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VICTORIA, B.C. – Farmers and ranchers in British Columbia can access up to $20 million to cover extraordinary expenses from shelter, feed, animal health and safety, and the transportation of livestock resulting from the summer’s drought and wildfire situation.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries made the announcement Friday to help farmers and ranchers recover from the challenging season.

Ranchers and farmers can apply for funding through the 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative.

According to a release, AgriRecovery is a disaster relief framework between federal, provincial and territorial entities to help producers with extraordinary costs.

Examples of extraordinary expenses include reseeding forage, replacing fences or other critical infrastructure that cannot be insured and was damaged or destroyed by fires, and expenses from beekeepers replacing colonies or apiary equipment that was lost to fire.

“This year’s drought and fires have been incredibly difficult for many B.C. ranchers and farmers, and the B.C. government is here to help them keep their livelihoods and the province’s food security and economy moving forward,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The $20-million response package we’ve put together will help B.C. ranchers maintain their breeding stock, continue their operations and continue to supply British Columbians with food grown and raised in our province.”

The 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative will assist ranchers and farmers with:

“The devastation to B.C. ranches, their livestock and operations from this year’s wildfires and drought has been extensive,” said Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “Experience from past wildfires has not been lost on the government. The announcement of this comprehensive AgriRecovery program will go a long way to assisting producers in their efforts to re-establish their operations and help them recover from the effects of this year’s debilitating events.”

A suite of Business Risk Management programs is available through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, including AgriStability, AgriInvest and AgriInsurance.

Information and applications for the program are available on the B.C. government website.

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