Six agricultural projects approved for funding in the Peace Region

November 29, 2023

November 29, 2023
PEACE RIVER REGIONAL DISTRICT, B.C. – The BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund (PACF) board of directors has approved $107,155 in grant funding to support agricultural production and related economic activity in the Peace Region.

Grant recipients include:
$50,000 to Hasberry Farms Inc. in Chetwynd for the construction of a processing centre for haskap berry products for the commercial market. The project will support the distribution and sales of agricultural production from the region, providing easy access to healthy food products for a reduced consumer cost. The increased distribution and sales of product will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the current agricultural production, as well as the additional production coming over the next five to eight years.

$31,743 to Josh Wiebe for farmland development in the community of Buick Creek. This project involves clearing previously logged land for development into arable land for growing crops. Once the clearing process is complete, the pasture will be rotationally grazed to feed 60 feeder steers annually to create revenue. After approximately six years, when the wood product has organically decomposed, the land can be fully utilized as arable farmland.

$12,500 to the North Slope Cattle Company Ltd in Progress for portable game fencing which allows for more flexibility in winter feeding, improving the pasture health and making feeding options more efficient. A significant number of elk come into the feed yard every winter and last year, caused considerable damage to the stocked feed. Protecting the winter feed is paramount in the ranch’s long-term sustainability.

$6,291 to David and Brenda DeWetter in Groundbirch to upgrade their corral system for sorting and loading cows and calves. The project will see the replacement of the current corral system with free-standing panels in order to make sorting and loading considerably easier.

$5,296 to Delano Kjos in Tomslake for a Razer Grazer, an all-in-one, portable electric fencing unit. This unit will allow pastures to be easily divided to use the grazing areas in the most efficient way possible. A properly implemented rotational grazing program helps avoid over-grazing, as well allowing the cattle to graze more intensely in certain areas. This promotes growth of water retaining grasses, which in turn, benefits the soil and increases the land quality.

$1,325 to Ashely Pugh in Cecil Lake for the purchase of a livestock scale for both at-home use and use by local 4-H members. A rancher or farmer needs to know the weight of their animals in order to sell locally. Additionally, one of the stipulations in the 4-H program is animals must be weighed. Having a scale allows access for youth in the 4-H club to become more involved.

Rick Kantz, chair, BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund
“We are pleased to announce that the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund is allocating a total of $107,155 to support six innovative and vital agricultural projects in the B.C Peace Region. This funding reflects our commitment to fostering sustainable agricultural practices and supporting the local communities that are the backbone of this region.”

Kristin Atherton, director, Hasberry Farms
“Receiving the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund grant allows our production facility project to move forward in a timely manner. This project will enable us to store and process our berries into value-added products on our farm, creating more local employment, as well as providing additional local food options for Peace Region communities.”

Megan Kjos
“The Razer Grazer is a mobile fencing unit that will allow us to divide our pastures as required for both the growing season we have each individual year, but also to match the needs of the pasture as it matures and changes with cattle using it. It will ensure that we can use and benefit the land to our best ability, as well as more efficiently use the pasture we have to get the most out of the grazing season.”