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. 106 No. 10The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 OCTOBER 2020 | Vol. 106 No. 10FRUITBC Tree Fruits prepares to sell assets, apples 7 BEEFMeat producers frustrated by consultations 11 LABOURProvince tightens rules for employers 17by PETER MITHAM DAWSON CREEK – Sales of BC farm properties fell 11% in the rst six months of 2020 versus a year earlier, according to provincial property transfer data. A total of 632 properties changed hands, with the Peace region being the most active. Northeastern BC saw 116 properties sell during the rst half of the year, or 18% of the provincial total for the period. The Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver were the second and third most active regions, with 77 and 70 deals, respectively. Deals in the Peace region were driven both by locals and to a lesser degree buyers from Alberta for whom the property oered good value compared to tracts of similar size in their home province. “They come up here and get a bit more land for a lot less money,” says Blaine Nicholson, managing broker and owner of Re/Max Dawson Creek. Two land auctions by Ritchie Bros. have also attracted interest in the region, he adds. With more than 40 years’ experience in the region, however, he said activity has seemed stable While provincial data indicates a 13% increase in transactions over last year, Nicholson says it’s felt like a normal year. Similarly, Alan Johnson, a vice-president with Colliers International in Vancouver, says demand in the Lower Mainland seems moderate. Sales in the rst half of this Corne, left, and Paul Moerman of Sunnyside Produce Ltd. grew up in the greenhouse operation their fathers own in Delta and Surrey. As the family’s succession plan kicks in, the cousins are taking on more responsibility for day-to-day operations. Myrna Stark Leader spoke to them about what they’ve brought to the business and their expansion plans in her story starting on page 27. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNEPeace leads farmland sales1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!YOUR BC SEED SOURCESee STABLE on next page oGrowing more with less waterwatertecna.comttttttttIRRIGATION LTD1.888.675.7999 888 6 9999888669999 Diesel & PTO Pumps PVC & Aluminum PipeIrrigation ReelsDRIP IRRIGATIONCentre PivotsBC Beef set to launchProject aims to boost returns to cattle producersby TOM WALKER WESTWOLD – A made-in-BC beef brand is nally within sight after ve years of work on the part of ranchers. “We will be signing a lease for October 1 with the KML federal processing plant just west of Falkland, and at that point we will have control of the plant to go in and start processing,” says Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. Boon is a key member of the industry steering committee that has been working on the project, which aims to put more cash in the pockets of BC producers by processing and selling beef See MEAT on next page oAll in the family
MEAT plant will be producer-owned nfrom page 1STABLE real estate market nfrom page 1locally. But the project also promised to cost a lot of cash. Building a plant from scratch was pegged up to $8 million, and extensive operating funds would have been required for the rst several years before it ever turned a prot. Studies indicated that a new plant would also require about 500 animals a week to be viable. While there are a number of backgrounding operations in the province, a full-scale nishing industry capable of supplying that number of animals would also need to be developed, not to mention a supply chain to feed those cattle. Workers would need to be hired and trained and an extensive marketing program would be required to move the end product. The steering committee determined that leasing an existing plant, starting small and sourcing animals at hand was the preferred way to begin building a BC Beef brand. It also allows everyone in the cattle sector – dairy operators as well as ranchers – to contribute to its development. “We will be sourcing cull cows and processing them into hamburger,” he says. “That will allow everyone in the industry to participate.” While BC Cattlemen’s has facilitated the development of the program, it was never the intention that the association would own the plant. “A new company has been formed called the BC Beef Producers,” Boon explains. “This will be a producer-owned corporation and they will give direction to the chief operating ocer who will develop the expertise for the operation.” Mark Ishoy, a retired plant manager who served as president of Eastern Meat Solutions Inc. in Ontario, will manage the plant. “[He] will help us get rolling,” says Boon. “He is very interested and very supportive of the concept we are doing because it is so new and unique. His experience will be a huge asset.” The corporation will be run under the BC Securities Act and have a new and unique structure, Boon explains. Each share purchased in the corporation will come with the requirement to deliver one animal a year and if the shareholder does not deliver the animal, they could have their share revoked. Producers will be paid market price based on both quality and delivery season, as the plant will need animals year-round. Shares will entitle the producer to a portion of any prots from the corporation in the form of a dividend. The lack of a consistent supply of animals is a common source of failure of producer-owned meat processing co-ops, Boon says, and the structure of BC Beef Producers aims to overcome that. “If you think you are going to get a better price somewhere else and you jump there you will lose your hooks,” he says. “Because a lot of plant failures are caused by not being able to get supply.” Interest from producers has been strong, Boon says, and the steering committee is keen to get the details of share ownership out to ranchers. KML will retain the right to process and market a percentage of cattle under its own brand. “KML has been really good to work with,” says Boon. “They will be able to process and market their own cattle so it is a win-win for all.” The rural location of the plant, approximately half-way between Vernon and Kamloops, could be a bonus for hiring workers, adds Boon. “COVID … has made workers look for work outside of the main centres, so there is an attraction in that,” he says. Boon is happy to see it all come together. “I’m very excited about the prospects of it for BC producers,” he says. “I think this is a huge opportunity for them. We will never get a better chance at a more reasonable buy-in than we are getting right now.” 2 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCyear totalled 147 versus 143 a year ago. “There was a urry of activity when some of the blueberry growers had diculty and had to dispose of their assets,” he said. “Perhaps that satised some of the demand for a few years. … But there seems to have been fewer sales than would be typical for the last couple of years.” This is consistent with an assessment by Farm Credit Canada. “The market in BC, as in other provinces, has remained relatively stable,” says Sandra Behm, a senior appraiser with FCC in Abbotsford. The province doesn’t disclose the aggregate value of property transactions. According to Farm Credit Canada, however, the value of farmland in BC increased by an average of 3% during the rst half of 2020. This compares with a 2.7% increase during the rst half of 2019. “There are some specic areas where the market has been more active than others due to a strong demand for particular types of properties,” says Behm. “This would be the main driver of any increase in value observed in the province.” While price appreciation accelerated in BC this year, the province lagged the national increase of 3.7%. BC ranked behind New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan in terms of value gains. Many brokers have reported growing interest from urban buyers this year in rural properties. An acreage is seen by some as a way to social distance naturally. With social restrictions becoming entrenched in cities, many people see the country as a way to isolate without giving up their freedom. However, provincial property transfer data shows that transaction activity cooled following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Sales picked up again in July, contributing to the rebound in real estate activity seen during the late summer. The province logged 156 deals for the month, led by sales in the Cariboo, Fraser Valley and Thompson-Nicola regions. The return of interest rates to historical lows this year could help sustain the real estate market into next year. Among the most recent listings is the O’Keefe rangelands in Vernon, a 2,310-acre oering historically used for summer grazing. Much of it sits outside the Agricultural Land Reserve. The asking price is $28.8 million. Unlike the recovery in 2009, however, speculative purchases will face greater scrutiny. BC plans to launch Canada’s rst Landowner Transparency Registry this fall. The registry will disclose the benecial owners of properties held by trusts, partnerships and corporations. The province also encourages anyone who has just purchased or inherited land in BC, or is acting as executor on an estate that has a legal interest in land in BC to seek legal advice regarding their reporting obligations.www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 Fax. 604/854-6708 email: email@example.comWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard TERRA NOVA 3000 POWER HARROW, 10FT WIDE WITH ROLLER, NEW TEETH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SOLD! ARTEX CATCH WAGON CB1604 6 FT SIDE WITH FOLDING EXT. DUAL WALKING BEAM AXLE, NO RUST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SOLD! JOHN DEERE 7000 4 ROW, DRY FERT, MECH MARKERS, NEW FINGERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,500 JOHN DEERE HD BALE CONVEYOR 40FT ON ADJ FRAME WITH AXLE, PTO DRIVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 MASCHIO DM 4500 POWER HARROW 14 FT WIDE W/ROLLER, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,000 NH 8160 4X4, CAB, 3358 HRS, 100 HP, PS TRANS, 5401000, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45,000 MF 265 2WD, CAB, 60 PTO HP, INDUSTRIAL LOADER, SPIKE MOUNT, FRONT HYD REMOTE, 2,200 HRS, ONE OWNER . 9,500 JD 336 SQUARE BALER, SMALL CHAMBER, HYD TENSIONER, ¼ TURN, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500 NH 1047 SELF PROP BALE WAGON OPEN STATION, 120 BALE, 6CYL GAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,000 GMC CAB OVER 5 TON DIESEL TRUCK WITH 18 FT TYCROP SILAGE BOX, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,000 LOEWEN 9612 VERTICAL MIXER . GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . 14,000 TYCROP 12 FT HYDUMP, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SOLD! NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service Available
Second residences allowed in ALR until July 2021 Uncertainties surround fate of second homesby PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – The province will allow landowners in the Agricultural Land Reserve to place a second, manufactured home for immediate family on their properties through July 31, 2021 pending the development of new residential use policies. The province announced the extension on September 4 with the release of a report summarizing feedback on an intentions paper regarding residential uses in the ALR published at the end of January. “To allow time for the development of new regulations, the grandfathering period for manufactured homes in the ALR is being extended to July 31, 2021,” the province announced. “Landowners in the ALR will have until then to obtain the required permits and authorizations to place a manufactured additional residence for immediate family on their property, without having to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission.” This is the second extension of the provision, originally introduced in July 2019 to address landowners’ concerns regarding new regulations giving force and eect to Bill 52. That bill, the rst of two pieces of legislation passed in response to the province’s ALR revitalization committee appointed in 2018, outlawed second homes – even temporary dwellings – on parcels within the ALR. Originally set to expire February 22, it was extended until December 31 with the release of the intentions paper. But the extension is cold comfort to Raquel Kolof, president of the Sunshine Coast Farmers Institute and owner of Hough Heritage Farm, which raises livestock on 10 acres in Gibsons. The property had an existing 450-square-foot cabin about half the size of the main residence when she purchased it. She upgraded the cabin, which generates some income as a guest house via AirBnB, but when Bill 52 was introduced she says it was no longer a conforming use. “I’m not at all feeling assured,” she said of the extension. “When that changes, I could be in non-compliance again.” Built after the property was subdivided in the 1990s, well before Kolof purchased it, current rules mean the cabin can’t be rebuilt if destroyed. This renders it uninsurable and means it can’t be used to secure nancing Kolof might need for business expansion. “When I went to get my land assessed, the assessor could not count my dwelling towards the value of my land and my property,” she says. “The value of my property went down $100,000 / $200,000 because the second home could not be [counted]. … So if I wanted to take out a mortgage to improve the farm, my value is severely diminished.” Good intent The province’s intentions paper signalled that it was open to accommodating cabins like the one Kolof has on her property. Options the province put forward for discussion included allowing more than just immediate family to use the residence, and even allowing permanent structures: garden suites, guest houses, carriage suites or units above an existing building were on the table. It gave the option of letting owners use them for farm workers or guests as part of an agri-tourism venture. The total residential oorspace allowed for family members would continue to be limited to 5,382 square feet (500 square metres). The Agricultural Land Commission would also remain the decision maker for additional residences for farm use in the ALR. “Any new permitted secondary residences should be registered with the ALC for long-term land-use planning purposes,” the proposal stated. Now that the feedback is in, the province says it will draft regulations. While it said what it heard, it didn’t tip its hand as to what the outcome will be. However, the summary report says respondents want whatever the province decides to be clear, straight-forward and to respect farmland. Of 153 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 3Ready for the seasonThese pumpkins in Kelowna's Glenmore area were looking picture-perfect against blue skies before thick smoke from US wildres lled the Okanagan Valley for several days last month. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERPROGRAM FUNDING PROVIDED BY CONTACT US TODAY ABOUT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:T 250.940.6150 E firstname.lastname@example.org W iafbc.ca facebook.com/InvestAgBC instagram.com/IAFBC twitter.com/iafbcFor more information about these and other funding programs visit iafbc.ca.Buy BC Partnership Program To enhance local marketing efforts to increase sales of BC agri-foods within the province. BC Agrifood & Seafood Market Development Program To pursue market opportunities to increase sales across interprovincial and international markets.Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program To support the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies and practices. We deliver project funding through a variety of government programs designed to advance innovation and support market development in BC and beyond. TRYING TO TAP INTO NEW MARKETS, DEVELOP A NEW PRODUCT OR PILOT NEW TECHNOLOGY? Funding Through IAF Delivered Programs Can Help!municipalities that have land in the ALR, 29 participated in the consultation. The single First Nations government invited did not participate. An additional 257 submissions were received from individuals and associations through June 22. (The formal consultation ended May 17.) The feedback from individual property owners emphasized the need for exibility in terms of housing and rental options. While many local governments supported this direction, many also noted that they would be the ones dealing with applications on the ground. To this end, the key demand from municipalities was that the province’s desire to be more exible not increase the administrative burden on municipalities. Kolof, for her part, wants to see the province move swiftly to give landowners like her certainty. “I’ve worked hard for this, and I take pride in it, and don’t want it to be devalued by my government. I need it to farm. … I just require that second dwelling to make it work, and I don’t understand why that’s an issue.”
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.106 No. 10 . OCTOBER 2020Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . email@example.com Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover email@example.com Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Boo! PW! Turkey runJust as this issue was heading to press, BC Premier John Horgan visited Government House to ask the lieutenant governor to dissolve the legislature. His wish was her command, and the farmers, ranchers, rural landowners and consumers in this province have a chance to cast their votes on three years that delivered a change of pace from 16 years of the BC Liberals. A good question around Thanksgiving tables groaning under the weight of a BC-grown turkey or ham might well be, “What are you thankful for?” Some may say fast action by industry and government that maintained the ow of foreign workers into the province and a low rate of sickness among farm workers despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Others may say changes to the AgriStability program that provided better coverage to producers hit hard by this year’s wild weather events in the Peace and Okanagan. Several people, on all sides of the table, will be grateful for the return of BuyBC, one of the rst initiatives undertaken by agriculture minister Lana Popham. But what about those keen on farmland protection? While the move in early 2018 to investigate ways to revitalize the Agricultural Land Commission and the lands it oversees was applauded by many, the outcome sparked a tremendous backlash when the province outlawed second homes and deemed landowners no longer “persons” for the purposes of exclusion applications. Those non-persons will cast votes on October 24, likely for the BC Liberals, who have promised to repeal the BC NDP’s changes. A new government will also sign o on appointments to the Agricultural Land Commission, given that terms of 11 appointees expire between October 19 and 27. BC livestock producers will also have food for thought. Yet another intentions paper on the future of the meat industry in BC has been released, with the deadline for comments set for October 18. Others have questions about the future of Crown tenures given the BC NDP’s implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the implications of which have yet to be fully understood. In the plus-30° heat of a late summer afternoon, I took refuge at my desk where I could watch the cows sleeping in the shade and the pumpkins ripening in the sun, and muse about how much has changed in the 40 years we have been here. To lend this endeavour a veneer of industry, I was sifting through 40 years of bills, receipts, property assessments, equipment brochures, auction yers, and who knows what all when a Reader’s Digest from September 1979 appeared. September 1979 was the very time we were negotiating the purchase of this farm. It must have come with us and I glanced at the front cover story index to see what the lead article was all those years ago: The Blight That is Sapping Canadian Agriculture by Gordon A. MacEachern. Mr. MacEachern is identied as a past president of the Agricultural Economics Research Council of Canada, a non-prot research institute nanced by farm organizations, industry and government since 1968. Some readers will remember Mr. MacEachern for his ve-year tenure as BC’s deputy minister of agriculture from 1983 to 1988 during which he locked horns with the BC Institute of Agrologists and fudged his expense claims. He was red in 1988 after an RCMP investigation. Mr. MacEachern moved on to become the deputy minister of agriculture in PEI and was red again in similar circumstances in 1994. In his Reader’s Digest piece, he begins by lamenting that our once-famed nation of farmers toiling to feed a hungry world had lost the ability to feed itself. He illustrates his point with several examples. We import the equivalent of half our food – 75% of our fruit, 35% of our vegetables; we import eggs and poultry “and imports could meet all our poultry needs more cheaply if government controls did not prevent this.” To underscore these dire straits, the author claims the subsidized dairy industry gets a third of its net income from the taxpayer. While allowing that agriculture accounted for 40% of gross national product in 1979, Mr. MacEachern unveiled the ills responsible for the blight sapping Canadian agriculture. Virtually all of the problems were rooted in Canada’s mad rush into urban industrial development after World War II. “But our biggest problems,” he writes, “stem from the fallacious notion that ailing farm incomes must be propped up with government subsidies and price-support programs” which leads, inevitably, to “Marketing boards are a classic example of a good idea gone wrong.” Ultimately, Mr. MacEachern exposes the real villainy at the heart of agriculture’s sorry state. “Policies gone wrong, along with society’s changing attitudes toward work, have made many of our farmers complacent and inecient. They are behaving as they perceive urban Canadians to behave: demanding more, doing less. Why break your back in the elds, they reason, if you can get by with less eort and government assistance?” Despite this low opinion, Mr. MacEachern goes on to explain, “Nevertheless, farmers are not the villains of my piece.” Farmers, he says, worry about markets, weather, bugs, the problems of running a successful business, and fears of being branded a “troublemaker” by “certain marketing boards.” The article goes on to lament the state of the nation’s debt, the size of the government and “the gravest yet least understood of all our rural ills”: disappearing farmland. There follows a comprehensive list of recommendations to address all these problems including: “One positive step would be proper regulation of monopolistic marketing boards,” apparently because, “Government experts recommended, in a secret 1976 report, that the boards be stripped of all power to manage food supplies.” The fact that Mr. MacEachern knew about the secret report means that it wasn’t a secret at all, or he was one of the government experts responsible for it. Given Mr. MacEachern’s low opinion of farmers, we might fairly wonder what landed him in the deputy minister of agriculture’s oce? His subsequent antagonistic relationship with professional agrologists indicates they were probably seen as part of the problem. In hindsight, we should thank our lucky stars that Mr. MacEachern was sacked for his expense account indiscretions. Given more time, he might have re-written the agricultural landscape with legislation based on a secret report by government experts. Fortunately, secret reports by government experts no longer carry the gravitas Mr. MacEachern accorded them. Now, they just smell shy. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley.The Back Forty BOB COLLINSThe frustrations and uncertainties may well mean many voters will be grateful for a chance to vote in a new MLA and sway the composition of the legislature. Something for which we can all be grateful is that this year’s voters are highly engaged in the success of its farmers, ranchers and food producers. The pandemic has focused fresh attention on their importance, and highlighted what’s important to their success. Here’s to a government that keeps them top of mind, perhaps even making them a whole of government priority. Some things about farming never change4 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Growing craft beer sector built on community connectionsMicrobreweries, and their patrons, depend on the farms that harvest their ingredientsstokes customer engagement and loyalty. Beyond connoisseur language, professional websites and designer packaging, there is proven quality. The BC Beer Awards judged 1,185 entries from 122 breweries in 2019, the competition’s ninth year. Beers competed in 31 classes by style (North American, European, UK) and type (ale, IPA, stout). In 2019, Richmond’s Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks won best beer for its Pixel Pils. The 2019 People’s Choice Survey awarded top spot to Driftwood Fat Tug IPA and runner-up to Hoyne Dark Matter in both “favourite” and “most-consumed” categories. Craft breweries, especially those on farms, develop and foster strong attachments to their surrounding communities, and may have innovative business models. Crannóg Ales in Sorrento is Canada’s rst certied organic and certied Salmon Safe farmhouse microbrewery, having opened in 2000. Hops and grains are grown on the farm and spent grains are fed to its livestock or composted. Wastewater is treated and reused. A vegetable garden feeds the family and any surplus goes to the local community. Brewer Brian MacIsaac explains “while we are a corporation, our primary goal is not to continually grow and maximize prots, Thanksgiving may look dierent this year, but the past few months have sharpened our sense of interdependence. Each food and beverage we enjoy represents a web of relationships from land to fork; for people in each business, these relationships are like extended family. Perhaps a craft beer is in your glass. You may have cheered from the sidelines as the quest for “real ale” in the 1980s led determined pioneers at Horseshoe Bay Brewing and in Victoria to create specialty beers. By early 2020, there were nearly 200 breweries on the BC Craft Brewers Guild list, with 21 new outlets expected to open this year. In 2019, the sector earned $303 million in revenue from breweries in about 60 BC communities and supported more than 4,500 jobs. The breweries, in turn, support related agricultural businesses in hops, grains and fruits. This summer, What’s Brewing magazine published a 30-year retrospective of BC craft beer, honouring every craft brewery that has opened or closed in the province in that time. Describing 2020 as a year that “completely went o the rails,” editor Dave Smith comments that beer watchers “had no idea that the Spring of 2020 might eectively be a hidden cli at the end of what has been a superhighway of brewery openings in North America.” Sector growth since 1980 has been ripple, then wave, then tsunami, with periods of stasis between. In 2013, changes in liquor licensing to allow consumption areas at breweries and sales at o-site locations propelled the tsunami. Although beer and liquor production were declared essential when COVID-19 hit, delays in reopening keg sales and tasting rooms hit craft breweries especially hard. Established operations are working with COVID-19 restrictions as best they can. Not all the anticipated new operations have launched. Cheerfully individualistic BC’s craft beer universe is sophisticated as well as cheerfully individualistic. Breweries oer core, seasonal and specialty beers. Products are creatively named, described and showcased. Many of the breweries oer merchandise to promote the brewery or a specic beer. In a world that encourages personal branding, all this COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 5but to nd and maintain a stable nancial base and to live within our means. We have a growth cap policy, which means that we will not ‘grow’ the brewery beyond the footprint that the farm (or our egos) can sustain.” Persephone Brewing in Gibsons operates an on-farm brewery, tasting room, store and CSA box program. The business is structured as a Certied B Corp, part of an intentional shift from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism – which ties the success of the business to its employees, customers, suppliers and community, not only to its investors. Persephone’s founder Brian Smith is also CEO of Rhiza Capital, a green venture capital B Corp “connecting root capital to impact ventures” on the Sunshine Coast. At this point, if you are inspired – and thirsty – here are some simple steps you can take to support BC’s craft brewers. Ask for your favourite craft beer in your liquor store or call the brewery. Seek a new craft beer to try. If you want award winners, the BC Beer Awards or Beer Me BC websites can help. If you want craft brews near you, the BC Ale Trail website has them sorted by location. If you love good beer, you can help make this dicult year a bit less dicult for the members of this industry sector’s family. Share the love: get the product, enjoy it, express appreciation to the makers, from your family to theirs. Happy Thanksgiving. Kathleen Gibson is a policy analyst and founding member of the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CR-FAIR), the BC Food Systems Network and Food Secure Canada. She lives and grows food on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ Nations. Viewpoint by KATHLEEN GIBSON“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 RdAre you READY for WINTER feeding?Chilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 18.104.22.1683 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.com firstname.lastname@example.orgPTO GENERATORSLocate A Dealer Online1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COM Dale Howe 403-462-1975 | email@example.comMFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTSBRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERSSTUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERSTREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVESPre-order your Baumalightgenerator now for delivery in8 weeks and get an 8% discount.Downtown 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.OkLandBuyers.ca Build your dream home! 44 acres of irrigated property ready for your new home, orchard, cattle or crops. Mostly usable land with shop. All perimeter and cross fenced ready for your ideas. Great valley views from all sides. MLS®10204233 $1,395,000Downtown 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 email@example.com ENDERBY-GRINDROD RD, ENDERBYwww.OkLandBuyers.ca “Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”15.9 acre hobby farm. Newly renovated 4 bed/2 bath home just outside Enderby. Great val-ley, mountain views. Lots of upgrades. 40x60 Quonset shop, older frame barn. Perimeter/cross fenced, reliable water supply. MLS®10210736, $775,000
6 | OCTOBER 2020 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 SilageFall Specials on Now! FUSION 3 PLUSINTEGRATED BALER WRAPPER
BC Tree Fruit Cooperative’s Apple Quality Assurance Program is getting its rst test as this year’s apple harvest spills into the co-op’s packing plants. FILE PHOTO / JUDIE STEEVESCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 7by TOM WALKER KELOWNA – As the apples turn red across the Okanagan, Similkameen and Creston valleys and trucks start to move them to packinghouses, BC apple growers face their busiest time of year. But the management team at BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, which sells more than $100 million worth of apples annually, is also busy. This year has seen CEO Warren Saranchan and board chair Steve Brown working to revitalize the nancially challenged co-op and ensure its members receive higher returns. “We are making progress on a number of key initiatives for the business,” says Saranchan. “We are monitoring the changes closely to make sure we are getting the expected results.” A governance report released this past February called for a number of major changes to the structure and operating of the co-op’s board of directors and urged a focus on delivering high-quality fruit. Yet while members discuss and reect BC Tree Fruits prepares to sell assets, applesTrimming costs, boosting returns key as harvest beginsOver the years, a number of top-quality growers have left BC Tree Fruits Co-op to work with independent packinghouses in the hopes of better returns. There are now between 20 and 25 independent tree fruit packers across BC. This season, several co-op members have decided to ignore their contractual obligations to the co-op and will be shipping their apples to an independent packer. As harvest nears, apple bins labelled from independent packinghouses have appeared on some BCTF members’ landings. “I have heard of growers breaking their contracts and I have identied growers moving fruit to other houses,” says Warren Saranchan, the co-op’s CEO. “There are provisions in the contact for this and we will deal with it accordingly.” Regardless of the consequences, Saranchan says he understands their frustration with low returns. “I absolutely understand the nancial challenges that the last three years have brought,” he says. “That is why we are working as hard as we are working to get the situation xed as fast as we can.” But it won’t be a quick x. “The reality is the situation took years and years to build to this point and it is going to take some time to get it turned around,” he explains. “I have done this many times with other organizations and I strongly believe we can get the business turned around. Underpinning the whole concept of a co-op is the idea that members are stronger together, Saranchan points out. “I am hopeful that the concept of stronger and better together is something we can all rally around,” he says. “If growers decide to take their fruit to other houses and weaken the overall cooperative, it will be a signicant issue for the entire collective.” —Tom Walker No quick fixdrainage is our specialtyVALLEY FARM DRAINAGE31205 DEWDNEY TRUNK RD, MISSION • Fax 604-462-7215 604-462-7213 • www.valleyfarmdrainage.comProudly supporting Canadian industry using Canadian productLASER EQUIPPED & GPS CONTROLLED TRENCHED AND TRENCHLESS APPLICATIONS SUPPLIERS OF CANADIAN MADE BIG O DRAINAGE USED EQUIPMENT FELLA TH800 6 BASKET TEDDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500 N/H FP230 27P GRASS HEAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,500 CLAAS VOLTO 1050 8 BASKET TEDDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 FELLA TS1502 2012, HAY RAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,000 MF 1372T 2008, 13FT DISCBINE, METAL ROLLERS . . . . . . . . . . . 22,000 KV 9469S VARIO, 2014, RAKE… 1 OR 2 ROWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,500 USED TRACTORS KUBOTA T2380 2017, 48” DECK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,500 KUBOTA BX2360 2010, 1,900HRS, TRAC/MWR . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,750 KUB BX2380 2018, TRAC/LDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,500 JD 4300 TRAC/LDR/BH, HYDROSTATIC, 4-IN-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22,500 DEUTZ TTV 6130.4 2014, 1,760 HRS, LDR, FRONT 3PT/PTO . . . . 97,000 NEW INVENTORY: *NEW MODEL- JBS MISP1436 IN THE YARD* KUBOTA RAKES • TEDDERS • MOWERS • POWER HARROWS . . . . CALL JBS VMEC1636 VERT. SPREADER, SAWDUST & SAND THROWERS, KUBOTA K-HAUL TRAILERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NOW IN STOCK CONSTRUCTION KUB SSV65, 2018, CAB, A/C, H-PATTERN,2 SPEED, 150 HRS . . . . 47,000 KUB SVL95-2SHFC 2018, CAB, 1,700HRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79,900 KUB KX033 2017, CAB, 2 BKTS, THUMB, 450 HRS . . . . . . . . . . 52,500 CAT 304ECR CAB, THUMB, 3 BKTS, RUBBER TRACKS, 2,500HRS . 42,500 ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD. DUNCAN 1-888-795-1755 NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR COURTENAY 1-866-501-0801 Quality PreOwned Equipmenton the report, with the aim of voting on its recommendations at an upcoming meeting, the management team continues to make changes to improve the nancial situation of the business. Corporate offices closed The top priority is selling non-performing assets. BCTF shut its corporate oces in downtown Kelowna at the end of September and will sell the premises. Also on the block is the Osoyoos packing facility, which closed in fall 2017. The Keremeos and Summerland packing houses will continue to receive fruit, but storage is being consolidated at other facilities. Packing lines at the Oliver and Wineld plants have been studied and investments have been made to reduce costs, a major marketing expense. “Since shutdown in late spring we have studied our line technologies, processes and training protocols and made capital upgrades to facilities to not only lower the See BCTF on next page o
8 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBCTF nfrom pg 7cost of packing, but to reduce the amount of fruit lost on the pack line,” says Saranchan. While the BC Tree leaf brand is well known in Western Canada, Saranchan says diversication into other markets is important to deliver higher returns for growers. He points to connections he made on a trip to Asia in February as “helpful in the execution of our business plan.” This year, BC Tree Fruits oered growers an incentive to encourage them to deliver top-quality fruit. The governance report identied the co-op’s former practice of accepting poor quality fruit and disposing of it as a loss for all members. The co-op has developed an Apple Quality Assurance Program that sets out minimum pricing for growers who produce apples whose size, colour and ripeness command a premium. “The objective is to encourage growers to manage their orchards as best they can through the summer, in anticipation that there will be a certain return in the fall,” explains Saranchan. He believes that the program is having a positive eect. “I am hearing examples from growers where the program has given them the condence to make the investments to manage their orchards to produce high quality fruit to qualify for the pricing,” he says. The governance report noted a lack of cooperation as a major impediment to the co-op’s progress. “The board and membership is factionalized, often driven by personal agendas rather than business decisions,” the report stated. Saranchan believes there is an opportunity for better working relationships among all stakeholders. “There has got to be collaboration between those who represent the members [the board], the CEO, and the members, to be committed to working through the issues and getting to a place where the business is delivering the results for the members that it needs to,” he says.Engineered for the long haul and designed with endurance in mind. Every one of the 21 H&S Manure Spreader models is quality built. We have the machine to 昀t your opera琀on.RENN Mill Center Inc. has a corporate policy of continuous improvement and development; therefore models and speciﬁcations are subject to change without any advance notice. Standard Duty Heavy Duty Ground Drive Hydraulic Push Top Shot Side DischargeManure SpreadersRENN 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.comThe smoke blanketing the southern half of BC from res in Washington and Oregon in September is yet another blow to apple growers hoping for a good crop in the face of low prices and a labour shortage. “The crop is of good quality, about where we thought it would be,” says consultant Hank Markgraf. “But the heat at the end of August, and now the smoke, is affecting colour development.” PHOTO / TOM WALKERYOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARMNEWS UPDATESSignSign upup for FREE today.coucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comLYSTESor ay.
Cold weather, rain deliver double last year’s lossesCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 9BC FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION 1-800-619-9022 (ext 1) email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bcfga.comANNOUNCEMENT: Application forms and the updated requirements of the 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program are now available on the BCFGA website, www.bcfga.com. Project applications (along with the required documents) will be received by November 30, 2020. Please avoid the last minute rush and get your application in early. An horticultural advisor is required to sign individual applications for the 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program. The following information will be provided to assist growers in completing applications. a. A list of qualied advisors. b. Program operational policies. c. A series of reports on replanting and variety performance and selection are available and should be referenced when preparing a Tree Fruit Replant Program Application. The Tree Fruit Replant Program provides funding for quality projects. Project approval is subject to funding availability and is allocated by the date of receipt of applications. Completed projects are veried by inspection and must attain minimum program standards. The Tree Fruit Replant Program is a 7 year program, funded by the Province of BC. 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Programby TOM WALKER KELOWNA – BC cherry growers are looking at record losses for the second straight year after Mother Nature left them in the pits. “This has been the second year of dicult weather for our cherry growers,” says Laurel Van Dam, director of sales for BC Tree Fruits. “We ended up receiving 54% of our original cherry crop estimate this season due to all the weather events the growers experienced.” The losses were not spread evenly. Some growers reported losses of 30% while others lost their entire crop. Cold temperatures and rain were the two main culprits. “It started with a freeze we had in January,” says Hank Markgraf of Hank’s Horticulture in Kelowna. A rapid drop in temperatures to -18° Celsius in Kelowna and -24° in Vernon damaged dormant cherry buds. And when blossoms opened in April, several nights of frost added to the damaged. The great variety of terrain, soils, latitude and sun direction as well as the bloom and harvest times of the dierent varieties grown contributed to dierent outcomes. The result was a wide range of fruit development depending on location. “The crop density varied signicantly across the industry,” explains Van Dam. In some cases, less fruit on a tree might result in larger cherries. Size matters in the cherry business, as larger cherries command a higher price, particularly in the export market. But frost does not kill buds evenly, notes Markgraf. “I would nd ve or six damaged buds in a cluster on one tree and 20 paces down the row there was no damage,” he says. Branches closest to the ground tended to be aected the most. Rain throughout June and into the early part of July caused further damage to the crop just as it was ready to be picked. Rain causes the fruit to swell and split. “There were blocks where growers just walked away,” says Markgraf. Some growers in Summerland, like the Carlson family, were hit by hail, as were areas of the Similkameen. To pick or not to pick But cherries are a high-value crop and growers made harvest decisions at the last minute based on market price. Some orchards with only 20% crop were picked while others with 50% were not, says Markgraf. “It was this constant ‘should we or shouldn’t we pick’ back and forth,” he recalls. “But then we ran out of pickers and good fruit was left rotting on the trees.” Avi Gill who farms with his father Karm in Kelowna says there were two factors at play. “COVID restricted the foreign backpackers from coming into Canada and, in some ways, those from eastern Canada as well,” he says. “But a lot of pickers didn’t come out from the east this summer because they heard crop was low and they wouldn’t be able to make as much money.” All told, the BC Ministry of Agriculture expects to pay out $18.5 million in AgriStability claims to cherry growers for the 2020 growing season. That’s almost double last year’s claims of $9.6 million, setting a new record since records began being kept in 2004. While the total plantings of cherries in BC have grown substantially over the last ve years, plantings continue. Bare land has been planted for cherry production and apples in particular have been pulled out and replanted in cherries. Apple growers like the Gills have planted cherries in order to diversify, but two years’ poor growing conditions for cherries have coincided with three years of low apple prices. “This year the apple crop looks good,” says Gill. “We just hope we have enough pickers.” Despite numerous appeals in the local media he says he has only been able to hire two locals for extra help. 1-888-770-7333BILL AWMACKCherry growers slammed by record losseswww.countrytractor.caCLAUDIO ROTHENBACHER 778.921.0004claudio@countrytrac tor.ca=XccJf`cGi\g\iXk`feK`d\Jf`cGi\gjkXikjn`k_Bl_eXe[\e[jn`k_XZljkfdgif]\jj`feXccpkiX`e\Xid\i#?\iY\ikIfk_\eYXZ_\i%7ISITPickers – and choosersSmoke didn’t delay the Coronation grape harvest for long at Avoca Aronia Farm and Vineyard in Kelowna. In quick succession, grapes are harvested, then taken in shallow buckets to be packaged on-farm in clam shells. All are sold to BC Tree Fruits. Hiring pickers this year was a challenge. For starters, table grapes have to be handled much more delicately than wine grapes. But the lack of labour also means pickers were picking and choosing who to work for based on wage. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER
10 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Several activists charged in last year’s invasion of Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford appeared in court on September 3. A total of 21 counts were read against four individuals at provincial court in Abbotsford in relation to the incident at the end of April 2019. Amy Soranno, Je Rigear, Roy Sasano and Nicholas Schafer were charged with break and enter and mischief. “It’s an accomplishment that charges were laid,” said Jack DeWit, president of the BC Pork Producers Association. While close to 150 people took part in the protest, coming onto the property in an event livestreamed to social media, police identied and secured the contact information of just 50 protesters. Those individuals had entered and occupied one of the farm’s barns. Soranno, of Okanagan Animal Save, was the only member of the group arrested. Abbotsford police released her pending a court appearance. “Our investigation continues, and we will be looking at charges for the protesters with respect to break-and-enter and mischief,” Abbotsford Police Department communications ocer, Sgt. Judy Bird, said at the time. Abbotsford police told industry groups earlier this year that they were urging Crown prosecutors to lay charges in the matter, which followed an earlier burglary in which surveillance cameras were installed. “We submitted a very comprehensive report, and we are hoping at the end of the day that the Crown counsel sees it the way we do and lays the charges that we have recommended,” Sgt. Casey Vinet said in February. “[If ] there’s no meaningful consequences, we just embolden these folks and things just get worse.” However, supporters of the accused staged a rally outside the courthouse the day of the hearing, and said things are already worse for the animals. While the BC SPCA found insucient evidence to lay charges, the activists maintain that video footage provided by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was sucient. Moreover, they claim the BC SPCA turned in the individual who installed the cameras alleged to have gathered the footage at Excelsior and turned it over to PETA. “These charges are, in part, due to the BC SPCA failing the animals by turning in a whistleblower to the police,” Soranno wrote in a Facebook post after her court appearance on September 3. “The system in place to protect animals is failing them in the worst possible way.” Soranno did not identify the individual, whose name was blacked out in documents activists posted online in an update regarding a petition they launched in August to urge the BC SPCA to recommend criminal charges against Excelsior Hog Farm. Despite questions regarding the provenance of the footage, and whether or not it had been tampered, the activists continue to allege the farm treated its animals poorly. However, a comparison of footage taken during the invasion of Excelsior’s barn last April and the footage distributed by PETA shows two dierent environments. More than 33,000 people had signed the petition at press time. The next court appearance for the four activists is scheduled for November 2. Whatever the outcome of the trial, DeWit hopes it sends a clear message to other activist groups intent on trespass. “Hopefully it’s more than a $150 ne and ‘Don’t do it again,’” he said. “We were hoping that there’d be some stier penalties and a deterrent so they wouldn’t do it again but we won’t know that until the judge has made a nal ruling.” With les from Sarbmeet Singh Animal rights activists land in court Four activists face 21 charges in last year’s Excelsior Hog Farm protestAvenue Machinery knows you have your eyes on the clock, watching the seconds tick away, never to return. The Kubota Fastbale is the worlds 昀rst non-stop baler-wrapper combo. Enter the Fastlane and take some time back. ABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411KELOWNA1-800-680-0233GIVE YOURSELF T H E AVENUEEFFICIENCYEFFICIENCYCharges have now been laid against four people involved in an animal rights protest at an Abbotsford hog farm in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/PHOTOGRAPHER
Julia Smith of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association says the time for consultation is over and the province should act quickly to implement changes aimed at modernizing rural slaughter practices. PHOTO / SUBMITTEDCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 11Meat producers frustrated by consultationsby TOM WALKER MERRITT – BC meat producers are frustrated that the province is spending more time studying how to help them than getting on with acting on its ndings. The BC Ministry of Agriculture released an intentions paper September 14 aimed at modernizing rural slaughter practices, but Julia Smith of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association says the government doesn’t seem to realize the urgency of the situation. “The intentions paper talks about undertaking a risk assessment project to support development options for rural meat production,” says Smith. “It’s too late for that now. Many operations simply cannot survive another round of consultations.” Smith says the slaughter and cut and wrap capacity in BC is facing a serious crisis that will only accelerate in the coming months. Abattoirs are already cancelling bookings that were made months ago, she says, and producers are being left with literally nowhere to process their animals legally. “The government has an opportunity here to provide relief and oversight during a global pandemic that could be a catalyst for long-lasting, progressive change in the future,” she notes. But the government already knows that. It rst began talking with the industry back in 2016. There were numerous consultations and a standing committee of the legislature delivered a report on the situation in 2018. Nova Woodbury, executive director of the BC Association of Abattoirs, says her members are tired of saying the same things. “I have 10 Word documents open right now that are past submissions I have made to the ministry and I am trying to consolidate them into yet again another response,” she said. This is the worst time of the year to try and talk to the industry, Smith adds. “September is not the time of year to initiate meaningful consultation with the farmers and ranchers,” she says. “Implement some emergency measures now and continue to consult through the winter to hammer out more permanent changes for the spring.” Overall, the intentions the province outlines are good and reect what many in the industry have been saying. They include increasing the standards of inspection for class D and E plants to more closely align their uninspected slaughter practices with those of inspected class A and B processors. “This paper provides the support the industry has been asking for and gives reassurance to members of the public that food safety and animal welfare standards are going to be enforced,” says Woodbury. The paper follows the province’s decision in August to consolidate all meat inspection in the province under the agriculture ministry’s Meat Inspection Branch, a change eective December 1. (While the branch oversaw inspections at class A and B plants, D and E facilities were under the BC Ministry of Health.) The intentions paper focuses on four key areas: public health and safety, innovation, regulatory eciency and strengthening the provincial food supply. Public health and safety is where improving oversight, increasing inspections and updating codes of practice for D and E facilities fall. Virtual inspections, post mortem inspections and third-party involvement in inspections is part of innovation. The framework for D and E processors could also be updated. Regulatory eciency will be addressed by working with FrontCounter BC to improve the licensing process. Aiming to strengthen the provincial food supply, the government acknowledges that demand is increasing for local meat. But that isn’t a new or unexpected issue, Smith points out. “We were already struggling to meet the growing demand long before COVID hit,” she says. “A resilient and diverse local food supply chain isn't something we should have Action, not talk, needed from province, say small growersjust in case the ‘real’ food supply chain breaks down. It should be the norm and we need appropriate infrastructure and regulations that reect this.” The deadline for public feedback is October 19. The province promises to begin making regulatory and policy changes by the end of the year. Woodbury hopes there is money for the government to follow through. She notes that the meat inspection branch moved to cut costs last year by mandating restrictions on overtime. Smith urges the province to use taxpayers’ dollars wisely. “Instead of spending money on more consultation, spend it to support abattoirs to expand, local butchers to expand, and new people to open slaughter and butcher facilities,” she says. With the province announcing $1.5 billion in funding last month for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith believes there’s no better time for action. “If we were ever going to make something happen quickly, it is now,” she says.
12 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCIF IT’S WORTH IT TO YOU, IT’S WORTH IT TO US.Contact our agribusiness specialists by email at agribusiness@ﬁrstwestcu.caWHEN SUCCESS IS MEASURED IN ACRES AND NOT HOURSKeeping it Simple®Divisions of First West Credit UnionBank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.
Nick Dewitt of D Dutchman Dairy in Sicamous started selling A2 milk – considered easier to digest for people who are lactose intolerant – in February. This month, Agrifoods International is undertaking a national launch of the specialty milk under their Meadowfresh brand. PHOTO / D DUTCHMAN DAIRYCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 13v4200W Model ShownDESIGNEDFOR HARSH CONDITIONS• 34” high mouldboard• Spring trip on cutting edge• Bucket edge mount or Qtach available• Replaceable, reversible steel cutting edge• Replaceable, reversible rubber cutting edge (OPTIONAL)• Skid shoes optional• 36” deep ﬁxed endplates• Available in 10’ 12’ 14’ widths• 2 Year Commercial WarrantyMax Operating Weight 25,000 LB.• Spring trip on cutting edge• 34” high mouldboard• Lateral ﬂoat• Two angle cylinders• Hydraulic 35º angle either direction• Replaceable, reversible steel cutting edge• Replaceable, reversible rubber cutting edge (OPTIONAL)• Skid shoes• Cross-over relief valve protection• Heavy duty construction• Available in 9’ 10’ 12’ 14’ widths• 2 Year Commercial WarrantyMax Operating Weight 25,000 LB.1.866.567.4162 www.hlasnow.comby JACKIE PEARASE ABBOTSFORD – BC consumers now have the opportunity to try something a little dierent from the dairy aisle. A2 milk, or milk without the beta-casein variant A1, had its ocial launch in BC last month as Meadowfresh Dairy Corp. began producing and selling the product under licence from New Zealand’s a2 Milk Company Ltd. (a2MC). “We did a soft launch in select stores in Western Canada this summer and are preparing for the national launch in the next few weeks,” says member services manager Ursula Klein of Agrifoods International Cooperative Ltd., which owns Meadowfresh. “By the beginning of October, a2 Milk-branded products will be available throughout BC and across Canada.” The licence gives Agrifoods, through Meadowfresh, an exclusive right to use the trademarks and other intellectual property of a2MC, including the a2 Milk brand, to produce and sell milk in Canada that lacks the A1 protein. The BC Milk Marketing Board solicited expressions of interest from producers wanting to supply Meadowfresh with milk lacking the A1 protein this past March. “We had lots of producers express interest. There’s denitely more producers than we have sales for the product at this point,” says BCMMB supply and business development director Woody Siemens. With consumers in Canada largely unfamiliar with products dened by the dominance of the A 2 protein – both those trademarked a2 Milk and products previously available from a few Canadian producer-processors – the BCMMB is building the supply pipeline slowly. “There’s two producers right now that are part of it,” Siemens says. Conventional milk contains a mix of A1 and A2 beta-casein proteins whereas A2 producers claim their products are made with milk that has only the A2 protein. “Published research suggests a2 Milk ... may help avoid digestive discomfort in some people,” says Klein. “The theory behind it is that a lot of people that say they’re lactose intolerant aren’t actually; they just have a sensitivity to the A1 protein,” adds Siemens. Agrifoods is marketing its 1%, 2% and 3.25% butterfat milk varieties as the rst and only milk certied under the a2 Milk brand in Canada. Cows producing milk for the a2 Milk brand must be identied by genetic testing to naturally produce only A2 protein, segregated from other cows, and milked separately from the rest of the herd to help ensure there is no cross-contamination. “The key is that only the a2 Milk brand has third-party verication and testing along key points in the supply chain, including the nished product, to help ensure that the milk that consumers bring home to their families contains only the A2 protein, and no A1,” says Klein. The a2 Milk Company was founded in New Zealand in 2000. Its intellectual property includes the genetic test and methods to develop herds that produce milk that only contains the A2 protein. Nick Dewitt’s herd of 100 cows at Dari Delite Farm in Sicamous produces milk for A2 products made at D Dutchman Dairy, which he owns with his uncle Jake Dewitt. D Dutchman Dairy launched its A2 products – whole milk, white cheddar and cheddar curds – in February. “We had read an article about how well it was doing in Australia and felt that it was a market that was untapped in Western Canada. We were hoping to jump in the front of the wave and bring a new health product to the public,” Dewitt says. Dewitt had his herd of registered Jerseys tested for the A2 protein by Holstein Canada after his wife developed a sensitivity to milk. When she was able to easily digest the A2 milk products, he knew it would work for others. He is currently using about A2 milk launch aimed at lactose-intolerantNew Zealand innovation now being produced on BC farmsHAS GROOVING LET YOU AND YOUR COWS DOWN? 40 years of concrete experience, research & development is behind our custom built & patented Traction Milling equipment, 7-step process and quality workmanship.Call to learn more. Also because of the Farm Show cancellations we are still giving away "Discount Coupons", call to get yours. Call 717-682-8557 or toll free 877-966-3546 or visit www.agritraction.comApproaching our 25th Anniversary of our Traction Milling. Our machines are custom built and patented. We are the only providers of Traction Milling in the world. As a result of Farm Show Cancellations and to help our farmers, we are offering 10% - 15% discounts. Call 877-966-3546 and visit us at www.agritraction.com5% of the milk produced by his A2 herd to make A2 milk products. “It’s been very, very slow progress. It’s a move we made for the long term. I’m hoping in the next three years that we can sell all the milk that I produce as A2 milk ,” Dewitt says. He also aims to expand D Dutchman’s line to include butter, ice cream and yogurt. “The goal is to bring people back to dairy,” he says. Siemens echoes the sentiment, saying more producers will be added to the A2 pool if needed. “I actually have quite a list from the rst call and we would work o of that for now. It’s really based on what the market demand is,” he says. “It’s got a good reception so far but it’s very new. It’s just getting started.”
14 | OCTOBER 2020 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 SERVICESv BC Farm Business Advisory Services Consultant v Farm Debt Mediation Consultant v Meat Labeling Consultant Phone: 604-858-1715 Cell: 604-302-4033 Fax: 604-858-9815 email: email@example.comCONFIDENTIALITY GUARANTEEDJack Reams P.Ag. Agri-ConsultingNorthern Health signs on with FeedBCNorthern Health Authority became the latest regional health authority to embrace FeedBC on September 21. The announcement was one of Lana Popham’s nal ocial acts as the province’s agriculture minister prior to the election call later that day, underscoring her eorts to full the mandate letter she received three years ago, which emphasized BuyBC, FeedBC and GrowBC. “I’m so excited Northern Health is now part of Feed BC,” she said with characteristic enthusiasm. “We’re opening the door for a multitude of new, exciting business opportunities for BC farmers, shers, ranchers and processors and I know they’re looking forward to providing more of their delicious products in the North.” Participation in the initiative, which prioritizes local purchasing where possible, will support the use of local ingredients in more than 1.9 million meals a year at 27 hospitals and residential care facilities across northern BC. Agriculture in the region is small relative to the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland, so many of the items will come from outside the region. Growers such as Daybreak Farms of Terrace, the region’s largest egg producer, are among the local farms supplying Northern Health. Other suppliers include Snowcrest Foods and Sunrise Farms in the Fraser Valley and Paradise Island Cheese on Vancouver Island. In addition to Northern Health, the FeedBC program also includes Interior Health and Fraser Health. The program also intends to move into post-secondary schools and other publicly funded institutions. —Peter Mitham Cranberry outlook brightens BC cranberry growers are expecting a crop closer to usual volumes this year after cold weather in 2019 cut the harvest in half. The province typically produces about a million barrels a year, but in 2019 marketed production as reported by Statistics Canada was just 672,100 barrels. Per-acre yields also fell, dropping from 211 barrels in 2018 to 100 barrels last year. “It’s looking like it’s going to be a decent crop, much better than last year,” said Fraser Valley grower Jack DeWit, a member of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission. “Last year was a complete disaster.” The commission announced that harvest kicked o on September 15, but DeWit expected to begin gathering berries from his own farm a week later. Among the reasons for his delay was a blanket of smoke from wildres in the US that covered the valley in mid-September that stalled the colouring up of fruit. However, sales this year have been good and he expects strong demand as people continue to stay home out of concern regarding COVID-19. “Sales have been good for Ocean Spray and some of the independents. People have stayed home and bought more o the grocery shelves,” he said. “That’s good news, because we were denitely long on product.” A report on the province’s cranberry sector co-authored by Sandra Behm, senior appraiser with Farm Credit Canada in Abbotsford, noted that farm protability remains “fragile” thanks to low prices. “Prices have hovered around an average of US$0.30-$0.35 a pound since 2017 and projected to remain within this range in the next few years,” the report stated, noting that poor yields in BC last year had pushed the per-acre value of production to an all-time low of around $5,150 (or about US$0.40 a pound). DeWit said the pricing situation has improved this year thanks to strong demand that has eaten into stocks and brightened the outlook. “It looks like prices are starting to move up,” he says. “Ocean Spray has exceeded their margin expectations, and they’re hoping to give some more money to the producers.” —Peter Mitham Agriculture nabs recovery funding BC’s agrifood sector was among those singled out as a priority for funds as part of the $1.5 billion stimulus package BC announced September 17 to help businesses recover from COVID-19. While agriculture was designated an essential service during the pandemic, shifts in consumer spending required that businesses adapt rapidly. Added expenses from measures aimed at protecting farm workers and visitors from COVID-19 added to short-term costs. Accompanying the heading “Supporting B.C. businesses,” the province shows a masked worker stocking Okanagan Sunrise apples with gloves on. Programs to support these and other food sector workers have been allocated $25 million. However, many of the programs are already in existence. These include the $3 million for the agritech grant program, administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, and $5.6 million for expanding the BC Food Hub Network. The biggest tranche of funding is $12 million to detect and eliminate invasive species. Smaller amounts are dedicated to on-farm innovation ($1.6 million) and “small farm business acceleration” as well as the provincial replant program ($890,000). In addition to these agriculture-specic programs, a $500 million investment program, InBC, is being set up to help businesses scale up. To support new investment in machinery and equipment, the province will oer a 100% rebate on provincial sales taxes on eligible purchases. But there’s a catch: the rebates won’t be available until April 1, 2021. The criteria for InBC is also being developed and won’t be known until next spring. —Peter Mitham North Okanagan reaches farmers Community Futures North Okanagan has a new business program designed for growth-minded farmers and meat operators looking for ways to succeed in the wake of COVID-19. The REACH Agricultural Accelerator Pilot Program aims to give agricultural entrepreneurs the tools and support they need to pivot operations, scale up and nd new success. Participants spend 22 weeks exploring gaps and opportunities in their businesses, developing action plans and implementing key steps towards achieving their goals. Agrologist and agricultural consultant Andrea Gunner is facilitating the program. Components include one-on-one coaching, workshops and customized professional services including accountants, lawyers and marketing. The pilot program starts in late October and runs until March 2021. Applications are currently being accepted via the CFNO website. Agricultural operations doing business in the North Okanagan region for at least two years are eligible. The intake process includes an in-person interview. CFNO expects eight to 10 existing agri-food businesses will participate in the program, which has an operating budget of $70,000. —Jackie Pearase Ag Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAM
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 15ROTATOR®TECHNOLOGY1000 SERIESIRRIGATION AUTOMATIONHELPS AID NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT Wirelessly automate your valves to turn your sprinklers on and oﬀ as needed and reduce potential for runoﬀ.Contact us to learn more: Tel: +1 509.525.7660nelsonirrigation.comBIG GUN® SPRINKLER + TWIG® WIRELESS CONTROLSHigh-uniformity Rotator® sprinklers help manage water & nutrients uniformly in the soil.Nelson valves are designed for tough agricultural applications. 3030 SERIES PIVOTSPRINKLERS1/2” & 3/4”IMPACT REPLACEMENTSby PETER MITHAM DELTA – BC potato growers will be protected from dumping of Washington potatoes through next July, thanks to COVID-19. A review of the long-standing anti-dumping order, rst issued in 1990 after an investigation initiated in 1984, was announced by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal on July 29. The ve-year order expired September 9, but as a result of the delay in initiating the review, it remains in place until the tribunal completes completes its work and issues a decision. “It’s going to be in place till next July. They’re looking at a hearing – if there’s going to be something – next March or April,” said Peter Guichon of Felix Farms in Delta, a grower who chairs the committee of the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission addressing the issue on behalf of industry. The timeline for the review has been shifting through this year, causing signicant concern for growers. The issue surfaced during the vegetable commission’s annual general meeting at the end of April, where general manager Andre Solymosi noted that preparation for the review had started in 2019. “On January 10, our legal team submitted a request of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to immediately initiate a reinvestigation of normal values and the methodology used to set export prices with respect to certain whole potatoes,” he reported. “The process for submitting the request has changed this year, so there was a lot of work upfront to get this request submitted compared to prior years.” Despite “a pretty strong assurance” that an expiry review would occur, industry heard nothing until the end of July. “We can probably expect that it will be a short notice,” Solymosi said in April. “It will hit us in the middle production season, so it’s something that we’re going to have to deal with.” With issuance of the review notice at the end of July, the CBSA initiated its investigation, issuing a questionnaire to aected parties. Canada’s industry stepped up. By press time, CBSA had received responses to its questionnaire from the commission as well as BC Fresh, Vancouver Island Farm Products Inc., Island Vegetable Cooperative Association and Okanagan Grown Produce Ltd. CBSA has promised a determination regarding dumping by December 24, with a statement of reasons available January 8. “If decision is armative, information pursuant to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Rules is transferred to the CITT,” it said, at which point the tribunal takes over the matter and proceeds with issuing a new order. Washington is the biggest exporter of potatoes to BC, sending $44 million worth of fresh tubers north in 2019 alone, or nearly 84% of the province’s total fresh potato imports. The amount has grown steadily from $31.3 million worth in 2013. Dumping occurs when potatoes are sold into a country at prices that undercut local production. The most recent order against Washington producers, issued in 2015, determined that dumping had occurred and was likely to continue occurring in white and russet potatoes from August 1 to April 30 each year, excluding those imported in 50-pound cartons at count sizes 40 to 80 (per box). Pandemic delays review of anti-dumping order30-year-old order targetting Washington potatoes could be renewedBC potato farmers can rest easy – at least for now – because of a delay in reviewing a long-standing anti-dumping order. FILE PHOTO
Brian Faulkner, vice-president of business development for BC Fresh, and ES Cropconsult’s Heather Meberg share thoughts on a red-skinned potato variety, Carminelle, during the potato eld day in August. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNE 16 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPotato field day showcases new varieties COVID-19 safety requirements put an emphasis on information over socializingby RONDA PAYNE DELTA – The focus was solidly on the crop at the BC Potato and Vegetable Growers Association’s potato variety trial on August 19, thanks to health and safety restrictions designed to prevent COVID-19. Heather Meberg, president of ES Cropconsult, says the feedback she received on the 70 varieties planted was much more detailed than in past years. She estimated about 60 growers and industry people came out to look at the potatoes grown by Brent Kelly, who planted the crop on neighbour Ken Davies’ farm. The trial varieties were treated the same as the rest of the eld in terms of irrigation and management. “The trials were good, but all that COVID kind of wrecked (the eld day),” Kelly says. “The potatoes were good. The quality and the yields were good. Good results in a bunch of varieties. It was a good eld.” Visitors attended in shifts throughout the afternoon, answering COVID-19 screening questionnaires and obeying one-way signage when viewing trial varieties. Like Kelly, Meberg was disappointed with the inability to engage in the usual social interaction over a meal, but she did say this year’s format allowed for greater opportunity to have discussions (while physically distanced) about the actual trial eld with growers. “Many interesting varieties this year,” she says. “My challenge was not knowing whether we’d have a eld day. It looks very dierent than usual.” Processing potatoes that garnered the most positive attention from growers were Anivia and Jennifer (white); Bonnata KWS and Wendy Insurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.Proudly certifying Producers and Processorswithin BC and Alberta.FVOPA provides year round certiﬁcation services compliant with the Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB) and in accordance with the BC Certiﬁed Organic ISO 17065 recognized program. Products may be sold Canada-wide and in international markets. FVOPA ensures an efﬁcient, professional certiﬁcation process for all farm, processing and handling operations. Inspectors are lOlA trained and qualiﬁed making FVOPA a leading Certiﬁcation Agency.Message 604-607-1655Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone 604-789-7586P.O. Box 18591Delta, BC V4K 4V7Phone: 778-434-3070 PO Box 19052 Email: email@example.com Delta, BC V4L2P8 www.fvopa.ca FVOPA delivers year-round certication services to all regions of Canada, in compliance with the Canadian Organic Standards, the BC Certied Organic Accreditation Equivalent Program, and ISO 17065. Products may bear the Canada Organic logo and be marketed Canada-wide and internationally. FVOPA provides procient certication services for all types of Producers, Processors, Packers and Distributors. FVOPA is a self-sustaining, proactive, leading edge Certication Agency. Proudly certifying Producers and Processors across Canada(yellow); and Rickey Russet. Elmo came through as a popular early red while CO9907606R was another interesting red. There were only two purple varieties in the trial crop and neither hit growers’ radar. Peter Guichon, owner of Felix Farms in Delta, notes that he nished planting in May this year, an anomaly as he usually completes the task in June. He farms with his brothers. He says this year’s harvest was “pretty good,” noting it is “probably one of the best growing seasons I’ve seen. We’ve been harvesting since May to meet the fresh market demand.” And while he notes that the season looks good overall, it comes down to what happens during harvest, which will last into mid-October for some. He currently has 12 potato varieties planted and is conscious of the need to nd new options. “I’m always looking for something that looks good,” he says. “Jumps out at you.” His favourites are the white variety Jennifer and a red called Rosi, although he had concerns that the skin might be too light in colour. Not only was the planting season early, but due to the late spring rain, there was less need for irrigation in the trial eld than usual. This was an odd occurrence, according to Kelly. “Lots of stu was planted early and we had good rain in June,” he says. “We didn’t have to irrigate as much as we usually do.” Kelly tries new varieties each year and his current varieties were found through the BC Potato and Vegetable Growers Association’s potato variety trial. While the trial plots are great for getting an idea, Kelly notes it also takes planting a “couple of acres to know if they work or not.” As in past years, this year’s trial crop included russet, white, yellow, red, and purple potatoes of established and new, as yet unnamed, varieties provided by a range of Canadian suppliers. A little more than half the varieties were in the replicated plot trials while others were for demonstration to gauge potential interest. Meberg will provide a detailed analysis of the results of the replicated trials near the end of the year. Wes Heppell of Heppell’s Potato Corp. liked the yellow potato SF Vario for the looks of its production levels at the eld day, but added, “there’s a lot of unknowns.” He added that the 98-day growing period may be too long as some of the potatoes were oversized. “It’s good for growers to see how [dierent varieties] grow in Delta versus the industry standard,” says Meberg. E201 Alaska Highwayt&BTZ"MBTLB)XZ"DDFTTt'SPOUBHFPO.JOBLFS3JWFSt8BUFSUJNCFSGFSUJMFTPJMFort St. John, BC $315,000 Call/Txt Linda 604.997.53997001 Savona Access Roadt"DSFTGU#FBDIt%XFMMJOHTHVFTUTVJUFTt8FMMCVJMUJOGSBTUSVDUVSFSavona, BC $1,989,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Award Winning Lakeside Country Inn25 Semi-Lakefront Acres in Harrison Rockwell Drive, Harrisont$SFFLGSPOUPO+FOOFS$SFFLt'VMMZ5SFFE-BLF.PVOUBJOt/PUJOUIF"-34VCEJWJTPO Harrison, BC $4,650,000Call/Txt Linda 604.997.5399Homesteaders! 151 Riverfront Acres2281 & 2285 Blackwater Rd.t1SJWBUF)PVTFT5JUMFTt/FX.PEVMBS3BODIFSt)BZ'JFME#BSO4IPQQuesnel, BC $898,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Equine Lovers Dreamon 63 Acres in Quesnel 7012 Baker Road, 100 Mile t#FE#BUITRGUt)JHIFOE&VSPQFBO%FTJHOt(FPUIFSNBMIFBUJOH4BVOB100 Mile House, BC $839,00Call/Txt Sabine 778.363.2750Luxury Home on 70 Acres + Private PondCall 604.491.1060www.theBestDealsinBC.comSelling BC’s Lifestyle Properties3agroup@sutt on.comPristine Waterfront Land!t(PW(SB[JOHBQQSPYIBt(PWIBZMFBTFBQQSPYIBt8BUFS-JDFOTFJOQMBDFForest Grove, BC $550,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Pristine - 140 Acres Dorrit Lake Ranch
The COVID-19 pandemic has added a level of complexity for farmers who depend on foreign labour for planting, eld work and especially for harvesting BC’s crops. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 17FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.firstname.lastname@example.orgCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.email@example.comJANUARYCheck out the very latest equipment, technology and techniques to improve your farm operation - all online.VIRTUAL EDITIONEDITIONCCCCh2021by PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – BC farmers will now have to register with the province if they want to hire foreign workers. An announcement September 19 set a registration deadline of December 15 for all employers who wish to hire foreign workers. An employer who currently employs foreign workers and doesn’t plan on hiring additional foreign workers, or who hires through the Provincial Nominee Program or the federal International Mobility Program (such as student work abroad initiatives) is exempt. “Temporary foreign workers are integral to our agricultural sector and BC relies on them for important jobs like harvesting the crops we depend on for our daily meals and to build our province's food security,” said BC agriculture minister Lana Popham in a statement accompanying the announcement. “The new registration requirement for employers will help ensure foreign workers are fairly treated.” The registry was announced in 2018 as part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, and is the last step in the implementation of the act. It was introduced two days before the government cut its term short and called an election for October 24. According to the province, registration should take just 20 minutes and an approved certicate is good for up to three years. In addition to contact information, employers will be asked the number of foreign workers they intend to hire within the next 12 months, where they intend to recruit them and if they’re planning to provide accommodation. “The conduct of each applicant is evaluated based on character, nancial history and competence. Directors and business partners are also subject to review,” the province notes, adding that registration may be refused. The deadline for registration dovetails with eorts industry is making to smooth the path to entry for seasonal workers for the 2021 season. Many nursery operations require workers in the opening days of January but the requirement for foreign arrivals in Canada to self-isolate for 14 days could delay when they start work. To address the issue, the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative (WALI) is proposing two solutions: working with government to allow 2021 workers to arrive at the end of December, or encouraging growers to consider hiring through the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program. Challenge recognized Reg Ens, executive director of the BC Agriculture Council, said all levels of government recognize the challenge ongoing quarantine requirements will pose at the beginning of 2021. “[But] we have not heard if they are willing to negotiate a change to the program allowing workers into Canada early to quarantine,” he says. He notes that arriving early would also demand a sacrice on the part of workers, who would not be able to spend the Christmas season with their families. “We are working with stakeholders to look for options and solutions,” he says. This is where the TFW program, which runs separately from SAWP and in which WALI isn’t typically involved, is an option. While the program’s agricultural stream tends to be more expensive for the employer than SAWP, it allows workers to stay for up to 24 months at a time rather than eight months. SAWP participants already in Canada are eligible for transfer to the TFW program, an option that appeals to many employers. A standard process has yet to be worked out, however. BCAC boosted WALI’s budget for the current scal year to improve its ability to address the challenges facing farm employers. It is now looking at how the organization may be able to pivot to support TFW recruitment. “We are currently looking at what services and support we can provide, what licensing (if any) would be needed and who we need to work with,” says Ens. “We are actively working on this business strategy.” BC farms expect to welcome 4,785 workers through SAWP this year, down 1,290 versus last year. Province tightens rules for employers Registry aims to protect foreign farm workers
18 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC© 2019 AGCO Corporation. Massey Ferguson is a worldwide brand of AGCO Corporation. AGCO and Massey Ferguson are trademarks of AGCO. All rights reserved. MF18TK007CRv03CHECK OUT THE MASSEY FERGUSON 6700 SERIES TRACTORABBOTSFORD Avenue Machinery Corp. | 1521 Sumas Way ................................. 604-864-2665KAMLOOPS Noble Tractor & Equipment Ltd. | 580 Chilcotin Road .................... 250-851-3101MAPLE RIDGE Van Der Wal Equipment Ltd. | 23390 River Road .......................... 604-463-3681VERNON Avenue Machinery Corp. | 7155 Meadowlark Road ........................ 250-545-3355www. masseyferguson.usWe’ve invested heavily in the future, and the new Massey Ferguson® 6700 Series tractors are unlike any mid-range we’ve ever built. They’re engineered from the ground up, then tested in the harshest conditions around the world, for more power, versatility and long-lasting operation. These machines are purpose-built to provide unmatched lift capacity and the power to pull heavier implements through the toughest jobs, with the next-level comfort of our deluxe cab and features. Come demo the 6700 Series today, and don’t be surprised if this ends up being the last tractor you ever buy.IT’S THE MOST POWERFUL HEAVYWEIGHT IN ITS CLASS.
Peace grain growers gather bitter harvestThird year of catastrophe could trigger sales among growersCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 19Farm and Rural Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC CandidateAppraiser250.firstname.lastname@example.org PETER MITHAM DAWSON CREEK – A third year of catastrophic weather has left many grain growers in the Peace idle at a time when they should be combining. Well over half the acreage is barren or yielding less than it should following several major rain events shortly after seeding this spring. “There’s no crop growing,” said Irmi Critcher, who with her husband Barry farms 4,000 acres of grain and oilseeds southwest of Taylor. “There were about three major rain events, about two to three weeks apart from each other. … We’ve had about 15, 18 inches of rain here, which is unprecedented.” While the rain benetted forage producers, it swamped row crops. “It really hampered the emergence of the crop, and the stu which did get seeded and survived, that got hammered again,” said Critcher. “Then it would just rot in the ground, basically. … We knew in July, early August, that a good part of our crop [wouldn’t] make it through.” What has made it to harvest is uneven, making harvest dicult. Many growers delayed seeding this year because last year’s crop was still in the eld. A year ago, weather prevented growers from harvesting what had been projected to be a decent crop. But rain meant they couldn’t get into the elds, and much of the crop was swathed for recovery in spring. Conditions made this dicult, however, and the province nally stepped in to facilitate the burning of crop residues. “This year was just a continuation of last fall – a pile of crop left in the eld, and guys tried to harvest it this spring and then the moisture kept coming. It didn’t get seeded on time, seeded into rutted elds, and there just is no crop to harvest this year,” said Rick Kantz, president of the BC Grain Producers Association who farms near Fort St. John. “I would have to say it’s the worst crop we’ve ever seen.” Barren land According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, a total of 50,000 acres went unplanted this year. BC typically has about 300,000 acres seeded to grains and oilseeds. Of the plantings that did go, the reported damage was highest in eld peas, with “signicant yield loss and complete abandonment in some elds.” A ministry statement provided to Country Life in BC adds, “Canola crops are stunted, and yields are much lower than normal. Yields are expected to be below average.” All told, of the 183 grain policies issued by the province’s Production Insurance, 158 have registered notices of loss. “As harvest is underway, it is dicult to establish full losses at this stage and these numbers will evolve,” the ministry says. Current payments for both unseeded acreage and quantity losses on seeded acreage are in the range of $7.25 million. “It’s very devastating for the grain sector up here right now,” says Critcher, who is counting on crop insurance and AgriStability to see her through. “Even on an established farm like us, it’s hitting us hard, so we do hope that those programs will work for us.” The removal of the reference margin limit for 2020 and the extension of the enrollment deadline should both assist producers, she notes, something producers in neighbouring Alberta won’t benet from. But for some producers, it’s too little too late, suggests Kantz. “A lot of guys are frustrated with the system and took less insurance this year,” he says, noting payments for losses don’t cover land remediation after severe weather events. “There’s nothing extra out there for recovery.” The last three years may prompt some producers to exit the sector altogether. “At what point do you stop chewing up your equity and call it quits?” he asks. “I think this has given quite a few of them a harsh reality that maybe it is time to quit, because there isn’t any extra assistance coming.” That would be a loss for the whole province, he adds. “What do we have to say to get heard? It is kind of a small industry dollar-wise, but we’re also the backbone to everything else,” he says. “It’s frustrating when they can’t see that.” YOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARMNEWS UPDATESSignSign upup for FREE today.coucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comLYSTESor ay.VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com The 5080T is particularly ideal for those who need more lift height. With a high level of working comfort and excellent safety standards, these machines have a telescopic arm that provides considerably greater lift height. For all those that want to go UPCall us for a test drive!Learning to doMembers of the Okanagan Shuswap 4-H Lamb Club hosted a half-day workshop on judging this year at the Luttmerding farm, one of only a few club events that went ahead with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Senior members helped teach juniors how to judge horses, beef and sheep. The juniors also judged lambs and ewes to complete that portion of their 4-H achievement. Club alumni Sydney Hogg helped with sheep judging. Six members completed educational displays to complete the communications requirements of the program as well. PHOTO / MARSHALL LUTTMERDING
Vancouver Island grain harvest looks promisingClose to a dozen combines bringing in the sheaves this fallWhile producers in the Peace struggled to get their grain off, weather conditions proved ideal for Vancouver Island grain farmers who can’t keep up with local demand for their crops. PHOTO / GEOFFREY E. GAUNT 20 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCLittle & Large, Local & Long, Europe & N. AmericaPort to Dealer, Farm to Farm & Anything in BetweenAll 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 afliates. www.caseih.comBUILT TO FIT THE WAY YOU FARMLooking for a hard-working workhorse you can rely on? Case IH Maxxum® series tractors deliver the power, performance and efciency your livestock operation demands. Powered by FPT engines, these versatile tractors are built to take on eldwork, loader work, and everything in between. Choose from Maxxum ActiveDrive 4 16 × 16 semi-powershift transmission and 2WD, Maxxum ActiveDrive 8 24 × 24 dual-clutch transmission or Maxxum CVXDrive™ congurations to suit the needs of your operation. So whether you’re hauling, mowing, loading or cutting, there’s only one tractor series engineered for maximum productivity – Case IH Maxxum.SEE US TODAY!Dealer Name 1 Dealer Name 2000.000.0000www.dealer_url.com34511 Vye Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 8J7 604-864-2273 www.caliberequipment.caby MYRNA STARK LEADER SAANICHTON – Bryce Rashleigh began harvesting his wheat and barley crops mid-August on the Saanich Peninsula just outside Victoria. Rashleigh owns one of nearly a dozen combines that now call Vancouver Island home as local grain production has increased. His John Deere, fitted with a 24-foot header, will harvest about 200 acres in total. No field is bigger than about 35 acres. Last year, he put the header on his mid-80s machine nine times in one day moving between fields. He bought the combine about 10 years ago from Alberta, where it originally belonged to the Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony. Good weather means that Vancouver Island may deliver one of the best grain crops in the province this year. While the region had just 635 acres of wheat in 2016, up from 231 acres in 2011, this year’s quality exceeds that of the storm-tossed Peace region. Rashleigh’s crop has seen strong demand from both bakers and brewers, though he declines to name buyers for competitive reasons. Dan Reid, marketing coordinator at Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. in Victoria, says Island farmers will supply about half the grain Phillips buys this year. Grain has come from the Saanich Peninsula; Cedar, south of Nanaimo; and some trial plots close to Campbell River. “The island has been making some great strides in stepping up its supply capabilities which we would love to see continuing each year,” Reid said. Reid notes that demand outweighs current supply, which has been stable from year to year. “We'd love to be able to get our hands on more barley and rye if we were able,” says Reid. “We've loved working with local BC farmers and look forward to more and more fields coming online in the future as the quality has been consistently stellar.” Phillips Fermentorium Distilling Co., a side project of the brewery’s owners, used entirely Vancouver Island-grown grains last year. “The quality of the crop yields really shines through in both our brewing and distilling programs here, leading to higher quality craft brews and spirits,” says Reid. “We are proud to wave the flag any day for our BC grains partners.”
Raquel Kolof accessed funding through the federal Emergency Processing Fund to build her small Class D abattoir on the Sunshine Coast. She plans on applying for new funding to help her deal with tissue waste. PHOTO / SUBMITTEDCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 21Slaughter waste receives fresh fundingTighter inspection protocols revive funding allocated in 2005by TOM WALKER FALKLAND – The province is providing $500,000 to help BC abattoirs deal with waste animal tissue following slaughter. “This is great news,” says Nova Woodbury, executive director of the BC Association of Abattoirs, one of a number of industry representatives who advised the province on the funding. “All classes of abattoirs in BC will be able to take advantage of this. … It is a real bonus as the cost of waste disposal is going up and the options for disposal are going down.” The funds are the residue of the $5 million Livestock Waste Tissue Initiative the province set up under the BC Waste and Specied Risk Material (SRM) Handling and Disposal Strategy in 2005. The strategy aimed to support processors adapting to new government regulations regarding the disposal of animal tissue following BSE. A portion was then made available to municipalities and the program has now been “revitalized” to assist processors. SRM waste is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which denes it as, “The skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia (nerves attached to the brain), eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (nerves attached to the spinal cord) of cattle aged 30 months or older; and the distal ileum (portion of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages.” Greater record-checking by the CFIA this year has required meat plants to invest in more sophisticated weighing equipment and upgraded interim storage facilities at an added cost, Woodbury explains. Tighter regulation compounds the challenges posed by an ongoing lack of disposal options in BC. “Very few landlls allow disposal of SRM and even fewer abattoirs have a permit to bury SRMs on their property,” Woodbury explains. “A lot of SRM gets trucked to Alberta either by West Coast Reduction, by the abattoir operator themselves, or an approved third-party trucker.” But that is not cost- eective for everyone. BCAA members in the East Kootenays drive it east themselves, Woodbury notes. Up to $40,000 The new funding program will be administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. It provides up to $40,000 per applicant to cover half the cost of projects including composting systems, cold storage and transport systems specically for livestock waste tissue and infrastructure upgrades directly related to livestock waste tissue disposal systems. “The project funding is not limited to SRMs, but includes all slaughter waste,” Woodbury notes. “Of course, dealing with SRMs would be a high priority for funding.” Woodbury says most of her members will be applying. “One processor I know hopes to fund new weighing, storage and transport infrastructure so he can dispose at his local landll,” she says. “I am talking to another group who are interested in a compost system for non-SRM waste.” SRMs do not break down with composting and must be incinerated; the plant West Coast Reduction operates in Alberta is a co-generation plant. However, a co-generation plant is expensive and there aren’t enough processors in BC generating SRMs to make such a plant cost-eective. All licensed abattoirs located in BC are eligible to apply for the funding, as well as BC processors handling SRM, not-for-prot organizations representing the abattoir and livestock sectors and Indigenous organizations with direct connections to abattoirs and meat processors. Raquel Kolof recently completed a Class D facility to process her own animals at Hough Heritage Farm on the Sunshine Coast. The 10-acre farm is a diversied operation with chickens, Icelandic sheep, Berkshire pigs and a couple of Dexter cattle. Kolof is president of the Sunshine Coast Farmers Institute and a member of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. Kolof credits IAFBC support through the federal Emergency Processing Fund for helping her get the plant built and she’ll be applying under the new funding program to help her deal with tissue waste. “Tissue waste is a real barrier for a small-scale on-farm processing operation,” she says. “It smells, it attracts wildlife and any leachate causes problems.” Kolof is looking to purchase an Earth Cube, a small in-vessel hot composting system developed by Green Mountain Technologies on Bainbridge Island in Washington, to handle her tissue waste. She’ll still have to nd a way to dispose of the SRMs when she’s ready to slaughter her cattle. “I’ll be able to turn my waste into soil, which for me is a key part of the regenerative agriculture that I practice,” says Kolof. “These IAFBC dollars have made the world of dierence to me as a small-scale farmer.” Proudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us email@example.comCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333
22 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Ranchers threaten litigation over treaty negotiationsGovernments refuse to disclose impact on ranchers, communitiesCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 23 THE HE BREED YOU CAN TRUST BrBrititish ish Cololumbiabia BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 * Fer琀lity * Eciency * Longevity * www.bcbchehereforord.ca BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 by TOM WALKER WILLIAMS LAKE – BC ranchers are threatening to sue for a seat at the negotiating table to make sure the federal and provincial governments consider their interests as treaty negotiations continue with First Nations in the Cariboo. “We need a seat at the negotiating table no matter what,” says Felix Schellenberg, owner of Rafter 24 ranch in Redstone, BC. Together with three other ranchers, Schellenberg is prepared to take court action in order to give ranchers a voice. “If it is litigation that will get us there, then we will have to do that,” he says. Two sets of negotiations are taking place in the region. One is working out the Gwets’en Nilt’i Pathway Agreement that outlines the transition to Tsilhqot’in Nation governance over 1,750 square kilometres west of Williams Lake as the result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014. The second is the treaty negotiations with the Northern Secwēpemc te Qelmūcw (NStQ). Schellenberg says Cariboo residents are totally in the dark about the NStQ negotiations. “We have been working on this for over six years,” says Schellenberg. “Members of the public, the tourism industry and agriculture have sent hundreds of letters, but both levels of government refuse to respond in a meaningful way.” This doesn’t sit well with Schellenberg, who notes that ranchers are some of the largest employers in the Cariboo. “These are elected politicians supposedly representing everyone’s interests,” he notes. “When they refuse to communicate, you really start questioning the whole system.” Long-standing concern The issue is a long-standing concern of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “We have been told that we do not need representation at the negotiating tables,” says Grant Human, past chair of the Indigenous Aairs Committee of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “There is no transparency and it is dicult to trust that our interests are taken into account.” Human notes that the two negotiation processes are dierent. Negotiations with the Tsilhqot’in Nation are the result of a court order declaring Aboriginal title in favour of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. The negotiations are working out the details. “As they are wont to do, the court did not give any direction to the Crown or First Nations as to how the particulars of the settlement would be carried out,” says Human. “To my knowledge, no one from the ranching community has been privy to those meetings.” Ranchers aren’t the only ones aected by the Tsilhqot’in decision. “There are a lot of other users and landowners in the area,” notes Human. “Lodge owners, guide outtters and trappers all have Crown tenure licences within the area.” At the same time, treaty negotiations with the NStQ are now at the fth stage of negotiation as part of the ongoing treaty process with the provincial and federal governments. At the annual meeting of the BCCA last year, NStQ representatives explained that they are asking for 82,000 acres of treaty settlement lands for which they will receive full ownership. Approximately 80% of that area has some form of grazing licence or tenure. “We have requested to audit the NStQ negotiations but that has never been granted,” Human says. “We have been told we don’t need a representative there, that the federal and provincial governments represent us. But is someone looking after rancher’s futures?” Without representation, cattlemen have no idea how talks are proceeding and no way to gauge possible outcomes. This goes against everything else involved in a rancher’s business, says Cordy Cox, president of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association. “Ranchers manage risk every day of the year as part of their business,” says Cox. “Whether it is the weather and grass quality, animal health, sales gures, the futures market or the Canadian dollar, risk mitigation is key.” Without any indication of See TREATY on next page oemail: firstname.lastname@example.org: email@example.com 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.Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, Don and Leslie Richardson of Richardson Ranch on Haida Gwaii had pretty much perfected both social distancing and online production sales. Their 11th annual online sale for Tlell Polled Herefords, September 19-20, once again transcended borders with cattle and embryo sales across the country and even to Germany. High seller was bred heifer Tlell 1Z Gwaii Girl 2G, above, who sold to Alden and Colleen Voth of Vanderhoof for $4,500.00. The high selling bull calf, Tlell 617D Hardcopy 6H, sold to Sheila and Martin Solmonson, also of Vanderhoof, for $3,700.00, and the high selling heifer calf, Tlell 6520 Marlie ET 4H, is Alberta bound, selling for $2,500.00 to Kevin Schaub of Leduc County. In all, 16 head from the Tlell herd and guest consignor Copper-T Ranch averaged $2,956.00. PHOTO / SUBMITTEDSweet sale
24 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCthe direction negotiations are taking, ranchers can’t make long-term business plans. “We don’t know if we will have a grazing tenure; we don’t know if we will have water rights; we don’t know if we will have access,” Cox notes. Those points are all considerations for the long-term viability of a ranch, Cox says. “A ranch is not worth much without grazing licences or water,” she points out. “This lack of information about the negotiations is extremely frustrating to ranchers. People are scared for their future.” Both Human and Cox point the nger at governments. “Our concern is not with the First Nations,” says Cox. “We live and work beside one another all across the Cariboo and they have told us that they want us at the table.” TREATY nfrom pg 23FAST, COMPLETE MIXING AND PROCESSING INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordCountry TractorArmstrongCountry TractorKamloopsVisit your localBritish ColumbiaKUHN Dealer today!VT 100 GII SERIES VERTICAL MAXX®TWIN-AUGER MIXERS (truck, trailer and stationary models)• Ef昀cient mixing chamber promotes a fast, complete mix• Advanced auger design for superior feed movement and auger clean off• Rugged front and side conveyors (belt or chain & slat) for reliable service and long life• Front, side and rear discharge options offer maximum versatility320 – 760 cu. ft. mixing capacitiesby TOM WALKER WILLIAMS LAKE – The Supreme Court of Canada decision that recognized the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s claim of Aboriginal title over approximately 1,750 square kilometres west of Williams Lake also gave the region’s ranchers, lodge operators, guide outtters and trappers a new landlord. The decision means Crown land in the area is now held by the First Nation, putting existing tenure holders in limbo. “No one is questioning the fact it is their land to do as they see t,” says Grant Human, who is familiar with the situation through his work as past chair of the Indigenous aairs committee of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “But what is the future for those businesses? Will they be able to continue to have access to their former tenures? And if not, will there be compensation?” There are certainly funds available. The federal government is providing $55 million for Tsilhqot’in capacity building and transition as part of its recognition of Aboriginal title over the lands. “We have always gone by the principle of willing seller, willing buyer,” says Human. “I think the lodge owners might be interested in being bought out because they don’t think there is a future there for them.” But that isn’t true for ranchers in the area, he says. “For a lot of ranchers, cash compensation is not what they are looking for. They are looking for an ability to remain on their place but have some kind of access to grazing,” he explains. For the last six years, ranchers have been granted temporary extensions of their Crown tenures, but they have no indication if extensions will continue as they are not privy to any of the negotiations. “For a lot of ranchers, being bought out would not be a solution of choice,” says Human. “When it has been your home for 75 years, you have invested in ranch buildings and range infrastructure, developed a herd that knows and is suited to the environment, how do you replace that?” Yet when two neighbours can sit down and work things out, excellent things can happen. Cordy Cox, president of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association, says an example is the Xatśūll First Nation (Soda Creek band), which recently negotiated to purchase Carpenter Mountain Ranch with provincial funds. “They did it on their own says Cox. “The rancher and the band worked it out between themselves.” The Soda Creek Band is part of the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ), which is in stage 5 of the treaty process and are also seeking a large area of title lands in the Cariboo. The province purchased the ranch, along with its Crown land range tenure, cattle, hay and equipment for $8 million. It is leasing the ranch to Xatśūll First Nation until a treaty is reached, at which point ownership will transfer to the nation. The purchase agreement also includes provision for a grant towards the operating costs for the ranch’s rst year. The purchase includes 3,890 acres of deeded land, 280 acres of additional pasture, more than 500 head of cattle, extensive outbuildings and two residences. The working ranch has 1,200 acres of hay production and plenty of irrigation. —Tom Walker Ranchers seek compensation for Chilcotin land lossesWilling seller, willing buyer doesn’t always apply“For a lot of ranchers, being bought out would not be a solution of choice. When it has been your home for 75 years ... how do you replace that?” GRANT HUFFMANwww.tjequipmentllc.com 360-815-1597 LYNDEN, WA ALL PRICES IN US FUNDS2006 JD 5325 2WD, 67 HP, 5906 HOURS, 3 REMOTES, 55 PTO HP $19,9002001 NH LS180 W/ BUCKET 67 HP, HYDRO, 3885 HOURS $17,900EVERGREEN WATER MASTER W/ 4.1" X 1320' HOSE, HONDA, TRIPLE AXLE...$18,5002016 MCHALE V660 VARIABLE CHAMBER, 11,000 BALES, ALL NEW CHAINS $42,000
Ranching in the blood: Renee Ardill, left, and granddaughter-in-law Karen McKean nd horses are still the best way to get around their family's ranch in the Peace, established in 1920. The province recently recognized it as a Century Farm, one of ve so honoured this year. SUBMITTED PHOTO COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 25by MARGARET EVANS FORT ST. JOHN – The Ardill family is celebrating 100 years of ranching in British Columbia this year. They have been raising cattle in the Fort St. John area since 1920 where they run 350 Hereford cows in a cow/calf operation, 50 bulls and 30 working Quarter Horses on 36 sections. In recognition of their contribution and dedication to BC agriculture, the family was presented with the Century Farm award. Jack Ardill was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada in 1909 at the age of 19. “He worked in Cache Creek as a surveyor for a while,” says Renee Ardill, Jack’s granddaughter who now manages the ranch. “He joined the Canadian Army, served in World War I, and was wounded. While recovering he met his wife [Betty] and returned to Canada in 1919. He had heard about the Peace River country from a friend who told him that if he survived the war he should go to the Peace.” On their return, they settled in Hudson’s Hope, then moved to Edmonton where their rst son, John, was born in February 1920. That spring, Jack scouted for land in the Peace and found his dream. On May 6, 1920, Jack and Betty led a Homestead and Soldiers Grant for the ranch location, bringing with them the essentials for homesteading that included a team of horses, a cow and calf, some chickens, a plow, a mowing machine and rake, some furniture, a tent and a year's grubstake (materials and provisions). “The homestead grant and the soldier’s grant (for World War I soldiers) were each a quarter section,” said Renee. “They started out with a half section. They built ranch boundaries. Other homesteaders came in the 1930s and 1940s, but a bunch of them didn’t stay. The reality was dierent to what they expected. Homesteading was no picnic. Some were men who left their families, came here, and then brought the wife in. She looked around and said, ‘No way.’ “There were many reasons they moved out. Grandpa bought them out when they left. They were opportunities that presented themselves. But a big chunk of the sections is the grazing lease.” Over time, Jack and Betty welcomed their daughter Betty and sons Richard (Dick) and Tom. Today, the ranch is still family-run and is almost entirely self-sucient for food for both the home and livestock. Approximately 60% of the total feed supply is put up as grain and hay silage while the balance is round bales. Horses remain an essential part of ranch life. Some of the rst Quarter Horses in the area were brought to the ranch from the Edmonton area and they are the go-to transport to access summer ranges, manage cattle, range patrol, salt packing, and the fall gather. Dick, along with wife Irene, took over from Jack as ranch manager in the early 1960s, but retired about 10 years ago. John also lived and worked at the ranch with his wife Beth until his death in 1996. Renee, Dick’s oldest daughter, has taken over the ranch manager role and lives and works at the ranch along with family members Karen McKean (her granddaughter-in-law), Don Ardill (grandson) and Sorrel Schroeder (great-grandson). In addition, Renee is president of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. To an outsider, a rancher’s wealth is in cattle. But ask any rancher how they dene wealth and they’ll tell you it’s the grassland. “The land is everything,” says Renee. “It’s hard to describe your connection. Everything revolves around the land. I have a friend who visits. It was calving time. I kept looking for the rst tiny signs of growth. She wondered what all the fuss was about, then said, ‘I suppose grass is pretty important.’ I told her it’s everything. Without grass you have nothing.” Going forward, Rene believes the cattle industry has a good future. But sometimes pressure comes from urban people who do not understand the industry, the nature of cattle or their environmental value. “They think cows are bad but [the grazing habits of] cows are really good for the land,” she says. “We are trying to change those misperceptions.” Dick Ardill, Renee’s father, says he is very grateful the ranch is still in family hands. “I’m thankful the family wants to ranch,” he says. “Although it may not be an easy life, it’s a good life.” Ardill Ranch receives Century Farm awardRanching has delivered a good life to the Ardills since 1920B.C. is known for its great food and wine. We’re known as the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food. And we’re behind you every step of the way, with ﬁnancing and knowledge to help you achieve your dreams.Looking to grow or expand? Let’s talk. 1-800-387-3232 | fcc.caBehind Canadian food? We’re behind you.DREAM. GROW. THRIVE.Century Farm awards honour farm organizations that have been active for a century or longer as well as pioneers whose farms and ranches have been in families for 100 years or more. Other farms that received the award this year include Evans Farms just north of Dawson Creek, Darby Farm near Stamp Falls Provincial Park, Miller Farms in Pemberton Meadows and Bailey Farm in the Nechako Valley. —Margaret Evans The long haulHave 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!
26 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCattle have had a bad rap in recent years, allegedly belching methane into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. But cattle have a great deal more to oer than meat and gas. Their grazing, holistically managed, can contribute to soil health that in turn is reected in deeper topsoil, greater natural forage, healthy biodiversity, elimination of bare ground and erosion, and more resilience to drought, oods and extremes of weather. And, as a bonus, healthy deep soils foster carbon sequestration (a process in which carbon dioxide is transferred from the atmosphere into the soil via plants), helping mitigate climate change, the very condition cattle are accused of contributing to in the rst place. Today, more and more ranchers are appreciating that a sustainable approach to grazing cattle is the foundation of what’s now known as regenerative ranching, a set of practices that aims to rebuild ecological processes and reduce ranchers’ reliance on chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, among other inputs. A recent study by researchers at Oregon State University sought to understand ranchers’ motivations and interests in regenerative agriculture practices. “While some science suggests that regenerative ranching can result in climate change mitigation through carbon drawdown into soils, that is not usually the driving factor behind ranchers’ decisions to adopt the practice,” said Hannah Gosnell, a geography professor studying the human dimensions of climate change in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU. Because ranchers using regenerative practices were not dependent on expensive chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, she said they were less vulnerable to nancial pressures which, in turn, increased their resilience. Improved water retention, soil fertility and other benets motivate ranchers to continue to use the regenerative approach once they have adopted it through what she calls self-amplifying positive feedbacks. Benefits and challenges To understand cattle managers’ motivations and interests in this practice, Gosnell’s team interviewed ranchers in the US and Australia about their perceived benets and challenges. They found that the transition to practicing full regenerative ranching was often more dicult than rst envisioned given that the farmers needed to have not only an understanding of ecosystem processes but also to shift to a new set of management tools or procedures. But, for practical reasons, farmers needed to see a direct benet back to them at the farm management level. According to those interviewed, the most frequent benets were the increase and quality of deep ground cover, greater forage production, improved water retention and resilience to challenges like droughts and oods. Because the practice allowed them to cease or at least reduce dependence on chemical applications, there was a nancial gain which, in turn, fostered condence to continue with regenerative practices. “As a result of their new practices, ranchers see less bare ground, more native perennials, more biodiversity and more forage for their cattle, all without use of chemicals,” said Gosnell. “This inspires them to continue with regenerative practices, which then leads to more ecological improvement, better economic returns and more positive feedback.” In the Kamloops area, Percy Folkard runs a 100-head cow-calf operation on his Duckhill Ranch and manages the land through regenerative ranching. “I manage the land with as low input and low intensity as possible to move animals around and build soil as fast as I can,” said Folkard. “I have hilly, rocky, very poor productive land for haying, but I have wonderful soils after a couple of years of converting the ranch to grazing. I have not bought any chemical products, ever. I have lush orchard grass all year long.” Gosnell said that more than a third of the planet’s ice-free land surface is used for livestock grazing, an essential livelihood for millions of farmers. But conventional practice is considered a source of greenhouse gas emissions. With increased soil health and the potential to boost carbon sequestration, ranchers can both mitigate and adapt to climate change in the future. “There are about a dozen or more ranchers who are doing interesting things and we are all kind of learning together as we go through this,” said Folkard. “We are pushing for soil health in our area, sharing what we are doing, and getting a baseline for carbon in our soil, for example. We have a lot of Indigenous communities that had regenerative food systems before we came along with our colonialized model and we are seeing a lot of their values and their philosophies aligning with regenerative principles in food systems. You’re thinking of the landscape as a whole. It’s a big vision. It takes science to get there but there is a movement in that direction.” The OSU study was published in The Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Regenerative ranching counters climate changeCattle not only belch greenhouse gases, they can help sequester them, tooResearch by MARGARET EVANSConvenience in your pocket!BCAC FARMER ID CARDCONTACT US Visit bcac.ca | Call 1 866 522 3447 | Email firstname.lastname@example.orgEasy to use Use your Farmer ID Card to show proof of farm status. Exclusive bene昀ts and savings chosen for farmersAccess discounts and savings on farm insurance, fencing, vehicles, marked fuel, clothing, hotel bookings, car rentals and more!Saves you time and moneyThe only government recognized ID card for farmers in BC. Flash your Card when purchasing goods to save immediately on PST eligible products.WHY GET A CARD?
Cousins Corne, left, and Paul Moerman grew up and into the family’s greenhouse operation. When they ofcially joined the business, they started a grading and packing business and now grow, grade and sell their peppers under the Windset Farm label. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 27by MYRNA STARK LEADER SURREY – With locations in Surrey and Delta, Sunnyside Produce Ltd. has steadily grown its greenhouse pepper operation to more than 70 acres in the past 25 years. With annual production of more than 10,000 tonnes, it’s among the largest pepper producers in BC. It’s a notable achievement for what began as a ve-acre operation established by cousins Jos and Bram Moerman. The business is still family-run but a succession planning exercise in 2017 has brought Jos’s son Corne and Bram’s son Paul on board. The younger cousins are set to take over the entire operation in three years, cementing their place as fourth-generation growers. Jos and Bram Moerman each owned half of separate greenhouses in Holland. Both of them sold to their partners and moved to start life in Canada, initially setting up a greenhouse in Abbotsford in 1996. “They wanted a new opportunity and a change of lifestyle,” says Corne who was 10 at the time. “Holland has a dense population and trac jams…There was another family from Holland that had moved to BC so they visited them and decided to move.” Sunnyside Produce, as it’s known today, grew steadily. It relocated to Surrey in 2006, then in 2012 opened another location in Delta. “We added 14 acres [of ] new greenhouses in 2018 and planned for this year’s expansion of another 14 long before COVID-19 so, luckily, everything is going as planned,” says Corne. It wasn’t a surprise when Corne got involved in growing early on. Both his grandfather and the great-grandfather he and Paul share were in the greenhouse business. “Every holiday, pro-d day o school, Christmas, or if we didn’t do a family vacation, we were always working on the farm,” he says. “We had a roadside stand and dad gave me a few rows of tomatoes at the beginning of the season and I was responsible for all the work with those plants.” Suspecting he may like to continue the family greenhouse tradition, he went to Holland after high school. For six months, he worked for three dierent greenhouses. “That’s where I realized that this is what I want to do. There’s something new going on every day,” says Corne, now 33. He joined the family business in 2008, along with his cousin, after attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University for two years. Succession done right While their fathers focused on the production side, Corne and Paul were given the responsibility of starting a pepper grading and packing business. Previously, all their product had gone to BC Hot House. They began grading for themselves and then for others under the name Sunnyside Grading. “We hired our own labour and leased the business from our fathers. That’s how we learned the business side,” explains Paul, who is also 33. That business and two others were eventually folded into today’s single company which produces and grades peppers for the Canadian and US markets. They’re sold by Windset Farms. While it’s important to feed Canadians, Corne estimates about 60% of their production goes to the far larger US market in California. In 2020, to continue to diversify the operation, along with bell and mini pointed peppers, they started growing red, orange and chocolate-coloured sweet tooth peppers. The long narrow peppers have the highest sugar content of any sweet pepper. They’re a hit with consumers and garner a higher price, oering more stable returns. There’s less price uctuation than with bell peppers and the dierent products work well together. For example, mini pointed peppers produce more steadily, compared to the full-size bells. This helps even out bell production which shifts between weeks of huge production followed by slower growing times. But smaller peppers are also more work. More peppers means more hand-picking. To meet labour needs during peak times, the company employs about 80 full-time workers from Mexico, 60 local contract labourers and 20 hired sta. Foreign workers are hired through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, which Sunnyside has participated in for 13 years, starting with two employees. Normally, these workers arrive in mid-March, mid-April and mid-May and stay for eight months. This year’s rst arrivals were delayed by about a month due to COVID-19 A new generation keeps the family greenhouse growingSilagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | ofﬁce@silagrow.comMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain SeedVisGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsProtection NetsSALMON ARM 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. SURREY 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of BCtravel restrictions. However, their returning workers were ready with the necessary paperwork when charter ights were allowed to land in April. “We really rely on them. They aren’t just doing the simple roles anymore. They have computer jobs and are forklift operators,” Paul explains. Replacing human labour with technology like harvesting robots may be considered in the future but right now robots are still too slow. They also require See GOOD on next page oCorne and Paul Moerman among Canada’s top young growers1-888-770-7333BILL AWMACK
GOOD succession planning makes greenhouse expansion worthwhile nfrom page 2728 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCgreenhouses to be congured a certain way for optimal benets. “I went to Yakima in early January to visit one of the newest/biggest apple facilities and to see where our boxes are being produced. They had some cool machinery and it’s really impressive, but you have to be a certain size for the purchase to make nancial sense. Our equipment is mostly from 2008,” says Corne. The family is excited for completion of the latest addition, hoping it will yield the same production and quality peppers grown in their 2018 expansion. That build also included new oce space and additional foreign worker housing – all of it paid for with company earnings and bank nancing. Similar to breaking new ground for expansion, the family members have also had to cultivate their working relationships through succession. Corne’s dad went out on his own from his father much sooner than Corne has so it’s been a learning process. Today, each of the fathers and sons has their own responsibilities and tasks, enabling each to have individual identities in the company. However, they keep the lines of communication open by holding a group meeting every two weeks, whether there are two items to discuss or 10. “You need to make the time even though everyone is busy,” Corne stresses. “These meetings help us to be on the same page, focus on things like long-term goals, while staying out of each other’s way day-to-day.” Community outreach While internal communication may be key, the owners also believe in educating the community. They host school tours and an annual open house to encourage the public to learn where their food originates. They’re regular participants in the annual BC Greenhouse Veggie Days promotion, but this year they participated in a video series instead. “We show people inside the greenhouse, the boiler room, the irrigation room and we try to answer all their questions,” says Corne. “It’s rewarding for us to see people who are interested and want to know more.” As for the future generation, Corne’s daughters, age 2 and 5, already spend time in the greenhouse, but it’s still too early to tell if they’ll carry on the family tradition. His brother and sister weren’t interested. Asked if he ever gets sick of eating peppers, Corne replies, “To be honest, I probably don’t eat enough.” HIGH EFFICIENCY. HIGH ACREAGE. HIGH YIELDS. LOOK TO LEMKENRUBIN 10 – its superior clearance and 25” discs allow the Rubin 10 to work and control a greater amount of organic matter. Its symmetrical arrangement of discs is unique in the industry and ensures work in a straight line without any lateral oset. Working in a straight line saves fuel and optimizes GPS guidance.@strategictill | lemken.ca(604) 864-2273caliberequipment.ca(250) 938-0076agrigem.comVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD(604) 463-3681vanderwaleq.com0% Financing. Certain Conditions ApplyKwantlen Polytechnic University instructor Gary Jones was instrumental in cousins Corne, left, and Paul Moerman being named one of the Four under Forty greenhouse growers in Canada. Jones got to know the family when Corne attended KPU’s greenhouse vegetable production program. Both honoured and humbled by the award, Corne says it feels good when people you don’t know recognize your work. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 29Hazelnut growers on the lookout for invasive stink bugAnnual surveys have found the bug throughout the Fraser ValleyServing 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 250-838-6414by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER CHILLIWACK – After ve years leading the organization and the industry through the rebuilding process that followed Eastern Filbert Blight, outgoing president Neal teBrinke passed the gavel to Steve Hope during the annual general meeting of the BC Hazelnut Growers Association on September 15. Hope is fairly new to the hazelnut industry but has been very involved for the past six years as one of the owners of Fraser Valley Hazelnuts, a receiving station, processor and grower in Chilliwack. Hope has a background in sales and marketing and is looking to move the organization forward as the grower base broadens beyond the Fraser Valley and adopts new technologies. Two projects the organization plans to pursue include establishing a coordinator position to bring extra value and outreach to members, and a virtual eld day. The eld day will take the form of a video series with topics of timely interest to members. “The video series will be viewable any time,” says Hope. “We are going to use technology in place to help us reach our goals moving forward and to provide a meeting place for everybody.” BC Ministry of Agriculture hazelnut industry specialist Karina Sakalauskas reported that the nal intake for the BC Hazelnut Renewal Program received 11 applications for the fall planting. These included applications for removing old trees and some for replanting with new varieties. The meeting was held via videoconference and attracted members from as far away as Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER ABBOTSFORD – Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) are in many hazelnut orchards in Oregon and processors are reporting damage to the nut, according to Nik Wiman, an entomologist and orchard extension specialist at Oregon State University who discussed the risks BC growers face at the Pacic Agricultural Show in Abbotsford last January. “BMSB feeds through the hard shell, right into the nut,” says Wiman. “It is something to look out for.” BC Ministry of Agriculture entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser is doing just that. Hueppelsheuser and her team from the Plant and Animal Health Branch have been looking for BMSB on Fraser Valley hazelnut farms. The pest, native to Asia, was rst seen in Oregon in 2004 and spotted in Chilliwack and the Okanagan in 2015. To scout for BMSB, sticky traps baited with pheromones were set out in 2019 from May to September in 12 locations from Abbotsford to Agassiz and checked regularly. When bugs were found in traps, “beat sheets” were used to look for adults and nymphs in summer and fall. Nuts were collected on three dates in September from two orchards that had BMSB activity. “We found BMSB present in all of the areas we checked, but not all of the farms had BMSB on the traps,” says Hueppelsheuser. “On some farms we found nymphs, indicating that the bugs are established there. Two elds had enough nuts for us to collect and evaluate for suspect damage. We did nd that 1% to 6% of the nuts had some ‘corking,’ which looks similar to what we expect the BMSB damage to look like.” The province continues to survey for BMSB in hazelnut orchards, and is evaluating nuts for damage. “We are concerned that damage could increase in the next few years in BC,” says Hueppelsheuser. One hope is that the Samurai wasp, a natural predator of BMSB, may help to naturally control this damaging invader. The Samurai wasp was accidentally introduced as well, and was rst recorded in Vancouver, Washington in 2015, Portland, Oregon in 2016, and Chilliwack in 2018. There are eorts underway by both Hueppelsheuser and federal researcher Paul Abram of the Agassiz Research and Development Centre to nd and propagate the wasp. Abram is the lead on the importation of the Samurai wasp as a biological control agent. Hueppelsheuser is also on the watch for lbertworm, trapping and looking for larval damage in nuts. “Luckily, we did not nd any, which is good news” she says. “This insect does occur in BC but has not ever caused signicant problems to BC hazelnuts that I am aware of. It is a signicant pest in Oregon.” New president for BC HazelnutGreater outreach on the agenda for futureAs we see it, you’re all about getting the job done, quickly and productively. Meet the Massey Ferguson® 8700 Series of practical, hardworking tractors. It starts with an AGCO PowerTM engine designed to deliver up to 400 boosted engine horsepower. Combined with our Dyna-VTTM, the world’s most advanced continuously variable transmission, you’ll put more power to the ground, using less fuel. Then, add our simple, intuitive Datatronic 5 control center, and you’ve got a tractor that’s built to work — and think — like you do.IF POWER AND TECHNOLOGY MATTER TO YOU, THIS IS YOUR NEXT TRACTOR.masseyferguson.usQuality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com BOBCAT 5600 TOOL CARRIER . . . . 32,000 FELLA 800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,500 FORD 6610 CAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,500 JCB 409 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47,000 JD 770 4WD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,000 KUHN 4002 POWER HARROW . .12,500 KUHN FC313 MOWER TG . . . . . 20,000 x2 KVERNELAND AB85 4 BOT PLOWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,000 ea KUBOTA BX2200 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 KVERNELAND 4032 MOWER . . 16,000 MCCORMICK GX45 4WD . . . . . . . CALL MF 1754 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMING MF 6616 4WD LDR . . . . . . . . . . . .95,000 NEW HOLLAND TM150 . . . . . . . 47,000 NEW HOLLAND TS 115 . . . . . . . 25,000 SUNFLOWER 7232 23’ HARROW 17,500 TYCROP DUMP BOX 14’ . . . . . . . 9,500 NOW A FULL-LINE MASSEY DEALER
30 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCARMSTRONG HORNBY EQUIPMENT ACP 250-546-3033 CHILLIWACK ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-792-1301 CHEMAINUS ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-246-1203 FORT ST JOHN BUTLER FARM EQUIPMENT LTD 250-785-1800 KELOWNA ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-765-8266 LANGLEY ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-533-0048 WILLIAMS LAKE GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-392-4024 VANDERHOOF GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-567-4446COMMITTED TO AGRICULTURE in the FRASER VALLEY CHILLIWACK: 44725 YALE RD WEST 604-792-1301 | rollinsmachinery.com© 2020 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. New Holland is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afﬁliates.Redesigned. Restyled. Ready for what’s next.New Holland T6 Series tractors are heavy-duty, all-purpose tractors that give you more of what you need—and then some. T6 performance and comfort features really add up. More power with faster response from ef昀cient Tier 4B engines. More visibility from the Horizon™ cab. More comfort and a quieter ride with the Comfort Ride™ cab suspension. And more speed selections for the job at hand, thanks to a choice of three transmissions. Be ready for what’s next in farming with the redesigned T6 tractor. Stop by today or visit newholland.com to learn more. ARMSTRONG HORNBY EQUIPMENT ACP 250-546-3033 CHILLIWACK ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-792-1301 CHEMAINUS ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-246-1203 FORT ST JOHN BUTLER FARM EQUIPMENT LTD 250-785-1800 KELOWNA ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-765-8266 LANGLEY ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-533-0048 WILLIAMS LAKE GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-392-4024 VANDERHOOF GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-567-4446COMMITTED TO AGRICULTURE in the FRASER VALLEY CHILLIWACK: 44725 YALE RD WEST 604-792-1301 | rollinsmachinery.com
Trading nancial stability for quality of life, Chelsea and James Keenan relocated their young family from the Lower Mainland to 35 acres outside of Salmon Arm to start a new farm business that meets the demand of consumers interested in buying local. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 31by JACKIE PEARASE SALMON ARM – When Chelsea and James Keenan traded city life for farm life four years ago, the plan was to provide easy access to the fruits of their labour. “We knew we had to make the farm convenient to people because it’s just the way the world is going. You can order pretty much anything to your door. You have to be able to catch those people now. We had to make it as convenient as possible,” explains James of Keenan Family Farms’ vision. While still in their early 30s with four children under the age of ve, the couple left Surrey and bought 35 acres of forested, hilly property in the Yankee Flats area south of Salmon Arm. They are now raising ve children alongside laying hens, sheep and pigs while building and improving the farm. “This style of farm – pasture-raised animals – was a niche we knew we could get into and that we knew we could excel in based on the amount of work we would be able to put into it. Knowing that it wasn’t going to be easy but that we were up for it,” says Chelsea. They came to farm life with no experience, just information from books and a desire to provide their family with a dierent lifestyle. James was working long hours as a supervisor and Chelsea found it dicult raising a large family in the city. The sold everything, left a good paying job, family and friends and embraced the unknown. “Our No. 1 priority was to be together and raise our family together and teach our kids about what it takes to live, to survive, to work,” Chelsea says. “I guess our driving factor was raising our family somewhere with intention.” “And we needed space,” adds James. “I just traded seven days a week for eight days a week, basically.” The sale of a rental apartment in New Westminster covered the majority of the purchase price and, with savings in hand, they set out a two-year plan to get the farm up and running. They started with pasture-raised broiler chickens – a plan they do not recommend to new farmers – before settling on eggs alongside pork and lamb sales. Now going into year ve, land covered with sulphur cinquefoil has been improved using sheep to eat the noxious weed, pigs to dig up the soil after and chickens to fertilize it. “With the pigs, the chickens and the sheep, we’ve been able to sustain some growth and I think next year is when we really will see the fruits of the trial,” Chelsea says. “We want to improve the land, we want to raise meat for our community and we want to do it together as a family.” Learning from their mistakes and seeking advice from other farmers, the couple have created a farm and lifestyle they are proud of. They have traded nancial stability for quality of life. “We’re not going to get rich o this farm but we are rich in life skills and laughter, whether we’re laughing at ourselves or each other. It’s such a good lifestyle for families,” notes Chelsea. “The long term of it is we learn something. We’ve learned so much already but that we learn together, we live together, we do life together.” They have forged a network of friendships with other young farmers that has helped them learn and nd their spot in agriculture. “Exchanging information is huge within the farming community,” Chelsea says. “I don’t nd there is that competition factor. The pie is big enough for us all to take a piece and the more we can collaborate with each other, I think that’s good.” With a background in software development, Chelsea quickly established an online presence with a website and social media followers on Facebook and Instagram. First-gen farmers plot a vision for successwww.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onBALEWRAPPERSSPREADERSSILAGE BLADES BALE PROCESSORSWrap up yoursavings with low rate ﬁnancing.Visit us online for program details.Young farmers use online presence for marketingSee FARM on next page o“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 email@example.com
FARM has expansion plans nfrom page 3132 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThese eorts put them in a good place this year when the pandemic hit and agricultural producers were scrambling to nd ways to sell their products. “We are farming like the old guys but we’re also trying to keep up to the future of click-and-get,” explains Chelsea. “We were already doing delivery, we already had an online store, we already had the details sorted out.” Those details include an egg delivery program for 100 dozen eggs every two weeks for Salmon Arm customers and meat ordered online and delivered to the door in Salmon Arm and the Lower Mainland. About 70% of their product goes to the coast, with the remainder going to local delivery and farmers’ market customers. They have always sold out of stock since starting the farm but still hold back some product for their local farmers market customers. They hope to raise 200 pigs next year and a good working relationship with Rangeland Meats in Heey Creek allows them to book processing to the end of 2021. Plans also include building a winter shelter for the Berkshire, Tamworth and Duroc pigs that roam the forested portion of the property and another for the Dorper and Sussex sheep that graze about 28 acres of hillside pasture. A freezer room is in the works and James used his carpentry skills to construct a hay barn this year. They are ready to invest in farm infrastructure now, after four years of using duct tape and zap straps for construction, because they know what they want. “We hit a path where there is success in the future and we can invest in that success stream,” explains Chelsea. They say having their animals Certied Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World has helped them build a strong customer base. “That was important to us because it gave our consumers condence that, as a rst-generation farm, we’re not just winging it,” says Chelsea. “We’ve got a set of guidelines that we go by and those guidelines are researched.” Cross-breeding has strengthened their stock while pasture-raising and non-GMO feed results in tasty product that keeps people coming back. James says some long-time farmers think their prices are too high but he believes changes in farming and people’s relationship with food justify the price. “Everyone always paid so little because everyone knew a farmer but now you have to account for all the cost increases. More people are willing to spend the money on it,” he explains. “I think the old farmers, they could raise their prices, too.” The journey has been hard but the Keenans have no regrets about their choice. Chelsea says others wanting to make change need only take the leap of faith. “You’ve got to gure out a way to just jump in, give yourself a certain amount time to make the money and go from there,” she says. CASE IH MAXXUM 120 MFD, CAB TRACTOR W/LOADER $117,700 CLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12.5’ PICKUP & 6 ROW CORNHEAD $93,700 CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 10 ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 4000 4-ROTOR RAKE CALL FOR DETAILS FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR FRONT HITCH & PTO CALL FOR DETAILS X 2 FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS JD 8295R MFD CAB TRACTOR WITH DUALS $279,000 MERLO TELEHANDLER MF 40.7CS $134,900 NH 900 PT FORAGE HARVESTER WITH GRASS PICK UP $5,400 Pre-owned Tractors & Equipmentwww.caliberequipment.ca STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 SATURDAYS 8–NOON604-864-2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD Go with your gut. JAGUAR. These Berkshire pigs, as well as Tamworth and Duroc breeds, are among the livestock raised at Keenan Family Farms. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 33by MYRNA STARK LEADER SUMMERLAND – The new director of the federal government’s two research stations in BC has come full circle. “I wanted to end my career going back to my roots as a research scientist,” says Rachid El Had. Appointed research, development and technology director of the Agassiz and Summerland research stations in February after a seven-month hiring process, El Had has a world of relevant experience. He obtained a Master’s in Agricultural Sciences from L'Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in his native Morocco in 1989. As a young research scientist there, he focused on soil and water conservation as well as crop management. The topics remain highly relevant in BC 30 years later. “I was instrumental in the introduction of no-till to Morocco,” explains El Had over a Zoom call from his Summerland oce. In 1996, after leading the establishment of a state-of-the-art gene bank in Morocco, he pursued a doctorate in crop science, examining drought resistance in wheat at Colorado State University. Then, he travelled with his future wife to her home in Ecuador. There, he taught agronomy and horticulture at Universidad San Francisco, a private liberal arts institution in the capital city, Quito. The couple relocated to Canada in February 1999, landing in Edmonton on a shocking -31° C day, he recalls. He became a post-doctoral research associate working on forage crop agronomy at the University of Alberta. He led the rst northern Alberta crop diversication program at Beaverlodge, Agriculture Canada’s most northerly agricultural research station. “We did a lot to introduce crops like hemp, camelina, peas, lentils, fava bean and chickpeas to growers,” he says, mentioning Canada’s place as a top world pulse exporter with pride. Business development, market research and agriculture policy creation work followed. It included time at Western Economic Diversication in Edmonton where he gained program development and evaluation skills working on programs like Community Futures, Francophone Community Economic Development, Western Canada Business Service Network and the Women’s Enterprise Initiative. Then, Alberta’s agriculture New research director puts people firstEl Hafid envisions greater national roles for BC research centres1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COM Dale Howe 403-462-1975 | firstname.lastname@example.orgMFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTSBRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERSSTUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERSTREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVESdepartment drew him back. He spent seven years liaising directly with crop and livestock commodity groups on policy and regulatory issues. “That job really allowed me to understand the issues of the industry,” he comments. “As scientists, we need to keep our feet on the ground with farmers to really understand the issues.” While there, he also graduated with an MBA in International Business from the University of Alberta. Prior to landing in Summerland, he led the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade’s strategy development on clean technology. With a $225 million budget, his team developed six programs under the clean tech umbrella, enabling him to further broaden his networks in business, science and academia. With all his experiences, it’s no surprise El Had names continuous learning as one of his drivers. But equally, if not more important, he believes in relationship-building, collaboration, listening and partnerships. He’s ultra-approachable and frequently mentions specic scientists and their projects at his new centres during. “I believe in the team spirit and that we are here to help each other … everyone is important from the eldworker to the top scientist,” El Had explains. “I don’t compromise on quality and excellence in the work but I do my best to give people the support and the resources they need.” This approach commands the respect of his fellow scientists. “He’s compassionate and empathetic. He really trusts the scientists and solicits our input. He genuinely tries to understand the work that we do,” says entomology research scientist Chandra Moat, who works at Summerland. “He spent his rst month going to grower meetings and getting to know us,” she adds, saying a people-person as a See LONG-TERM on next page oRachid El Had is the new director of research, development and technology for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research stations in Agassiz and Summerland. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER1.800.282.7856 Find out more at terraseco.comFiXaTion CloverFrosty CloverCrimson CloverDC Red CloverHybrid CloverWinter PeasFiXaTion CloverFrosty CloverCrimson CloverDC Red CloverHybrid CloverWinter PeasTerra Seed Corp GROW YOUR OWN NITROGEN
LONG-TERM opportunities for Agassiz research station nfrom page 3334 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCleader is welcome, particularly in uncertain times. El Had had barely had the chance to warm his new chair when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing him to adjust operations to keep sta and collaborators safe. Summerland employs about 170 people and Agassiz approximately 90 people. All projects and activities that didn’t require physical presence in laboratories and elds continued from the pandemic’s onset. There has been a staggered approach for resuming projects requiring physical presence, starting rst by maintaining Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada land and infrastructure, followed by conducting time-sensitive eld research. The centres are only now reintegrating lab and greenhouse work into their operations, and these are happening in accordance with strict safety protocols. “I am really pleased with how we worked with industry through COVID,” says El Had of the cautious, pragmatic approach the centres implemented. “We kept the communication channels open. Everything we do here is 100% for agriculture. They understood where we are coming from, maintaining the safety of our team and also trying to keep advancing the science.” Now, as things begin to normalize, he sees himself refocusing on looking after the operations of two of the country’s 20 federal research centres across Canada and co-leading the national horticulture sector’s science strategy. The strategy is being developed in consultation with various internal and external stakeholders and is aimed at setting the directions and priorities for federal agricultural science and technology. “I am here to serve and to help not just sta but also our clients and the industry. I want to bring our uniqueness to the national stage. I want to build our reputation provincially, nationally and internationally,” says El Had, who seems a natural born marketer. One way to remain relevant is for scientists and researchers to share their stories more often, in words audiences relate to and understand. For example, scientists are now being asked to provide an easy-to-read, plain-language summary of their work to accompany their scientic reports. Another is inviting Summerland and Agassiz scientists to sit on or speak at national or international committees and conferences, or inviting senior ocials for visits to see the work occurring at the centres. It also means reaching out to his old networks and building new ones. In spite of COVID-19 and a bit of chaos, he’s already met with many key academics at UBC and industry players. He currently co-chairs three government-industry steering committees, including the Grape and Wine Cluster, the berry production group within the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association and the apple-cherry group of the BC Fruit Growers Association. He also sees long-term opportunities for Agassiz on the national stage. Given its unique location, he envisions further development as a centre for peri-urban agriculture excellence. El Had can see the model being adopted in other provinces. He names Alberta with cattle and Manitoba with pork production as examples where urban centres and agriculture are intersecting more often. He also sees opportunities for Summerland to continue as a centre of excellence for viticulture, a worldwide centre of excellence for cherry and apple breeding, and also in emerging elds such as bio-informatics, big data, and articial intelligence. El Had says his new job is a great blend of leadership, research, academia and agriculture. And he’s determined to nurture and strengthen relationships with the centre’s partners, particularly industry. “We can grow together by helping each other. My door is always open. If anyone wants to talk about opportunities, let’s make it work, let’s talk,” he says. ORDER MY21’S NOW, SAVE THOU$AND$ANNUAL FACTORY EARLY ORDER PROGRAMPRAIRIECOASTEQUIPMENT.COMTOLL FREE: 1-877-553-3373PRINCE GEORGE 250-561-4260 | KAMLOOPS 250-573-4412 | KELOWNA 250-765-9765 | CHILLIWACK 604-792-1516 | NANAIMO 778-441-3210STRATEGIC PURCHASINGLARGE SQUARE BALERSWINDROWERSTRIPLE MOUNTED MOWER CONDITIONERSSELF-PROPELLED FORAGE HARVESTERSRachid El Had’s approach to leadership is about nurturing relationships. “My door is always open,” he says. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER
Grant McMillan of Integrated Crop Management Services displays how a custom-made tarp cover can work to keep fresh-picked blueberries from overheating in the eld. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 35by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – Reective tarps created for use in the forestry industry rst made their way to cherries and are now nding their sweet spot with Fraser Valley blueberries to help improve quality. A study launched this year with funds from the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative set out to see if this relatively low-cost tool. It’s the rst widespread use of the tarps in the Fraser Valley and may be a solution to help growers address rising temperatures caused by climate change. The tarps keep berry temperature from increasing and may even help reduce it as the silver layer inside absorbs the heat. The heat moves through the tarp and is released through the white exterior layer. This prevents fruit from heating up while waiting for cooling, packing and processing. Tarps were provided free to growers to try them out. Grant McMillan, regional manager with Integrated Crop Management Services in Abbotsford, coordinated assessment of the tarps’ impact on blueberries. Key datapoints he’s collecting include fresh weights, dry weight and fruit temperatures with correlating daily temperatures. One of the rst things McMillan noted was the tarp, in its existing at sheet form, wasn’t as functional as it could be. “This year, we identied that a big at tarp is hard to deal with in the eld,” he says. This led to the creation of a pallet cover stitched like a toaster cover with four sides and a top. There are two sizes, one for seven layers of lug totes and one for four layers of lug totes. “As you’re picking the eld, you put [berries] on the pallet, then slip this on,” McMillan says of the pallet covers. Additionally, scraps of Reflective tarps piloted in FV blueberriesGrowers find multiple uses and formats can benefit fruit qualityfabric were used by the manufacturer, Vernon-based Bushpro Supplies Inc., to create individual lug covers for use by pickers in the eld. Alf Krause of Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery had the tarps previously, but only began using them regularly with development of the pallet covers. He sees the tarps as another tool in helping to improve blueberry quality. “I like them better than just the plain at ones. They’re easy to use,” he explains. “We always work hard to get [berries] out of the eld as fast as we can anyway, but things happen. It’s a nice [tool] to keep the quality. We don’t rely on these things but they are an aid.” He adds that keeping the tarps clean is important because they may touch the fruit. They can also serve additional purposes, such as keeping containers clean and protecting the fruit from rain. “It’s nice to cover your fruit so it doesn’t get environmental exposure,” he says. Functionality Some growers don’t have all the machinery and equipment that makes picking and transport easier. Many just use a pick-up truck and a pallet. McMillan reached out to Wayne Goodwin of Goodwin’s Greenhouses Ltd. in Abbotsford for an alternative suitable for smaller growers that would bring the tarp’s functionality to their systems. “We went out to see a few growers so I could see what they really need,” Goodwin says. “We have a couple of ideas in the works so hopefully we can satisfy the demand and keep it simple.” Aordability is important. One of the options Goodwin is developing is like a Tonneau cover for a pick-up that can be rolled out to cover the fruit. McMillan estimates the retail cost of the tarps at $75 to $100. The lifespan is ve years or longer. It’s a good investment when, as he suspects, fruit will lose 3% to 5% of its weight through evaporation on a hot day. At $1 a pound, losing ve percent on 700 pounds would mean a $35 loss that could be avoided by using the tarps. He expects to have results of the season’s trials to growers before year end. “Quality is going to become more important going forward. It gives a competitive edge,” he says. “We’re not going to solve everyone’s issues all at once. You eat an elephant one bite at a time.” YOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARMNEWS UPDATESSignSign upup for FREE today.coucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comLYSTESor ay.Research and practical demonstrations show that light re昀ecting materials improve colouring and enhance product quality when apples are harvested at the proper ripeness (e.g. not overripe due to delays in harvest to attain higher colour saturation).July 31, 2020 is the deadline for submitting project applications for 2020 purchases.The program will be available until 2022 to encourage early adoption of light re昀ecting materials. Program policies, requirements, and application form are on the NVDC website: www.nvdc.ca This project is supported by The BC Government’s Tree Fruit Competitiveness Program; delivered by The BC Fruit Growers’ Association and The Investment Agricutlure Foundation of BC.E\nKi\\=il`kMXi`\k`\j;\m\cfgd\ek:fleZ`cEM;:The program will be available until 2022 to encourage early adoption of light reflecting materials.
36 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAgricultural Environmental ManagementCode of PracticeNutrient management plan requirements for six more high-risk areas now in eﬀectAs of July 15, 2020, six more vulnerable aquifer recharge areas have been phased-in for nutrient management plan (NMP) requirements: Abbotsford, Cobble Hill, Grand Forks, Langley, Osoyoos and Spallumcheen.If you are operating in these areas, you will need an NMP for the spring of 2021 if you: • have a livestock or poultry operation with ﬁve or more animal units, • have a total agricultural land base of ﬁve hectares or more, • apply nutrients (e.g., manure or fertilizers) to your land, and • have a post-harvest nitrate soil test result of 100 kg N/ha or more.If your agricultural operation is in the Hullcar Aquifers high-risk area you continue to require an NMP if you: • have an agricultural land base of ﬁve hectares or more, • apply nutrients to land, and • have a post-harvest nitrate soil test result of 100 kg N/ha or more. For more information and to ﬁnd out if you are located in a vulnerable aquifer recharge area visit our interactive map at: gov.bc.ca/Agricultural-Environmental-Management, or contact AEMCoPenquiries@gov.bc.ca for any questions.by PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – BC is home to the second-largest cluster of mushroom producers in Canada, producing nearly 62,197 tons in 2019 worth $208 million. This is triple what the province produced in 2004, when the BC Mushroom Marketing Board came to an end and the province’s 77 growers began competing, consolidating and expanding. Today, there are just ve growers, including some of the continent’s largest players: Pennsylvania-based South Mill Mushroom Sales Inc., which acquired Champs Mushrooms in 2018, and Highline Produce Inc. of Leamington, Ontario, which owns All Seasons Mushrooms Inc. The majority of the country’s production – 40,000 tons – is exported each year. But ironically, 22,500 tons come back into the country, much of it as canned product. “It’s cheaper for our canners in this country to buy a can from China with no label and put a label on it than to buy mushrooms here,” says Mike Manion, principal of agribusiness consulting rm Agrisco Supplies Corp. Manion, a former executive with Money’s Mushrooms – a venerable BC producer now reduced to a mushroom brand – is a big believer in the potential of mushrooms, and outlined the opportunities for producers during the Pacic Agriculture Show last winter. When Money’s existed, he said, consumption in BC averaged 5.2 pounds per person. Today, it’s fallen to 3.5 pounds per person, which is about half what it is in the US. But the value of production has increased signicantly, due in part to growing production of specialty varieties. Back in 1987, he said, 85% of producers grew the familiar white button mushroom that continues to be a mainstay of fresh sales in the province today. Just 15% were growing specialty varieties. Today, the proportions have almost ipped, with white button mushrooms accounting for 24% of the industry while specialty producers dominate the sector. Stoyan Petrov of Comox Valley Mushrooms Inc. in Courtenay is an example of the new breed of producers entering the market. Speaking just before Manion’s presentation, he showed how he’s developed a small-scale mushroom farm while avoiding some of the challenges dogging larger commercial producers. “The reason it’s special is because ... sales of mushrooms take place in the commercial mushroom market every day but Christmas day,” Manion said. “You have to harvest every SKU every day.” Moreover, the product is perishable and consumer demand shifts, meaning producers have to tightly manage quality, delivery schedules and anticipate consumer demand. And then there’s labour. “Now that you’ve got your sales demand that you’re working on daily, you’ve got your growing team focused on giving you the right SKU on the right day, … now you’ve got to make sure your labour is there on the day so that your picking window is six to eight hours,” he said. The work doesn’t pay minimum wage. Recent job ads show wages starting at $15 an hour, and skilled pickers can easily earn $25 an hour. According to a 2017 study by the Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council, 73% of workers on mushroom farms are domestic workers but Manion said the industry’s reliance on foreign workers is growing. “The majority are Vietnamese. And you’ll also notice that most of them are probably over 60 years old,” he said. “The next generation, none of them are picking mushrooms. We are totally reliant on oshore labour.” Technology Brewing Corp. of Salmon Arm won the province’s Agritech Innovation Challenge last year with its proposal for a robotic mushroom harvester, but the idea remains in the very early stages. “It’s going to be years before that’s scalable for a farm, but if we’re to have a surviving mushroom industry, that has to work,” he said. “When you’ve got to rely on outside help, it’s a tough slog.” Yet the steady demand for mushrooms, and opportunities for innovation, mean producers have room to carve out their niche whether as small, specialty producers or large growers. The market is there for growers to build, Manion believes. “There is an opportunity for focusing, for someone who wants to do a lot of marketing of mushrooms in BC,” he said. Specialty mushroom growers come into their ownSpecialty production expands while BC mushroom growers consolidateSeeking insights A mandatory industry survey by Statistics Canada earlier this year notes that BC is driving growth in Canadian mushroom production. “Growers harvested 29.3% more area and sold 19.2% more mushrooms than in 2018,” reports Statistics Canada. Canada produced 145,631 tons of mushrooms in 2019, with BC growers producing 62,197 tons. BC accounts for nearly 43% of mushroom production in Canada. The BC crop was worth nearly $208 million in 2019. BC production is concentrated in the Lower Mainland. Ontario is the other major production region, producing which produces 50.5% of Canada’s mushrooms. —Peter Mitham
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 37by JACKIE PEARASE SALMON ARM – Finding dairy farming success is all about paying attention to the details. “No matter the size or eciencies, there hasn’t been a dairy, in all the dairies I’ve ever been on, that had a full grasp of what’s going on,” independent dairy management consultant Devin Brennan. Based in Quebec, Brennan works extensively with dairy producers across North America and internationally to demonstrate how they can better track quantiable farm data to nd nancial eciencies and improve the bottom line. Brennan shared the experience and knowledge gained from visiting thousands of dairies as one of three keynote speakers the North Okanagan dairy extension advisory committee secured for the North Okanagan Dairy Seminar and Trade Show in Salmon Arm on February 27. Brennan says it’s important to determine where each percent of a farm’s milk revenue is being used by the business, from feed to labour to vet costs. “If you can’t measure it, you shouldn’t be doing it,” he notes. “There are some things that, month by month, will be indicators to what’s going to happen.” He says the best genetics are useless if the farmer is unable to uncover the issues preventing a cow from expressing its full potential. Farmers can sabotage their own success in any number of ways, including not paying enough attention to proper animal management. “Sometimes is has nothing to do with nutrition and everything to do with managing our animals,” explains Brennan. “It’s usually not just one thing.” He says everything in milk production is inter-related – hoof and udder health, nutrition, overcrowding, reproduction, environment, ketosis, cow comfort. Adequate water, ventilation, bedding and feed may seem like no-brainers but problems can slip by without proper vigilance and record keeping. Tracking transition cow performance is an example of an area where eective management is key because 50% of a dairy’s prot margin occurs in the rst 100 days of lactation, Brennan adds. Trevor DeVries, a professor and Canada Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Guelph, agrees that transition cows are key to a dairy’s success. “Even though we’ve made gains in a lot of things – we’ve done wonderful things in a lot of areas of dairy production – we still have a lot of post-calving challenges,” says DeVries. DeVries told the gathering that metritis rates of 20% and subclinical ketosis rates of 40% in North American dairy herds have consequences in terms of production and reproduction. “These are real challenges on our farms. We haven’t made as many gains, particularly with these conditions, as we have with some other ones,” notes DeVries. “One event in early lactation can have multiple negative eects on those animals moving forward.” He says it is not normal for transition cows to drop their food intake as is commonly believed; sick cows and cows facing management issues will eat less. “How much the cow eats is a function of how she eats; if you want a cow to eat more, you have to change something about how she eats,” explains DeVries. This means ensuring the cows have enough room to lie down so they can ruminate properly, access to feed and water, and well processed feed that prevents sorting. “The minute the cow starts sorting that diet, everything you’ve done up to that point gets thrown out the window,” says DeVries. “It causes variability, it causes inconsistency in what those cows consume relative to what we’re giving them to consume.” Brennan says the attention paid to on-farm aspects like proper forage management, early culling to prevent overcrowding and improve production, space for transition cows, limiting pen movement, and eective farm layout pays dividends. “The data will help you change the way you manage the herd. If we have the right data, there’s a lot we can do,” asserts Brennan. “If the dairies can go from under 2% margin to 20% margin, you might be in the position to help the next generation get into the market.” Be as efficient as possible Steve Saccomano, agriculture and agribusiness manager for RBC Financial Group in the Fraser Valley, says a comprehensive understanding of the prots and expenses of any business is key to success, but more so in agriculture where the margins are so low. “The best thing we can do as producers is to be as ecient as possible,” he adds. “[Farmers] have to know what kind of return they are getting on everything, not just at the end of the year but at the end of the month.” Dairy success is about attention to detailDon’t do what you can’t measure, producers toldTRACTOR TIMEVICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.3301 30 minutes from Victoria and 15 Minutes from Highway#1 in Metchosin.PREMIUM TRUCKPRINCE GEORGE 1015 Great Street 250.563.0696WILLIAMS LAKE 4600 Collier Place 250.398.7411HANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON 4001 Williams Crescent 250.845.3333Contact your MAHINDRA DEALERLong lasting 7-Year and 5-Year limited powertrain warranties.YOURHelping YouDon’t forget to RENEW your subscription toCountry Lifein BCOURing YouiingYouuription toon toe
38 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWhen we left o last time, Newt Pullman’s dog Rocky lay dead at the door to Tiny’s old workshop. With Kenneth self-isolating in Victoria, Deborah met Newt’s request to bury him nearby with an emphatic yes. Rural Redemption, Part 127, continues ... Deborah asked Newt if there was anything she could do to help? Newt said not to worry, he would take care of everything and with the whole isolation thing, it would probably be best for her to steer well clear of the whole deal. “Will it be okay if we put him by the maple tree over at the corner of the shop?” asked Newt. “He always used to lay there in the shade on hot days. He’d wait for Tiny and keep an eye on the place.” “That sounds perfect then. Do you mind if I say goodbye?” “By all means,” said Newt. “Here, let me give you some room.” Newt backed away and Deborah knelt beside Rocky. Duchess followed her timidly and snied her old beau nervously. Deborah ran her ngers through the hair on Rocky’s neck and gave Duchess a reassuring pat with her other hand. She said goodbye and she’d always think of him and Tiny whenever she came to the little shop and she supposed they were having a wonderful time together wherever it was they were. Deborah stood and turned toward the house. Newt could see tears on her cheeks. He pulled out his cell phone. “Hey, Doug, it’s Newt. Rocky’s died over here at Tiny’s and I’ve got the go-ahead from Deborah to plant him under the big maple by the corner of the shop. I was wondering if you could bring the little Bobcat up and dig him a hole?” “Sorry to hear that,” said Doug. “I’ll be there in half an hour.” Twenty minutes later, Deborah watched Doug McLeod’s pickup pull a trailer carrying a small excavator up the driveway. She moved to the kitchen window and watched him unload it. He looked over at the house and raised his arm when he saw her in the window. Deborah waved back briey and disappeared. Newt took Doug to see the spot he had picked out under the maple tree. “I see they’re back,” said Doug. “Not they,” said Newt. “Just her. She’s home quarantining on her own.” “How’s that?” asked Doug. “Where’s Henderson?” “Somewhere else, I suppose. I’ve got a feeling Susan knows but she’s not saying. Chris said something about him needing to be at work, so I’d guess he’s in Victoria.” “Seems odd,” said Doug. “You’d think he’d need to be in quarantine, too. How do you think Henderson’s going to feel about us putting Rocky up here?” “That base is covered,” said Newt. “I asked her about that, and she said to hell with him, just go ahead. So, lets get to it, shall we?” The hole was dug in ten minutes and the two friends laid Rocky facing toward the house. In another ten minutes, the job was nished and the loader was back on the trailer. Newt thanked Doug and said he should probably be on his way home for a bite of breakfast. Doug smiled. “I heard you had a new cook at home,” he said. “Don’t go giving your imagination too much of a workout, Douglas,” said Newt. “Susan and the kids are just houseguests for a couple of weeks until the quarantine blows over.” “Lot can happen in a couple of weeks,” said Doug. “You must remember the time old Hans Peterson slid o the roof of Henry Myers’ barn and busted his arm and Jimmy Douglas lled in driving the milk can truck, and two weeks later that pretty waitress from the diner took o her apron and walked right out and climbed in with Jimmy and the pair of them ran o and nobody’s seen either one of them since?” “You’re not even old enough to remember when milk was picked up in cans, and I know for certain that Hans Peterson and Henry Myers and Jimmy Douglas, and Brenda the Waitress were all long before your time,” said Newt. “Maybe so,” said Doug. “But I heard the story so many times from Lonny Roper and the old boys in his coee club, I know it by heart.” “Well, I’m no Jimmy Douglas and Susan isn’t Brenda the Waitress, so you’re barking up the wrong tree.” “The way Lon told it, that Brenda the Waitress was real pretty. Are you saying you don’t think Susan the Houseguest is pretty?” asked Doug. “What I’m thinking right now is I wish I’d dug the damned hole with a shovel!” The banter was interrupted by Deborah calling from the house. “Can I interest you two in coee and muns? I can set them out on the front porch table.” “Thanks, anyway,” said Newt. “But I need to be getting home and I don’t want you breaking any quarantine rules for my sake.” “Nothing for me thanks,” said Doug. “I have a coee in the truck. I’ll drink it on the porch and say hi if you like.” “Yes, I would like that.” Newt looked at Doug and lifted his eyebrows. “What?” said Doug. “Think about the story you just told and remember it started out with somebody getting hurt pretty bad.” ttt Kenneth Henderson waited until nine o’clock, then called the oce number. “Hello, Minister’s Special Inquiry Oce. How may I help you?” “Janice? …Janice?” “I’m sorry, I believe you have the wrong number.” “No, wait. Is Janice there?” said Kenneth. “This is the Minister’s spe-“ “I know what it is. I want to speak to Janice.” “I’m sorry, this oce is closed and there is no one here named Janice.” “If the oce is closed, what are you doing there?” “I’m working from home, sir. How may I help you?” “Is that you, Erica?” “Ah. Mr. Henderson, I presume. It’s Ms. Swift to you, and may I also presume that you wish to speak to Ms. Newberry?” “Yes.” “Yes what?” “Yes, this is Kenneth Henderson and I wish to speak to Ms. Newberry.” “I’m sorry, Ms. Newberry is not available. Perhaps I could help you?” “I want to speak to her.” “I will assume you mean Ms. Newberry, and as I mentioned, she is not available. Would you like me to forward a message to her?” “I need to speak to her on an urgent personal matter.” “If it concerns your pay cheque, I can deal with it.” “It’s not my pay cheque! It’s personal, and urgent!” “If it concerns your special committee duties, I’d be glad to forward your question. Personal matters are not within the purview of this oce. Might I suggest you call her personal number.” “She isn’t answering her personal number!” wailed Kenneth. There was a long silence. “ARE YOU THERE? CAN YOU HEAR ME?” “Yes, Mr. Henderson, I am here, and I can hear you very clearly. You are speaking very loudly. Perhaps you are overwrought? Have you tried texting or emailing Ms. Newberry?” Erica Swift winced as the call ended with a loud bang. ... to be continued Mowers(Shown: GMD 280 Mounted)INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeNorthline Equipment, Ltd.Dawson CreekCountry TractorArmstrongKamloopsVisit your local British Columbia KUHN Dealer today!Mower Conditioners Tedders Wheel Rakes Rotary RakesHarvesting high-quality hay and forage is the focus of KUHN's hay tool innovation. Ourcommitment is to help you gain a maximum return on investment by providing productsknown for performance, reliability, and longevity.THE HAY AND FORAGE TOOL SPECIALISTSWoodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINS1-888-770-7333BILL AWMACKTo Rocky’s end, and flirting with danger
Green bean trials target large grower needs Bean preferences depend upon the grower and the marketGrant McMillan takes a look at the beans planted in a variety trial in Matsqui. To be marketable, growers want beans that are straight, long and not lumpy. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 39by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – Green beans have a relatively stable share among fresh market vegetables sold through large retail outlets, on-farm markets and at community farmers’ markets. But knowing which varieties to plant is essential for farmers looking to increase their yields, maximize resources and ensure sales. Integrated Crop Management Services in Abbotsford added green beans to its variety trials this year. Regional manager Grant McMillan says the trials operate on a co-op basis, allowing both seed companies and growers to test varieties. Participants pay per seed type entered. Leah Erickson, territory manager with Stokes Seeds, trialed two varieties of green beans. One was commercially available for the 2020 season, the other is awaiting further trials before being oered to growers. Erickson says the large bean growers in BC are machine harvesting beans for eciency and cost savings. With margins getting tighter, increased yields and reduced inputs are key to staying aoat. “There are still many growers that are using hand-picked [beans], but technology is becoming more and more important,” she says. “You want something with a good set on it, because when the machine takes them o, the plant is no more. You want as many beans as possible.” McMillan says the two varieties from Stokes both performed well and the beans matured at about the same time, making it easier to machine-harvest them. The appearance was appealing. “You want something that’s straight, long and dark green,” Erickson explains. “They did well, they looked like they had a really good yield.” While farmers may be willing to trial crops like green beans, she says they’re often pulled in so many directions. This makes conducting a proper trial challenging. She likes the option of the ICMS trials because they are done scientically, weeded and maintained. They aren’t an after-thought to a farmer’s already busy schedule. Michelle Chou owns M2 Farms, a small mixed vegetable farm in Maple Ridge that sells its produce at farmers’ markets and to family and friends. Appearance and taste are what she looks for in her green beans. The colours should be vivid, beans should be straight, long and not lumpy. Fuzz can also be an issue as it makes beans look dull in colour. “I also have the yellow colour beans and the purple colour,” she says. “When I do farmers’ markets I usually mix them together in a bag and they look really nice in the bag.” She also wants varieties to have good yields and be the product of conventional breeding. “I don’t want any genetically modied seed,” she explains. For Chou, growing something dierent than what’s available at big retailers is important, but it can’t be too far from the normal in her experience. She tried lemon cucumbers this year, but customers preferred the typical long English style varieties. She’s willing to vary the colours of the beans, but that’s as diverse as she will get for now. McMillan plans to publish videos about the green bean trials on Twitter for the benet of growers. Erickson hopes the videos will also help show customers how the seeds performed. Erickson sees a benet to conducting trials near grower farms to help illustrate regional performance. She hopes in-person visits will happen next year. “It’s a shame with COVID. I think there would have been more interest [from others to do trials as well as growers],” says Erickson. “It shows what’s CALL 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 BCup and coming. You always have to be looking ahead.” McMillan had hoped to hold an event at the trial site on Matsqui Flats and to announce all trial results at the Pacic Agriculture Show. Instead, information will be made available online. COMMITTED 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 • 22.214.171.1243 . 3306 Smiley Road KELOWNA • 250.765.8266 . #201 - 150 Campion Street TRACTORS CASE 35B 4WD, ROPS [CNS755] ........................................... 13,000 JD 5100 MH, HIGH CLEARANCE, 3 REMOTES [CNS757] .......... 70,000 NH BOOMER 33 ROPS, LOADER, 4WD, TURF TIRES [U32032] . 20,950 NH 8560 4WD, 6,250 HRS [U32312] .................................... 59,900 TS135A 4WD, 6060 HRS, CAB, SUSP, PWR SHIFT TRANS [U32120] 42,900 QUALITY USED EQUIPMENT AERWAY 11’ TRAILER, AERATOR, NICE CONDITION [U40045] .... 9,000 FRONTIER 12’ DISC, TANDEM 21” FRONT NOTCH, 21” REAR SMOOTH [U32343] ................................................ 7,900 GEHL 3250 SQ BALER, S/N20743, CRANK BALE TENSION,78” PU, 1/4 TURN BALE CHUTE, GOOD CONDITION, SHED-STORED [U32407] ............... 7,900 KOMATSU LOADER BACKHOE, 7100 HRS, 4 POST, ROPS, 4WD [U40043] .................................................................... 19,500 KUHN PRO 150 MANURE SPREADER, VERTICAL BEATERS, GOOD CONDITION [U32236] ................................................ 36,600 MCHALE FUSION VARIO 2017, 14,000 BALES [U32135] ......... 199,000 NH 258 RAKE 260, HITCH [U32143] ........................................ 4,950 NH 644 SILAGE SPECIAL BALE SLICE [U32169] ....................... 11,900 NH FP240 GRASS-CORN-CROP PRO, TANDEM AXLE [U32193] . 32,500 NH 1044 BALE WAGON [U32420] ............................................ 7,000 NH 7550 DISC MOWER 13’ - PIN HITCH [U32358] ................... 16,900 TAARUP 4036 DISC MOWER, REBUILT CUTTERBAR [U32093] ... 14,500 YOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARMNEWS UPDATESSignSign upup for FREE today.coucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comLYSTESor ay.
40 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMarketing 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®CAMPBELL LAKE RANCHKAMLOOPS, BCIDEAL HOBBY FARM PROPERTYEDGEWATER, BCABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING WILDERNESS HOMESTEAD LOCATION!TEXADA ISLAND ONE-OF-A-KIND LOG HOMEHIGH-END EQUESTRIAN ESTATEKAMLOOPS, BCVALLEY VIEW ACREAGELUMBY VALLEYROCKING HORSE PUBNANOOSE BAY, BCOCEANFRONT ACREAGESSOUTHERN GULF ISLANDSPONDEROSA RANCHCOBBLE HILL, BCAFFORDABLE HOBBY FARM STYLE ACREAGE - NORTH OF FORT ST. JOHN, BCTrophy working ranch, many layers of value, 873 acres, 4 titles, high-end new riding arena & rst class shop, 220 acres irrigated hay land, ecological paradise on Campbell Lake & White Lake, shing, wildlife, character ranch house, barn, shop, priced at appraised value. Call REALTOR® for more details. $3,995,000Perfect size acreage with a little of everything! Approx. 70 acres. Lightly forested and very accessible with a central road running through. Driveway in place. Land extends out towards Columbia River. A few nice open pastures offer excellent grazing. Great views. $399,900153 acres on Lonesome Lake in Tweedsmuir Park. Original homestead of the Edwards family for 100 years. True off-grid living on a historic, world famous property within the majestic Central Coast Mountain Range. Wildlife everywhere you turn. Plane access only, old gravel road, hiking trails. $899,0005 minute walk to the marina from this 5,000+ ft2 beautiful log structure. Ideal B&B setup with 4 bdrms up + their own en-suite. Great view out the oor to ceiling windows from the huge front room & upstairs sitting area. Lots of wood, tile & granite features, an ageless design. Way below replacement at $669,000Multiple layers of value. 160 acres with picturesque views of Campbell Lake & surrounding hills. Main house + 2 guest cabins, a 2,596 ft2 main lodge with commercial kitchen & dining facilities with 2 bdrm loft. 60 x 30 ft machine shed. New 80 x 200 ft indoor riding arena. $2,595,000These 130 acres are ready to build your dream property. There are excellent building sites to take in the sweeping views of three valleys. Excellent hay production and room for your animals to graze. Extensive access to Crown land. $995,000Well established Country Pub on 5.31 acres located in an area of equestrian acreages. Licenced for 134 inside & 38 patio occupants as well as off-premise sales. Upper level newly renovated suite, ofce space & storage. Also includes a 26 stall, 7,000 ft2 horse stable. Great upside potential! $1,950,000One of a kind private island with airstrip & easy boat access from Vancouver Island to a sheltered dock. Miles of sandy beaches, 400 acres of precious conservancy lands, managed forest, freshwater ponds, orchard & a fulltime caretaker. Ultimate privacy & spectacular views. NOW FROM ONLY $235,000Stunning private estate on 50 acres with valley, ocean and Mount Baker views. 30 minutes from downtown Victoria. Main home, caretaker / guest home, barn, workshop and equipment storage. Turnkey, meticulously maintained grounds and improvements. $4,350,000Quaint hobby farm style acreage with cozy residence, corrals, coverall, Sea-Can storage (on piles), large garden area & privacy. Fully serviced & offers 4.62 acres of manicured property. Located minutes north of Fort St John, there is significantly more value compared to residences in town. $475,000RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comMATT CAMERON email@example.comFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comKURT NIELSEN firstname.lastname@example.orgLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleySAM HODSON 604-694-7623Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG email@example.comKEVIN KITTMER firstname.lastname@example.orgDAVE COCHLAN email@example.comJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605CHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634COLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793There’s plenty to put the dynamite in the family dynamicThese are the rst September weekends in 20 years that I haven’t been at the city markets selling potatoes. It is the result of suddenly completing a 10-year plan that began ve years ago with the vague idea of nding alternate revenue streams for the farm. The vision: loosen the golden handcus that are farmers markets and spend more time with family and farming. COVID came along, oering a once in a lifetime opportunity to impulsively transform the plans for gentle, reasonable and well-cushioned extrication into a somewhat mismanaged and much more interesting business strategy. Therefore, we have a total severance from summer city markets, with the income replacement plans still unproven, and mostly untried. On-line sales, farm stand, local markets, wholesale, a new pricing model for the seed potatoes: these are all in play. While change feels necessary, and even normal, it qualies as a crazy way to conduct business and is not being done blithely. I am stressed right now. I probably needn’t be so fussed, given that I am not sure what exactly I am stressed over. Too much work, too little time? Nope, no markets: time abounds. Crops not working out? Nope, not an issue. Mechanical breakdowns? Nope, blessed at the moment. Where are the sales coming from exactly? Pass. Middle age approaching? Oh. It is super bad form to self-therapize in this public manner. I think it is time to move on to an easier topic, something less fraught, not so charged with emotion. Let’s talk about family farming! When I say that I work on my family’s farm, I usually – and wisely – leave it at that. Those readers who also work with family will know that there is all kinds of drama. Those who do not will remain in the dark as to how it all works. I am in the dark myself as to how it works, but am familiar with some of the rules, prohibitions, unspoken agreements and topics to avoid – the policies and procedures, if you will, that when followed contribute to but do not guarantee, a successful family enterprise, complete with enjoying one another’s company. An important rule to remember must surely be this: don’t write about the family in articles. Every few years however, I just can’t help it and o I go. I consider it a public service. Maybe someone is struggling on their family farm and something I say might help them get through the rough patch. I’ll get right to it: pull yourself together. There. Happy to help. Here is what I think I know about family farming: essentially the term “family dynamic” is any point on a spectrum that spans two points: total harmony and total dismay. Following the policies and procedures, one does what one can to keep pinned to the harmony end of the scale. Inevitably, there will be wild pitches over to the dismay end of the spectrum, and the situation will explode, much like dynamite. And all because of that we have the near impossible, easily forgotten and absolutely necessary rule of getting back to harmony: drop it and move on. So. I believe that exhausts the topic. Unfortunately, it’s September, which I am not very good at. l am reluctantly concluding with the observation that I can’t blame markets or family for making September dicult. No, it’s more likely I am just quite tired. It’s been a long haul since about March, to be honest. And potatoes are so darn heavy. Anna Helmer farms with her bubble in Pemberton and was never really going to dish. When the going gets tough, the tough know to drop the subjectFarm Story by ANNA HELMER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 41BC Ag in the Classroom’s Pencil Patch will be open to smaller groups of students this fall. FILE PHOTO / RONDA PAYNEby RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – The BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is nding new ways to reach educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. With school visits no longer an option, the foundation is rolling out a new video series called Dig This to reach teachers and providing new resources for educators through its Fresh Stories initiative. The nine-part video series provides an introduction to the foundation’s suite of programs including the BC School Fruit & Vegetable Nutritional Program, Spuds in Tubs and Harvest Bin Project, Summer Institute, the Pencil Patch and Take a Bite of BC. The videos encourage educators to register for BCAITC programs, most of which can be incorporated into their learning environment. Each program’s video serves as a virtual introduction and invitation for the educator to sign up for that particular program. Most programs are designed to have the teacher deliver information about food and agriculture to students. Once they’ve registered their interest, teachers are able to download course materials and AITC representatives are available by phone or video to provide step-by-step instruction at various stages of the program’s delivery to help them pass the information along to students. “They don’t just download a book and away they go,” explains AITC executive director Pat Tonn. “We mentor them, so to speak, through all of the program. Then they’re more successful.” According to Tonn, many teachers and home educators aren’t familiar with planting and growing, or how seasons impact agriculture. AITC sends them the supplies needed, such as seed potatoes for the Spuds in Tubs program or daodil bulbs for Planting a Promise, at the point when they are needed. “That’s how we set them up for success and teach them about agriculture,” Tonn explains. “We teach the teacher and … teachers get excited about our programs and then take on another, or another resource that we oer. That’s kind of how we grow the relationships and the programs.” One program that has always been popular is classroom trips to the Pencil Patch in Abbotsford each spring. This year, the foundation has added fall tours open to all educators who register for a visit. Drop-in visits are not permitted. “All of our tours are outdoors and all of our sta and volunteers are prepared,” she says. This includes implementing protocols designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19, such as small groups and use of personal protection equipment for all sta and volunteers. While the outdoor setting is considered low risk for COVID-19, getting kids to the site is problematic. “One of the stumbling blocks for sure is the bus trip,” says Tonn, pointing to a statement provincial health ocer Dr. Bonnie Henry made September 8 discouraging school eld trips. Tonn thinks having fewer groups from public schools may benet independent schools and home school groups that may not have been to the Pencil Patch in the past but are eligible this year because they’re typically smaller groups. The patch has 14 dierent stations on agricultural topics. Kids visit and learn at each station. Pumpkins, sunowers AITC rolls out virtual options for teachersSupport will be available to help educatorsand dairy, which aren’t part of the spring tours, are part of the mix this fall. “Their teachers or their teacher aides can help maneuver them around and keep them in their bubble,” she says. “Our sta and volunteers are there to help.” Another oering from AITC includes 30 new Fresh Stories that build on the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Program and the +Milk program by providing education and activities related to BC-grown fruits and vegetables and milk products. The resources, suitable for kindergarten to nine, link to existing curriculum in a range of classes to make learning about food and healthy eating fun. Fresh Stories are available as downloads from the foundation’s website. AITC is a non-prot, charitable organization that reaches more than 500,000 students in BC each year with its programs and resources. Tonn says that agriculture education changes over time and the foundation is co-hosting a virtual session with Agriculture in the Classroom Canada on October 19 where participants can provide input on how agriculture is taught and delivered to students. FOLLOW USLIKE US W US@countrylifeinbcThe agricultural news source in BC since 1915.
42 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThis salmon-stuffed egg and spinach roll looks dramatic and tastes very fancy, but it’s not a lot of work. PHOTO / JUDIE STEEVESThis is very refreshing served with meat from the barbecue or, it could be served as a dip with pita crisps or taco chips. Feel free to substitute, such as peaches or pears for the apricots. 1/2 c. (125 ml) chopped Roma tomatoes 1/2 c. (125 ml) zucchini 1/4 c. (60 ml) sweet onion1/4 c. (60 ml) green pepper 2 medium apricots 1 tbsp. (30 ml) jalapeno 1 garlic clove 1 tsp. (5 ml) ginger few drops of hot sauce, to tastesqueeze of fresh lime drizzle of olive oil salt & pepper, to taste fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro • Finely chop tomatoes, but leave the juice behind when scooping them into a medium-sized serving bowl. Add nely chopped zucchini, sweet onions, green pepper and apricots. Mince jalapeno peppers and scrub your ngers well afterwards with soap, before putting your hands near your eyes, nose or other sensitive areas. Mince garlic and ginger and add, with a few drops of hot sauce, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil. • Top with a few grindings of black pepper and sea salt and mix lightly. • Garnish with fresh minced herbs.JOHN’S FRESH SALSABrunch for a bunchThis can be made ahead and re-warmed or it can be served warm or even cold. I have served it with savoury muns and a platter of fresh, local fruit for brunch and it got rave reviews. It’s a great buet item, too. Salmon Filling: 2 213-g tins of B.C. sockeye salmon 4 green onions 1/3 c. (75 ml) mayonnaise1 tbsp. (15 ml) snipped chives freshly-ground black pepper Egg & Spinach Roll: 8 oz. (250 g) spinach 4 eggs, separated 1/4 c. (60 ml) butter1/3 c. (75 ml) our 1 c. (250 ml) milk 1 tsp. (5 ml) dried tarragon salt & pepper, to taste • Drain the salmon and mush the bones and meat in a medium-sized bowl. Finely chop green onions and add, along with mayonnaise, minced chives and pepper and mix well. Set aside. • Prepare a 9x13-inch shallow baking pan with parchment paper and grease it, folding it into the corners and letting any extra stand up against the sides. • Pre-heat oven to 450° F. • For the roulade, or roll, cook chopped fresh spinach. You can use the microwave or stove top. If using frozen spinach, thaw it. Whether fresh or frozen, squeeze it dry. • Separate four eggs, draining the whites into a large bowl. (I use the stand mixer and the whip attachment), and put the yolks into a small bowl. • Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave and stir in the our. Cook for close to a minute more, then gradually add the milk, whisking thoroughly after each addition to ensure the sauce is nice and smooth, until all the milk has been incorporated. Cook another few minutes, whisking periodically, until you have a nice, smooth, thick sauce. • One at a time, whisk in the yolks; then add the spinach and seasonings and combine well. • Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until sti peaks form. Add a big spoonful of the whites to the sauce and fold it in, adding more and continuing to fold it in, until all the whites are incorporated. • Pour onto the greased parchment paper in the jelly roll pan, spreading out into the corners. • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until pued and lightly brown. • Remove from the oven and cover with a clean tea towel and a wire cooling rack, ipping the roulade onto the towel-covered rack. Carefully remove the parchment paper. • Spread evenly with the lling. • Holding the towel with both hands, use it to roll the lled roulade up from the long side and onto a platter, seam side down. Slice into 8-12 pieces and serve. SALMON-STUFFED EGG & SPINACH ROLLThere’s still lots of wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables available from the elds and orchards of BC, and Thanksgiving – harvest time – is the perfect time to prepare meals composed almost entirely of food produced in our own province. Local farmers have so many extra challenges this year that it’s an easy choice to decide to fully support our local producers; to buy only products produced in Canada, BC or our own region whenever possible. It’s true that we may not be able to wean ourselves o coee or chocolate, sugar or citrus, all of which must be brought in from other countries, but much of what we consume can be limited to Canadian production. That’s especially important where there’s a choice between garlic, onions or other products which have been grown in Canada or BC, as opposed to those grown in China or the USA. There’s just no contest – pick local. If you’re expecting family for the Thanksgiving long weekend, what a great opportunity to bu up those rusty entertaining skills and prepare a brunch or lunch for them all, using entirely local ingredients, if at all possible. Most of the ingredients in the following recipes can be found locally, and some could even come from your own backyard, which is the ultimate local. I hope you’ve used the bounty of summer and fall in BC to can your tomato sauce and salsa; to dry enough tarragon, oregano, sage and thyme to get you through the winter; and frozen your basil pesto, fresh peaches, berries and cherries, ready to make fresh-tasting appies and desserts through the colder seasons. While some of those ships have sailed, you might still be able to catch up on some of the other storage options, along with drying onions and garlic and hardening o winter squashes in hot, dry spots, before putting them away in a cool, dark spot until needed. Whatever your plans for October, do enjoy the plentiful harvest of local produce and put some away for the upcoming colder months. Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVES ---- MAIL TO 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4 firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t miss a single issue of Country Life in BC!CREDIT CARD # __________________________________ EXP ________ _oNEW oRENEWAL o ONE YEAR ($18.90) o TWO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Name Address City Postal Code Phone Email SUBSCRIBE NOW!
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC OCTOBER 2020 | 43TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTLIVESTOCKLIVESTOCKTRACTORS/EQUIPMENTFOR SALECOURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.CONEYGEERS BLOODLINES A few yearling rams left - call before they are gone. 250-722-1882. NanaimoToll Free 1-888-357-0011 www.ultra-kelp.comREGISTRATION NO. 990134 FEEDS ACT EXCELLENT RESULTS FOR 35 YEARS! FLACK’S BAKERVIEW KELP PRODUCTS INC Pritchard, BC (est. 1985)HAYSEEDBILL AWMACK1-888-770-7333PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 email@example.com www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE. Call DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd INTERESTED IN BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? YOUR GO-TO PLACE FOR • Small square bales of horse HAY & STRAW • Distillery WHEAT & RYE EGBERT SCHUTTER 403-393-2418 firstname.lastname@example.orgDISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE 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. NEARLY 500 ACRES of excellent farmland. Stunning views. Only 800 m from Tachick Lake. $1,190,900 WHAT A DELIGHT! Expansive ranch home with exquisite views. Ideal horse property w/private spring fed lake. The home beams with an abundance of natural daylight. Just over 3,000 sqft over 3 levels. 128 acres. $699,900 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®R2163561 $1,400,000 CASH FLOW! 5 homes on one peaceful 4.4 acre lot. All houses have been renovated. Completely turnkey. RANCHERS & DAIRY FARMERS: 320 acres, 2 residences, 6 mas-sive outbuildings, 15 km from downtown PG. MLS C8030418 $2,599,000 150+ ACRES Turn-key horse breeding ranch, 2,900 sq ft log home, fenced/cross-fenced. MLS R2441103, $1,720,000 STATELY CHARM on 11 acres. 5 bed/3.5 bath.Barn and plenty of room for horses. MLS®R2379161 $699,900 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. $1,300,000 271 LEVEL ACRES Not in the ALR. Residential/commercial rezoning potential. Fertile soil, MLS C8027179. Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 Looking for an organic mineral supplement? Balanced and natural, kelp is a great supplement for horses, cattle, sheep and goats AND its organic! $60 for 25lbs. To order call: (250)-838-6684 Located in Enderby, B.C. FOR SALEBERRIESDeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCIHC 474 DIESEL TRACTOR W/LDR 7,950 JD 7200 4WD, CAB, LDR 45,000 JD 2750 MFWD, CAB, LDR SOLD! JD7600 MFWD 45,000 JD 6300 MFWD, CAB, LDR 47,000 JD 230 24’ DBL FOLD DISK 16,500 ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-61472015 INTERNATIONAL TERRASTAR 4WD w/sleeper, 17ft. custom-built deck with hydraulic lift gate, like new in and out with only 16,000 km. $63,500; 2012 business class FREIGHTLINER M2 106 24ft flatbed truck with Cummins diesel, 6 speed standard trans. Many unique features. 240,000 miles. Looks/runs great, recent service, $35,500; Antique CASE-O-MATIC 830 farm tractor, runs like new, looks great, 60 HP $3,800; ROCK PICKER former potato harvester but works great removing rocks. Rugged machine w/large catch box. Ugly but works beautifully. $2,500. SUMMERS rock picker, just like new, hardly used, $7,000. 400 liter MX7 JOHN DEERE finishing mower used only one season, $3,800; FRONTIER RT1207 large tiller just like new, $4,500. 12’ MF DISC HARROW $2,500 Carl, 604-825-9108IRRIGATIONIrrigation Design New and Used Equipmentpiperpivotsr pumps r power units traveling gun / hose email@example.comEQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • 2017 KUBOTA M6 -141 4WD LH rev, cab, air, stereo, 24sp Powershift, 126 PTO HP, 540/1000 PTO, 2 sets remotes, radials 12 weights front-cast centers, rear. Loaded, as new, 597 hours. Warranty till May 2023. $76,500 • NEW HOLLAND 824 2 row corn head $1,250 20 ft • HAY WAGON, aircraft tires, heavy duty, $1,500 TONY 604-850-4718Top DORPER LAMB rams; ready to go beginning of August. 74 Mile House Ranch, 250-706-7077For Tissue Culture Derived Plants of New Varieties of Haskaps, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoon Berries and Sour Cherries, Please Contact:DISEASE FREE PLANTING STOCK OF NEW BERRY CROPS 4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4B6info@agriforestbiotech.com250.764.2224www.agriforestbiotech.com HAYLAGE EXCELLENT QUALITY HAYLAGE 950-1100 LB BALES Delivery available on Vancouver Island and along the Trans Canada Hwy corridor in BC. Reasonable prices. 250-727-1966200 ACRES CLASS 2 LAND MINUTES TO PRINCE GEORGE 90 acres cleared; Livestock & horticulture potential; Excellent water supply; Well-maintained 3-bedroom ranch home. MLS # R2443138 Kristin Houghtaling Royal LePage Aspire Realty 250-640-1950 NEW POLYETHYLENE TANKS of all shapes & sizes for septic and water storage. Ideal for irrigation, hydroponics, washdown, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spraying. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics Inc. premierplastics.com. REAL ESTATEFeeders & 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 ColdstreamQUALITY PUREBRED REGISTERED RED ANGUS CATTLE Bred cows; Early spring calves, Herd sire, 2 yr & long yearling bulls SW of PRINCE GEORGE 250-483-1283FARM / INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT • NEW HOLLAND 8 row Hyd fold corn head for a Self Propelled Harvester $12,500. • CATERPILLAR 215 excavator; Mechanical thumb, Caged all-around Protection, $22,000 • CATERPILLAR V20 forklift. Triple Mast High Lift on Propane. Excellent condition. $6,800 • BIG HYSTER FORKLIFT High Lift Lumber Style, 8 ft tines extensions on propane. $5,500 • 3PH HYSTER FORK LIFT Heavy Duty attachment. $,2200. Other fork-lifts and attachments. • FORD NH by-directional Attach-ments; Fork-Lift $3500, loader silage forks/grapple $1,000 • ROAD SANDER Dump or deck mount, self contained power unit, medium size. $2,200 • BIG ROAD SANDER S/A Semi Trailer with liquid additive applicator, S/C. Power, X. VGR Airport, mint condition. $12,500 • FORD 4610 Tractor, 60HP, Narrow and low profile 2WD, Nice Cond, $10,500 • FORD 1816 UNI-LOADER; small gas powered with grip tires, good condition, $4,500 • GALLION CRANE All Terran 4X4, IH diesel, extension boom with cable winch. $4,750 • AIR COMPRESSORS Various electric shop and portable diesel trailer style. $750 to $5,500 • BAND SAW for metal, used little, $750. • SHOP WELDERS $250 and up. • BELT CONVEYOR gravel/soil HD in-dustrial 50’x3’ electric on wheels. $7,500 • SCREENER Double Deck separator, belt driven, has been used for wood chip. $2,500 • LOADER ASSEMBLIES: FORD/NH 8360, CASE 56L, IH Ind, Allied 784, Tiger, etc. Call for details. • EXCAVATOR RIST A TWIST 50” cleaning bucket, NEW! $2,600. Many other buckets, call for details. • NEW SKID-STEER Bale Spear $550, Pallet Forks $950, Also used pieces. Call Jim for hard to nd items Abbotsford at 604-852-6148 ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$NOVEMBER issue deadline October 23• HAY: alfalfa, alfalfa grass mix and grass, 4x4x8 foot bales $185 to $220 per ton; • TROUGHS for silage or grain: 6 @ 30 feet ($750 each), 2 @ 24 feet ($600 each), steel pipe frame, portable; • WHEEL LINES – Wade Rain ¼ mile $2900;10” aluminum Mainline, $5/ft, RL, 40 ft lengths, hydrants. Contact firstname.lastname@example.orgHAY FOR SALE Large quantities of 3x4 hay & 4x4 WRAPPED SILAGE BALES. Located in Salmon Arm. WE DELIVER. 250-804-6081countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online ADVERTISING THAT WORKS!
44 | OCTOBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRANCH-WORTHY POWER AT A PRICE YOU’LL LIKE.Power. Performance. Comfort. Without the cost. That’s the NEW Kubota M7-2 Rancher Edition. Built to handle the toughest jobs, the M7-2’s load sensing (CCLS) hydraulics allow you to run a variety of implements and gives you wide-ranging versatility to handle all your jobs. Work comfortably from the roomy cab with a built-in radio and comfortable seats. Plus, you can add a front loader with an impressive lift capacity of 5776 lbs. The M7-2 certainly earns its “Rancher” title. kubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010PROUD PARTNER OFOLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 888/538-6137 VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355 ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665 COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801 CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254 DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281 DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755 KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044 KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700