Land matching program reaches milestone
More than 100 farmers in the province have started growing crops and raising livestock on more than 2,023 hectares (5,000 acres) of farmland since 2016 through the B.C. Land Matching Program (BCLMP).
The 46 land matches finalized in 2020 will help improve food security, create economic growth and bring more local food options to communities in B.C. following COVID-19.
“This is an amazing milestone reached by the farmers and landholders who have been brought together through the B.C. Land Matching Program,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “Through this program, we are helping farmers access land and keeping it in production, which strengthens B.C.’s food security and supports our local economies. Each match, whether big or small, adds to our next generation of agricultural leaders and means more opportunities for British Columbians to enjoy local products from their region.”
Okanagan farmer Kanver Brares comes from a long line of farmers and orchardists. He grew up on his family’s orchard playing among the fruit trees. After completing a business degree and trying to find his passion in life, his heart led him back to his roots – agriculture. Brares was matched to long-time organic apple orchardists Alain Peron and Donna Bartlett in Keremeos late last year. Through his lease, Brares will take over the 2.12-hectare (5.25-acre) orchard and business, carrying on the legacy of Old Tower Farm that has been built over the last 25 years.
In Saanich, Ardeo Mann started Rake and Radish Farm, a new market garden business, on 0.8 hectares (two acres) of leased land in spring 2020. The farm uses regenerative farming practices, low-till methods and prioritizes planting habitat for pollinators. Mann delivers pre-made produce boxes to customers by bicycle and tries to avoid the use of plastic wherever possible, to help ensure the farm has a low carbon footprint.
The BCLMP is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries’ Grow BC initiative. The initiative supports young farmers and food producers seeking a career in agriculture and addresses major challenges for new farmers, such as gaining access to land. The program is part of the Province’s New Entrant Strategy, which looks at ways to increase the number of new and young farmers working in B.C.’s agriculture sector.
Sara Dent, executive director, Young Agrarians –
“Accessing land in today’s real estate market is the number-one barrier new farmers have to overcome to start growing food for their communities. It is exciting to see the impact of the program grow and provide this level of support to a new generation of farmers. With an aging farming population and the number of farms declining annually, it is important we invest now in a resilient future food system.”
Kanver Brares, orchardist, Old Tower Farm –
“Over the past years in the Okanagan, land has become a scarce resource. As a young farmer starting up, the purchasing price per acre is not realistic. The BCLMP offered new opportunities for young farmers who would like to acquire land. This program helps farmers seeking land in B.C by matching their land criteria with landholders looking to lease their land. The experience with this program was outstanding. They offered business resources and professional advice to guarantee full satisfaction from both parties. The BCLMP provided numerous options of land opportunities in the region that one couldn’t find personally. As the interest of new farmers is increasing, this program will help and motivate new farmers to acquire land. BCLMP is an excellent program that is pushing for future sustainability of farmers.”
Ardeo Mann, farmer, Rake and Radish Farm –
“Getting to start my own farm and feed people in my community has been a dream for many years. I’m so thrilled that I’ve been able to make it happen at 23 years old, thanks to the BCLMP and all of its support in securing a land lease.”
Find out more about the B.C. Land Matching Program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/land-matching
Young Agrarians B.C. Land Matching Program: http://youngagrarians.org/land/
Government of B.C.’s New Entrant Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/farm-management/farm-business-management/6322_agri_newentrantstrategy_web.pdf
More B.C. Land Matching Program news: https://news.gov.bc.ca/22744
Old Tower Farm: https://oldtowerfarm.com/
Rake and Radish Farm: https://rakeandradish.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Exploring Sugarloaf Hill – Kamloops Trails
Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: The Marsh and Giant Firs on Snowshoes
Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 11:09 am - Darryl Schmidt posted a comment on Grand Finale of the Kamloops Symphony’s “Running The Symphony” Initiative
Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm - Ryan Noakes created a new Profile
Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 9:05 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Bush Lake Loop – Kamloops Trails
Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 12:25 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: U.S. crisis shows need to speak truth to power
Mon, Jan 11, 2021 at 3:47 pm - Kamloops Film Society created a new Profile
Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Hidden Homesteads, Lone Trees, and Old Snags
Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 4:42 pm - Arjun Singh posted on their blog: Advancing active transportation path construction in Kamloops….
Tue Jan 19 NewBorn 101: Bringing Baby Home
Wed Jan 20 Colombo Cares – Take Home Dinner
Thu Jan 21 Never Without Love, a Journey to Persia
Mon Jan 25 Chefs in the City Reimagined
Tue Jan 26 to Sun Jan 31 2021 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship
Fri Jan 29 Business – Student Mentorship Award Gala – AIMCanada TNC
Thu Feb 11 Industry Roundtable – Hospitality
Fri Feb 12 Dinner & Comedy Show with Sophie Buddle
Sat Feb 13 Dinner & Comedy Show with Sophie Buddle
Sat Feb 20 Chamber Musicians of Kamloops Presents A Concert Full Of Passion
Sat Feb 20 Passions
Mon Feb 22 Chefs in the City Reimagined
Fri Feb 26 Speakers Jeremy Heighton, Jo Berry
Sat Mar 6 Kamloops Ambassador Society Father Daughter Ball