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PEACE RIVER REGIONAL DISTRICT, B.C. – Two agricultural associations in the Peace region are receiving a total of $1 million through grants.

The funding was approved through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund’s Agricultural Impact and Opportunities Initiative.

The Fort St. John Seed Cleaning Cooperative Association is receiving $746,000 to complete improvements to its seed plant, including a Cimbria SEA Optical Sorter, a colour sorter, gravity separator and super cleaner.

“This investment will provide decades of improved seed cleaning for all agricultural producers who use the service,” said Wade Sutherland, vice-chair of the Fort St. John Cleaning Cooperative Association.

“The state-of-the-art equipment and ability to improve agronomic practices will only help lower the overall environmental and financial impacts faced by producers and will continue to compound year-over-year.”

The South Peace Grain Cleaning Cooperative Association is getting $254,000 to purchase and install an optical sorting machine.

The new sorter uses cameras, lighting, machine software and other technologies to remove foreign materials and unwanted coloured seeds with discolouring, size or shape defects.

“We look forward to offering this new seed sorting service to our members and other customers,” said Garnet Berge, chair of the South Peace Grain Cleaning Cooperative Association.

“Having this service at our local plant will not only save our members and customers money, time and trucking costs but will also keep the plant sustainable for years to come. This is truly an opportunity for everyone in our local agricultural industry.”

According to a release from Northern Development, the two projects bring sophisticated technology and equipment to the region to provide farmers and growers with local options to improve the quality of their products without having to travel far.

NDIT says that the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund’s Agricultural Impact and Opportunities Initiative is a proposal-based funding program is proposal-based and supports large-scale agricultural projects that impact and directly benefit the region.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.