RDBN Growing Opportunities Agricultural Update - July 2021

November/December 2021 - Issue 6


Happy Holidays! From the RDBN Ag Team, we wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season.

The RDBN Ag Team, along with Directors and staff, have been thinking a lot about the folks and producers in the Lower Mainland dealing with the outcome of the flooding in November. The devastation is remarkable and is a stark reminder to us all about the fragility of our food system, including the food supply chains, and makes us even more attentive to the work we do around local food security and strengthening our regional agricultural economy.

Connecting Consumers and Producers Directory

In the last few weeks we have seen a five-times increase in the traffic to the Connecting Consumers and Producers online directory! That is incredible and shows us that maintaining and increasing access to this directory is important work for the RDBN Ag Team.

WHAT IS THE CCAP DIRECTORY? CCAP (Connecting Consumers and Producers) is a free and searchable online listing of food producers, abattoirs, meat cutters, and farm feed suppliers from across the regional district. The directory is updated each summer. On the CCAP website, there are also tips and tricks on all things related to growing and preserving food.

I'M A PRODUCER, HOW DO I GET IN THE DIRECTORY? Just email us at economic.development@rdbn.bc.ca and we’ll add you to the directory! As long as you are a producer residing within the RDBN, you can be listed for free. It is that simple.

I'M A CONSUMER, HOW DO I USE THE DIRECTORY? Go to https://ccap.rdbn.bc.ca. There are three ways to search the directory:

  1. Search by ‘What you are looking for’ ... find producers by the products they sell like eggs, beef, lamb, vegetables etc. This is a great way to search if you are interested in a particular type of food.
  2. Search by ‘Area’... find producers from within your community, or from the community you’ll be travelling through or staying in. Vanderhoof, Smithers etc. if you want to see what is available in your area or the community you will be travelling to or through; or,
  3. Scroll through the whole directory to get a sense of the amazing variety and availability of foods that are produced in the region!

Winter Viewing and Reading

With the onset of winter weather comes a bit more time to catch up on reading, find out about new innovations and ideas in farming and start on planning and decision making for next year. One advantage of the last year and half is that there is now a plethora of online webinars, recordings, podcasts, and videos about all different aspects of farming, ranching and rural living. Here are a few recommendations from the Ag Team on sites and resources that might be of interest to view/read/listen to over the winter months.

YOUNG AGRARIANS – This organization hosts many online webinars, as well as farm tours, that are accessible from their website. If you are new to farming, are interested in getting into farming, or considering retiring from farming, this website has great information for you! Link to Young Agrarians.

CLIMATE & AGRICUTLURE INITIATIVE BC – This non-profit has over 75 online webinars, resources, and tools, including 19 that are specific or directly relate to farming within our region. Learn from experts on pest management, hay production, greenhouse growing, and a whole range of regenerative farming practices to name just a few. Link to CAI Tools & Resources.

RDBN AGRICULTURE RESOURCE PAGE – We have done a bunch of the searching for you already! Go to the Agriculture Resource page and using the menu on the left, access resources from Education and Marketing, to Programs and Organizations. Link to RDBN Agriculture Resources.

  Producer Organization Spotlight!  

Nechako Valley Food Network

Each month we hope to feature an agriculture organization in the RDBN. If you would like to highlight your producer organization, please give us a call!

This month we want to highlight the work done by the volunteers from Vanderhoof that are part of the Nechako Valley Food Network (NVFN).

The NVFN began in the summer of 2008 - 13 years ago, by a bunch of folks that wanted to be able to access local food more easily, to get better at growing, using and preserving local foods themselves, and to improve local food security. This group built the foundation of this organization that created the local producer directory (similar to the RDBN CPAP directory), held numerous community celebrations highlighting local food, offered food preserving workshops and other mentorship opportunities related to growing and storing foods, and through partnerships built the Vanderhoof Community Garden.

Although most of the current focus of the group is on maintaining and expanding the community garden, the group continues to explore ways to strengthen the food security of the community through public education, resource sharing, and networking. The NVFN still maintains a local food directory to help link producers and consumers in the Vanderhoof area.

The NVFN welcomes anyone that has a love for local food to join the team and lend a hand, or to contribute ideas to work they do. The NVFN is a member group of the Nechako Healthy Community Alliance society. You can find out more about the NVFN via Facebook or by emailing nvfoodnetwork@gmail.com.

Water License and Premise ID : 
Deadlines Approaching

Reminder that there are two important deadlines approaching for farmers and ranchers in the new year:

Groundwater License

If you use groundwater for non-domestic use (i.e., for farm-use) then you need to obtain a license by March 31, 2022. If you apply on or before March 1, 2022, the application fee is waived and you will maintain your first-in-time, first-in-right status. Go to the information page on the Provincial Govt. website for more information.

Groundwater License Requirements

Premise ID

In 2022, it will be mandatory for all properties that house animals to have a Premise ID. “Premises ID is an important tool for protecting the health and safety of your livestock. In the event of an emergency, premises ID information improves our ability to rapidly notify animal owners, contain pest and animal disease outbreaks and more effectively respond to natural disasters like floods or fires.”

The application process is free. Click the link for more information and to register.

Premise ID Registration

QUICK UPDATE: Vet Shortage

A quick update regarding the veterinary shortage in the north and across BC. This topic remains a priority for the RDBN Rural/Agriculture Committee and the Ag Team. Rural/Agriculture Committee Chair Mark Parker has met several times on this subject with provincial officials and continues to push for practical solutions including opening additional spots for students from BC at the vet school in Saskatchewan, and in particular for students that are interested in living in the north and specialize in treating in large animals.

Deadline Fast Approaching...
Funding Opportunity for Infrastructure

United Way BC Food Infrastructure

This funding opportunity is open to community food-based organizations and groups located in remote, rural, and Indigenous communities. The grant is for projects between $5,000 and $20,000 ($30,000 for co-operatives) for new or existing projects or programs. Due December 15, 2021.

Go to UW Grant

Please let us know what you'd like to see in the next Growing Opportunities eNewsletter!

Megan D'Arcy
(West - Areas A, B, E, G; Smithers, Telkwa, Houston, Granisle, Burns Lake, South Side)

Michelle Roberge
(East - Areas C, D, F; Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fort Fraser, Fraser Lake, Endako)