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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Residents of the region are invited to an engagement session to have their say on how best to encourage farming and protect farmland throughout British Columbia.

Being held today, Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Encana Events Centre, the Ministry of Agriculture is holding their engagement session.

British Columbians are encouraged to share their insights and opinions on how to best address the following challenges;

  • supporting farmers and ranchers in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to expand and diversify their businesses;
  • helping new or young farmers become established on the land and in business; and
  • ensuring there is flexibility for residential options while prioritizing agriculture in the ALR.

“Helping farmers, protecting farmland and increasing food production are top priorities for our government and we want to continue the momentum we’ve created – it’s driving the success of this sector in our province,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Our government is working hard to expand B.C.’s agriculture industry. We are increasing access to locally grown and raised food, and helping rural communities diversify their economies and create sustainable jobs.”

Since there have been recent changes by the government to strengthen the ALR and Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), the ministry is hosting six in-person sessions, along with the ALC, throughout B.C. to discuss the purpose and context of the changes. The sessions will also focus on gathering input from people on the three stated challenges with the goal of supporting B.C. farmers and ranchers.

In response to feedback heard at the 2019 Union of BC Municipalities Conference, the ministry will be adding additional sessions. When meeting details are confirmed, further information will be available online; CLICK HERE

The engagement period runs from Sept. 19th to Nov. 15, 2019. An engagement summary report will then be prepared and made public.

If you miss the Dawson Creek session next is Prince George, Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Coast Prince George – 700 Brunswick Street – Prince George, BC

“A healthy agriculture industry is critical to protecting a farmer’s most valuable resource – their land, now and for generations to come,” said Jennifer Dyson, chair of the ALC. “I look forward to continuing to hear from farmers and ranchers and everyone who cares about the incredible capacity of B.C.’s agricultural land base to produce a bounty of food and farm products on ways to do so.”

 

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