Farmland Advantage is pleased to welcome three new funding partners from the Government of BC: the Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship (LWRS), the Ministry of Forests through BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AF).
“We are thrilled to welcome LWRS, BCWS, and AF to the Farmland Advantage family,” says IAF Board of Director Chair Jack DeWit. “Farmland Advantage is doing important work on BC farms and ranches, and we are thankful to be able to work collaboratively with these BC Government Ministries to expand the regions and sites we can support through the program.”
BC Ministry of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship
LWRS has provided IAF a grant of $1,500,000 to support the Farmland Advantage program over the course of two years, from 2022-2024. Funding will be focused on activities that advance watershed security through the restoration and protection of riparian areas which are the land next to streams and rivers. Some activities taking place include installing fencing, planting native species, and stabilizing banks, which improves the availability of good quality water for healthy ecosystems and communities.
“Healthy watersheds are a critical foundation of healthy ecosystems and communities. By investing in watershed restoration, we’re also making an investment in the long-term well-being of people. When water and watersheds are respected and valued, they provide environmental benefits for years to come.”
BC Ministry of Forests
BCWS has committed $500,000 for Farmland Advantage over the next two years. These funds will be used to establish a pilot under the Farmland Advantage program which will implement activities that reduce the fuel load for wildfires on private lands, farms, and ranches in the BC Interior. Wildfire risk reduction treatments generally consist of planning, prescription development, tree stand thinning, pruning, and surface fuel management. The overall expected result of this pilot is to increase the amount of wildfire resilient landscapes within the treatment areas.
“Prevention, mitigation, and building a province where our communities are more resilient to the impacts of wildfire is a top priority for our government. We all play a role in wildfire prevention. By supporting the work of the Investment Agriculture Foundation, we are strengthening the agricultural community to undertake Wildfire Risk Reduction initiatives to help increase wildfire resiliency across the province and protect our critical agricultural lands.”
BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food
AF has provided IAF with $300,000 to support the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices over the next year. These practices include targeted grazing to improve soil fertility, establishing hedgerows to protect soil health, and riparian buffers to control erosion. The goals are to regenerate soil and water quality, complementing the activities that are funded by LWRS. The provincial funding from AF and LWRS are part of BC’s contributions this year to the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five‐year, $3 billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector.
“Regenerative agriculture practices restore the soil, water and biodiversity of the land, which helps farmland become more resilient to climate change. We will continue to support B.C. farmers as they increase these regenerative practices and become more environmentally sustainable which will, in turn, strengthen our local food security and economies.”
Without the generous support of LRWS, BCWS, AF, and the other program funders, Farmland Advantage’s work would not be possible. Thank you to all the funders who allow FLA to protect and conserve critical, natural lands, streams, and habitats in British Columbia