Goodwill pulls rodeo hopes out from the ashes for B.C. youth

The wildfires that scorched British Columbia ranchers for most of the summer nearly sent the dreams of a young rodeo rider up in smoke. Jordan Monical had qualified for the 2017 National High School Rodeo Finals in the cutting competition and saddle bronc, but when fire broke out on his family’s ranch near 100 Mile […] Read more

Food hubs like the one run by the Cowichan Green Community allow consumers to place orders for locally grown produce online. Produce is delivered to a central collection point, and customers pick up their orders once a week. The system helps farm businesses connect to local consumers.  |  Tamara Leigh photo

Food hub builds community connection for agriculture

Consumer demand for local food may be growing, but it can be harder than one thinks to connect local farmers with their customers. Food hubs are one way that communities are helping connect farm businesses to customers and communities to agriculture. At their most basic, food hubs provide a central point where local farmers can […] Read more

B.C.’s Cowichan Valley becomes tourism spot

DUNCAN, B.C. — Blessed with a Mediterranean climate and entrepreneurial spirit, the Cowichan Valley is taking its place among British Columbia’s food capitals, billing itself as Canada’s Provence. An hour north of Victoria, the valley is the sum of a collection of small communities tucked among fertile hills and bays that were known for their […] Read more

Mike Bomford thinks organic farming can pull more carbon from the atmosphere to store in the soil and avoid nitrous oxide emissions from nitrogen fertilizers.  |  Mike Bomford photo

Food, lifestyle choices can help fight climate change

Climate change and urbanization are changing both the landscape and food production, said an instructor in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Mike Bomford of Kwantlen Polytechnic University brought the two together in a recent presentation to suggest a plan for urban residents who want to make a difference in the world one bite at a […] Read more

UBC research spotlights rural health

A new research chair in rural health care at the University of British Columbia is the first position of its kind at a Canadian university to focus on the delivery of health care in rural communities. Terry Lake, B.C.’s minister of health, announced a $5 million endowment in November to establish a position to enhance […] Read more

British Columbia groups aim to educate young people on safe handling 
of tractors and other farm equipment to reduce injuries and death. | Screencap via

4-H partnership delivers tractor safety videos

RICHMOND, B.C. — Risks with operating or being around tractors and farm machinery are high for young people living on farms, and education needs to start young. WorkSafeBC, 4-H British Columbia and AgSafe have teamed up to create two new agriculture safety videos, 4-H Working Safely on Tractors and 4-H Working Safely Around Tractors. They […] Read more

An old dairy barn has been converted and expanded to house the Westholme Teafarm tasting room and tea shop. |  Supplied photo

Putting Canada on the map sip by sip

Vancouver Island couple proud to offer tea boasting unique flavours produced on Canada’s first commercial tea farm

WESTHOLME, B.C. — Many said it couldn’t be done, but a couple on Vancouver Island have grown their passion for tea culture into Teafarm, Canada’s first commercial tea growing operation. This summer, Victor Vesely and Margit Nellemann are celebrating the first estate-grown Canadian tea. It was released at a special celebration in July, the culmination […] Read more

Okanagan plans for climate change

Agriculture in British Columbia’s Okanagan region is expected to see an increase in hotter, drier summers, more insect and disease pressures, and more extreme weather events due to the effects of climate change. A new adaptation plan outlines the priority impact areas and a series of strategies to strengthen the resilience of the Okanagan agriculture […] Read more

New funding may keep bells ringing at nine rural B.C. schools

VICTORIA — Rural school districts in British Columbia have access to new funding intended to stop a wave of closures of rural schools across the province. Premier Christie Clark an-nounced the $2.5 million Rural Education Enhancement Fund in Quesnel, where the school district had already announced the closure of three rural schools this year. “It’s […] Read more

New program aims to hike rural doctor numbers

VICTORIA — Fourteen new family doctors will begin practising in rural and remote communities in British Columbia this month as part of a pilot program to place international medical graduates in communities struggling to recruit primary care providers. “It has always been a difficult challenge to recruit physicians to the North,” says Dr. Ronald Chapman, […] Read more