Kootenay Farmer newsletter is an initiative of the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors to communicate with farmers and ranchers, and to grow and support the agriculture sector.

Local Producers Step Up
After a summer of drought and wildfire, extreme weather in the Province has been impacting BC’s agricultural sector in profound ways. Producers in the Kootenays have been stepping up to meet the recent disruptions in supply chains to keep food on shelves including Kootenay Meadow’s Dairy and Sunshine Valley Egg Farm  in the Creston Valley and Jerseryland Organics in Grand Forks, and many more. Our hearts go out to producers recently impacted by the flooding. 
Thank you to our local producers!

Grocery stores in the Kootenays have been thanking local suppliers on social media for stepping up during the recent supply chain disruptions. 

In This Issue

Headlines: KBFA Winter Events | RFP Opportunity | Adaptation Resources | Kevin Murphy Retires | Aphids
Events:  Beef Cattle Nutrition | Tomato Production | Flock Health | Forage Quality | Soil
Kudos to our Farmers: Spray Irrigation Fields | Track Street Growers
Local Dirt: Water Licensing | Food Producer Internship Program

KBFA Rolls Out Winter Extension Schedule

KBFA Rolls Out Winter Extension Schedule 

KBFA has been collecting feedback about what producers would like to learn about over winter months. Here is a snapshot of the online events coming your way! Details are in the events section and KBFA website.

Climate Adaptation Resources for Kootenay Farms

Hotter & drier summers | Warmer & wetter winters

BC’s Climate Agriculture Initiative (CAI) has has been at the forefront of adaptation planning and they have summarized specific resources relevant to Kootenay & Boundary farms including wildfire, drought, and floods. CAI was the lead on the Kootenay & Boundary Adaptation Strategies Plan for Agriculture
Read adaptation resources for Kootenay and Boundary Farms

Regional Agrologist for the Kootenays Retires

Kevin Murphy, regional agrologist with the Ministry of Agriculture for the Kootenays has retired after 31 years of working in the public service sector. Kevin has an extensive history working with agriculture in BC including forage in Central and Northern BC, premise ID and soils. Kevin was a great mentor and collaborator to KBFA over the last four years providing linkages to Ministry programs and technical support. His expertise and collaboration will be missed. The position of regional agrologist for the Kootenays has not yet been filled. 

Cranbrook: Testing Virtual Fencing's Potential in BC

Cranbrook rancher Jordy Thibeault is at the forefront in pursuing new technology to control cattle more effectively and economically and this year he piloted a prototype of virtual fencing wearable technology for his cattle. “The collars themselves have a combination of satellite, GPS and cellular LTE technology so we know where the cattle are and virtual boundaries can be created and enforced,” says Amanda Miller, rangeland ecologist with Palouse Rangeland Consulting and project collaborator. 
Read more

Aphid Management: Tips from the Experts

Aphids are a nuisance pest to many producers in the Kootenays and they especially like drought conditions and stressed plants. Expert advisor Linda Gilkeson weighs in on aphid management including biocontrols such as the aphid midge and attracting natural predators. 
Read summary here  | Aphid fact sheet Attracting aphid predator fact sheet

Flooding Impacts BC Farms

The BC Agriculture Council (BCAC) is accepting donations on behalf of our province’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the recent flooding. BCAC is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization representing a membership of 27 farm associations, who in turn represent approximately 20,000 farm families and over 90% of farm gate sales in BC.
Learn more.

kbfa-agricultural events

Beef Cattle Nutrition

Online: Wednesday, December 15

Join Jeremy Plesmen of Valley Nutrition to discuss why feed quality and efficient digestion, absorption and conversion are key factors in animal health, reproduction, performance, and profitability in the beef cattle industry. 

Learn more and register here

Tomato Production for Organic Soil-Based Systems

Online: Tuesday, January 11

Vegetable and berry specialist at the University of Vermont, Dr. Vern Grubinger, will share best practices being used by organic high tunnel (hoophouse) tomato growers to optimize soil nutrient management.

Learn more and register here

Flock Health for Optimal Broiler Production

Online: Thursday, January 13

Flock health workshop for small scale meat bird producers with Vickie Bowes, Small Flock Poultry Health Specialist and Veterinarian with the Ministry of Agriculture and Curtis Smith, owner and operator of Chuckureese Poultry Abattoir.

Learn more and register here 

Forage Quality and Sample Analysis with the BC Forage Council

Online: Wednesday January 19

Join producers from the Kootenay and Boundary for a workshop to learn about forage quality and how to interpret forage analysis reports. The BC Forage Council and experts will support producers during this interactive workshop to interpret lab results. 

Learn more and register here


Wildfire, Heat & Sequestering Carbon | Agriculture Research Workshop
December 7 – 9 – Online
Join three mornings of discussion on climate adaptation research for wildfire, extreme heat and carbon sequestration with the BC Agricultural Adaptation Research NetworkFree registration here

Climate Adaptation for BC Cattle and Forage Resilience | Workshop
December 14 – Kamloops 
Join producers and the BC Agricultural Adaptation Research Network in Kamloops to discuss what’s needed to support continued resilience in BC’s cattle and forage sectors. Learn more.

Young Agrarians: Kootenay Farmer Slideshow Social
December 20 – Online
Celebrate the end of the 2021 farming season and ring in the Holidays with the Young Agrarians. Farmers are invited to share their favourite photos from the season! Learn more.


Spray Irrigation Fields - Cranbrook

KBFA Blog Post

Community and agriculture work hand in hand at the Cranbrook Spray Irrigation fields. For decades, the City of Cranbrook has been reusing treated wastewater to benefit the agriculture community. 
Read the blog


The Spray Irrigation Fields in have been operating for decades and provide irrigation for 1600 acres. 

Track Street Growers - Revelstoke

Story from Country Life in BC

Sarah Harper and Stu Smith of Track Street Growers in Revelstoke had a busy year. Their commercial kitchen license was approved to produce hot sauce with their locally grown peppers to supply nearby stores and restaurants. They credit careful financial management and planning with their new business success. 
Read the full story here

Read our interview with Sarah Harper of Track Street Growers last November on the KBFA Blog


Secure Your Water Rights! Groundwater Licensing

Have you applied for your water license due on March 1, 2022? Make sure to submit your application before this date to secure your water rights for the future.
Watch: webinar with Water Management Specialist Andrew Petersen 
Read: KBFA blog post for groundwater licensing berries including plant nutrition, bed preparation, irrigation, soils, pruning, trellis, and much more!


Food Producer Career Internship Program

NEW program from Columbia Basin Trust provides support to the Basin’s local food production and processing sector with up to 70 per cent of an intern’s salary and mandatory employment related costs (up to $25,000 over a 5 to 12-month term) for seasonal or permanent, year-round, career-focused positions that lead to permanent employment.

Learn more

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