March 14, 2023 – BC Grain Producer Director Hannah Willms of Rose Prairie attended a meeting with the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food, on Tuesday, March 14th. Hannah was invited to participate in this meeting through the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC). The discussion was chaired by Stan Vander Waal BCAC President and centred around the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy, a long-term vision and strategic approach to further advance the sustainability, competitiveness and vitality of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.
A few highlights brought forward by BCAC members were.
- The Sustainable Agriculture Strategy must be tailored to support an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable sector.
- A separate principle for regionality would acknowledge the importance of solutions best suited to specific regional conditions. BC alone has many diverse regions, each needing to represent its specific crops.
- A single window is needed whereby agricultural producers can quickly and easily find programs that will support the practices or technologies they are interested in adopting.
- Hannah spoke about crop 2023 being the most expensive crop ever going into the ground and that the Peace Country is the furthest region in Canada to ship inputs to. Producers need to be assured that they can remain profitable. Minister Bibeau responded with the assurance that fertilizer use would not be reduced by 30% in 2030, but the emissions from the fertilizer would be what they were targeting to be reduced by 30%. There was further discussion about the measuring of Carbon Sequestration and GHG emissions and that the Living Labs project is taking the first measurements in the Peace country. It was noted that a standard has not been calculated yet. Credit also needs to be given to producers for the great work they are already doing, growing healthy food and being stewards of the land.
If you are interested in giving your feedback on this strategy, you can fill out the survey at the link below. We would encourage each producer to do this survey with their own farm in mind.
“It was a good meeting; I am glad I was able to attend. I feel that our voice from the northernmost grain producing area in Canada was heard. It was a relatively small group and the minister wanted to hear from each of us at the table.”
“Hannah Willms, Director BCGPA”
If you are interested in more information about the BC AG Council please call
Jennifer Critcher @250-219-3284 or visit BCAC Website