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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Over $383,714 in grant funding has been approved to support agriculture production in the Peace region.
The board of directors for the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund recently approved the funding to support 12 organizations in the region for a variety of projects, according to a release from the Northern Development Initiative Trust Thursday.
The grants were approved through two funding streams — 10 farming infrastructure-related projects and two research and demonstration initiatives.
Recipients of the PACF eight intake:
- $100,000 to the BC Grain Producers Association for year two of its Peace region field research;
- $60,745 to the Peace Region Forage Seed Association for BC Peace pest and disease surveillance;
- $50,000 to Jedidah Franklin to build a mill that produces alfalfa pellets;
- $36,200 to Sunset Prairie Livestock Association for a renovation to the SPLA North Line Fence;
- $28,860 to the Bear Mountain Grazing Association for fencing in 2023;
- $28,320 to Julian Napoleon to extend the growing season on Amisk Farm;
- $26,525 to Lindsay Katherine Routledge for orchard irrigation;
- $11,540 to Harvey Bahm for a cattle corral upgrade;
- $8,725 to Matt and Lindsay Spenner for stackyard enclosures;
- $5,617 to Kayla Read for pasture fencing;
- $1,715 to Kelly Field for a garden fence.
According to a release, the Bear Mountain Grazing Association will install 3.7 kilometres of fencing around a community pasture on Crown grazing land near Dawson Creek.
Annually, the pasture has around 1,202 cattle that graze on the land between May and October, representing 10 ranches from the South Peace area. The project will replace fences constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The fencing will keep the livestock safely contained, protecting them and nearby motorists and residences.
“Receiving this grant through the PACF allows Bear Mountain Grazing Association to invest in much-needed upgrades to the community pasture without financially burdening our members. The association realizes the need for new fencing to keep livestock safely contained on the pasture and prevent cattle from accessing neighbouring properties,” said Talon Gauthier, area director for the Bear Mountain Grazing Association.
Jedidiah Franklin is utilizing the funding to build a mill to produce alfalfa pellets to be sold as livestock feed. The project aims to provide environmental and financial benefits for Franklin, along with a new product in the region. According to a release, the project will reduce the farm’s fossil fuel imprint as Franklin will no longer have to produce and ship alfalfa to Vancouver.
“Adding a pellet mill to our organic farm is an exciting endeavour, and receiving a $50,000 grant helps to alleviate some of the financial stress associated with such an investment. This investment will return many benefits for farmers and the environment through the introduction of a new product from the Peace Region and reduction of fossil fuel usage,” said Franklin.
Julian Napoleon wants to extend the growing season on Amisk Farm in Saulteau First Nations. The funding received will be used to invest in equipment such as a greenhouse and caterpillar tunnel. According to NDIT, Napoleon’s project will allow him to capitalize on shoulder season marketing opportunities and the ability to produce high-value, heat-loving crops, such as tomatoes, basil, peppers and pole beans, while positively contributing to food security in the region.”
“The Amisk Farm Season Extension project will support the development of key farm infrastructure. As a small-scale diverse market farm, we identified a greenhouse and caterpillar tunnels as essential components of a profitable operation with the capacity to grow food on a community scale. The infrastructure will effectively double our growing season and open the doors to bringing new crops to our local farmers’ market,” said Napoleon.
The Peace Region Forage Seed Association is looking to expand and improve pest surveillance activities in the region. Through the project, the association will gather surveillance data on key pest species (insect, pathogen and invasive plants) for forage seed, forage, pulse, horticulture, oilseeds and grains.
According to NDIT, by improving longer-term data sets and enhancing producers’ capacity to forecast, identify, prepare and mitigate pest issues, this project will allow producers to adapt their operations more successfully in response to pest challenges.
“This research project for pest and disease surveillance in the Peace Region will continue to fill knowledge gaps that currently exist within the grain, oilseed, pulse, forage seed and forage industries. Specifically, it will provide insight into the impact and pest management strategies that are applicable to the area. The funding supplements financial support from both the PRFSA and the BC Grain Producers Association,” general manager of the PRFSA Talon Gauthier.
Since 2018, more than $2 million has been approved through the PACF. The fund has two intakes each year, with the next intake opening on July 31st and closing on September 15th, 2023.
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