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REGIONAL DISTRICT, B.C. – More than $400,000 has been approved through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund (PACF) to benefit 19 organizations who contribute to the agricultural industry in the Peace Region.

Funding was approved through three funding streams:
• Events and Educational Initiatives: 1
• Research and Demonstration Initiatives: 2
• Farming Infrastructure: 16

Since 2018, more than $1.6 million has been approved through six intakes of the PACF.
Recipients approved in the sixth intake include:

LH Willms Inc. (Rose Prairie): $42,917 for the first year of a soil enhancing cover crop five-year study. The first year of the study will test a full season cover crop rotation on LH Willms’ farm, including planting annual nitrogen fixing species as a cover crop in the spring. Cover cropping builds soil resiliency and helps mitigate climate change impacts like unprecedented rains, drought and unpredictable weather. Results from the study will be published and public.

Darren and Jennifer Snider (Fort St. John): $50,000 to install new sheep feeding equipment in their barn and in their planned expansion. Investing in proper equipment will result in significantly improving the quality of ewes, lambs and rams that are being produced for market. Proper feed management will improve nutrition through the entire lifespan of the sheep.

Elisabeth Haagsman (Hudson’s Hope): $15,834 to build a 510 square-foot geodesic greenhouse with a 130-plant vertical aeroponic growing system. Heated by solar passive heating, the greenhouse is an off-grid alternative method to grow premium-grade produce in the Peace Region. The new facility will grow more food three times faster with less resources, including 98 per cent less water. Once complete, Haagsman Farms will experience a longer growing season, the ability to grow more crops with a smaller footprint and less hands-on work.

Below is a complete list of all the projects that were approved in the sixth intake of the PACF:

• Bar 4 Ranch Ltd.: $19,297 to purchase a livestock scale

• British Columbia Honey Producers Association: $27,880 to research and IPM strategies to increase honey bee health

• Collins Cattle Co Ltd.: $14,559 for a half section fencing program

• Creek Bank Farms Ltd.: $23,775 for Creek Bank wormworks

• Darren and Jennifer Snider: $50,000 for sheep feeding equipment

• Dawson Creek & District Exhibition Association: $15,000 for the 2022 Dawson Creek Exhibition & Stampede

• Elisabeth Haagsman: $15,834 for a greenhouse to grow four season food

• Hill and Hollow Farm: $23,886 to improve a goat grazing fence line

• Jared Lee Loewen: $50,000 for fertilizer distribution

• Kayla Read: $11,653 for dugout management to improve water sustainability

• Kenneth and Anita Thomson: $10,500 for fencing at Thomson Ranch

• Kolby Peterson: $12.464 for the Wildwood Farm market garden

• LH Willms Inc.: $42,917 for soil enhancing cover crop research

• Lindsay Katherine Routledge DBA Flat Cat Ranch: $16,500 for orchard wildlife protection

• Rob and Leanne Esau: $15,109 for a cattle handling system

• Royd and Kelsey Lusk: $21,647 for all-season electric/geothermal stock waterers

• Sarah Mackie: $12,730 to build a new greenhouse

• Silver Willow 4H Club: $8,610 for handling equipment

• SquigglyThings: $8,615 for on-farm wash-pack-preserve equipment

Quotes

Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development
“The BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund continues to support producers and growers in the Peace Region in meaningful ways. This intake includes many farming infrastructure projects, which will allow recipients to streamline processes, create solutions for existing challenges or expand their production.”

Heather Fossum, chair, BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Fund
“We are pleased to start 2022 by supporting 19 projects from agriculture organizations and producers in the Peace region. The approved projects show the diversity that exists within agriculture and the industrious folks who work within our industry.”

Les Willms, owner/farmer, LH Willms Inc.
“Receiving this grant will help us conduct research about the benefits of cover cropping in the Peace Region. In the north, this practice requires the fields to be planted in the spring to a full season cover crop, taking the land out of economic production. Our goal is for natural nitrogen fixation and breaking up compaction. What we learn from this trial will be published, to benefit other farmers in the region.”

Jennifer Snider
“We began raising lambs as part of a 4H project seven years ago and have grown in both size and knowledge ever since. We will be expanding our flock of 150 ewes to 500 high-quality ewes and lambing throughout the year in an indoor facility. The nutritional requirements of ewes, depending on their stage in the reproductive cycle vary and are the foundation of a successful lambing operation. By upgrading our feeding systems, we will produce healthier sheep, providing our community with the option to enjoy local, exceptional grass and grain-fed lamb meat throughout the year and be able to meet the demand of the growing market lamb market.”

Elisabeth Haagsman, owner, Haagsman Farm
“This project will diversify the needs of the agriculture sector and develop more opportunity for the produce sector in the Peace Region. Additionally, it will create educational and research initiatives in the near future. For our farm, the vertical aeroponic growing system allows us to grow more food with a smaller footprint, freeing up land for other revenue producing activities.”

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