December 15, 2020
December 15, 2020
FORT ST. JOHN B.C. – Northern Development Initiative Trust announced today that $213,672 has been approved to benefit nine Peace Region agricultural projects through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund (PACF).
This is the third time grants have been awarded from the $20 million bi-annual fund, which was established in 2018. The fund is currently accepting applications for its next intake, which closes at midnight on January 31, 2021.
The fund reflects BC Hydro’s recognition of the role agriculture plays in the Peace River region and the potential effects of the Site C project on the industry. It is governed by a regional decision-making board and administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.
The following recipients and projects received PACF grants in the second intake of 2020:
University of British Columbia: Faculty of Land and Food Systems – $65,470 for their research project about crop disease and pathogens affecting cereal crops in the Peace Region. The project will fill gaps in existing disease surveys of cereal and forage crops in the area and initiate field research demonstration trials. Local growers will benefit by receiving advice on how to manage existing diseases from the research team which may increase crop yield and quality.
Boreal Gardens – $47,303 for the installation of a 510 square foot dome greenhouse on the Indigenous-owned farm in Charlie Lake. The dome greenhouse and greenhouse tunnels will support food security for residents in the area through reliable year-round food production. This new infrastructure will create two full time positions, reduce distance that fresh food must travel and increase production volumes and seasonal varieties that are grown.
Nordic Vale Honey Farm – $19,864 for the purchase of upgraded honey and wax processing equipment. The new equipment will replace the basic equipment they were using and will allow for growth in their production quantity and expansion into higher quality honey and wax products at a competitive price. As the company grows, they plan on adding more hives which will provide benefits to growers in the region as bees increase the yield of a variety of crops by 10 to 15 per cent.
Six other projects were approved for funding through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund. They are: $29,175 for Paul and Tatjana Melling’s wildlife fencing project, $17,501 for Darren Van Horn’s greenhouse project, $14,995 for MT Ranch’s water enhancement project, $9,413 for Derek Youngman’s cattle fencing project, $5,000 for Northern Environmental Action Team’s northern cohort market garden extension program and $4,951 for Chetwynd Public Library Association’s community gardening literacy project.
To date, $599,736 has been distributed to 24 projects through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund. Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis and funds are distributed bi-annually.
For more information on the fund, including past recipients and application details, please visit sitecproject.com/AgFund and northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/bchydro-agricultural-fund/
Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust
“Once again, we’re pleased by the diversity of applicants and projects that are receiving support through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund. From children and youth to established growers and producers, many people in the Peace Region will benefit directly and indirectly from these grants. We look forward to seeing the fruits of these projects and the extensive benefits they will yield.”
Gurcharn Singh Brar, assistant professor, University of British Columbia
“Receiving this grant through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund significantly helps my research team to begin research which will guide the development of a proactive disease management approach which will be shared with growers in the Peace Region. In a normal crop year, diseases result in one to five per cent yield loss and may also impact the crop’s quality. This project will allow us to share insight to growers that will result in reduced crop loss and better quality products for years to come with little additional effort.”
Paulette Flamond, partner, Boreal Gardens
“Food security is increasingly more important in the current climate. This project will enable us to supply local Indigenous communities, elders and other customers in the Fort St. John area with fresh produce in every month, including leafy greens during the winter. In addition to the direct benefits of providing nutritious food for our community, we will also be teaching an online MasterClass for dome gardening and hoop house/greenhouse education with a special emphasis on Indigenous cultural heritage seeds, gardening and market gardening.”
Director, Communications and Marketing
Northern Development Initiative Trust