Kootenay Farmer newsletter is an initiative of the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors to communicate with farmers and ranchers, and to grow and support the agriculture sector.  

Another Season Begins!
This winter producers gathered online with the BC Ministry of Agriculture to discuss agricultural programs and soil testing
There are multiple opportunities for farmers to gather in-person this February in Nelson for the BC Organic and Young Agrarian events.
Calving season has already begun for some ranchers, welcoming new life and sleepless nights while seedlings are being sprouted for another growing season ahead!

Calving season can start early in Boundary County! Haynes Ranch, February 2020. 
In This Issue
Headlines:  BC Organic Agriculture Networking | YA Mixer | BuyBasin Resources
Events: Weather Data Webinar | Networking Event | YA Mixer | Recordings
Kudos to our Farmers: Thistle Farm
Local Dirt: Adaptive Grazing Podcast | Year in Review | BC-DAS in Creston 

BC Organic Agriculture Networking Event

This year Organic BC is organizing regional events across the province instead of one large annual winter conference. Meet, greet, and discuss organic and regenerative agriculture with regional producers, Organic BC, the Ministry of Agriculture's Regenerative Agriculture & Agri-Tech Network and the Kootenay Organic Growers Society about future opportunities and policy outlooks for organic farmers in the province. Everyone welcome!
Registration here

Two Day Farm & Agriculture Event in Nelson

Attend the Young Agrarians Mixer in Nelson, February 25 - 26 for open discussions and formal presentations including composting, drought & climate resilient farming, season extension, soil, Indigenous & traditional food systems, no-till, bookkeeping, land access, co-operatives and more! There is something for everyone, whether you are growing vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs, perennials, mushrooms and livestock. 
Register here

Must Watch Recordings for #BasinFood Producers

Did you miss the Food and Farm Expo? The recordings are now live! 
Some highlights include Kendall Ballantine’s roadmap on How to Optimize Online Tools for the Success of your Food & Farm Business and Danny Turner’s overview of our current supply chain system and how local food can compete in the market place.
Watch here

Funding Open for BC Climate Agri-Solutions Fund

The BC Climate Agri-Solutions Fund (BCCAF) is open for applications until February 16. BCCAF supports farmers with cost-share funding to adopt beneficial management practices (BMPs) for nitrogen management, rotational grazing and cover cropping that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases. 
Learn more
Webinar: Agricultural Water Policy in an Era of Drought
Online: January 31 
Discover how water policy and regulations are affecting BC farmers. Guest speakers will share regional research findings, the updated mandate of the Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship.
Register here
KBFA Zoom: New Kootenay Weather Data & Utility 
Online: February 1

Creston has 7 new agricultural weather stations and Grand Forks has one more. Learn how to access and apply the data to your farm and ranch to help with pest management, irrigation scheduling and weather extremes with agricultural meteorologist Andy Nadler. 
Register here

In-Person | BC Organic Agriculture Networking Event
Nelson: February 6, 2023
An opportunity for Kootenay growers to gather, network, and find out what's happening in the organic sector. Regional producers and provincial organizations will discuss future opportunities and policy outlooks for organic and regenerative farmers in BC.
Register here
Two-Day Farm and Agriculture Forum 
Nelson: February 25-26

Connect with your food and farm community at this annual event! Discussions and presentations including composting, drought & climate resilient farming, season extension, soil, Indigenous & traditional food systems, no-till, bookkeeping and land access.
Register here

Workshop: Two-Day Food Business Planning
Cranbrook: March 9-10
This series is designed for micro, small, and medium size food processors looking to improve and/or expand their operations and farmers looking for value-added products. Delivered by the Farm Food Drink team of specialists.
Register here
Workshop: Nitrogen Management 
Creston: Save the Date! March

Save the date for an upcoming workshop in March on nitrogen management for horticulture, forage and field crop producers. Focus will be on fertilizer types, uses and advantages. Hosted by Molly Thurston and presentation by Stephen Eng.
More details coming soon

Thistle Farm - Creston

Article in Country Life in BC
Farm owners Kip and Michelle Cantrell shared their success using mustard as a cover crop. “We knew the science behind growing garlic,” says Kip, “but here on the Creston flats, the soil is fertile but fine like silk, and contains little organic matter. We adapted what we knew, including building up the soil so that it drained better.”
Read the full article
In September 2022, KBFA held a field day on cover crops for building soil and growing garlic. Read the recap of the field day here. 

BC-DAS will be launching in Creston in 2023!

The BC Decision Aid System will utilize the newly installed weather station network in Grand Forks and the Creston area to bring tree fruit models to growers. This tool is available free to growers. You can sign up for your own account online - all you need is an email address! Click the "Register" button in the top right corner of this webpage. Instructional video here.

Podcast: Adaptive Grazing Management & Portable Fencing Solutions

Listen to the Knowledge for Resilience in the Peace podcast to hear from rancher Norm Ward, holistic grazing manager and owner of Range Ward fencing solutions. Norm discusses lessons learnt around portable fencing and using adaptive grazing management to improve soil health and pasture productivity.
Check out the Forage Fact Sheet: Hot Tips from Electric Fencers
Listen to the full podcast here
KBFA Field Day with Norm Ward, 2022

KBFA's 2022 Year in Review

Through 2022, KBFA connected with producers by visiting 65 farms through the region, consulting with farmers on over 260 issues and making 77 producer to expert connections. Farm visits are a great way to understand a farm’s operation and allow KBFA advisors to listen to producers and then assess the tools, resources, and expert connections that could help farmers streamline their production. 
Read the Year in Review

Is Local Agriculture Important to You? Let the Trust Know!

This year Columbia Basin Trust is writing a new plan for our collective future, but this won’t happen without your input. Be engaged and have your say about what is important to you and how the Trust can support your vision of living in the Kootenays. 
Submit your feedback here
Get to Know the Ministry of Agriculture & Related Programs
Meet the Regional Agrologists for the Kootenays find out about Ministry programs and resources. 
Watch here
Soil Testing 101 with the Ministry of Agriculture
An overview of how to collect soil samples and interpret results.
Watch here

Thank you to KBFA sponsors. A collaborative partnership between three Regional Districts and Columbia Basin Trust.


KBFA Website
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