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Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 107 No. 5The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 MAY 2021 | Vol. 107 No. 5ALRProvince to lift restrictions on second homes 3 FRUITJack Frost nips potential for huge cherry crop9 APIARISTSBeekeepers welcome technology transfer program26PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – With a return to normal operations on the horizon, the BC Agriculture Council is holding the course on spending this year while continuing to support farmers facing nancial challenges. The council unveiled a million-dollar budget at its annual meeting on April 8 that included a decit of $223,205. This reected both a nancial pinch from the pandemic as well as high expenses based on expectations regular meetings would resume by late spring 2021. “We may have been optimistic on that assumption,” noted executive director Reg Ens in presenting the budget to member organizations. “We could see reductions in some operating expenses.” Program revenues declined as a result of this year’s agriculture gala moving online and lower sponsorship revenue. BCAC has also seen base membership dues drop from last year’s expectation of $376,000 to $291,225. This reects a write-down of dues owed by the Mushroom Growers Society as well as the BC Salmon Farmers Association’s decision to withdraw from BCAC at the end of March. BCSFA cut its own membership dues by 10% in response to COVID-19 and in turn cut expenses by withdrawing from BCAC. Meanwhile, a levy for public trust initiatives – put on hold last year – was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 and spread among the remaining Love it or hate it, asparagus can be a remarkably protable cash crop for farmers who are not only willing to work hard to get the crop in the ground but have a lot of patience. Sutcliffe Farms in Creston is the province's largest producer at 100 acres, but owner Doug Sutcliffe says acreage is on the decline thanks in part to cheap imports. Jackie Pearase looks at the state of asparagus farming in BC, starting on page 33. SUTCLIFFE FARMSPandemic puts pinch on finances1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!YOUR BC SEED SOURCESee DEFICITS on next page oWater licence angstExperts sound alarm with time ticking on well registrationKATE AYERS & PETER MITHAM DUNCAN – It’s been more than three years since Ken Ellison applied for licences to draw water from the three wells on his farm in the Cowichan Valley as part of a new groundwater management regime introduced under the Water Sustainability Act in 2016. With water restrictions in his area becoming more common, the idea of having priority access in the event of water restrictions under the rst in time, rst in right (FITFIR) provisions of the new Green goldSee PROVINCE 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

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PROVINCE continues to struggle with groundwater licensing nfrom page 1DEFICITS have been bearable nfrom page 1act appealed to him. But, like hundreds of other well owners, Ellison has yet to receive his licences. Adding to his frustration, the same act he believed would protect his water rights was invoked in 2019 to prevent Ellison and other farmers in the Koksilah watershed from irrigating their crops. “Our water was taken away from us for six weeks, with absolutely no consideration for FITFIR and still to this date I have heard nothing about a conrmation on my licences,” he says. “The promise of FITFIR is the only reason that I went forward with these applications, and government has mishandled this program the whole way through!” Ellison is not alone in his frustration. Other users have seen the provisions of the new regime for non-domestic groundwater users as needlessly confusing and more restrictive than anticipated. Many have simply held o applying for a licence. According to the most recent statistics from the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, just 4,069 licence applications had been received by March 31 of an estimated 20,000 wells in the province. And of these applications, just 1,292 licences have been issued. This is shaping up to be a massive headache for government, which initially gave existing users two years to register their wells and obtain groundwater licences. The province waived application fees as an incentive. But a lack of uptake forced the province to extend the deadline twice. Users now have until March 1, 2022 to register their wells without losing their FITFIR designation. The province is on record saying that no further extensions will be given. “If the vast majority of users do not apply, they are not going to stop using their water, so government will have a big enforcement and non-compliance problem on their hands,” says the province’s former deputy comptroller of water rights Mike Wei, who helped draft the new groundwater regulation. “Politically, that will be a dicult thing to manage.” The concerns were highlighted in a report Wei co-authored for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC last month. New users – those who applied for wells drilled or commissioned on or after March 1, 2016 – also require a licence. However, historical users without a licence on March 1, 2022 will be deemed new users, too. “Any new-use applications received prior to theirs will get a more senior priority date. By not applying, historical groundwater users are eectively giving their current volume of groundwater use back to the government for reallocation,” notes the report. Wei appreciates the frustration Ellison and other applicants have experienced. “When you apply, people 2 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCdon’t hear anything from government for years and silence is deadly,” Wei says. In addition to not keeping applicants informed, the government has not explained the benets of applying for a licence and the consequences of non-compliance to those who have yet to apply, Wei says. Historical water users put their livelihoods at risk by not applying for a licence and there could be far-reaching implications for BC farmers and rural businesses. “The transition is meant to bring people into the fold, not to exclude people from the fold,” he says. “If the government signals that and communicates clearly what all this means for the average business person, that would be great. It’s not a tax grab; it’s a transition from one system of right of access to another.” To build condence in the new groundwater regime, the recent report says the province should dedicate adequate sta to processing applications and promptly issue licences to existing users. The recent provincial budget took a step in this direction with an $11 million allocation to support FrontCounterBC oces around the province. BC Agriculture Council executive director Reg Ens expects much of this to be spent on stang, improving service delivery and reducing processing times. “Specically where we’re hoping that helps is with the groundwater licensing issue – that huge backlog that’s there,” he says. The report also urges the province to explain the consequences of not obtaining a licence, and being open to extending the application deadline. Wei thinks the province should undertake compliance activities to show it’s serious about unauthorized water use. It also needs to rethink its deadline for implementation. “I just don’t see 10 months being sucient, especially during a pandemic with no end in sight,” says Wei. “Government is the only one who can extend the timeframe.” While last year also forecast a decit of more than $200,000, reduced expenses limited it to just $17,000. Decits to date have been bearable. “BCAC remains in a strong nancial position with good cash reserves and unrestricted equity,” BCAC controller Jackie Mays says. Spending was put to good use in 2020. Recapping the council’s successes, BCAC president Stan Vander Waal noted the council’s We Heart Local initiative highlighting local producers and their products saw an 84% increase in viewership and communications reached 530,000 people. The Western Agriculture Labour Initiative, a council subsidiary, helped mobilize 6,000 foreign workers last year and in October began verifying application information with employers. Environmental Farm Plan activities increased, with $2.95 million disbursed for projects across BC. A total of 387 plans were completed, well above the target of 280, and projects focused on best management practices came in at 462, more than double expectations. A major initiative this year will be “Cultivating Prosperity,” an initiative with the Investment Agriculture Foundation to reposition agriculture as an economic engine and solutions-provider in the province. An industry-wide survey and consultation process is planned for 2021. The past successes and future plans lled Vander Waal with optimism. “With all the challenges we’ve seen, we truly have come through a year of pandemic much, much better than we would have expected,” he says. “I truly want to thank each of you for the support you’ve demonstrated in keeping our associations running in this very challenging year.” associations for total funding from the membership of $391,225. While this represents a signicant burden for paid-up members, Ens reminded the membership, “dues in 2021 are still below what was the membership dues in 2017.” The shortfall underpins the decit, forcing the association to dip into its reserve funds. “Overall, we are forecasting a $223,000 decit,” says Ens. “While this is not sustainable, BCAC has built up reserves over the last several years and we are using those now to get through this transition period. We are working on additional revenue sources and plans for 2022.” www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 email: tractorparts4sale@shaw.caWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard MASHIO CM4500 14’ PWR HARROW W/ROLLER GD COND. . . $14,000 VIBRA 8.5 FT 3POINT CULTIVATOR WITH HD SPRING LOAD 22” SHANK. 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Province to lift restrictions on second homesProposed regulation creates residential flexibility in the ALRCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 3PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – The province is preparing a new regulation to allow property owners in the Agricultural Land Reserve to have a secondary dwelling without Agricultural Land Commission approval. “For almost 50 years, BC’s agricultural land reserve (ALR) has existed to encourage farming and protect farmland,” said BC agriculture minister Lana Popham said in Facebook post highlighting a factsheet on the changes. “It should go without saying that farmers need a place to live, and that many non-farmers live in the ALR. We are now finalizing changes that will create more residential opportunities in the ALR.” The new rules follow a public consultation last year and will “provide more flexibility to help farming families thrive and to benefit non-farmers living in the ALR.” The consultation included submissions from 29 local governments as well as 257 individuals and associations. According to the factsheet, the new rules will “enable ALR landowners to have both a principal residence (that could include a secondary suite) and a small additional residence, whether or not there is farming activity on the property.” The changes please Meghan McPherson, a Comox Valley landowner who led the charge against the original regulation in 2019. Critics argued that the restrictions on secondary residences limited the ability for extended families to live on the same property, impeded agritourism and left many unable to obtain insurance for existing dwellings that could not be rebuilt under the new rules. “I’m hopeful that it will relieve a majority of the pressure that’s been felt by the housing restrictions,” she says. “We’re all on standby, still waiting for the official announcement on what the changes are going to look like so we can begin to make plans and proceed with our lives.” District A Farmers Institutes president Raquel Kolof was also pleased with the change, which limited her ability to secure financing for an expansion of her farm in Gibsons. “The proposed changes … would go a long way to help farmers stay afloat in these challenging times,” she says, noting the frustration the restrictions created for a number of families and small-scale farm operations. Bill 52 was a surprise The new regulation backtracks from an initial regulation designed to give force and effect to Bill 52, passed in 2018. Sprung without notice on property owners in February 2019, the new regulation was designed to support farming but effectively outlawed most forms of secondary residences. Many landowners in the process of securing manufactured homes for their properties were caught offguard. An outcry over the changes led to a temporary reprieve in which landowners were given extra time to obtain the permits and authorizations required to situate manufactured homes for immediate family members on their properties. It has been extended three times, with the latest extension running until December 31, giving local governments time to adjust their bylaws to accommodate the new regulations. However, the adjustments may include implementing their own restrictions on the kinds of housing allowed on properties within the ALR. While some larger municipalities will likely try to contain residential development, McPherson hopes rural municipalities will be more lenient “We’ve fought really hard to have access to basic, modest housing in rural parts of the province, and to then have local governments restrict that further is definitely a really concern for some people,” she says. McPherson halted her own bid to place a manufactured home on her property because it would jeopardize her ability to rebuild the primary residence should it burn or otherwise be significantly damaged. “That was too much risk for my family,” she says. Happily, her neighbour’s property came up for sale, allowing her parents to move in next door. But the changes probably won’t please everyone. “There’s some people who proceeded with getting a modular home because they thought there was only a little window and it was their only opportunity to ever have a second house,” she says. “Now, any month or any week we could hear that they could have built a cabin.” Nevertheless, the changes are probably the best property owners could have hoped for under the circumstances. “She doesn’t completely want to rewrite the changes that she made, but she is trying to find reasonable flexibility for the people who are ‘non-farmers,’” she says, adding that it’s even better than a straight backtrack because a second home won’t be contingent on farming activity or the ALC. “What we’ll be left with, if the changes go through the way she’s implying it will, is … a better option than what was in place before.” Meghan McPherson, with son Eric, 4, at a Courtenay dairy where she is employed, was among the rst to speak out against legislation introduced in 2019 that would limit secondary residences on farm properties. The province has announced it will be revisiting those rules and making them more exible CHRIS MCPHERSON“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 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StToll Free 1-800-242-9737

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Advertising is accepted on the condition that in the event of a typographical error, that portion of the advertising space occupied by the erroneous item, together with reasonable allowance for signature will not be charged, but the balance of the advertisement will be paid for at the applicable rate. In the event of a typographical error which advertises goods or services at a wrong price, such goods or services need not be sold at the advertised price. Advertising is an offer to sell, and may be withdrawn at any time. All advertising is accepted subject to publisher’s approval. All of Country Life in British Columbia’s content is covered by Canadian copyright law. Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Country Life in British Columbia. Letters are welcome, though they may be edited in the interest of brevity before publication. All errors brought to our attention will be corrected.36 Dale Road, Enderby BC V0E 1V4 . Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.107 No. 5 . MAY 2021Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Wasn’t it just Christmas, PW? On the levelIt’s late spring, and the ow of workers and snowmelt to the province should be starting, helping farmers prepare crops and animals for harvest later this summer. A year ago, our front page focused on worker health and the risk of ooding in the Cariboo. This year, it’s shaping up to be a dry season for both labour and water. Travel restrictions continue and while the snowpack is high, rainfall has been low. The province is making signicant investments in protecting workers through its centralized quarantine program and recently invested in upgrades to irrigation infrastructure in the Oliver area but a higher power is involved in both. Ottawa handles international travel restrictions, while precipitation is in the hands of Providence. This doesn’t mean we can’t do anything, of course. One response to the province’s request for comments on a new drought rating system noted that a nomadic impulse historically led humans to settle by water rather than waiting for water to come to them. “Let Mother Nature lead us to that area and there would be no recognizable drought,” he remarked. But it’s not that simple. Sure, farmers could go to where the water is, but most already have. They’re on the oodplains and valley bottoms. While some farmers choose higher elevations, most don’t do it to get closer to water. Water needs to nd its own level. Trouble is, shifting weather patterns mean water isn’t always there when farmers need it. While irrigation schemes help, a lack of precipitation leaves little to manage (or in the case of a rapid snowmelt, too much at the wrong time). Similarly, most farmers aren’t about to move to the cities like most workers have. Many urban workers consider farm work a last resort, anyway. The work of pruning and harvesting isn’t what comes to mind when they think of highly skilled tasks. This has led many farmers to look overseas to meet their needs. Water and food are hot-button issues for many urbanites. Many don’t want to see BC groundwater tapped for export by the bottle. They also know local food can’t be produced overseas, but it often relies on labour that is. Government has put big bucks behind climate adaptation schemes that tackle the big picture when it comes to water management. An equally ambitious approach is needed to raise the prole of career opportunities in agriculture because the pandemic continues to remind us that local food security is inseparable from a secure local labour supply. Wild plum trees are the earliest bloomers of any consequence on our farm. Skunk cabbages and snowdrops appear earlier but it’s the masses of tiny white plum blossoms that steal the rst act of spring. Most importantly, they are the rst partner on the dance card after a long winter for the bees. It was a tough winter for bees. A quarter of the hives here didn’t make it and the beekeeper in the family tells me we were luckier than many. The survivors rely on the plum blossoms to tide them over until the maple trees ower. The farm has always relied on bees, of course, but our rst domestic hives only arrived on site ve years ago. I have paid much more attention to their trials, tribulations and activities since then. Top of the watch list for beekeepers all over southern BC is Vespa mandarinia, commonly called Asian giant hornets, and most sensationally referred to as murder hornets. The invasive species was rst spotted in BC and in Washington State in 2019. Two nests were hunted down and surveillance is ongoing. A handful can wipe out a hive of bees in a few hours. Honeybees in North America are defenseless against Vespa mandarinia. Not so their Asian counterparts. Asian honeybees are constantly hunted by Asian giant hornets and have developed several defensive strategies. They build stronger nests with tiny entrances they can defend more eectively. If a lone hornet does make it inside, the bees will swarm it in a ball that raises the temperature enough to kill the intruder. European honeybees will use a similar tactic when attacked by wasps. But the heavy artillery in the Asian honeybee’s arsenal turns out to be animal dung. When a Vietnamese beekeeper told Dr. Heather Mattila from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Dr. Gard Otis from the University of Guelph in Ontario of the tactic, the pair led a team of researchers to Vietnam where they studied more than 300 honeybee hives. They found there were globs of manure pasted on many of the hives, particularly around the entrances. Asian giant hornets often scout their victims alone. When they locate a hive, they land and leave a pheromone marker near the entrance, then y home to send reinforcements. The research found there was an immediate response from the bees in marked hives. Within a day, they plastered the area near the hive entrance with an average of 15 globs of animal dung: mostly water bualo, but also chicken and pig. Further study of actual attacks showed that in well-globbed hives, the length of attacks was reduced by 94% compared to unmarked hives. How it all works is still a mystery. Clearly the bees recognize and react to the hive marking behaviour of the Asian giant hornets, but the repellant function of the globs of dung is still a matter of speculation. Researchers suspect there are defensive plant-based substances present in the diet of the animals that supply the dung. Once a group of Asian giant hornets successfully invades a hive, each one can kill thousands of bees. The hornets then rob the brood of bee larvae to feed to their own young. Beekeepers are faced with a long list of destructive parasites, diseases, viruses and disorders. The addition of an established population of Asian giant hornets would likely spell catastrophe for the bees and all the agriculture that depends on them. Asian Giant Hornets have nested successfully in BC. Even if all the viable nests were destroyed, the fact they made it here once should be a clear warning they could return. Let’s hope Drs. Mattila and Otis can pin down the formula for an eective repellant. For now, vigilance should be the watchword on every farm and ranch. You can nd out more about Asian giant hornets, and what to do if you spot one at the Invasive Species Council of BC []. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. The Back Forty BOB COLLINSAsian giant hornets aren’t welcome hereWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC

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Proposed meat regs a step in the right directionSmall-scale farmers still face hurdles scaling up, howeverCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 5It appears that the NDP government is nally making some highly-anticipated progress on BC's infamous “Meat File.” The history of this le goes back much further than the current government, but the recent progress is the result of concerted discussions with producers and industry groups over the past three years. It has been heartening to see BC agriculture minister Lana Popham and her sta making local meat processing a real priority. The licensing changes proposed in March could be the rst steps towards greater stability and growth opportunities for small-scale meat producers in British Columbia. It feels particularly good to know that the last three years of my life were not a waste of time. I was at my wits’ end in 2017 and seriously considering shutting down my farm due to a lack of processing options when I reached out to other producers and found we faced similar issues. We incorporated the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association just days before the rst round of consultations on rural slaughter capacity in 2018 and have taken every opportunity to provide feedback to the ministry ever since. The combination of our eorts and a motivated government appears to be paying o. While the details are still being eshed out and legislative approval is still required, we expect the proposed legislative changes to: ● allow two new classes of on-farm slaughter licences enabling producers to process up to 5AU or up to 25AU on farm (one animal unit represents 1,000 lbs). ● increase access to local and provincial markets including farmers markets, retail and restaurants ● oer alternative approaches to traditional inspection This is good news for many producers. On-farm slaughter is a nice option to have as a complement to another business. For example, a cow-calf operation would be able to slaughter up to 25 cull cows a year on-farm. The operator could then direct-market that meat anywhere in the province, which would greatly improve the margins on those cull cows. A fruit producer might want to run some chickens in the orchard to eliminate some pests and fertilize the soil. They could then process those chickens on-farm and direct-market them. It could also help a producer who is having trouble getting animals booked in at a provincially inspected abattoir in the busy season, as they could process on-farm in the fall/winter season and at the local abattoir in the spring and summer when they are less busy. It will be nice for hobby farms to be able to process a few animals and sell them to friends and neighbours. It will certainly help alleviate some of the slaughter backlog producers are experiencing and it will allow a lot of producers the opportunity to increase the number of animals they process without the need for signicant capital investment. It also oers many small producers who have been operating quietly under the radar to take advantage of training, resources and support to bring their operations into compliance very easily. But there is still much work to do before we will have a truly sustainable small-scale Viewpoint by JULIA SMITHmeat sector that supports farmers and contributes in a signicant way to BC’s food security. A small family farm cannot survive on just 25AU a year; it limits them to hobby farming. It also means that consumers won't really have the “Buy BC” choices they want on grocery store shelves and at the butcher. Foreign corporate entities will continue to supply the “real” food chain. While a number of small abattoirs operate on a shoestring with minimal investment, many of these facilities are grandfathered and are not subject to current codes of practice. To build even a small inspected slaughter facility today is prohibitively expensive for most producers. What about the guy who wants to raise more than 25AU a year but not run a commercial abattoir? The proposed changes leave a gaping chasm in the space between the 25AU that will be allowed under the new on-farm slaughter legislation and the “unlimited” number allowed at an inspected commercial abattoir. The real opportunity lies in this gap. We look forward to continuing to work with the ministry to facilitate the growth of BC’s meat industry. The proposed regulatory changes will enable us to test the waters and demonstrate the safety and ecacy of smaller-scale abattoirs and alternative inspection systems. Next, we would like to explore how we might scale-up these systems through mobile and cooperatively owned operations. Sadly, these changes will come too late for many producers but they do bring hope to others for the rst time in a long time. Let's hope that the government continues to prioritize this sector and that this is the start of genuine long-term change. Julia Smith is co-founder and president of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. She operates Blue Sky Ranch in Merritt. There is still much work to do before we will have a truly sustainable small-scale meat sector that supports farmers. JULIA SMITHKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeSmithersMasterdrive ® GIII gearbox provides increased toughness and reliabilityRight-hand delivery maximizesoperator efciency and comfortHydraulic headland lift allows for quick and easy adjustments to eld conditionsDouble-curved tine arms are designed to form uffy and consistent windrowsPatented StandardUNIFORM, FLUFFY WINDROWSGA 4230 T & GA 4231 T Single-Rotor Rotary Rakes13’10” Working WidthDowntown Realty 4007 - 32nd Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5P2 1-800-434-9122 www.royallegpage.caPAT DUGGAN Personal Real Estate Corporation Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd. Farm | Ranch | Residential Bus: 250/545-5371 (24 hr) Cell: 250/308-0938 Build your dream home! 44 acres of irrigated property ready for your new home, orchard, cattle or crops. Mostly usable land with shop. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 7BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER VICTORIA – Plans to harmonize the province's drought ratings with the North American Drought Monitor (NADM), a standard monitoring system in use across North America, is raising concerns among ranchers. BC currently uses four drought levels: the lowest level (1) indicates there is no drought, and the next three reect increasing levels of water scarcity. These levels guide water managers and water users in determining what actions need to be taken to conserve water. The levels are based on identied indicators of drought outlined in the BC Drought Response Plan. The province is proposing new drought levels because the existing four-level scale is not specic enough to eectively communicate changing drought conditions across the province. The rst level in the new Province plans pilot for new drought ratingsRanchers want to ensure responses remain voluntarysystem would be zero, with no colour designation on the map, indicating a non-drought situation. The second level would be ‘one’ with a conservation response, which would correspond to level two of the current system, which has a voluntary conservation response. Both would indicate ‘dry.’ Level three of the current system, which indicates very dry, with voluntary conservation and restrictions, would be split into two levels – level two, very dry, with conservation and local water restrictions when appropriate, and level three, severely dry. The new ’severely dry’ level three would indicate a severe state of drought, with conservation and local water restrictions likely. Level four of the current system would be split into levels four and ve. Level four of the current system and proposed system would both indicate extremely dry. The current response is voluntary conservation, with restrictions and regulatory actions as necessary. The new level four would have conservation and local water restrictions, with possible regulatory action. The new ‘exceptionally dry’ level ve would be used to identify drought that is at or near historic severity. It would likely result in regulatory actions, up to and including Most areas of the province were still seeing an above-average snowpack last month, but a lack of precipitation saw the Kettle basin designated as dry as the province's drought monitors began work for the season. AL PRICESee DROUGHT on next page oFOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.794.3701organicfeeds@gmail.comwww.canadianorganicfeeds.comCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.The US Drought Monitor was developed in 1998 as a system that would be easy to recognize and respond to. Since that time, several US agencies have produced a composite drought map each week. The system was developed to be objective and simple. The map is based on information from satellite and surface sources, acknowledging that local conditions can vary. The North American Drought Monitor is modeled on the US Drought Monitor. It is a cooperative project between Canada, Mexico, and the US. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Environment Canada are partners with US and Mexican agencies in this project. NADM has been producing monthly drought maps for nearly 20 years. —Barbara Johnstone GrimmerUniversalCOMMITTED TO AGRICULTURE in the FRASER VALLEY, SOUTH OKANAGAN & VANCOUVER ISLAND rollinsmachinery.comCHILLIWACK • 1.800.242.9737 . 44725 Yale Road West • 604.792.1301 LANGLEY • 1.800.665.9060 |. 21869 - 56th Avenue • 604.533.0048 CHEMANIUS • . 3306 Smiley Road KELOWNA • 250.765.8266 . #201 - 150 Campion Street TRACTORS JD 5500 6300 HRS, ROPS, LOADER, 4WD [U32428] ............. 31,500 NH 8560 4WD, 6,250 HRS [U32312] .................................... 45,900 NH BOOMER 35 & LDR, NEW [N 31624] ................................ 29,775 NH WORKMASTER 60 & LDR [N 32272] .................................. 45,775 NH TS6.140 [N 31303] ......................................................... 93,500 NH TS6.120 [N 31340] ......................................................... 86,500 QUALITY USED EQUIPMENT AERWAY 11’ TRAILER, AERATOR, NICE CONDITION [U40045] .... 9,000 FELLA TS800 RAKE [U32578] .................................................. 8,500 GEHL 3250 SQ BALER, S/N20743, CRANK BALE TENSION,78” PU, 1/4 TURN BALE CHUTE, GOOD CONDITION, SHED-STORED [U32407] ............... 7,900 KUHN PRO 150 MANURE SPREADER, VERTICAL BEATERS, GOOD CONDITION [U32236] ................................................ 28,500 JD 1620 ZEROTURN MOWER, 1,900 HRS [CNS718] ................ 9,500 MCHALE FUSION VARIO 2017, 14,000 BALES, NEW BELT SUPPLIED (NOT INSTALLED - $6,000 VALUE) [U32135] ......................... 89,000 NH 258 RAKE 260, HITCH [U32143] ........................................ 4,950 NH 795 MANURE SPREADER [U32010] .................................... 7,595 NH 1044 BALE WAGON [U32420] ............................................ 7,000 NH C232 TRACK SKIDSTEER, DEMO SPECIAL, 500 HRS, GOOD CONDITION [N31179] ................................................. 61,000 NH L220 SKID STEER 4500 HRS, CAB, HVAC, NO BUCKET [U32573] 31,500 NH TV145 BI-DIRECTIONAL TRACTOR, FRONT MOUNT TIGER BOOM MOWER, GOOD CONDITION [U16916] ................................... 47,500 TAARUP 4036 DISC MOWER, REBUILT CUTTERBAR [U32093] ... 14,500

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8 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDROUGHT plan nfrom page 7Agricultural Grade Products - Made in the U.S.A. Contact your local Nelson Irrigation dealer today!TAP INTO OUR WEBINAR SERIES! NELSONIRRIGATION.COMROTATOR®TECHNOLOGYREIGNSNEW 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.COMan emergency response. The BC Cattlemen’s Association’s environmental stewardship committee and its water sub-committee have reviewed the proposed changes. Although they support the move to harmonize BC’s system with those of other jurisdictions in North America, BCCA doesn’t feel the impact on drought planning or response has been communicated clearly. BCCA emphasizes that “as licensed users, ranchers and farmers are some of the largest stakeholder groups aected.” It is asking the province to raise awareness of the changes and the implications for drought planning and response by agriculture. BCCA particularly opposes the removal of the word “voluntary” in the rating system’s language, noting that the retention of the terms “voluntary” and “voluntarily reduce” in notices to users will be more eective in garnering support. In addition, BCCA requests that the water supply for livestock should be assured, because it is critical for animal welfare and productivity. Above all, farmers and ranchers are interested in government investment in climate adaptation projects that will increase water storage capacity, given the observed increases in the frequency and severity of drought. More infrastructure is needed, according to BCCA. Better approach Jennifer Miles, water sustainability coordinator with the Regional District of North Okanagan, appreciates the more nuanced approach. She believes the six levels oer better renement. “The proposed system will involve local water suppliers, allowing for local response and management,” she says. A 30-day public consultation on the new rating system closed at the end of March. Responses may result in adjustments to the proposal. In the meantime, the province plans to pilot the new system this summer and, if it is received favourably, the province will move forward with adoption and make necessary updates to the BC Drought Response Plan. Comments posted online indicate general support for the new ratings, but also emphasized the need for clear communications, especially to private well owners. While drought deepens along the US West Coast, the Pacic Northwest and British Columbia continues to hold their own. The Kettle was the only one of 32 watersheds across BC considered dry as Country Life in BC went to press, despite minimal spring rainfall in many regions and an early start to the wildre season with an evacuation alert near Merritt on April 18. The provincial snowpack was above normal at 113% and virtually unchanged from the previous month. Southern regions of the province saw the lowest snowpack levels. However, only the East Kootenay region was below 100% of normal at 93%. Cool temperatures helped to slow spring runo, allowing for a gradual release of moisture, though a run of warm weather in mid-April threatened to change that. Coupled with dry conditions through April, regions such as the Okanagan faced a mixed outlook heading into the growing season. “Precipitation has been below normal in March and April, especially across the southern interior,” sta with the BC River Forecast Centre report. “Many valleys across the interior have dried out, but early-season indicators to date are not showing any major drought concerns yet in any region of BC.” With weather forecasts calling for rain across the southern parts of the province during the nal week of April, there’s hope the much-needed moisture will “alleviate dry conditions” in many areas. Nevertheless, the province’s technical working group that measures and monitors drought across the province has started meeting and will begin updating regional drought levels in the coming weeks. Sta with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development are also revising the province’s drought response plan, with the updated version scheduled for release in May. “FLNRORD sta continue to monitor the situation along with Environment and Climate Change Canada and will make adjustments as needed as we move through the spring,” the ministry said in a statement. South of the border, 95% of the western US was experiencing some level of drought, ranging from just 80% of Washington to 100% of California, where a drought emergency has been declared in two counties. According to environmental scientist Greg Jones of Lineld University in Oregon, the precipitation pattern forecast through the end of June “continues the dry conditions” seen to date in the Pacic Northwest. Similarly, BC forecasters call for an 80% chance of weather patterns shifting to conditions that bring warmer, drier conditions in the coming weeks. —Peter Mitham High snowpack limits drought

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 9Jack Frost nips potential for huge cherry crop Southern Okanagan orchards hit hardest by cold snapConsolidated Fruit Packers advisor Seradaye Lean says an early frost that hit some cherry orchards in April may not be an entirely bad thing. Some tree blocks had an over-abundance of buds this spring. TOM WALKER“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 ashiq@meadowvalleymeats.comTOM WALKER KELOWNA – April can be a cruel month for BC cherry growers. The weather has the potential to completely change growers’ fortunes. Last year, some Okanagan growers lost complete blocks to a late spring frost. “We didn’t even bother to try and pick this block last year, there was so little fruit,” a grower in southeast Kelowna tells Seradaye Lean, eldservice and quality control advisor for Consolidated Fruit Packers in Kelowna, as she checked for frost damage following a run of crisp temperatures April 10-12. This year, the grower seems to be lucky. “This block is looking good so far,” says Lean as she examines blossoms and cuts open buds with a razor blade. But the potential for frost damage remains. The grower will not know the size of his crop until after pollination and fruit set. If the owers are open, Lean looks for any darkened tissues within the ower parts. “If there is cold damage, the pistil, the female reproductive parts of the ower, will be dark and discoloured,” she explains. “If the ower is not yet open, I will use a razor blade to slice into the bud looking for the same obvious discoloration.” The variety, the condition of the tree, the slope of the block, whether there has been wind and the actual air temperature are all variables that play a role in determining whether or not a specic tree will be hit hard. “There are so many variables that aect frost damage,” explains Lean. The stage of bud development also determines the level of risk a tree faces. As cherry buds mature into ower, they become more susceptible to damage. Buds that are just beginning to burst and show green sides may handle a temperature of -10°C, while owers that have already opened – such as those on early ripening varieties around Osoyoos when temperatures dipped below -3°C on the morning of April 12 – had the potential to be harmed at -2°C. “I did see a range of damage within the Oliver/Osoyoos area,” says Lean. “One block may have 50% damage, while another block showed no damage at all.” Blocks that she checked in the Similkameen and on the Naramata bench looked good, she says, while areas of Summerland had variable results. Orchards in the Kelowna area appeared to be ne. Minimal bud loss Coral Beach Farms Ltd. horticulture director Gayle Krahn says the orchards she oversees from Kelowna north to Pritchard in the Thompson Valley saw minimal bud loss. “Things look okay so far,” she says. “Overall, we only have less than 5% losses with only a few blocks less than 10%.” That’s in part due to Coral Beach’s more northern location. Some blocks are also at a higher elevation, where the buds were not as developed. Cloud cover also helped keep temperatures warmer than in the southern Okanagan on April 10-12. “We also had our wind machines going, and we ew helicopters above the orchards in the early morning to make sure we stayed above critical temperature,” she says. Lean and Krahn both agree that the story is not over. Temperatures jumped to the mid 20s a few days after the frost event and trees across the valley burst into bloom. “We hope for mild temperatures through the blossom period to give us a good fruit set,” says Krahn. “We want lots of time for the bees to do their work.” The potential for a big crop this year is real, notwithstanding the frost. Trees have developed a large number of buds partially in response to a smaller crop last year. “If a full crop is 100%, many blocks are at 150%,” says Lean. “There was some concern that if every ower set we would have a lot of small fruit, and we know larger fruit commands a better price, particularly in our export markets.” While apple growers routinely thin their crop for better size and quality, it is not a regular practice in cherries. Cherry growers don’t have the same chemical thinning tools available to apple growers and hand-thinning is very labour intensive. “We have done some hand-thinning in the past,” says Krahn. “But we will wait and assess after pollination.” The frost may actually help. “I think, in some cases, this frost may have given some growers a needed thinning job, providing a potential for better sizing,” says Lean. “For other blocks with more impact, we will just have to see.” Ask about our special farm oer!A local Rep. will be in contact at your convenience.FUEL DELIVERYOptimize for eciencyLUBRICANTSProtect machinery& grow productivityDURATRANTM TRACTOR TRANSMISSION/HYDRAULIC FLUIDSWhatever the season, Whatever the temperature. Trust Duratran.OUR BRITISH COLUMBIACOMMERCIAL SERVICES INCLUDE:Fuel & Lubricant Services to the GVRD, Fraser Valley & Vancouver Island.On-Site RefuelingCardlock Fuel Delivered FuelLubricantsBulk DEF Delivery

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10 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDustin Stadnyk CPA, CAChris Henderson CPA, CANathalie Merrill CPA, CMATOLL FREE 1-888-818-FARM | www.farmtax.caExpert farm taxation advice: • Purchase and sale of farms • Transfer of farms to children • Government subsidy programs • Preparation of farm tax returns • Use of $1,000,000 Capital Gains Exemptions Approved consultants for Government funding through BC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramARMSTRONG 250-546-8665 | LUMBY 250-547-2118 | ENDERBY 250-838-7337View over 100 listings of farm properties at www.bcfarmandranch.comBC FARM & RANCH REALTY CORP.Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage?GORD HOUWELING Cell: 604/793-8660GREG WALTON Cell: 604/864-1610Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI Call BC’s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100% to Agriculture!PROFESSIONAL For your daily farm weather indicators Spring has brought another outbreak of dog attacks on sheep in the Gulf Islands. Several ewes with lambs on two farms were killed or euthanized on Saltspring in March, and another group of pregnant ewes was killed or euthanized on Pender Island earlier in the season. The dogs suspected of the killings on Salt Spring were known in the community to have killed before, and sheep producers on Pender Island were warned that the owner and dogs had left Salt Spring and may have been headed to Pender, putting sheep producers there on high alert. Although local Capital Regional District bylaws prohibit dogs to run at large, dogs are frequently seen o-leash. Dog attacks put sheep producers on alertEditor: Organic sector calls for greater extension service, April 2021, page 19 I read this article with growing discomfort. Obviously, it would be wonderful if conventional farmers would reduce inputs, especially fossil fuel-based inputs, and learn more biological farming methods. But organic farming as it is done in BC under the supervision of Procert and most other organic certiers is horric for the soil. Frequent plowing and tilling (for weed control) in the Okanagan Valley has accelerated the loss of top soil and is desertifying this area at an alarming rate. Apparently the folks at the National Farmers Union haven't heard about regenerative farming, which would be far better for the soil and the climate than organic farming. And who is the NFU anyway? They have only 3,000 members – less than 2% of Canadian farmers – and they appear to be a feminist and social activist organization. Not that I have anything against youthful idealism, but if people like this were hired for the proposed new extension services jobs, they are not going to get much credibility from the majority of Canadian farmers who have big acreage, big machinery and big debt. There are two ways to motivate people to change their behaviour: the carrot or the stick. Taxing purchases of inputs is the stick. Formulating a way to pay farmers for sequestering carbon in their soil would be the carrot. And I am sure that the carrot would be far more welcome to struggling Canadian farmers than the stick. Why do we let the millions of dollars collected in carbon taxes go into general revenue to be spent on anything other than climate issues? That money could be paid to farmers who are building top soil and sucking carbon out of the atmosphere, to farmers to learn no-till, to farmers who use cover crops, and to farmers who add grazing animals into their crop rotation programs. Emily Robertson Armstrong Build soil with carbon taxLetters If a dog has killed but cannot be identied or found, the CRD can compensate the owner for their loss. If the dog is licensed and can be traced to its owner, the sheep producer must be compensated by the dog owner directly. In the past few years, CRD electoral area directors have debated whether to eliminate the compensation program. According to CRD sta, over the past 15 years there have been 18 claims for losses of livestock to dogs. Half of the claims are from Metchosin, four from the Highlands, one from the Southern Gulf Islands, three from Salt Spring and one from Juan de Fuca. The current attacks on Salt Spring will likely increase the number of claims on Salt Spring to ve if the dogs are not identied. These numbers have not been veried, and do not include attacks that did not result in claims. —Barbara Johnstone Grimmer Poultry scholarship established A UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems graduate student scholarship in memory of Stewart Paulson has been established through donations from family, friends and colleagues. Paulson passed away peacefully at home August 12, 2020. He received his BSc (Agr) in 1968 and a Master’s in 1970 from the UBC Department of Poultry Science before moving to California for a doctorate at the University of California, Davis. Upon his return to Canada, he worked in the poultry department of Agriculture Canada in Ottawa. He is best known to the BC agriculture community as the long-time poultry industry specialist for the BC Ministry of Agriculture. In this position he was a liaison between the province, UBC and the BC poultry industry. He spearheaded the BC Sustainable Poultry Farming Group and designed a biosecurity and insurance policy for the poultry industry to help reduce the impacts of disease outbreaks such as avian inuenza. He was also instrumental in establishing the UBC Specialty Birds Research Fund with support from the province. The annual scholarship, in the amount of $2,000, is for outstanding graduate students whose research focus is on sustainable poultry or animal production and marketing. —Barbara Johnstone Grimmer BC Tree Fruits extends CEO contract until 2026 BC Tree Fruits Cooperative has extended CEO Warren Saranchan’s contract for ve years. “The board is condent that Warren is the right person to deliver the changes required in our cooperative,” says co-op board president Steve Brown. The extension poises Saranchan to be in place until 2026. Saranchan was hired in September 2019 as the co-op’s fth CEO in eight years. He took the reins of a company that a governance study he initiated described as “in a serious life- threatening crisis.” “In his short time with the cooperative, Warren and his team have been working tirelessly to improve eciencies, reduce costs and have taken major steps to right-size all aspects of the organization,” says Brown. Co-op members approved the results of the governance study last fall, setting the stage for the sale of assets, plant upgrades and a quality assurance program that rewards growers for delivering high-quality fruit. The co-op sold its Osoyoos packinghouse to winery owner Markus Frind in December for $7.5 million, and reaped another $7.5 million from the sale of its Kelowna headquarters to a developer in January. It recently listed its Roanoke packing facility in Kelowna for $20 million but the sale price is likely to be much higher. The deadline for oers was April 21, and Saranchan says the co-op was “overwhelmed by the level of interest in the building and the property.” The ve-year extension to his contract will ensure consistent leadership as the co-op continues to implement the recommendations of the governance study. “I think the board, the growers and our employees have made some very good progress, but as we all know, the work isn’t even remotely close to being done,” he says. “I am condent in the plan we have and I am excited to bring that plan to life.” His rst priority is the continuation of the quality assurance program, as well as facility upgrades and continued work on marketing and sales. The work to date positions the co-op to move forward. “I’m excited to be in a position where we can actually talk about the future and changes we are going to make,” says Saranchan. “I think both our current co-op growers and non-co-op growers will be excited to learn what we will be doing.” —Tom Walker Ag Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAM

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 11Applicants must have ag advisory committee in placeDelta is planning to update its agricultural plan beginning this year, says councillor and agricultural advisory committee chair Alicia Guichon of Backroads Family Farm. SUBMITTED SANDRA TRETICK VICTORIA – The Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC has relaunched a program to fund agricultural planning by local governments following a two-year hiatus. IAFBC worked closely with the province on a review and redesign of the program, which enjoys strong support from BC agriculture minister Lana Popham. “The Local Government Partnership Program supports a shared goal of strengthening regional food security,” states Popham. “Program funding supports the development of agricultural plans at a local level, as they know best about the opportunities and challenges in their community.” The program relaunched April 7 with $250,000 from the Agri-Food Futures Fund, established by the federal and provincial governments in 2001 to nance development activities across a broad range of sectors. The trust managing the fund winds up in 2022. Local governments are a crucial element in the development of the agriculture sector because they have the ability to control some kinds of farming activities within their boundaries. “From an on-farm perspective, having an agriculture plan is important because it identies how agriculture ts in the local community,” says BC Agriculture Council executive director Reg Ens. There are a number of communities interested in preparing an agricultural area plan or updating an older plan, including at least three regional districts: Cariboo, Comox Valley and Bulkley Nechako. Abbotsford resumed a modied version of its agriculture planning process in April 2020 and Delta is pursuing an update to its 2011 plan. “We heard from several local governments last year as they were wondering when the program would be re-opened,” says IAFBC manager of programs and strategic initiatives Natalie Janssens. Timely The program’s relaunch is timely for Delta. It initiated a review of its existing plan last year and council approved an update. “Delta’s agriculture plan is due for an update,” says Delta councillor Alicia Guichon, who chairs the city’s agricultural advisory committee. “A new plan will identify the most pressing issues for Delta’s agriculture industry and recommend modern and practical solutions and opportunities for the municipality to support strengthening the long-term viability of agriculture.” Guichon says Delta is looking into available funding and working on a request for proposals. The project is expected to take about a year to complete and will result in a draft agriculture plan and implementation strategy. It will be subject to stakeholder and community engagement and will eventually require approval by Delta council. Ens notes that another important consideration in See BCAC on next page oBill Everitt 250.295.7911 ext #102 tToll 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.&ARMs/RCHARDs6INEYARDs"ERRY4RELLISINGFunding revived for local gov’t agriculture plansr#BMBOTB$MPWFSr'PSBHF,BMFr#FSTFFN$MPWFSr%BJLPO3BEJTIr$SJNTPO$MPWFSr'PSBHF4XFEFr)ZCSJE$MPWFSr'PSBHF5VSOJQ"TLVTIPX

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12 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBCAC says ag plans should be tied to official community plans nfrom page 11TRACTOR 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 DealerMahindra eMax 20 with BackhoeMahindra eMax 20 with Backhoehandlersequipment.comagriculture planning is looking at farms as part of a bigger supply chain. He urges communities to consider this bigger picture in their ocial community plan development. “Agriculture as a fundamental pillar of a community is critical,” he adds. “What lands are they reserving for processing, for commercial activity, for transportation routes? Are amenities going to attract workers to a community? Will people want to live there?” There is heightened community-level interest in agriculture planning, but this eort doesn’t always result in good news for the farm sector. “If it’s just a plan, it’s just a report that sits on a shelf,” adds Ens. “Tying it to the ocial community plan and bylaws is critical because those are the two documents that city sta and councillors use in carrying out plans.” The previous program, which ran from 1999 until it was disbanded in 2019, supported 55 projects with more than $1.1 million in funding under the federal-provincial safety nets framework. After 20 years of running the program, IAFBC put it on hold while reviewing whether or not it was meeting the needs of the sector. Kelowna and the District of Squamish were among the last municipalities to participate. Both are now implementing their plans. Funding supports AACs Program funding is contingent on the local government applicant having an agricultural advisory committee in place. Ens feels commercial farmers as well as lifestyle farmers should be part of the committees, though he readily admits this point is potentially controversial. “We think it’s important that the people on the agricultural advisory committees are really looking at this as the business of farming,” says Ens. “It’s more than a way of life. Getting that has been a bit of a challenge.” Popham notes that her ministry will continue to support agricultural advisory committees and provide education and resources to regional districts and municipalities when organizing them with a view to ensuring their success. There is no guarantee that local governments will listen to the advice of these committees, however. Task force launched On a positive note, the Township of Langley council endorsed terms of reference for a Future of Farming Task Force on April 20 to help with the implementation of its agricultural viability strategy. Its overall objective is to promote the business of farming. But in Surrey, its council voted in December to dissolve its agriculture and food policy advisory District of Mission has approved new zoning bylaws updating the denition of agriculture on lands not zoned primarily for agricultural use. Mission council approved new bylaws in September to include changes to the rules governing agriculture in zones where it is permitted as an accessory use. Small-scale agriculture has been redened as “agriculture (minor)” and allows for the growing, rearing and harvesting of agricultural products, including the storage and repair of necessary farm equipment and machinery up to 35 hp. The list of permitted livestock has been expanded to include bees, horses, cattle, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, hens, ducks, geese and rabbits. Limits on the number of animals have doubled and are based on lot size. —Sandra Tretick committee and roll it into an agricultural, environment and investment committee, thereby diluting the mandate and farmer representation. This prompted Popham to respond with a strongly worded letter warning the city that regulation under section 553 of the Local Government Act may be the outcome if the intent is to restrict or prohibit agriculture within a farming area. The revised version of the local government partnership program now includes funding for some implementation activities and places greater emphasis on ties to ocial community plans and bylaws. It is hoped this will create a more positive environment for commercial agriculture at the local level. The deadline for applications is May 19. Eligibility has been expanded to include First Nations and agricultural not-for-prots as well as regional districts and local communities. Applicants can receive up to $40,000 each. “If there is enough funding left after the rst round, we may oer a second round this fall,” states Janssens. “We think it’s important that the people on the agricultural advisory committees are really looking at this as the business of farming. It’s more than a way of life.” BCAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REG ENSMission expands denition of accessory use agriculture

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 13Foundation now administers funds across Western CanadaFlotation Tiresto replace11R22.5 Tires orSilage Boxes620/45R22.5 Scale Repairs for ALL Makes of Feeder MixersHydraulic Hose RepairsHubs, Spindles, Tires & Wheelsfor Artex, Dirks and TyCrop WagonsFloor Chain Assembliesfor all makes of Forage and Manure BoxesCamlock Fittings, Pipe Fittings, and Pressure Washer AccessoriesRENT OURLoewen 925 cubic foot 20ft. Forage Box $600/dayRENT OUR2,000 gal. tank w/boom$600/dayWe sell knives for Supreme, Trioliet, Jaylor and Kuhn Vertical Mixers. We also carry Interstate Batteries and Lite kits for farm machinery.3000 Gallon Manure Tank10,, Boom, Dual Pumps, Flotation Tires, Single Axle$98,000.00Manure Agitators3 Point Hitch - Size: 18-30, lg.Lagoon Style - Size: 30-40, lg.Slotted Floor BarnPETER MITHAM VICTORIA – COVID-19 was a breakout year for the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, which disbursed a record amount of funding and broadened activities beyond BC to include much of Western Canada. “We can all agree that 2020 was possibly the most eventful chapter our industry has seen in a long time,” says Don Low, a Creston orchardist who stepped down as chair at the foundation’s 25th annual meeting on April 8. “The COVID-19 crisis also spurred the IAF team to be more motivated, to work with more clarity and with a more steadfast commitment to the industry that we serve.” IAFBC typically disburses approximately $10 million to 150 projects each year. But between its existing programs and initiatives such as the federal government’s Emergency Processing Fund, it surpassed that by a wide margin. It ultimately handled 1,200 applications and disbursed $28.5 million worth of funding for 635 projects across BC but also – for the rst time ever – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The increased activity put signicant demands on both the organization and its directors. During her nancial report, IAFBC treasurer Glenda Gesy noted that expenses rose by $579,000 due to more than $20.1 million last year due to the additional sta and other costs needed to administer the additional workload. But the hard work paid o. “In 2020, IAF was able to cover the operational budget with fees collected from the delivered programs,” Gesy reported. “This was a rst for IAF.” Increased compensation Recognizing the important role all directors, not just the chair, play on behalf of the organization, Low recommended increasing total executive compensation from $1,500 to $2,000 a month, thereby ensuring all executive members receive a share rather than just the chair. While executive members are allowed to claim certain expenses, most don’t, and he didn’t feel this was right. “Being a member of the executive, there’s a lot of reading of e-mails, statements, documents, phone calls, meetings – newly this year – electronic approvals for project expenditures.” “These are eligible to be claimed if you want to, but most of the executive do not claim these as expenses, so I felt rst of all that it was important to share the remuneration with the other executive and just slightly increase it.” The new compensation schedule allocates $1,200 for the chair (down from $1,500), $400 for the vice-chair and $200 for each of the treasurer and secretary. Per diems for meetings remain $250 a day, which has been the rate since the organization’s founding in 1996. Strategic work During 2020, the association made progress on implementing its strategic framework, including upgrades to technology platforms and business software and taking steps to diversify its funding sources. It now has four funding partners and is creating the IAF Trust, “to act as a long-term funding resource both for IAF and the sector.” The base for the trust is $20.3 million leftover from the original 1996 federal grants it was set up to administer. “IAF will honour the principles of the original programs, using the funds for the agriculture and agrifood sector in BC,” said Low. “The creation of the trust will formalize the use of these funds and allow it to be used strategically, both providing transparency and accountability to IAF stakeholders.” The funds will allow IAFBC to develop its own programs that will respond to the changing needs of the BC farm sector. These will be unveiled in 2022 and 2023. Joining the nine-member IAFBC board for two-year terms was Paul Devick and David Machial. The pair replace Low, who served six years on the board, and David Zehnder, who served ve years on the board. Record funding flowed through IAFBC last yearLotsa tomatoesThe Kelowna Farmers Market is back in full swing with all sorts of retailers, many with prepared food and drink, and a few with fresh early produce like lettuce, kale and other greens. Earlybirds looking for tomato plants had a nice selection to choose from even though, according to one seller, it's still far too early to put plants in the ground. Badly needed rain in the area stayed away on market day but came Saturday late evening and overnight. MYRNA STARK LEADER

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14 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMatsquiag RepairSales, Service & Partsest. 1989@matsquiagrepairCall today to demo any of our McHale models today!www.matsquiagrepair.com34856 Harris Rd, Abbotsford BC V3G 1R7604-826-3281The Fusion 3 Plus: the fully automatic inegrated baler wrapper with the ability to apply film or net wrap to the barrel of the bale. Benefits of Film on Film-Acts as a Wrapping Layer- Results in Better Shaped Bales-Delivers Highter Quality SilageFUSION 3 PLUSINTEGRATED BALER WRAPPER

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 15AgSafe embraces new governance structure at AGM Workers, employers will have greater representation on boardDon Dahr says the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened AgSafeBC’s prole in the media. The organization has been kept busy over the past year helping farmers and their employees adapt to new safety protocols. RONDA PAYNEPETER MITHAM LANGLEY – A new governance model is fully in place at AgSafeBC following its annual general meeting April 8 and its rst board election. While the board previously brought together representatives of the association’s three founding groups – WorkSafeBC, industry and labour – the new board is elected by members, with specic criteria for candidates to ensure all sides of the farm safety equation have a voice. “We have learned from our past history that the structure of the former board of directors eventually, over a period of time, did not ensure fairness and accountability with AgSafe and to the members,” interim board chair Don Dahr told members. “My major dilemma, which I’ve always questioned, is whether or not our former board was a true representative of the workers and the owners in the agricultural industry.” While workers were ostensibly represented by the two members of the Canadian Farmworkers Union and a representative from the BC Federation of Labour, Dahr said “little or no information came forward from the eld itself of concerns of workers, which was questionable.” The industry representatives, meanwhile, often represented particular commodity groups. A governance report in November 2019 recommended changes to the board’s composition to address these issues as well as challenges the potential dissolution of the CFU might present as its leadership aged. A consultation last year set the stage for this year’s election. “Our new governance model, coming forward today, will allow for AgSafe to be better aligned with our obligations to both our members and WorkSafeBC,” said Dahr. Working with consultant Kyle Pearce, who prepared the governance report, an interim board developed new bylaws for the association, a contractual agreement with the executive director and new criteria for selecting board members. The slate, which was conrmed with no opposing votes cast, includes Don Dahr, representing agriculture safety; industry members Andrea van Iterson, Krista Harris, David Nguyen and Ajay Randhawa; and worker representative Jennifer Ross of Driediger Farms. “This is a historic day for us,” said Dahr, extending his appreciation to those who served during the transition as well as Ralph McGinn, former CEO and chair of WorkSafeBC, and Charan Gill, co-founder of the CFU, both of whom died over the past year. Dahr praised McGinn as “a primary driving force that started this association over 28 years ago,” while Gill was honoured as an advocate for workers. “His contribution was great in the beginning of our association, bringing forward a lot of concern by workers,” said Dahr. Gill’s death, and the governance changes, mark an end to organized labour’s seat on the AgSafe board. However, the association’s work continues unabated, as demonstrated by its eorts last year, which garnered 159 media articles highlighting the work of its 14 eld workers to help farms adjust to the challenge of COVID-19. “AgSafe’s ability to eectively address the COVID-19 pandemic helped heighten the organization’s prole in the media,” said Dahr. Approximately half of AgSafe’s annual budget supports eld workers, who are backed up by eight oce sta who coordinate their activities and help develop resource materials in languages including Spanish, Punjabi, Vietnamese and French. “Information and documentation to support farmers and workers through the pandemic was developed daily through 2020. As a result, the AgSafe website reected a considerable increase in trac,” said Dahr, noting that downloads from the site totalled a “tremendous” 44,000. This year, AgSafe plans to develop a Farmer Support Network by the end of 2021 to support mental wellness in the sector. “The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone in various ways,” said Dahr. “AgSafe has been and will continue to be available to support the health and safety of farmers in every capacity possible.” A heartfelt thank you to our customers for a wonderful first year. We look forward to a very busy 2021.PLEASE BOOK NOW! We are 75% Booked Already.www.bcpoultryprocessing.caBookings are only via email as phone calls are hard to answer when we are in production. We check emails end of each day. Have a great summer. We look forward to seeing you.Judith and our hard working team778.267.9350 Quesnel, BC

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16 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN | BAUMALIGHT.COMDale Howe 403-462-1975 | dale@baumalight.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 360-815-1597 FERNDALE, WA ALL PRICES IN US FUNDS(2) 2019 MCHALE FUSION 3 PLUS 1047 BALES,18 ROLLER FIXED CHAMBER BALER & VERTICAL WRAPPING RING, FULLY AUTOMATIC $100,0002014 MCHALE F5500 FIXED CHAMBER, 18,000 BALES, DROP FLOOR, 15 KNIFE CHOPPER SYSTEM, HEAVY DUTY ROLLERS, $32,5001993 KENWORTH T600B W/20' PARMA SILAGE BOX W/BARN DOORS, 10 SPEED, DETROIT 60 SERIES, TANDEM $27,000NEW 2021 VERMEER SBW8500 ROUND BALE WRAPPER, FULLY AUTOMATIC, DIGITAL CONTROLLER CALLALISTAIR WATERS KELOWNA – Despite a lack of support from its own agricultural advisory committee, Kelowna is pressing ahead with an application to exclude 40 acres from the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve to build a large new regional transit facility. The land, part of a 140-acre city-owned parcel at 4690 Highway 97 North near UBC Okanagan, is needed because the city’s existing transit facility on Hardy Road has outgrown its current location, cannot expand and, according to the city, is “bursting at the seams.” But while city hall has downplayed the agricultural value of the land proposed for the new bus yard and depot, its agricultural advisory committee disagrees. It does not support the exclusion application. The committee feels the land could be as productive as that to the north of the site, some of which currently includes orchards, says chair John Janmaat, an associate professor in economics at UBC Okanagan. “We did not see a clear benet to agriculture that would result in putting a bus depot there,” he says. The land the city wants removed is part of a larger contiguous parcel that is currently in the ALR, says Janmaat, something that’s rare in Kelowna these days. But he notes the committee is an advisory body that only provides advice, not direction, to council. While it can speak up for the protection of farmland, decision-making rests with council. City transit program manager Jerry Dombowsky says the pressing need to replace the existing transit facility, coupled with the potential for 80% funding for the project from the federal and provincial governments under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, is pushing city hall to act now. The city announced its plans last year and sought input from several sources, including its agricultural advisory committee. Janmaat says one committee member suggested the transit yard be built on land the city owns at the Kelowna landll. In the past, however, the city has said it needs the landll property for both future expansion of the landll and to act as a buer to adjacent residential development. Dombowsky says just 40 acres would be sought for exclusion from the ALR. The rest of the property would remain in the reserve and stay protected as undeveloped public space, though he didn’t rule out eorts to enhance its agricultural potential. The city currently says soils on the property are not considered to be of high agricultural value. Parts of the property are being used to grow hay. The fact the entire parcel is described as agriculturally “land-locked” in terms of surrounding development is a factor the city will highlight in its exclusion application to the ALC. With industrial development on one side, Highway 97 on another and residential development along Academy Way on the upslope, Dombowsky calls the property “an island.” While Dombowsky describes the agricultural advisory committee’s input as valuable, he says it is just one of several perspectives that need to be weighed in both council’s decision to submit the exclusion application and the ALC's nal decision. Council is expected to approve the application in early May. Depending on the ALC’s ruling and the speed with which it responds, work on the transit facility and road extension could start later this year. Under the rules of the federal-provincial grant program, work must complete by 2027. The city’s pressing need for a larger transit facility has already prompted it to spend $350,000 on its existing Hardy Road site, a move city hall describes as a “Band-Aid” measure. In addition to that site being too small for the needs of a growing city, it also stands in the way of extending another road, Clement Avenue, seen as a future alternative to Highway 97 through Kelowna. The city also hopes to electrify its 130-bus eet and the new facility would also give it room to install the required charging stations and equipment. The city argues that in addition to keeping a majority of the proposed site in the ALR, the ability to electrify its transit buses will also be a key environmental benet. Kelowna bought the 140-acre property in 2017 for $11 million and at the time said it wanted to create new public spaces, improve drainage in the area and balance development with agriculture. In addition to a sloped portion of the 100 acres that would remain in the ALR, the property includes a small lake, known as Carny Pond, and a marsh area, both of which would be protected as natural features. ALR exclusion fails to win ag committee supportKelowna wants to remove 40 acres from the ALR to build a bus yard FILE PHOTO

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 17After 16 years as a board member and ve years as chair, Ben Janzen has stepped down from an active role on the BC Milk Marketing Board. He was honoured during the BCMMB regional meetings in April. RONDA PAYNE• Increase milk production• Increase heat detection• Reduce hoof & leg injuries• Reduce cull ratesCall For A 10% -15% DISCOUNT | CHILLIWACK !"#COUNTRY WEST SUPPLY, ARMSTRONG, BC / 250-546-9174CRESTON HOME HARDWARE, CRESTON, BC / 250-428-4614SLACK COUNTRY LIVING, GOLDEN, BC / 250-344-1870WASA HARDWARE, WASA, BC / 250-422-3123JACKIE PEARASE ABBOTSFORD – BC’s dairy industry is weathering the COVID-19 storm well but ongoing volatility in the market is something producers need to monitor. “We’re starting to normalize after the first wave of COVID,” says BC Milk Marketing Board executive treasurer Jeremy Wiebe. “There was some upheaval and restrictions put on production last spring but we haven’t felt the pain of some industries.” BCMMB presented its 2021 spring producer update in three regional meetings in mid-April. Monthly total requirements remained strong, even in January when they typically dip. Wiebe attributes the trend to increased requirements for butter, cheese and ice cream processing. The Canadian Dairy Commission predicts growth of about 3% this year, with a portion of that coming from imports. “We really need to see how the imports factor into how this all shakes out in our requirements,” he notes. The Canada-US-Mexico Agreement includes language requiring dairy imports into Canada. A shortfall in these imports could result in complaints from the US and additional scrutiny of industry practices by the Canadian government. Regulated importation of dairy ensures the least disruption of the Canadian market, says Wiebe. “We’ve fought hard to have those import quotas given to the processors because they know how to introduce those imports into the market when it’s needed,” he explains. “If we have to give those retail quotas to the retailers, they don’t care about us as farmers. They’ll just bring it in when it suits them the best.” He says there has been a slight increase in milk coming across the border in the past year but not near the levels of 2016-17. CUSMA restricts the amount of skim milk powder (SMP) and milk protein concentrate (MPC) Canada can export, with penalties incurred when those amounts are exceeded. BC hit the penalty threshold in about six months last year but cumulative exports of SMP and MPC are currently below expectations BC dairy industry sees steady demandMarket volatility still an issueSee SPECIALTY on next page o

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18 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSPECIALTY milk products keeping industry dynamic nfrom page 17Find resources to prevent injuries at effective health and safety plan involves everyone.The planning decisions you make today can affect the health and safety of workers tomorrow.for the year. Wiebe says adding more of those products into animal feed and mixing SMP into other products is helping keep the numbers down but the industry needs to be careful. “I have heard that we actually want to get close to that line (where penalties start) because if we don’t get anywhere near that line, the US might look into what we’re doing again,” he says. Western Milk Pool BC quota requirements are tracking closely with historical trends. BCMMB board member David Janssens says WMP allows western dairy producers to work collaboratively to get milk where and when it is needed. He assures farmers they are well represented and each province continues to regulate its own industry within the organization. “The regulatory power still resides within the provinces; it’s not an abrogation of any regulatory authority that each province has,” he notes. “Farmers are firmly on the wheel of control of the Western Milk Pool.” COVID-19 has limited the ability to meet in person, making it difficult for WMP members to effectively debate issues but work has continued to enhance efficiencies and effectiveness within the industry. Janssens says work has been done to standardize and harmonize the supply, handling and processing arrangements for milk within the WMP at both the producer and processor level. Work continues on receiving, milk quality, milk metering and sampling, quota policy and animal care. He says rapid testing for milk quality implemented by some processors at the plant is an area of concern for WMP. “We’re working with them to standardize the equipment used for testing, the protocols for testing.” Janssens says the BCMMB’s strategic plan aligns well with that of the WMP. He says a variety of specialty milk products keeps the industry dynamic while BC’s graduated entry program, its aggressive milk pricing policy and incentive days demonstrate the board’s responsiveness to market needs. “We’ve also got recall insurance, which shouldn’t be understated because it’s extremely important to processors,” he adds. “We believe that’s going to be an important tool moving forward as we try to attract processing.” Many dairy categories posted negative numbers for retail sales from January 2019 to January 2020 all categories now show growth. “We still see a lot of volatility in the hospitality industry market. You don’t really know week to week what’s going to happen,” Wiebe adds. BCMMB vice-chair Tom Hoogendoorn says the blend price for the past two years has exceeded the previous three years on a hectolitre basis. He says seasonal volatility, changing markets due to the pandemic and the implementation of P10 pooling in 2020 all affect the blend price. With P5 pricing lower than WMP, BC producers are seeing a lower blend price with the P10 pooling. “We’re taking quite a haircut if you look at the price adjustment,” Hoogendoorn points out. He says BC is now focused on its costs within P10. “We have a P10 pooling committee that’s negotiating our costs because the costs in the west are higher than the cost in the P5,” he says. “Part of it is we’re spread over a large land area and we have processors in very concentrated areas and we have to move the milk very long distances when we do move it.” Janssens says the Dairy Innovation West project is progressing, with land purchased in March, plant engineering complete and work underway on supply agreements and bank financing. He says producers supplying the state-of-the art dairy concentration facility will see no change to how they operate as a farm. “The ownership of that milk as it leaves your farm is no different than if it goes directly to the plant.” Janssens has concerns as more foreign product enters the Canadian market and public perception of the industry becomes more negative. “We certainly have a target on our back and it’s not just regular consumers but environmentalists and they will take every opportunity to take a run at us,” he says. “It’s all the more important that we speak with one voice and listen to our leaders in terms of messaging for the future.” With shrinking margins for producers and processors also a concern, the BCMMB is working with the Western Dairy Council on a grocery code of conduct. “We’re trying to level the playing field between all food producers and grocery retailers who are increasing their foothold of the marketplace where four of the major chains control 80% of the retail sales and that’s a real challenge for processors,” Janssens says. Ben Janzen steps back Hoogendoorn finished the meeting by acknowledging outgoing BCMMB chair Ben Janzen. “Ben has put his life into the job, first as a board member and then as a chair. Nobody on our board or around Canada is as well-prepared at any meeting as Ben Janzen is. He knows the issues, he corrects, he finds mistakes. He was on point for every single thing he’s ever been asked to do.” Janzen leaves the position after 16 years as a board member and five years as chair. His experience gives him confidence in the future and sustainability of the dairy industry. “It’s been an honour and a privilege being part of this dynamic industry,” he says.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 19Dairy producers work to resolve quality issuesNon-foaming milk, hard butter attracting unwelcome mediaGive consumers what they want. Dairy producers are being reminded that consumers are driving the bus when it comes to demand for foaming milk for their lattes. FILE PHOTOMotorized screens up to 40ft. wideOversized & Standard Retractable 778.551.0855 t jkiers@q2qscreens.caServing the Lower MainlandJACKIE PEARASE ABBOTSFORD – The BC Milk Marketing Board is keeping close tabs on the conversation about the use of palm fat derivatives and the link between free fatty acids and non-foaming milk. BCMMB chair Ben Janzen gave producers an overview of the issues at the 2021 spring producer meetings held via Zoom in mid-April. “We need to produce milk that consumers want to buy. While currently there are no regulations on free fatty acid levels – there’s no regulation that milk has to foam – the reality is that processors are requesting milk that will foam and they complain very strenuously because they’re getting the complaints from their customers when it doesn’t,” he says. “We need to respond to those consumer wants and needs if we want to continue to grow our market.” Janzen says there are factors that may increase the risk of non-foaming milk. These include use of robotic milking systems, aggressive agitation, air in the milk lines, milking frequency and cows too long in milk. “Palm fat has also been implicated in this but it’s really too early to draw any conclusions,” he adds. An information sheet on FFAs and non-foaming milk produced by the University of Guelph cites research on the issue going back to the 1980s. “Clearly no one’s been able to connect the dots at this point.” What is clear is that dairy producers are being singled out. “These have become some signicant media issues and we’re going to need to address these consumer concerns,” says Janzen. Recent public scrutiny on the spreadability of butter and the link to the use of palm oil derivatives is another issue. Janzen says the industry doesn’t collect data on the use of palm-derived supplements on farms. He says the organization is exploring the issue with a 22-member working group, with BCMMB represented by its director of supply chain and business development, Woody Siemens. “In the Western Milk Pool, we’re working together with all the agencies across the country, specically with Dairy Farmers of Canada, and we’re putting together a national working group and it will look at the use of the supplements from the palm products,” says Janzen. “At this point there’s no contemplation of any regulatory changes; we will have to wait until this working group has done its work.” BCMMB general manager Rob Delage says the issue certainly has a negative spin for farmers but there is a bit of a silver lining. “We did see an increase in butter consumption immediately after the media reports,” he says. ©2021 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. Case IH is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afliates. CNH Industrial Genuine Parts is a trademark in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afliates. Any trademarks referred to herein, in association with goods and/or services of companies other than CNH Industrial America LLC., are the property of those respective companies.MRCTHE NEXT STEP IN THE LEGACY OF HY-TRAN® .DISCOVER THE POWER OF HY-TRAN® PREMIUM. Formulated for industry-leading heat tolerance and 1% water tolerance with very low additive dropout, Hy-Tran Premium delivers superior oxidation stability, shear stability and wear protection, plus improved shifting. Keep your entire Case IH eet running better for even longer with new Hy-Tran Premium. To learn more, visit available from your Case IH dealer.EXTREME HEATINTENSE PRESSUREHEAVY LOADSCALIBER EQUIPMENT LTD.34511 Vye RoadAbbotsford, BC V2S

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20 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTOM WALKER KELOWNA – Get involved. That’s the message tree fruit industry leaders are sending as the tree fruit stabilization initiative gets underway. “If no one seems interested, I am worried that the government will simply walk away,” says BC Fruit Growers Association general manager Glen Lucas. “There is an opportunity for the government to bring us all together and build consensus and if we don’t show up, that is a problem.” BC agriculture minister Lana Popham announced the initiative at the BCFGA annual convention in February. Rather than oer the short-term nancial support BCFGA requested, she focused on the long-term prospects for the industry. Up to 80 sta from the ministry are involved. “This stabilization investment by the ministry is unparalleled in my experience,” says BC Tree Fruits CEO Warren Saranchan. “It is incredibly important that growers participate and that their voices are heard.” Popham acknowledges the industry has been studied and supported in the past. “Despite signicant investment by government and continual eorts to put the industry on a progressive path, we are not seeing positive outcomes,” she told growers in February. The initiative comes at a crucial time for apple growers in particular. Abysmal returns are forcing growers to pull up trees and invest in cherries or grapes. “Some three to six years ago, apple acreage was actually expanding and more apple trees were going into the ground than either cherries or grape,” notes Lucas. BC’s home-grown Ambrosia variety gave the industry a shot in the arm over the last 15 years, but that momentum has slowed as the variety became widely available and production increased, Lucas explains. Other factors are also contributing to growers’ challenges. The co-op, which was a leader in pricing for Ambrosia, got o track. Lucas hopes recent changes in co-op governance and management have changed that. Consolidation of Canadian food retailers is also a problem, Lucas believes. With only four major food retailers in Canada, growers are increasingly price-takers, he says. BC growers also have a hard time competing with Washington, the largest US apple-producing state, when growing more traditional varieties like Gala. The Washington industry has expanded rapidly in the last 40 years aided by a consistent water supply from the Columbia River and cheap power to pump it into their elds. “They have the economies of scale,” says Lucas. “On top of that, US apple growers got a direct subsidy of 7 cents Canadian a pound last year.” He expects a similar level of support this year, giving their receipts a 30% boost. “We shouldn’t compete in a low-cost commodity marketplace with the US,” says Lucas. He says growers have proven that they are able to respond by changing up to new varieties. “The replant has helped, but it has mostly been grower’s own money,” he says. “It’s been eective but other things have overtaken us. We need a new strategy.” Lucas says it’s important that quality fruit receive a market premium. “Growers can lose that price advantage when it goes into a pool type of pricing system,” he notes. “The quality assurance program BC Tree Fruits instituted is a way to encourage that.” The proliferation of independent packinghouses across the province – more than 35, according to a recent estimate by the province – could be a problem. “We need to focus on our external competition, and not compete internally,” says Lucas. The consultations are o to a ying start. Three meetings took place in the third week of April, and 18 more are planned by the end of June. Discussions have focused on fruit quality, new varieties, horticulture and extension. Two to four engagement sessions take place each week, all scheduled well in advance. Participants receive a questionnaire that provides an opportunity to share detailed information privately. Punjabi translation services are available at all engagement sessions. The industry-wide consultation includes the BCFGA as well as the BC Cherry Association, New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council, Sterile Insect Release Program, BC Grapegrowers Association, BC Wine Grape Council and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Tree fruit consultations off to a flying start Fruit growers want stable market conditions, higher returnsGLEN LUCAS

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 21Canada holds off Asian giant hornet restrictionsWashington State moves to declare hornets a quarantine pest403.347.2646rtf 1.888.500.2646r Clean machineLIKE NEW0JMCBUI#FBSJOHTtwYw/PUDIFE#MBEFTw"MMPZ4UFFM(BOH4IBGUT %VBM8IFFMT-Yw5JSFT wYw):%$ZMJOEFS)PTF(SPVQ%FQUI4FHNFOUT5JQT#3, 7491-49 Ave., Red Deer, ABBARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER ABBOTSFORD – Canada has yet to follow the lead of Washington State and move to declare Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) a quarantine pest. On April 7, Washington ocials led for all species in the genus Vespa to be placed on the list of quarantined pests for the state. The hornets were rst reported in Washington in 2019 and an active nest was destroyed last year near Blaine. The proposed rule would prohibit the sale of any species as well as the movement or distribution of the unwanted pest throughout the state. Washington State Department of Agriculture inspectors would be able to control and limit entry to an area within 20 metres of an infested site to enable removal of the nest and all hornets. A public hearing will be held in May with an intended adoption date soon after. The proposed quarantine acknowledges the risk hornets pose to agricultural crops and pollinators, as well as to humans and livestock. If the rule is approved, federally in the US, US-APHIS will take phytosanitary actions if a quarantine pest such as Asian giant hornet is detected in an imported shipment to mitigate the threat. But the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has taken a dierent approach entirely. CFIA issued a decision document in February 2020 stating it will not declare the Asian giant hornet a quarantine pest for Canada. This means there are no restrictions on the import or movement of any commodities that may contain the insect. It does require permits for the deliberate importation of hornets. CFIA intercepted Asian giant hornets entering the country in luggage in 2013. But in the case of the 2019 nest found in Nanaimo, CFIA says the hornets’ origin is unknown. International and interstate shipping may aid in their distribution. Besides sightings relatively close to coastal shipping areas, sightings to date have been close to rail lines. Genetic analysis reveals that the 2019 Nanaimo V. mandarinia are a close match with hornets originating in Japan, and the Washington State V. mandarinia are a close match with hornets in South Korea. This is indicative of separate introductions, possibly in marine cargo. However, deliberate smuggling may also be a source of introduction since Asian giant hornet is a commodity and a delicacy. It is not known if any business imports live hornets in any life stages, but they are known to be bred in other areas of the world for a food and medicine source. In 2010, V. orientalis was found in Washington. V. soror was identied in downtown Vancouver in 2019, and there were several detections of V. mandarinia in Washington and BC in 2019 and 2020. In 2020, V. crabro was also detected in BC and Oregon. BC provincial apiculturist Paul van Westendorp says import controls are Ottawa’s call, but the provinces have urged the federal government to review its inspection protocols. “If there is a component lacking, they will beef it up. This is an ongoing discussion that we have entertained with the federal government,” says van Westendorp. Under the international phytosanitary system, countries that designate a quarantine pest must put measures in place to prevent the pest’s entry into the country and control the pest. However, CFIA’s decision document explains that uncertainties about how the pest is entering Canada make it dicult to regulate, let alone control its movement. There were six conrmed reports of Asian giant hornets in BC last year and 31 conrmed reports of the pest in Washington State. All conrmed sightings in BC were the result of public surveillance. Surveillance activities in BC will continue this year. Washington surveillance eorts have already drawn 118 potential sightings, but the majority are unveried or have proven false. Don’t forget to RENEW yourSubscription.Washington State is moving to declare Asian giant hornets a quarantine pest. While a delicacy in some parts of the world, the hornets are a threat to honey bees, a critical link in the food chain. BROOKLYN BUGS

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22 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC info@clhbidcom  British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | ManitobaAs a farmer and lawyer in rural Alberta, I often witnessed the difculties and stress farmers encountered when the time came to sell their land. Farmers know better than anyone the importance of using the right tool or piece of equipment for a job, yet when the time came to sell, there was no tool designed specically for selling agricultural land. Often with little experience in selling land, farmers are left with only one chance to get it right. I grew up on a family farm and worked on the farm while going to school and University. The farm dates back to 1911 when my grandfather rode horseback over the Edson Trail to homestead. After University, I continued to grain farm while working off-farm in my law practice. The farm is now 4th generation and owned by our son and his family, running a purebred Angus cattle operation. !!Stress. We take the stress out of selling. Farmers know it is often complex dealing with renters, neighbors and family when the time comes to sell. With you are not forced to choose between friends, neighbours or even relatives. They are all given an equal chance. We use a fully transparent platform where no “special favours” or unfair advantages are possible. We don’t think you should have to leave money on the table or choose between competing parties when selling the farm."!!#$%&'When auctioning off a farm that is made up of numerous parcels, offers the ‘En Bloc’ option wherein prior high bidders of multiple parcels may at the conclusion bid on the entire farm or ranch. The benets of the ‘en bloc’ to a bidder wanting the entire farm mean a) they can be outbid at the start of the sale but remain eligible to buy the entire farm as a whole b) it allows them to get around the difculty associated with being high on every single parcel and c) they know if they go to round two in the ‘en bloc’ they are never ‘stuck’ with just a part of the farm – they know they either will get all or none if bidding in round two.Farmers often treat their land akin to an extended family member. It is just not dirt. There is much emotion attached to selling farm land. On the other hand, farm land is the nest egg that they have worked and saved for their retirement years. Is it time to actually realize some of those retirement plans? According to the FCC Farmland Values Report 2020, British Columbia saw an average increase in farmland values of 8%, the highest provincial average increase in Canada for 2020. FCC predicts that the low interest rate environment and strong grain and oilseed prices will continue to drive strong demand in 2021. Markets are trending upwards as optimism prevails generally in the economy – low interest rates, higher agricultural commodity prices, and seeing light at the end of the tunnel regarding the pandemic. Add to this, the rumblings of increased capital gains taxes, selling now may have its advantages. When selling farm land in an upward market, what is the top?#&! CLHbid is part of our rm, CLHlaw. (The majority of our sales have been in Alberta, but we have had successful sales in British Columbia and Saskatchewan as well. At we like to say that Uber had to start someplace and just happened to start in San Francisco. This is our fth year of selling farm land, and has been proven as the leading-edge online tender platform. We know the platform works and is scalable to any agricultural region of Western Canada. You can we be assured it will be marketed properly and receive the exposure it deserves.(A handoff between parties is seldom awless whether that be in a relay race or business transaction. At, there is no handoff. We are not just part of the equation; we are the entire equation and solution. Our team, having legal and accounting backgrounds, works with your trusted advisors to ensure net after-tax returns are maximized for your family. From your very rst call right down to handing you a cheque at closing - we walk the entire walk with you. is really built as a function of what wasn’t working with conventional methods of selling farm land. Farmers told us they were disappointed with conventional real estate listings where, once they signed the listing, there was limited marketing of their land to prospective Buyers. At, once we start the sale process, we work closely with you to help develop a robust marketing plan that is on-going until sale day. A combination of 13’ cement-based signs, 53’ vans, social media, videography with voice over, newspaper, and postcard mail-outs ensure your land is marketed to all potential Buyers. We don’t rest on our laurels hoping someone else will do our work, an approach that seldom seems to work in life. takes the marketing of farm land to an entirely new level. Our past Buyers include not just farmers but investors, out of province Buyers and Buyers that have only viewed the land through our online marketing. Most farmers would never consider putting all their equipment up for sale as one package available to a single Buyer. Farmers know they will get signicantly more by selling the equipment individually to many different Buyers. Yet when the time comes to sell their farm land, conventional realtors often list all the land as one package to meet the Seller’s request to ”get it all sold on the same day”. This approach fails to yield top dollar for the land by eliminating potential Buyers from the process.ROY CARTER, CEOIT’S ALL WE DOSELLING FARM LAND

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 23Jeff Husband of Emma Lea Farms on Westham Island in Ladner says avour continues to be one of the top traits researchers should focus on during variety trials. SUBMITTEDServing the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We’ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976. And with two blending plants, we’re one of BC’s largest distributors of granular, liquid and foliar fertilizers. Our buying power and proximity to the Fraser Valley makes us the logical choice for truckload shipments. OKANAGAN FERTILIZER LTD 1-800-361-4600 or 250-838-6414Irrigation 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 RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – A new BC-bred strawberry variety is a contender for the crown currently held by the traditional day-neutral favourite Albion, according to information shared at the BC Strawberry Growers Association annual meeting on March 23. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada berry researcher Michael Dossett explained that the variety, currently known as BC 10-2-1, outperformed Albion in production and equaled it in size during 2020 trials. However, there are concerns. “We did see some rain damage … that we did not see in Albion,” he says. “But when we added things up at the end of the day, we did see that the percentages of marketable fruit … basically were the same.” The new variety has higher yields than Albion in the June-July harvest period and slightly lower yields in August. Dossett is working on creating trial plantings for grower testing while also watching for suspected lygus bug issues. Cabrillo, a variety from California’s UC Davis strawberry breeding program, also produced high yields but fruit was smaller and failed to achieve the avour of BC 10-2-1 or Albion. Flavour continues to be one of the main traits growers are looking for in new varieties, says Je Husband of Emma Lea Farms on Westham Island and a director with the BC Strawberry Growers Association. “We’re hoping to get varieties that suit our growing conditions here in BC and varieties that work for our climate and soils,” he says. “Albion, it’s a great berry. We’re just looking for something that yields a little higher.” The focus for berry breeding remains on the fresh market and Husband says the list of desired traits is long, with colour, yield and rmness following avour. In June-bearing berries, Dossett noted that Valley Sunset, a later June variety from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Kentville, Nova Scotia program, was a standout in terms of yield and size and had “pretty good” avour. Audrey had similar production levels, but the avour wasn’t as good. Kate started o strong, but dropped in size as the season progressed and tends to be a softer berry. Of the numbered Kentville varieties, K09-04 is the most promising with a conical shape and avour similar to Jewel. The program is also looking at white-eshed varieties, but this is not a focus. Collaborative research Dossett’s breeding work falls under the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association’s Agri-Science project through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, now in the fourth of its ve-year term. The Canadian Berry Trial Network, which began in 2019, also falls under CAP and continues to link strawberry variety trials in BC with those in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. Another project under CAP is berry crop enhancement being performed by Eric Gerbrandt of Sky Blue Horticulture of Chilliwack. “We nished up an initial round looking at drip-line fumigation,” he said of a two-year project demonstrating the value of drip-line fumigation and post-planting nematicide application. He will continue to compare a new nematicide product against Velum Prime, silicic acid and untreated control plots. Another project, aimed at providing integrated pest management tools for smaller-scale producers could help control a variety of pests becoming more prolic as a result of climate change. ES Cropconsult is nalizing pest management guides that will be available to growers. From a publicity point of view, BC strawberry growers shifted to online marketing from print in 2020 due to COVID-19, leading to higher marketing expenses than in 2019. Billboards reminding people to buy BC strawberries were part of the eorts. Several restaurants and breweries also featured strawberries in their products, including Old Yale Brewing’s Strawberry Dragonfruit Wheat Ale and the smoothies of Abbotsford-based juice bar Habit. Conservative budget Association general manager Lisa Craig set a conservative and balanced budget of $228,806 for 2021 with minimal changes from 2020. “There is more acreage going into the ground, but we don’t want to necessarily be over-zealous,” she says. Five of the association’s seven directors saw their terms expire at the meeting, but all let their names stand for re-election. There being no contenders, the candidates were elected by acclamation. However, attracting new members is a priority. “There’s a lot of the same people on multiple boards,” says Husband. “We’re a small industry. We’re always looking for new people.” Strawberry growers eye new varieties Research projects and breeding updates dominate AGMSubscription toSubscription toCountry Life Country Life in BCin BCto RENEW yourSubscriptionDon’t forget

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24 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – The BC government has topped up funding for its rst-ever raspberry replant program, allowing 46 acres to be replanted in 2021. “The program was oversubscribed,” says Carolyn Teasdale, berry specialist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries at the annual meeting of the Raspberry Industry Development Council on March 30. The province initially earmarked $90,000 for the program, but chipped in an extra $22,000 in response to grower interest. A total of 21 applications representing 87 acres were received. Of these, 12 applicants were approved, with the 46 acres approved for varieties including Squamish, Cascade Premier and Cascade Delight. Applications that weren’t approved lacked information or were waitlisted for plants. “There was a shortage of nursery plants this year which meant that some applicants were unable to nd plants,” she says. Abbotsford grower James Bergen said he’s optimistic the program will continue. He expects the council will hear details this spring. There were challenges, however, as with many new programs. “Some of the feedback that we got was with regards to advanced notice and who is privy to the notice about the program,” he says. “In year two, we have made recommendations that only Carolyn and Lisa [Craig, RIDC general manager] have information if it’s launched. All growers will basically nd out about it at the same time.” Similarly, growers also expressed concern that the industry at large had little warning of the program’s launch. The council hopes won’t this be an issue for 2022 plantings if a second round is announced in the coming weeks. The association is looking at a balanced budget this year, projecting revenues from levies on 11.25 million pounds of berries. This is a slight reduction from 12.3 million pounds last year. Levies from the 2020 season will fund a repeat of a fresh-market campaign focusing attention to u-picks. Bergen stepped down as chair after three years. “It’s been an eye-opener, learning experience, but it was good for me to do it, too,” he told the meeting. “I appreciate all the board members who have been there during my time.” Succeeding him is Jordan Alamwala. “I’ve been working alongside James for a while. I’ve denitely learned a lot from his time,” he says. Alamwala’s goal is to be as ecient as possible with the council’s resources while trying to do what’s best for the industry, something he describes as “just a continuation of what we’ve been doing the past few years.” Board members TJ Deol and Jack Braich also stepped down at the meeting. Kyle Thind, Jesse Brar and Paul Sidhu were elected by acclamation for three of the four available positions. Members agreed to leave the fourth spot vacant until the next AGM or a suitable member was found. The importance of breeding new varieties to create more resilient plants was discussed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada berry researcher Michael Dossett and Eric Gerbrandt, research director for the RIDC as well as the blueberry and strawberry industry associations. “The whole point of our selections is to make genetic gains,” says Dossett. “Our breeding cycle is about half what it used to be.” That means it takes 10 to 15 years instead of up to 30 to get a new variety to market. History has shown that taking time is important. The variety Lloyd George was used as a parent to many berries currently in elds. What was unknown at the time was that it was particularly susceptible to root rot. “We’re only now beginning to breed our way out of that root rot problem,” he says. “We’re trying to avoid running into similar issues down the road.” Gerbrandt noted that research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Kentville, Nova Scotia is working to bring wild raspberry germplasm into cultivated raspberry breeding to increase pest and disease resistance. “So that 15 years from now, when we’re breeding raspberries, we’re working with a broader pool of germplasm,” he explains. In 2020, wild parents from seed collected in Maine and Albania were selected for future crossing. Funding topped up for raspberry replant Growers anticipate a second round of funding in 2021CLAAS 780L CENTER DELIVERY ROTARY RAKE $11,500 CLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12.5’ PICKUP & 6 ROW CORNHEAD $93,700 CLAAS JAG 870 SP FORAGE HARVESTER CALL FOR DETAILS CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 10 ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 2800 CENTER DELIVERY ROTARY RAKE $32,500 CLAAS 4000 4-ROTOR RAKE CALL FOR DETAILS X 2 FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS NH BB340 LARGE SQUARE BALER CALL FOR DETAILS SUPREME INTERNATIONAL 700T MIXER WAGON TWIN SCREW CALL FOR DETAILS VEENHUIS MANURE TANKER TRIPLE AXLE WITH BRAKES $140,000 Pre-owned Tractors & EquipmentWe cut everything, except corners. STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 SATURDAYS 8-12604-864-2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD

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ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC CandidateAppraiser250.782.1088info@aspengrovepropertyservices.caTOM WALKER VICTORIA – BC agriculture minister Lana Popham came bearing gifts in support of the honey sector when the BC Honey Producers Association met for its semi-annual business meeting March 20, but several of the issues that plagued the industry last year look set to repeat. During her address to members, Popham committed $100,000 to support the rst year of a technology transfer program for BC beekeepers. BC is the last province to have such a program, and BCHPA had approached the ministry for support in getting one o the ground. Nevertheless, the announcement came as a surprise. “It will be amazing to get the technology transfer program o the ground,” says BCHPA president Heather Higo, adding that she looks forward to future funding from government. BCHPA will own and operate the program, contributing funding alongside the province and other partners. A steering committee will oversee the program, which is expected to partner with an educational institution. The goal is to bolster services to the more than 3,000 registered beekeepers in BC. A key ambition is to improve bee health and improve stock and queen production. Delivery of applied research and best management practices is also an important element of this extension-type program. Higo says the rst step will be the hiring of a program lead. Popham also announced the creation of a bee industry specialist within her ministry. Similar to industry specialist positions in the fruit, cattle and organic sectors, the position will liaise with industry and support strategic planning. The industry specialist and technology transfer program lead will complement the work of provincial apiculturist Paul van Westendorp and provincial apiary inspectors whose work is primarily regulatory through the BC Bee Regulation and Animal Health Act. Tough winter Bee health is a critical issue this spring. While spring is always an uncertain time as beekeepers open their hives and get a rst look at the condition of their stock, this year indicates above-average losses. According to the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, winter colony losses in BC averaged 20.3% last year and 31.9% in 2019. The early indications from some growers this spring are much higher. “I personally lost between 80% to 90% of my own colonies this winter,” reports Higo. “I have talked to others who have had the same results and some who have had no losses at all. We are putting our heads together and trying to gure out what is going on.” Lower Mainland beekeepers are some of the rst to open their colonies each year. Langley Bee Club rst vice-president Carolyn Essaunce reported that the club surveyed members in early February and received 150 responses. “Keepers with 10 or more colonies have seen 53% losses, and those with one to nine colonies reported 59% losses,” she says, noting that colony losses can continue up until the rst ow of nectar in April. There appear to be three main causes, based on early discussions among beekeepers. “There were higher-than-usual varroa mite loads going into the winter, despite summer and fall treatments,” says Essaunce. “We also saw cases of dysentery, and we believe that the age and See BEEKEEPERS on next page oBeekeepers welcome technology transfer program Colony losses and a lack of local queens challenge industry

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26 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBEEKEEPERS need to become more self-reliant nfrom page 25source of queens is also a factor.” She says colonies with local rst-year queens seemed to overwinter better. Van Westendorp is concerned enough by the reports that he’s distributed a short survey in advance of his usual spring survey to get a better understanding of the scope of the issue. Registered beekeepers with 25 or more colonies are on his distribution list. “We are getting alarming reports not just from the Fraser Valley but other parts of the province. We want to get an idea of the damage,” he says. “[The survey] is very short and will give us an idea of the projected losses and we may contact you again for samples.” The prospect of fewer colonies surviving the winter in BC as well as Alberta, combined with diculties importing queens and packages of bees thanks to ongoing reductions in air freight capacity as a result of the pandemic, may lead to a shortage of hives for spring berry pollination in the Lower Mainland. “It is a denite possibility,” notes Higo. Pollination in the BC berry industry is supported by Alberta beekeepers, either with colonies they have over-wintered in the Fraser Valley or that they have trucked in to give their colonies a headstart before going to work pollinating canola. Keep it local Building and maintaining a sustainable local bee population is a frequent topic of discussion for the BCHPA. This year’s losses and the unreliability of importing packages further exposes the need for the industry to be self-reliant. Several speakers during the education sessions added their knowledge to the discussion. Oregon’s Dewey Caron, a retired professor of entomology and popular speaker and writer on bee topics, cast some light on BC’s winter losses and how to recover with his talks on “Diagnosing Spring Dead-Outs” and “Increasing Your Numbers with Spring Splits.” Raising and maintaining healthy queen bees is key to sustaining local hives. UBC graduate Alison McAfee, a post-doctoral fellow at North Carolina State University, shared her research on queen failure and gave recommendations on best practices for keeping queens healthy. Oregon State University research assistant Ellen Topitzhofer added her insights on overwintering queens in Oregon, as well as practices for mite management. Topitzhofer’s take was interesting as she has worked for a technology transfer team similar to the program planned for BC. Essaunce shared her journey from commercial bush pilot to beekeeping entrepreneur with a prole of her Honest to Goodness Farm Co. Since her rst beekeeping course in 2015, Essaunce has become a Bee Master, worked as Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s chief beekeeper overseeing 400 hives and mentors other beekeepers through the Langley Bee Club. She now operates a 150-hive apiary that specializes in rearing queens. She also runs a host-a-hive program that leases hives to local landowners with a guarantee of 50 lbs of honey each season. She has also co-founded a company specializing in the production, processing and sale of bee pollen. Essaunce did not mince words regarding her frustrations with certain aspects of the BC industry, including berry pollination, a revenue source that she declines to take part in. She urged the industry to be more communicative and solution-oriented when facing issues such as the current colony losses. This spring’s education sessions were a roaring success compared to last year, when the event was cancelled in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, more than 250 participants swarmed the Zoom sessions for fresh information on the industry. “I think that we were actually able to serve more of our rural and perhaps younger members with the Zoom format,” says Higo. “Not everyone can aord to make a two or three-day trip to Kamloops or the Lower Mainland. We may look at a blended in-person and on-line format for future post-COVID meetings.” There’s a general consensus among BC beekeepers that the industry has to become more self-reliant. Doing that, however, is a challenge. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 27In 2018, Jim and Catherine Gowans bought an abattoir in Duncan that risked being shut down after the previous owners retired. Now, they’re busier than they could have imagined. BRAVE ART MEDIA | MICHELLE MUNKITTRICKemail: audreycifca@gmail.comemail: okanaganfeeders@gmail.com308 St. Laurent Avenue Quesnel, B.C. V2J 5A3Producers can apply for an advance on calves, yearlings, lambs, bison, forage and grain up to $1,000,000.00 with the rst $100,000.00 being interest free. Plus, interest relief through the Advance Payments Program is available to association members on their feeder cattle purchases.KATE AYERS DUNCAN – Jim and Catherine Gowans saw a need in their community and stepped up to support livestock producers when their local abattoir closed a few years ago. As producers of free-range pork, lamb, chicken and eggs at Omnivore Acres Farm in Central Saanich, they needed processing capacity to market their animals. “We had 50 pigs that we needed to get processed with nowhere for them to go. It was then when we realized how critical the space was,” Jim says. So, the Gowans bought Braun Custom Meat Processors after the former owners retired, and opened the business in January 2018. The Duncan abattoir was in danger of shutting down permanently, and the Gowans didn’t want to see that happen. “I didn’t know anything about the abattoir business at the time, but I am very lucky to have met some key people over the years. They made commitments and so did we to try to get it reopened,” says Jim. “But we couldn’t nd any outside investors so we decided to buy it. It’s almost like a community endowment to provide a service in a business that is growing not shrinking.” Since the purchase, the Gowans have renovated and expanded the provincially inspected Class A abattoir to oer more services to the community. “We developed a plant that has been retooled and licensed for more species than it was before,” Jim says. With the added infrastructure in place, the abattoir team can cut, wrap and freeze products on site. These added eciencies were welcomed upon the onset of the pandemic and onslaught of other abattoir closures. “We’ve been completely overrun with work since the start of COVID-19 and as plants have closed. It has become very, very busy,” says Jim. The Gowans are booking into 2022 for regular livestock producers. They recommend that producers submit booking forms well in advance of their processing needs. While many factors contribute to the limited slaughtering capacity on Vancouver Island, the labour shortage and lack of training may be the most important and perhaps most overlooked, says Catherine. “We haven’t had any training programs on Vancouver Island for some time now. Young people don’t get presented with the option to become an abattoir worker or meat cutter,” she says. “They have to leave BC to get that training and that’s not likely to happen if they have never been exposed to (these jobs) as teenagers. … We need more infrastructure around training and development of the industry.” Jim agrees. “In the last year and a half, the biggest issue has been access to labour. We need an apprenticeship program that provides training to people who want to learn and live in the community at the same time and build careers and businesses,” he says. As farms and regulatory oversight evolved throughout the years, businesses were less likely to continue the art of butchery and provide that service for local ranchers. While recent licensing changes could increase slaughter capacity on the Island, they could also cause ripple eects in the food supply chain. “The licensing required for an abattoir is pretty extensive,” Jim says. “With Catherine’s nursing background and my feed-mill background, we’re quite familiar with regulatory process. … We think food needs to be safe and that people need to work in a safe environment. There is good regulatory process for good reason.” The couple submit water samples every two weeks and are regularly audited by the SPCA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, WorkSafeBC and the province. “We’ve complied with that, but it’s a lot of bureaucratic work,” he says. And remote animal processing may have less regulatory oversight. The Gowans aren’t the only operators taking over meat plants to provide for themselves and others. Dave Semmelink of Lentelus Farms in Courtenay plans to open his own facility in Kelowna in May. Both operators are members of the BC Association of Abattoirs. The association’s executive director, Nova Woodbury, says there are many more mothballed facilities around the province, but a shortage of skilled labour is a challenge. The Gowans and Semmelink are examples of how such plants can be brought online. Business is booming as new owners advocate for increased training BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 Island couple step up to revive local abattoir

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28 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTHAT’S WHY WE UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU DO IS A WAY OF LIFE. OUR ROOTS ARE IN AGRICULTUREKeeping it Simple®We have a team of agribusiness experts here to support you every step of the way, helping to choose the right solutions for your unique needs. Whether you are looking to buy a new piece of land or in much need of new equipment to keep your operation running smoothly, we can help.WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE?― OUR ROOTS ARE IN FISHING, FARMING AND AGRICULTUREOur credit union was founded by the farming community. Over the last several decades, our cooperative has grown to $14 billion in assets, and counting. ― WE ACT LOCALNot only is our team of experts geographically dispersed to serve you where you are; decisions are made locally across the table, not across the country. ― WE HELP OUR MEMBERS AND COMMUNITIES THRIVEAs a nancial cooperative, a portion of our prots go back to our members and communities. Like you, we live and work here, so investing in our communities is at the cornerstone of who we are. We can’t wait to learn more about your business. Contact your local Agriculture Advisor today: Amrik Gill Agriculture Advisor Serving the Lower Mainland604-309-6513 amgill@envisionnancial.caToby Frisk Director, Agribusiness Serving the Okanagan, Enderby and Similkameen regions778-212-3415 tfrisk@rstwestcu.caCash Reumkens Agriculture Advisor Serving Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island250-701-3426 creumkens@islandsavings.caDivisions of First West Credit Union

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 29In Kelowna, many new cherry trees are being planted thanks largely to varieties developed at the Summerland research station. Lead breeder Amritpal Singh says using more technology could speed up future development. BARB GRASSTech crucial to speed variety development Sensors could make data collection more efficient and consistentMYRNA STARK LEADER SUMMERLAND – Cherry varieties developed at the Summerland Research and Development Centre have helped create a thriving BC cherry industry but new variety development could help speed up the odds of producing new commercial varieties.” “We need to adopt many of the new tools or we will be busy but working at a very low eciency,” Amritpal Singh told growers attending the BC Cherry Association annual meeting earlier this year. Singh grew up on a research station in India and came to Canada in 2012. He arrived in BC in 2017, taking over Summerland’s apple and cherry breeding program from long-time apple breeder Cheryl Hampson and cherry specialist Frank Kappel. Cherry breeding focuses on commercially desirable traits. These include rmness to withstand packing and an ability to keep longer to accommodate overseas shipping. Trees that produce cherries later in the season to ll a gap in the fresh fruit cherry marketplace are also desirable. Singh says any new variety released in his lifetime will be the work of crosses made by scientists in the program decades before him. That’s because developing a new variety from the initial cross to commercial release is about 15 to 20 years. But new technologies could help accelerate evaluation and selection eorts. “What technology can do is enable us to get more done in a shorter period of time, increasing the probability of nding a new variety,” Singh explains. Each year, scientists make about 10 cherry crosses which result in 100-200 unique seedlings from each cross. He likens cross-breeding trees to parents having children. Each of the seedlings from a cross is genetically unique and distinct from both the parent trees and its siblings. Scientists track each seedling, eliminating those that lack desirable traits. After about 15 years of analysis, Singh says less than 1% of seedlings are selected to move forward. Today, the centre has about 5,500 cherry and over 30,000 unique apple trees. Phenotyping, the process of evaluating potential new varieties, involves measuring and evaluating tree performance and fruit quality. Scientists then decide whether to keep a tree based on the assessment. Breeders at Summerland have been doing this for more than 95 years but today’s technology enables more of the data capture and evaluation process to be automated. Phenotyping involves the repeated measurement and recording of observations on a large number of selections over many years. This leaves room for inconsistent recordings and errors in data entry as research sta change. But using unique barcodes for each tree, machine-readable cards for data entry and sensors to collect data could standardize data collection, making it more ecient and consistent. “Many of the technology components already exist. We may have to modify them slightly and they would be a way to track and gather information more eciently,” says Singh. Singh considers himself lucky. The program at Summerland was ahead of many others. Historical data had already been digitized, and recent upgrades to software tools like Excel are enabling researchers to glean fresh insights from the data. Technology has also become more aordable. Last year, Singh procured some computers, printers and scanners to assist with lab automation for less than $6,000. “Sensors such as the 3D scanner can collect millions of data points per second, so we need more computers to analyze all that information. Also, sensors can work 24/7 and can assess large number of samples objectively without fatigue,” he says. Singh says the application of genomics and high-throughput phenotyping tools could further improve the breeding program’s eciency. Many evaluations such as fruit size and maturity are done manually but new scanning tools could automate these. There’s also a potential to replace human tasters with sensors to evaluate sweetness, texture and rmness. Singh showed producers a photo of a prototype robot in Germany that works day and night taking pictures to measure the size and shape of hundreds of bunches of grapes, saying this type of technology could be adapted for cherry breeding, too. Singh says Summerland has yet to make full use of the available technologies. It’s half-way there, and he’d like to see it at more than 80% within a few years. He says that’s the thing about tree breeding. It takes patience. Results take years and while technology can’t change that, it can increase the odds of discovering the next successful variety. PLOWING • POWER HARROWING SEEDINGSEED BED PREPARATION • LAND LEVELLINGWe can do your seeding and power harrowing, will travel from Salmon Arm to Cache Creek. Province Wide DeliveryIdrofoglia Reel Model G1 63/200 (2.5x656ft.) $11,895.00Langley 1.888.675.7999Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757No More Moving Your Sprinklers!Save TIME & MONEY with an Automated Irrigation Reel Ideal for any Crop, Vegetable/Corn or Forage.

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30 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCUrban farms can contribute to food securityNutritional value may need a boost, researchers point outUrban agriculture may not be the whole solution to sustainability, but research indicates it makes a positive contribution by helping to reduce food waste and emissions and increasing social opportunities. FILECOVID-19 has upended many aspects of society we take for granted, not the least of which is how and where we buy our food safely and the reliability of the supply chain. But as much as people are focused on a dangerous virus, food producers and suppliers have not taken their eyes o the urgent need to produce food more economically in ways that respect the environment and get food from farm to fork as expediently as possible. As a result, urban agriculture has come to play a valued role in food supply, contributing to some degree to food diversity, sustainability and addressing consumers’ desire to support local food systems. Growing food in the city is a way of repurposing vacant lots and maximizing green space. But recent research has shown that it is unrealistic to expect that community plots, rooftop and backyard gardens, vertical farming and city orchards will provide all the nutrients needed, especially given population trends and distribution. BC’s population is 5.1 million and approximately 62% lives in large urban centres. Canada’s population is 37.6 million of which, in 2019, 81.5% lived in cities. By close comparison, in 2018, 82% of the US population lived in urban areas. By 2050, that’s projected to increase to 89%. A recent study by scientists at Pennsylvania State University analyzed the nutritional needs of Chicago residents, a typical large urban centre with a population of 2.7 million. They calculated how much food could be produced in the city if producers maxed out urban agricultural resources. They also calculated how much crop land would be needed adjacent to the city to produce the balance of what would be needed. According to a press release from the American Chemical Society, this was the rst study to evaluate the land needed to meet food demand from the perspective of nutrition rather than just calories or quantities. “There is a tremendous enthusiasm around the country for localized food systems and urban agriculture,” said lead researcher Christine Costello, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. “We wanted to determine how much nutrition urban agriculture really can contribute, to nd out what is feasible as well as how much land is required to meet the population’s needs.” As an example, a recent study found that 30% of Boston’s fruit and vegetable demand could be met through soil-based and rooftop urban agriculture. The Penn State study used satellite data to dene land-type availability and USDA data on yields for conventionally grown crops over a 10-year period. The ndings showed that, based on conventionally grown crops, it is not possible to meet the nutritional needs of the population of Chicago within a radius of 640 kilometres without fortifying foods with vitamins B12 and D. Those additions would reduce but not eliminate the need for crop production outside the city. Twenty-eight nutrients were considered, and the foods included in the study were selected based on their abundance in the agricultural system and nutritional qualities. They looked at the amount of available land, a variety of crops and livestock, a range of crop yields and local agricultural practices. Using formula-based USDA recommendations, they calculated the land needed for each animal-based resource and created linkages between crops and livestock to estimate both crop land and pasture needed for each kilogram of animal food. “This work demonstrates the need to include a full list of nutrients when evaluating the feasibility of localizing food systems,” Costello said. “Key nutrient fortication or supplementation may signicantly reduce the land area required to meet the nutritional needs of a population.” Education, social change and a greater sense of connection between food production and food consumption has been bringing city dwellers closer to farmers and food producers. Some have taken up hoeing, sowing and harvesting in a newfound appreciation of growing their own food, even on a tiny scale. In March 2021, the National Farmers Union released a report “Imagine If…”: A Vision of a Near-Zero-Emission Farm and Food System for Canada. The report underscored the need for collaboration between farmers, managers, decision-makers, and policy-makers yet is potentially realistic when factoring in the contribution of urban farming. Not only does urban agriculture put food to fork, it contributes to local food security, helps reduce food waste, contributes to lowering emissions, and brings families and friends together in joint outdoor endeavours. The Chicago-focused research was published recently in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and Technology. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 31Building soil structure with organic compostNew facility in Surrey is churning out bulk compost for farmsAt Quails’ Gate Winery in West Kelowna, senior viticulturist Ed Tonner and Veratec business development manager Greg Ewasiuk check out a new compost produced in Surrey they hope will help rejuvenate 20-year-old vines. The compost is the byproduct of natural gas produced from organic waste diverted from the Metro Vancouver landll and is in the process of organic certication. MYRNA STARK LEADERORGANIC COMPOST FOR AGRICULTURAL APPLICATIONSNatural, nutrient-rich organic humusSustainable soil organics builderContains no manure,wood, or biosolids Less harmful & costly than chemical fertilizers veratecgroup.comAvailable for commercial and high volume supply. Contact us today for a quote.604.607.3002MYRNA STARK LEADER SURREY – A three-year-old biofuel facility in the heart of the Lower Mainland has ramped up compost production, creating a new soil amendment source for BC growers. Owned by the City of Surrey and operated under a 25-year contract with Convertus, the Surrey biofuel facility is the rst closed-loop organic waste facility in North America. Built at a cost of $68 million through a public-private partnership with Orgaworld Canada, it is the largest enclosed composting facility in Canada with the ability to process 115,000 tonnes of residential and commercial organic waste a year into renewable natural gas. Approximately 80% of the raw material is green waste like residential yard trimmings and 20% food waste collected by municipalities across Metro Vancouver. The gas fuels Surrey’s waste collection trucks. A byproduct of gas production is compost. While repurposing organic waste is common in Europe, the scale of the Surrey facility is unique in North America. “The facility is currently putting out 40,000 tonnes of dry, lightweight organic compost per year,” says Greg Ewasiuk, business development manager at Veratec Engineered Products Inc., the BC soils and mulch producer with exclusive rights to market and sell the compost. Veratec is seeking organic certication for the compost. Ewasiuk says production takes about three weeks resulting in a dry material with a ne texture, consistent composition and little odour. The closed-loop system is approximately four times faster than composting outdoors. “Typically, outdoor windrow compost is made from all kinds of incoming compost feedstock such as food waste, green waste, biosolids (sewage) and animal manure,” explains Ewasiuk. “But it’s a much slower and lower-volume process that’s harder to consistently control.” Surrey’s compost doesn’t contain biosolids, manure or added wood or sawdust llers. Veratec says it is on par with other soil amendments, adding nutrients and building soil health. The recommended application rate is 30-50 tonnes per hectare in the Okanagan, with application over several years recommended for best results. Commercial vineyards, orchards, market gardens, cannabis growers and nurseries throughout the Lower Mainland, on Vancouver Island, as well as in the Okanagan, are the target market for the product, marketed under the Thrive Organic Compost banner. Ewasiuk says building up soil structure using compost should signicantly reduce the future use and dependency on conventional fertilizers and manures, which he says are proven to be harmful to the environment if used long-term. “We've got trials running at over 20 locations throughout See COMPOST on next page o

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32 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThe organic compost can be broadcast or spread with a row mulch spreader. MYRNA STARK LEADERCOMPOST nfrom page 31CALL 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 BCHave 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!BC. It’s being used on berries as well in the Lower Mainland,” he says. For growers, the product is viewed as a natural soil amendment and an environmentally sustainable way to improve plant health, fruit quality and yield. In West Kelowna, Quails’ Gate Winery is trialing the compost on 10-12 acres of mature Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. Quails’ Gate wants to rejuvenate the planting and has applied Veratec’s compost to the ground around the vines at a rate of about six tonnes an acre. Ed Tonner, who joined Quails’ Gate as senior viticulturalist this spring, says the compost was brought to his attention by the winery’s former viticulturist, Chad Douglas. “We’re looking to uplift the soils and give the vines a little extra push since we’ve now got viable buds and cane selection made possible by our vineyard team,” he says. The compost will also count towards the winery’s certication under the Sustainable Winegrowing BC program, a project of the BC Wine Grape Council. In the vineyard, much of the focus is on water and erosion management which will be especially important with a new residential development going in directly above some of Quails’ Gate’s vineyards. Abbotsford kiwi grower Gorgi Petkov is also using the compost. He’s used mushroom, duck and chicken manure to build the soils in his eight-acre orchard in the past, along with traditional fertilizer. But last November he took delivery of Veratec’s compost and applied it at 30 tonnes per hectare. It lay in the orchard over the winter and was tilled into the soil this spring. While he won’t see any eect on the soil till this fall, he is condent the compost will be eective. “In general, this compost was the cleanest, nicest structure compared to others I’ve used in the past and it was almost odourless,” says Petkov. “I will still use some nitrogen supplements but my hope is to use less and less fertilizer … and the benet of this product is that it is so consistent and always available.” Although trials of Veratec’s compost are just beginning, Ewasiuk says the use and benets of compost are well documented in Europe, Germany, the Netherlands and France, particularly among organic growers in vineyards, orchards and berries. “They've been doing that for, some of them, over 10 years now. They've had some really good results there,” he says. He believes year-round product availability will be a game-changer for growers across North America as more cities look for ways to use organic waste “Fertilizer dependency is expensive so if farmers can move to something organic and sustainable, and instead x their soils long-term, the foundation of their business, I Silagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | office@silagrow.comMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain SeedVisGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsProtection NetsSALMON ARM 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. SURREY 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of BCthink it's a no-brainer they will,” he says, noting the product is great for boosting nutrient levels in sandy and clay soils. Thrive Compost contains less salts than most traditional fertilizers. It oers a slower, more even release of nitrogen and phosphorus, reducing the risk of burning young plants. It also helps to increase soil organic matter, structure, moisture-holding capacity and stimulates important micro-nutrient development in the soil. “Nitrogen fertilizing in some form is always going to be necessary seasonally for certain crops but if you correct your soils with compost and micronutrients, far less fertilizer is required, and far less water use as well, which is also costly in some areas,” he says. Ewasiuk expects additional closed-loop waste recycling facilities to open in BC in the next ve to 10 years, including the Okanagan. Reusing organic waste is good for the environment and enables farmers to demonstrate a sustainable practices. But adoption of the new product will take time and education. Veratec has an in-house agrologist on sta to help. “I deal with many of the farmers. They’re becoming aware of this type of product and they've been wanting to make this switch for a long time, but it hasn't been available in large, consistent quantities nor viable,” says Ewasiuk. “But within the next three to ve years, denitely, we're going to see some really large changes in the industry as it moves towards increased sustainability.”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 33Locally grown asparagus fills a niche marketEconomic value to committed farmers higher than cherriesSutcliffe Farms in Creston is the largest grower of asparagus in BC. At 100 acres, Doug Sutcliffe says he wholesales about 80% of his crop, one of the few growers in the province to do so. SUTCLIFFE FARMSJACKIE PEARASE CRESTON – A handful of dedicated asparagus farmers are working hard to ensure people have access to locally grown product despite a continuing decline in BC’s annual production. More than a dozen BC asparagus farmers are at the height of their season right now, harvesting approximately 178 acres of the love-it or hate-it vegetable, according to 2018 statistics from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. A handful of those farmers produce the majority of the asparagus grown in the province. “Creston-based Sutclie Farms is the largest producer representing approximately one-third of the total acreage grown and harvested. The rest of the BC asparagus farms range in size from less than an acre to 25-acre operations,” the ministry notes. Sutclie Farms owner Doug Sutclie harvests about 100 acres from early May to mid-June after replanting 15 acres as part of his ongoing eorts to keep the harvest consistent. “I don’t know of anybody else today in British Columbia that is producing enough asparagus to sell very much wholesale,” Sutclie says. About 80% of Sutclie’s harvest is sold wholesale, with the remainder sold at the farm gate. The Creston-based farm has grown asparagus since the late 1940s, when the crop was thriving in the province. The vegetable earned the Armstrong-Spallumcheen region the title of “The Asparagus Capital of BC” from about 1940 to 1960. According to a 1987 BC Asparagus Growers’ Association report, over 366 acres of the BC Interior was in asparagus, 80% of these in Spallumcheen. Production was 1,500 pounds per acre for a total of 390,000 pounds of asparagus, writes Lorna Carer in Spallumcheen: Where Farming Comes First from the 57th Okanagan Historical Report. Sutclie says his asparagus produces 2,000 pounds per acre in the fourth year. The agriculture ministry says BC produced 330,693 pounds of asparagus in 2018. The Okanagan had 462 acres planted with asparagus in 1958 and 290 acres in 1994, Michael G. Oswell writes in Memories of a District Horticulturist in the 61st Okanagan History Report. The agriculture ministry says the total harvested area for BC asparagus declined by approximately 4% on average between 2013 and 2018. Revival At least two long-standing asparagus farms in Spallumcheen closed or sold in the past ve years. New owners of one asparagus farm struggled to keep up with demand last spring as they learned the ins and outs of the crop, leaving stores short of local asparagus. Armstrong-Spallumcheen farmer Trevor Rees is working to reverse that trend, planting 10 acres of the crop in mid-April. Four more neighbouring farms also put in the crop, either this spring or last. Rees says the ve farms will have about 50 acres of asparagus planted this year, with more acreage planned. Rees, whose family farmed asparagus in the same area in the past, hopes to have 30 acres under cultivation in a few years. A neighbour is putting in even more asparagus, bringing the total to well over 100 acres in the near future. “There’s quite a few people getting into it but you have to remember that it takes four years to get going,” he notes. The crop does require a long-term commitment before paying o but the rewards are also long term. “You can kill it o real quick and easy. It’s super expensive to get into – super expensive. It’s probably one of the most expensive crops you can get into. But, if you can keep it going and take care of it, it will last 20 years,” Rees says. Issues include asparagus beetles and aphids, but they come after harvest and are fairly easy to control. The vegetable also does not like sharing its space with other plants so weed control is important. Harvesting is labour- See ASPARAGUS on next page JUWEL – EASE OF USE AND SAFETY OF OPERATIONFOR ANY STRATEGIC TILLAGE PRACTICELOOK TO LEMKENJuwel mounted reversible ploughs from LEMKEN combine operational reliability and ease of use to deliver excellent performance.@strategictill | lemken.caVanderWal Equipment is now a LEMKEN dealer.■ Optiquick for ploughing without lateral pull ■ TurnControl for safe plough turning ■ Hydromatic for disruption-free ploughing even in stony soils ■ Skimmer with easy adjustment options – all without tools■ Also available as M version with hydraulic turnover deviceVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | Quality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentFARMKING RB10FK WHEEL RAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 FORD 6610 CAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,500 HESSTON S260 SPREADER . . . . . . . 9,000 JAYLOR MIXER WAGON . . . . . . . . 13,500 JCB 409 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47,000 JD 3720 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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34 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCASPARAGUS is high maintenance to start but pays off nfrom page 33Marketing British Columbia to the World®www.landquest.comToll Free 1-866-558-LAND (5263)“The Source” for Oceanfront, Lakefront, Islands, Ranches, Resorts & Land in BC®LOON LAKE RANCHLOON LAKE, BCDRAGONFLY ISLANDBLIND BAY, BCROCKING HORSE PUBNANOOSE BAY, BCWISTARIA CATTLE RANCHOOTSA LAKEESTATE HOME ON ACREAGE150 MILE HOUSEHARDY MOUNTAIN ACREAGESGRAND FORKS, BCBUDGET MINDED BUILDING LOTHAIDA GWAIISIDNEY ISLAND OCEANFRONT HOMESOUTHERN GULF ISLANDSSCENIC LAKEFRONT ACREAGERADIUM HOT SPRINGS, BC179 AFFORDABLE ACRES OF PRISTINE WILDERNESS AND FERTILE FARMLAND2,277 acres, 12 titles, 1,500± ft lakefront, high 3,994 AUM Range permit for 800 head, good water supply for 4 pivot irrigation system. 4 hours from Vancouver on a paved road. $4,995,0002.5 acre private island located in desirable Blind Bay just off of Hardy Island. Includes a sheltered dock with aluminium ramp and 10 x 16 ft starter cabin. The possibilities are endless with owning your own private island. $1,089,000Well established Country Pub on 5.31 acres located in an area of equestrian acreages. Licensed for 134 inside and 38 patio occupants + off-premise sales. Upper level contains a newly renovated suite, ofce space and storage. 26 stall, 7,000 ft2 horse stable. Great upside potential! $1,950,000This is fantastic opportunity for some ranchers to get started or add to existing operations. This 576 acre homestead offers a home, outbuildings, hay production, grazing, timber and a range permit. It also borders a private 8 acre lake. $600,000150+ acres just 15 minutes from Williams Lake. Stunning, executive home offers 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, an attached carport, excellent sun & panoramic views. Full hookup RV site & a large shop complete with a 14 ft door, full bathroom & heated oors as well as a secondary residence. $1,395,0003 separate private affordable acreages starting at $249,000. Ranging from 27 to 37 acres. Spectacular views of the city, mountains and Kettle River Valley. Good access, power and drilled well. Great climate for gardening and self-sufcient living. Only 2 minutes to town. Starting from $249,000Five minute walk to the marina and the Masset village center. Serviced with water, cable, sanitary, high speed Internet and cell service. The lot is treed and fairly level. Perfect for a retirement or new family home. ONLY $40,000Lot 113 - 3.01 acres with 1,580 ft2 architect designed two bedroom + loft home with hardwood floors, stainless kitchen & lots of windows to take advantage of the amazing views. Perfect year-round home or recreational getaway on a private island with airstrip, dock & fulltime caretaker! $995,000Lakefront paradise! Rare opportunity to have private mid-sized acreage and over 1,000 ft of lake frontage just minutes to town. A stunning building site has been prepared perched up above the lake with views through to the lake all set against the Rocky Mountains. 40 acres. $995,000179 stunning acres in the pristine region of Baker Creek. An extremely affordable opportunity to commence or supplement your very own farming operation. Nearly 40 acres in hay production, some fencing / cross-fencing and complete privacy, you will not want to miss this opportunity. $215,000RICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comJAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605 JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577KEVIN KITTMER 250-951-8631kevin@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100john@landquest.comFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comSAM HODSON 604-809-2616Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comKURT NIELSEN 250-898-7200kurt@landquest.comLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleyDAVE COCHLAN 604-319-1500dave@landquest.comMATT CAMERON 250-200-1199matt@landquest.comCHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634 COLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793intensive but the high value of the crop tips the scales in its favour. Last year, Sutclie’s farmgate asparagus prices ranged from $3.75 a pound for skinny spears to $4.75 a pound for jumbos and tips. This compares to an average farmgate price of $2.55 a pound for the BC crop last year as reported by Statistics Canada. “The productivity or the economic value of the asparagus crop is better than hay and better than grain and compared to cherries and wine, they talk money,” Sutclie says. Bruce Duggan grows about eight acres of asparagus alongside berries, tree fruit and vegetables that he sells at Duggan’s Farm in Lake Country. Asparagus has been planted on his 20-acre farm for over 30 years. He says the value and timing of the crop make it appealing for him and other small acreages. “I do like that it’s an early crop, it’s the rst harvestable crop that I have,” says Duggan. “It’s denitely one of my more valuable crops.” Teresa Turgeon grows just over an acre with about 1,400 asparagus plants at Star Hill Farm in Saanich. She and her husband Bernard (now deceased) went with asparagus after experimenting with dierent specialty crops in the early 2000s. The crop allowed them to utilize their land while still leaving time to pursue their musical careers. Turgeon sells her crop to a couple of local stores on Vancouver Island, having stopped farmgate sales last year. She nds asparagus to be fairly easy to grow and encourages others to take on the valuable crop. “We’ve been really lucky but it’s been a hell of a lot of hard work to set it up. Once it was set up… as long as you do the routine, the annual fertilizing cycle, what goes on above the soil and below the soil, it’s a very forgiving plant and it’s a good plant,” she notes. Turgeon says varying the source of nitrogen given to the plants has proven eective for maintaining good yield from her crop. Rees says establishing a new asparagus eld can be dicult, particularly in an area where it was grown before. “Once it’s been planted in that land, you can’t grow it again. It just doesn’t do well the next time.” Loss-leader With 45 years in farming, Sutclie has doubts that the industry can rebound in BC due to the inux of imported asparagus in the local market and consumers’ desire for a low-cost product. “I think it’s going to be a dying plant. I gure that with the price of asparagus that they’re importing now, there’s no way a Canadian grower can compete with that,” he explains. “There’s also the mass of population that shops at Walmart and grocery stores.” He says large chain stores often use asparagus as a loss-leader, oering it at prices lower than the wholesale price they paid. Such practices hurt farmers like him, who charge a premium price. “I don’t get as much farm sales anymore because … they sell it cheaper than I do at my farm,” he says. Family and friends pitched in to plant ve acres of asparagus at Trevor and Brandy Rees' farm in Spallumcheen in mid-April. JACKIE PEARASE

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 35Kamlesh Patel has spent his entire career developing new methods to increase efciencies in plant propagation for the tree fruit and berry sectors, among others. SUBMITTEDALISTAIR WATERS KELOWNA – A small Kelowna company is having a big impact helping farmers across Canada and around the world source new and innovative plant varieties. AgriForest Bio-Technologies Ltd. operates a 50,000-square- foot greenhouse complex and 5,000-square-foot laboratory in the city’s rural southeast area. For more than 25 years, the company has propagated rootstocks and developed new varieties of fruits, berries and other plants. Now, thanks to a $150,000 research grant from the BC agritech grant program, it is on the verge of taking that assistance a step further with the development of technology that will help meet growing demand for superior planting materials, says AgriForest founder and general manager Kamlesh Patel. Working with researchers from UBC Okanagan, AgriForest will develop a production method that could cut labour and energy costs by 40%. It will use photoautotrophic micropropagation, a process that doesn’t require sugar, reducing the chance of contamination. Combined with its vertical growing system, the company will be able to accelerate seedling production to meet growing demand. AgriForest produces more than two million plants annually, but the new method will increase production capacity four-fold. “With this cloning method, we can produce hundreds of thousands of plants within a year,” says Patel. Innovation Patel has spent years developing new methods of propagating plants. Born in India, he received his doctorate in 1978 and two years later moved to the US to conduct research at Yale. He came to Canada in 1983 and continued his work at the University of Calgary. Patel rst came to Kelowna in 1985 to work on a project focusing on conifers, but he saw the need for more fruit trees. AgriForest describes itself as a leading-edge company at the forefront of developing innovative technology that benets the agriculture, horticulture and forestry industries as well as the wider community. “Our main focus has always been to meet the needs of growers in BC,” says Patel. Nick Ibuki, business development manager at Summerland Varieties Corp. says the work AgriForest does is important because it can take a product and multiply it many times to make it available to growers and, in turn, consumers. “They’re really like a photocopier – you put in one copy and get 100 more copies,” says Ibuki. “They have developed a quick way of making a lot of plant material and are a valuable step in the process for us.” Summerland Varieties takes advanced varieties, tests them to see what has promise for growers, commercializes them and gets them out to providers. It also works to protect plant breeder rights and acts as a middle player in the process between plant breeders and growers and consumers, says Ibuki. Its work with AgriForest allows it to quickly get new products out to growers and into the marketplace. AgriForest Bio-Products is not only developing new types of rootstock but also faster and cheaper ways to grow them, thus providing farmers with plants and seedlings faster and for less than conventional propagators. “The market demands changes on an almost daily basis,” says Patel. “Farmers need to stay on top and we feel we are doing something worthwhile for farmers and consumers.” He’s also glad to be doing it in Kelowna. BC propagator awarded research grantNew production method will increase capacity four-foldSee PLANS on next page o® The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. M05338 (0120)Ken Uppal MMBBAA P. APg.AgDist. Manager Abbotsford & Fraser Valley6046213350kanwar.uppal@td.comJeremy Siddall District Vice President Paciic Agriculture ServicesBritish Columbia2506814656jeremy.siddall@td.comConnor Watson B.CommAccount ManagerAbbotsford & Fraser Valley7782015753connor.watson@td.comMichelle Curcio Account ManagerVancouver Island2502460859michelle.curcio@td.comDave Gill Account ManagerAbbotsford & Fraser Valley6048074761baldev.gill@td.comTed Hallman Account ManagerBC Interior2504707557ted.hallman@td.comAlyssa Barr Account ManagerBC Interior2505755047alyssa.barr@td.comRahan Ahmad Account ManagerAbbotsford & Fraser Valley7788471566rahan.ahmad@td.comMeet our Agriculture Services TeamWe are dedicated to helping you achieve your business goals and creating a lexible and customized banking solution that is right for your farming operation.

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36 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPLANS include an expansion into cannabis cloning nfrom page 35ABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411Krone delivers what the farmer needs - well built, ef昀cient equipment. Krone equipment is chosen the world over because Krone tedders, rakes, balers, and harvesters are built to stand the rigors of harvest year after year. SOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSGIVE YOURSELF T H E AVENUEHe remembers ying into the city and looking out the window of the plane as it passed over the valley. The sight of the sprawling orchards captivated him, and he knew it was a place to call home. “I thought, ‘This is paradise. I could retire here,’” he says. Now, more than 35 years later – and in his 70s – that may be the case for Patel. He sold the company to a group of unnamed American and Canadian investors last year and stayed on to run it as the general manager, but he says retirement is on the horizon. “I’ve been doing this for 35 years, nearly half my life.” Product development AgriForest isn’t slowing down, however. It currently has more than 100 varieties of crops in development and ships its products worldwide. While nearly 50% of the company’s business is in Canada, it ships up to 25% of its production to the US and the rest beyond North America. The company announced last year it wants to expand in order to conduct research, development and production related to the breeding, selection and tissue culture cloning of elite strains of cannabis with high medicinal values. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has certied it under the Canadian Fruit Tree Export Program. Because of the sterile propagation conditions, its plants are not subject to quarantine at their destination, says Patel. Under Patel’s direction, AgriForest has grown to become a leading supplier of high-quality planting materials derived through tissue culture cloning of elite species of fruit trees, berry crops and high-value landscaping plants in Canada. The method does not involve genetic modication. Over the last 25 years, the company has developed proprietary technologies that have helped commercialize new varieties of tree fruits and berries from public and private breeding programs. They include apple rootstocks, sweet cherries, Saskatoon berries, raspberries, haskaps, blueberries, hazelnuts and grapes. AgriForest has received several awards over the years. It was a nalist for a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for its original product, a cloning process for dwarf apple trees. Patel was named Innovator of the Year by the Okanagan Science and Technology Council in 2004, an award that recognizes an individual who has demonstrated innovation, leadership, sound business practices and community development. The following year he was named a Canadian innovation leader by the National Research Council of Canada. The company has also received several awards for its tissue culture products, including the New BC Product Award from the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Best Business Achievement Award from the BC government. Kelowna-based Agriforest Bio-Technologies has been propagating rootstock for Canadian and international markets for over 25 years. AGRIFOREST BIO-TECHNOLOGIES LTD.

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 37Understanding the methodology to farm financingKnow what lenders look for when seeking project funding RBC account manager Lauren Klade says having a ve-year business plan makes a good rst impression when approaching a lender for money. RONDA PAYNEPROVINCIAL LIVESTOCK FENCING PROGRAMApplications Close: August 31, 2021View program updates atce: 1.778.412.7000 Toll Free: 1.866.398.2848email: In partnership with:KATE AYERS ABBOTSFORD – Starting a new business or expanding a current one can be daunting at any time, let alone during a global pandemic and all the uncertainty it holds. Fortunately, farmers can seek nancial advice and support from experts in the eld. Ranchers and farmers unsure which direction to take towards nancial planning should call their account manager, says Royal Bank of Canada commercial account manager, agriculture and agribusiness, Lauren Klade, based in Abbotsford. The importance of a strong business plan cannot be stressed enough, she adds. In an initial meeting with an account manager, a farmer can hit the ground running by supplying information that helps an advisor best understand the business. Five-year projections are a big piece of the loan puzzle, for example. “If a producer is looking to expand, we would like to see budgets and plans,” says Klade. Farmers should include living expenses and the potential loan in this projection because it will aect cash ow and any additional debt. It also will provide more condence in the projection. The BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries provides business plan and balance sheet templates through its agri-business planning website. Farmers should also include a quick write-up on their experience and whether or not they’ve developed a back-up plan in the event the owners cannot run the operation and outside management is required, she adds. Generally, account managers look at the ve Cs, four Ms and four Ds when conducting a nancial evaluation of a farm business, according to a nance webinar hosted by BC Young Farmers in March. The ve Cs include collateral, credit, capacity, capital and character. Collateral is property a farmer can use to secure a loan, such as land, quota or equipment. Producers are often collateral rich and cash tight, Klade says. Credit demonstrates past performance to give an idea of future payment. Farmers looking to start or expand a business venture may need guarantees from a third party, such as family members. Capacity is king as a large part of loan approvals are based on matching payments to incoming cashow, Klade says. Current and future cash ow gives indication to an applicant’s ability to pay back a loan. Capital represents equity that is available as security. Character is a big-picture item, a visualization of the future position of the farm. The farmer has a chance to tell the story of his or her generational history, succession planning, and strengthen the application by explaining why he or she needs nancing to achieve future goals. The four Ms include money, market, management and materials. Money includes the amount a producer needs, potential cash shortfalls and the availability of working capital available to cover short-term obligations. Most lenders look at cash ow, a critical factor in being able to repay debt. While lenders may be patient with a short-term decline in revenue, a more severe downturn may require renancing or other management strategies. Lenders will examine market trends to identify the overall health of a sector, while management refers to a farmer’s approach to business. The age of equipment and availability of supplies are important material considerations. The four Ds may make lenders think twice – an unresolved divorce, excessive drinking and drug use and delays in providing documents. In addition, lenders consider interest rates. While farmers may take on more debt as interest rates decrease, they should run scenarios to see if they could handle rates rising from 2.5% to 4% or 5% with their current cash ows. “Although we expect rates to remain low over the next few years, I could see the banks wanting to use test rates in applications,” says Klade. “Having clients qualify at a higher interest rate will ensure they aren’t taking on more debt than they can handle should rates increase in the coming years. This has been done in the past during record low interest rates.” When applying for a loan, farmers should be open with their nancial partners. All parties should establish expectations and timelines for next steps. “Talk with your account manager early,” says Klade. “A business plan takes time but is extremely helpful so that you understand where your business is headed.” D\cXe`\CXekq-'+%)(.%),.)GXidBffe\i-'+%*-'%(.+'CXli\eBcX[\-'+%)(.%*0,'K\i\jXDZB`ec\p),'%-(/%+*(-Hl`eZpEfik_-'+%-)(%-.0,D`Z_\c\8e[\ijfe../%0/-%)('0Jk\m\JXZZfdXef-'+%.'*%,(-(@X`eJlk_\icXe[),'%,(,%'(.*=\ieDZ;feXc[-'+%,,-%(,*.I`ZbK`c`kqbp-'+%*-'%,/.-S

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Project coordinator and senior board manager Virginia Lemesurier harvests a volunteer crop of Ralsilane lettuce, a local variety developed by a Creston gardener, that grew over the winter. BRIAN LAWRENCECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 39Proudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us onlineinfo@reimersfarmservice.com855.737.0110reimersfarmservice.comCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR 900 Tine WeederDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock BRIAN LAWRENCE CRESTON – More than 15 years after Dan and Val McMurray began collecting seeds, the Creston Community Seed Bank is ensuring the couple’s legacy lives on. The seed bank became a non-prot society in February, and will continue to maintain the seeds best suited to growing in the Creston Valley, as well as greatly expand community education. “We are now partnering with many dierent organizations to work toward our goals,” says board director Donna Carlyle. “We’re sharing growing resources with the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition, and the extra produce we generate is delivered to the [Creston Valley] Gleaners Society food bank. This helps feed our community.” The McMurrays started growing vegetables and collecting seeds on their Wynndel property in 2004, and even traded seeds with growers around the world to develop a unique collection of open-pollinated seeds. Val died in 2010 and Dan in 2012, at which time the collection was donated to the College of the Rockies (COTR) and the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition in trust for the community. Named the Dan McMurray Community Seed Bank in 2013, it contained 1,600 varieties of tomatoes and numerous varieties of peas, beans, squash, melons, corn and peppers. “They worked for years and years to save the seeds,” says board director Pat Huet. “They gave them to our community.” With the seed bank now held within its own society, the College of the Rockies is a key partner in its operations rather than a trustee. It has given the seed bank a ve-year lease on its greenhouse and garden space, formerly used for horticulture education and community agriculture outreach, free of charge. The opportunity came via former campus manager Seed bank continues legacy of seed-saversUnique crosses emerging from donated seed bankSee SEED on next page oInsurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit 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 | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.

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40 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSEED bank keeps focus on sustainability nfrom page 39TOLL 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 778-441-3210It’s MOW Time!NEW MOWER CONDITIONERS & BALERSMORE UPTIMEMORE CHOICESwith Quick Change Kniveswith 4 Conditioning Options for QUICKER DRYDOWN!ROUNDBALER560M5-YEAR CUTTERBAR WARRANTYMORE CONFIDENCEON ALL JOHN DEERE MOWER CONDITIONERS0% FOR 60 MONTHS*NOW IS THE TIME TO BECOME AN OWNER OR UPGRADE YOUR JOHN DEERE BALER OR MOWER CONDITIONER!NEW ZERO SERIES MOWER CONDITIONERS8 MODELS TO CHOOSE FROM!S250 (8’) to the NEW C500 (16’4”)UP TO 25% WIDER WINDROWS• Dry Hay or Silage• Optional Precutters• Optional MegaWide Pickups• Net Wrap w/ 10,000 bale adjust0% APR purchase financing for 60 months on new John Deere Balers and Mower Conditioners. O.A.C. Down payment may be required. Offer valid until May 31, 2021. See dealer for full details.Kim Garety, who suggested the seed bank could make better use of the space and oer expanded programming independent of the college. “In the process of forming a society, we decided to have a more universal name,” says Carlyle of the name adopted earlier this year. “We are the only seed bank in the Kootenays and want to eventually extend our services to the entire area.” To ensure expansion keeps up with regional demand, the board, which has members from outside the Creston Valley, relies on the knowledge of long-time volunteers, including Huet, a retired biologist who was part of a core group that began to organize the seed bank following its donation to COTR. “It was not super-organized until 2015,” says Huet. “Until then, we were growing things out as best we could.” Funding from the Creston-Kootenay Foundation and the Columbia Basin Trust, which supports social, economic and environmental programs in the region, allowed the creation of permanent les to document processes and systems. “We wanted to document all of the knowledge that was in Pat’s head,” says Carlyle. At the college site, gardens are planted for the purpose of propagating and saving open-pollinated seeds. The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition partnership adds vertical gardening, vermiculture and pollinators to the mix, while teaching people of all ages how to grow food. A third of the produce grown is kept for seed, while the rest is donated to the Creston Valley Gleaners Society food bank – a total of 410 kg in 2020. It takes nearly two dozen volunteer growers each year to ensure that enough seeds are saved to maintain the bank’s inventory. “Every year, we have volunteer growers who receive seeds of various vegetables – beans, peas, things like that – and we give plants of tomatoes to grow out,” says Huet. “And at the end of the season they return new seeds to the seed bank.” In 2020, home gardeners and the college garden provided a total of 8.5 kg of seeds, including 20 varieties of tomatoes, eight each of peas and beans, and single varieties of others, including cucumber, broccoli and cilantro. Biennials, such as kale, beets and cabbage, were overwintered, with a goal of saving seed this year. The process doesn’t stop with simply collecting the seeds. Germination tests are run to ensure their viability. “It’s essential,” says Huet. “We need to know that when we pull a variety of bean out of the seed bank, that it’s true, that it will germinate, and has not been cross-pollinated.” After the seeds are tested, they are dried with silica gel, and either put on the shelf for the next year, stored in the refrigerator for up to ve years, or placed in a freezer for long-term storage. “We want to make sure there are seeds here that people like, that produce well, that taste good, that we can grow out,” says Carlyle. “If we were ever in a situation where there was stoppage of food, we can share with the valley.” Adapting to climate change Determining what works best can be a challenge, particularly when climate change is aecting the growing season, even over a period of only a few years. “It seems like the spring weather is early, and the fall cold is early,” says Huet. “It used to be that we could grow peppers easily. Now it’s a challenge every year, and has been for three or four years.” With sustainability in mind, seeds that can’t be grown in the Creston Valley are donated to other seed banks and to Seeds of Diversity, the Canadian charitable organization dedicated to conserving agricultural biodiversity. Sometimes, though, certain varieties fare far better than imagined, and take on a life of their own – such as Creston’s own Ralsilane lettuce, created when a volunteer grower crossed romaine and Red Sail lettuce. “One of the interesting side benets is that there have been a couple of varieties that have crossed naturally,” says Carlyle. The growing season ahead will be a busy one for the new organization. Two grains (amaranth and quinoa) and more vegetable varieties will be added to the gardens at the college, and seed bank director Lesley Anne Garlow will present First Nations knowledge of seeds to two elementary schools in Creston. Videos developed to teach growing and collecting practices, such as hot composting and seed saving, will run on YouTube, and the Lawns to Gardens program that will educate homeowners about turning their lawn into a vegetable garden. And through it all, the seed bank holds Seedy Saturday events and sales at the Creston Valley Farmers Market. About 30 volunteers have signed up to grow at home or work in the college greenhouses, not a surprise given the events of the past year. “I think COVID has made an impact, with people suddenly interested in seeds and gardening,” says seed bank director Carol Freeman-Ryll. “We can make a negative into a positive.” “The volunteers appreciate being able to learn how to keep seeds for themselves, so they can have their own sustainable food productions,” says project coordinator and the seed bank’s senior board manager Virginia Lemesurier. “People really like trying new varieties.” And their eorts, together with the board members driving the project, are a sure way to maintain the Creston Community Seed Bank legacy for years to come. “It’s important for me to have food available to all people,” says Carlyle. “I personally have an issue with the patenting of seeds.” “We know that our seeds grow,” says Freeman-Ryll. “They may not grow elsewhere, and other seeds may not grow here. It’s important to be self-sucient.”

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GET REEL THIS SPRING!GET REEL THIS SPRING!Langley: 1.888.675.7999 Williams Lake: 1.855.398.775790/300 (3/3.5" x 985ft) No computer*$25,900.00100/420 (3.3/4" x 1380ft) No Computer*$31,400.00110/450 (3.7/4.33" x 1476ft) Computer*$41,600.00Reels are complete with Sprinkler & Inlet Hose!Reels are complete with Sprinkler & Inlet Hose!Free PTO Pump or $2500 Discount on Select Irrigation Reels!Free PTO Pump or $2500 Discount on Select Irrigation Reels!COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 41New owners to extend Woodside Farm’s legacyCidery, farm stand in the works for historic farmJosh Perina, Mela Radtke and their children Nelia and Joah are embracing farm life, having recently purchased historic Woodside Farm in Sooke. KATE AYERSSANDRA TRETICK SOOKE – The historic Woodside Farm in Sooke has changed hands for the rst time in more than 70 years, and the new owners have a long-term vision for the 84-acre property. Woodside Farm was established in 1851 and is the oldest continuously operated farm west of the Great Lakes. It has grown vegetables, raised livestock and poultry, and produced milk, cream and cheese. But more recently, hay has been the primary crop. For local entrepreneurs Josh Perina and Mela Radtke, the oceanfront property seemed like an opportunity. “Like everybody else in Sooke, we’ve been driving past Woodside Farm and seeing that big red barn and the old heritage house and wondering what’s going on over there,” says Perina. “It’s a nice large farm and we were excited about the possibilities of what we could create.” They decided to purchase the property from the Wilford family, who has owned the farm since 1947. The sale closed in February for $4 million. As part of the deal, Peter and Jeanette Wilford will stay on for several months to help with the transition and supply the necessary farming equipment. “We have a really good relationship with Peter and Jeanette,” says Perina. “Peter and I are basically hanging out every day and working.” This included planting 550 dwarf cider apple trees in April and installing an irrigation system. Another 900 trees are planned for next year. “We’re going to attempt to create a cidery, an open farm with some u-pick and an active farm stand with eggs and veggies,” he says, adding a petting zoo may also be in the cards. “Our goal is to take this property that everyone in Sooke knows so well and make it something that people can come and visit.” They’re still working out the details and the cidery is a couple of years o, but they hope to start experimenting with their rst batches of cider this year with apples from older trees on the property. To help with the labour, they have put together a small team with four part-time employees. Their children, who are nine and eight, are also helping out. “The kids were out there planting trees too,” says Perina. SANDRA TRETICK When Mike and Marjorie Lane learned in 2019 they had been awarded a 20-year lease of Ruckle Farm on Salt Spring Island starting January 1, it opened up a new world of opportunities. It also made them wonder what they had signed up for. “It will put us into our 80s,” says Marjorie with a laugh. “But we’re realistic. We’re not going to be the ones throwing the bales when we’re 80.” In February, the couple received a boost when Marjorie’s daughter moved to the site on Beaver Point together with her own family to help run the farm business. This was made possible because they now have the use of the other houses on site. Having extra help will give them a chance to stay on top of things instead of merely jumping from one crisis to another. “We’re turning it back into a family farm,” says Marjorie. “We need that young energy.” Irish immigrant Henry Ruckle homesteaded here in 1872. A century later, his descendants gave the 1,300-acre property to the province but retained use of the farm under a life tenancy agreement. Mike came to help in the 1990s, eventually taking over farm management altogether. When the last Ruckle family member passed away in 2018, the Lanes continued on under a park use permit while BC Parks put out a request for proposals for a new farm operator. With the lease providing more certainty ahead, the Lanes will now be able to expand their bed & breakfast and branch out to oer events like weddings and farm-to-table dinners. COVID-19 gave them time to undertake the necessary renovations. “What we’re oering now is going to provide a much more intimate experience for people to enjoy life on a heritage farm,” says Marjorie. Ruckle Farm continues to be maintained as a period farm giving visitors a unique look into a pioneer lifestyle. “The cost of doing things in a heritage fashion is obviously more than the modern way,” says Mike, who has been diligently replacing wire fences with heritage-style wood rail fences. “The Ruckle Farm looks toward the future“They’re part of the process.” Although the family doesn’t have a background in farming, Perina and Radtke have experience starting new businesses and a passion for gardening and growing food. Perina works in the technology sector and is a founder of Elastic Email, an email marketing company based in Victoria. For Woodside, they’ve already launched a website whole thing is a labour of love.” The Lanes want to do their best to steward the property on behalf of the Ruckles and maintain their legacy. “We had a close relationship with them and they’ve given a huge gift to the province and especially to the islanders, so we’ll do our best,” Marjorie says. See FARM on next page o

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42 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCFARM nfrom pg 41RENN Mill Center Inc. has a corporate policy of continuous improvement and development; therefore models and specifications are subject to change without any advance notice.H&S Bale WrappersLW1100 LINEWRAP™ BALE WRAPPER features a new EFI engine for fuel savings, and an updated hydraulic system for faster wrapping! 4’ to 6’ round bales 5’ to 6.5’ square bales Remote Start/Stop/Steer Self-propelled optionH&S Rakes Available in 12, 14, and 16 wheel models The most flexible rakes on the market Overhead frame design for high capacityRENN Mill Center Inc., RR#4 Lacombe, AB T4L 2N4The full line of H&S agricultural equipment is available from RENN Mill Center, the exclusive distributor in Western Canada.Call to find your local dealer.TEL: 403-784-3518 | www.rennmill.comDevoted as I am to my farming career, I have always maintained a list of options should something not work out. Over the years, I have collected a pleasing array of career ideas, the result of time spent dabbling in various pursuits and coveting other people’s jobs. The latest addition, Springtime Seed Potato Delivery Person, would suggest a realistic, practical approach to career selection. But really, it’s one of the few open to me. For example, I think I will never be a logger. Neither will I become a 19-year-old Instagram inuencer, and at this point I am unlikely to move to New York City to work in investment banking. Neurosurgery is not going to happen, and neither is tenured professor of Russian Literature as both involve going back to school, among other things. And yet, there they are. Springtime Seed Potato Delivery Person, however, is right in my wheelhouse and I have been gaining experience. I just got back from a run into the Okanagan and through the Fraser Valley. Prior to that, I was on Vancouver Island. I practiced route planning, ecient cargo loading, keeping track of clean facemasks and strategies for treating my dicky hip during long hours behind the wheel. Career development aspirations include acquiring reasons to deliver in the Peace River region and purchasing a dash-mounted cell phone holder for navigation. It is my long-sought ticket onto all sizes and types of growing operations: from gigantic full chemical and highly ambitious organic to advanced home grower and regimented community garden. Wandering around the province dabbling as a farm worker would also do the trick. I would be valuable, if transient. I am not available though. I have returned home to my farm and my family. I had such a lovely time. I look forward to next year. One sobering point: selling seed potatoes to growers feels dierent than selling table potatoes to eaters. I am good at the latter and still new to the former. I spent many a mile attempting to articulate these feelings: pride and gratefulness, of course, and a considerable amount of unsettling performance anxiety. Buying our seed is not cheap. Good results are expected. Unanticipated side benet: I arrived home imbued with positive farming energy, the result of countless conversations about increased demand for the food grown here in BC. Yes, it is springtime, and positivity ows are typically high. Equipment and people have yet to break down, crops have yet to op, and plans have not been exploded by unforeseen circumstances. The positivity I experienced this spring, however, was next-level and almost foundational. I came home with a strong feeling of happy anticipation. Many of the farm businesses that I visited had had an unexpected COVID bump last year and were now experiencing evidence of a sustained surge in demand for their product. Could it be that a greater and greater proportion of the 5 million people in this province who must eat are hungry for what grows around them? Could it be that an appealing and lasting food source has been found at farmers markets and farm gate, in harvest box schemes and even in the backyard and kitchen? Anyway, I seem to be lled with happy farming thoughts. I wish I could think of a way to share the positive farming energy with everyone, other than aspiring to work on every single farm in the world. There is, of course, this column. So, this month, it comes to you with best wishes for a satisfying growing (and selling) season. Anna Helmer farms potatoes in the Pemberton Valley and wishes her 8-year old son would gain some semblance of a sense of urgency, for heaven’s sake. Spring deliveries inspire the urge to get farmingFarm Story by ANNA HELMER[], a Facebook page and begun building an email distribution list. “Both Mela and I are entrepreneurs and created our own businesses over the years. There are a lot of similarities in starting a farm,” says Perina. “As long as you’re willing to humble yourself a little bit and acknowledge that you don’t know things and ask questions, then you can go a long way.” That, he adds, has been his experience with starting businesses in the past. “We’ve obviously been successful enough to enable us to do this project,” he says. “We were denitely aware of the fact that it’s an iconic property here.” Woodside Farm sits in the Agriculture Land Reserve and overlooks Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Peninsula. It boasts 1,450 feet of southwest-facing waterfront, a heritage farmhouse built in 1884 and a 5,800-square-foot gambrel barn built in 1932. This year marks the 170th anniversary of the farm, which was established by Scottish pioneers John and Anne Muir, some of the earliest European settlers in Sooke. The farm has been worked ever since by the Muir, Glinz and Wilford families. Perina says Sooke felt like the right place for his own family to set down roots. They have lived in the community for seven years. “We’re willing to make that big leap and say, ‘Let’s invest all of our future energy in this project and this land,’” says Perina. “It’s denitely in our minds to hold this farm in our family for the next 100 years.”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 43Matt L’Heureux and his family raise and sell organic beef from 1,200 acres that make up Aurora View Farms in Prince George. He’s one of several livestock producers who credit the BC agriculture ministry’s Every Chef Needs a Farmer event with helping them expand their sales networks. 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onSPREADERSACCUMUL8 & BALE GRABSBALEWRAPPERS ACCELERATORKATE AYERS FORT STEELE – The province’s showcase of local food producers has been on hold during the pandemic, but the rst two Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef events continue to repay attendees. Held in 2018 and 2019, the conferences attracted a total of 500 farmers, chefs and food service professionals from across the province to Vancouver for presentations, panel discussions and networking, including Tyler and Sacha McNaughton of Cutter Ranch in Fort Steele. The couple chose to focus on direct-to-consumer sales because it was a way to ensure the quality of the product reaching consumers, and consumer connections with ranching. “We wanted to have an outdoor-based operation … to start this rst-generation farm business and get consumers back in contact with producers and know how their food is produced,” says Sacha. In the beginning, the McNaughtons had a simple marketing strategy – leave no stone unturned. They reached out to friends, family and their direct network to generate sales. But they now supply restaurants and niche grocery stores with their products, too. “We took the small-scale model and built it into something that has scalability and can service more consumers on a year-round basis,” says Sacha. “As we built up the sheep, beef and pork herds, we could start servicing larger customers. … It’s old-time selling. You knock on doors, make calls and network however you can,” says Tyler. They continue to develop new markets. Every Chef Needs a Farmer helps facilitate this process by bringing members of the entire food supply chain together. Attending the 2019 event helped the McNaughtons make valuable connections. “We had never experienced a tradeshow like that before, with buyers and sellers in one room. We have been to industrial events that were … targeted towards higher-level industry (stakeholders) and we didn’t really t in,” says Tyler. Every Chef Needs a Farmer was welcoming and applicable to their business. “We need more (collaboration of stakeholders) in this province. You get a great sense of satisfaction from growing your own products, but you also need a platform to sell them on and the industry to back them up,” Tyler explains. “To have that event for our industry, in concert with the larger-scale industry events, it is the perfect complement to further food production in this province.” Worthwhile networking Matt L’Heureux of Aurora View Farms Ltd. in Prince George, agrees that local support and networking are impactful. He and his family manage 1,200 acres of certied organic land and sell organic beef. In 2018, Matt and his wife Liz gathered ideas from Every Chef Needs a Farmer and made business connections. The following year, the couple presented on the success of those connections. As a farmer, building relationships with restaurant owners for meat sales is challenging because chefs want one cut, L’Heureux says. “That is a hard go for us,” he says. “(But) I think people are a bit more concerned about the food supply chain since the pandemic started and there denitely is a push to eat locally. Buy BC and Every Chef Needs a Farmer help promote that (movement).” While last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19 safety protocols, an event this year is possible. “We won’t be hosting an in-person ECNF event but are currently looking into how we could host a similar and perhaps smaller event virtually,” says Andrea Hoerger, senior manager of domestic market development with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. The province is also planning its annual Buy BC: Eat Drink Local campaign this summer in partnership with the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. Farmer-chef connections still paying offPostponed during the pandemic, producers are still reaping benefitsVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | Compact design, low centre of gravity, tight turning radius and powerful performance. Hoftracs effortlessly fulfil any work task and work quickly, flexibly and safely — already ready to go to work.Call us for a test drive!The multifunctional Hoftrac

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SubscribeThe agricultural news source in BC since1915. 44 | MAY 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 __________________________________________________ TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 | Please send a _______ year gift subscription to ________________________________________________ Farm Name ______________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _________________________ Phone _________________________ Email _________________________________________________ When we left o last time, Harriet from the newspaper had walked into an enthusiastic conversation about Newt Pullman and Susan Henderson’s pending nuptials. Rural Redemption, part 134, continues. Lois was amazed at how quickly the whole conversation concerning Newt Pullman and Susan Henderson went completely sideways. Speculation was rampant and everything anyone said was entirely misconstrued by all the rest of them. Harriet Murray looked up from her note pad. “You know? I think I’ve got a pretty good idea about what might be going on. Back when Timmy Davidson was with the paper he used to say if you want to get to the bottom of something, just follow the money.” “Who’s Timmy Davidson?” asked Junkyard Frank. “Wasn’t he one of the kids of that fella that used to milk for Hank Myers? The one that used to do the paper route?” said Jimmy Vincent. Willard Freemont joined in. “Hank never had anyone named Davidson milking for him. You’re probably thinking of Angus Cruickshank. His kid did the papers for a couple of years, but his name was Larry if memory serves me right. That’s probably who you’re thinking of, Harriet.” “I remember young Larry,” said Frank. “He used to win all the foot races at the sports days. Good soccer player, too. Didn’t he end up going out with one of the Russell girls?” Willard nodded. “I believe you’re right about that.” “All this is beside the point,” said Harriet. “If it’s beside the point, why’d you bring it up then?” said Frank. “Look! What I’m getting at is if we follow the money, we can gure out what’s going on with Newt and Henderson’s mother.” They all stopped to ponder what Harriet said. “You gure old Newt’s bribing her to stick around?” said Jimmy. “More likely he’s angling to get his mitts on some of her widow money,” said Frank. “It was Becky,” said Willard. “Who’s Becky?” asked Harriet. “Dave and Wendy Russell’s girl.” “What’s she got to do with the price of tea in China?” asked Harriet. “She’s the one that used to go out with young Larry Cruickshank, the paper route kid.” “You sure you’re not thinking of Theresa?” asked Jimmy. Lois rolled her eyes and dialed Newt’s number. “Newt, I’ve got problems here at the store that concern you.” “What’s the problem?” “The place is full of old folks who’ve got time on their hands and poor hearing. They’re talking about you and Susan and now they’re jumping to conclusions faster than a pond full of frogs in springtime. To top it all o, Harriet from the paper is here taking notes. You might want to come down and set things straight.” Everyone fell silent when Newt walked into the store 10 minutes later. “Morning, everyone. What’s the occasion?” “Just shootin’ the breeze is all,” said Jimmy. “I’m glad that’s all there is to it,” said Newt. “I hear there’s some folks around who’ve got their shirts in a knot over Susan Henderson and I. There’s only one thing anyone needs to know about that, so maybe you wouldn’t mind passing it along if you happen to run into someone who’s wondering.” “What’s that then?” asked Frank. “Just tell them it’s none of their damned business. Anyone here have a question I could help with.” “I got a question you could help us settle,” said Jimmy. “You remember the Cruickshank kid who used to deliver the paper?” Newt nodded. “I sure do.” “Well, he used to be going out with one of those Russell girls,” said Jimmy. “Willard gures it was Becky, but I think it was Theresa. Do you remember which it was?” “Yes. It was Alice,” said Newt. “Alice? You sure?” “Absolutely. Young Larry came to work falling for Hersh and Darwin and I after he was done school. He ended up marrying Alice. I went to the wedding. Anything else?” Willard and Jimmy agreed they should be on their way and said their goodbyes. Harriet Murray closed her note pad and snapped the lens cap back on her camera. “Chin up, Harriet,” said Newt. “They say no news is good news.” Harriet scowled. “You can bet whoever said that wasn’t a day away from their deadline.” vvv Larry Berkovic joined Kenneth Henderson in the conference room at his law oce. “Did you talk to Deborah’s lawyer about my pension?” asked Kenneth. “I did.” “And?” “And she thanked me for trying to bring some levity to the proceedings but we both know divorce is not a laughing matter.” “Where does that leave us?” “She keeps the family home, you keep the condo in the city. Everything else gets sliced down the middle. You pay child support until each child is 19. You pay alimony until Christopher is 19 and you both contribute to a trust fund for their education. You will respect the childrens’ wish to remain in their current home.” “So that’s it? I don’t get the sense that you dug your heels in much on anything,” said Kenneth. “Here’s the deal: Ms. Kelly claims this is the agreement Deborah insisted on presenting in spite of Ms. Kelly’s assurance that she could make a very compelling case for much more alimony. She said if you won’t accept this, all bets are o and we can start over in court. I can’t disagree with her claim about the alimony and if you add in the cost of taking it to court, you could come out a whole lot worse o than what is there for the taking right now.” “There’s more to this, Larry. I have reason to believe Deborah has been seeing another man.” “Very likely irrelevant in any case but what do you have reason to believe? “ “She was seen kissing a man in public.” “You saw her doing this?” “No, but I was told by someone who did.” “Who?” “A man called Junkyard Frank. She was in a play and he saw her kiss him when the curtain closed.” Larry bowed his head and massaged his temples while he gathered his thoughts. “So, we have someone named Junkyard Frank who saw Deborah kiss another actor on stage? I assume there must have been a whole audience watching. ” Frank and maybe one other person were the only ones that saw it. It was right at the end when the curtain closed.” “Just out of curiosity, what was the play?” “The Dogpatch Hillbillys or some nonsense. Her costume was scandalous.” “Lil Abner? Let me guess, Deborah was Daisy Mae and she kissed Abner? There’s nothing I can do for you with this except provide more amusement for Ms. Kelly. At any rate, this knife would cut both ways. Ms. Kelly claims that Deborah had a candid conversation with a witness regarding certain events involving you. She didn’t name anyone or discuss any details, but she said it was all you would need to hear to know who and what she was speaking of.” Kenneth rose from his chair. “Fine, then. Tell her I’ll accept.” ... to be continued Henderson between a rock and a hard placeWoodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINS

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 45Pandemic forces BC agricultural fairs to adaptIPE has cancelled its 2021 fair; others in a holding patternAgriculture continued to be a focus of PNE organizers last year, even as the province’s largest fair pivoted to respect pandemic protocols. Here, PNE employee Olivia Nobes introduces a goat to an excited drive-thru guest. PNEBARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER SECHELT – For the second year in a row, agricultural fairs in BC are facing cancelled or sharply adjusted plans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair announced in mid-March that the event would be postponed to the second half of the year, but by mid-April it was decided that the fairgrounds would be used as parking for a mass vaccination site. By the end of March, the Interior Provincial Exhibition cancelled its annual fair and stampede. President Heather King says the fair board will actively plan for when the fair can resume post-pandemic, but “the risk in planning a fair and not being able to open the gates was too great.” The Pass Creek Fair and Pender Island Fall Fair are also cancelled for 2021. Many others are still in the planning stages and waiting for a signal from public health ocials as vaccines ramp up and cases are monitored. BC Fairs has done its part by supporting members through a series of webinars that gave inspiration and encouragement during the winter and spring planning months. They also announced a reduction in member fees for this year after considering the nancial challenges their members and the association itself has faced during the pandemic. And sometimes with the rain comes a rainbow. One of the webinars on motivation was presented by Je Strickland, the vice-president of operations for the PNE. Soon after the pandemic, large gatherings over 50 people were stopped and the PNE was not eligible for the wage subsidy program. Without warning, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the PNE would not be happening. Layos became a reality, and it suddenly went from being the biggest fair in BC to something much smaller. He found it humbling to shrink to a much scaled-down version. What is usually 4,000 employees at fair time and 200 full-time sta plummeted to just 30 people. Strickland reminded remaining sta that their purpose was to inspire joy and build social connections. They started “Party in a Box,” delivering birthday parties, and developed drive-through events. Everything changed, becoming unique, foreign and stressful as they went into survival mode. But then something unexpected happened. “We experienced an outpouring of love from our guests,” says Strickland. “I had no idea. Before that, we saw complaints. But now, we see that they love the fair.” PNE managers were put on the front lines serving fair visitors and stang the various events. The 110th annual fair was conducted in a responsible way and sold out its last weekend. In December, PNE operations manager Rob Crema stood in the rain during the Winterlights event and directed trac. Over the 20-day period over 65,000 guests drove through to see the lights, many of which sta brought from home. Strickland didn’t know how Crema would react to this. He normally managed large projects. “My nights were lled with numerous guests expressing their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation that the PNE was able to produce such a remarkable event that brought so much happiness to their families during this unprecedented year when joy has been much needed,” says Crema. “I was extremely proud to be a part of it all.” The show must go on Several fairs are determined to bring their communities together in some way during these dicult times. Many are planning for dierent scenarios, because they are aware that public health orders may change at any time. Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest manager Lorraine Bates says she has been faced with “Do nothing or start the ball rolling – if they put the red light on, we can always stop.” Bates says her sta is planning to turn the usual two-day fair into a two-week event. They have invited 4-H clubs, the mainstay of the agricultural component of the fair. Bates started out as a 4-H mom and the love of children is her driving force. Country Fest often has over 40 4-H clubs at the fair. This year they already have 32 clubs coming, with more than 400 animals. The 4-H show will be staggered over three periods of time so that everyone can socially distance and follow public health protocols. Bates is the eternal optimist. “A lot of good stu has come out of COVID,” she explains. “It has given me a lot of will to go on. The 4-H kids are so excited.” As the weather warms and the planning for some fairs continues, Strickland oers words of encouragement to other fairs. He says it is important to align your values and navigate the barriers, staying true to your purpose. He encourages fairs around the province to ask themselves, “Why does your fair exist?” “You may hear things like, ‘we tried this before’, or ‘we are beyond this’, but you might need to stick your head out,” advises Strickland. “It did wonders for us.”

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46 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThese healthy little appetizers can be served at any temperature, hot or cold, and can be made ahead and kept in the fridge. 6 eggs 3 tbsp. (45 ml) milk 2 tbsp. (30 ml) fresh parsley 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh tarragon • Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Beat eggs with milk, fresh, minced herbs and spices and grated parmesan cheese in large bowl. Set aside. • Slice or mince mushrooms and green onions and saute in a non-stick pan in just a smidge of melted butter for a few minutes until they're soft. • The amount of spinach isn't critical, and I generally use frozen, but squeeze out the excess moisture after thawing, and before adding to the mushroom mixture. • Add green onions, mushrooms and spinach to the egg mixture and combine well. Add about half the grated Swiss cheese. • Pour into a square cake pan or two-quart casserole that has been greased lightly or sprayed with olive oil. • Sprinkle the remaining Swiss cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes or until browned. • Cool slightly and cut into squares. The size depends on how you intend to use them. • Garnish with chopped fresh herbs. HERB AND SPINACH BITESThis shortcut chicken pot pie uses a biscuit crust instead of pastry. JUDIE STEEVESHerbs & sproutsBy using already-boned chicken and cutting the vegetables into small dice, it’s faster to make than the traditional version, but still delicious. Drizzle of olive oil 1.5 lb. (700 g) boneless, skinless chicken 2 c. (500 ml) chopped onion 1 garlic clove, minced 1 c. (250 ml) chopped carrot 1 c. (250 ml) chopped celery Topping: This is a simpler way to make a baking powder biscuit and it makes a great topping as well. 3/4 c. (175 ml) our 1/4 c. (60 ml) whole wheat our 1-2 tbsp. (15-30 ml) fresh parsley • Pre-heat oven to 425° F. You may use either chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-sized cubes. Remove visible fat. Cut all vegetables into small dice and mince garlic and herbs. • Heat a drizzle of oil in a deep, oven-safe frypan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and soften for a minute or two, then increase the heat a little and add the minced garlic, a spoonful of butter and the chicken; then the mushrooms; then the carrot and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, for four or ve minutes, or until the chicken is light brown on all sides. Add the herbs near the end and stir in. (If you don’t have fresh, use about one-third the recommended amount of dried herbs.) • Meanwhile, prepare the biscuit mix as a topping (see below). • Stir remaining butter to melt with the chicken and vegetables, then sprinkle the our over it, stir in and cook for a minute, turning occasionally. • Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add a dollop of wine. • Bring to bubbling and reduce the heat until the stew is gently simmering. • Stir in the peas and remove from the heat. • Top with rounds or dabs of biscuit topping and put into a hot oven for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits have browned. Do not cover. Serves 4. To make topping: • Mince fresh parsley. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well with a wire whisk. • Add oil and milk and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a ball of soft dough. • Turn out onto a lightly oured board and knead a dozen times. • Roll or pat out to a half to one-inch thickness and cut with a drinking glass or biscuit cutter into four biscuits. Or, tear into four to six pieces. Arrange them on top of the chicken, spaced half an inch apart. QUICK CHICK WITH A BICKMay is a very satisfying month of the year for both gardeners and those who love to cook and eat good, local food. It’s not quite like the fall harvest, but it’s the beginning of a season of harvests of fresh produce from the garden or the farmer’s market, culminating in the late summer and fall bounty. Now, though, there’s a huge variety of greens, both for eating fresh in salads and for steaming, stir-frying or incorporating into rice dishes, casseroles, baked potatoes or pasta. Some are mild and sweet like many of the lettuces, but others have a bit more avour, like spinach, bok choy, collards, kale and chard, to mention just a few. The latter group are good either fresh or cooked. In most parts of the province, we’re well into the season when sprouts such as asparagus and chives are at their best, but there should still be some delicious fresh avours around in the sprout world. We’re also coming into pea season, either the delicate sugar or snow peas which have edible pods, or the regular shelling peas. Few vegetables have such a superior avour when fresh-picked, although corn and tomatoes give them a run for that title. Heck, most vegetables taste better the closer you eat them to the soil they were grown in, and even better the quicker the time between harvest and the dinner table. Nothing tastes better than fresh-picked herbs in salads, marinades, casseroles and vegetable dishes or sides, and this is the month many of them are at their best for picking, just before they form buds and begin to put their energy into owers and seeds. Harvest and dry them if you can’t use them all fresh, or preserve the avour in oils or vinegars. It’s a good rule of thumb that you can snip back at least the top third of the plant to preserve the leaves. Harvest your greens for good health and stay safe. Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVES2/3 c. (160 ml) mushrooms 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh tarragon 2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh sage leaves 2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh rosemary 1 tsp. (5 ml) fresh thyme 2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter 2 tsp. (10 ml) brown sugar 2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online 2 tbsp. (30 ml) our 2 c. (500 ml) chicken stock (1/2 c. (60 ml) fruity white wine (optional) 1/2 c. (125 ml) fresh peas salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste fresh chives, to garnish1/4 tsp. (1 ml) black pepper 1/4 c. (60 ml) olive oil 1/2 c. (125 ml) skim milk1 tsp. (5 ml) fresh thyme 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt 1/3 c. (75 ml) parmesan 6 green onions 1/2 lb. (225 g) mushrooms 1 10-oz. (300-g) pkg. frozen spinach 1/2 c. (125 ml) Swiss cheese

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2021 | 47REAL ESTATETRACTORS/EQUIPMENTTRACTORS/EQUIPMENTLIVESTOCKLIVESTOCK REAL ESTATEWANTEDFOR SALEFOR SALEHAYSEED1-888-770-7333BERRIESFor 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 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, hydropon-ics, washdown, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spray-ing. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics Inc. 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 ColdstreamToll 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)GREAT SELECTIONQUALITY PRICETerra Seed• 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. Contact Carl 604-825-9108 or email ourgoodearth@live.comFirst cut feeder grade ALFALFA. 3x4s, weed free, barn stored. From $150/ton FOB Creston. Stuart 604-308-6222WANTED: Good condition NH166 hay inverter Call John 604-894-6745 or email johnvanloon58@gmail.comPacifc Forage Bag Supply Ltd.www.pacificforagebag.comCall 604.319.0376DISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE COUNTRY SUNSETS & quiet mornings on the back porch. Custom built executive home. MLS R2546868 $949,900 MASSIVE BEAUTIFUL HOME on 70.48 acres with air strip and hanger. MLS R2531909 $933,300 CONCRETE & GRAVEL BUSINESS Full line of equipment. Comes with lease for gravel extraction. MLS C8020796 $599,900 10070 MCBRIDE TIMBER RD. An outstanding agricultural 445 acre property enjoys a pastoral private setting & lovely views of moun-tains to the east. This attractive home was extensively renovated in 1998 plus some recent updates. MLS R2490397 NEARLY 500 ACRES of prime farm land on Fraser River, almost all in cultivation. 5 bed/3 bath home, outbuildings. Turn-key cattle ranch and/or prosperous haying enterprise. MLS®R2444096 $1,400,000 2 ACRE BUILDING LOT, PG, MLS R2446743, $79,900 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 MOUNTAIN RESORT on 82.2 acres. 17 furnished chalets, 50 RV campsites. MLS®C8019821 $5,500,000 PRINCE GEORGE & AREA RURAL LOTS see MLS: R2531431; R2531443; R2460090; R2460086; R2460089; R2461054; R2475847 Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 STUNNING MOUNTAIN RESORT on 82.2 acres. 17 furnished chalets, 50 RV sites. Year round business – perfect wedding, family renion venue MLS®C8019821 $5,500,000 FARM EQUIPMENT • NEW HOLLAND 8 row hyd fold corn head for a self propelled harvester, Claus style, can be fitted to JD, $12,500 • FIELD SPRAYERS, Truck,Trailer and 3PH models, 150 to 800 gal, 50’ to 90’, Hyd, Mech, or Wheel back fold. Call for details. • NORTHWEST ROTOTILLER, Straw-berry Row-Crop 2 row, $2950. • 2 NEW CULTIVATORS, 3ph, 5 and 6’ S-tines, $550 each. • JD CULTIVATOR, Row-Crop for Spe-cialty crops, 4 row, $950. • IH CULTIVATOR / SIDE-DRESSER, Granular Fert, 4 row, $1850. • CULTIVATOR PARTS, New Duck Foot tips, Call for other parts. • KUBOTA FLAIL MOWER, 50” 3ph, $1950. • FLAIL PADDLE MOWER, 9’ Drawbar Pull, Swath Boards, 540 PTO, $1750. • KUHN GC300G Disc Mower Condi-tioner, 10’ cut, low acres, $12,500. • NH 258 and 260 Rakes with tow bar, V-Combo set, $5900. • VICON WHEEL RAKES, 4 to 8 wheel, 3ph, drawbar and V Combinations, $350 to $2200. • HAY WAGON and Utility Trailer Chas-sis, $200 to $2000. • NEW BALE SPEARS for Skid Steer and loader bucket mount, $150 to $550. • FORD 4610 TRACTOR, 60HP, Nar-row, Low Profile 2wd, Nice Cond • FORD UTILITY TRACTOR, 57 hp, Cab, 3ph, PTO, mid-mount Sickle Mower and front mount detachable Angle Broom, Ex Military, Less than 1000 hrs $15,500. • HYSTER 3PH FORK-LIFT, Heavy Duty, $2300, Other Fork-Lifts and at-tachments. • JIFFY/CRAWFORD HYDUMPS, 14’, $2700 to $6300 • FEEDER HAY, 400-16’ by 18’ Bales on trailers, can deliver, OFFERS! Call Jim for hard to nd items, Abbotsford BC at 604-852-6148 WANTED: FARM LAND TO RENT In N. Okanagan for conversion into organic alfalfa seed production. Also interested in renting second cut hay land for $200/ac. Alden 204-979-7457 DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? COURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE.RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Coneygeers bloodlines - call for seedstock. 250-722-1882. NanaimoIt’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 SHEEP FOR SALE Foundation St. Croix breeding stock lambs (year round breeding): maternal excellence, parasite resist-ance, height/length, small bone/less fat. Purebred Registered White Dor-per ewes (robust, fast gain, large car-cass with high meat yield). All excellent health, ideal conformation, clean genetics. While supplies last. 250-375-2528Vtw|ÄÄtv etÇv{REGISTERED BLACK ANGUS YEARLING BULLS GEORGE OR MAGGIE 250-372-9721— KAMLOOPS —LOWLINE semen for sale. Silverhills Lowlines 250-547-6465 littlecow@telus.netTwo very good PB RED ANGUS YEAR-LING BULLS for Sale. Semen tested and Halter broke. FOB Kamloops. Approx wt: 1350 lbs. Recommended for use on cows and bigger framed heifers. Delivery can be arranged. Bob 1-250-819-0858 Sandy Macrae Office: 2502488801 Cell: 2502284126 GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN VIEW ACREAGE WITH 2 SEPARATE TITLES• 20.7 acres w/mountain/pastoral views • Several outbuildings incl 50x54 barn • Perfect location minutes from Qualicum Beach • Hobby farm, vineyard, market garden potential • Lovely character home, plus second residence • MLS 867201 and MLS 867197 • $2,598,000 or $1,349,000 ea ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$JUNE DEADLINE MAY 23DeBOER’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! JD 2750 4WD, RB & LDR SOLD! 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 SOLD! ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147TRACTOR WITH BRUSH MOWER in good condition. $12,500 obo 604-217-3197 or 778-242-2620 EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • LOEWEN AGITATOR 18’, 100 HP prop, nice condition, $2,500. • LOEWEN SUB SOILER two shank, big shoes, mint, $3,000 • LOEWEN SUB-SOILER 5-shank, small points, as new, $4,500 • LOEWEN MANURE TANK 3,000 gal tandem, diamond-tread, flotation tires, very nice. $30,000 • LOEWEN 4,000 gal manure tank new-tandem Diamond tread, flotation tires, twin pumps, pre-vac, big boom with roller Nice condition $65,000 • HAY WAGON 20’, flotation tires, $1,600 • NH 520 Single axle manure spreader 2ft side extension top beater rear pan hydraulic end gate Mint condition, $13,500 TONY 604-850-4718countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online

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48 | MAY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCKUBOTA KNOWS CANADA.MADE FOR CANADIANSKubota is expanding to serve Canadian farmers better. Our new head office and distribution centre will take our operations to the next level, while our trusted field teams ensure your farm equipment operates at its best. So whether you need us for new equipment, parts, or technical support, Kubota Farm Solutions will be ready to serve you.ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700OLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/847-3610VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355PROUD PARTNER OF AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT YOUR LOCAL KUBOTA DEALERAVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT YOUR LOCAL KUBOTA DEALER