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Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4

Vol. 103 No. 6


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Farm planners Hops

Rain’s a pain, farmers say

Training preps advisors for growing demand Hop growers hepped up about the future


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The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915

Vancouver tops BC in

farm growth Census shows urban farms shine as overall farm count drops by PETER MITHAM

OTTAWA – The first release of data from the 2016 federal census of agriculture shows urban farms leading BC when it comes to growth in numbers and employment. While the growth comes off a relatively

low base, the gains stand out against a statistical picture that show a declining number of farms in every region of BC. Province-wide, the number of farms fell 11% to 17,528, down from 19,759 in 2011. Statistics Canada defines a farm as any operation producing crops, livestock, animal products or a range of “agricultural products” including “Christmas trees, sod, greenhouse or nursery products, mushrooms, honey or bees, maple syrup and its products” for sale. BC farm employment, including farm family members and temporary seasonal workers, fell 2% to 44,556 in the interval between censuses but the average number of workers per farm rose from seven to nine. A similar scenario played out in the

See CENSUS on next page o Growing more with less water Accident claims safety advocate

by PETER MITHAM QUESNEL – It was a sunny Friday evening as

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Mike Bailey, a long-time advocate of farm safety, was driving a tractor with equipment attached along Hwy 97 south of Quesnel. A pick-up truck driven by his wife, Katina, followed to ensure separation from other motorists. Shortly after 5 pm, a Greyhound bus bore

down on the pair from behind. By quarter past the hour, the highway was shut down in both directions and Bailey was dead. London remains in hospital, and her family is raising funds to assist with costs. The tragedy underscores the fragility of life,

even for those who have worked to protect it. “What we have here is a guy who was exemplary in his attention and his attitude

towards health and safety. I’ve worked with him for over 15 years, and he was ahead of the game when there was not as many regulatory requirements and he was extremely keen,” says Reg Steward, provincial ranching safety consultant for AgSafe BC. “He was very active with his inspections and his safety meetings.” Having a pilot vehicle was typical of Bailey’s

approach to safety, Steward points out: “That’s above and beyond what most people do.” An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing and Steward says that even if Bailey followed all safety procedures, the circumstances of the specific situation were unique – and that can make all the difference.

See SAFETY on next page o In

good hands

At 20, Makenna Cyr owns her own farm, and is president of the Alberni Valley Farmers Institute. She’s typical of a BC agriculture sector that

Statistics Canada says has more small farms, and more farm women in charge. See page 36 for story. TAMARA LEIGH PHOTO

JUNE 2017 | Vol. 103 No. 6

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