Welcome to Kootenay Farmer – a bi-monthly newsletter for producers to keep you current with agricultural information, resources and expertise.

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.  


Yaqan Nukiy Farm, Creston Valley, May 2021.
The East Kootenay received rain last week, but everyone else has been pretty dry!

In This Issue

Headlines: Climate Change Funding for Agriculture
Events: Irrigation and Hog Workshops, and more!
Local Dirt: Tackling Wireworm, Co-op Supply Opportunities, Succession Planning
Meet Your Advisors: Andrea Gunner – Pastured Poultry Operator


Climate Action Coming to Kootenay & Boundary

With the recent announcement of $6 million in federal and provincial government support over the next 5 years, the BC agriculture sector will have new resources to support its efforts to adapt to climate change. 

BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI) has collaborated with 6 regions of the province to develop regional adaptation strategies.  Work on an adaptation strategy for the Kootenay & Boundary region will begin this fall and consultative workshops with producers are planned for late November.  Upon completion, there will be up to $300,000 available to implement projects in the region.

Learn more about CAI adaptation projects and adaptation research.   

NEW Tools for Marketing and Land Access for Farmers in the Kootenays

Farmers selling at local markets received a marketing boost with the launch of the Kootenay Rockies and Columbia Basin BC Farmers’ Market Trail – an online tool that makes it easy for locals and visitors to find the freshest, local, in-season food. Read press release 

New farmers looking for land can now access the NEW Young Agrarians Land Matching Program that connects farmers looking for land with landowners wanting to lease their land for farming. Read press release 

Diverse East Kootenay Farm Thrives

Over three decades, three generations have built and expanded what is now a  five-acre certified organic farm, farm-to-table cafe, and 25,000 square foot greenhouse at Winderberry & Edibles Farm + Cafe + Catering. Read the full story featured in Eat Drink Local BC

kbfa-agricultural events

Land Linking with Young Agrarians

Creston: October 27

The Columbia Basin now has a Land Linking Coordinator. Attend this workshop to learn about land access resources.
Learn more 

Tool School, Farm Tour & Pot Lucks

Sparwood: October 9 Nelson: October 12 & 24

The Young Agrarians will host three mingler events in October including a tool demonstration and farm tour of terraced mountain farming.
Learn more


Workshop: Farming Capital

Revelstoke, October 23

A team of lenders, business advisors and technical experts will provide avenues to pursue funding for farm operations. Hosted by Community Connections, Revelstoke.
Learn more

Workshop: Keeping Flocks Healthy - Sheep & Goats

Nakusp: November 3

Animal health workshop with the Ministry of Agriculture for producers and processors of goats and sheep.
Learn more


Workshop: On-Farm Water Management

Revelstoke: November 6 Grand Forks: November 7

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Water Management Specialist will share expertise on plant water demand, irrigation system design & efficiency.
Learn more

Obsolete Product Collection

Cranbrook: October 30 Creston: October 31 Grand Forks: TBA

Obsolete product collection will happen at three locations in the Kootenay & Boundary this year.
Learn more


Workshop: Getting Into Hog Production

Invermere: November 13

With more people looking to raise pigs for profit, this workshop is designed to give producers the tools they need to raise healthy and hearty animals. 
Learn more 

Food & Buyers Expo

Nelson: November 29th

Kootenay farm producers and food buyers have a unique opportunity to come together at the first Basin Food and Buyers Expo




Success Tackling Wireworm with Nematodes

Wireworm can be a challenge to eradicate. Grand Forks Farmers, Ann and Ahmed of Settle Down Farm, found success controlling wireworm this season with a beneficial nematode product call Nemattack Pro SC. It was hard to find a Canadian organic supplier, but they tracked one down from Alert Agri Distributors (Winnipeg), 204-697-0863.


Supplier Opportunies at the Co-op

Kootenay Co-op is always interested in new suppliers to grow with the new store.  Currently the Co-op’s True Local program partners with over 140 local suppliers.  Specific product needs include:

  • Produce department – transitional or certified organic produce.  Apples and tree fruits, most berries, and shoulder season crops.
  • The Co-op has unmet demand for chicken, beef, lamb and other species, and for local charcuterie.  The full service butcher shop takes cuts from whole animals.  

The Co-op favors organic, fair trade, and non-GMO products when feasible and available. To find out more about being a Co-op supplier, visit the website or contact True Local Coordinator Nadine BenRabha at Nadine@kootenay.coop; 250-354-4077 ext. 151.


Thinking About Succession for Your Farm?

How to transition the farm is an increasing area of interest to farmers all over Canada.  In response to the number of inquiries for information on succession, the Basin Business Advisors program is developing a workshop on Succession Planning for Farm Operators. The program will be piloted this fall and delivered in farming hubs throughout the region in early 2019. 

The BBA Agriculture program also works one-on-one with farm operators on succession planning.  For more information contact Tracey Fredrickson, Agriculture Specialist, tfredrickson@bbaprogram.ca; (250) 352-1933 ext. 111


Andrea Gunner, P.Ag.

Business planning, agricultural marketing, economic consulting

  • Operator of pastured poultry operation 
  • Manager of a provincially licensed mobile poultry processing facility
  • Partner in a custom feed mill

Andrea Gunner has been providing business planning, agricultural marketing and economic consulting services for farm clients, First Nations, industry associations, co-operatives, community groups, government and non-government organizations  since 1989. Read more about Andrea.


Organic Sector Gets Boost

An investment of up to $8.3 millionto the Organic Federation of Canada for research will help the organic sector enhance productivity.

Under a new provincial regulation, organic food and beverage operators are now required to maintain up-to-date proof of certification to be labeled as organic. Previously, there were no official requirements for people who were selling or marketing B.C. food products as organic.



Article from Certified Organic Associations of BC

Up to 1,000 children in one-year will participate in the Agriculture in the Classroom program which is delivered by Karen Barraclough on Behalf of the Kootenay Livestock Association. Karen and her husband Doug won the Kootenay Livestock Association’s 2018 Agriculturalist of the Year Award.



Kudos to Karen Barraclough, a rancher and retired educator in Skookumchuk, for delivering the Kootenay Livestock Association’s popular Agriculture in the Classroom program.  Karen travels all over the East Kootenays teaching elementary students about farming and where their food comes from, organizing and leading field trips to local farms, ranches, dairies, apiaries and orchards. 

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