RDBN Growing Opportunities Agricultural Update - July 2021

September 2021 - Issue 4

AG TEAM UPDATE

It is amazing how fast the summer months fly by! This past summer the Ag Team attended the Bulkley Valley Exhibition in Smithers. It was quite a busy event and we had great conversations with producers and consumers about local food production, invasive plant issues and food security. We were grateful to have the opportunity to connect with so many members of the agricultural community. 

We also had the wonderful opportunity to attend each of the seven Farmers' Markets in the RDBN as part of an initiative to promote the RDBN Connecting Consumers to Producers Food Directory and support local producers by taking-over each market. This included a same day draw where the prize was a compilation of fresh, local product from the market. If you are a producer and are interested in being part of the online Connecting Consumers to Producers Directory get a hold of us any time at economic.development@rdbn.bc.ca to be added.

Much of the Regional Agriculture Coordinator job is spent gathering information about issues raised by agriculture producers and consumers within the Regional District. As we move into fall there are a few agricultural topics at the forefront of our schedules including: veterinary shortages, newly released slaughter regulations, and the recently announced BC SPCA farm visits.

As our communities move through the fall seasonal changes, the Federal Election and the 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture is one of the anchors throughout our region. We feel that local agriculture provides our region with an essential framework of local food security, community connection and economic stability. A big thank you to producers in the RDBN that are so essential, and to the consumers that support them.


 

The RDBN Agriculture Coordinators will be attending the RegenBC Conference later this month to be part of discussions around regenerative agriculture concepts and innovations that consider climate change and environmental sustainability in the context of farming. They'll report back on what they learned in the October GO Issue.


Climate Action Initiative Webinars!

The impacts of climate change to agriculture are becoming more and more evident throughout the RDBN. The RDBN works closely with the Climate & Agriculture Initiative BC (CAI). This organization assists the province‚Äôs agriculture sector with adapting to climate change by::

  • Creating networks and fostering partnerships and collaboration
  • Implementing projects to demonstrate, test and evaluate approaches and practices
  • Developing resources and tools
  • Sharing information and transferring knowledge

The CAI website has excellent information for producers to understand and learn more about the impacts of climate change to agriculture. Recently, CAI added four recorded webinars to their Tools and Resource Library on their website. You can also link to CAI and other climate change related sites and resources from the RDBN Agriculture Climate Change page.

The four webinars are...

Using keyline design for water management

Dryland hay production

Managing moisture with soil organics and tilth

Managing moisture with soil organics and tilth

HELP US HELP YOU

Please let us know your thoughts on the new
Meat Inspection and Licensing System for BC

The new meat inspection and licensing system in BC comes into effect on October 1, 2021. The RDBN Ag Team would like to know if and how these changes may impact small and large-scale meat producers across the RDBN.

Please take 3 minutes to complete the
RDBN Slaughter/Meat Inspection Survey
CLICK HERE

 Auctions 

Sending livestock to auction or market is a big component of the agricultural economy and operations in the RDBN. Many of the auction markets offer livestock sales for specific species, including cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, and goats. These auctions are great opportunities to either sell off livestock to larger markets or purchase new stock for your operations. In the spring, bull sales dominate the auction landscape, and by fall the auction calendar fills up with regular markets mainly for cattle. Additionally, many of the auction companies offer equipment sales, another great opportunity for producers to find used farm equipment, tractors, and tack. Nearly all auction houses now offer online bidding options, so you can bid from the comfort of your home, and you have the chance to bid on animals and items from other regions in the province and western Canada.

Things to consider when you are selling or buying from an auction...

  • Additional fees. Depending on if you are selling or buying, there are additional auctioneer fees that are charged on your sale. Check the fine print of the auction house for their rates. 
  • Bidding Online. Most online auctions allow you to bid your 'maximum price' on an item. The auction will automatically raise your bid, depending on other bids that come in, until you reach your maximum. This allows you to bid once and leave the auction, as many of the online auctions last multiple days. You can increase your maximum bid at any time.
  • Pick-up. Each auction house has their own rules around when you need to pick-up your animals or items after the auction is over. Be sure to come prepared with big enough trailers and trucks to fit all your items, and enough help on pick-up day.

Below is a list of some of the northern and BC auction sites. This list isn't comprehensive, so feel free to google 'agriculture auctions in BC' for even more!

 Livestock 

BC Livestock Producers Co-operative Association - Located within the RDBN, BC Livestock offers online and on-site auctions (Vanderhoof, Williams Lake, Kamloops, OK Falls) for livestock as well as equipment sales.

Fraser Valley Auctions - On-site livestock (small and large animals) sales, Langley.

Abby (McClary) Stockyards - On-site livestock sales, Abbotsford.

Valley Auction - On-site and online livestock and machinery sales, Armstrong.

VJV Dawson Creek Auction - On-site and online livestock sales, Dawson Creek.

 Equipment 

All West Auctions - Farm, estate and liquidation auctions, Vanderhoof

Beekman Auctions - Online equipment sales, Chilliwack.

Richie Brothers Auctions - Online and on-site equipment auctions for Canada and US.

Team Auctions Sekura - Online equipment sales in Alberta and BC.

RDBN at UBCM Annual Convention

Rural & Agriculture Committee Chair Mark Parker spoke with Minister of Agriculture Hon. Lana Popham during the Union of BC Municipalities annual Convention September 13-17, 2021. The topics for discussion included: concerns over lack of vets in the RDBN, SPCA inspections, the lack of qualified meat cutters in the RDBN and the potential impacts of the new slaughter regulations. We will have a complete summary of their meeting in the October GO issue.

Fed/Prov Supports in Emergency

AgriRecovery Framework

The Federal Government recently announced $100M towards AgriRecovery to support producers impacted by drought and wildfire in Canada, including BC. Read the official announcement.

AgriStability Program

The AgriStability program helps stabilize farm income by managing the risk of large income declines, like those experienced due to forest fires and floods. The AgriStability program enrollment has been extended to Dec 2022. Read more here.

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)
250-692-0783
megan.darcy@rdbn.bc.ca

Michelle Roberge
(East - Areas C, D, F; Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fort Fraser, Fraser Lake, Endako)
250-570-8772
michelle.roberge@rdbn.bc.ca