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Budget


Raw milk Organic


Loan program will focus on female farm entrepreneurs Advocates take case to Victoria


COABC changes governance structure


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SEED SOURCE YOUR BC


1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!


The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 APRIL 2018 | Vol. 104 No. 4 Labour


trouble Nursery industry’s issues resonating with all sectors


by PETER MITHAM LANGLEY – A packed house gathered


for the spring meeting of the BC Landscape and Nursery Association at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley on March 12, keen to get answers to questions about the state of the labour force.


The association is engaged in an


extensive study of labour requirements for the sector, but the most immediate concern of most growers was the ongoing delays in securing workers under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). The nursery and landscape sector is


Sasha Bentall and Tyler McNaughton, with their two young daughters, have created a thriving farm business with pasture-raised livestock in the East Kootenays. They are this year’s BC & Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers. SUBMITTED PHOTO


Growing more with less water


typically the first in BC to receive workers each year, with many operations hiring dozens of workers over the course of the season. But many are still waiting for applications to be approved, and forced to make do with fewer workers than usual or none at all. Still others have the workers they


See DELAYS on next page o OYF winners from Kootenays


by TAMARA LEIGH FORT STEELE – Tyler


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McNaughton and Sasha Bentall of Cutter Ranch in Fort Steele have been named the 2018 BC & Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers. The couple has built their business providing pasture-raised livestock to local markets and beyond. It is the first time since 1988 that the award has been won by farmers from the Kootenays. The couple started raising lamb on Bentall’s family ranch near Clinton, and moved to


the Kootenays in 2012. “From a business


perspective, we recognized that the East Kootenay was a really good community to be in because of the desire for locally grown product and the level of community involvement and support,” says Bentall, explaining their decision to move. “There is also good proximity to abattoirs.” What started with 30 ewes and a couple of sows has now grown to annual production of several hundred hogs, 200 lambs and a small herd of


beef cattle – all raised entirely on pasture. “We’re really proud of the


fact that we've been able to scale the process to our size,” says McNaughton. “That's always been a big issue when trying to getting pastured meat to market. We want people to have greater access to this product, and to do that it has to be scaled to a certain extent to be available year- round.” As they have grown, they have carefully maintained


See OYF on next page o


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