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adner blueberry grower Ken Bates, chair of the Investment Agriculture Foundation of


B.C.'s board of directors, was appointed to a further two-year term following the IAF's annual general meeting in mid- April. Also reappointed was Dale Krahn (Fraser Valley/poultry). The IAF is an industry-led not-for-


profit organization that works with the agrifood industry to invest federal and provincial funds toward projects that have the potential to transform ideas into solutions. Four new directors were welcomed onto the board: Walter Fritsche (Peace/grains and oilseeds), Arzeena Hamir (Vancouver Island/emerging sectors), Ed Salle (Thompson-Okanagan/cattle) and Kalpna Solanki (Lower Mainland/post farm gate). A fond farewell was bid to departing directors Paula Brown, Rick Gagner, Ernie Willis and vice chair, Irmi Critcher. Continuing directors are Len Bouwman(Fraser Valley/dairy), secretary, Robert Dawson (Okanagan-Similkameen/tree fruits and grapes), Jack DeWit (Fraser Valley/other livestock), Bar Hayre (Fraser Valley/farm supply), Alistair Johnston (Fraser Valley/post farm gate), Bert Miles (North


Okanagan/greenhouse, floriculture and nursery) and treasurer, Jim Tingle (Fraser-Fort George, community agriculture). Also sitting on the board are non-voting liaisons Michelle Soucie and Philip Bergen (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), as well as Grant Parnell (B.C. Ministry of Agriculture)... The Canadian Produce Marketing Association has launched a new marketing program aimed at convincing consumers to eat more fruits and veggies. Announced at the CPMA's annual conference in Vancouver this spring, the focus of 'Half Your Plate' is to increase consumption as well as to improve the population’s health and ensure industry prosperity, said association president Ron Lemaire. “We’re going to have the soft launch of the program with tools in the market that include a website


(halfyourplate.ca),” he said. Partners include NGOs, vendors, retailers, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society and various levels of government, including Health Canada. The program is similar to the U.S. initiative called My Plate that started in 2007...


British Columbia farmland values increased an average of three per cent in 2013, following increases of 0.1 per cent in 2012, according to the


18 British Columbia Berry Grower • Summer 2014


recently-released annual survey by Farm Credit Canada. Vancouver Island saw limited demand for farmland. Properties stayed on the market for an extended period with buyers showing little interest. In the Lower Mainland, the volume of farmland sold remained average, but the values of the land increased slightly. The Peace River region saw a stable to slight increase in farmland values, as did the Bulkley Valley. "The active resource sector continued to provide off-farm income, supporting demand for rural properties located close to urban centres," FCC said in a news release. "Established farmers wanting to expand quickly purchased the limited amount of higher quality farmland that came on the market in the Peace River region." Markets in other areas of the province, including the Kootenay, Okanagan and Cariboo


regions, showed no significant changes in value. Demand in these areas was generally low... The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $171.8 million in 2014 funding to 62 groups to promote exports of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other agricultural products. Participants in the program contribute an average 171 per cent match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar- for-dollar match of promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives, according to a USDA news release. Participants include the Cranberry Marketing Committee (which received $1,561,170), the Washington State Fruit Commission ($1,561,810) and the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association ($8,097,508)...


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