March 30, 2020
FORT ST. JOHN B.C. – Northern Development Initiative Trust announced today that nine Peace Region agricultural projects will receive approximately $190,000 in funding through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund (PACF)
This is the second time grants have been awarded from the $20 million bi-annual fund, which was established in 2018. 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 first intake of 2020:
North Peace Cattlemen’s Association – $10,000 for the BC Cattlemen’s Association 2020 Convention and AGM. This conference will showcase the opportunities available to producers in the Peace Region. The up-to-date information will keep Peace area producers in the know with new regulations and technological advances.
Peace Region Forage Seed Association – $15,000 for a Weather Monitoring Network Enhancement project. This project will conduct a full review of the network, both the physical stations and web-based platform – to identify and address gaps and issues in the existing system and enhance its function for Peace producers.
Peace River Forage Association of BC – $96,035 for a Forage Extension and Mentorship program. The Peace River Forage Association of BC has been working to support the forage industry and its producers for almost 30 years. This project addresses the demand for local extension support where producers have opportunities to network with one another and experts on agriculture issues that effect their bottom line, their land and their sustainability.
North Peace 4-H District Council – $15,485 for upgrades to the Beef Show Ring facilities. The ring is utilized for member training and education at the June District Judging Rally, as well as the three-day annual July Achievement Days event. The funds will complete safety improvements to the North Peace Fair Grounds beef show ring facilities, which include a new portable beef ring announcer booth and a portable covered grandstand.
Kathleen Peck – $11,496 for a Regenerative Agriculture Start-up. This funding will be used to create a market garden infrastructure, implement a no-till horticultural site and grow the capacity of a regenerative agricultural farm. The Canadian Acres Regenerative Agriculture Start-Up involves investing in field preparation and installation, cell grazing design construction and conducting a comprehensive first season soil profile for baseline research purposes.
Caitlin Vince – $2,100 for The Rustic Pantry, Farm-to-Table Store. This will provide start-up costs for a store featuring all locally and regionally produced fruits, vegetables, wheats and grains, meats, dairy and secondary agricultural value-added products (canning, dried goods, skin care, frozen meals, etc.). The project will support the Peace Region by providing a store front for local and regional producers to market and sell their products.
Hasberry Farms Inc. -$14,727 for the Haskap Commercial Sustainability Project. In 2020, Hasberry Farms will plant 5,000 plants and find ways to maximize plant growth and production for harvesting (including protection and pollination). This project will trial the efficacy of two types of bird control (call system and laser system) to demonstrate that birds can be controlled on a commercial scale for haskaps in the region.
Eden Greens Inc. – $14,698 for an Indoor Growing Facility project, which will allow for the indoor production of high nutrient, quick turnaround produce. The primary focus will be on microgreens and lettuce to start and will offer many different varieties of both. The eventual goal is to expand into other areas of Northern B.C., primarily focusing on the Peace Region, and to add a variety of different vegetable options.
Summit Acre Farms – $10,500 for the North Peace Pulse Processing Feasibility Study to look at developing a pea processing (cleaning, splitting and packaging) plant in the North Peace Region and the markets that will provide support for such an operation. The feasibility study will include all aspects of sustainably running such an operation and determine the viable markets that would likely set the size of, and determine support for, the initial processing facility.
To date, $399,128 has been distributed to 16 projects through the BC Hydro PACF. 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/
Director, Communications and Marketing
Northern Development Initiative Trust