesticides and agrochemicals. Regenerative agriculture strives to be a closed-loop system whereas the production of these agrochemicals is CO2 intensive and are often produced long distances from the farm. In the US, a regenerative agriculture standard has been developed called Regenerative Organic Certication (ROC). This certication requires that applicants be certied organic. Certication is on a tiered system of bronze, silver and gold. The farm is granted certication based on how many regenerative practices they use on their farm as dened in the ROC standard. It is our view that this is the gold standard of regenerative certication. Currently, there are countless number of researchers, soil advocates and organizations doing the much-needed work to shift the collective focus of agriculture towards regenerative practices. These people and organizations include Gabe Brown, Elaine Ingham, Matt Powers, Zach Bush of Farmers Footprint, Maria Rodale and the Rodale Institute, Ryland Engelhart and Finnian Makepeace from Kiss the Ground, the Regenerative Organic Alliance, the Canadian Organic Trade Association, and the list goes on and on. Much like organic agriculture has evolved, the understanding of regenerative agriculture will continue to evolve and BCARA looks forward to being a leading voice in BC. Travis Forstbauer is president of BCARA [www.bcara.ca], an organic certication body that certies farms and businesses across the province of BC. He farms alongside his family. Together they steward Forstbauer Farm [www.forstbauer.com], a multigenerational, certied organic, biodynamic farm in Chilliwack. 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SOLD! NH 795 MANURE SPREADER [U32010] .................................... 7,595 NH 1044 BALE WAGON [U32420] ............................................ 7,000 NH 7550 DISC MOWER 13’ - PIN HITCH [U32358] ................... 16,900 NH C232 TRACK SKIDSTEER, DEMO SPECIAL, 500 HRS, GOOD CONDITION [N31179] ................................................. 61,000 NH TV145 BI-DIRECTIONAL TRACTOR, FRONT MOUNT TIGER BOOM MOWER, GOOD CONDITION [U16916] ................................... 60,000 TAARUP 4036 DISC MOWER, REBUILT CUTTERBAR [U32093] ... 14,500 by PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – SlaughterRight is the province's new, mandatory training program for on-farm meat plants following consolidation of meat inspection within the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. The agriculture ministry took over inspection of D and E class facilities December 1. Regional health authorities previously oversaw training and inspection. “[The ministry] is now implementing a province-wide approach, which allows applicants to complete the SlaughterRight training when it is convenient for them,” the ministry told Country Life in BC in a statement. “The training is now being oered as self-paced learning using the training manual and workbook to assist applicants in developing food safety plans for each animal species they will be slaughtering.” New licensees will have to complete the training program prior to being licensed while the 100 operators currently holding D and E licences will have to complete the program prior to renewal. Sta with the province’s Meat Inspection Branch will review participants’ knowledge and food safety plans on completion of training and schedule a site visit prior to rst slaughter. The new approach ensures all meat processing facilities in BC are inspected no matter the location while doing so in a way that respects the constraints on provincial inspection sta. It also ensures that small-scale processors have provincially approved training, a concern of many larger operators in the industry. Good news "It is good to hear that people performing on-farm slaughter have the opportunity to learn proper animal handling at slaughter and safe food practices during slaughter," says Nova Woodbury, executive director of the BC Association of Abattoirs, whose membership is primarily the larger A and B class licensees. Known as SlaughterSafe when it was oered through local health authorities, the training program now addresses issues beyond food safety. Course participants must create a detailed humane slaughter plan alongside their food safety plan. “In their humane slaughter plan, applicants outline how the standard operating procedures for their facilities, transportation, animal handling, slaughter process, and equipment cleaning and maintenance promote humane slaughter and animal handling,” the ministry explains. “There is also a larger focus on operator hygiene during and after slaughter, as well as food safety after the slaughter process.” The new program, developed with the assistance of industry, will be updated regularly as “new guidelines surrounding animal welfare and slaughter practices become available.” The new course reects a series of consultations the province has undertaken over the past four years. Updating training on slaughter practice, animal welfare and food safety to ensure provincially consistent and eective learning opportunities for rural producers was also an idea proposed as part of a rural slaughter modernization intentions paper the province circulated for discussion last fall. The province received a total of 88 responses and expects to publish the results in the near future. Capacity issues Julia Smith of Blue Sky Ranch in Merritt and president of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association says the new training program is a step in the right direction for small operators. “We welcome anything that supports us in meeting the already high standards for humane handling and safe, quality meat,” she says. But capacity remains an ongoing issue for the industry. D facilities can process no more than 25 animal units, and E facilities are limited to 10. Smith wants to hear how the ministry plans to enhance rural slaughter capacity. Many SlaughterRight training launched by ag ministryNew approach will ensure all facilities will be inspectedproducers need to book slaughter dates months ahead of time, and the lack of access to facilities has pushed others to shut down. Smith has pinned hopes for her own farm on establishment of an abattoir in the Nicola Valley with the support of a Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program grant from the province. She hasn’t heard back and is prepared to be disappointed. She notes it’s not just farmers who are losing out. Demand for local meat surged when the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring but rural communities aren’t enjoying the full benets of the demand. The intentions paper proposed relaxing restrictions on processing capacity and sales for D and E facilities and a licensing mode for mobile abattoirs that would boost slaughter capacity for small-scale producers. “Business is booming for the mobile slaughter guys who have been working at out since last fall but, of course, none of that meat can be sold legally,” she says. “We don't see any indication of the situation improving at this point.” D&E meat plants will be inspected by the province’s Meat Inspection Branch before having their licenses issued or renewed as part of a new province-wide strategy for meat plants. FILE PHOTOSubscription toCountry Life in BCSubscription toCLifCLifiBSubscription toCountry Life in BCDon’t forget to RENEW your
8 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCOpposition Critic outlines priorities for BC Agriculturee COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that through signicant challenges, B.C.’s agriculture industry remains innovative and resilient in its ability to provide quality products for millions of British Columbians every day. With 2020 nally behind us, I take comfort in knowing that each passing day is one step closer to the COVID-19 pandemic coming to an end. It’s fair to say that we all look forward to a time when dramatic measures to maintain public health are no longer necessary. As I reect on the ups and downs of 2020, I am honoured to have been re-appointed as the Ocial Opposition critic for Agriculture and Food in B.C. I take my responsibility to hold the NDP government accountable very seriously, and I will do my best to ensure the concerns of every sector are heard. e next four years are critical for B.C.’s economic recovery, and the unresolved issues facing B.C.’s agriculture industry must be given full attention. Since the NDP introduced Bills 15 and 52, farmers and ranchers across the province have made it loud and clear that these new rules and regulations do not work for them. e process of submitting applications to the Agricultural Land Commission through local government is not only time consuming, it also erodes the property rights of rural landowners. e NDP must realize that secondary housing for farm help, aging parents, and the next generation of farmers is paramount to the success of agriculture in B.C. e Minister of Agriculture has had more than a year to review the Minister’s intentions paper to amend regulations concerning the construction of secondary homes on farmland, and we continue to wait for an update. is process has taken far too long, and farmers are fed up with waiting. Another issue that requires immediate attention is the implementation of stronger trespass laws on farmland. Farmers require legal protections for their land, personal property, crops, and animals from trespassers seeking to disrupt the activities of bona de farming. Other jurisdictions across Canada have adopted legislation to grant farmers and ranchers more protection from trespassers, but B.C. has failed to act. In late 2019, the Ocial Opposition tabled a private member’s bill aimed at protecting all local agri-food operations, which included nes of up to $50,000. If implemented, this bill would have sent a strong message that B.C. will protect farmers, processors, and animals from unlawful trespass. Unfortunately, the BC Liberal legislation was not called for debate and to date, no action has come from the government on this le. As I continue to hear from stakeholders across the province about the importance of strengthening animal and property rights, it is critical the NDP government act now to prevent further acts of trespass. With regards to the livestock industry, small scale livestock producers continue to have trouble accessing local slaughter. Why hasn’t this government fostered innovation in the industry and promoted it to attract new entrants? e COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that there is a growing appetite among British Columbians to buy and source local products. Consumers would prefer to purchase beef, pork, lamb, and poultry knowing they were humanely raised, harvested, and slaughtered on a local farm, rather than buying products that were slaughtered at a large-scale processing plant outside of B.C. It’s my hope that we will see the government put more eort into fostering the type of environment needed to help slaughter operations expand. e Ministry of Agriculture needs to be encouraging new entrants into the industry and taking the appropriate steps to help them be successful. Labour challenges and the high costs associated with this line of work need to be addressed. Finally, as farmers and ranchers grapple with the challenges of climate change adaptation such as drought and ooding, it is clear that new provincial considerations are needed. e government has not been listening to farmers and ranchers who need consistent, reliable access to water for irrigation and livestock consumption – especially if food security is to be a priority in British Columbia. B.C.’s prime agricultural lands are a treasure. As responsible citizens we must continue to steward them as such. In doing so, we cannot forget about the rights of a farmer. Farmers are the best stewards for these lands because they interact with them every day. In order to perform their duty to protect the land, farmers must be able to make a decent living, accommodate secondary housing for family, receive real and adequate protection from trespassers, and be given reasonable access to local slaughter and water. In my critic role, I will continue reminding the NDP government that it’s not farmland without the farmer. Paid communicationIan Paton MLA for Delta South 604-940-7930 ian.paton.MLA@leg.bc.caOttawa to bankroll foreign worker quarantineTravel restrictions remain tight a year after pandemic declaredby PETER MITHAM OTTAWA – A federal quarantine program for foreign farm workers will be announced this month as the agriculture industry continues to grapple with the impact of international travel restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a mandatory three-day quarantine at a government hotel for foreign arrivals on February 12, giving substance to the original announcement on January 29, which also limited incoming ights to just four airports – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The new quarantine period forms part of the two-week quarantine all international arrivals are required to complete. It took eect February 22, in addition to mandatory testing of all foreign arrivals for COVID-19, who have also been required since January to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival. But farm workers received a three-week exemption from the new quarantine rules, federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a call with media shortly after Trudeau’s announcement. “We are taking every precaution to ensure they can continue to arrive safely in Canada,” she said, explaining government and industry would “develop a tailored solution to accommodate these workers.” Workers arriving on February 22 would instead continue to “their usual place of quarantine” under existing rules. They must still present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival and submit to a COVID-19 test on landing. They would also receive a test kit to be used prior to nishing their quarantine. According to Service Canada, quarantine requirements for foreign workers would be announced by March 14. The arrangement will ensure “the costs of these measures are not borne by workers or employers.” “They’re working with us,” says Linda Delli Santi, executive director of the BC Greenhouse Growers Association, which receives some of the rst incoming workers each year. “They ‘re trying to nd a solution because they understand that neither the worker nor the employer can aord these hotel stays.” Bibeau told Country Life in BC that Ottawa is budgeting $2,000 per worker, but this amount will vary by province. She indicated that the new arrangement will cover quarantine costs the BC government has been covering since last year. According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, the province spent $15 million to cover the cost of housing, feeding and laundering clothes for incoming workers last year. This worked out to an average of $3,000 per worker. The provincial support was in addition to a federal payment of $1,500 per foreign worker that farm employers were eligible to receive under the $50 million Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program that Ottawa originally launched last April. Cutbacks to flights Meanwhile, cutbacks to international ights have put pressure on growers. Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat announced January 29 the suspension of all service to the Caribbean and Mexico from January 31 until April 30. Mexico’s national carrier, Aeroméxico, also announced that it would suspend commercial ights to Canada beginning February 7, further limiting options for workers from Central America planning to travel to Canada. The cuts coincide with the period when increasing numbers of seasonal workers are arriving for the new growing season. They also complicate matters for workers needing to return home. According to the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative, “there may not be other options to return south until May.” WALI program manager Veronica Moreno said the new restrictions create “challenging” conditions for both employers and workers. WALI is working with travel agency Mi Tierra to arrange charter ights, but reduced air capacity makes this challenging. There’s also the question of securing a sucient number of workers to make the ights cost-eective. “The main issue for employers is getting enough workers to book a charter,” Moreno said.
Abbotsford teacher Gary Funk is the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year. BCAITCCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 9Silent auction hits new record in support of educationAg advocates honoured at virtual galaKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeSmithersStandard drawbar or 2-pointGyrodine® swivel hitch for tight turnsAllows wide spreading to over 90%of cut width for accelerated drydownLubed-for-life Optidisc®cutterbar and Fast-Fit® bladesFinger, rubber roller or steel roller conditioning - adjustable for any cropFAST MOWING, FAST DRYDOWNFC TC CENTER-PIVOT Mower Conditioners10’2” - 14’4” working widthsby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Agricultural excellence was celebrated at this year’s BC Agriculture Council gala on January 28. Approximately 400 households tuned in after a day of seminars as part of the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course alongside the Pacic Agriculture Show. Bev Whitta, Gary Funk and Carmen Wakeling were honoured for their contributions to BC agriculture and work to reach out beyond the sector. Nanoose Bay poultry farmer Bev Whitta received the Scotiabank Champion of Agriculture award for her development of the Poultry in Motion trailer on Vancouver Island. “[She] has displayed exemplary work in building connections between agriculture and BC communities,” said Kim Ross, national accounts director, agricultural banking, with Scotiabank, noting that the restrictions of COVID-19 did not slow her down. Whitta developed a virtual tour that teachers could share with students, continuing to educate them even though events were cancelled. Social studies teacher Gary Funk of MEI Schools in Abbotsford received the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year award for his work spearheading MEI’s ecological studies program. “What’s unique about Gary is that he took full advantage of integrating agriculture and environmental education into his social studies curriculum,” said Pat Tonn, executive director of the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. Receiving a $38,000 grant from the Abbotsford Community Foundation, Funk gathered a steering committee and took skills learned during a stint at Aldergrove Nursery to develop facilities and a curriculum that introduces elementary and secondary students to agriculture and related studies. The program includes a 2,000-square-foot heated greenhouse, gardens, orchard and on-site composting on 19 acres across from the school that was previously underutilized. This past year, produce from the site was harvested and donated to community. “Future opportunities are endless,” said Tonn. BCAC’s Award for Excellence in Agriculture Leadership went to Carmen Wakeling of Eatmore Sprouts & Greens in Courtenay. “The award recognizes the high standards of conduct, leadership, integrity, innovation and accomplishment within the agriculture and agrifood sector,” said Stan Vander Waal in presenting the award. Wakeling’s leadership within her sector and a collaborative approach that emphasizes respect and inclusivity was hailed as an example for others. In addition to being past-president of the Certied Organic Associations of BC, she has spearheaded food safety protocols for sprout growers nationally and internationally. “[She] is enthusiastic about constant learning and focused on industry improvements,” Vander Waal said. However, all growers deserved a round of applause in the opinion of keynote speaker Rex Murphy, who noted that never once last year did Canadians have to worry about a lack of food. He felt the sector needed to be a higher priority with the country’s leadership. “If we can’t eat, we can’t do anything else,” he said. Unfortunately, support for agriculture isn’t likely to improve the way given the nancial hit COVID-19 has delivered to government budgets. Murphy noted the federal debt alone was estimated at close to $1 billion. Speakers during the Pacic Agriculture Show frequently referenced Murphy’s comments. A total of 1,400 visitors, exclusive of exhibitors and speakers, registered to attend the show, about 20% of the usual in-person attendance. “We were happy with our number,” said show organizer Jim Shepard. However, attendance in many short-course sessions was up versus previous years, impressing the LMHIA board and session chairs. Results were strong for the silent auction in support of the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. This year’s fundraiser received $13,255 in bids over the event’s three days. The amount set a new record, exceeding last year’s tally of $11,113.
Personal problems demand the same attention as business issuesAddressing issues head-on is a good personal and business strategy, says Elaine Froese, a keynote panelist at this year’s Pacic Agriculture Show. SUBMITTED 10 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCLangley 1.888.675.7999 Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757Contact Your Watertec Sales Rep for a Free Estimate.CENTER PIVOTS & LINEARSby MYRNA STARK LEADER ABBOTSFORD – Drawing on adverse experiences to become more resilient takes tools, work and practice, according to professional coaches Kelly Dobson and Elaine Froese. It also takes the right mindset. “Either we’re in a growth mindset or a xed mindset,” Dobson explained during a reside chat between the two that served as the keynote presentation during this year’s Pacic Agriculture Show and Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course. Dobson is the founder of Leadershift, a coaching business, and a farmer in Fairfax, Manitoba. A growth mindset is being open to learning new skills, trying them and rening them. But under stress, most people display a xed mindset. Typically, this shows up as being closed to hearing feedback, becoming upset with rather than learning from the successes of others, or muddling through the situation, sometimes even ignoring it. Dobson often sees producers’ growth mindset around production and technology. But when it comes to human relationships and personal development, clients close up, often saying, “That’s just the way it’s always been. It can’t be changed.” People only make progress when they realize their unconscious thoughts, beliefs and fears are getting in the way. “The one thing people have the most control over is themselves,” says Dobson. However, when people encounter a problem, they often present the problem as something external – something that belongs to or is the result of someone else. This leads Dobson’s clients to implement policies and procedures, or even hire experts to help nd a solution. It seldom works. “People need to look in the mirror before pointing at someone else,” agrees Froese, a professional farm transition communication expert who farms in Boissevain, Manitoba. Even if a person has a growth mindset, identifying the real issues blocking the ability to tackle an adverse situation is a challenge. A farmer isn’t likely really mad at his grandson for going o to university. Instead, the underlying issue might be a genuine worry about the farm’s succession plan and his own retirement. The latter needs to be articulated. “Sharing emotions is not a sign of weakness,” says Froese. “I want people to see conict as a business risk management strategy. Approach conict with kindness, empathy for the other person’s point of view and mutual respect.” “When you become successful enough, all businesses become people businesses,” adds Dobson. “It’s often the way people communicate that gets in the way of other’s hearing them.” Sometimes people have trouble nding words to express their true feelings, but saying, “I’m concerned” or “I’m overwhelmed” is essential to help others understand what they’re experiencing. Froese says people should aim for an “optimal” level of conict, not no conict. To do this, she suggests having ground rules established in the farm operation. At her farm, a rule is not hiding mistakes. It meant that when she backed over some farm equipment, she immediately shared that news which allowed discussion about a solution rather than anger and blame. Dobson says farmers need to think about their behaviour and beliefs, and what they’re willing to accept from others within the farm business, especially if they’re considered the leader. “When something comes out of your mouth, is it helping to build up the situation or is it destroying it and the culture?” he encourages people to ask themselves. A growth mindset also enables asking for help, critical when facing adversity or practicing new ways of being. “People have no problem asking questions of an economist,” Dobson continues. “They’re starting to see that they also need emotional support during adversity.” Self-care, marriage care, family care, farm care, and then care for friends and community – farmers need to look after all those things in that order to manage through adversity, says Froese. People often make excuses to avoid taking a growth-oriented approach to solving problems. “I’m too busy,” “I don’t want to increase conict” or “I’ll deal with it later,” are all common. But that strategy won’t help farmers stay on top of all the other challenges they face, says Dobson. “This is hard work. Success is measured in months and years and not days,” he says. Coping with adversity requires an open mind
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 11Blueberry growers dodge US trade complaintGreenhouse growers await further decisions this monthby PETER MITHAM and SARBMEET SINGH ABBOTSFORD – BC’s several hundred blueberry farmers are elated after the US International Trade Commission announced that blueberry imports cause no harm to American growers. The USITC announced February 11 that it had determined that imports of fresh, chilled and frozen blueberries are not an economic threat to the US industry. “Now our members can focus on the growing year ahead, instead of being concerned with trade penalties,” says Jack Bates, chair of the BC Blueberry Council and a grower in Delta. USITC launched an investigation into global blueberry imports in response to a complaint led in September by former US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. A report on produce imports jointly authored by his oce, the US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Commerce indicated that a dramatic rise in blueberry imports was causing economic damage to the US industry. The investigation raised concerns among BC blueberry growers that they could face limits on access to the US market. Growers across Canada banded together and legal counsel was hired to defend the industry, an initiative that could have cost upwards of $1.3 million if injuries had been determined. However, documents Canada’s lawyers led with the commission in December and presentations made during a January 12 hearing successfully argued that imports from Canada were not causing economic damage to US growers. “It is absurd for an industry that is increasing production, increasing employment, and making signicant operating prots to seek safeguard relief,” a prehearing brief remarked. Tom Phillips, president of Berryhill Foods Ltd. in Abbotsford, noted that the blueberry sectors in both countries are highly integrated and that BC was a founding member of the North American Blueberry Council. The two industries eectively operate as one, with Berryhill Foods processing three million pounds of cultivated blueberries from Washington growers that supplement its purchases from BC growers. Meanwhile, US imports of fresh blueberries from Canada declined 41% between 2015 to 2020. “The only threat facing the domestic blueberry industry is that this misguided safeguard case might put at risk … the mutually benecial trade that benets both the US and Canadian industries,” the prehearing brief stated. Blueberries are grown on more than 27,100 acres across BC by approximately 800 growers, many of whom cheered the decision. “We are relieved with the decision. The blueberry industry is already facing a lot of issues and if the tari were imposed on Canadian berries, it would have forced the farmers to leave the industry,” said Harpal Singh, an Abbotsford grower. Several segments of the US industry were also opposed to an investigation, with a group of 30 growers, packers, importers and retailers forming the Blueberry Coalition for Progress and Health to oppose limitations on trade, including import limits. The united front is one Abbotsford grower Rajpal Singh believes could benet the issue in future. “The industry needs to be more united to face any such issues in future” he says. Strawberries, peppers next Meanwhile, growers of fresh strawberries and bell peppers are ghting another complaint Lighthizer led last fall. USITC is monitoring imports of the two products and will decide by March 7 whether or not to launch a global safeguard investigation similar to what blueberries faced. Government and industry have retained lawyers who are making the case that growers in Canada produce a product distinct from what US growers of both commodities produce. “We aren’t impacting their domestic market because we’re not selling the same product as they do,” says Linda Delli Santi, executive director of the BC Greenhouse Growers Association. The submission to the USITC notes that up to 95% of the bell peppers the US imports from Canada are greenhouse grown, which are typically of a higher quality than green, eld-grown peppers. They’re also coloured, unlike eld peppers and packaged dierently. Similarly, lawyers representing strawberry growers argue that strawberries from Canada are distinct from competing product in the US. However, fruit from Canada hold a “trivial share” of US imports, minimizing its threat to US growers. BC represents just 5% of Canada’s production and accounts for less than 0.02% of US imports. USITC is also investigating the impact of cucumber imports on seasonal markets, with legal submissions due March 25. Paul Sandhu of C&C Family Orchards says he keeps the fruit stand open for the snowbirds and regulars who stay in Osoyoos over the winter. MYRNA STARK LEADEROpen for business
12 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCHIGH EFFICIENCY. HIGH ACREAGE. HIGH YIELDS. LOOK TO LEMKENRUBIN 10 – its superior clearance and 25” discs allow the Rubin 10 to work and control a greater amount of organic matter. Its symmetrical arrangement of discs is unique in the industry and ensures work in a straight line without any lateral oset. Working in a straight line saves fuel and optimizes GPS guidance.@strategictill | lemken.ca(604) 864-2273caliberequipment.ca(250) 938-0076agrigem.comVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD(604) 463-3681vanderwaleq.com0% Financing. Certain Conditions Applyby RONDA PAYNE SAN DIEGO – BC fruit growers are learning to live with Spotted Wing Drosophila, but researchers in California are hoping a sterile insect release program similar to what is controlling codling moth in the Okanagan could be deployed against the pest. The sterile insect technique (SIT) focuses on releasing sterile males to mate with wild females. Since the males can’t fertilize the female’s eggs, they don’t hatch a new generation. The method is pesticide-free and therefore environment-friendly. “We need new kinds of technologies that are less harmful to the environment but are also capable of controlling this harmful pest,” says Omar Akbari, associate professor with the University of California, San Diego, who addressed the Invasive Species Council of BC’s annual conference, held online February 9-11. SIT isn’t new to agriculture. It has been used for about 100 years and is shown to control many dierent kinds of insects. In the 1950s, the screw y was eradicated on Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles by introducing sterilized ies. The strategy continues to be used, with perhaps the best-known local example being for control of codling moth as part of the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release program. Radiation is typically used to sterilize male insects. But the process has its challenges. Radiated SWD males are more fragile than their non-radiated counterparts. “They end up not performing as well as they could,” says Akbari. “It requires you to release more of them so it becomes more costly.” They also have a shorter lifespan, making transport from a production facility to release sites virtually impossible. Akbari has overcome this obstacle, developing a way to make it possible to release sterile SWD at any life stage, even as eggs. Working with San Diego-based pest control company Agragene Inc., the US Department of Agriculture is using the gene-editing tool CRISPR to produce SWD eggs containing sterile males. “It’s really ecient at producing sterile males. It’s a platform technology; it could be designed for many dierent types of species,” says Akbari. “We tested it in fruit ies and it was quite eective. In the lab, we see equal tness to wild males.” USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is conducting eld testing and, if proven to work, the process will move to open eld trials in 2022. “It’s a species-specic, safe technology that is scalable,” says Akbari. “Being able to release eggs is really powerful.” He anticipates that sterile insects would need to be released every week or two. This could include insect drops both within elds as well as alternative hosts where SWD overwinter and develop before moving into crops later in the season. “For SWD, the idea is that you obviously have to keep deploying,” Akbari says. “The next season it’s going to be less.” Releasing sterile SWD would be an environmentally safe solution that would eliminate the need for insecticides, ensure pollinator safety and require retreatment only if the species became reestablished in an area. Releases would need to coincide with when adult ies are breeding, similar to the current timing of sprays. How many sterile SWD need to be released to achieve control will require more research. However, current information about SWD will help determine how best to deploy sterile insect releases. Scouting and trapping will help growers identify the need for and frequency of releases. In the meantime, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser continues to encourage growers to “pick early, pick clean, pick often,” and to combine well-planned spraying with careful sanitation and trapping. Codling moth control strategy shows promise for SWDIs the sterile insect technique the silver bullet growers are looking for?OMAR AKBARI
The BC Cherry Association is developing a radio and online advertising campaign to promote BC-grown cherries in Ontario this summer. MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 13Building awareness domestically is also important for salesby MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – Export markets for BC cherries remain a priority for the BC Cherry Association, which held its annual general meeting February 18-19 via videoconference. During the two morning sessions, association president Sukhpaul Bal highlighted the trade mission to India early last year which helped drive a 1,200% increase in the value of BC cherry exports to that country in 2020. Growth is expected to continue this year. Bal praised the leadership and hard work of the board in nding solutions to pandemic-related labour challenges, praising the province for stepping up to cover the accommodation, meal and laundry costs of foreign workers during their mandatory 14-day quarantine. “We were frankly shocked, but it was such an important step,” Bal said. The marketing committee is now led by Richard Isaacs, the commercial director at Global Fruit, based in Creston. Issacs moved to BC two years ago from the United Kingdom where he was previously supply chain director with Chaucer Foods Ltd. “I’ve looked at and bought cherries from 19 countries,” he told growers, “and I moved here because BC cherries are the best.” Isaacs noted the success of sales in Japan last year, which he expects to continue in 2021. But he also cautioned growers to pay attention to documentation, pallet conguration and labelling so that their fruit is compliant with Japan’s import regulations. The association is also working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to open South Korea to BC cherries. There’s been steady progress, and CFIA was able to conrm the day before the annual meeting that the latest process document had been sent to South Korea. Included was a request for a pilot program with two packing houses this summer. The association hopes to keep up the momentum, noting that if foreign inspectors can’t come to www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onSPREADERSACCUMUL8 & BALE GRABSBALEWRAPPERS ACCELERATORCanada, virtual inspections may be an option. “CFIA were happy to pass that request on. It would also save us a lot of money if we can do that electronically,” says Isaacs. Trade and Invest BC oces in Seoul and Vancouver have helped connect potential buyers with interested exporters in anticipation of the market opening to BC cherries. Growers were cautioned to stay up-to-date on the cherry treatment products foreign countries will accept. At the end of 2019, the European Union surprised Canada by halting imports of cherries. Fortunately, new insect trapping protocols were agreed to and implemented in 2020, helping to keep that market open. The association has subscribed to the Bryant Christie pesticide database to provide growers with the most current maximum residue limits (MRLs) requirements. The database will be available to growers via the association’s website. BC cherry growers send 90% of their exports to the US, China and Hong Kong. While future marketing eorts may target Mexico, Brazil, Israel and Australia, nothing can come close to the top three markets. The association is in a healthy nancial position, although revenues are expected to fall this year because it is waiving membership dues for 2020 members. Treasurer Erin Carlson forecasts revenues of about $301,000 in 2021, compared to about $420,000 in 2020. However, cost savings are also on the radar. The bulk purchase of insect traps in 2020, required for crop monitoring as part of export requirements, mean none are required this year. Of the $50,000 earmarked for 2021 research, only $37,900 is allocated, leaving cash for any additional projects that come forward. The federal and provincial governments were recognized for their commitment to funding programs. Carlson stressed that the association needs to establish a better grasp of cherry production in the province. She raised the possibility of a producer survey to determine the extent of new plantings and potential future production. The association focused its marketing eorts within Canada last year, thanks to concerns around foreign demand as well as a short crop. The domestic focus is set to continue this year. “We’ve planned this before but the foreign markets have taken time to develop, and now we have time to work on domestic marketing,” Bal said. Cherry growers continue to focus on export markets
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Ministry prepares to lend support to tree fruit co-opMinister calls it a “cornerstone of the industry”A quality assurance program initiated by BC Tree Fruits Co-op appears to be working. Growers received a 60% increase to the rst advance on their crop this year. MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 15by TOM WALKER KELOWNA – Growers are seeing better turns as BC Tree Fruits sells through the 2020 crop. An apple quality assurance program BCTF announced last May has resulted in a 60% increase to the rst advance growers received on their crop this year. “On average, for all varieties, grades and sizes, we were able to deliver just short of 21 cents a pound to growers,” says BC Tree Fruits CEO Warren Saranchan. “Our nal advance to growers last year was 13 cents a pound on average and that is just not acceptable. We need to continue to work to improve grower returns.” “I am pleased with our progress, but I’m not satised,” he says. “We still have a lot of work to do.” Ministry involvement BC agriculture minister Lana Popham says her ministry will be involved. Referencing a governance study published last spring, she says the ministry will provide support to address issues at what she describes as a “cornerstone of the tree fruit business in BC.” “We have been working since the summer to address some of the issues that were brought up in the governance study and I feel like there is some hope there,” says Popham. “Sometimes change is really tough, but we are almost at the point where there is no choice, so we are going to be putting forward suggestions of how we would like to see things change and how we will go about supporting those changes.” The ministry is going to take a very hands-on approach, she says. “These are not easy times for change because in some ways people are just hanging on to what they have got,” she says. “But I think, in many ways, change is going to be welcome for growers.” Saranchan says the ministry has been very supportive during a dicult period in the life of the co-op, which was founded in 1936 and currently has 400 members. It is among the largest agricultural co-ops in the province, with more than $120 million in annual sales. “They are an important stakeholder in the work that we do,” says Saranchan of the ministry. He hopes to be able to provide more details in the coming months. In the meantime, the board will continue with its work to revamp the co-op and improve returns for members. “We have a plan in place that we are executing and collectively, from our employees to our members to our board, we need to continue in our resolve to make the decisions we need to make,” he says. “They are not all going to be easy decisions, but we need to make them and together we will get this cooperative back to where it needs to be.” With protocols in place to protect employees from COVID-19, Saranchan says the co-op has experienced no signicant slowdown in sorting, packing, or storage operations. Sales of both its downtown Kelowna headquarters and the Osoyoos packing plant have helped pay down long-term debt. “And we continue to work on improving the eciency of the facilities that we do have,” says Saranchan. “That will include improving automation of our packing houses wherever we can.” BOOK YOUR SPRING SERVICE SOON!www.dutchbunning.comManufactured byThe World’s Most Durable Manure Spreader3 YEAR Limited Warranty Made in Canada• Best warranty and service in the business • Strongest floor chain & drive system available • Unique design allows consistent wide spread pattern; eliminates clumping right through entire load • Heavy duty fully welded construction throughout the frame and box – toughest in the industry • Consistently and evenly spreads just about everything! VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com
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Proudly certifying Producers and Processors across CanadaSave the Nitrogen in your Slurry Use the amomonia loss calculator ONLY ON farmwest.com by PETER MITHAM DELTA – While data from eld trials and lab reports is critical to helping farmers select dierent varieties and size up problems, the rst-hand experience that Bryan Arthur brought to his work with BC’s dairy industry is what many say they’ll miss most following his death January 31. Best known as the founder of Pacic Forage Bag Supply, Arthur had an ability typical of his generation to look at a problem and grasp what was going on. “They aren’t the techies of the world,” says Ed Kielstra of Vyeeld Farms Ltd. in Abbotsford, who worked with Arthur for more than 30 years. “These guys, their knowledge is in their head, and that’s what we’re going to miss.” While younger generations bring formal training to the business, and have a wealth of online resources to tap into, Arthur was raised on a farm and could grasp the nuances of a given issue. “They could look at it and say, ‘This is what we should be doing here. This is how we’ll x this problem,’” says Kielstra. “It’s not ‘Let’s go on the Internet and let’s go check out what the latest problem is.’ They speak from experience.” Clarence DeBoer of Eagle View Farms Ltd. in Ladner met Arthur in the 1990s, when he was a herdsman on the W.H. Savage and Hendrickson farms. “He was a xture of the community,” says DeBoer. “Everybody liked him, because those loyal, honest, straight-shooting people are hard to nd today, and he was always one of those you could count on. A deal was a deal and he stuck by it.” Born in 1937, Arthur grew up on his family’s dairy farm in southern Manitoba and developed a love of Jersey cattle. During the 1950s he spent time in BC, working on a dairy farm in Delta and starting a family. He also began developing a career in sales. Returning to Manitoba in 1968, he established a hay business and in the early 1970s moved to the small community of Edwin where he ran Edenderry Jerseys. The farm’s greatest success was Grafton Lucy’s Bell, which received the highest classication of any Jersey cow in Canada up to that date. Arthur and his family moved back to BC in 1981, reconnecting with old friends in Delta. Arthur returned to working on local dairy farms. He also delivered and sold hay for Vanderveen Hay Sales, work that introduced him farms on Vancouver Island and in the Interior. The runs to Vancouver Island were a pleasure, and he took them every chance he got. Eventually, he would have a cabin in Parksville. He also set up his own businesses. In partnership with John Poelman, he launched Pacic Forage Bag Supply in 1995 and introduced Ag-Bag silage wrap to BC. His interest in advancing industry practices also led him to initiate development of what would become the JBS Track-Pack silage bagger. Pacic Forage is now run by his daughter Alexis, who also ran Prairie Pacic Seeds, a venture Arthur launched with his nephew Kim Warburton. Prairie Pacic sold to Thunderbird Seeds in 2013. But it wasn’t all business for Arthur. He became deeply involved with 4-H while running Edenderry Jerseys, and gave generously to other organizations as well as neighbours. “He was always good to talk to. He always had a listening ear,” says Kielstra who worked with Arthur to resolve the issue of poultry manure in the Fraser Valley, a cause taken up by the Sustainable Poultry Farming Group in the early 2000s. “He was a signicant part of that,” he says. “Between the two of us, we kind of came up with a plan on it. We oered up the land and then we bagged.” Vyeeld also hosted the annual corn barbeques Arthur began organizing for producers. The annual event was a chance to hear the latest on variety trials, socialize and relax. It expanded to Vancouver Island and in the Interior as well as two sites in the Fraser Valley. Arthur succeeded DeBoer on the Delta agricultural advisory committee, and advocated on behalf of agriculture in other ways, too. “As part of the community he lived in, he took those roles to help defend agriculture,” says DeBoer. “You gain respect for people willing to step out there for you.” This resulted in lasting friendships. Arthur’s daughter Alexis quips that Pacic Forage didn’t have clients as much as it had a lot of friends who patronized the business. DeBoer says that’s what made the business relationship special. “Customers were more friends than they were customers, even though they were good customers,” he says. “It’s nice to work with people in your community.” Arthur passed away at his home in Delta on January 31 after several years of declining health. He is survived by his wife Diane, children Andrew, Colin, Jon, Je, Pam and Alexis, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Delta farm entrepreneur built strong relationshipsBryan Arthur applied his practical dairy experience to agri-supply businessBRYAN ARTHURby PETER MITHAM BURNABY – Ten candidates will advance to the next round of the dairy industry’s new entrant program selection process, following a random draw on February 8. An online name generator selected the 10 short-listed candidates from a pool of 79 applicants. The short-listed candidates must now provide documentation, including a business plan, by June 1 in order to be interviewed. Just three candidates will be selected to enter the dairy industry and begin production in 2022. The program provides successful applicants with 15 kgs of Continuous Daily Quota in order to start milk production (enough for about a dozen cows), plus up to 8 kgs of matching CDQ on a 1:1 ratio basis during the 10 years of the program. Dairy picks new entrant short list
Charan Gill was an outspoken advocate for farmworkers’ rights during the 1970s and 80s and helped establish the Canadian Farmworkers Union, a founding partner of AgSafe. GILL FAMILY PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 17Early advocate for farmworkers’ rights rememberedCharan Gill was instrumental in the founding of AgSafe1.800.282.7856Excellent Grain Yields and Standability4FNJ4NPPUI"XOt(PPE%JTFBTF1BDLBHFBill Everitt 250.295.7911 ext #102 email@example.com tToll free 1.877.797.7678 ext #102Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd. 1821 Hwy 3 Princeton, B.C. V0X 1W0KILN DRIED PRESSURE TREATED ROUND WOOD POSTS AND RAILSPreferred supplier for British Columbia Ministries & Parks Canada.&ARMs/RCHARDs6INEYARDs"ERRY4RELLISINGby ROOHI SAHAJPAL SURREY – Charan Gill, a leader for farmworker’s rights in BC, passed away on February 2 at the age of 84 after battling cancer. Gill, an Order of British Columbia recipient and founder of PICS (Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society), had an illustrious career but it was his humble beginnings as a farmworker organizer in the 1970s and 80s where his legacy as a human rights advocate and community leader began. “He leaves behind a remarkable legacy, a legacy of compassion and reaching out to those who needed help,” says Raj Chouhan, speaker of the Legislative Assembly who co-founded the Canadian Farmworkers Union with Gill in 1980. Chouhan rst met Gill in 1978. At that time, Chouhan and some friends had been thinking about how to help farmworkers who were facing poor working and living conditions. In 1979, they formed the Farmworkers Organizing Committee and then, in April 1980, the Canadian Farmworkers Union. Chouhan was founding president and Gill the secretary-treasurer. The early days of the CFU were spent raising awareness about the plight of farmworkers and organizing collective agreements in the Fraser Valley. “We went out and talked to the farmers and community leaders, to make sure that workers were not exploited. At the same time, we were organizing, signing them up as members of the CFU and continuing public awareness to make sure that people understood the working conditions,” says Chouhan. As they worked to raise awareness for farmworkers, many of whom were South Asian immigrants, the racism that they witnessed and experienced led them to create the BC Organization to Fight Racism in 1980, where Gill was president. Chouhan wants Gill to be remembered as someone who remained authentically himself. “Although he was serious about ghting for issues like racism and human rights, he also knew how to live and enjoy life. He was just original; he never pretended to be dierent than he was,” he says. Early days Charanpal Singh Gill was born in 1936 in Hong Kong. His family returned to India in 1938 when he was two years old. Gill went on to obtain his Master’s degree in Punjabi from Punjab University in 1959. In his twenties, Gill returned to Hong Kong and worked in banking for six years before immigrating to Canada in 1967. Upon arriving in Canada, Charan worked in a sawmill in Williams Lake but broke his wrist in an accident. He served as a social worker for northern small communities based out of Prince Rupert. In 1969, he was able to sponsor his wife and children to join him in Canada. In 1973, he moved his family to the Fraser Valley. “I think the workers of this province and visible minorities are enjoying better rights as a result of Charanpal Gill,” said BC labour minister Harry Bains. Bains rst met Gill in the 1970s and says that his work was the foundation of BC’s current labour laws for farmers. “His eorts bore fruit in the 1990s. When the government came in 1991, farmers for the rst time were recognized under the Employment Standards Act, with minimum wage, overtime and piece rates being applied to them. They were also recognized under the Workers Compensation Act, to provide them the protection for the health and safety of workplaces.” One of the organizations that helped make that happen was AgSafe, a partnership between the CFU, BC Federation of Agriculture and WorkSafeBC. It was established in 1993 as the Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association (FARSHA). It revamped its governance structure last year, in part, because of concerns about the future of the CFU. Bob Sidhu, a CFU representative, says that Gill had talked about wrapping up the CFU in 2019. Discussions were to happen last summer, but with the pandemic and his declining health, the talks never happened. With Gill’s passing, Sidhu says there’s a possibility the CFU will dissolve. Nina Hansen, another representative for the CFU, worked alongside Gill on the AgSafe board of directors up until last summer. She says that Gill was a voice for farm workers at important tables like AgSafe. “It was really, really hard for us to lose the battle as far as losing the ability to have workers at the table at AgSafe last year,” she says. “But Charan fought for that right; he was an advocate for the rights of people up until the end.”
18 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby PETER MITHAM FERNIE – BC farmers markets in the Rockies could legally begin welcoming Alberta vendors this year if the BC Association of Farmers Markets approves a special resolution at its annual general meeting this month. The association, which represents more than 145 markets across the province, held an online information session to consider the change on February 10. The resolution, drafted with the advice of legal rm Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, would allow qualied extra-provincial food vendors at markets near the Alberta border. The permission would permit Alberta-based food vendors to operate at the markets “in order to increase food access for Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon participants and other market shoppers.” The vendors must be located within 300 km of the markets where they sell. BCAFM executive director Heather O’Hara and president Vickey Brown as well as lawyer Mick Blatchford answered questions from voting members during the meeting. The resolution reects concerns BCAFM members have raised over the past two years. Some markets in the Kootenays have found themselves in contravention of BCAFM rules following a review of membership bylaws in 2018. The bylaws began requiring that all vendors be based in BC, and the loss of Alberta vendors meant the markets also missed a requirement that 51% of their vendors sell food. Elkford and Sparwood markets both left the association over the issue. “They had to make the dicult decision to keep their vendors and lose their BCAFM membership,” association president Vickey Brown told members last year. Other markets also faced tough decisions. Dawn Deydey, cofounder of the Mountain Market in Fernie, said local corn comes from Alberta, a 45-minute drive away. “We’re trying to nd a way that we can still be a legal member within the BCAFM and still get this local food,” she told last year’s meeting. Deydey said having food vendors at markets, particularly in the Kootenays, was essential to operating the BC Farmers Markets Nutrition Coupon Program in local communities. While there were some initial concerns that the government funding behind the program might limit the program to BC vendors, the benets have widely been said to outweigh the concerns at the four to six markets that would be aected. A poll of members at last year’s AGM directed the BCAFM executive to canvass the membership on a bylaw amendment and expedite a recommendation for consideration at this year’s annual meeting. Deydey is excited to see that happening. “Considering all the challenges COVID threw at farmers' markets this year, it's incredible that the BCAFM was able to move this forward,” she says. “There are just a few farmers markets that are close to the Alberta border that this will aect, but it will make a big dierence in our ability to support farmers in bringing more locally grown food into our communities.” Online markets pondered A resolution permitting Alberta vendors is not the only change BCAFM members will consider at their annual general meeting, which will be closed to guests this year. They’ll also be asked to approve a change to permit online markets, a move that reects both current practice and broaden the membership to include those markets which operate online stores. The change fulls a vision voiced at previous meetings. Two years ago in Kimberley, Heather O’Hara asked members to consider how to accommodate online markets under the BCAFM umbrella in order to be a go-to source of local food online as well as in communities. “It would be a strengthening exercise,” O’Hara said of accommodating online markets. “I’m worried about us losing our markets if we don’t innovate.” With the arrival of COVID-19 last year, online food sales surged. Provincial funding of $55,000 covered the set-up fees for 70 markets that wanted an online sales system. Vancity credit union provided funding to cover the fees for an additional 30 markets. The funding has been extended to cover fees for participating markets through this year. Moreover, some markets operated exclusively online last year because local regulations prohibited physical markets. But markets that operate solely online are not permitted by BCAFM bylaws. Both resolutions will require a two-thirds vote by eligible voting members at the annual general meeting, scheduled for March 2. With les from Barbara Johnstone Grimmer Markets consider allowing Alberta vendorsResolution to support markets in Kootenays will be considered at AGM in early MarchYOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comYOURHelping YouHelpingpingplpingYoulHHpingoeM NEWSATESSign up for FREE today.Spring FarmEquipmentAuction Preview:March 22nd - 25th@Heritage ParkChilliwack2015 JCB TM320 - 3000hrs!SellingOnline now until March 26Case 125 Maxxumbeekmanauctions.com John Deere 8200Bid Online Now!100's of great pieces of equipment!
Ranchers plead with province to address elk issueFeed, forage losses are costing ranchers hundreds of thousands The BC Cattlemen’s Association is asking that ranchers be compensated for 100% of the costs resulting from the losses due to elk damage under the BC Agriculture Wildlife Program. WAYNE RAY, SMITH CREEK RANCHCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 19 April 10April 10, 2 202021 1 46th Annual Vanderhoof All Breeds Bull Sale April 15 & 16,April 15 & 16, 2 2021 84th Annual Williams Lake Bull Show & Sale BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 25050-69999-6466466 BCHA President John Lewis 25050-21818-253537 British Columbia Have you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops or Webinarsare Free!Looking to learn moreabout how to raisehealthy beef cattle?Open to producers of allsizes!free to all beef producersin bc!Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333by TOM WALKER KAMLOOPS – Ranchers are asking the province to tighten management of elk populations as the ungulates become an increasing nuisance to agriculture. “We believe that elk populations are growing in certain regions,” says Elaine Stovin, assistant general manager with the BC Cattlemen’s Association. Vanderhoof rancher and wildlife biologist Olin Albertson with the Nechako Regional Cattlemen’s Association agrees. “We have certainly seen an increase in our area,” he says. “I can have up to 150 on my place at any one time and we now see herds of up to 300 crossing the highway. That wasn’t the case when I moved here in 2005.” Sta with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development have conducted surveys in selected areas but a province-wide elk count has never happened, meaning no one knows how much of a problem elk really are or whether it’s getting worse. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” says Albertson. Regional groups such as cattlemen’s associations or wildlife groups have taken it upon themselves to conduct local surveys, but that is not the same as a science-based inventory. Elk are nocturnal animals. You can nd them moving at dawn and dusk, and they feed primarily at night. Elk know where they are safe and can feed, Albertson points out, and over time the animals have become habituated to grazing on farm land. “Agriculture areas tend to have less predators so the elk will gather in farmers’ elds,” he says. Herd activity is the key problem. Elk are the second-largest member of the deer family after moose, but unlike the solitary moose they live together in herds. When you combine herd behaviour with grazing that clips plants close to the ground and sharp hooves that gouge the soil, a herd of elk can have a signicant negative impact on a farmer’s eld. BC Cattlemen’s primary concern is the impact elk have on private lands but it is also worried about Crown range as well, an important source of grazing land for ranchers. While elk pose minimal threat to range in the summer when plants are well-established, Albertson says it’s dierent in newly planted elds. When elk get into a eld with fresh sprouts, their browsing can stunt forage growth signicantly. And if it is wet, their hooves do further damage to the young plants. “When the forage is actively growing, there is not too much loss from grazing,” he says. “[But] if they get into a newly planted eld, particularly with our fall rains, they can trample plants and will actually pull up the entire young plant when they are feeding and kill it.” That is frustrating for ranchers who know to wait until a pasture can handle the impact of animals before turning cows out. “If they get onto a pasture in early spring, that can really impact your grazing rotations,” he says. There is also a risk of winter damage. “Our snow cover is not as deep or as consistent as it used to be,” says Albertson. “The elk have gotten into my alfalfa and it looks like a moonscape. If there is a freeze and thaw cycle, the roots can actually snap.” Haystacks ruined Winter is also the time that elk can do extensive damage to a farmer’s stored feed supply. “This is the biggest measurable damage,” says Albertson. “A herd of 150 elk can do serious damage to a haystack even overnight.” What hay the elk don’t eat they will trample, crush while bedding down in it and poison from defecation and urination. Impacted hay cannot even be used for bedding other animals. Wrap oers no protection to bales. The bulls tear the plastic with See ELK on next page o
Cattlemen are asking the government to open up more areas for elk hunting or, at the very least, to allow specic limited-entry hunts in areas under heavy pressure from elk populations. WAYNE RAY, SMITH CREEK RANCHELK nfrom pg 1920 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCtheir antlers. There’s also a concern about how high elk numbers may impact the animal unit months ranchers are allowed in a range plan based on available forage if the combination of cattle and elk numbers exceed the carrying capacity of the land. Stovin says there’s real fear that the province may require ranchers to reduce the number of animals they can place on Crown range. Ongoing issue BC Cattlemen’s have asked the province for years to address the elk issue. “In our second letter to the government, in the fall of 2019, we again called on the province to actively manage wildlife populations in a manner with a goal of minimal impacts on private lands,” says Stovin. A key part of a management strategy would be to open more areas for hunting, cattlemen believe. “We believe they should open up all management units to both bull and cow elk hunts,” says Stovin. The Nechako Regional Cattlemen’s Association has coordinated limited-entry hunts on private ranches as have ranchers in the Skeena region. Houston rancher Linda Dykens thinks hunting provides enough pressure that when combined with a stackyard fencing program, the elk move on. “We are asking that the government provide funding for a stackyard fencing program across the entire province,” says Stovin. The BC Cattlemen’s Association is asking the province provide funding for a provincial stackyard fencing program. “I know some guys who have lost 20 to 30 ton of hay out of their stackyards from elk in one winter,” says Linda Dykens with the Pleasant Valley Cattlemen’s Association in Houston. “That can get pretty expensive at up to $200 a ton.” Dykens has been able to coordinate a stackyard fencing program for ranchers in the Skeena region. A committee of Skeena ranchers went to the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development with numbers of elk and the cost of losses and asked for support. “I have put in applications on behalf of ranchers. They tell me what materials they will need and FLNRORD has supplied the posts and the wire,” says Dykens. The in-kind support helps, but it’s still a lot of work for the rancher. The 12-foot posts are dicult to put into the ground and the eight-foot welded game fence is very heavy, but it protects the hay. “So far, we have been able to help 32 producers to protect their feed,” notes Dykens. “I gure that we have saved $300,000 in lost feed costs over the last four years just by fencing our own stackyard.” “We need the government to step up and help out with hay-yard fencing across the province,” says Vanderhoof rancher and wildlife biologist Olin Albertson. Dykens agrees. “We pay to graze our cattle on Crown land but the Crown is not paying us anything when we feed their elk on our land,” she says. —Tom WalkerFencing program protects hay2021 BULL POWERBC LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS Proudly Supporting BC Ranching Since 1943Tom & Lynn Oldeld Online Equipment AuctionONLINE SALE RUNS March 10th -10:00am until March 12th -12:00pmREGISTER ONLINE https://bclivestock.nextlot.com/public/ )":*/(&26*1.&/5t*33*("5*0/&26*1.&/5t#"-&'&&%&34t1"/&-4t.*4$500-4www.bclivestock.bc.caKamloops Head Oce: 250.573.3939 Fax: firstname.lastname@example.orgFEBRUARY 27 KAMLOOPS Pine Butte Horned Hereford & RRTS Charolaiswww.bclivestock.nextlot.com/publicMARCH 26/27 TIMED ONLINE Red Moon Anguswww.bclivestock.nextlot.com/publicAPRIL 1/2 TIMED ONLINE Continental Connection Pinnacle View Limousinwww.bclivestock.nextlot.com/publicAPRIL 3 WILLIAMS LAKE Best Bet Bull Sale Mitchell Cattle Co. & GuestOnline Bidding with DLMSAPRIL 10 VANDERHOOF 46th Annual All Breeds Bull SaleOnline Bidding with DLMSAPRIL 15/16 WILLIAMS LAKE 84th Annual Bull SaleOnline Bidding with DLMSAPRIL 19 OKANAGAN FALLS All Breeds Bull Salewww.bclivestock.nextlot.com/publicFOLLOW US for Sales & Event UpdatesKAMLOOPSDarrell Comazzetto250.319.3992WILLIAMS LAKEWade McNolty250.398.0429OKANAGAN FALLSShawn Carter250.490.5809VANDERHOOFMike Pritchard250.524.0681PROVINCE WIDEAl Smith250.570.2143NEXT LOTElysia Penner250.570.1415VISIT OUR WEB PAGE for NEW Sales DatesEquipment can be viewed March 4 & 5 from 9am - 3pm | 4240 Eldon Frontage Road Tappen, BCLARRY JORDAN 250.319.0872tWAYNE JORDAN 250.319.0873John Deere 6200L c/w 640 Loader - Quick Attach, 83 HP, 4WD, Open Station, 3PTH, 6’ Bucket t1-64."/:.03&*5&.4t
The new BC Beef brand should be ready to roll out later this spring. TOM WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 21PROVINCIAL LIVESTOCK FENCING PROGRAMApplications Close: August 31, 2021View program updates at cattlemen.bc.ca/fencing.htmOce: 1.778.412.7000 Toll Free: 1.866.398.2848email: email@example.com In partnership with:“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 firstname.lastname@example.org TOM WALKER FALKLAND – Work continues on establishing a BC Beef brand at the leased plant in Falkland. “Things are picking up,” says Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “People tell me Rome wasn’t built in a day. Well, we’re just trying to get a plant going.” BC Beef Producers Inc. was incorporated late last year and producers have been able to purchase shares since just before Christmas. “We are starting to see some good interest, and I’m pretty positive we will have things in line when we are ready to go,” Boon says. Boon emphasises that this is a unique opportunity. “We are building a brand here, we are not building a packing plant,” he explains. “We have the opportunity to lease the KML plant and use it as a tool to build our BC Beef brand. It gives us the chance to get up and running at a very reduced shareholder cost. We will never get an opportunity like this again.” There are three key elements necessary for the venture to succeed and Boon believes all of those are in place. “We need a constant ready supply of cows and we have those animals here in BC,” he says. It might take a bit for producers to adjust their herd management, Boon acknowledges, but at this time they are not looking to have any feeding services. But this might change. “We are looking at a fed program down the road, which will give us the opportunity to add value and support an expansion of our feeding industry,” he says. Retailers have indicated that they want BC beef. “We have lots of interest from retail,” says Boon. “They are just waiting until we have a steady supply lined up.” And all of that is being led by a very experienced manager. “It was such an opportunity to be able to hire Mark Ishoy,” says Boon. “Mark knows both the processing and the marketing sides of the business. He has experience marketing 100 million pounds of beef a year. That’s a lot of hamburgers.” Approximately 50 animals will arrive at the plant the afternoon before slaughter, Boon explains. This will allow them to relax overnight. “That is a major factor in being able to reduce the stress for the animals,” he says. “They will be held overnight and those 50 cows will be waiting to go through the plant the next morning. “ Boon says they have been able to do a number of test runs to assess the plant, thanks to an allocation of about 100 animals from early investors. “We are able to pause now and upgrade the things we have identied,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity to get the plant fully tooled up ahead of time, so we are not starting and stopping production.” Among the improvements are raising the rail to accommodate some of the larger Holstein cows dairy producers will be sending. The plant is also lining up workers. “We are working with an employment agency who tell us they can get the workers that we need,” says Boon. BC Beef has been approached by outside investors but intends to be a producer-owned operation for the foreseeable future. “We have set this out to be a producer-owned operation,” says Boon. “They will have the vote and it gives them the opportunity to make decisions on what they might do to bring a better product to the consumer.” Boon says the plant aims to be in full production by May 1. Falkland beef plant finetuning operationsBC Beef plans to be fully operational by May 1YOURHelping YouYOURHelping YouHelpilpingYoulHHelpingoDon’t forget to RENEW your subscription toCountry Lifein BCLittle & Large, Local & Long, Europe & N. AmericaPort to Dealer, Farm to Farm & Anything in Between
District A sets ambitious agenda No shortage of issues to debateRaquel Kolof is the new president of the District A Farmers Institute. She raises Dexter cattle, Berkshire pigs, Oberhaslo goats, Beltsville Small turkeys and meat birds on the Sunshine Coast. SUBMITTED PHOTO22 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER COOMBS – District A Farmers Institute held its annual general meeting via videoconference January 17 with members present from all over Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands. Key issues identied as a focus for 2021 include slaughter modernization, housing exibility within the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Water Sustainability Act. A follow-up meeting in February added farm insurance costs, right-to-farm and mandatory Premises ID as additional issues to address. Outgoing president Janet Thony emphasized that the two most impactful issues to address are legislative changes regarding the ALR and the “critical absence of slaughter capacity and inaction on the rural slaughter modernization intentions paper.” Communication with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries during the COVID-19 pandemic was also on most delegates’ radar. “The provincial farmers institutes’ delegates meeting was not held last year, and the ministry did not oer up any alternative ways to communicate with them,” notes Thony in her report. District A members agreed to push for a meeting with the minister, as well as a provincial meeting of all institutes in the province. Pandemic impacts District A institutes reported signicant impacts of COVID-19 on meetings, auctions and fall fairs, among other activities. Most mentioned that COVID-19 encouraged people to start farming. District A continues to serve on the Coastal Invasive Species Committee’s board of directors. Thony announced that a pilot project will assist in addressing invasive species management on farms through farm eld days. Prior to the elections, Thony stepped down after serving as president of District A for ve years, passing the torch to Raquel Kolof, president of the Sunshine Coast Farmers Institute (SCFI). Kolof moved to the Sunshine Coast following a career in education and now operates Hough Heritage Farm in Gibsons. She is a founding member of the SCFI, which formed in 2018. District A board of directors also includes vice-president Alan Rebane, president of Powell River Farmers Institute; treasurer Kathy Millar, Cowichan Agricultural Society and Farmers Institute; secretary Kate Paterson, president of Galiano Farmers Institute; director Lisa Aylard, of the Port Alberni Farmers Institute; and director Ben Glassen of the Coombs Farmers’ Institute. District A Farmers Institute includes 11 farmers institutes from Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast. 6,000 sq/ft Luxury Estate Home on 20 Treed Acrest#FE#BUI8JOUPO#VJMU)PNFt)FBUFE$BS(BSBHFt)ZESPOJDIFBUJOHXPPEt*O&YDMVTJWF4QJVT&TUBUFTMerritt, BC $1,590,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Stone Ridge Meadow Luxury Horse RanchtCFECBUI$PMPOJBM)PNFt"DSFTXJUIMBLFWJFXTtTRGUDVTUPNIPSTFCBSOt5XPHBSBHFTYYFort St. John, BC $1,725,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Moose Meadow Ranch ] 452 Acres ] Hazelton, BC #ESN)PNFr)BZr5JNCFSr)JHI:JFME4PJMBC’s Lifestyle Properties>Call 604.491.1060 email@example.com www.theBestDealsinBC.comMeadow View Lodge 16 Bed B&B / Hobby Farmt7JFX"DSFTXJUI$SFFLt.BJO)PVTF#FE#BUIt#FESPPN#VOLIPVTFt,ZS3FWFOVF1SPQFSUZ'PSU4U+BNFT#$$679,000Call/Txt Linda 604.997.5399tCFECBUI.PEFSO3BODIFSt4UPOFGJSFQMBDFCBZ(BSBHFt9GFODFE#BSO8JSFE4IPQt5BDLTIPQ#BMFTZFBS2VFTOFM#$Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.539826 Acre Horse Lovers Acreage with Hay Fields t#SBOE/FX#FE.PEVMBSt1SJWBUF5SFFE(BSEFOTt1BWFE3EYTIPQTIFEt2VJFU#PVDIJF-BLF"SFB 2VFTOFM#$Call/Txt Linda 604.997.5399t&BTZ"MBTLB)XZ"DDFTTt'FSUJMF4PJM5JNCFS7BMVFt"CVOEBOUXBUFSTVQQMZt.JOBLFS3JWFSGSPOUBHF"MBTLB)XZ#$ $315,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398200 Acres Cultivated 3 Tons Hay Per Cutt"DSFTQSJWBUFTVOEFDLTtCESNCBUI37QBSLJOHt$PMESPPNHSFFOIPVTFt8PPEGJSFIPUUVCTUPSBHF$MVDVM[-BLF#$Call/Txt Sabine 778.363.2750tTRGU#ESNTCBUIt-PH(B[FCPHBSEFOt'VMM4FSWJDF37-PUTt$VSSFOUMZSVOBT&DP-PEHF-JLFMZ#$ Call/Txt Linda 604.997.53993 Bed Waterfront Home on .44 Acres Cluculz Lake4.7 Landscaped Acres with a 6 Bedroom Home 151 Riverfront Acres Good Soil/Water/Timber 37 Acres New Modular24x24 Shop & Garage
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DIRECT voice nfrom page 2324 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCa special interest group.” The third clause Thony mentioned was 21, which enables government to give institutes allowances. “It’s unfortunately been ignored by government for decades. I’ve asked the question, when did the grants to institutes stop, and I haven’t received the answer,” she says. While government funding would be helpful, Thony gave recommendations that will improve the chance of success for institutes like Langley, which are looking for ideas to excel. Reducing volunteer burnout is important to Thony and she says eliminating monthly meetings makes a dierence. Coombs has only two meetings a year: a March AGM and a November recap meeting. “We have standing committees, we have an executive board,” she says. “We do a ton of communicating, of course, by email and phone.” While burnout isn’t currently an issue for the Langley institute, COVID-19 and other events in 2020 led to transitions. Megan Dykeman successfully ran as MLA for Langley East, resulting in her departure as president. She was succeeded by Barb Pearson of Early Bird Family Farm. “We got ourselves back together and feel that we are working at a great pace here to try to bring representation to the Langley area,” says Pearson. She and John Caldarella of Caldarella Family Tree Farm will be part of the Langley Township farm task force and the institute will also be included in the township’s agricultural advisory and economic enhancement committee. “We are going to have a voice directly to the township,” Pearson says. Thony notes that involvement in local politics is important. “If we don’t take the time to engage in stakeholder engagement opportunities that the government oers us, we’re the ones that have dropped the ball,” she says. Above all, she suggests institutes focus on being visible and, if events are hosted, they should be fun, oer a key benet and attract a variety of people. “Develop signature events that are of interest to a broad spectrum of people,” she says. Agricultural Grade Products - Made in the U.S.A. Contact your local Nelson Irrigation dealer today!THE ORIGINAL BIG GUN®TWIG® Wireless Automation Systems (Approved for Canada) Rotator® Sprinklers for Center PivotsRotator® Sprinklers for Field & Orchard CropsIrrigation Control ValvesNEW HANGINGSPRINKLER SOLVESPROBLEMS FORORGANIC GROWERS15-50 PSI8.5-75 GPH9-16’ RAD.Introducing the S7 Spinner - a new Nelson innovation designed to combatrising energy and labor costs. The S7’s modular design allows quick and easynozzle exchange - and the Quick Clean (QC) technology reduces irrigatorhours — simply turn, ﬂush and reconnect. Special insect protection helpsprevent plugging or stalling. Find out more at WWW.NELSONIRRIGATION.COMEverlastingSerina Collbeck cradles an armful of dried owers from last year’s garden. Serina and husband Ian operate Red Roof Family Farm in Lake Country. MYRNA STARK LEADER
KEEPING EVERYONE SAFE. The Carlson family of Carcajou Fruit Co. in Summerland employed strict COVID-19 protocols early on to keep their families and workers safe. Many of those protocols will continue after the pandemic ends. CARCAJOU FRUIT CO.Fruitgrower didn’t have a single COVID-19 case last summerCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 25Farm and Rural Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC CandidateAppraiser250.firstname.lastname@example.orgIrrigation Pipe | Traveling Gun/Hose ReelsPivots | Pumps | Power UnitsCall for a quote on Irrigation Design and our current inventory of new & used Irrigation Equipment.Several used 1,200ft pivots & used hose reels available now.TALK TO BROCK 250.319.3044Dynamic Irrigation email@example.com by TOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – Carcajou Fruit Co. is a 160-acre family business that typically hires 60 domestic workers to pick their cherries over a six-week period each summer. But the COVID-19 pandemic last summer changed the labour game for the family-owned orchard. While the farm was lucky to receive 13 foreign workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the farm’s human resources manager and COVID-19 coordinator Claire Tamang gave growers attending the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association’s short course at the end of January tips on managing domestic workers during the pandemic. “In the past, we have been able to recruit backpackers, both from overseas and eastern Canada,” says Tamang. With the border closed to non-essential travel and interprovincial travel discouraged, Carcajou was forced to look closer to home for harvest help. Carcajou has a colourful, friendly website where workers can apply. There are short descriptions of the jobs, working conditions and benets. “We were able to attract a number of local restaurant workers who had been laid o,” says Tamang. “They had accommodation in the area and transport, so that was positive for us, and we paid them for travelling time.” Carcajou was also able to hire a number of tree planters whose season usually runs from April to June. “They are used to piecework and they already had experience living in a COVID-safe camp,” says Tamang. Unlike for foreign workers, farmers aren’t required to provide housing for seasonal domestic workers such as backpackers, but it’s no secret that good picker camps attract the best workers. For out-of-town workers, Carcajou has three separate picker camps. It charges workers $5 a day, which covers the cost of tent platforms, fully equipped kitchen shelters, washroom and laundry facilities, lockers, WiFi and a full-time cleaner. In 2020, anyone who used their own vehicle to drive themselves and others to the orchards did not pay the $5 daily camp fee. This is a signicant improvement over some camps that spring up in orchards over the summer. But Carcajou had expectations of pickers in return. “We are not a party camp,” says Tamang, noting that long-standing policies remained in place. “We don’t allow pets or outside visitors; this is our home, too. We needed people to stay put.” All workers completed the AgSafe COVID-19 awareness training rst, then attended a mandatory orientation session that set out Carcajou’s expectations. “We ended up having a lot of rst-year pickers,” says Tamang. “They weren’t as fast as some of our backpacker crews, but they were happy to have work and abide by our expectations.” Employees were grouped in work units of ve that would live, eat and travel to the orchards together. They would self-assess each morning, mask-up in close situations, use sanitizing stations as they entered the orchard and refrain from mixing with other groups. If there was a pause in the harvest, workers weren’t to be picking up jobs at neighbouring farms. “If they wanted extra work on a Saturday we found something for them to do,” says Tamang. And there were to be none of the usual summer bush parties. “We were strict, but we gured the risk of a shut-down from COVID and not being able to bring in our highly perishable crop far outweighed replacing a worker,” explains Tamang. “It helped that someone else was making the rules, but we expect that we will continue most of our routines in future summers.” Four workers had to self-isolate while waiting for test results and received isolation pay, but there wasn’t a single case of COVID among Carcajou sta the entire summer. Retaining travelling summer help can be challenging, so Carcajou pays what it calls a “bitter-end bonus” of 2-4 cents a pound for workers who stay the entire season. “We would often have pickers who would take the last week o to head to the beach before going back to school,” says Tamang. “But most of our crop are late season cherries that we pick right up till the end of August.” Even so, there was still time for fun. “We had someone volunteer to be the social director and they organized beach days and we had our usual year-end party, though it was not the traditional blow out,” says Tamang. Two chefs among the pickers were hired to cater a take-out bowl party and there was a musician, but employees stayed in their work units. “We didn’t want to be the source of an exposure right at the end of our season,” says Tamang. “Workers packed up their camps and were on the road the next morning.” Strict pandemic plan keeps workers safe
26 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC*Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer based on the purchase of eligible equipment defined in promotional program. Additional fees may apply. Pricing, payments and models may vary by dealer. Customers must take delivery prior to the end of the program period. Some customers will not qualify. Some restrictions apply. Financing subject to credit approval. Offer available on new equipment only. Pricing and rebates in CAD dollars. Prior purchases are not eligible. Offer valid only at participating Dealers. Offer subject to change without notice. See your dealer for details. © 2020 Daedong-Canada, Inc. Kioti Canada.Timberstar Tractor Vernon B.C. 250-545-5441 Harbour City EquipmentDuncan B.C. 778-422-3376Matsqui Ag RepairAbbotsford B.C. 604-826-3281 Rangeland Equipment LtdCranbrook B.C. 250-426-0600 Northern Acreage SupplyPrince George B.C. 250-596-22730%FinancingCASHBack OffersUnlimited HourPowertrain Warranty
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 27Growers face up to labour challengesHiring and retention tips shared in several recent webinarsby TOM WALKER KELOWNA – All signs point to this being a dicult year to nd farm workers, and several recent webinars have addressed the topic of recruiting and retaining on-farm help. “We expect that this will be a dicult year for nding farm labour,” says BC Fruit Growers Association president Pinder Dhaliwal, who introduced a webinar on best practices for seasonal workers BCFGA hosted on January 19. “Last year was tight, even with a much smaller cherry crop due to the weather. But there is signicant acreage in new plantings coming on this year and if we have good weather, we are going to need a lot more help to harvest that cherry crop.” Dhaliwal points out that despite the impact COVID-19 has had on the tourism sector, unemployment numbers in the Okanagan are some of the lowest in Canada. “You are going to compete with a lot of other employers for local help,” says Dhaliwal. Four types There are four key types of employees for farmers in BC: local workers from the community, workers from across Canada and internationally (often referred to as backpackers) and workers sourced through two government international worker programs – the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. TFW participants can come from any country and stay for up to two years, while SAWP participants hail from Mexico and the Caribbean with a maximum stay of eight months. All four categories have their strengths and weaknesses, but all require similar eorts from an employer to recruit, retain and manage. Attracting and keeping workers has several steps, as presenters explained during the labour session of the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course at the end of January. First you need a plan, then you need to recruit and retain those workers, and you need to manage them. “Smart businesses take the time to invest in their workers,” says Jennifer Wright, who oversees human resource management initiatives for the Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council. See JOBS next page oWe are BC’s only brokerage devoted 100% to agricultural real estate. If you are thinking of selling or looking to buy farm or acreage property big or small, trust our experts in the eld.With 200+ years combined experience, industry connections and rst hand farming knowledge, our team gets the job firstname.lastname@example.org | 1-888-852-AGRI (2474)Time to tapEvelyn Olsen and her canine companion check the sap ow in the sugar bush at Collins Farm in Port Alberni. BOB COLLINS
JOBS nfrom pg 2728 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCAHRC’s most recent report on the labour market outlook for agriculture indicated the sector had the highest job vacancy rate in the country in 2017 at 5.4%. In BC, the vacancy rate was the worst in the country at 8%. “Those unlled vacancies in BC cost the farming industry $216 million a year,” says Wright. Take time Taking time to describe the requirements for a job helps employers understand the kind of worker a recruitment campaign needs. The description also provides a standard for determining whether or not the worker is measuring up and what areas they may need help with. This is ultimately useful in gauging whether or not they’ll stay. An attractive ad will help attract local workers, advises Wright. The basic “farm help wanted” is not going to be successful. CAHRC has extensive online resources, particularly templates, that can help a farm with its hiring needs. The process need not be too formal, but it does require a good deal of communication, Wright stressed. Workers through the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker program usually nd their own accommodation. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program workers need to be provided with housing, and it must pass muster with a licensed provincial housing inspector. Comfortable housing has been an issue for SAWP workers in the past, says BC agriculture minister Lana Popham. “We have seen right across the country that housing is an issue. Everywhere, when it is bad it is bad, and we have certain standards that we expect and when they are not being met we need to gure out how to x that,” she says. Popham says the province is pledging funding for upgrades to worker housing. She did not provide details. “It is easy to say this and it is not easy to do it, but we have to do it,” says Popham. “We shouldn’t expect people to live in housing that we would not live in ourselves. That is the bottom line.” Popham adds that the province has also arranged to quarantine all incoming foreign workers, covering the cost of accommodation, meals and laundry. The arrangement is costing an average of $3,000 per worker. Recent changes to federal rules mean incoming foreign workers must also provide proof of a negative COIVD-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival. Ottawa has also announced that they’ll be required to pass a second test on arrival, and provided with a test kit for a third and nal check prior to leaving quarantine. For employers considering SAWP for the rst time, BCFGA general manager Glen Lucas notes that it might not be suitable for a small farm that only needs a worker for several short periods of time. “However, you are able to share a worker with another farm,” he says. “You are allowed one transfer to another farm and then back again.” Lucas explains that a worker could be at a cherry farm for harvest, move to an apple farm for harvest and then return to the cherry grower for pruning. —Tom WalkerTHE NEW6M SERIESDIGITAL CORNER POST DISPLAYAt-a-glance access to engine RPMs and PTO values - and now with AutoTrac™ hands-free steering system - all on the same display!LOADER JOYSTICK OPTIONS + PowrReverserWe kept the mechanical joystick used in our previous model tractors, but if you’re looking to up your loader game, check out the optional electronic loader joystick available on both the armrest and compact CommandARM. Both have the PowrReverser button for hands-free direction changes.INFINITELY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (IVT™)Match your speed precisely to your job. Run as slow as 0.05 km/h up to 40 km/h. Or any speed in-between. All seamlessly and precisely. NOW AVAILABLE FACTORY-INSTALLED ON 6110M TO 6140M TRACTORS. TOLL FREE: 1-877-553-3373 WWW.PRAIRIECOASTEQUIPMENT.COMPRINCE GEORGE 250-561-4260 | KAMLOOPS 250-573-4412 | KELOWNA 250-765-9765 | CHILLIWACK 604-792-1516 | NANAIMO 778-441-3210Housing key for SAWP workersMYRNA STARK LEADER
Alexis Szarek has moved her oriculture business and tulip festival from the Fraser Valley to Spallumcheen in the North Okanagan. SUBMITTED COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 29Sunflowers planned for 2021 in advance of tulips in ‘22“Serving British Columbia proudly since 1946”Machinery LimitedROLLINS RToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.comChilliack 1.800.242.9737 | 44725 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 | 21869 - 56th Ave Chemainus 1.250-246.1203 | 3306 Smiley RdChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 126.96.36.1993 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.com email@example.comYou’ve tried the rest.Now try the BEST.by JACKIE PEARASE NORTH OKANAGAN – A four-year floral tradition in Abbotsford is laying new roots in Spallumcheen. Alexis Szarek, founder of Bloom, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival, was dealt a double blow last year – the pandemic closed down the 2020 event and the 50 acres of land she leased for the event was sold. “We were hit pretty hard by COVID last year. We had to close four weeks before we were set to open. We had put out quite a bit of costs and expenses last year,” Szarek says. The loss of an entire field of tulip bulbs due to flooding in 2019 and the high cost of land in the Fraser Valley left Szarek and her husband Marc looking elsewhere to relocate and regrow the festival. The couple, who have a 15-month-old daughter and are expecting another child in May, moved in November to 10 acres they purchased north of Armstrong on Salmon River Road. In Abbotsford, people could see 2.5 million tulips planted over 10 acres. The new event will be smaller in scope by necessity. “Up here, whatever we do will be smaller just because the demographic we’re pulling from is smaller. We have enough land to get started on our property but for the tulips, we’ll likely need to find some other land to lease,” Szarek notes. “Even if there is capacity for us to grow and be larger, we are starting smaller and growing here in the Okanagan.” A solid land base is required to allow for planting rotation, which is critical to growing good tulips, says Szarek. While a new festival will be smaller, the tulip density of 250,000 per acre will remain constant. Szarek is still working out the details but she expects to plant 20 to 30 tulip varieties for spring 2022. “With the pandemic, there’s just a lot of uncertainty about what’s possible and what’s safe. So there will be a tulip festival in 2022. We hope to start with sunflowers later this summer but, of course, it’s pandemic pending,” she says. “Sticking with the flower theme, we could do a nice sunflower festival before the fall hits for people. Whether they’re visiting the Okanagan or whether they live here, it’s just nice to get outside.” Szarek earns a living from festival admissions supplemented by some u-pick, cut flower and bulb sales. Local industr y Fellow floriculturist Nadine Charlton of Blumen Fields Flower Farm in Enderby is excited to see the increase in the number of flower growers in the Okanagan. She hopes Szarek’s enterprise will enhance the local industry. “My hope is that the publicity that the tulip festival will generate will bring attention to the fact that flowers are being grown commercially right here in the Okanagan,” says Charlton. “Once people are aware, they might start asking why flowers aren’t being grown here in the first place. That’s what I’m looking for. Then we can get the conversation started about why buying locally produced flowers is so important.” Welcome addition Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce executive director Patti Noonan says Szarek’s business is a welcome addition to the region. Noonan says local agri-tourism has grown substantially in the past decade and that includes several floriculturists. “Agritourism, including floriculture, is only going to continue growing. Most are already established farms; they are just beginning to explore farm stands or farm storefronts and the opportunity to offer their product in collaboration with local businesses,” she adds. “With some of the restrictions on flights, which in turn affects imports, I feel there will be higher demand for local floriculture. Most florists are experiencing a product shortage due to this.” Noonan expects the tulip festival to have many positive impacts for the community and other businesses. She sees opportunities to use the event to better promote the community, events and activities to visitors. “We see this as a win for our communities,” she says. “It will help us retain our existing businesses during this challenging time and give them an opportunity to expand if they wish. It may also attract some new businesses although we will be focusing on supporting our existing businesses to use this event as an opportunity for them to succeed as well.” Tulip festival to bloom again in Spallumcheen
30 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTRACTOR TIMEVICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.330130 minutes from Victoria and 15 minutes from Highway#1 in Metchosin.tractortime.comPREMIUM TRUCKPRINCE GEORGE 1015 Great Street 250.563.0696WILLIAMS LAKE 4600 Collier Place 250.398.7411premiumtruck.caHANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON 2990 Highway Crescent 250.845.3333Contact your local MAHINDRA DealereMax20 with BackhoeeMax20 with Backhoehandlersequipment.comby BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER ABBOTSFORD – Eastern Filbert Blight has been met with EFB-resistant hazelnut cultivars and good management practices, but new diseases and insect pressures are on the horizon that could threaten BC growers. Ongoing monitoring of emerging pests in BC hazelnuts indicate brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) was more widespread in the Fraser Valley last year than in 2019, with more damage to nuts. The pest can be found in orchards from May to October, with adults overwintering. Most life stages can cause damage as the insects feed on leaves, stems, through bark and on nuts. “BMSB could become a signicant nut pest in BC,” says BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser. She spoke to growers during the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course at the end of January. Last year’s survey of 12 orchards in Agassiz, Chilliwack and Abbotsford indicated that all farms had BMSB with the edges of orchards showing more damage, indicating that the insect is coming in from outside vegetation. In 2019, BMSB was not found on all the farms but concern was expressed that the damage could increase in the next few years. Hueppelsheuser and her team from the province’s Plant and Animal Health Branch have been looking for BMSB and other insects which could impact the growing hazelnut industry in BC. Other insects to watch for are spring-feeding caterpillars, spider mites, leafhopper and the true bug Phylus coryli. Producers should also keep an eye out for big bud mite, which has been seen in currants and other crops. Filbertworm is also being monitored and is the most serious insect problem of hazelnuts in Oregon, causing larval damage in nuts. The lbertworm in BC feeds upon the acorns of the Garry oak, a native oak of south coastal BC, Oregon and Washington. Filbert weevils also damage Garry oak nuts and have been identied on Vancouver Island. Hueppelsheuser recommends looking for holes in nuts, and monitor using dierent lures and trap types in the hedgerows outside orchards beginning April 1. Provincial plant pathologist Siva Sabaratnam and research assistant Ben Drugmand have been identifying the cause of some diebacks in the new hazelnut varieties which were rst noticed in 2017. Canker, root rot and bleeding canker have been found in some orchards. Phomopsis canker is characterized by darkening and cracking of stem, so the nutrients don’t ow upwards. “Flagging” or defoliation can be seen. The disease has also been observed in Oregon. “The best time to look for it is spring or summer,” says Sabaratnam. Cytospora canker is seen less than phomopsis and is characterized by a reddish canker that grows up and down the trunk, damaging the vascular system. Root rot has been observed where drainage is a problem or there is too much irrigation. The plant can die o from the top as the vascular system is damaged. The soil and roots are analyzed for a proper diagnosis, and the causative agent is phytophthora. An area of active investigation is bleeding lesions, rst seen in 2017. Sabaratnam encourages producers to start with healthy planting stock and monitor for problems. If any dieback is observed, cut six to eight inches below the lesion and use latex paint or copper paste, being sure to sanitize the pruning shears. Apply fungicides. “All young, new orchards should be sprayed to prevent Eastern Filbert Blight,” says Sabaratnam. Eastern Filbert Blight has been identied in some new EFB-resistant varieties that have been under disease pressure from close proximity to infected orchards. Sacajawea has been found to be more susceptible to EFB than Yamhill or Jeerson varieties. Propagation problems can also spread the disease. Hazelnut growers face increased disease, pest threats Eastern Filbert Blight wasn’t the end of the fight for industry The BC Hazelnut Growers Association (BCHGA) and the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia (NGS) have produced a series of videos to replace this year’s eld days, cancelled because of the pandemic. The BCHGA video series includes eld maintenance, research updates and future research, a brown marmorated stink bug update, harvest and processing demonstration, and information on the province’s hazelnut renewal program. Hazelnut growers who are also members of NGS can watch the Oregon State University Breeding Plot Tour online and other videos. The tour is presented by OSU plant breeders, who demonstrate and describe how the trees are developed and how the dierent varieties look in the eld. They also describe the varieties’ traits and management considerations. Moving the eld day and other resources online provides a greater reach to hazelnut growers, as orchards expand beyond the Fraser Valley and the pandemic keeps growers closer to home. –Barbara Johnstone Grimmer Resources go online
BC Hazelnut Growers Association president Steve Hope sees lots of opportunity for growers here. The world’s largest buyer, the maker of Ferraro chocolate, has expressed interest in sourcing BC-grown hazelnuts. RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 31Proudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER CHILLIWACK – As the BC hazelnut industry grows and matures, marketing opportunities are being explored to meet the production challenges. BC Hazelnut Growers Association president Steve Hope gave an overview of the hazelnut industry over the past few years at the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course, breaking it into “bad news” and “good news” categories. “We once had over 800 acres of hazelnuts in Chilliwack alone, with three processing plants in the Fraser Valley handling 450 to 500 tonnes of nuts,” says Hope. “Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB) was discovered in 2008 in BC; the spores spread quickly and the farmed acreages were reduced 80-90%. Production dropped to 15 to 20 tonnes.” But the good news is dedicated growers, researchers, scientists and nursery people saw the sector’s potential, adds Hope. With Oregon State University research and development in EFB-resistant varieties and provincial funding for on-site eld trials and the hazelnut renewal program, new varieties are starting to produce and meet the demand for hazelnuts that currently outstrips supply. The hazelnut renewal program has contributed to the removal of infected trees and replanting of more than 18,000 EFB-resistant hazelnut trees. As co-owner of Fraser Valley Hazelnuts, a hazelnut producer, receiving station and processing facility in Chilliwack, Hope has a clear idea of how much potential there is, and understands how much the BC market is dependent on the global trade. “The US market dictates the eld price,” says Hope. “Sixty percent of Oregon hazelnuts are exported, and 90% of that goes to China. From what I have seen, we have demand 12 to 15 times what we can produce in BC. It’s a good position to be in, but we don’t have enough production yet, and this allows for other countries to be in our market and set the prices.” At the recent Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and BC winter meeting, Canada, China and India were identied as the most important export markets for US hazelnuts. Fraser Valley Hazelnuts is the new kid on the block, established in 2015 and in operation since 2017. The three older processing plants in the Fraser Valley are no longer operating and Fraser Valley Hazelnuts bought one plant and relocated equipment from another. Their rst year they operated as a receiving station and sent 18,000 lbs of hazelnuts to Oregon. The exchange rate was favourable but in 2018 China put a 15% tari on US hazelnuts and prices dipped to less that US$1 a pound. Fraser Valley Hazelnuts oers BC growers a 20-30% premium. “We made the decision to work on the local market, and set up a cracking and roasting line,” says Hope. At the 2019 “Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef” event, Fraser Valley Hazelnuts developed marketing relationships with several restaurants. There is room for the industry to grow, as the current capacity at Fraser Valley Hazelnuts is 600 to 750 tonnes per year. In 2017-19, 85-90% of the nuts were from old trees. Crack-out yield is lower in old trees (close to 30%) with new varieties at 45- 50%. With the removal of old orchards, the production has dropped, but the newer trees are increasing their yields 20% to 30% per year as they mature. Hope takes 30 to 50 calls from people just before Christmas each year looking for small quantities of hazelnuts, which he says is a huge opportunity for farm gate sales, farmers’ markets, u-picks, and value-added products. “The Ferraro Group has been expressing some pretty serious interest in the BC market,” says Hope. Based in Italy, Ferraro buys 60% of the world’s crop, making it the largest purchaser of hazelnuts in the world. Hope sees sales to Ferraro as a long-term goal since it would require signicant national market expansion, more than BC can currently produce. Hope prevails as hazelnuts target expansionHazelnut sector gets cracking on market opportunities
32 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCProud of our roots since 1928Customer Serviceorder@norseco.com 514 332-2275 | 800 561-9693 450 682-4959 | 800 567-4594Our Team of ExpertsBen Yurkiw British Columbiaben.email@example.com 604 830-9295Martin Deslauriers Sales Managermartin.firstname.lastname@example.org 438 989-4863Forest wildres are devastating at many levels. But in the bigger picture, they oer rejuvenating opportunities for many wild species that have learned to live and ultimately thrive in their aftermath. Bees are among the creatures that benet, particularly the blue orchard bee, also known as the orchard mason bee. It is native to the Pacic Northwest and an important pollinator that takes full advantage of the owering landscape following a burn. Researchers at Oregon State University have found that blue orchard bees foraging recently burned blocks produce female ospring at a higher rate than others. The more severe the re, the greater the percentage of females. The production of females may be as much as 10% greater in severely burned areas compared to areas less burned. “Bees have the ability to lay an egg that is either male or female, depending on whether the female fertilizes the egg (producing a female) or withholds sperm (producing a male),” says Jim Rivers, assistant professor of wildlife ecology with the OSU College of Forestry. “Female blue orchard bees lay eggs in sequence in a nest chamber. Females are larger and take longer to develop so they are placed in back of the nest with males placed towards the front of the nest.” He says that females ‘cost’ more to produce because they require more food to develop and the adult needs to put in more eort to nd food for the developing young. However, in severely burned forest areas, researchers found there were far more owering plants as the landscape recovered. This abundant food source allowed the adult bees to produce and feed more female ospring. In each mixed-conifer burn block they placed a standard number of adult male cocoons (30) and female cocoons (20). The adults then hatched, and the females used the nest block to raise their own young. Rivers says they looked at the relationship between re severity and reproductive output, sex ratio and ospring mass within 100-metre and 750-metre scales. Female bees foraged across both scales when caring for ospring. The number of young produced and their sex ratio varied by the individual sites sampled. “Adjusting ospring production toward the more expensive ospring sex shows a functional response to changes in habitat quality via an increased density of owering plants,” says Sara Galbraith, a postdoctoral researcher in the College of Forestry. But as forest renewal progresses, this opportunity changes. Researcher say pollinators benet from canopy-reducing res in dense conifer forest ecosystems. Flowering plant abundance usually increases for several years following a re resulting in food resources that enhance wild bee diversity and abundance. “We would predict that as stands get older and the tree canopy starts to close, the conditions that favour bees such as open, warm areas with lots of owers and nest sites would start to give way,” says Rivers. “Young forests like the ones we studied appear to be the best for bees in the Pacic Northwest because they have adequate resources, but that can change markedly once the trees grow and prevent light from hitting the forest oor.” As much as bees are well studied, he says that very little is known about bees and other insect pollinators in conifer forests in the Pacic Northwest. “It is important to point out that we worked with a solitary bee [species], which is dierent from the social bees such as honeybees or bumblebees, and this species is only active for a relatively short time period in the spring,” he says. Whether this reproductive behaviour applies to other bee species is not fully known. It is possible that other bees that are generalists in their food resources, active in spring, and solitary in nature like blue orchard bees may fare similarly according to re severity. Wildres are expected to increase in frequency and severity and understanding their inuence on bee reproduction is important for post-re management actions that may help or harm bees. “The next step is to understand how bee communities ‘assemble’ after intense wildre,” says Rivers. “The majority of owering plants rely on pollinators for reproduction, so understanding which bees return to areas after re and how they get there is important for establishing vegetation and recovering intensively burned areas.” The ndings were published in the journal Oecologia. Wildfires influence pollinator offspringReadily available forage gives bees the energy needed to raise femalesResearch by MARGARET EVANSJIM RIVERS
The 2020 raspberry crop came in short, but that has buoyed prices for growers who were able to harvest good quality berries. MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 33Raspberry growers see improved IQF pricing Weather issues result in higher prices for quality berriesInsurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.Silagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | ofﬁce@silagrow.comMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain SeedVisGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsProtection NetsSALMON ARM 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. SURREY 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of BCby RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – A short crop in 2020 could lead to higher prices for some raspberry growers as markets scramble for higher quality berries. Quick-frozen (IQF) berries will see the highest price increase versus fresh and those sent for juice (or further processing), according to Ben Klootwyk of Pacic Coast Fruit Products Ltd. in Abbotsford. He spoke to growers during the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course held online January 29. A smaller crop and lower quality fruit helped support prices. The 2020 crop was down 21.5% from 2019, checking in at approximately 4,856 tons. BC growers took the biggest hit in the Pacic Northwest, which saw its raspberry crop down 15% overall. Plant sales were also down by about 54% in BC, indicating that growers had cut back on replanting. Those growers who did replant were opting for newer varieties. “Most of the plants going in right now seem to be WakeHaven and WakeField and some Meeker going in again,” Klootwyk noted. BC growers targeting greater viability weren’t alone in facing challenges last season. According to Klootwyk, most growing regions were down in yield compared to 2019. Some regions were impacted by weather while others, like Europe, faced labour challenges. “In Mexico, there continues to be more acreage planted, but due to the weather, yield was down,” he says. “Organic production was down signicantly. They seemed to have focused more on strawberries than raspberries.” He notes the US saw “particularly high demand” for IQF berries and juice given consumer desires during COVID-19 restrictions. “The food service sector has naturally seen a bit of a struggle,” he says. “We have seen some purees going towards grocery store to a similar outcome for raspberries. “Speaking to the US Trade Commission, it doesn’t sound like they are particularly interested in the Canadian investigation,” he says. “It’s more aimed at the Mexican market.” Raspberry volumes from Chile are declining as growers there switch to sweet cherries, which may create an opportunity for BC growers. applications, but most [berries went] towards the juice and IQF.” Red raspberries came under scrutiny by US trade ocials last year following concerns from growers in Washington, but the dismissal of a complaint regarding blueberry imports may lead Subscription toCountry Life in BCSubscription toCLifCLifiBSubscription toCountry Life in BCDon’t forget to RENEW your
34 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – It’s too early to tell if a cold snap in February hurt Fraser Valley raspberries the way the sudden freeze of 2019 did. The latest freeze, however, will yield more data for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada berry researcher Michael Dossett, helping him gauge how well-adapted new selections are to the Fraser Valley climate. “As much as I hate to see bad weather for growers, every sort of adverse thing that happens is an opportunity for the breeding program,” he says. Unfortunately, the varieties that suered most during the cold snap two years ago are among the most popular for replant. “Most Squamish looked okay,” says Dossett. “The Meekers were awful, the WakeFields looked awful. We need to have something that’s going to be consistent for the growers.” Dossett notes several selections made it through the 2019 cold snap in good condition, however, including 10-71-27, an earlier variety that machine harvests well and has strong yields. It is lighter in colour, but Dossett feels it could be a good option for the fresh market. It was stored in a cooler by a grower and looked good after a week, so informally looks like a good option for the export market. Another variety of note is 10-79-33, which he says “yields like a beast.” “It is a little bit on the lighter side, but not as light as 10-71-27,” he says. “It’s not quite as rm and cohesive. I think this might work for IQF.” The downside is these berries harvest four to ve days later than Meeker. “I don’t think anything that we have right now is the silver bullet,” he says. “But I see things that we have in the pipeline that will give growers options.” Options will allow for better varieties for replanting and these two are at the nursery being bulked up for grower trials. A couple thousand plants should be available by 2022, but commercial availability is about ve years out. Although it didn’t experience the 2019 cold snap, Dossett is also excited about BC 1855.11, an industry-owned cross planted in 2019. “Because of the fruit quality it also has that potential [for fresh market],” he says. “It’s juicy and it holds its shape. Potential there for the processed industry, too.” The 2019 winter damage allowed him to remove several selections from the program due to their inability to withstand the cold. He found that winter injury is an inheritable trait and the 2019 cold improved the selections in the pipeline. This year’s cold snap may provide a similar opportunity. “It’s an opportunity for us to get rid of things that are going to fail down the line,” he says. “But it sucks for the growers.” ABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411The Gen 6 Fendt Vario 700 series makes the best even better. Engineering that lets you reach maximum torque at just 1,450 rpm so you save on fuel and cut down on noise. The perfect package of strength, agility, precision, functionality and comfort. SOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSGIVE YOURSELF T H E AVENUERaspberry researchers select for hardinessA good raspberry for growers is more than just avour. MYRNA STARK LEADERWeather challenges help fine-tune breeding efforts
Direct marketers prepared for a new seasonGrowers anticipate similar conditions as pandemic continuesCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 35Tom Davison of Davison Orchards in Vernon was one of three direct farm marketers who shared their COVID-19 experience as a panelist at the Pacic Agriculture Show in January. CALLUM KYLLONEN, DAVISON ORCHARDSMowersKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comTHE MOST COMPLETE HAY LINE Cut • Dry • HarvestSave time, money and improve hay quality with KUHN.THE HAY AND FORAGE TOOL SPECIALISTS Mower Conditioners Mergers Rotary Rakes Wheel Rakes Tedders Harvesting high-quality hay and forage is the focus of KUHN's hay tool innovation. Our commitment is to help yougain a maximum return on investment by providing products known for performance, reliability, and longevity.Matsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeSmithersby MYRNA STARK LEADER ABBOTSFORD – Three BC direct farm marketers say they learned a lot in 2020, better preparing them for what they anticipate will be a busy 2021. Tom Davison of Davison Orchards Country Village in Vernon, Katie Leek of Emma Lea Farms on Westham Island in Ladner and Dave Semmelink of Lentelus Farms in Courtenay were part of a panel discussion during the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association short course at the end of January. Davison says the farm began working hard on business adjustments as soon as the pandemic was declared last March. The family has been growing fruit since 1933 but shifted into retail and value-added in 1985. “We looked at every way to control spending and cancelled events. We also looked to increase operating funds,” says Davison. Davison set up an online store, helping oset slow foot trac in May and June. However, when the public started looking for safe activities in July, the market boomed. “We tried to have a theme with our sta,” says Davison. He wanted the farm to be a breath of fresh air when grocery shopping elsewhere seemed like a challenging chore. To meet safety recommendations and ease customer congestion in its on-farm market, Davison bought an 800-square-foot tent solely for produce sales. He also quickly renovated a building for ice cream sales, helping to spread out customers. Although the farm had to shut down its pumpkin patch in late October after the Interior Health Authority declared it an event, Davison says it was a successful year nancially. Davison says the eight family members involved in the business and 120 sta gave it their all, seamlessly shifting roles to help other team members. “I’m proud of our sta, humbled by our managers and thankful no one was ever ill on the team,” he says. To prepare for what’s anticipated to be another busy season, Davison ordered supplies such as apple boxes and packaging early in January so he won’t be caught short this year. “Last year, we were trying to control costs and that came back to bite us,” he says. Outsourcing On Westham Island, Leek agrees she’s better prepared for 2021. She plans to outsource more jobs like social media content and payroll after the pandemic forced her to re-examine these roles. “We could panic or plan,” says the fth-generation farmer, who typically employs 10 full-time sta and about 75 youth to operate her 400-acre farm. Leek knew the farm’s eld trip and special event See EXTRA on next page o
36 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCwww.GroberNutrition.com | 1.800.265.7863 |MILKMORE THANREPLACER ; Quality ingredients ; Hands-on research ; On-farm support Milk replacer, colostrum and more for calves, lambs, kids & pigletsDares Country FeedsLangley (604) 856-1611Smithers Feed Store Smithers (250) 847-9810Spruce Capital Feeds LTDPrince George (250) 564-6010C.J Brookes Chilliwack (604) 846-2100Agri-Supply LTDKamloops (250) 372-7446Barriere Country Feeds Inc. Barriere (250) 672-5256Beavervalley FeedsWilliams Lake (250) 392-6282Country West SupplyArmstrong (250) 546-9174Chilliwack (604) 847-3737Top Shelf FeedsBlack Creek (778) 428-4444 Courtenay (250) 897-3302 Duncan (250) 746-5101 Powell River (604) 485-2244Victoria (250) 478-8012Contact the DairyCrop teamGerry DeGroot (604) 819-4139Jelle Vogels (604) 997-0059Evan Davidson (604) 991-6708Find Grober products at the following DairyCrop BC area dealers:EXTRA manpower needed to cope with pandemic crowds nfrom page 35business would be out in 2020, but failed to predict how busy other parts of the operation would get. Emma Lea had its busiest season ever. Typically popular on weekends, weekdays were also steady. Emma Lea hired extra sta to manage trac. It also set up a drive-through service. U-pick was sold by volume to reduce handling of buckets and fruit. While things worked well, theft became an issue as did congestion. Leek had to hire extra security guards last year to check people’s bags as they left the farm. She also worked with local bylaw ocers to manage visitors, who used the Westham Island bridge for roadside parking. “I’ve walked away with a better understanding of the business,” says Leek, who will focus more eorts on social media this year to give customers information on farm produce and safety procedures. Like Davison, Leek praised her team’s dependability and stepping up when needed. “You’re only as good as the team around you,” says Leek. Unlike Leek and Davison, Dave Semmelink is newer to BC farming and direct farm marketing. Lentelus Farms in Courtenay was founded in 2014 and raises a mix of livestock with some grain, hay and vegetable production. Semmelink has a great central location to sell from but his farm market wasn’t well-established until last year. Things like standard operating procedures weren’t in place when the pandemic struck, complicating the adjustments that were needed. Semmelink thought the business would grow in 2020 and had arranged processing dates that enabled him to maintain meat sales, but he still ran out of several products as demand surged. He says not hiring more sta last year was a mistake he’s not planning to repeat. He struggled to get labour and couldn’t spare the time he needed to harvest the farm’s produce, losing potential revenue. Like Leek, he’ll have a professional doing website updates and social media. In addition, he’s looking to add a no-touch petting zoo at the farm stand this year to draw in customers. “As a new business, we can easily adapt,” he says. Dave Semmelink stands in front of Lentelus Farms market stand in Courtenay. JENNA POWELL.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 37As a result of Farm Show cancellations we are oering 10% -15% discounts.Call 877.966.3546 or visit www.agritraction.comCelebrating our 25th Anniversary of Traction Milling. Our machines are custom built and patented.We are the only providers of Traction Milling in the world.HAS GROOVING LET YOU AND YOUR COWS DOWN?HAS GROOVING LET YOU AND YOUR COWS DOWN?Sudden Apple Decline showed up in Okanagan apple orchards in 2018. A similar disorder appeared in cherry orchards the next year. Researchers are trying to nd out what is causing the disorders. JESSE MACDONALDBC part of a national research effort to find a causeby TOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – Summerland Research and Development Centre researchers continue to work with colleagues from across the country to identify the cause of Sudden Apple Decline. The disorder can kill up to 40% of an infected block in a matter of weeks. “We rst got reports of SAD during the 2018 growing season,” explains Jesse MacDonald, a knowledge and technology transfer specialist at Summerland. Trees were dying in mid-season, usually with the leaves remaining on the tree in a wilted state. There were often signs of insect and canker damage above the graft union. Researchers began working on the problem right away. In 2019, the federal government allocated approximately $750,000 over three years to support research at centres in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. MacDonald says their work has identied multiple factors involved in the disorder. “We know that fungal pathogens are active in the aected trees and we often see that in combination with winter damage and bark wounds or cankers at the rootstock graft union, that can give the fungus a pathway into the tree,” he explains. “We know that apple clearwing moths are often aecting the trees as are root nematodes, and we have discovered that water transport through the graft union is signicantly reduced in diseased trees.” However, no one cause stands out. “It really is a chicken-and-egg question,” says MacDonald. “We don’t know if bark damage or pathogens weaken the tree rst and make it a target for insects, or if insect damage leads to the pathogens getting a hold, so that is the focus of our research.” There is likely a physiological side to the disease as well, he adds. Current research involves greenhouse and eld plot experiments that inoculate healthy sample trees with fungus and viruses in an attempt to replicate symptoms of the disorder. MacDonald says the research team is also sampling and mapping soil characteristics of aected blocks to try and determine if there is a link between soil and the apple decline. Dead trees should be removed immediately and the space left fallow for at least a year. “Some growers have noticed that when they replant, the new trees also die,” says MacDonald. “It appears that the aected areas of the orchard remain aected and the area that was not aected remains clear.” Cherries show signs A similar disorder to sudden apple decline appears to be aecting cherries in BC. “We heard from growers who lost a few cherry trees in 2019, but in 2020 it was half of a block,” says MacDonald. Called simply Fruit Tree Decline, it shares some symptoms with SAD but has key dierences. “FTD typically starts at the top of the tree with perhaps only a branch or two dying back, while SAD aects the main stem and quickly kills the whole tree,” MacDonald explains. “Pruning o the aected branches will help delay FTD, but eventually the whole tree collapses.” “We have seen anywhere from 10% to 60% of some blocks aected in the south and central Okanagan,” says MacDonald. “Both large scale and small growers have been impacted. Some of them have been really hammered.” FTD has appeared in Ontario peach and apricot trees. Ontario is taking the lead to study the disease in soft fruit orchards, says MacDonald, with Summerland playing a support role. Ontario’s ndings are helping BC researchers investigate the disorder in cherries. “We are investigating the presence of viral infections as that has ben an area of concern for the industry recently,” he notes. The rst sign in a cherry tree is often wilting leaves along with some branch dieback. “There will also be reduced new growth, cankers at the crotch of branches and sometimes the graft union, and if you check the cambium layer, it will be turning brown,” says MacDonald. The disease is mostly aecting young trees. “Some trees did not grow after planting, some make it past the rst and second year to produce fruit but then start collapsing,” he says, urging growers with dying trees to contact him. Sudden dieback now showing up in cherriesAlthough Willmar® pull-type spreaders can’t control the volatility of fertilizer prices, they can certainly help improve your margins by delivering product more accurately and eciently than any other spreader. What more could you ask for?For Small to Large Farm Operationsr#BMBOTB$MPWFSr'PSBHF,BMFr#FSTFFN$MPWFSr%BJLPO3BEJTIr$SJNTPO$MPWFSr'PSBHF4XFEFr)ZCSJE$MPWFSr'PSBHF5VSOJQ"TLVTIPX
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Water licences. 3,470 ft2 log home. Indoor riding arena, heated shop, equipment storage. Additional 70 acre Agricultural Lease. Fenced and cross fenced. $1,839,900Diamond in the rough best describes this gently southeast sloping, nicely treed almost half acre lot with 105 feet of lake frontage. Just park your motor home or trailer, go shing and start enjoying this recreational paradise with beautiful views. Roughed-in driveway off paved Mahood Lake Road. $250,000Picturesque 255 recreational acres with 1,000+ ft of frontage on the quiet Roserim Lake. A rural oasis on 2 separately titled parcels in what is a highly sought-after area. 3 serviced campsites, guest cabin, double wide manufactured home that is currently undergoing major renovations. $695,000Beachcombing, shing, and hunting getaway with abundant blacktail deer 1.5 hours from Vancouver. 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NEW PRICE! $1,375,000RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG email@example.comJAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605 JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577FAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comSAM HODSON 604-694-7623Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comMARTIN SCHERRER firstname.lastname@example.orgLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 CHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634DAVE SIMONE 250-539-8733DS@landquest.comMATT CAMERON email@example.comDAVE COCHLAN firstname.lastname@example.orgIn the year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it’s become common to hear more Canadians than ever are thinking about where their food comes from. According to Nova Scotia retail consultant Peter Chapman, 80% of food is now sold through grocery stores and other retailers compared to 70% before the pandemic. (The balance is through foodservice channels.) The proportion of Canadians buying food online has increased from 2% to 8% over the past year. Millennials (consumers aged 25-40) are shopping for and preparing food themselves. This group is also rethinking where it lives. In the year ended July 1, 2020, Vancouver lost a record 15,000 people and Toronto more than 50,000. More than 85% of them were younger than 45. Many left for smaller centres and rural communities. Kelowna expects its population to grow by 40,000 in the next 20 years. In a metropolitan area of around 240,000, that’s signicant growth. While the push and pull between urban development and agriculture will continue, newcomers also present opportunities, particularly for those who produce and sell local food. By all accounts, sales should grow. Everyone needs food. But where will these newcomers shop? Who is going to educate them about local purchasing options? At any given time of year in Kelowna, I can buy eggs, produce and meat directly from a farm. Lots of locally prepared foods are available through Facebook Marketplace. When I moved to Kelowna from Saskatchewan three years ago, this was not how I shopped. I had no idea that there would be a salad dressing maker in Kelowna, keeping salaries and jobs local. I didn’t know the Canadian-grown pears I would get at Costco likely came from an orchard not far from my home. I’d never heard of a CSA delivery program. Today, I look for these things. I also know where to source peaches and how to nd u-pick cherries. But I have a feeling I’m the exception. I became aware of the local food marketplace through word-of-mouth, seeing signs on the roadways, and writing stories about local producers. I’ve been lucky. Hunt and peck As far as I know, there’s no single web portal which enables one to see all the local products available at any given time. Typically, the search is by item and seeing what comes up. While programs like Buy BC and Agriculture in the Classroom can help increase awareness, whose job is it to educate millennials about food purchase options? It’s no secret that young people are using the Internet to source information. As Chapman says, young people not only want to know more about the nutritional value of what they eat, they also want to know how to prepare it, where it comes from and that its sustainable. Price is also a factor. But how will they know that in Kelowna, Facebook Marketplace is a key tool, particularly when the millennial generation is not on Facebook? It’s for old people, says my 22-year-old son. “Share your story more” is advice I repeatedly hear tossed out to local growers. “Be on the social platforms; be on Instagram; keep the content on your website up to date and fresh; add recipes; talk about your sustainable production.” But I wonder if producers are up to the challenge? Most farmers I know love growing. And many of them are like someone I met recently who is in his 70s running a 10-acre farm. If they can’t do it themselves, do they have enough income to hire an expert to do it? Those in agriculture recognize the most benecial thing for the local economy (and the environment) is when residents choose to buy local rst – preferably direct from the farmer. I bought apples recently from a farm stand for 69 to 89 cents a pound. Walmart was selling Gala apples the same day for $1.27. Young people watching their grocery budget can’t do much better than buying local, in-season produce direct from the farm. The question of education goes beyond groceries to agriculture as a whole. While Country Life in BC is a great resource to learn more about BC’s diverse agriculture sector, I doubt many city dwellers or young people – unless they’re directly involved in agriculture – read the paper. How will newcomers know agriculture and viticulture are key drivers for local economic development? Who will tell them there is a dierence between cherry varieties or that they were bred successfully right here in BC? Who will share that they live in a region that counts on exporting those same cherries to Asia or that apple orchards are being replaced with wine grapes? Who will get them to try locally grown garlic so it doesn’t have to come from California or China, or a local haskap, aronia or Saskatoon berry? How will they appreciate the technological advances within state-of-the art fruit packing facilities when they can’t get inside? I don’t have the answer but I sure hope it’s on someone’s radar. Consumers need more than a Buy Local campaign They need to learn why buying local should be a priorityViewpoint by MYRNA STARK LEADER
New framework to measure AITC outcomesNational initiative will provide feedback on three pillars BC Ag in the Classroom executive director Pat Tonn, right, also chairs the national program which launched a new framework to evaluate program outcomes across the country. FILE PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 39by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – A new Agriculture in the Classroom Canada impact framework will allow the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation to create programs specic to the needs of stakeholders and educators while establishing consistency with its counterparts in other provinces. “They’re both interconnected,” says Pat Tonn, chair of Ag in the Classroom Canada and executive director of BC AITC. Consistency across provinces is essential to determining outcomes of the new impact framework, which was unveiled February 9. The framework is made up of the elements stakeholders felt were most important when they participated in the provincial sessions as well as through an online forum-style tool. These elements fall under the three pillars of think, know and feel. Think is the learning approach the national and provincial organizations will take to be eective; Know is the topic areas they will focus on; and Feel is the impact on students they are striving for. “We are building all our programs in BC around the think, know and feel,” says Tonn. “The key to this was knowing that we could measure our success. … Have they caught what we taught? Do they feel welcome in our agriculture industry in the province?” Rob Hannam, of Synthesis Agri-Food Network, the event’s facilitator, outlined that the Think pillar includes things like ABCs (accurate, balanced, current and based in science), critical thinking, fostering curiosity and experiential learning. “There’s times where we need to pull back and listen and discover what [students] want to learn about and foster that curiosity,” he says. The Know pillar will ensure themes like agricultural practices and careers are woven into school curriculums like existing AITC programs and subject matter. Stakeholders want students to understand crop protection technology, animal welfare, plant breeding, value chains and other agricultural practice information. “The provincial members can link it to that provincial curriculum,” he says. “There are so many dierences in practices and focuses across Canada. There are a lot of nuances to these.” The national Think Ag program, set to launch in April, will support the focus on agriculture as a career path. “It’s important that we ensure we welcome everyone,” says Hannam. “Even if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you can still grow a career in agriculture. The careers topic is something that can be developed nationally. That interest seems to go across provinces.” Sustainability was another topic under the Know pillar and, like agricultural practices, information will be created by each organization. It will require balance to get information to students that industry wants in alignment with the curriculum needs of teachers. This begins with interactions with teachers and school districts. Tonn notes that talking to teachers to nd out what they need before creating new programs has been successful in BC. “It’s a win-win,” she says. Under the Feel pillar, Hannam says that students should be condent in their food choices and condent in agriculture on regional and national levels. “You want them to feel that the decisions they make have an impact,” he says. “You want them to feel empowered, that they can make a dierence. It’s a place where youth will want to be because there’s a chance to be part of something big.” Across the country, some common questions can be asked to determine how the framework is being received by teachers and students that will enable consistent measures. This will build on what provinces already do, but will add consistency nationally. “There’s measuring the activities and then there’s measuring the impact you’re having,” says Hannam. “Are See AITC on next page oVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com A telescopic wheel loader is particularly ideal for those who need more lift height. 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Wishful thinking for the winter that wasn’tThere’s a time for growing, but winter has its place, too AITC nfrom pg 3940 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCsales@baumalight.com | BAUMALIGHT.COMDale Howe 403-462-1975 | email@example.comMFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING: BRUSH MULCHERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERSSTUMP GRINDERS | PTO GENERATORS | AUGER DRIVES | TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | BOOM MOWERS | TREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERSLocate A Dealer Onlineour programs eective? Are we opening minds? Are we changing perspectives?” Standardizing the program across provinces was a big step for AITCC, says executive director Johanne Ross, who says there’s plenty of work to do. “It’s a very big project and we’re just truly at the initiation part of it,” says Ross. “We are investigating a tool that will coordinate our collection of data across the country.” Not only is data important to show ecacy of programs, it’s also important for proving impact to stakeholders and supporters – current and future. “We need to be looking beyond the partners we normally [work with],” says Ross. “We’re hoping to engage some new partners in to this program as well.” Down here in the valley bottom, we are having a weak winter. I feel a little self-conscious admitting this as I understand other areas of the province are having nothing of the sort. Usually, our winters relate more to the northern experience as opposed to the southern citied version. My city customers imagine that I am battling weekly blizzards to make it to market but so far, negotiating potholes in the farm driveway is as tough as it gets. I am experimenting with writing about it to see if I can encourage a wallop of winter. Early drafts indeed prompted temperature plunges to -8 overnight, but now the forecast has returned to the usual range of two degrees either side of zero and the perpetual falling of rain, snow and often both in the form of cold mist. Weak. The sight of the fall rye cover crop growing lustily on last year’s potato eld is the most galling indicator of winter-fail, although nally the view has been decently shrouded by a barely sucient layer of snow. Subsequently, it is to be hoped that the recent cold snap will have snued out its irritating glow. Thank goodness: no one wants to see anything growing just yet. And as for glowing, that is totally inappropriate. This is nothing, however, to conditions in the city. Signs of spring are too numerous to ignore and I believe cherry blossoms are imminent. In the early years of my farm career, I spent all winter down there, holding down an inside job. It all went well until the smell of warm dirt and the sight of fresh growth inspired me to entertain thoughts of ditching the desk, even though the start of my farming season was months away. After the distraction of early onset city-spring, I was no longer an asset to the organization. My contract ran into March but there was no hope of that. I was done earlier and earlier until nally I just didn’t bother anymore and made the farm keep me on for the winter. In the last year of city winter-work, I quit extra early (probably right before I was red) and went up to my uncle’s ranch in the Chilcotin to wile away the time till farming started. Now that was a proper winter: a maximum of -30 for a whole month, clear skies, and a deep snowpack. That’s when I got my favourite pair of wool pants that I have not yet felt compelled to wear this year. I lived alone about 80 miles west of anywhere. It was memorable and glorious. I was never bored. I learned how to repair, replace and belatedly protect the following items: hydraulic hoses on the tractor loader, block heater in the truck, several livestock watering systems and both fuel tank hoses. I also cut and chopped several cords of wood, thrilled to be surrounded by beautifully dry frozen r that split with the merest waft of a splitter. I daily cross-country skied my way throughout the 1,200 acres until I crossed the path of a wolf with paw prints the size of dinner plates – an experience that shrunk my range quite considerably. So, while I don’t mind signs of spring popping up in certain areas remote to the rest of the province, it is too early to be experiencing farming urges. I want several feet of snow to be covering every eld with no possibility of seeing dirt for weeks, if not months. The sound of my studded winter tires clacking on the city street should be a badge of honour, not superuous wishful thinking. The verdant fall rye is an afront. Verdant! Bah. Anna Helmer farms with her family in Pemberton, where she is usually more careful in what she wishes for. Farm Story by ANNA HELMEREwe know it’s spring ...There are lambs aplenty at Fir Hill Farm on Pender Island this spring, a sure sign that a new year has begun. These young ‘uns paused long enough in their frolicking to give the photographer an inquisitive look before getting back to jumping about. BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 41Glory Juice Co. nutritionist Madisen Wood prefers to source local ingredients to press into the company’s signature products. It keeps jobs and money local, reduces the company’s carbon footprint and increases the nutritional value of its juices. SUBMITTED PHOTOwww.hlaattachments.com 1-866-567-4162 • Independent grapples for clamping of awkward loads• Tine and grapple tips are AR400 material• Compact models available• 1-1/4” shaft diameter• 2-1/2” spacing between tines• Points are 5/8” thick, 400 Brinell high strength steel• Compact models available• Grapple clamps on to any Class II fork frame with walk through guard Grapple shown mounted on HD55 pallet fork.BRUSH GRAPPLESINGLE ARM LOG GRAPPLESTONE FORKby RONDA PAYNE WILLOW RIVER – Being able to source fresh, local produce is critical to customer satisfaction for one Vancouver juice company, and it’s also satisfying the growers supplying them. “Local is good because … we’re knowing exactly where we’re getting our products from,” says Madisen Wood, nutritionist with Glory Juice Co., which has made cold-pressed juice at its Vancouver kitchen since 2013. It has grown to three juice bars and also sells bottled juice through various retailers. Each 16-ounce bottle is derived from three pounds of produce. Glory Juice presses almost 6,500 pounds of produce a week. Wood says that buying close to home keeps money in local pockets while also ensuring accountability around food production. It also reduces the carbon footprint of food, and reduces food waste, especially for perishable items. The produce also has a higher nutritional value when it’s fresh. “The nutrients change when it’s in transit. Fruit, we know, is really sensitive. The longer it’s in transit, it changes it chemically as well,” she says. Glory Juice buyer Sydney Koby explains that oering organic, nutrient-rich juice is important to consumers. “It has to be organic, quality produce and at the same time, because we’re juicing, we can use produce that is still great to use, but is maybe not good for a grocery store,” she says. The company would buy entirely from BC growers but sourcing produce year-round can be challenging. By working with Discovery Organics, an independent organic food distributor based in Burnaby, the job is a bit easier. “They can do a lot of the legwork in sourcing from dierent regions,” says Koby. “Sourcing produce can be quite complex in that people expect to buy apples year round, so they have to go somewhere in the US or elsewhere. We’re sort of lucky we don’t have to be calling all these farms directly.” Discovery Organics sources from 60 to 70 organic farms in BC on a regular basis as well as international growers in order to ensure a supply of organics year-round to customers from Whitehorse to Winnipeg. Koby likes that she can specify the apples from a certain farm and request that Discovery Organics supply more of them when they’re available. That kind of relationship benets growers like Andrew Adams of Hope Farm Organics, an hour’s drive northeast of Prince George. He grows potatoes, carrots, strawberries, brassicas and tomatoes on his six-acre farm. While it’s a small operation, it has a secure market through Discovery Organics thanks to eager buyers like Glory Juice. “They’re amazing, to be honest with you,” says Adams. “As a small farmer, having a company like Discovery Organics tell you, ‘if you can grow it, we’ll buy it’ [is awesome].” Discovery also makes sure growers receive fair pricing. “We’re able to pay our workers a decent wage,” says Adams. “Most people that are working on farms don’t get paid well at all. The people that we get, we want to make sure they are able to make a living because we want them back.” It also allows him to take better care of the land, which in turns makes for even more nutritious produce. “It’s allowing me to take care of the land and it’s putting calories into Canada’s local food system that is lacking in local calories,” he says. Juiced up over local produce optionsPartnership delivers value to BC growersYOURHelping YouYOURHelping YouHelpilpingYoulHHelpingoDon’t forget to RENEW your subscription toCountry Lifein BC
Dick Wittman told the crowd that the key elements for a peer group to be successful are trust, condentiality, openness, candour, a willingness to be vulnerable to questions and being challenged, attendance, active participation and a commitment to be held accountable for what you say you will do. MYRNA STARK LEADER 42 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCALL FOR AN ESTIMATE LARRY 604.209.5523 TROY 604.209.5524 TRI-WAY FARMS LASER LEVELLING LTD.IMPROVED DRAINAGE UNIFORM GERMINATION UNIFORM IRRIGATION FAST, ACCURATE SURVEYING INCREASE CROP YIELDS We service all of Southern BCy MYRNA STARK LEADER ABBOTSFORD – Producers who are striving for excellence in their farm businesses should be seeking knowledge and support through formalized peer groups says Dick Wittman, a farm business consultant from Idaho who delivered the keynote presentation at the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford last year. “It’s a great relationship support system. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to your peer group than your closest people. They can call you out and listen in a dierent way,” he said. Wittman grew up on a farm and has lived everything he promotes, having been part of peer groups since 1980. His rst was with farm neighbours. Discussion focused on farm equipment innovations, compensation and benchmarking. In 2000, he was with a breakfast group that discussed agronomy, no-till practices, strategic alliances and hosted guest speakers. In 2009, he formed a peer group of consulting professionals focused on self-development and training as well as matchmaking for peer group prospects. Now, he’s involved with an executive program for producers. Wittman says the concept can benet farmers whether they have a lifestyle farm, a large farm business that’s well-run and economically viable or a mid-sized operation. There are benets for those barely surviving, a stable, individually owned operation that is growing, a professionally managed multi-generational farm or an institutional operation/farm business with shareholders and dividends. “All farm sizes can benet from peer groups but the key is to get the right kind of group,” says Wittman, adding there are opportunities for learning on any topic of interest from production practices to management, nances, growing practices, HR, governance and even personal support. He says a peer group is often the best place to discuss personal matters such as conict or challenges with employee and family. But he cautions that meeting for coee once in awhile to discuss matters isn’t a peer group. The denition he likes is a group of people who share common business concerns and assemble through facilitated coaching to interact, network and share information to advance the success and resilience of their businesses. Critical to making a group work is a formalized process. This includes a constitution outlining the group’s purpose, desired outcomes, the meeting schedule; how it will be nanced; membership rules and a condentiality agreement that everyone in the group should pledge to uphold. The facilitator shouldn’t be part of the group. The facilitator will manage the group but also pull ideas out of the members to guide its discussions. Wittman says no topic is o-limits as long as the group agrees. He shared an example of a group that began by gathering to talk about the cost of labour. The discussion opened with each member stating how much they paid. “They went on to be a joint-venture farm and do things jointly that they could not do individually,” says Wittman. Meetings can be in-person or virtually, but he strongly suggests a face-to-face, one or two-day meeting at least annually. Starting out meeting at people’s farms can also be useful to see where your peer group members live and work. In addition to information sharing, peer groups serve to hold members more accountable. He says when members in a peer group he belonged to didn’t show up to three meetings, the group enforced its constitution and asked them to leave, only allowing them back in on the condition that they ensure the group would be a priority. “I can’t tell you how many times people have had an idea for a long time but didn’t execute it until they were in a peer group,” says Wittman. “Agriculture people are very independent and they usually really like to grow things. Management is not their rst love so a peer group can help take the pain out of some stu.” His only caveat is that for any peer group to function eectively, members must have a willingness to be open and communicate – be vulnerable, which isn’t easy but has great potential benets. For example, writing policies for the farm could be made much easier if producers had a model from a similar farm as a starting point. Similarly, resource swaps, strategic alliance possibilities for marketing, succession ideas, innovative business ventures and better farm business communication dynamics are all potential outcomes of a peer group. Wittman says overcoming any fear of letting others in on your business or personal secrets and struggles is a huge benet because not only might you gain valuable advice, it also enables the group to learn and not repeat the mistakes of others. Peer groups help foster innovation, support Groups offer an opportunity to learn from each otherDick Wittman says the rst step to establishing a peer group is dening what individuals need on their farm. This could include a survey of potential members to gage interest and goals. The needs could include fostering innovation, accelerating research by conducting trials on several local farms, pooling funds to attract external expertise, providing motivation for process improvement, benchmarking performance against others, networking and education. Peer groups can also provide friendship and moral support to address mental and physical wellness and family business challenges. Ideally, a group should have four to 10 members who may or may not be geographically close. They could produce similar commodities but should be of comparable business size and complexity. Ideally, they’ll be diverse and not in competition with one another. While there are peer-mentoring consultants who can organize and facilitate a group, Wittman suggests producers reach out to agriculture or management schools to see if someone would be willing to manage the group. —Myrna Stark LeaderHow to start“Sometimes it’s easier to talk to your peer group than your closest people. They can call you out and listen in a different way.” FARM BUSINESS CONSULTANT DICK WITTMAN
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 43Sisters Jeannie Zorn, left, and Michelle Downey have built a website that aims to make it easy for small farmers lacking marketing expertise, computer skills or time to market online. MICHELLE DOWNEYPlatform offers a made-in-BC solution for online salesby MYRNA STARK LEADER NAKUSP – A pair of BC sisters want their new business to address some of the marketing struggles faced by smaller BC farmers. Michelle Downey of Campbell River and sister Jeannie Zorn of Nakusp have seen how hard it is for producers to be fairly compensated by grocery retailers and wholesalers who want local but don’t want to pay more. They’ve also seen how much time it takes farmers to build and maintain a marketing presence online. As a result, they developed FarmerFreshDelivery.ca, an online platform for BC producers to promote and sell their products. The site launched in December with growers in the Central Kootenay and Columbia Shuswap regions, targeting consumers who want local products but can’t make it to the local farmers market. Zorn had been working with Janet Spicer at Spicer’s Farm Veggies in Nakusp. Certied through the Kootenay Organic Growers Society, the farm sells at the farm gate as well as to local retailers. But it no longer sells at farmers markets because of the workload and lack of guaranteed sales. Zorn experienced how tough it was for producers trying to balance the challenges of sales with the demands of production. “This website came out of such a place of love and respect for Janet. Her worries worried me,” says Zorn, a former real estate agent. “I wanted to make life easier for her.” Downey, who had experience selling products on the Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify, saw an opportunity to help farmers connect with consumers even if they didn’t have the money to invest in a website or weren’t computer-literate. It was also a way to connect with her family roots in agriculture. “We don't have degrees in Serving the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We’ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976. And with two blending plants, we’re one of BC’s largest distributors of granular, liquid and foliar fertilizers. Our buying power and proximity to the Fraser Valley makes us the logical choice for truckload shipments. 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NOW IN STOCK CONSTRUCTION KUB SSV65, 2018, CAB, A/C, H-PATTERN,2 SPEED, 150 HRS . . . . 47,000 KUB SVL75-2 2016, ROPS, 1,700HRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,500 KUB U35-4GA 2015, CAB, RUBBER, THUMB, 1,500HRS . . . . . . . . CALL TRACTOR & FARM EQUIPMENT HEADQUARTERSYour Vancouver Islandwww.islandtractors.com ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD. DUNCAN 1-888-795-1755NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR COURTENAY 1-866-501-0801Sisters create website to help small producersagriculture, but we grew up on a three-quarter section hay and cattle farm west of Dawson Creek. And there's a lot of farm history since our families came from Saskatchewan and Manitoba farmers,” she says. The new site cost about $5,000 and was designed with Zorn’s rst-hand knowledge of on-farm challenges and Downey’s consumer perspective. It’s divided by geographical regions so buyers can choose to shop at farms near them. “Orders come to us through Farmer Fresh, the payments are done through our system, then the farmer gets a report of what’s been ordered. Their only job is to deliver direct to the customer. Farmers set the prices themselves,” Downey explains. The sisters will handle customer service. Producers remit about 15% of sales in exchange for being listed on the site, says Downey. Best of all, unlike other platforms such as Ontario-based Local Line – the designated option for BC Association of Farmers Markets members, whose implementation was backed by provincial funding – Farmer Fresh manages the platform on behalf of users, making it an easy-to-use, made-in-BC option. The system also addresses more recent farmgate shopping challenges related to protocols around social and physical distancing. “This is a no-contact delivery system. It’s time-consuming for a farmer to have people coming at all times to purchase at the farmgate. Unless they use the honour system, it means there has to be someone there all the time,” adds Downey. Zorn says she and Spicer were nervous at rst to move to the new system but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “It is far better than the money,” says Spicer. “You don’t get the feedback from the retailers like we do from the home deliveries. There has been such extraordinary kindness. The comments are beautiful and make all the long hours and stress of running a farm worth it.” Right now, the site serves farms in just two regions of the southern Interior but the sisters are looking to expand as growers sign on. The site will also share a bit of background about each farm as a way to educate consumers. Ideally, they want to nd a farmer in every town or region in BC. “We're not reaching out to those big farms or bigger centres but to the ones that need an extra hand selling their goods but they maybe can't see how to do it,” says Downey. “We’re going to do the marketing and advertising. That takes time and will be our job. We just wanted to simplify the whole thing for them.” Subscription toCountry Life in BCSubscription toCLifCLifiBSubscription toCountry Life in BCDon’t forget to RENEW your
44 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV _____________ Thousands of BC farmers and ranchers turn to Country Life in BC every month to nd out what (and who!) is making news in BC agriculture and how it may affect their farms and agri-businesses! o NEW o RENEWAL | o ONE YEAR ($18.90) oT WO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Your Name _______________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ Postal Code __________________________________ Phone _________________________ Email __________________________________________________ www.countrylifeinbc.com/subscribeMAIL TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 | firstname.lastname@example.org Please send a _______ year gift subscription to ________________________________________________ Farm Name ______________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _________________________ Phone _________________________ Email _________________________________________________ The agricultural news source in BC since 1915. Subscribe toDivorce proceedings take off with a dog fight When we left o last time, a conversation with Janice Newberry had set Deborah straight on the relationship (or lack of) between her and Kenneth. Shortly after, Kenneth arrived at the farm demanding Deborah sign divorce papers drawn up by his lawyer. Buying some time, she called Susan who provided one piece of advice, the business card of a lawyer they call Bulldog. Rural Redemption, part 132, continues ... Deborah examined the business card Susan left her. She thought it odd there was just a name and phone number, but she called it anyway. It went straight to a recorded message. “You have reached Elizabeth Kelly. Please leave your name and number and a brief reason for your call.” “This is Deborah Henderson calling. I’m hoping to reach Elizabeth Kelly, the lawyer.” Before she could say more, the phone was answered. “This is Elizabeth Kelly, Ms. Henderson. You have reached my private number. May I ask how got it?” “From my mother-in-law Susan Henderson. She said you looked after everything when her husband died.” “I see. I hope Susan is well.” “Yes, she’s ne,” said Deborah. “Does your call pertain to an estate?” “No. My husband has led for divorce and he has papers he wants me to sign. Do you handle divorces?” “Yes, I do. Specialize in them, actually. Why don’t you call me Beth and I’ll call you Deb if I may, and you can ll me in on the papers you won’t be signing.” Deborah started with the name of Kenneth’s lawyer. “Ah, yes. I know Mr. Berkovic. If you want me to proceed on your behalf, you should fax me a copy of everything you have. I’ll contact Mr. Berkovic directly.” “What will I tell Kenneth? He’s coming back tomorrow.” “Quite simple: don’t sign anything, and don’t agree to anything. Unless you are certain there is a probability of reconciliation, discourage him from moving back into the house. Tell him from here on in, any negotiations will take place between your lawyer and Mr. Berkovic.” “Should I tell him your name?” asked Deborah. “Just tell him your lawyer will be contacting his lawyer. And please keep this phone number condential.” Beth Kelly quizzed Deborah about the circumstances of her relationship and nances, for nearly half an hour, then instructed her to change the password on her personal computer and create a new email account and make sure no one else knew what they were. “What happens next?” asked Deborah. “You fax me the paperwork. It will take me a few days to see what your husband has up his sleeve and do a little investigating. We will come up with a proposal of our own and if you agree, I’ll present it to Mr. Berkovic. Is there anything else for now?” “Susan told me your nickname is the bulldog.” Beth Kelly smiled. “Yes, it is, and it’s well deserved.” vvv Kenneth returned the next day and demanded to know why Newt wasn’t on hand to witness their signatures. “Because I won’t be signing anything.” “May I ask why not?” asked Kenneth sarcastically. “My lawyer advised me not to.” “You have a lawyer? Are you crazy? Do you know what a lawyer is going to cost?” “Not exactly but I see you have one.” “Precisely. I’ve already got a lawyer. Someone needs to have a lawyer.” “Actually, Kenneth, everybody needs one, and from here on in mine will be talking to yours.” Kenneth complained angrily about the small fortune that would be squandered on lawyers and how Deborah never had a realistic appreciation of money because someone else had always paid her way and how she’d grown so cold and unreasonable since they moved to the country, and she didn’t trust him or respect him anymore so he might as well just leave. “What about the kids, and your mother? Aren’t you going to see them before you go?” “I won’t stay where I’m not welcome, Deborah. I’ll text them. And don’t think you’ve heard the last of this.” He slammed the door behind him. “The last I’ll be hearing about it from you,” she said to herself. Later in the day, Ashley and Christopher received texts from their father. He promised to come and see them once things were sorted out. vvv Susan had breakfast ready when Newt came in from the barn the following morning. She startled him with a kiss before he could sit down. “Wow!” said Newt. “Bacon and eggs and perked coee and a kiss. There hasn’t been anything like that on the menu for a long time.” “This is the rst time I’ve ever served them all together,” said Susan. “I hope you like it.” “Well, I’m not a big fan of spicy food but I have to say the kiss suited me just ne. I’m thinking you could serve one of those with just about anything.” “I’ll bet you’re right,” said Susan, “and one helping serves two.” When the breakfast dishes were nished, they settled down with a second cup of coee. “Seems pretty quiet without the kids here,” said Susan. Newt nodded. “It does, and it seems pretty lonely out at the barn without Rocky, too.” “Have you always had a dog here?” “Right from the time we came here as kids. A whole slew of them back then. Old Colonel Meldrum raised pointers and sold pups all over the country. And he always had a couple of border collies for working the sheep and cows,” said Newt. “Which ones were your favourite?” “The border collies, hands down. The pointers were strictly gun dogs; the borders were game for anything. They’d fall in at your heel when you went out the door and stay with you all day. They’d work stock and chase o the geese all day long and the only way you could reward them was to send them out for more.” Newt smiled looked out the window and watched those long-gone border collies gathering the Colonel’s Dorsets out on the hill pasture. “Would you ever get another one?” asked Susan. “If I could nd one from real good working stock, I probably would. When it comes to moving stock, one good border collie can run circles around a whole bus full of bank managers.” “What kind of dog was Rocky.” “He was a long-haired faithful companion. And he was good at it. Tiny hit the jackpot when he found Rocky. And that was just what was needed. Did you have dogs?” “Not since I was very young. Kingston wouldn’t hear of having one.” “Not even when Kenneth was a boy?” Susan shook her head. “The Colonel used to say: The only thing sorrier than a man who won’t have a dog is a man a dog won’t have.” ... to be continued Woodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINS
Gardener pens book about mason beesBOB’s your pollinatorBusy as BOB! A single Blue Orchard Bee can do the work of several hundred honey bees in her lifetime. JUDIE STEEVES COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 45MAKE A DIFFERENCE SALEVisit givergy.ca/MakeaDierenceSaleMARCH 8-11th 2021JOIN THE AUCTION ONLINE THIS YEAR! People facing hunger need our help more than ever.OVER $300,000RAISED IN 2020Online auction powered byCoee and snacks provided by RBC and Trouw Nutrition for Friday, March 12th pick upCanadianFoodgrainsbankAbbotsfordAuctionMakeaDifferenceSaleBid on an item, or donate one! You can help by donating livestock or any sellable merchandise, open to all dairy breeds and beef. Donations accepted until Friday, March 5th. Donations of cash and proceeds may be eligible for a charitable donation receipt from Canadian Foodgrains Bank.Contact Rob or Bob Brandsma to advertise on the auction website Cattle Gift baskets New tools84 HOURS OF AUCTION BIDDING! Monday, March 8th 8:30 am Online auction goes liveThursday, March 11th 8:30 pm Online auction closesFriday, March 12th 9:00am-4:30pm All items won to be picked up at Abby Stockyard in Abbotsford, BC located at 34559 McClary Avenue Livestock feed and accessories Wheels of artisan cheeses Much more!TO DONATE AN ITEM CONTACTSAMPLE AUCTION ITEMS 2021 AUCTION SCHEDULECONNECT WITH USEmail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or phone:Rob Brandsma 604-834-4435Bob Brandsma 604-855-8016Pete Brandsma 604-996-3141John Bruinsma 604-835-0297Diane Bruinsma 604-845-7771Gary Baars 604-316-3244Denise Dejong 778-878-0440Matt Dykshoorn 604-768-0131Melanie Dykshoorn 778-240-4110Lauren Klade 604 217 3950Fern McDonald 604-702-3032Casey Pruim 778-242-2620INTERIOR BCAnnie Born 250-253-2100Fred Brandsma 604-302-3801by JUDIE STEEVES KAMLOOPS – If there’s ever a competition between the honey bee (Apis mellifera), an introduced species, and the native blue orchard mason bee (Osmia lignaria), Elaine Sedgman of Kamloops knows the latter is the winner. Sedgman is a master gardener and author of A Bee Named BOB: Pollinator Extraordinaire. She’s a big fan of mason bees for their pollinating eciency. Shortening “blue orchard bee” to BOB was just the beginning of a brightly illustrated children’s book Sedgman produced that takes young readers on a tour of BOB’s lifecycle and extols the virtues of native solitary bees. “BOB pollinated her gardener’s apple tree and the neighbours’ trees as well. She visited 37,500 owers. It would take hundreds of honey bees to do the same job!” she exclaims at the conclusion of the book. In addition to a well-illustrated and delightful description of BOB’s eorts to single-handedly create a nursery, she describes in detail how the females lay eggs complete with a “loaf” of pollen and nectar to sustain their young for the rst couple of weeks of life until the larvae spin a cocoon and pupate. She notes that this solitary bee is a much faster yer than the honey bee, and that she gathers pollen on her hairy body instead of tucking it into sacs on the hind legs like the honey bee. BOB also works earlier in the morning than honey bees instead of waiting until the day warms up to head out and forage. Sedgman points out that these bees do not see the colour red, but instead see blue and yellow owers best. It’s important that gardeners and farmers not use pesticides since those would reduce populations of good insects like bees, as well as insect pests, she notes. This little book doesn’t stop at telling the story of the blue orchard mason bee, but goes on to list ways in which the reader can help increase populations of these helpful pollinators, including construction and maintenance of bee condos to help increase populations. There’s even a list of resources at the back of the book, including a publication called How to Manage the Blue Orchard Bee. Although it’s aimed at eight to 10-year-olds, Sedgman’s book has lots of information for adults, too. Originally published in 2019 by Bee Stories Publishing, it’s available online as well as in stores via distributor Sandhill Book Marketing. Have you email@example.comOr has Canada Post changed your mailing address?We wonʼt know unless YOU tell us!
46 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSpring is comingThis recipe came from industry icon Harry McWatters, who died suddenly in 2019. He told Jennifer the recipe was one his mother Muriel frequently made when he was growing up. He served it in individual ramekins topped with pu pastry, with a glass of McWatters Collection Meritage on the side. 2 tbsp. (30 ml) our pinch of salt and pepper 2 lb. (1 kg) trimmed top sirloin2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter 2 medium onions l 473-ml can of stout 1 tsp. (5 ml) grainy mustard 2 c. (500 ml) quartered mushrooms 1 sheet pu pastry milk, for brushing pastry rounds • Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Mix the our, salt and pepper together in a bowl, then toss in one-inch cubes of beef sirloin until lightly coated with the our mixture. • In a large frypan, over medium-high heat, melt half the butter and lightly brown the meat all over. You may need to do it in two batches. Transfer to an oven-safe dish with a lid. • Add the remaining butter to the frypan and cook roughly-chopped onions 4-5 minutes, or until they change colour. Spoon the onions over the beef. • Deglaze the frypan with the beer (Naramata Nut Brown ale is recommended) and pour the liquid over the onions and meat. • Cook in the oven, covered, until the beef is very tender, at least two hours. • Remove the dish from the oven and stir in the grainy mustard and then the mushrooms. Return to the oven for 30 minutes, then remove. Increase the oven temperature to the heat level recommended on the pu pastry package. • Roll out the pu pastry sheet, then cut into circles the same size as your ramekins (a biscuit cutter or water glass works). Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and brush each pastry round with milk. Bake until golden brown. • To serve, add the stew to the ramekins and top each with a pastry round. Serves 4. MURIEL’S STOUT & BEEF POT PIEThis recipe from Nk’Mip Cellars winemaker Justin Hall is served with a Saskatoon berry sauce, but I made it using blueberries because the Saskatoons weren’t ready It was delicious. He recommends pairing it with the Nk’Mip Rose. Saskatoon Berry Sauce: 2 c. (500 ml) Saskatoon berries 1/2 c. (125 ml) sugar 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla 1 stick cinnamon 2 pods star anise 2 tsp. (10 ml) cornstarch 1/2 c. (125 ml) water • Place the berries, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and star anise in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce by one-quarter. • In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and a half-cup of water, then whisk into the berry mixture to thicken. Stir and simmer for another two minutes, then remove from heat and discard the cinnamon and star anise. • This sauce can be made in advance. It keeps for a week in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. Salmon: 4 6-oz. (170-g) skin-on llets of wild B.C. sockeye salmon sea salt and pepper 1 tbsp. (15 ml) oil 1 tbsp. (15 ml) butter • Press the salmon llets between paper towel to dry the surfaces thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to evenly coat the top and bottom. The seasoning is key, as the crispy skin is a part of the nished dish. • In a large frying pan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until shimmering. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add a salmon llet, skin side down. Press rmly in place for 10 seconds, using the back of a exible sh spatula, to prevent the skin from buckling. • Add the remaining llets, one at a time, pressing each with the spatula for 10 seconds, until all the llets are in the pan. • Cook, pressing gently on the back of the llets occasionally to ensure good contact with the skin, until the skin releases easily from the pan, about four minutes. If the skin shows resistance when you attempt to lift a corner with the spatula, continue to cook until it lifts easily. Continue to cook until the salmon registers 110° F in the very centre for rare, 120° F for medium-rare or 130° F for medium, another 5-7 minutes in total. • Drizzle each with berry sauce. Serves 4. JUSTIN’S CRISPY-SKIN SOCKEYE SALMONFinally, we see the beginning of spring this month, and the end of a winter that has been heartbreakingly different for many people, as we spent Christmas without all the family together and celebrated the start of a new year quietly instead of boisterously. I’m always inclined to celebrate the spring equinox, which officially occurs in the early hours of March 20 this year, marking the astronomical first day of my favourite season, when all those green buds pop up from under the snow, or from deep in dark soil. The vernal equinox is when the sun crosses the line of the equator and the northern hemisphere, where we live, begins to be tilted more toward the sun, resulting in longer hours of daylight each day and warmer temperatures. Equinox refers to the fact that on March 20 there are equal hours of daylight and darkness. To me, celebrations always involve food, so I have enjoyed perusing Jennifer Schell’s most-recent book The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook, a compilation of recipes provided by wine industry families throughout this province, along with their stories. In the foreword, my old friend John Schreiner talks about wine being grown to accompany food and how many of those in the BC grape and wine industry have roots elsewhere in the world. That has resulted in a book with a culturally diverse range of recipes, from the Coronation Grape Streusel coffee cake from Sperling Vineyards to the Bifanas or Portuguese Pork in a Bun from the Ferreira family, and the Irish Stout and Beef Pot Pie from the late Harry McWatters’ mother. Jennifer has included a collection of seasonal menus at the back featuring locally-grown food used in recipes from the book; as well as a section on wine adventures. These include travelling to visit wineries throughout the Okanagan and on Vancouver Island. The stories, recipes and grape and wine industry background is interspersed with some lovely colour photography of this province’s varied wine country regions and its people. Even before you celebrate the arrival of spring, you could adopt a country that promotes the wearin’ o’ the green for St. Patrick’s Day March 17, along with a pint of Stout and a meat pie. Any excuse to celebrate is okay with me! Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVES
ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$APRIL deadline March 19countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online couAPRIL MARKETPLACE Deadline: MAR 19TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTLIVESTOCKLIVESTOCKREAL ESTATEACCOUNTINGWANTEDTRACTORS/EQUIPMENTFOR SALECOURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.HAYSEEDSEED1-888-770-7333PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 firstname.lastname@example.org www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE. Call DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd INTERESTED IN BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? DISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE 10070 MCBRIDE TIMBER RD. Outstanding agricultural 445 acre property, extensively renovated in 1998 plus some recent updates. WHAT A DELIGHT! Expansive ranch home. Ideal horse property w/private spring fed lake. 128 acres. $699,900 NEARLY 500 ACRES of prime farm land on Fraser River. Turn-key cattle ranch and/or prosper-ous haying enterprise. $1,400,000 RANCHERS & DAIRY FARMERS: 320 acres, 2 residences, 6 mas-sive outbuildings, 15 km from downtown PG. MLS C8030418 $2,599,000 150+ ACRES Turn-key horse breeding ranch, 2,900 sq ft log home, fenced/cross-fenced. MLS R2441103, $1,720,000 55 ACRES Development potential close to airport. MLS R2435958, $599,900 112.02 ACRES IN CITY LIMITS. Potential for development. MLS R2435725. $1,300,000 Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 FOR SALEBERRIESDeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCLOOKING TO BUY USED JD TRACTORS 60-100 HP JD 6140D 2013, MFWD, CAB, 140 HP, 4350 HRS, 24 SP FWD/12 SP REV, HI LO PWR REV $79,000 JD 7810 COMING SOON! IHC 474 W/LDR 7,950 JD 2750 4WD, RB & LDR 26,500 JD 5105 2WD, 2006, 1,400 HRS 15,000 [ADD LOADER TO 5105 3,500] JD7600 MFWD 45,000 JD 230 24’ DBL FOLD DISK 16,500 HAY - BIG SQUARES CALL! ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • LOEWEN AGITATORS 22 ft, 100 HP prop, nice condition $2,250; 16 ft 100 HP prop, nice condition, $2,000 TONY 604-850-4718RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Coneygeers bloodlines - call for seedstock. 250-722-1882. NanaimoFor Tissue Culture Derived Plants of New Varieties of Haskaps, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoon Berries and Sour Cherries, Please Contact:DISEASE FREE PLANTING STOCK OF NEW BERRY CROPS 4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4B6info@agriforestbiotech.com250.764.2224www.agriforestbiotech.com HAYLAGE EXCELLENT QUALITY HAYLAGE 950-1100 LB BALES Delivery available on Vancouver Island and along the Trans Canada Hwy corridor in BC. Reasonable prices. 250-727-1966NEW POLYETHYLENE TANKS of all shapes & sizes for septic and water storage. Ideal for irrigation, hydroponics, washdown, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spraying. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics Inc. premierplastics.com. Feeders & Panels that maintain their value!ROUND BALE FEEDERS BIG SQUARE BALE FEEDERS FENCE PANELS CATTLE & HORSE FEEDERSHeavy duty oil field pipe bale feeders. Feed savers, single round bale feeders outside measurement is 8’x8.5.’ Double round bale feeder measurement is 15’x8’. Silage bunk feeders. For product pictures, check out Double Delichte Stables on Facebook Dan 250/308-9218 ColdstreamFARM EQUIPMENT and PARTS • ROLLOVER PLOWS 3 and 4 BTM, in-furrow, and on-land, $3750 to $6750 • FORD and OLIVER Semi Mount Plows, 5 or 4 BTM, $1600 each. • HD BREAKING PLOW, 1Big BTM on wheels, $3,600 • HD V-SPADE Root Cutter on wheels, 1 ripper spade, $2800. • CO-OP 26’ CULTIVATOR, drawbar pull, HYD fold, $6500. • CRUST-BUSTER, 24’ drawbar pull, S-Tines and Harrows, $4,600. • 2 NEW CULTIVATORS, 5’ and 6’, S-Tines, 3PH, $650 each. • JOHN DEERE CULTIVATOR, Row-Crop 4 row, $1000. • CULTIVATOR DUCK FEET TIPS, New and Used, bigger sizes. • NORTHWEST ROTOTILLER, Straw-berry/Row Crop 2 row, $2500. • IH SIDE DRESSER, Granular fertil-izer, Cultivator, 4 row, $1800. • RIDGE MULCHER TD 2000, hydride, draw-bar pull, near new, $5500. • CROP SPRAYERS, Truck, Trailer and 3PH models, 150 to 850 Gal, Call for details. • JIFFY and CRAWFORD HYDUMPS, 14’, $2900 and $5900. • FEEDER HAY, 400 -16’x18’ bales, $6 each • GRAIN BINS, small to medium sizes, $700 and up. • LEWIS CATTLE OILERS, Offers. • TRUCK RIMS or TIRES, many sizes,. • PICKUP BOXES, New and Used long boxes, Dually or Single wheel. • OLDER TRUCKS and Parts. Call Jim for hard to nd items, Abbotsford BC at 604-852-6148 HAY FOR SALE Large quantities of 3x4 hay & 4x4 WRAPPED SILAGE BALES. Located in Salmon Arm. WE DELIVER. 250-804-6081Toll Free 1-888-357-0011 www.ultra-kelp.comREGISTRATION NO. 990134 FEEDS ACT Keeping Animals Healthy The Natural Way FLACK’S BAKERVIEW KELP PRODUCTS INC Pritchard, BC (est. 1985)It’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-7733PREMIUM HAIR BRED LAMBS FOR SALE Foundation breeding stock lambs: Purebred St. Croix (maternal excellence, parasite resistance, height/length, small bone/less fat) and Registered White Dorper (impressive bulk, rapid gain). Commercial Royal White market lambs available for your pasture finishing. Robust, fast gain, large carcass with high meat yield. All lambs available June 2021. Also, limited PUREBRED WHITE DORPER ewes available. Starter flock packages arranged. All excellent health, ideal conformation, clean genetics. Reserve your selections with deposit, while supplies last. 250-375-2528 email@example.com www.harmonykennelandlamb.comAgricultural 'Custom Business' OPPORTUNITY A lucrative custom Forage Business having an established customer base, operating inter-provincially in western Canada. The business includes a good line of modern and well maintained Machinery & Equipment. This sustainable 'turn key' operation is available for the 2021 harvesting season.For more information, contact Maurice at Century 21 Westman Realty Ltd, Brandon, Mb. (204) 729-6644 firstname.lastname@example.orgGREAT SELECTIONQUALITY PRICETerra Seed Corp1.800.282.7856terraseco.com• 2015 INTERNATIONAL TERRASTAR 4WD extended cab, automatic trans, custom factory built flat deck with hydraulic lift gate, duel large under deck high quality polished stainless locking storage boxes. This truck is just like new out of the show room with only 17000 km. Perfect truck for any one who wants to improve their business efficiency with a better image. Ideal truck for farmers, land-scapers, traffic control business. Also great truck for delivery work for feed stores. This truck is a must see. • JOHN DEERE large finishing mower, used only one season. Barn stored . Asking $3,800 . • SUMMERS rock picker, just like new, hardly used, $7,000 Contact Carl 604-825-9108 or email email@example.comROUND BALED FEED Organic, no chemicals, no rain. These are good, tight, well-wrapped bales – good quality feed. 1st cut $55 per bale; 2nd cut $65 per bale. We offer discounts for large orders. Carl at 604-825-9108 email firstname.lastname@example.org WANTED good condition tandem truck with a Versatran retriever equipment transport deck. Contact Carl 604-825-9108; email email@example.comCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2021 | 47First cut feeder grade ALFALFA. 3x4s, weed free, barn stored. From $150/ton FOB Creston. Stuart 604-308-6222Cidery looking for LONG TERM CONTRACT for Jonagold or Braeburn apples or farmers willing to replant those varieties. Good prices paid, up front deposits, 3 year+ commitment and we buy all your production. Contact Rachel 604 308 4805 or firstname.lastname@example.orgExcellent 2nd cut ROUND BALE HAY. Limited amts. South Surrey. $65/bale. 604-538-4435First cut HAYLAGE, 4x4, wrapped. Tap-pen. Delivery available. 250-835-2211Wanted: Good condition NH166 hay inverter Call John 604-894-6745 or email email@example.comFOR SALE: forage & cover crop seed, baler twine and net wrap, silage plas-tic, barb wire, page wire, gates and panels, one-time steel fence posts. Mon-Sat, 250-420-1897Excellent Agricultural BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: Water Buffalo Dairy herd for sale. Italian Mediterranean water buffalo herd, approximately 100 females from top Italian genetics. Ages range from weaned calves to approxi-mately 10 years. Some pregnant and some ready to milk. Purebred Italian Mediterranean bulls also available. For more information, contact Ontario Water Buffalo Company at 613-395-1342 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Pacifc Forage Bag Supply Ltd.www.pacificforagebag.comCall 604.319.0376
48 | MARCH 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTRUST GENUINE KUBOTA PARTS.Genuine Kubota parts are the right choice for your equipment because they’re designed and manufactured to strict standards precisely for what you own. When it comes to service, your local dealer has experienced Kubota certied service technicians to keep your equipment running the way it should. kubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010OLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/847-3610 VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355 ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665 COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801 CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254 DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281 DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755 KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044 KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700 PROUD PARTNER OF