Funding supports professional development for British Columbia farmers

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

April 4, 2019 – Victoria, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture brought the classroom to the field offering farmers and ranchers around the province the opportunity to attend a variety of agricultural-related learning events with support from the governments of Canada and British Columbia (B.C.).

Members of B.C.’s agricultural industry were invited to participate in a series of field days, workshops and other learning opportunities that promoted growth and viability within the farming sector. The program provided funding to support knowledge and technical transfer for B.C. farmers and food processors.

Seventeen knowledge transfer events were offered in regions throughout the province during the past three months, covering a wide-range of farming and ranching activities that would contribute to and improve the competitiveness, innovation and resilience of B.C.’s agriculture and agri-foods sector.

Participants learned best practices and innovative strategies; new and emerging opportunities within the sector; and techniques to adapt to changing environmental, production and market conditions. The programs also offered peer learning, educational networking and relationship-building opportunities for under-represented and target groups such as new entrants, youth and Indigenous Peoples.

The activities were coordinated with Ministry of Agriculture staff and included the following: information sessions on agricultural tools and strategies to help adapt to climate change; and discussions on the latest trends in integrated pest management, improving production operating costs, herd health, and opportunities within the sheep and goat industry.

The Knowledge Transfer Events Program supported industry activities that contribute to and improve the competitiveness, innovation and resilience of B.C.’s agriculture and agri-foods sector. The funding facilitated knowledge and technical transfer events to strategically support B.C.’s producers and processors to innovate and adapt to changing environmental, production, and market conditions. The program was supported by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.

“Our Government is pleased to partner with British Columbia to support the growth of the agriculture sector through initiatives such as the Knowledge Transfer Events Program. This investment under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership gives B.C. farmers and ranchers the knowledge, skills and tools they need to be innovative, competitive and keep their business growing.”

– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The agricultural industry is continually growing and changing to adapt to emerging opportunities and changing environmental, production and market conditions. We are committed to providing the support our ranchers and farmers need to ensure they are able to grow with the industry through hands-on learning and peer taught workshops coming from within the farming community.”

– Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture

“This year, the Smithers Farmers’ Institute is using funding from the Knowledge Transfer Events Program to help make our 3rd Carrots to Cattle: Growing from the Ground Up conference possible. The funding is helping us bring two leading experts, one in agricultural soils, the other in permaculture and land design, to northwestern B.C. to share their knowledge. The objective is to inform producers about adaptive management practices that help to make their farm and ranch operations more resilient to seasonal stresses such as drought. In addition to knowledge extension, these conferences are valuable networking events that provide an opportunity for producers to learn from each other. We are very grateful for the support we receive from the Knowledge Transfer Events Program, and for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that makes it possible.”

– Megan D’Arcy, Smithers Farmers’ Institute

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