Kootenay Farmer newsletter 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.  

Events this Fall Bring Producers Together

Producers from around the region participated in workshops on pork production, irrigation design, farm capital, succession planning, animal health, and the first Basin Food & Buyers Expo.


Chris Bodnar of Close to Home Organics helps producers figure out to how to calculate the cost of vegetable production at a workshop in Nelson, BC.

In This Issue

HeadlinesSuccession Workshop Launched, Basin Innovation Centre
Events: Ben Hartman, Canada GAP Certification, Farm Business 101
Local DirtElectric Fencing – Plenty of Options
Meet Your AdvisorsHermann Bruns, Wildflight Farm

Succession Planning for Farmers Workshop Launched in Cranbrook

The Basin Business Advisors program worked with the Kootenay Livestock Association to hold a one-day workshop on Succession Planning for Farm Operators. The event was held in Cranbrook on November 21 with more than 22 farmers attending. Would you like a succession workshop to take place in your community?  Contact Tracey Fredrickson, BBA Agriculture Specialist, at tfredrickson@bbaprogram.ca or (250) 352-1933 ext. 111


Agri-Innovation Centre Feasibility Study Looks at Helping Farmers Scale Up in the Kootenays

Kootenay region farmers have been challenged by a lack of resources to help them grow by scaling up products, practices and processes related to food processing, storage, transportation and marketing/branding. The solution could be the creation of an agriculture innovation centre, or food hub and a feasibility study is underway to explore the potential for such a model. Farm Food Drink Consulting is conducting the study which will be completed in early 2019. 
The project is a partnership between Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Ministry of Agriculture.


Dates Set for Climate Action Workshops Have Your Say!

Have your say on the regional adaptation strategies for the Kootenay and Boundary region. 

  • December 4, Creston
  • December 5, Slocan Valley
  • December 6, Greenwood

RSVP for workshops by emailing: harmony@bcagclimateaction.ca. Learn more about CAI adaptation projects and adaptation research.


Bursaries Available for Farmers to Attend Horticulture Grower's Short Course

The Pacific Agriculture Show, January 24 – 26 in Abbotsford, is one of the largest agricultural events in British Columbia, showcasing the latest and most innovative technology for the BC agriculture sector.  As part of this three-day event, the Horticulture Grower’s Short Course is delivered by industry experts on the most recent research and production practices for berry, vegetable, greenhouse and organic production. Bursaries will be coordinated to subsidize the cost for local producers to attend. For more information please contact the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors at  coordinator@kbfa.ca.

New Online Resource Tool for BC Farmers

Accessing cutting edge research in a practical way that applies to your farm can be difficult.  The BC Food Web Tool delivers agriculture research in a highly accessible format.  The NEW portal includes seed trial data, agriculture climate research and clear, concise research briefs prepared by UBC’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems.  Check it out!

kbfa-agricultural events

Send us your ideas for seminars, workshops and fields days for 2019

Who gives you inspiration? What topics interest you? KBFA and BBA are coordinating events and programming for 2019. Send us your ideas: coordinator@kbfa.ca

Ben Hartman: Save the Date

Nelson: January 20

KBFA and the Young Agrarians are teaming up to bring you Ben Hartman of The Lean Farm. Details coming soon. 

Farm Business 101

Slocan Valley: February 2

Join the Young Agrarians, Community Futures and Kootenay Food for an afternoon of farm business planning. More information coming soon. Contact: 


Canada GAP Certification Workshop

Creston: February 19 & 20

Canada GAP is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. This two-day workshop will prepare producers to implement the certification.
Learn more



Good Electric Fences Make Productive Farms

Electric fencing has been a game-changer, offering farmers less expensive and more effective, adaptable, and easily-maintained fencing options. Weak fences are often caused by insufficient fencer power, insufficient grounding, and high-resistance conductors. Designing the right fence for your operation will increase profits and decrease long term hassle and losses. Read here for more information on how you can get support to design your system. 


The BBA Agriculture program and the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors can connect you with specialized agricultural advisors who are highlighted in this section of the newsletter. A growing list of advisors can be viewed here. 


Hermann Bruns

Organic Farm Specialist

  • Operator of a year-round organic vegetable farm
  • Specialized in innovative season extension, pest and weed control, operational efficiencies and marketing
  • Past Director of the Certified Organic Association of BC and Past President of the Organic Federation of Canada

Hermann leads a field day at Crooked Horn Farm in the Slocan Valley for on-farm efficiencies, 2017.

Over 25 years, Hermann Bruns and his wife Louise, have demonstrated what it takes to make an organic market garden into a sustainable, profitable venture. Wild Flight Farm started small in its location in Mara, BC on the Shuswap River and has grown to become one of the largest organic vegetable and herb farms in the North Okanagan/Shuswap, employing 12 people. Read the full story on Hermann.


Funding To Support BC Beekeepers Announced

Beekeepers around the province have another opportunity to apply for BEEBC funding to help with projects in their communities that support the health of bees in British Columbia.Agriculture minister Lana Popham announced BEEBC is providing an additional $50,000 to beekeepers in the province on October 27th.  Read the full release… 

NEW Programs Launched for Agri-Business Planning & Indigenous Agriculture

The BC Agri-Business Planning Program and Indigenous Agriculture Development Program were officially launched on October 17th.  BC Agri-Business Planning Program provides support for up to $5,000 in support for business consulting services or for disaster recovery planning. BC Indigenous Agriculture Development Program supports the development of agriculture and agrifoods opportunities within Indigenous Communities:

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