We assist hard-working farmers who look after their land, so the land can continue to work hard for us.

Farmland Advantage is a research and development project that works with farmers to conserve and enhance critical, natural values in British Columbia, Canada. 

Farmland Advantage works with farmers to enhance the natural values on their land. These natural values are often referred to as ‘ecosystem services’; services of a natural environment that benefits humans. They are values that are not traded in the markets but have great value to us all. They can include areas like wetlands that filter and purify water, and forests that clean the air and provide habitat for healthy wildlife populations.

The project helps farmers identify the natural values which can be protected and enhanced, and develops recommendations and plans to preserve them. These plans can include actions such as water or stream setbacks, strategic fencing, reforestation, or rangeland enhancement. Farmers then carry out the recommendations, and Farmland Advantage helps to provide compensation based on successful implementation.

Program Overview

Farmland Advantage takes a regional approach to address environmental and climate concerns. Using site selection methodology that is unique to an area’s specific challenges (e.g. wildfire, drought, or flooding), Farmland Advantage targets farms that have the potential to improve the health of the ecosystem in the immediate and surrounding areas.

Farmland Advantage helps farmers identify the natural values on their land that can be protected and enhanced, and develop recommendations and plans to preserve them.

These plans include:

  • Water or Stream Setbacks

  • Strategic Fencing

  • Reforestation

  • Rangeland Enhancement

Farmers or ranchers contracted through the Farmland Advantage Program carry out the recommended actions and are provided modest financial compensation once the activities are completed.

Program Funders

In Spring 2021, IAF began officially administering and delivering the Farmland Advantage program following the success of a one-year pilot. The program is now funded by a variety of partners, including:

  • Support from the Healthy Watersheds Initiative, which is delivered by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Watersheds BC, with financial support from the Province of British Columbia as part of its $10-billion COVID-19 response.
  • Support from the Agri-Foods Future Fund, administered by IAF, with funding from the Governments of BC and Canada
  • The project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.
  • regionally, the Township of Langley is providing some funding for projects in their municipal boundaries

We’d also like to acknowledge the groups and organizations that helped get the initial program off the ground and running since 2009. Without their assistance and vision, Farmland Advantage wouldn’t be a success today.

They include: Government of British Columbia, Government of Canada, ARDCorp, Balance Ecological, BC Agriculture Council, Columbia Basin Trust, Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, Regional District of East Kootenays – Local Conservation Fund, Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition, Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation, Township of Langley, Vancouver Foundation, BC Real Estate Foundation, and Windermere District Farmers’ Institute.

Timeline

Farmland Advantage began in 2016. It started small, as a five-year research and development pilot project of the Windermere Farmers Institute and other partners. In that time the project established 60+ demonstration sites across BC.

  • 2016
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2021

Learn More About Farmland Advantage

To learn more about the program or to suggest a parcel of land that is suited to Farmland Advantage, please visit iafbc.ca

iafbc.ca

Projects

From stream health to grasslands, see a sample of the ongoing projects.

Research

Explore the research that informs the program.

Approach

What sites are best suited to a project? What areas have been identified for projects?