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.
Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 6:02 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Fossil fuel industry faces an overdue reckoning
Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Island Lake Loop – Kamloops Trails
Sun, Jun 6, 2021 at 8:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Lac du Bois Loop Route
Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 3:25 pm - Darryl Schmidt posted a reply on Grand Finale of the Kamloops Symphony’s “Running The Symphony” Initiative
Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Ragged Red Ridge Reverse Route
Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 1:08 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Sun rises on renewable energy and storage
Mon, May 31, 2021 at 12:46 pm - Deniel Lene Enriquez created a new Profile
Mon, May 31, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: The Deep Lake Extended Loop
Fri, May 28, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Dam Lake, Thickets Meadows, and Spade Lake
Fri May 21 to Sat Jun 19 T(w)o New Heights
Fri Jun 18 to Sat Jul 17 “Painting with Wax” by Judith Anderson in the KAC Main Gallery
Thu Jun 24 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Thu Jul 1 to Tue Aug 31 Music in the Park
Wed Jul 14 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop
Thu Jul 29 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Wed Aug 25 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop
Thu Aug 26 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Sat Sep 11 to Sun Sep 12 Parkinson SuperWalk
Tue Sep 28 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop