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. 

A beautiful October field day at the Fossen and Haynes Ranch in Rock Creek highlighted no-till farming practices and reviewed results from an on-farm trial to increase soil water infiltration. Country Life in BC article captured the event highlights. Photo gallery here. Also view images of ‘crimping’ fall rye cover crops at Kootenay Meadows Organic Dairy in Creston. 


In This Issue

Kootenay Farms Participate in UBC Research Trials

How can veggie producers adapt their soil and water management to a changing climate? Four Kootenay farms including Bent PlowCrooked HornSalix and Sedge and Linden Lane are participating in a province-wide research project with the University of British Columbia (UBC) that will monitor and model soil and water management practices to evaluate which practices the are most resilient to increased weather variability. Dr. Sean Smukler and Masters candidate Raelani Kesler of UBC Land and Food Systems recently visited the region to install projects that will commence in the spring 2020. Learn more.


Pacific Ag Show and Horticulture Courses: Travel Grants Available for Basin Farmers!

January 30-Feb 1, 2020

Abbotsford, BC: Join thousands of farmers and discover what over 300 exhibitors and industry leaders offer at the annual Pacific Agriculture Show. Looking for in-depth learning opportunities to benefit your farm? The Horticulture Grower’s Short Course includes over 100 seminars that cover the most popular and niche crops in BC. The Columbia Basin Trust travel grants are available to assist commercial producers to attend these and other trade shows and event

High Profile Event Focuses on Getting Local Food to Plate - Kootenay Farms Participate!

Two local farms, Kootenay Natural Meats and Cutter Ranch participated in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef  event in Vancouver, November 12. “The event was excellent and helped educate food buyers and farmers about the needs for each business,” says Wendy McNamar of Kootenay Natural Meats, a multi-livestock operation in the Creston Valley that farms over 700 acres of hay, grain and pasture. “Locally produced food is not more expensive as it is higher quality and can go further if proper planning is taken into consideration. It is a conversation that needs to happen if we are going to bring more BC food to plates around the province.” Learn more.

NEW Environmental Regulations for BC Farms

The new Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) has replaced the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation. The new AEM Code has a strong focus on soil nutrient management and applies to all agricultural operations in BC, from small hobby farms to large commercial operations. Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors will work with stakeholders and the Ministry of Agriculture to help  producers understand what this means for your farm business. Learn more at the following links:

Cost of Production Workshops Coming to Nelson and Creston in February

Do you know what it costs to produce that side of beef or truckload of squash?  Geared to both livestock and vegetable producers the Basin Business Advisors’ Cost of Production Workshop can help you understand what it truly costs to produce the food you raise or grow for your business to prosper. Workshops are free. Register through the following links or contact Agriculture Specialist Tracey Fredrickson
CrestonWednesday, February 12, 2020
NelsonThursday, February 13, 2020

Creston Valley Honey Producers Creating a Buzz

Master beekeepers Jeff Lee and Amanda Goodman Lee operate 500 colonies, selling their natural honey and beeswax-based cosmetics and candles at farmers’ markets and retailers throughout the Kootenays and BC. Swan Valley Honey is also the largest provider of pollination services to the valley’s tree fruit industry.“Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops along with birds, insects and bats,” Amanda points out. “Everyone can do something to support the bees… Read More

Jeff Lee and Amanda Goodman Lee
“The Creston Valley is known for its diversity of crops, and beekeepers are entirely dependent on good farming practices around them.”

Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Lance Cuthill of the East Kootenay Beekeepers

Lance has been raising bees for over 40 years, is an active member of the East Kootenay Beekeepers and also teaches introductory beekeeping courses in the Cranbrook area. Cuthill was recently recognized as an industry leader by the BC Honey Producer’s Association. Congratulations Lance!
Read more
Photo credit: Tom Walker, Countrylife in BC


Lance and Bobby Cuthill receive a lifetime achievement award from the BC Honey Producers Association president, Kerry Clark

kbfa-agricultural events

Did you miss the Basin Food Summit?

(Past event) October 24 - 26

This multi-day event brought together food producers, processors, industry leaders and young agrarians for education, networking, sharing and eating! Archived resources here including the Growing Your Food Business resource guide. 

Workshop: Frost Seeding

Radium Hot Springs: December 3

Join Julie Robinson of the Peace River Forage Association of BC and Bill Wilson of Forage Friendly Enterprises Ltd. for a presentation and demonstration on frost seeding pastureRead the media release.
Learn more


Workshop: Climate Adaptation

Kelowna: December 2-3

The BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network’s 4th annual workshop will bring researchers and farmers together from across the province who are working on climate adaptation.
Learn more

Presentation: Beef Cattle Nutrition

Creston: December 9 Cranbrook: December 10

Beef producers are invited to join Dr. Mark Cameron of Nutrisource for a presentation and discussion on cattle nutrition, forage quality, fetal development and nutritional programming. 
Learn more


Presentation: Get to Know Your Ground Water

Grand Forks: December 11

Learn how groundwater moves in unconfined and confined aquifers and changes during droughts and floods. The RDKB will demonstrate how to find available groundwater information for your property and farm. 6 – 8 pm, Selkirk College. Contact Kristina Anderson for additional information:

Workshop: Year-Round Sustainable Grazing

Cranbrook: January 8-9, 2020

Join Steve Kenyon for a two-day intensive business management and grazing school. The workshop delves deep into grazing cell design, environmental sustainability and the business of profitable ranching.
Learn more


Pacific Ag Show & Horticulture Growers Short Course

Abbotsford: January 30-Feb 1

Escape the winter blues and immerse yourself in this agricultural extravaganza packed with learning opportunities. Travel grants available to commercial growers in the Basin. 
Learn more

Workshops: Agriculture Succession Planning

Nelson: January 29, 2020 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


Presentation: Farm Diversification Through Agri-tourism

Save the Date: February, 2020

Professor Nicole Vaugeois will give presentations around the Kootenays this winter on Farm Diversification through Agri- Tourism that explore the benefits, costs and investments that are involved for a farm business.
Learn more 



Soil Sciences - Bill Chapman, PhD

Both a farmer and a soil scientist, Bill Chapman makes his home near Castlegar where he grows crops with his wife Louisa. As a consultant Bill works on a wide range of soil-related projects. “Here in BC we are often trying to grow crops on forest soils which are very different from grassland soils in terms of biological processes,” he explains. Read more.


Request for Proposals for Ag Projects in the Kootenay & Boundary

  1. Project: “Develop tools and resources for on-farm water conservation.” Closing date, December 12. Learn more.
  2. Project: “Options to expand availability of weather station data and decision support tools.” Closing date, December 5. Learn more.

Orchard Manager Position – Salmo, BC

Red Lion Organic Farm in Salmo BC is looking for a part-time organic orchardist to manage their 230 apple tree orchard. Learn more by emailing: sales@redlionorganic.com


PED Talks - Soil Health and Conservation

A series of short, science-based PED Talks posted on YouTube explores soil-related topics. Learn about soil health, how we can improve it and the progress being made to ensure we have the healthy soils necessary to feed, clothe and fuel the world in the future.


Online Agricultural Courses

With the arrival of winter some farmers finally have a little extra time to take on some extra learning and research. From poultry to pigs to mushrooms to vegetables, the Cornell Small Farms Program has a course for everyone. Cornell Small Farms Program is a program of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a goal to increase research and extension for small farms.
Learn more


Smartphone App Helps Livestock Producers Manage Invasive Plants

WeedsBMP is a new app that includes information on 95 invasive plant species directly relevant to forage and livestock production in BC. The app offers in-depth information and imagery for identification as well as various ways in which to manage each species, including sources and contacts for more information.
Learn more

About The Author

Recent Posts