Agricultural News & Items of Interest for Farmers

This page contains information which may be of interest to farmers and those in the agricultural sector.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is working with the Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship to improve our communications with producers about how we can best prepare for drought and how water management decisions are made during drought.

The Province will be hosting upwards of 30 in-person and online information sessions throughout B.C. between March and May 2024. Locations and dates are being updated regularly – please check back here for updated information.

Two types of workshops are being offered:

Agricultural Water Management Workshops: this series aims to assist producers in optimizing irrigation systems, explore options for on-farm water storage and get tips for using and managing water on your farm, especially during times of water scarcity. Delivered by Certified Irrigation Designers, these workshops aim to provide producers with the tools and information they need to improve their on-farm water use.

Decoding Drought Management Engagement Sessions: this series is designed to improve awareness of the supports available to producers to prepare for and reduce the impacts of drought and to build understanding within the agriculture sector about B.C.’s legislative framework for water management including regulatory tools and decision-making under the Water Sustainability Act (WSA). Workshops will be co-delivered by staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship.

Details on the various workshops can be found on this Ministry page

Groundwater Use License Application Deadline – 1 March, 2022!

The Provincial Government has sent out a reminder regarding the requirement for everyone using non-domestic groundwater:

If you were using groundwater on or before February 29, 2016, for non-domestic purposes such as irrigation and livestock watering, you are legally required to apply for a water licence by March 1, 2022. Apply now to secure the historical water rights for your farm.

If you do not apply for a licence by the deadline of March 1, 2022, you must stop using the groundwater. If you continue using your groundwater after this date, your water use will be considered illegal. After this date, you will need to apply for a licence as a “new groundwater user” and you will forfeit your historical date of first use. A new application may also require an expensive assessment of the well and water use, indicating the impacts on the aquifer, streams and nearby water rightsholders and the application may not be granted if there is not enough water available.

Steps to Apply:

  1. Register for a Basic B.C. electronic identification (Basic BCeID) if you don’t have one.
  2. Start your application for your Existing Use Groundwater Licence online using your BCeID.
  3. Gather information you will need (before or during your application)
    • Refer to the Step-by-Step EUGW Application Guide (attached)
    • Complete the Owners’ Agreement Templates, if applicable (attached)
  • For multiple owners
  • For owners who hire an agent
  1. Complete and submit your application and continue to use your groundwater until a licence is granted.

 

Need Help?

  1. Watch the Online Application Tutorial (Password: 2Sd5h^s!), courtesy of Langley Farmers’ Institute
  2. Read the Step-by-Step EUGW Application Guide (attached)
  3. Talk to someone
    • Contact FrontCounter BC at 1-877-855-3222

Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm Pacific time

  • Ask about scheduled drop-in virtual workshops or direct assistance with your application
  1. Sign up for a virtual workshop with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
  • 9 to 10:30am on February 11, courteously hosted by the B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association (register here)
  • Contact us at Hartling@gov.bc.caor Tara.Despault@gov.bc.ca for additional scheduled workshops
  1. Additional Resources:

 

 

Can’t Wait to Tell You What We Heard!

Very little has been known about small-scale meat producers in BC. Who are they? What do they produce? How do they process? What issues do they face? The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association has been interested in answering these questions for a long time. Finally, over the summer of 2021, we conducted an extensive survey of the small-scale meat sector throughout the province. The survey was conducted online, by phone and in person with the help of regional representatives who are themselves producers. This was followed by focus groups held in each region of BC. We heard from 708 meat producing operations; their challenges, their opportunities, their practices and their vision for the future.

Please join us at 1:00PST March 15th to hear what we’ve learned. This event is free for all so please invite your friends, your customers, your butcher and anyone else who should be interested in the success of our industry.

More info & Register Now…  

We are also excited about BC’s first Agriculture and Food Co-op Conference! As the program has been curated through the lens of agriculture and food co-ops, themes that have emerged include transformational leadership to be relevant in today’s context, designing community resiliency, and participatory/people-centred processes. Throughout 10 sessions over 2 days, the focus will be on:

  • People (building relationships and processes that support vitality in our work, organizations, and communities over time)
  • Land (exploring the complexities of land access and ownership, as well as how climate chaos is impacting people on the ground and the role co-ops play in disaster recovery)
  • Food (supporting growth and diversification in service to sustainable supply chains where local food is celebrated here and beyond)

This will be a dynamic space for people to network, explore the trade show, dive into deeper conversations, and participate in sessions with practical takeaways.

For program and speaker details, visit https://bcca.coop/bc-agriculture-and-food-coop-conference-2022/

To register for in person or live stream tickets: https://bcca.coop/events/#!event/2022/2/24/agriculture-and-food-co-op-conference

Membership matters


By becoming a member or renewing your membership, you are ensuring that you, and the small-scale meat industry has a voice. The Small-Scale Meat Producers is the only industry association representing the unique needs of producers like you. We require a strong membership base in order to effectively engage with government and other industry stakeholders.

Renew your membership today to stay involved and supported!

To make sure your membership is up to date:
1. Go to our membership page
2. Click on “Register or Renew Membership
3. If you are renewing, at the far right of the page enter your email address – probably the one this newsletter was sent to. (If this is your first time, just fill out the form on the left.)
4. The top of the next page will tell you when your most recent membership expired. Enter your Visa or Mastercard information to pay the $35 annual fee for Producer membership.

And, just like that, you’ve supported SSMPA and allowed us to support you, for another year!

Thank you to all our members for helping us get to where we are today

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Small-Scale Meat Producers Association

PO Box 452

Merritt, BC V1K 1B8

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