Putting land and farmers together

Partticipants in the land matching program, Pravin Dhaliwal (right) is leasing 18 acres from Tony Gogol to start a vineyard in Summerland, B.C.  |  Tessa Wetherill photo

The British Columbia Land Matching Program connects farmers with land owners in the province.

Young Agrarians organization delivers the program and 81 land matches have been made throughout the province.

Darcy Smith, the B.C. land-matching program manager with Young Agrarians said the group has land matchers located throughout the province.

“So, anywhere in B.C., farmers and farmland owners can get in touch with the land owner and get support to figure their vision, list their land and find a match and get support with an agreement and also get support with referrals.”

He said the program offers business support and land-matching services to farmers and farmland owners.

“So, land matchers are really that go-to person who can work with farmers and work with farm land owners to help them figure out what their needs are and then help them find suitable matches and develop lease agreements.”

Meg Henwood and Callum Bottrell are a pair of farmers who used the program.

“We’ve only been with the program for about a year now with Young Agrarians. We found our land in September but made the lease and moved on the land in December.

“So, that’s when our lease started here, but we’ve both been farming for several years,” said Henwood.

Bottrell said the program helped them find something they previously thought impossible.

“We never would have be able to afford something like this. It’s great to have the opportunity to lease it,” said Bottrell.

The 81 matches made in B.C. includes 26 matches in metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, 24 on Vancouver Island, 21 in the Okanagan, six in Columbia basin and four in central and northern B.C.

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