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Kootenay Farmer is a joint initiative of the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors and the Basin Business Advisors Agriculture Program – two initiatives to grow and support the agriculture sector in the Kootenay & Boundary regions. 

Producers gathered on a snowy day in December at Rick Tegart’s Upper Ranch in Radium Hot Springs to discuss strategies for frost seeding and techniques for plant composition with Julie Robinson of the Peace River Forage Association and Bill Wilson of Forage Friendly Enterprises (photo right). 
Learn more.

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In This Issue

Local Agriculture Research Coming to Creston

March 12, 2020

This one-day symposium is an opportunity to learn about results from field research on irrigation and soil management relevant to Kootenay & Boundary farming conditions. This event is a chance for producers to:

  • Discuss your production practices, challenges and interests with researchers, fellow producers and experts; and,
  • Learn about new field research studies now taking place in the Kootenay & Boundary region.

View AGENDA and register here
Hosted by the Kootenay & Boundary Farm AdvisorsBC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network and Climate Action Initiative.

Agri-tourism Presentations Coming to the Basin

Have you considered diversifying your farms income by incorporating an agritourism component? Join farmer, research chair and author of BC’s first Guide for Farm Diversification through Agri-Tourism, Dr. Nicole Vaugois, to understand the full spectrum of agri-tourism opportunities available to BC farms and to identify useful strategies to diversify farm revenue through agri-tourism. 
Revelstoke: February 26    Invermere: February 27    Creston: February 28
Register here.

Learn about insurance considerations related to agri-tourism from BBA’s Agriculture specialist, Tracey Fredrickson.

New Program Provides Farm Benefits

BC Association of Farmers Markets

Through the new BCAFM vendor membership program, member vendors receive preferred pricing with a roster of suppliers and access to a group rate on Commercial General Liability insurance for vendors.
Learn more

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How Will Climate Change Impact our Growing Season?

Check out the NEW Climate Source website for a one-stop site for videos, data, maps and more to help you understand climate change and climate impacts and learn how you can prepare for the future. Created by Columbia Basin Trust and the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Selkirk College.

Ravine Creek Farm, Winlaw

“Every year we do a ruthless evaluation of the last season,” says Alys Ford, who along with partner Eric Struxness manages their mixed vegetable operation Ravine Creek Farm. “We’re not afraid to eliminate a crop or make other changes. But even with the best planning, farmers are like sailors: we set out to sea every year and are ‘gone’ for many months. You can chart your course but in the end it’s about what Nature deals you.” Read more.

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Food Business Planning Workshop

Invermere, February 4-5

Geared to farmers looking to develop value-added products and to micro-to-medium sized food processors seeking to improve their operations, this 2-day workshop by the Farm, Food, Drink team covers marketing, financial planning, product development, packaging, production costing, and more.
Learn more 

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Reduced Tillage Vegetable Farming

(Webinar) February 5

Learn about reduced tillage vegetable production and farmer experiences using these practices from Ryan Maher, extension specialist with the Cornell Small Farms Program.
Learn more 

Agricultural Cost of Production Workshop

Creston, February 12 Nelson, February 13

Andrea Gunner, P.Ag. facilitates this workshop designed specifically for vegetable and meat producers in the Columbia Basin. This workshop helps you develop tools and production costing skills to improve the efficiency and profitability of your farm business.
Learn more 

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Workshop: Soil Biology Identification

Nelson, February 17

This one-day workshop will be a hands-on learning opportunity for commercial producers to identify soil microorganisms and discuss ways to enhance beneficial organisms with teas, compost and other strategies.
Learn more

AGM: Kootenay Livestock Association

Cranbrook, February 15

The theme at this year’s AGM is water. Attend this event for a dinner, dance, keynote speeches and presentations about agricultural water managment. Details and updates posted on the KLA Facebook page

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AGM: Kootenay Organic Growers Society (KOGS)

Nelson, February 16

KOGS is a non-profit Kootenay based certifying organization serving organic growers. The AGM is open to the public and this year there will be a presentation on soil life by Jo Tobias of Root Shoot. Details and updates posted on the KOGS Facebook page

Workshop: Succession Planning

Cranbrook, February 20

Planning the transfer of your farm business? This Basin Business Advisor Program’s workshop is designed to help farmers explore options and to answer your questions.
Learn more 

Presentation: Farm Diversification Through Agri-tourism

Revelstoke, February 26 Invermere, February 27 Creston, February 28

Join these sessions to understand the full spectrum of agri-tourism opportunities available to BC farms and to identify useful strategies to diversify farm revenue through agri-tourism. 
Learn more 

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Seminar on Soil Health: What's In Your Soil's Bank Account?

Grand Forks, February 26

Norm Dueck of Heartland Soil and Crop Solutions and A&L Canada Laboratories will discuss essential nutrients for optimal crop productivity and how to make sense of your soil tests. We will review and interpret local soil tests at this event along with group discussion.
Learn more

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Boundary Country Meat: Marketing in the Time of Climate Change

Rock Creek, February 28

This one-day event welcomes Researchers and the Ministry of Agriculture for presentations and discussion with producers on issues, challenges and opportunities for the beef industry in BC and an overview of climate change and the potential for a New Grass-Fed/Finished Certification for BC. 
Learn more (event poster)

MISS AN EVENT? ARCHIVED AND EVENTS HERE

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Soil and Watershed Management- Sean Smukler, PhD

Dr. Smukler is an Associate Professor in Applied Biology and Soil Science at UBC. Sean will be part of the team leading the Irrigation and Soil Management Symposium in Creston on March 12th (see Headlines above). Sean brings a host of knowledge helpful to farmers including agroforestry, environmental chemistry, ecological services, sustainable agricultural systems and land-water interactions. He is the lead researcher for vegetable trials currently taking place at four Kootenay farms and is one of our KBFA advisors available to help Kootenay & Boundary producers!

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Glade Organics Farm is Hiring for the 2020 Season

Glade Organics is a market garden near Nelson, BC that serves the central and west Kootenays with fresh produce through Farmers’ Market, a CSA and Farm Stand. They are hiring 1- 2 farm hands for the 2020 growing season!
Learn more

Farm and Ranch Wildfire Preparedness Plans

A one-day workshop on wildfire preparedness planning for agricultural producers was recently delivered in the Central Kootenays by the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative. Downloadable resources to help producers create an emergency plan and to develop mitigation efforts that will reduce risk of property losses during a wildfire can be found here.

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BC Ministry of Agriculture Launches E-News for Farmers and Processors

AgriService BC has added a new way to communicate with agriculture stakeholders. Farmers and processors can sign up to receive email notifications regarding Ministry of Agriculture webinars, workshops, program dates and resources. Emails will be sent out 1-2 times monthly and will provide agricultural stakeholders with information from the Ministry that can further support the development of their agricultural businesses.
Sign Up

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Funding Available for New Hazelnut Plantings

The Hazelnut Renewal Program provides funding to incentivize the planting of new blight-resistant hazelnut varieties in British Columbia. Farmers can apply for funding to plant 1-10 acres of trees. Funding can also be used to to remove diseased trees to prevent spread of Eastern Filbert Blight.
Note that funding ends February 7, 2020

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Public Input Leads to Changes for ALR?

Last fall the BC Ministry of Agriculture undertook public consultations to address how to strengthen farming in B.C. A newly released report summarizing public feedback, including recommendations from the Cranbrook and Castlegar hearings can be found here.
Policy Intentions Paper has been released outlining changes the government is considering to rules regarding secondary residences in the ALR. The government is receiving comments on these potential changes until April 17, 2020. 
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