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 toured Little Fork Ranch in Greenwood on September 27 to learn and share experiences about multi-species farming! The tour complemented two-days of rich discussion on soil health at at Waikikahei Ranch.
Photo: Eric Moes of Little Fork Ranch discusses his custom chicken tractor for pastured poultry.


In This Issue

  • Headlines: Public Consultation for Agriculture; 2019 Season Review
  • Farmer Profiles: East Kootenay Ranchers
  • Local Dirt: Beef & the Environment; Have You Seen the Armyworm?; Farming Near Water
  • Ministry of Agriculture: Farmer Survey; Support for Apple Growers; Grants for Small Business 

Basin Food Summit: 3-days! Food & Buyers Expo, Agriculture Forum, Young Agrarians Mixer

October 24-26, Rossland

Join fellow farmers, food processors and food buyers involved in the business and passion of food and agriculture! Come for the informative speakers, panel discussions, workshops and the engaging Food and Buyers Expo that creates opportunities for food producers and processors to grow market opportunities.

The Basin Food Summit delivers high quality professional development opportunities and you’ll be sure to leave with ideas and inspiration to take your farm or food business to the next level. Participation is free. Learn more at basinfood.ca.


Supporting BC Farmers and Ranchers - Ministry Invites Public Engagement

Castlegar, October 30

The BC Government wants your insight and opinions on how they can:

  • Support farmers in the ALR to expand and diversify their businesses
  • Help new or young farmers become established on the land and in business
  • Ensure there is flexibility for residential options while prioritizing agriculture in the ALR

Give your feedback at an in-person public meeting in Castlegar on October 30 or online. Learn more.

Cost of Production Workshops for Beef and Vegetables Coming this Fall

Do you know what it costs to produce that pound of tomatoes or kilo of beef?  Cost of production as a tool for creating a more efficient, profitable farm, is one of the topics where information is most frequently requested by farmers in the Columbia Basin region. The Basin Business Advisors Agriculture Program is launching a new Cost of Production workshop this fall.  There is no cost to attend but space is limited.  Register early through the following links:

Cranbrook – (Meat producers) Wednesday, November 13, 2019 
Invermere – (Meat and vegetable producers), Thursday, November 14, 2019
Nelson – (Vegetable producers) Thursday, February 13, 2020

Producers Share Views on the 2019 Season

Kootenay Farmer recently talked with producers throughout the Columbia Basin for a check-in about the 2019 farming season. Here’s what they had to say:

“The season started bad and ended well. Our early cherries were hit hard by the July rain but our later season varieties came in really good. We have had a bumper crop of apples, likely due to good pollination and fruit set. The rough start to the cherry season brought the farming community together and there was good support and camaraderie between growers.”
— Danny Turner, Just-A-Mere Organic Farm, Creston
Read more producer quotes

Peter Trescher, Brisco Enterprises

Peter describes himself as an “environmental farmer”. He sat on the BC Cattleman’s Association’s Environmental Committee and has participated in the Verified Beef Production Plus program. After a lifetime of farming he is optimistic about the opportunities for future generations of farmers.
Read more

Karen & Doug Barraclough, B-E Ranch

Article re-cap from Basin Stories

Karen and Doug have utilized the Grassland and Range Enhancement Program (GREP) to protect sensitive wetlands on their ranch. Delivered by the Kootenay Livestock Association, GREP supports projects that help ranchers protect grassland, aquatic and riparian resources on Crown lands where cattle graze.
Read the article from Basin Stories 


   Photo credit: Columbia Basin Trust

kbfa-agricultural events

Field Tour: Cover Crops & Forage Establishment

Creston: October 2

Join KBFA at Kootenay Meadows Organic Dairy to see the application of crimping a fall rye cover crop. The thick mulch will conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds in the development of a forage stand.
Learn more


Ferment & Feast with the Young Agrarians

Castlegar: October 6

Fermentation enthusiasts unite! Join Young Agrarians for a hands-on workshop exploring food preservation through fermentation, then enjoy a guided tour of the Doukhobor museum, plus a round table discussion and potluck meal.
Learn more

Field Day: On-Farm Trials, Soil Health and Cover Crops

Rock Creek: October 10

Join KBFA on a tour of two ranches to see cover crops inter-planted with silage corn and view on-farm trial results of tillage radish to improve soil health.
Learn more and register.


Basin Food Summit

Rossland: October 24-26

This year the Food and Buyers Expo, Agriculture Forum and the Young Agrarians Kootenay Mixer are combined into one event! Don’t miss this annual gathering of producers, buyers and food processors.
Learn more 

Land Linking Workshop

Nelson: November 16

Join Young Agrarians for a workshop on the nuts and bolts of land access. Land linking workshops bring together landholders and farmers seeking land to network and explore possible land matches. 
Learn more


Workshops: Agriculture Succession Planning

Nelson: November 27 Cranbrook: February 20, 2020

Planning the transfer of your farm business requires advance work. A good succession plan will assist in a smooth and financially efficient transition considering legalities, taxes and timelines.
Learn more

Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing

Edmonton: December 10-12

This conference welcomes a big lineup of speakers including Gabe Brown and Eliane Ingham. Learn how to improve yields, reduce crop inputs and increase water retention capacity in your soil through management techniques.
Learn more.



Beef Production Research Shows Conservation Benefits

A new infographic by the Beef Cattle Research Council explains the benefits cattle grazing has for the conservation of native grasslands and the wild animals who rely on them for habitat. “By generating revenue through sustainable grazing practices” the report says, “ranchers are helping ensure that native grasslands aren’t converted to crop production or developed for residential use.”
Learn more

Western Yellowstriped Armyworm: Ministry of Ag Asks Citizens to Report New Sightings

This caterpillar can cause extensive damage to forage crops, vegetables, berries and tree fruits. Records of this pest in Southern BC include Cranbrook and the Okanagan Valley. Farmers and homeowners are asked to report any suspect Western yellowstriped armyworm caterpillars and damage in new regions to the BC Ministry of Agriculture
Read factsheet


Do You Farm or Ranch Near Water?

Lands Near Water is an easy-to-use reference guide that has practical information about managing your soil, water and ecosystem assets. The Environmental Farm Plan has grants to help you re-establish degraded riparian areas.


Need Help with the Business Side of Farming?

The Basin Business Advisors‘ Agriculture Program Can Help!

When it comes to the business side of farming, what keeps you awake at night? Cash flow and financial management? Succession planning? When and how to expand? Finding and managing employees?

The Basin Business Advisors (BBA) Program, provides specialized no-cost advisement and workshops to primary food producers throughout the Columbia Basin region. Visit the newly designed BBA website for more information on  BBA Agriculture Program and to connect with our Agriculture Specialist.   
The BBA Program is an initiative of Columbia Basin Trust delivered by Community Futures.


Survey - Ministry Seeking Input From Local Growers and Food Processors

The BC Government’s Food Security Task Force will develop recommendations to the BC Government for how to unlock the potential of agricultural technologies to fundamentally transform the sector and promote food security. 

Have your say! An online public engagement opportunity is available until October 15, 2019. You are encouraged to share your opinions and input by completing the survey.

Light Reflecting Materials Program - Apple Growers Eligible for Funds

The New Tree Fruit Variety Development Council is offering a partial grant towards the purchase of light reflecting fabrics by apple producers. Research shows that light reflecting materials improve colouring and enhance product quality when apples are harvested at the proper ripeness.
November 30 is the deadline for 2019 purchases. Program available from 2019 to 2022 to encourage early adoption of light reflecting materials. Read more.
2019 application form.

Low Carbon Economy Grants Available to Small Businesses

The federal Low Carbon Economy Fund provides support to projects that will generate clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in support of Canada’s clean growth and climate action plan. Small and medium businesses are eligible to apply, deadline is November 15th. 
Examples include building retrofits, fuel switching for heating sources, installation of solar panels, and more. Read more


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