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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC • APRIL 2018 Fruit industry mourns leader Greg Norton


The Okanagan orchard community lost a strong leader when Greg Norton passed away at the end of February. Norton was a director and


past president of the BC Cherry Association (formerly the Okanagan Kootenay


about Greg is his enthusiasm for the cherry industry. He was just the Energizer bunny,” Geen recalls. “When I was getting into the industry, he was a little further down the curve than I was and I always looked to him for his ideas. He was never shy to tell you if he disagreed with you.” Recognizing the


Ag Briefs EDITED BY TAMARA LEIGH


Cherry Growers' Association), founding chair of the Sterile Insect Release board and a Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director and chair. He is most recently


remembered as an Okanagan panel member of the Agriculture Land Commission (ALC). David Geen, a third- generation cherry farmer like Norton, remembers Greg. “He had this call-to-service


aspect to him,” says Geen. “He served on a heck of a lot of boards and committees.” “What I remember most


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need for housing summer orchard workers, Norton helped found and maintain the Loose Bay Campground


outside Oliver. “Everybody who worked


for him had high praise for him,” says Geen. “Even the guys he had to


fire respected him; he just had that way about him.” As a BC Wildlife Federation member and a supporter of the ALR, Norton was one of the principals in the Grasslands Park Review Coalition that opposed the creation of a national park in the South Okanagan. “He had a real love of the outdoors,” says Geen. “Whether it was hunting in the fall or being in his orchard, he was best outside.” —Tom Walker


ALR draws feedback Consultations on the


revitalization of the Agricultural Land Reserve met nine times with stakeholders and received nearly 1,000 responses to its online survey by its mid-point in late March. The province expects an


increase in online and written submissions prior to the consultation ending April 30, a fact that seems likely given that no new meetings are planned.


Key concerns voiced to the committee include uses that keep land out of food production.


The challenges of maintaining farmland for food production is the focus of a report Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems


released last month. “We must make farming


more economically viable,” the report said. It urged “supportive, enabling and powerful policies” such as restricting farmland ownership by foreign nationals, something BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has sought in several failed bills. KPU’s report also suggests various tax measures and establishing minimum lease terms for farmland. Public feedback on the


province’s review is welcome until April 30 at [http://bit.ly/2Ecvno9]. —Peter Mitham


BC rancher to head Canadian Cattlemen’s Kamloops area rancher


David Haywood-Farmer has been elected president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). Haywood-Farmer and his


family are third generation ranchers in Savona. He has been involved in


local, regional, provincial and national beef cattle associations for over 30 years, including serving as president of the BC Cattlemen’s Association from 2012-2014. Haywood-Farmer has represented BC on the CCA board of directors since 2014, most recently as vice- president from 2016-2018. “As a past president of


BCCA, we are proud to have David take that experience and expertise in leadership nationally to benefit the cattle industry and its producers right across Canada,” says BCCA general manager Kevin Boon. In his role as chair of the


CCA’s foreign trade committee, Haywood-Farmer was in Chile at the beginning of March for the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP). Swift implementation of CP-TPP, a free trade


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Well-known fruit industry leader and ALC panel member Greg Norton passed away suddenly in late February. JUDIE STEEVES PHOTO


agreement with China and resolving technical barriers limiting CETA with the European Union are among his goals for the Canadian beef sector. Haywood-Farmer operates


Indian Gardens Ranch, a cow- calf operation, in partnership with his cousin, Bob Haywood-Farmer and their families. David and his wife, Bonnie, have raised three children (Chris, Stephen and Becky) on the ranch. —Tom Walker


Provincial lab vindicated An independent report has


cleared the BC Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford of any conflict of interest with respect to farmed salmon. BC agriculture minister


Lana Popham, whose portfolio includes the centre, took steps last fall to address concerns a federal fisheries scientist voiced regarding the centre’s


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integrity. Kristi Miller-Saunders, head of the molecular genetics laboratory at DFO’s Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, alleged that provincial scientists were in a conflict of interest because they ran tests for both government and industry. Premier John Horgan asked his deputy minister, Don Wright, who also heads the province’s civil service, to investigate. Wright asked international accounting firm Deloitte to review protocols at the lab and it delivered a clean bill of health. “We observed a sophisticated system of quality management processes, technical reviews, separation of roles, and quality audit controls that would make collusion or deliberate alteration of diagnostic results very difficult to disguise,” Deloitte reported. The review cost $100,000, a


figure Popham called “money well spent.”


—Peter Mitham


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RBC Dominion Securities Inc.*and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. *Member CIPF ™ Registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under License. RBC Dominion Securities is a registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license. © Copyright 2012. All right reserved.


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